Morning round-up: Dubai villa rents drop by a quarter

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Villa rental rates in Dubai dropped by almost a quarter over 12 weeks, according to new data published yesterday by Asteco, The National's Charlie Hamilton reports. Agents warned that prices could tumble further should the worst predictions of a summer population exodus come true.

And analysts say that Blue City, the largest property development in Oman, has been hit hard by the financial crisis and may need to make changes to survive,  The National's Bradley Hope reports. The developer behind the first phase of the US$20 billion project has missed sales targets since last summer, leading Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors to downgrade its credit rating.

RAK Properties, the largest property developer in Ras al Khaimah, saw net profit fall by nearly 34 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, as investors delayed their payments, The National's Nathalie Gillet reports.

Arabian Business reports that a group of investors locked in a dispute with developer ACW Holdings have urged its members to withhold further payments until installments are linked to construction. ACW's projects are experiencing severe delays, with only excavation and piling works underway.