UAE Properties: Who is buying, and should you?

UAE Properties: Who is buying, and should you?
19 February 2013

THERE is clearly movement in the property market across the UAE and generally it is in an upwards direction. Prices are up, sales are up and banks are indicating mortgage activity is up. But who is buying?

According to the Government of Dubai Land Departments, total investments in the Dubai Property sectors by GCC, Arab and Foreign investors reached AED 58.6 billion in 2012. The number of individual investors reached 18,635. Of these 13,573 were foreign investors who were responsible for AED 36 billion (61.4%). Indian nationals were the largest foreign investors accounting for AED 9 billion (15%). UAE nationals were the largest investors with AED 13 billion (22%). For a full breakdown refer to the tables at the Land Departments website.

Confusing figures

The interesting aspect is who these investors are and should you be joining them if you have not already? If you are an expat, poll your family and friends - it will be surprising if 3 out 10 are buying a property in the UAE, yet the Land Departments figures indicate 75% of Dubai properties are being purchased by foreign investors.

What makes the upturn in housing unusual is that it is mostly being fueled, not by consumers buying a first or even a second home, but by investors scooping up new builds and low-priced properties. Savings rates and bond rates are very low so hedge funds, private equity firms and other investors looking for a better return on their capital have moved aggressively to buy single- and multi-family homes.

In most developed countries property sales are 30% cash and 70% mortgage. Investors differ from ordinary home buyers in two notable ways: they can pay cash for properties, and they buy in bulk. And at least one report indicates that 70% of Dubai property deals are in cash.

Excessive behaviour explained

One of the biggest likely buyers is the Takaful industry. Real estate (and Sukuk) are traditionally the most popular forms of Islamic investment, and 2012 has shown little sign of bucking this trend – so-called Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT’s), or the Islamic Finance equivalent, Ijara funds. Ijara (which are similar in nature to REIT) funds aim to lease out assets they purchase, such as real estate, and have long been seen as safe havens with good returns. 

Takaful providers follow strict compliance investment criterias, as global property management company Frank Knight attests: “The lack of suitable Shariah compliant investments is probably the biggest challenge operators are facing.” As all UAE real estate is subject to Sharia Law, it goes without saying that the majority of REITs investing in the UAE market are Shariah compliant and very attractive to Takaful funds. The rating agency Standard and Poor’s wrote in their Islamic Finance report in September 2012 that the restrictions on suitable investments for Takaful providers: “can sometimes be seen as encouraging excessive premium expansion…. notably in shares and real estate”

Is this why the real estate rebound can be seen to be excessive?  Lack of compliant investments for a growing Takaful industry it is plausible. Rational investors would not jump into the property market now - instead they would take out a Takaful policy to spread the risk and share in the rewards.

Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net

WILL YOU dip your toes into a market that is currently at pre-bubble prices or are you wary and giving the UAE property market a miss until the exuberance abates? Tell cashy below!

Comments

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-03-26T16:43:00

    Definitely a miss, especially if buying off-plan property, a big mistake to do that in Dubai as your rights as an investor are not protected and you will be chasing developers misusing escrow accounts, who are guilty of fraud, refusing to return the investors money while Dubai Real Estate Regularity despite being aware of it have failed to take over the project. Example: The not 2 be missed grey ugly towers in JLT facing Sheikh Zayed Road,  the Wind Tower 1 and  Wind Tower 2, the towers which were launched a decade ago and are still standing concrete. Original developer is The Wind FZ-LLC the owner owns villas and properties in Italy, Iran, and God knows where else. RERA failed to cancel the project when he defaulted, emptied the escrow account and fled the country. Now that he just managed to sell his shares to a new developer HABN, he closed the deal under the approval of RERA, cashed his money and left the new developer with debtors chasing them for money and a strict timeframe imposed on them from RERA who are now listing the projects “Under Cancellation” if the new developer does not resume construction shortly. Where was RERA when The Wind FZ-LLC owner defaulted and the project was delayed 8 years? Instead of compensating the investors, The Wind FZ-LLC owner was allowed to sell his shares and have the payment transferred to his accounts overseas. Reasons are beyond us investors and the question here is who will compensate us investors if the project is cancelled? 

  • Peterbirdsall
    Peterbirdsall
    2013-03-27T11:12:06

    I have to agree with you Jane. When I intially bought into this project I was assured my money was safe And held in a goverment a count until certain phases of the project were completed. How wrong was that I have lost my life savings on a failed building project and have received nothing but broken promises from the authorities in Dubai. You must be mad to even consider investing in Dubai. Very strict on kissing on the street but not on a fraud involving millions of pounds Of investors money Beware of Dubai!!!

