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Dubai Land Department will bring in greater transparency to the marketing and advertising of property in Dubai, with estate agencies and portals needing valid permits before any ad placement. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: All property ads issued in Dubai must be backed by relevant advertising permits – and it is up to the real estate agency or portal to ensure this happens. Property portals in Dubai must authenticate the permits for these ads through an integrated link with Dubai Land Department.

With these moves, the Land Department wants to root out all possibilities of over-selling or misselling of properties through ads that promise more than they deliver. It also comes when the local offplan market is getting quite active with regular launches, of which there will be more from September.

Maximum transparency in the buying and selling of property – and in the marketing/promotion of these – is what the Dubai Land Department is aiming for.

  1. The new rules on property ads is mainly for the resale market. Developers are already required to get permission for prior approvals.
  2. Property brokers and portals will need to fill up Form A under the DLD rules, if they want to advertise any unit, whether on online channels or offline.
  3. Form A is a must for all resale and leasing transactions.
  4. Without a signed Form A, property agents are not allowed to promote unit on any on-line channel.
  5. Property portals have the responsibility to verify permits as they have an integration with DLD.
  6. At the time of signing new property sales, agents have tended to put their own mobile numbers. This will stop, according to Firas Al Msaddi.
  7. Now, everything is going digital and highly integrated. If sellers or tenants don't have their contact details updated, it will be a big issue for them in case of any important communication from DLD," said Msaddi.

What the Land Department doesn’t want to see at any cost are outright fake ads entering the promotional space and end up duping potential investors or tenants. (Dubai already has a fairly tight regime when it comes to how properties can be advertised or marketed. The latest requirements represent a major updating.)

“For sellers, it ensures the advertised prices of their properties are accurate and as per their confirmation,” said Firas Al Msaddi, CEO of fam Properties. “For real estate agencies, it ensures - and imposes - fair competition, where unless the agency has a valid permit to advertise a property, they cannot make any ads live.

For the overall market, it brings a very healthy control with regulations that ultimately help attract more investors and industry professionals.

- Firas Al Msaddi of fam Properties

In a statement, Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Residential Communities at Dubai Holding Asset Management, said: "Dubai already has a world-class framework in place, but the latest initiative in managing property listings will further strengthen the emirate’s reputation as one of the best cities to live and work and ensure that the renter, seller, agent and arguably the most important player – the tenant – all enjoy a seamless experience.

The Dubai Land Department’s latest regulation on property listings in the Emirate brings fresh impetus to the city’s flourishing real estate sector and enhances its competitive edge in the global market.

- Ahmed Al Suwaidi of Dubai Holding Asset Management

How do the new processes work?

  • To obtain the advertising permits, brokers have to have complete the signing of an e-form with that property’s owner.
  • The process of signing the form with the owner is fully digitized by Dubai Land Department and requires the official confirmation of property owners via the REST app.

For the process to be completed, property owners must ensure their contact details are updated in the records of the Land Department.

“We welcome RERA’s latest circulars on new regulations to guide the marketing efforts of developers, intermediaries and private sellers, thereby safeguarding the interests of buyers and all other industry stakeholders,” said Tizian Raab, spokesperson at Azizi Developments.

The circulars also convey and instill the necessity for fair competition among sellers.

- Tizian Raab of Azizi Developments

“Ads uploaded to portals must be up-to-date, that those posting them have valid RERA-verified permits, and that the information contained within reflects only what is present in RERA’s database. The guidelines will be properly enforced through frequent monitoring of real estate portals.”

Penalties for non-compliance
In case of non compliance by the portals on validating the property ads, 'legal measures' will be taken, which could include the blocking or stopping of the site from publishing ads. The authorities will also issue violations if they don't comply to these new directives.