Dubai Land Department makes it official with new awards
The best real estate projects — luxury as well as affordable, hotels and offices — in the Gulf and even the “happiest community” are to be identified as the Dubai Land Department launches annual awards dedicated to the industry. In all there will be 21 categories under consideration for the first “Gulf Real Estate Awards”.
It is the first time that a local government entity associated with the real estate sector is coming up with such a programme. Over the years, there have been innumerable awards, but launched by private sector names and especially those in the media and related businesses. During the boom years, there were so many of these gongs and plaques going around.
This is something that the newly instituted awards will hope to try and change. With the Land Department at the helm, every effort will be made to ensure the winners are identified in the most transparent manner, officials said. And the process of submission begins now — those who do so by December 15 are eligible for “early bird” fees of $395 (Dh1,451) per category. Anything done thereafter will invite a submission fee of $475 per category, and need to be done by January 19. (All registrations have to be processed online.) The finalists will be identified by January 26 and the winners by April 19. Panels of “independent judges” will be set up for each category, and Land Department officials confirmed that extreme vetting will be done to remove any prospect of “conflicts of interest” on their part. Some of the judges will be from international jurisdictions.
The online submissions by themselves represent a vetting of the entries. They will be asked to provide 2,000 word overviews on why their projects should be considered for the awards and they need to be persuasive with their reasoning on how they are better than the competition.
Those entries going beyond the first post will make up the finalists, who will then have to give in-person presentations before the judging panels. “These awards are about individual projects and not going by the track-record of a developer or company over the years,” said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General at the Land Department. “It will in no way penalise the small developer. Everyone stands a chance.”
And the award promoters also emphasise that this is a pan-Gulf initiative and not limited to projects and players in Dubai.
The launch follows the earlier signing of an agreement between Dubai Real Estate Institute, an entity part of the Land Department, with Awards International.
While naming the best luxury development out there might be relatively easy, homing in on the best in affordable could be trickier. According to Land Department officials, they will judge based on multiple criteria, chief among them would be whether a property in such a development can be paid off for less than 30 per cent of the buyer’s monthly income. Then the median income criteria for each Gulf state will come into play.
BOX — A checklist on the Gulf Real Estate Awards
* There are 1 categories in all, including the best luxury and affordable projects. The best out there in verticals such as retail, hospitality and offices will also be named.
* Customer experiences form a key component of the awards, including coming up with the “happiest community”.
* Digital will also take a bow, in the form of the best real estate portal.
* Of course, the awards will identify the best brokerage firm.
( courtesy of GulfNews )