Abu Dhabi: Residents have said the new property law does not offer them any benefits as rentals have remained high in the capital despite the current econ-omic slowdown.

An Egyptian working in Abu Dhabi, Mohammad Ebrahim, 35, had already invested in a flat worth Dh620,000. He paid a down payment of Dh50,000 but changed his mind once the property law was issued.

"Even though I will be losing money by not buying this flat, I would rather wait till June where more than 350 residents are scheduled to leave and prices may go down further," he said.

Dr Jumana Ramzy, a dentist, said that she doubted prices would fall.

"The economic crisis didn't really affect Abu Dhabi and banks are already back on track. Life's moving on and prices of accommodation have already lessened in Dubai, I don't expect a further decrease," she said.

Lebanese sales manager Alia Dabeet, 37, said he felt that the government had placed the new restrictions to ensure a balance of nationalities in the country.

"They have added the Dh1 million limit so that they attract the richer crowd, so this law conditions who buys a house now. As for residents I believe this is a