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New year begins with confidence of real estate revival in 2009

Although the industry has suffered from between 30 and 40% price falls it should grow again along with oil prices and the stock market, said Adnan al-Haddad, chief executive of the Group Gulf Company.

He added that the Kuwaiti real estate market, in particular, was in a good position to rebound as real estate companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange remained among those whose shares are being actively traded, which suggests that the real estate sector continues to enjoy the confidence of traders and investors.

He said signs of easing in the real estate market started with the courts exempting Islamic banks from the constrictions of Law 8 and 9, thus enabling them to resume providing funding for the residential real estate market again.

Haddad added that some companies had suffered from a deadlock in the marketing of their products and were under pressure from banks and financial institutions, which provided them with funding

And in Dubai the head of one of the leading real estate companies predicted that facing the global economic challenges head on will help the sector recover. Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said the real estate firm would be exploring new opportunities in 2009.

Alabbar said that while several challenges awaited the property sector in 2009, there were also an equal if not greater range of opportunities. 'Emaar will face these challenges with confidence and we will focus our energies to adapt to the changing circumstances,' he said.

'Our strategy of business segmentation and geographic expansion has proven its effectiveness, and we will continue along this path,' he added in a statement.