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New real estate watchdog for Ras Al Khaimah

The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) Real Estate Regulatory Agency will oversee the implementation of escrow accounts law fro all freehold development projects, officials said.

Several property developers have already registered their projects with RAKIA RERA, which is similar to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority operating in Dubai, and the new watchdog will now monitor developments with a collective value of AED6 billion.

Developers can only register when their project's concept design has been approved, which will then allow them to open an escrow account and start selling properties. RAKIA RERA will also oversee the construction by sending out a team of engineers to inspect projects.

'The escrow account has been implemented to prevent mishandling of construction funds and ensure that investors' money is spent according to the master plan of the project,' said Yahia Kambris, general manager.

'The establishment of the new real estate watchdog is an important step in our efforts to safeguard and protect the interest of investors and reinforce the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as an attractive and practical investment destination in the region,' he added.

Among the developers that have registered with RAKIA RERA include Select Group, the developer of Pacific; Manazil Real Estate, which is developing Marbella Bay; Pure Real Estate, developer of Blue Mirage; Stallion Properties, which is developing Santorini; and e-myproperty, developer of Bab Al Badr.

Yes Properties, developer of The Quay, is also currently completing the registration process and will soon open an escrow account.

Several banks, including Badr Al Islami-Mashreq, Bank of Baroda, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank, have also signed an agreement with RERA to offer escrow accounts.