Dubai: The Dubai Land Department is studying a new law to protect the rights of real estate investors, a top government official told Gulf News.

Sultan Bin Mejren, Director-General of Dubai Land Department, said: "The department is working to put in order a law to protect the rights of real estate investors."

He added that the draft of the law will be ready to send to the Executive Office to get the government's approval by the first quarter of 2010.

The law would be comprehensive and include all items that seeks to protect investors.

"Our ultimate goal is ensure justice and set up proper rules and regulations to regulate the relationship between developers and investors," Bin Mejren told Gulf News.

He also said that the Land Department and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) are working on the new guidelines, which upon government's approval, will be implemented early next year.

Massive growth

Dubai's property sector went through a massive growth since 2002, when the government opened the land and property sector to foreign ownership that helped it to attract massive investment.

The government also facilitated investment by launching major projects, such as Dubai Marina, the Palm Jumeirah, International City, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubailand, Discovery Gardens, Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Emirates Lakes, Arabian Ranches, the Springs, Meadows, etc where more than 30,000 families have moved to their freehold homes.

Thus, real estate had overtaken the other sectors as the major driver of the emirate's growth engine, until late last year.

According to industry reports, real estate contributed to more than 32 per cent of Dubai's economy at its peak.

Dubai government has recently implemented strict measures to protect investors against illegal practices by developers.

The Dubai Government has formed a new judicial committee that will deal with cases involving bounced cheques in the property sector.

The committee will settle cases related to bounced cheques whether issued by a buyer to a developer, or from tenants and beneficiaries of long-term units under the provisions of Law No 7 of 2006 regarding real estate registration in Dubai.

This will help reduce the number of criminal cases due to payment defaults and subsequently help the emirate's real estate sector.

Bin Mejren said: "Soon we will meet with the Dubai Courts team to draw an outline for the judicial committee to develop mechanisms to deal with the situation."

Members of the committee will be chosen from Dubai Courts and the Land Department to settle the disputes.

The UAE's property sector has witnessed a number of delays and cancellations due to the impact of the global economic slowdown since late last year.

Active projects

Despite the slowdown, new research showed that 3,398 civil building projects worth $1.35 trillion) (Dh4.95 trillion) are currently active in the Gulf region.

The figures, released by, Streamline Marketing Group, paint a more positive picture of the regional construction industry which has been battling to shrug off the effects of the global economic crisis.

The UAE leads the way, with 1,853 civil building projects worth a total of $661,44 billion currently under way across four sectors — commercial and retail, education and healthcare, leisure and entertainment, and residential.

The research carried out by Dubai-based Proleads, which monitors regional construction projects across all industry sectors, showed that overall, a fraction under 75 per cent of all announced projects in the region are still progressing, representing a much more optimistic outlook at the start of an important week for the regional construction industry.

"While there is no getting away from the fact that a large number of major projects in the region are now on hold, the latest market research underlines the fact that there is still a massive amount of construction going on in the region," said Emil Rademeyer, director, Proleads.