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Banking

Middle East thrives on new rules of the game

Since the turn of the decade the region’s property market has seen spectacular growth. Now the infrastructure is catching up, giving entrepreneurs greater confidence in the market’s long-term health. Nigel Dudley reports.

Dramatic contrast

The creation of the DIFC has been key to developing infrastructure in the region

The rapidly expanding Middle East property market is attracting a new breed of entrepreneur keen to explore business opportunities and expecting to make good profits from it. One of the key reasons for their confidence is the steps being taken to introduce much needed rules and regulations to create the stability that will reassure players at every level of the market.

There are the beginnings of a legal structure, dozens of developers from the region and beyond, a plethora of lawyers, an embryonic mortgage business and a wealth of advisory companies, ranging from one man on a mobile to fully fledged organizations.

James Hume, chief executive of Volaw Trust in Dubai, is one example of the new breed. He says the big problem has been the speed at which the market has grown from nothing to a multi-million dollar business – in less than a decade. "There have been potential problems in the past because there have been no laws," says Hume.

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