  • Dubai_investor
    Dubai_investor
    2013-03-27T12:14:05

        Dubai - Tale of Two Classes

    When we invested in Dubai in 2005 we thought that our investment was relatively safe.
    There was a developer, Wind FZ - LLC and a master developer, Dubai government-owned master developer Nakheel.  I naively thought that should there be a problem in the developer completing the project, the master developer,   Dubai government-owned master developer Nakheel would step in and save the day. 

    I was wrong.

    From 2005 until 2008 all the payments were made directly to the developer.  Then in 2008 the Dubai Government setup an escrow account for investors to put their payments into. Not sure how much investor money made it into the escrow account but soon after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis the developer allegedly skipped town with the all investor’s funds.  He left lots of unpaid creditors too. 

    Now you may not know this about Dubai, but in Dubai if you can’t afford to pay your bills you have your passport seized and you go to jail. 
    8th Wonder of Dubai? Debtor’s prison
    http://decouplingblog.com/2009/05/8th-wonder-of-dubai-debtors-prison/

    So there you have it, fail to pay a loan and off to jail you go.  Was the developer arrested and thrown in jail?  Heck no.  Did the Dubai government turn a blink eye into his crimes.  Heck yes.  They haven’t so much as started any legal action against him.  More than that they are still letting hm conduct business in Dubai. 

    It appears that in Dubai that there are 2 sets of rules.  One that applies to all the serfs (thats you and I) and another that applies to the wealthy. 

    My advise for anyone thinking of investing in Dubai is this.  Go to this website and do some research on the country you are thinking of investing in:
    http://www.dlapiperrealworld.com/index.html

    There are a lot of factors to consider such as the type of government that is in place, how secure the real estate rights you have in that country are, and how easy it is to have your property rights taken away from you. 

    Send your money to a place with good economic freedom. 

    Also Google Dark side of Dubai for more about Dubai.  This article is but one example on what goes on there:
    http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/dubai-uae3.htm


  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-03-27T14:11:43

    It's sad to hear of these incidents and I would encourage you to raise the matter with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Legislation in Dubai has changed at quite a fast pace in the last few years, especially since 2007 and are far more in line with international 'best practices.' 

    Escrow is of course a key matter when investing in property and how your money was held in escrow would be an important factor in any settlement. This is in fact one of the most imporatnt matters when buying a property... and frankly should only be done by a trusted third party holder!  If you cannot get that (a third party), then do not invest - period!

    Whilst your own experiences are less than favorable there are many more positive aspects of investing in property in Dubai - like everything balance and caution and following tried and tested processes through a reputable legal service is required when investing our hard earned cash. 

     

  • Alstan
    Alstan
    2013-03-27T15:01:17

    Colin,

    I too am a long standing investor with Wind Towers, bought at the end of 2004, 100% paid. I fully support all the other posts from fellow investors in this shambles of a scheme.

    I think you need to wake up and smell the coffee, if Dubai is in line with international 'best practices' then they have conveniently forgotten about the investors in Wind Towers.  The lack of communication throughout this process, RERA is included in this, has been woeful and a disgrace.  That you can claim Dubai follows 'best practise' is laughable and insulting to those of us who have invested and lost our hard earned cash.

    I blame the Dubai authorities for allowing this crook to get away with this scam for so long and for convincing fools like me that Dubai is a safe place for investors. I would caution any future investor from buying anything in Dubai at the moment

    These 2, half built and neglected towers stand in a prominent position on SZ road within the JLT complex and are a visible sign of Dubai's failure, please don't pretend all is well because the truth  is far from it.

  • UKBasedInvestor
    UKBasedInvestor
    2013-03-27T14:19:35

    Definitely a miss.

     

    We invested in Wind Towers, JLT, Dubai almost 9 years ago.  It’s been a painful experience because our hard-earned money has been stuck and there is no sign of intervention from the Govt to take action against the developer or those who were involved in this deceptive scheme. The mentioned two buildings (Wind Tower I and II) have been half constructed and then abandoned for many years now. Many investors (including ourselves) from UK, Europe and other countries gathered in Dubai to hold a meeting with officials at RERA office on 4th July 2010, and were all given assurance by RERA that our investment was safe and a course of action would take place to ensure work is restarted at the earliest. Three years down the line, this investment is still in shambles.

