Standardisation can drive efficiency in Qatar market, by Mairead Hughes, RICS Country Manager

Enforcing standards will help in the development of internationally competitive real estate markets

Countries in the Middle East continue to diversify their economies to be less dependent on oil and gas and focus on sectors such as tourism, professional services, logistics and trade, industry, manufacturing and real estate. 

As one of the most crucial asset classes accounting for a substantial portion of personal wealth in developed economies, real estate has the power to have a significant impact on national and international economies.

This is demonstrated in Qatar with a number of real estate transactions and mega projects coming to fruition to support the 2022 World Cup, which feeds into the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Transparency and standardisation in real estate

With a melting pot of nationalities working in the real estate sector, market professionals come from every corner of the world. In the absence of clear local standards, each use their ‘preferred’ standards for building, measuring and valuing real estate. It is this diverse approach which often leads to inconsistency and lack of market transparency.

In an interconnected global marketplace, this inconsistency leads to confusion and risk for all property owners, occupiers and investors, especially operating across borders. In a bid to attract foreign investment, confidence needs to be high in the market and that can only happen when transparency, clear standards and regulations are adopted. 

As a globally recognised professional body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) purpose is to effect positive change in the built and natural environments by promoting and enforcing the highest professional qualifications and standards.

With up to 70 percent of the world’s wealth bound up in land and real estate, sector standards support stable and sustainable growth around the globe. Sector standards apply to specific disciplines within the built environment such as building surveying, construction, dispute resolution, land, real estate and valuation.

At the forefront of developing technical and professional standards for these disciplines, RICS is leading coalitions around the world to develop international standards such as the International Valuation Standards (IVS refers to accurate valuations), the International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS refers to the measurement of floor area) and the International Ethical Standards (IES refers to professional behaviour and conduct).

A guidance document, the RICS Professional Guidance: Real Estate Agency and Brokerage has also been produced by RICS for professionals, outlining the principles that underpin all activities undertaken by those involved with the sale, letting, leasing and management of real estate, whatever the form of tenure. It draws on 12 principles and provides examples of best practice to ensure that clients receive objective advice, delivered in a professional manner. RICS professionals and regulated firms commit to adhering to these best practices.

Standards such as these are critical to the development of the market in Qatar and the wider Middle East market, becoming a catalyst for developing internationally competitive real estate markets.

This article was published as part of the fourth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report