Real estate is a first-class developmental and vital sector, and a mainstay of the economy. Therefore, it tops the economic scene in many developed countries, giving it a priority with future development plans, whose policies are based on the latest scientific and advanced technical means.
While some Gulf countries have kept pace with global changes, by establishing real estate bodies concerned with and regulating this sector, Kuwait is still lagging behind, despite the fact that the real estate sector in the country is at an advanced stage, after the oil sector, in light of the huge real estate investment and the volume of transactions that exceed billions of dinars annually, including the activities of buying, selling, leasing, owning, developing, building, brokering, and evaluating real estate.
Market people believe that the establishment of a real estate authority will represent a qualitative leap for the sector, in light of the objective of this authority to regulate the market, end the suffering and problems of dealers, and remove intruders from all professions related to the real estate sector, especially mediation and evaluation, in addition to ending bureaucracy and slow completion of transactions, and the judiciary on the fraud operations and the accountability of those responsible, pointing out that this will only be achieved by choosing experienced and competent people to run such an organization away from favoritism and intermediaries.
Realtors whose opinions were surveyed by the daily, stated that expediting the establishment of a public real estate authority, especially after extensive studies were conducted on it by the World Bank in cooperation with the Real Estate Union, is still collecting dust in the drawers so far, despite the cost of those studies to the state, due to the rapid and continuous change of the finance ministers, in addition to Covid crisis, indicating that the establishment of the authority will protect the sector, address the scarcity of information and secure access for investors to real estate at the right time and price, in addition to creating a balance between supply and demand, while making maximum use of state property.
The following are examples of the existing Gulf real estate authorities:
The UAE is at the forefront of the Gulf countries that have given this matter the utmost importance to the status of the real estate sector, especially in Dubai, where it recently established the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, or as it is called “RERA Dubai”, which deals with most of the policies and plans that help in promoting foreign investments, and contribute in settling disputes between tenants and property owners, it has administrative independence and full legal authority to regulate the real estate market in Dubai.
RERA Real Estate aims to provide an effective legal framework for all workers in the real estate sector in Dubai, and is working hard to develop all electronic services for real estate developers and real estate investors, in addition to supporting the sector of insurance companies, legal offices and banks, in order to enhance mutual cooperation among them.
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency in Dubai provides a comprehensive set of services, including licensing real estate agencies, regulating and monitoring owners’ associations that manage various buildings in the emirate, not to mention registering and regulating lease contracts, publishing studies of the real estate sector, and regulating real estate advertisements in all local media and newspapers. .
RERA Real Estate is responsible for licensing and regulating all real estate activities and exhibitions, as well as promoting national participation in the real estate sector in Dubai, in addition to many services and responsibilities.
For its part, Saudi Arabia established the Real Estate General Authority in 2017 with the purpose of regulating, supervising and developing non-governmental real estate activity to raise its efficiency, and encourage investment in it in line with the objectives of economic and social development.
The authority has all the powers necessary to achieve its goals, and in particular it has the following:
— Suggesting rules, regulations and policies related to real estate activities, setting the necessary plans to exercise its powers, and supervising their implementation.
— Licensing and supervising real estate activities, setting standards for real estate activities, and organizing real estate exhibitions, in coordination with the relevant authorities.
— Laying the foundations for determining the financial compensation for real estate activities without prejudice to the rules of competition, encouraging investment in real estate activities, and providing the appropriate environment for fair competition in this field.
— Coordination with the concerned agencies in order to ensure the integration of real estate infrastructure and the achievement of relevant national goals, policies and strategies.
— Monitoring the real estate sector indicators to achieve stability and balance.
— Establishing the necessary controls to regulate real estate advertisements that are published in all mass media and monitor them, in coordination with the relevant authorities.
— Conducting research, studies and statistics in the field of real estate activities, and creating an electronic portal containing real estate information bases necessary for real estate activities, whether available with the Authority or other concerned parties, with periodic updating and making them available to those concerned.
In 2017, a law was issued in Bahrain to regulate the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, with the aim of providing an efficient and fair regulatory environment in the real estate market, in order to promote economic growth and investment in Bahrain.
The essential role of the Corporation is to prepare and implement a national plan in the matter of regulating the real estate sector, which includes a strategy and general policy in the matter of the sector, and to collect and analyze data, information and statistics related to the sector, so that the Corporation will be a major source of real estate data and information, in addition to proposing programs and policies that will advance the real estate sector.
As for Qatar, the Council of Ministers decided last December to take the necessary measures to establish a new real estate authority to regulate and develop the real estate sector, to improve sector governance, enhance the availability of real estate data, and stimulate real estate investment.
The authority is also concerned with developing a digital platform that collects and publishes real estate data and statistics on the Qatari real estate market, and formulates policies in coordination with the Qatar Central Bank to support real estate financing for individuals.
Oman, like Kuwait, is still without an authority concerned with real estate and market regulation, despite the great importance that this sector enjoys there.
Realtors stated that the possibilities for recovery in the real estate sector in the Sultanate lie in controlling the legislation and laws related to real estate brokerage and development, stressing that the presence of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority has become a must, as it will be the largest and strongest enabler for the real estate sector in Oman.