     

    There is no Govt body in Dubai that genuinely stands by the investor.  Leave alone updates on project status/change, the information that is given upon persuasive enquiries by the investor is not only inconsistent but also unreliable.

    We sincerely hope Govt bodies like RERA take ownership to resolve this and similar issues.  RERA need to protect investors’ interests, otherwise future investments in Dubai from Western and other countries will be unattractive due to the high risk attached.

     

    Wind Towers investors (UK based)

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-03-27T15:16:53

    The Dubai Land Department have indicated that HABN Real Estate Development signed an agreement to purchase Wind Tower 1 and 2 and they indicate this was done to preserve the rights of clients and investors.

    I sincerely hope this deal helps with securing a suitable outcome for all investors.

    As to my key point above, I would caution investors to never make an investment in a property without escrow being held by a trusted third party, regardless of the country.

  • Alstan
    Alstan
    2013-03-27T15:53:54

    Thank you for your prompt reply. The Dubai Land Department are being a little disingenuous.  HABN did apparently sign last March, since then they have not bothered to contact the investors to update us on future progress and timelines and we have heard recently that the projcet is 'under cancellation' as they have failed to start the project within a set time frame. Problem is we are picking up this information piecemeal.

    In terms of Escrow that was not in exstence in Dubai in '04 which comes back to my point about being led up the garden path by the Dubai authorities and their false promises.

    Investors in Dubai are definitely seen as an inconvenience and bottom of the food chain when things do not  go to plan.

  • ConsumerWatch
    ConsumerWatch
    2013-03-27T16:01:23

    If The Dubai Land Department do not help, then I would strongly recommend taking this matter up with the Dubai Executive Council (DEC) as soon as possible, best done through legal counsel, at last week's DEC meeting Real Estate and strengthening the position and reputation of Dubai was mentioned as a key initiative to meet the short term objectives. See here

  • Dubai_investor
    Dubai_investor
    2013-03-27T23:51:25

    Thanks for that consumerwatch.

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-03-27T17:33:31

    Hi ConsumerWatch,

    Thank you for the advice, we will definitely approach the Dubai Executive Council if RERA refuses to coordinate with some of the investors who are visiting Dubai now and the few others based in Dubai.

    Colin, I appreciate your comments. Lately,  RERA have informed some of the investors that the project is now under cancelation,  and  just after the previous owner  sold his shares to HABN. 

     My questions are :

    1 - Legally  if RERA have the power to cancel the project, why didn't they do so for previous developer? what is the legal restriction?

    And

    2-  If the project is cancelled now what would happen to our investment?  do we get any sort of compensation?

    I actually purchased through a third party trusted real estate agent at a very high price in 2008, transferred  all my life savings into an escrow acount and was totally unaware of the fraud.

    I would really appreciate it if someone can provide answers to my questions above from a legal perspective.

    Thanks & Kind Regards.

    -Jane

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-03-27T23:42:05

    Thanks so much for clarifying that Jane. We have reached out to our legal contacts and also to RERA, hopefully one of them will reply soon.

  • wahaj
    wahaj
    2013-03-28T19:28:55

    Hi Colin

    Thank you for your help. 

    Just to let you know that I am also one of the investor in WT I & II invested 100% in Dec 2004. I agree with all the comments made by my fellow investors. After 8 years of suffering we saw a bright light of hope in December 2012. However, this only lasted for few months and now we are back to the same position, as we were 9 years ago. I totally lost faith in the UAE  regulatory authorities, as I have also lost investment in Ajman project. I trusted the Dubai and had a faith on Dubai Ruler when I first saw his interview and vision in BBC TV UK. This now seems far from reality at least to WT investors. I wish if our voices can be herad by the Ruler of Dubai to intervene and stop all mis-managements and bring back peoples faith and hope for a bright new future. It was our hard earned money and I believe there is one who is all knowing and bring justice for all sufferers.

  • cheated_investor
    cheated_investor
    2013-03-28T22:37:15

     

    Finally there is a place that we can vent. We also invested in Wind Towers in Dubai in 2004 and since then have paid 90% of the price of the apartment that we purchased. So far the only thing that we have to show for it is nothing except nine years of heart ache and harassment by a crook and thief  masquerading as a developer. The interesting part of the whole ugly saga is that the authorities in RERA, DMCC, and other regulatory bodies allowed the developer to continue collecting money from the investors without developing the towers. He was then allowed to take the money and go to Italy.

