Dubai remains the most transparent market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while Abu Dhabi takes the second position in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index by Jones Lang LaSalle for 2012.
In the global ranking, Dubai and Abu Dhabi takes the 47th and 52nd position respectively on the index.
However, despite improved transparency levels in the MENA market, over the past two years, the gains have been comparatively ‘modest’, and real estate markets in the region are less transparent than in other global regions.
In Dubai, its regulatory framework is the strongest, says JLL. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is the acknowledged market leader in the region, while Dubai International Financial Centre has grown to be the vehicle of choice for listed real estate funds.
Although, Abu Dhabi is behind Dubai by one or two years in the real estate development cycle, the report shows similar improvement in transparency to Dubai, since 2010.
In fact, the quality of market data is better in Abu Dhabi than in Dubai, in certain sectors, and the planning system is more regulated. Improvement in these areas has reinforced Abu Dhabi’s position as second most transparent market in the MENA region, JLL said.
The Head of Research for JLL-MENA, Craig Plumb, said that more needs to be done to increase transparency levels in the market in both Dubai and across the broader region, particularly in terms of investment performance indicators and data on market fundamentals.
According to Plumb, increased focus on sustainability will result in higher levels of transparency and disclosure. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain registered only negligible changes in transparency levels since 2012.
The United States tops as the world’s most transparent real estate markets this year, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia. New Zealand and Canada occupies the fifth and sixth positions respectively.