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Dubai: The days of queueing up at the Dubai Land Department (DLD) for each bit of paperwork related to a property transaction are passe. Now, you could do it from the cosy confines of a mall in between shopping for the latest fashion accessory or taking a cappuccino break.
It is since the beginning of the year that the Land Department put a stop to all certification and registration processing on-site. The government agency had already done so on expat-owned transactions late last year.
In the process, privately-owned firms have been licensed to take on the process and, simultaneously, move the process closer to Dubai’s property owners. So far, 18 such firms have been granted licences, of which 14 have launched full-scale operations.
One leading lights is Mithaq, which has got itself a prime — albeit temporary — location at The Dubai Mall and moving into a highly customised one — with wood panelling and lush leather trims — adjacent to it.
And if it is a straightforward registration, the process can be gone through in 30 minutes flat.
But a lot more work needs to be done on another front — that of getting property buyers in Dubai aware that the Land Department is no longer handling any of the registration processes.
“Frankly speaking, the awareness of third-party property registration services is still not there to the fullest possible extent,” said Amer Al Zahed, director-general of Mithaq. “For many local buyers, especially those of an older generation, the change is a break with a tradition they have long been used to — that of spending time at the Land Department.”
This is why a mall-based location comes in handy — “By being in the presence of the hundreds of thousands who visit each day, we can build up an awareness in a timespan that’s not possible on any other platform,” said Al Zahed. “The Dubai Mall presence was a marketing strategy in itself.”
As of now, the remit of property registration services extend to paperwork related to a transfer of a unit, mortgage proposal to banks, the ‘Oqood’ documentation for off-plan projects and the “gifting” of properties within a family (such as from a father to a child, etc.).
The spike in transactional activity at the time of the Expo 2020 win announcement was also mirrored in Mithaq’s processing. “Against the average of seven to 10 transactions being registered a day, it shot up to an average of 20-22 during and just after the Expo 2020 confirmation,” said Al Zahed. “There have been occasions when we have touched 50 processings in a single day.”
Expatriates make up 80 per cent of the Mithaq registrations. The firm will also be having locations at the Nakheel and Dubai Property Group sales centres. “That will put us as close as possible to developers and buyers,” Al Zahed said.
And what of the fees? “These are standardised as a percentage of the service rendered,” Al Zahed said. “And the best part is that the Land Department has appointed multiple registration service providers — it will ensure service charges remain competitive and in sync with market forces.”
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com