     

    I am not certain if this can be labeled as "world class" protection of investors. In nine years, even after they allowed the developer to sell his share in these towers to another developer, we did not receive any information, communiqué, letter, update, nor assurances from these regulatory bodies that are supposed to help and protect the investors. We still do not know what the status of these buildings are. RERA's response to our many inquires has been 'We are working on it'!!!

    Can you help in making our voices heard?  As WAHAJ has commented, we have put our trust and hard earned money in Dubai and the promises given by its leaders.

  • Ridiculous_Investment
    Ridiculous_Investment
    2013-03-31T01:38:15

    Hi

    I am yet another disappointed investor from England who has been cheated by the authorities in Dubai!  Yes, the original developer has run away with our hard earned cash and RERA hasn't helped.  But please can anyone shed light to what DMCC have been doing for the past 9 years and why they haven't helped!  I have invested in this ridiculous project (Wind II) since 2004 and had every faith in this project being in an Islamic Country and being a Muslimah myself!  I trusted the authorities and felt that my hard earned cash would be worth the wait .....little did I know that even after all these years, I will still be waiting!

    DMCC has also led us to believe that everything will be Ok and finalised each time we communicate with them!  I fail to understand how a crook like the original developer has got away with fraud and cheated hundreds of people as well as the Dubai authorities and fled the country scot free!  Isamic country I dare ask?

    We want and appreciate solid and concrete advice that will help us and we really need to push forward to either get our money back/compensation OR get this ridiculous project completed!  This is coming from an Investor who was emigrating to Dubai 9 years ago with young children!  Let's add icing to the cake - the so called chidren are now grown adults and one of them is already married!

    Shame on Dubai... big shame.

  • Disappointed
    Disappointed
    2013-03-31T03:36:52

    I am another cheated Wind investor. We thought we were safe with a government backed development (Nakheel), but we found out the hard way that it doesn't meant anything. Just empty promises to lure investors.  I have successfully put off several family & friends (serious investors) investing in dubai property. They have no confidence in the authorities after witnessing my stressful experience. I hope all these comments are being passed on to the relevant authorities & they do something. Negative international media exposure will seriously dent renewed interest in the dubai property market.

  • colzafar
    colzafar
    2013-04-01T08:14:13

    I am a retired Army Officer in Pakistan. I bought an apartment in Wind Tower 1 in JLT in 2004 and was stupid enough to make full payment immediately, after taking a loan from the bank. So basically all my life's savings are invested in this project.I did that because I was told that the UAE government backs up all building plans and ensures that that projects are completed within the stipulated time - also that strict action is taken against companies that fall behind schedule and that the investment of investors like myself are safeguarded.

    Wind Tower 1 was scheduled to be completed by December 2005 according to my contract. It is now 2013 and the project is not even 50% complete.
    My numerous emails to RERA/DMCCA over the preceding years have not even prompted a reply. What am I supposed to do? Is this the treatment that Dubai authorities have reserved for people who invested their life long savings in Dubai, trusting them to honour the trust that investors like me had in them.  Not once during all these years have anyone from RERA/DMCCA bothered to take investors into confidence about steps being taken, if any, to resolve this problem.
     
    While in the Army I had the honor of flying on numerous occasions, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, when he visited Pakistan as Defense Minister. I am also now writing to him to redress my grievances.
  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-01T16:25:17

    We have followed up with legal counsel and also legal advisers to the Government, so far we have nothing concrete to report but will keep trying - in the meantime please keep the community advised of any discussions with RERA, etc.

  • colzafar
    colzafar
    2013-04-01T18:31:47

    Thank you Colin! It is amazing though that while the two Wind Towers standout like a pair of sore thumbs in the otherwise beautiful JLT skyline, the authorities have totally failed to address the problem. Talk of investor confidence and the prospect of future investors coming to Dubai has in my opinion taken a big hit. We are not talking about a few months or even a few years but a delay of over 8 years with absolutely no concern shown by the authorities.

    We the investors in Wind Towers are planning to involve the international media to highlight the  delay and the inaction of RERA/DMCCA.

  • Alstan
    Alstan
    2013-04-01T19:13:10

    Ironic when you state you 'have nothing concrete to report' from your legal advisers whilst our developers 'have no concrete to pour'.

    We will keep spreading the word.

  • Shahyar
    Shahyar
    2013-04-01T20:00:08

    Hi.I am another investor in this wind project.Nothing to add to other investor comments because they mentioned every thing.Just want to mention my deep disappointment and hope the authorities finally will have a solution  for this deadlock situation .

