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New real estate union to meet in Egypt this weekend

Eighteen countries have joined together to form the Arab Union for Real Estate Development, the first ever organisation for the region's property market.

It is much needed as the property sector, especially in Dubai is suffering a huge blow in terms of prices and sales. Just yesterday one Dubai based developer reduced the price of its properties by as much as 30% as a result of the crisis.

Mada'in Properties has revised contracts for existing customers. A company spokesman said it was because construction costs have dropped but insiders claim it is to ward off defaults on staged payments.

The new AURED has signed up 320 participants, including the Arab world's biggest property companies, architects, engineers, contractors and other related industries.

Hydra Properties CEO Dr Sulaiman Al Fahim has been elected as president of the new organisation, which will hold its first ever meeting in Cairo this weekend.

'Our idea is to bring together all the big players in the Arab property world under one roof, a kind of federation that looks at all issues related to the market, from quality, to investment and planning,' Dr Sulaiman said

'Once we get this going, I want the organisation to be able to give a seal of approval to property projects and companies. In a sense, it should improve confidence and trust in the industry. If your company is rubber stamped by the Union, it will give investors an extra level of security,' he added.

UAE property giants Nakheel and Emaar are both believed to be among the founder members of organisation.

The first meeting of the new group is being held under the patronage of the Egyptian government and the Arab Union Council, part of the Arab League.