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UAE cheque fraud laws benefit property market recovery: Nakheel chairman

UAE cheque fraud laws benefit property market recovery: Nakheel chairman - UAE - property legal - law - property market

The chairman of property developer Nakheel, Ali Rashid Lootah, accredits the initial financial recovery of Dubai’s property market to a strict enforcement of a policy that criminalizes debt. (Al Arabiya)

Mr. Lootah, who has overseen the troubled developer since 2010, says the ability to open criminal cases against those who bounce cheques, presents a serious threat for whoever doesn’t comply with the markets laws and regulations. 

Under UAE law, issuing a cheque is undersigning a document that shows commitment for future payments. However, during the financial crises in late 2008, the number of failed payments soared, presenting a challenge to both owners and developers. 

Eventually, by implementing a cheque fraud law, those who could not pay their loans found themselves criminally liable. However, dozens of ‘real estate’ prisoners have gone on hunger strike to protest against their jailing, seeing themselves as victims of the emirate’s property crash, not as criminals.

“It’s a criminal action here, and people should know that,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, in an interview with the Financial Times. “[Otherwise] it would have meant running around after them [defaulters] forever. It’s a deterrent tool, he added.”


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