designMENA speaks to Michael Waters, head lecturer in Real Estate, Heriot-Watt University’s Dubai campus.
The MSc programme in Real Estate Management and Development offers the essential learning components from the industry including property economics, valuation methodology, construction, investment analysis, international property law and property asset management, according to Waters.
Importance of the course
“The UAE has a significant opportunity to become a global leader in the property and construction profession; however, education is fundamental to this process. In an environment, which has seen such remarkable asset growth, training and adaptation of international practice standards, it will undeniably play a significant role in the second phase of market development,” he added.
The course covers the processes taking place within property transactions, development projects and investment funding. In addition, it encourages students to develop skills in recognising and adopting the relevant new trends in global property markets, such as sustainability and green values, as well as best practice and professionals integrity.
Waters said the course is important in the region and current economic climate, and added that improving valuation standards, managing real estate assets and increasing transparency of operations are all important to promote on-going professional practice. Such moves will see local and international confidence reinstated, retained and growing over the next 5-10 years.
Professional education for surveyors is also of importance, for the continuation and growth of the local real estate profession, according to Waters.
“The harmonisation of professional procedures worldwide, the opportunity to learn about other systems of global real estate practice and to benefit from that knowledge is surely a valuable experience,” he said.
At present, career prospects for qualified property practitioners are positive in the UAE’s market, with recent research by property recruitment firm MacDonald & Co. showing the average monthly salaries exceed AED38,000 per month.
Waters added: “Our graduates have a clear route to professional membership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accreditation– a mark of property professionalism worldwide.”