Confidence is the key ingredient missing in the UAE property market.
Buyers are wary of further price declines, questionable developer practices and a legal and regulatory system that often seems unresponsive to their concerns.
Regaining that confidence will take more than a few flowery press conferences and reports suggesting prices are "stabilising". Action is needed on a basic level to convince the international community that Dubai is a stable market.
That means more laws to protect investors and procedures that allow them to quickly and efficiently address grievances. And it means real transparency in the development community.
But, more than anything, building buyer confidence requires recognition from developers that actions can have repercussions.
When developers roll out sub-standard homes or insist on charging unrealistic fees, the damage goes far beyond the local market. Word spreads quickly in the international arena these days.
Nakheel's decision to impose fees on tenants for use of the beach on sections of Palm Jumeirah may generate short-term financial gains, but the long-term impact on confidence is eroded.
In similar fashion, when the master developers of large projects don't deliver landscaping and infrastructure in a timely fashion, the images of home owners moving into ghostly construction sites makes future buyers apprehensive about committing to any project that is not completely finished.
Buyers can handle a few delays and changes, but they need to know the industry will make good on its commitments.