| DUBAI, July 30
DUBAI, July 30 Dubai will liquidate scores of
cancelled property projects and use the funds to repay investors
who lost billions of dollars in the emirate's real estate
market, state news agency WAM reported.
A decree by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
al-Maktoum said a special legal committee would be established
to settle disputes related to projects that had been officially
cancelled by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
A crash of the emirate's property market in 2009 and 2010,
which more than halved real estate prices, forced developers to
shelve or scrap hundreds of projects. Some developers shut down
and left Dubai without telling their customers.
Many individuals and corporations had bought properties and
handed over the money while the projects were still in the
design stage; they never received the properties and were unable
to recover their money.
About 217 property projects were cancelled in Dubai between
2009 and 2011, data compiled by RERA showed last year. They
included a Tiger Woods-branded golf course and a kilometre-high
tower to be built by state-owned developer Nakheel.
Dubai is now recovering from the crisis and property prices
have begun to rebound, but the legacy of unpaid debts and
unsettled contracts could weigh on the recovery.
The new committee will examine developers' financial status
as well as cash transfers and deposits related to the cancelled
projects, WAM reported late on Monday.
"The committee has the right to take actions and issue
decisions to guarantee the rights of those who have purchased
property that fall into this category," it said, without
elaborating on exactly how committee would ensure payments.
The new committee will supersede all courts in Dubai,
including those in the Dubai International Financial Centre;
implementation of verdicts issued by the courts on cases handled
by the committee will be halted.
Several state-funded mega-projects such as Nakheel's
Palm Deira, Palm Jebel Ali and the World, a complex
of man-made islands, were sold to investors but later stalled.
They will not be handled by the new committee since they have
not been officially scrapped, merely delayed indefinitely.