Dubai pushes reforms for cancelled projects

Tribunal formed to oversee cancelled and liquidated real estate projects and ensure investors’ rights

A special committee to oversee unfinished and cancelled real estate projects has been set up in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued decree number 33 of 2020 for the committee, formed pursuant to decree number 21 of 2013.

The new committee will be named Special Tribunal for Liquidation of Cancelled Real Property Projects in the Emirate of Dubai & Settlement of Related Rights.

Tribunal overview

The decree authorises the tribunal to review and settle all disputes, grievances and complaints for which the previous committee did not issue final decisions or judgements.

It will also review and settle disputes and complaints arising from unfinished, cancelled or liquidated real estate projects.

The tribunal is also tasked with the settlement of disputes related to unfinished real estate projects that have been cancelled pursuant to law number 13 of 2008 and referred to the previous committee by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

The tribunal may also:

  • Determine the rights and obligations of each developer between which projects may have been transferred
  • Liquidate projects cancelled by Rera and ensure rights settlements
  • Define the rights of investors and buyers of unfinished projects
  • Review matters and issue judgements or amicable settlements
  • Form subcommittees, appoint auditors and issue orders to trustees of the project’s escrow account in all matters related to the liquidation of cancelled projects

Legal judgments

Following its activation, the decree prohibits all courts in Dubai, including Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, to accept any disputes, appeals or complaints related to unfinished or cancelled real estate projects, or those that fall under the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

All decisions and judgements issued by the tribunal are final and incontestable, and the Execution Court at Dubai Courts will execute its judgments.

The chairman of the Dubai Judicial Council will issue a resolution naming the entity responsible for providing administrative and technical support to the tribunal.

Interim real estate register

Sheikh Mohammed also issued law number 19 of 2020, amending article 11 of law number 13 of 2008.

The amendment pertains to the Interim Real Estate Register in Dubai, and states that if developers have not initiated construction works “due to reasons beyond [their] control”, or if the project was cancelled due to a Rera decision, then the developer “must refund the entire amount” paid by buyers.

27 December, 2020 | .By NEHA BHATIA