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Dubai real estate business in trouble as property show opens in muted mood

Milford Real Estate, which was established in 2002, is one of the first full casualties of the property collapse in Dubai which has seen prices plummet by up to 50% in some areas.

Pam Brown, general manager, told a local newspaper that the business had folded. When Property Wire tried to contact the business today all telephones were on answering machine with a message saying that no one was available to take the call.

The company has between 20 and 28 employees in two offices, one on Sheikh Zayed Road, the other at The Harbour Hotel and Residence at Dubai Marina.

The business sold a range of property in Dubai as well as the other emirates, from luxury island villas to high tech metropolitan style apartments.

The news came yesterday on the opening day of the International Property Show in Dubai and added to the depressed mood. 'These are the difficult times and we must admit the reality and then find the solution,' said Abdullah M Al Shizawi, managing partner of Heart of Capital.

'Last year, visitor turn out was amazing and we had number of good deals. But today there are almost no visitors,' he added.

Dawood Al Shirawi from the Strategic Marketing and Exhibition, the event organiser said that it was challenging. 'Right now the local market is going through the correction period due to the global recession,' he said. Only serious investors are visiting the fair to check the pulse of the market, he added.

Those attending this year's show are hoping that lower prices will help to kick start the struggling property market soon.

However Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Land Department said at the opening that the industry needs to look to the future. 'Dubai will be the fastest city to recover from the impact of the ongoing credit crunch, and the emirate's real estate sector will once again witness a period of long term boom,' he said.

'However, developers need to remain focused on their goal of continuing with the projects that they have already started and ensure that these projects are delivered on time,' he added.