“Do not tell outright lies” the book says.
Right there in the Code of Ethics, Dubai Certified Training for Real Estate Brokers, “do not tell outright lies.”
So I, the lawyer, wonder about the ambiguity of this. Does it mean that under their Code of Ethics it is okay to lie if you are telling a lie of omission? To tell an untruth if it is half true?
Studying for the real estate exam in Dubai is interesting… and unnerving. As you probably know by now, my husband the architect has been sent to Dubai to help design in the world’s most creative architectural city. How could he refuse? And I was eager to embark on this new adventure with him. So while my real estate business in Atlanta is alive and well – with the help of my able colleague Cathy Lamon – I have taken the team international by getting my real estate license here in Dubai. I now straddle both cities. But since you are an Atlanta client, let me tell you about the city you may not know – Dubai. Please consider coming to visit!
Dubai is a new city – Dubai as we know it came into being, really, in the last fifty years (before that time, the area was inhabited by Bedoins in the desert, without electricity), and Dubai’s RERA (the Real Estate Regulatory Agency) did not come about until 2007. So in putting together the legal construct governing Dubai, the makers had the benefit of the collective wisdom of many other jurisdictions which have promulgated real estate laws over the course of many years.
Still, the system is far from perfect.
Some of the disconnect may come from the fact that I am reading everything in ENGLISH, and as this is an Arabic country, presumably all has been translated, sometimes invariably imperfectly, from Arabic.
In fact, Dubai has achieved some incredible things in the area of real estate. For one, there is the first gigantic man made island – three miles by three miles, in the shape of a giant Palm Tree, and known as Palm Jumeirah. On the Palm, it is difficult to buy anything that costs less than $500,000 US and most properties cost much more.
There are TWO other “palms” planned. Both of them larger than the one already built.
Then there is “The World” – a series of 300 private man made islands out in the middle of the Persian Gulf that are shaped like continents. “The World reinvents the earth and offers the ultimate in privacy and exclusivity” says the marketing. Richard Branson already owns Great Britain. The islands are accessible only by plane, helicopter or boat. If you want something smaller, you can buy a “sea house” – which is a standalone house in the middle of the sea that is glass immersive – from your bedroom below you see, well, the sea – and hundreds of sea horses that will breed in the special habitat created for them close by.
So you see that Dubai’s real estate market is nothing like anything you have ever seen before. In scale, in ambition, in creativity, it is unique. It is a city of superlatives. From our balcony, we see the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest man made structure at 2,722 feet high. Dubai boasts man made marinas and canals. Much of this to increase waterfront property, which is more valuable than that which is not waterfront, particularly in this desert country.
It is so much different from Atlanta. So not surprisingly, real estate laws and rules are different also.
“Do not outright lie.” I won’t lie period. So I know I am within the law. Dealing with others who follow this different code, however, will be an adventure in and of itself. Please follow my adventures at www.yousaydubai.com. And know that our team is available to help you in Atlanta, Dubai – or wherever you need real estate advice!
My friends from Dubai Real Estate Class – we are from Ethiopia, Saudi, USA (me), Argentina and Croatia. Truly International!