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Dubai Addresses Property Market Slump With New Planning Body

FILE - General view of Dubai's cranes at a construction site in Dubai, UAE, Dec. 18, 2018.
FILE - General view of Dubai's cranes at a construction site in Dubai, UAE, Dec. 18, 2018.

Dubai set up a real estate planning commission on Monday to regulate projects and avoid competition between semi-government and private firms, its ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced on his website and Twitter account.

Dubai has traditionally encouraged open, competitive business but heavy oversupply in the property market, an important sector of the economy, has seen residential prices slide by at least a quarter since mid-2014.

Sheikh Mohammed has put his son and Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed in charge of the new body, which will also take steps to stop similar sorts of projects being developed.

The property sector accounted for 7.2% of the emirates' gross domestic product in 2018.

Dubai property shares rose following the announcement, led by a 3.4% jump in Emaar Properties.

A number of state-owned developers, such as Nakheel, and semi-government owned developers like Emaar will also be part of the new body, known as the Higher Committee for Real Estate Planning.

"Controlling supply and demand will be the key to real estate sustainability for the coming years," Dubai Land Department's (DLD) Director General Sultan Butti bin Mejren said in a statement.

The DLD, which is already involved in regulating the sector, would work with the new body, he said.

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