The Dubai Government is preventing cancellations of property contracts and encouraging developers to extend payment plans to try to keep the economy from slipping further, a legal official at the Land Department says.

'We are trying to stop the panic,' Emad Eldin Farouq, a senior legal adviser in the Dubai Land Department, said yesterday, 'We are negotiating between the two sides. We don’t think it is going to be a long-term problem, but things have changed.'

The Land Department and Real Estate Regulatory Authority have to give the final approval before a developer can cancel contracts for property bought after 31 Aug last year. This was the date that a law giving authorities increased involvement in regulating the property sector was introduced.

The National