Two years ago, Tamweel, the Islamic mortgage company, announced that it would be closing up shop. With average property prices in Dubai falling by more than 50 per cent from their peak in 2008, the company was a casualty of the financial crisis.
But Tamweel hopes this setback will soon be ancient history. This week, the company announced that it will again be offering home loans in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
That's great news for the company, and even better news for investors.
"Tamweel is back in business," Varun Sood, the chief executive of Tamweel's home finance division, said this week.
"While the past two years have been extremely challenging for the company - during a period of unprecedented turmoil in the global real estate and financial services sectors - we have persevered."
Offering up to 80 per cent financing, Tamweel says it is focused on booking a "high-quality portfolio of select customers and properties".
By returning to the market, property investors will not only have more options when it comes to financing, but the move also signals a potential rise in liquidity and confidence for both the property market and the UAE economy as a whole.
Meanwhile, Tamweel says it is committed to a more conservative approach to lending. "Our mission is to contribute to the stability and growth of the UAE real-estate market, and to ensure that individuals can avail of the same high standard of products and services that made Tamweel a benchmark for the home-finance industry," Mr Sood says.
Mortgages are available to salaried and self-employed individuals who meet the company's eligibility criteria.
The development is partly attributable to Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's largest Shariah-compliant lender, which raised its stake in Tamweel to 57.3 per cent in September. This development means the company now has stronger financial backing.
For further information about home financing, prospective investors can visit any of Tamweel's branches, including the Business Avenue building in Deira, Dubai, and at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. You can also visit its website at www.tamweel.ae.
Tamweel's re-emergence on the mortgage-lending scene adds to a growing list of attractive offers in the UAE.
Barclays recently announced a fixed-rate scheme that offers customers a 5.99 per cent mortgage rate with an option to freeze it for up to three years. Buyers can also borrow up to 75 per cent of the cost of a property.
The programme is available until December 2.
In May, Standard Chartered Bank launched a scheme allowing clients to secure mortgage loans of up to US$5 million (Dh18.36m). Geared towards high-net-worth individuals, it became the highest mortgage loan ever offered in the Emirates.