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Dubai developers must gain SIRA approval

Developers in Dubai who do not gain approval from the new Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) risk having building permits and completion certificates refused, Arabian Business has reported.23 Jan 2017

SIRA has set up last year to handle security industry regulations, and new projects mist gain approval, SIRA's chief executive Arif Al Janahi told Arabian Business.

"Dubai Municipality will not give [a developer] a building permit unless they get a consultant to do the security system design and get an approval for it," Al Janahi said.

"Even the building completion certificates will not be given unless the [security] system is up and running," he told the news site.

Any developer who does not follow SIRA's security guidelines will face legal action, Al Janahi said.

SIRA is currently revising the regulations on security service providers and systems, and new versions will be released this year, Arabian Business said.

Construction procurement expert William Marshall of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "Dubai has introduced a new law regulating the security industry and creating the Security Industry Authority. We understand that along with this legislative change will be a requirement for all real estate developers in Dubai to obtain an approval from SIRA prior to obtaining a building permit to commence construction works or a completion certificate to enable occupation. It should be noted that the above identified laws do not expressly mandate this process, but the change has been publicised by Dubai Government officials."

"It is understood that there will be a requirement to obtain a security system design from a licensed security industry consultant, and for the designed system to be approved by Dubai municipality, before a building permit will be issued. It will be a requirement for issuance of the completion certificate that the security system is operational. The security systems will mandate security measures such as surveillance cameras and access control," Marshall said.

"The measures will, of course, impose additional costs onto real estate developers in the short term, as developers engage with licensed security consultants to prepare the system design for municipality approval. These cost will likely decrease over time, as developers become more familiar with the expectations of the municipality in respect of this issue and as the market for licensed security industry consultants increases," he said. 

"The costs are not, however, likely to have a significant adverse impact on the Dubai construction industry or on the viability of most projects. The new legislation in this area is a laudable step by the Dubai Government to further support the safety and protection of the citizens, residents and guests of Dubai and to ensure that all future developments are constructed with safety systems adequate to protect the owners and users of the buildings," Marshall said.

Dubai tightened its rules on building quality in 2016. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) set up a team of specialists to visit new building projects and check that developers are adhering to international standards, via a programme of field visits to projects in different locations across Dubai.

RERA also announced that all property being marketed in Dubai, including developments being built overseas, now requires a permit.