Qatar's real estate sector will soon undergo some major changes with the establishment of a new public authority. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority is set to become functional within the next two months. The authority will put in place new policies aimed at developing the sector and ensuring transparency in real estate dealings.
Ahmed al-Emadi, who leads the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, said that the authority will oversee new strategies and policies for real estate development. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued Amiri Decision No. 28 of 2023 in April to establish the public authority for regulating the real estate sector.
Al-Emadi added that there are seven axes concerned with implementing the authority’s policies. These include governance of the real estate sector through the harmonisation of strategies and policies among the authorities concerned.
TRANSPARENCY AND DATA PROVISION
The authority will also create a real estate platform that seeks to provide data with transparency and clarity. The platform will launch in early October over three phases. The first phase will provide data and information to individuals and investors in general. This data will include occupancy volumes and deals in different regions.
The second phase will include electronic linking between government agencies.
Then, the third phase will offer full-functioning real estate services.
The authority will also encourage investment in the real estate sector through incentive policies and revitalising procedures.
LICENSING AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES
The authority will issue licenses, supervise and ensure the effectiveness of various activities. It will also track financing, control and govern procedures to protect real estate transactions, and resolve disputes to ensure fairness
UPDATING LAWS AND AMENDMENTS
The authority will carry out the legal treatment and filling of gaps by updating, amending, or cancelling laws.
Al-Emadi explained that Qatar's real estate sector is worth 6.5% of the economy. In 2022, the amount of money invested in real estate was over QR86bn, which is 2.6% more than in 2021.
The establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority will develop the sector in coordination with the private sector. The authority will provide a single window that offers a set of services and information with clarity and transparency.
The authority will do a few things to improve real estate development. They will set up a committee called the Real Estate Development Licensing Committee. They will also add a new rule to the law, called Article 7. This rule makes developers responsible for delivering units on time and in line with the contracts. The rule also says that the authority will check that the developers are following the rules.
Also, the law states that developers can only work on up to three projects at once, so they can focus on doing a good job. The authority will also make sure that real estate companies do not charge clients too much money.
LEGAL STEPS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS
Al-Emadi explained that there are three important legal steps for future projects: the Urban Planning Bill, the Owners Union Bill to close the gap, and the Public and Private State Property Bill. Additionally, a new Building Bill is being developed. Any legislation that falls outside of the Ministry of Municipality's jurisdiction will go through a thorough review process.
NEW CONTROLS FOR DEVELOPERS
Al-Emadi also said that there will be new rules to make sure that developers spend money as allocated on projects and complete them on time. If developers break the rules, they could receive fines or end up in jail. The Minister of Municipality and the Minister of Justice will make decisions about how to enforce these rules.
IMPLICATIONS FOR INVESTORS AND DEVELOPERS
The new Real Estate Regulatory Authority in Qatar is good news for people who want to invest or develop real estate in the country. It will make the market organised and clear, with better information on property deals, occupancy rates, and investments. The Authority will also issue licenses, monitor activities, encourage investment, and protect property transactions. This will create a better environment for real estate development and investment. The establishment of a real estate platform with clear data will help investors make informed decisions.
Overall, this is a positive step towards transparency, accountability, and growth in the real estate sector in Qatar.
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