Dubai: A rent cap is not needed this year, Marwan Bin Galita, chief executive of Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), told Gulf News.
Many tenants in Dubai are still confused that no rent cap for 2009 has been announced. While the cap for 2008 was set at five per cent, this was due to run out at the end of last year.
Since then, nothing more has been said on the issue.
However, Bin Galita told Gulf News on Monday that in his opinion, no rent cap is necessary in 2009.
"We don't need a rent cap this year. We need to freeze everything. 2009 is a tough year and we shouldn't interfere with rents too much," Bin Galita said.
Bin Galita also said rental rates should be fair to both landlords and tenants.
Things are freeing up in Dubai's rental market, with many landlords accepting more than one cheque, a nice change from the wallet-squeezing one-cheque policy.
Market analysts say rents in Dubai could begin to decline in the third quarter of this year.
"We need to carefully watch the situation. If there are more lay-offs, then certain number of families are expected to leave the country," an analyst told Gulf News, requesting anonymity.
"On top of that, more than 32,000 housing units will be supplied this year, which will help soften the market."
Bin Galita also said Rera and the land department are working towards a more specific complaint system, instead of the Rent Committee being responsible for everything.
The property court, already operational in Dubai, does not deal with rental disputes.
"We need one real estate tribunal for Dubai," Bin Galita said.
In line with this, Rera has a plan in place to establish a property agents committee, a developers committee and an evaluators committee in 2009.
Rera also recently created Ejari, an online tenacy contract registration site where agents and landlords must register all contracts.
This will finalise the rental index, which Bin Galita stresses is intended only to be an indication of rental rates across Dubai, not an enforcement of rental rates.
For information on the real estate sector, within the UAE, please visit our sister site,  GNProperty.com.