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Global crisis 'will be good for UAE property sector'
Andy Sambidge / 19 February 2009

The global financial crisis will ultimately be good news for the UAE's real estate market, a prominent Dubai businessman said on Thursday.

Abdullah Al Harbi, CEO of Eye of Dubai, a company that promotes the emirate to investors across a range of industries, said the six-year boom had created a "number of small and, in some cases, unscrupulous real estate developers springing up everywhere".

He claimed people who were hairdressers or valets one week had set up as real estate developers the next without the necessary capital to support their ventures.

"The fact that many of the people starting up these companies were either inexperienced in the market...or just plain unscrupulous and looking to make a quick buck, meant that not all projects that had been launched had necessarily been properly planned, which is just a recipe for disaster, and sooner or later something was going to give", he said.

"I believe that although the global financial crisis may have set off the correction that is now taking place in the market,it was unavoidable and it would have happened eventually".

"Looking at it like that, it is better that it is happening sooner, so that Dubai, in particular, can now develop a more realistic and mature property market that will stand firm and continue to grow for many years".

Al Harbi's comments came following the International Property Show 2009 (IPS 2009), which took place in Dubai earlier this week.

"Property shows such as IPS 2009 are really important to show investors and others that the real estate market in Dubai, and the region in general, is still strong, and that there are many projects that are still going ahead that are good investment prospects", he added.



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