Dubai's Emaar returns to standard sales after Mira homes flipping

For its Burj Vista development, Emaar Properties reverts to standard sales procedures after its Mira townhouse sales event is marked by chaos and flipping.

Emaar has switched back to online registration for its next launch after chaotic scenes at its last sales event.

The Dubai-based developer yesterday announced that the sale of Burj Vista apartments in its downtown district will begin at 9am on Saturday, after an online registration process starting tomorrow at 10am. Prospective buyers who register online will be issued with a time slot for the sales event on Saturday. A single buyer can buy no more than one of the 640 apartments.

This sales process has become the modus operandi at Emaar in the aftermath of Dubai's property crash, but the developer abandoned this procedure for the sale of town houses in an outlying district of Dubai on Saturday.

It has not given a reason for the decision that led to chaotic scenes outside its sales centre over the weekend and the police being called at one point.

Properties at the Mirfa development near Arabian Ranches were handed out on a first come, first serve basis, with people queuing for hours at the company headquarters in Emaar Square only to leave empty-handed as the queue disintegrated and chaos ensued. The company had also taken the unusual step of announcing prices before the sale.

The Mirfa town houses were listed for resale on the Dubizzle website a day later, at a mark-up of more than a third of the original price, which experts said undervalued the properties significantly. This rapid reselling, known as flipping, was common in the run-up to the 2008 property crash.

"They have been very good about recent launches and stepped away from the first come first serve basis," said Mario Volpi, the sales and leasing manager at Cluttons. "Why did they do it for this particular launch? They wanted to create publicity."

There has been a gradual and patchy recovery of the Dubai property sector, with prime properties increasing in value in the first quarter of this year, according to a report released by Jones Lang LaSalle on Saturday.

"While well-established residential communities in central Dubai are expected to see further price and rental growth over the rest of 2013, less completed projects in more remote areas will need more time before seeing increased demand and performance," reads the report.

Built in the swanky Downtown area to provide a view on to Burj Khalifa, the two Burj Vista buildings are designed with cascading balconies facing the world's tallest building. Downtown is Emaar's flagship development, and comprises Dubai Mall.