The Real Estate Syndicate of Lebanon (R.E.A.L.) announced on Tuesday the launch of the 2014 Real Estate Awards Lebanon, which comprises 12 categories. The winners shall be announced and shall receive their awards during a ceremony to be held on June 14, 2014 at the Casino du Liban.
The announcement was made during a lunch eon hosted by R.E.A.L. at the Rotana Gefinor Hotel in Clemenceau on the occasion of FIABCI President Flávio Gonzaga’s visit to Lebanon.
R.E.A.L. Secretary Walid Moussa, who chairs the Real Estate Awards Lebanon organizing committee, explained that these awards, which constitute a first in Lebanon, “reward excellence and entrepreneurship in real estate development and architecture, honor distinction and quality in this sector, and give real estate developers a chance to highlight their vision and successes.”
Moussa explained that “these awards are in line with R.E.A.L.’s wish to highlight the sector’s prosperity and development.” The 12 categories to be rewarded are as follows: leading high-rise residential project (50 meters and above), leading low-rise residential project (under 50 meters), leading design and architecture, leading landscape design, leading gated community, exceptional real estate communication campaign, most eco-friendly and sustainable project, leading commercial and mixed-use project, leading offices project, most socially responsible project (CSR), finest specialized project (such as resorts, health, or medical centers or spa) and most notable heritage project.
A jury composed of 13 Lebanese and foreign experts shall evaluate and choose the winners. Jury members are: CEPI President Claudine Speltz, FIABCI Board member and President-elect WCB 2014 Farook Mahmood, Dean of Engineering and Architecture at the American university of Beirut (AUB) Dr. Makram Suidan, Lebanon Green Building Council (LGBC) President Aram Yeretzian, Renée El Khazen – Founder of Atelier Renée El Khazen, R.E.A.L. President Massaad Fares, Executive Magazine Managing Director Yasser Akkaoui, Architect Ronald Baz, Founder and Chairman of ABNIAH s.a.r.l. Engineering and Contracting Maroun Helou, International Capital Group of Jones Lang LaSalle Regional Director Fadi Moussalli, ERGA Group SAL CEO Elie Gebrayel, Cairman and CEO of IMPACT BBDO MENA and Pakistan Group Dani Richa, founding member of Lebanon’s AAA French-Belgian Architect Jacques Liger-Belair who is also a Lebanese citizen since 1995.
R.E.A.L. President Massaad Fares delivered a speech in which he reminded that “The Real Estate Brokers and Consultants Syndicate launched its work at the beginning of the year 2013 so as to keep pace with the major development witnessed in this sector over the last years. Our main goal was to set regulations for the work of the brokers through the establishment of a syndicate that would deal with the profession’s matters and thus preserve its reputation and banish illegitimate actors from this sector.”
Massaad explained that The Real Estate Brokers and Consultants Syndicate (R.E.A.L.) has started working through three axes, the first of which calls for the establishment of a regulatory framework represented by the Syndicate. This Syndicate includes a number of companies and persons dealing in the real estate sector, protecting all parties in a real estate transaction, from the seller to the broker to the buyer, and controlling the transactions to ensure they are done in professional and legal way. The second axis of the Syndicate’s work is launching the educational and training effort in order to develop the brokers’ professional level. From this standpoint, the Syndicate has introduced, in collaboration with the American University of Beirut, a “Real Estate Brokerage Certificate.” The third axis is to work towards the ratification of the legal framework regulating the real estate brokerage profession. The Syndicate shall spare no effort to pursue this matter and to exert pressure to obtain a law that would limit work in the real estate sector to its member professionals.”
Mr. Fares called “upon the persons working in this sector to promptly join so as its efforts as a syndicate would become more effective and thus it will be able to implement its objectives. The Syndicate, he said, “studies carefully each application.” All members “should be convinced in R.E.A.L.’s aim and goal” to limit real estate operations to experts and professionals. “That is why we do request people who have their own offices or who works under a reputable company.”
Furthermore, “We should grow in number so as to form a pressure force and amend regulations so as to ensure our continuity and protect our sector. People should start believing in us and never buy any piece of land or any apartment without a broker who is a trusted member in the syndicate.”
In turn, Mr. Gonzaga’s address focused on the importance of organizing real estate awards, which – he argued – are a motivation for excellence among developers, and stressed the need for adopting laws to organize real estate professions.
The luncheon also included a diploma-awarding ceremony for the graduates of the second class of AUB’s Real Estate Brokerage Certificate. In conclusion, R.E.A.L. held its general assembly and membership cards were distributed to all members.
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