The absence of a legal framework for timeshare resorts is holding back growth of the industry in Dubai.
Timeshare is a system of shared ownership in which different owners book in to the property at certain times of the year.
It gained a poor reputation in Europe and the US when unscrupulous developers exploited weak regulation, using hard-sell tactics to disguise high fees and inferior properties.
"In the region there's a lack of understanding of this model from the governments," Shafi Syed, the regional director of RCI and Registry Collection, told a shared-ownership seminar at the three-day Arabian Hotel Investment Conference that started yesterday in Dubai.
"We work very closely with those legislative bodies to make sure there's consumer protection and there's protection for the developers," Mr Syed said.
"If we take Dubai as an example, it's an absolutely perfect place for developers to come in to start building hospitality products just as they did 30 years ago in Florida. That is one of the challenges - the legal framework not being so advanced as in other markets."
But progress towards a law is being made.
"I think strata law and other areas of law have taken priority in terms of what the authorities have been trying to put through," said Alexis Waller, a partner at Clyde & Co. "Now those other laws are through, I think the authorities can concentrate a bit on the timeshare law."