  • aa786
    aa786
    2013-04-02T00:32:35
    Can I express my frustration at the confusion and delay regarding the Wind Tower projects in Jumeriah  Lake Towers. I have invested my money in this project since 2005 and paid the full amount only to see promise after promise not being fulfilled. This is not good for Dubai and its reputation. The original owner has lied and procrastinated for over 8 years and basically kept my money for his own use. I have nothing to show for the last 8 years when I should have had an apartment finished and ready to holiday in. Whenever I go to Dubai, I have to pay for expensive accommodation instead of staying at my apartment which I have paid 100% of the price.
     
    I really hope something can be done about this because this is the only tower in JLT that has not been finished and is a complete eyesore for the rest of the development and is also the first thing you see when you come back from Ibn Buttata Mall. I am sure that other investors are in the same boat and we are at out wits end and need action from the Dubai authorities to get this development finished and compensation paid to investors for the huge delay.
  • Neilxp10
    Neilxp10
    2013-04-02T02:18:15

    I too "invested" in this project, trusting the people who told me my money was safe, these two uncompleted towers are the first things you see when entering Dubai from Abu Dhabi, and unless they are completed soon, they will always be a reminder for anyone entering Dubai to NEVER invest a dirham in the emirate.

  • ConsumerWatch
    ConsumerWatch
    2013-04-02T02:31:46

    Knowing previous cases solved by cashy I am sure they are doing the best they can, but know it can take a long time with the government, so would also recommend that you all add these comments on Dubai Land Departments Facebook page - at http://www.facebook.com/LandDepartmentDubaiGovernment

    and also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Land_Department

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-04-02T04:42:28

    Thanks ConsumerWatch. We really hope that Cashy can help resolving this issue and help us understand what are RERA's reasons for not taking the appropiate steps and legal action to prevent the fraud and to help project and new Developer HABN to move on.

    Another point we missed to mention is that  the previous owner  still owns units in in Wind Tower 1 and Wind Tower 2.  

    We would like to understand  why Dubai Government has not taken them off him and paid off any outstanding debt so the new developer HABN  can move instead of RERA/DMCC listing the project under cancellation. The  previous owner did not disclose any information in relation to creditors when he sold his shares.

     
     
     
  • WII_Investor2
    WII_Investor2
    2013-04-02T18:36:28

    Hi ConsumerWatch,

    I too am an investor in a property in Wind Tower II who has paid 100% towards the cost of the apartment in 2008. It has been hard earned and carefully saved money invested with belief in and commitment to Dubai. It has been very disappointing and frustrating that this project has stalled since early 2009. Though there were some promising indications in the last six months the latest news has been extremely disappointing. But we still believe in Dubai and trust that RERA/the Dubai government will take steps to revive the project and ensure that the investors' interests are protected.  

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-04-03T03:52:38

    Hi WndIi-Investor2,

    I also sincerely hope that this time someone in RERA will wake up and fight fraud and pull off those units owned by previous developer and pay off creditors.

    Colin did you manage to get answers to my questions from your legal advisors? 

    Thanks

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-03T11:42:14

    Thanks Jane, the advice we have just received is for the investors to make a police complaint. There was recently a prosecution against a developer resulting in restitution of money and impriosonment. See this Reuters article.  We will keep trying RERA and government contacts.

  • Trebor
    Trebor
    2013-04-04T17:38:56

    I am also another very unhappy investor in Wind 1 and I am just amazed that this developer has seemingly been able to take our money and run and even though he is seemingly no longer involved he is still causing us and the project issues.....

    do we think a police complaint is an option as he is never going to step foot in the country again is he

  • Babs
    Babs
    2013-04-05T20:01:48

    I invested in Wind 2 in 2004. I had lived in Abu Dhabi for several years in the days when Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was ruler and because of the respect i felt for him was certain that nothing would go wrong, the ruler of Dubai publicly declared that nobody would lose their money by investing in Dubai, Abu Dhabi need to give Dubai a kick up the backside, they are tarnishing the reputation of the UAE as a whole.

  • namini3
    namini3
    2013-04-05T22:21:02

    I have invested in Wind 2 and very unhappy with the way Dubai authority handled the Wind case so far and I hope they come up with plan to help the Investors.

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-08T10:20:25

    Just to confirm having received another opinion from legal counsel the advice is this matter should be taken to the police. Also please note writing for the World Bank in their 2006 paper -Emerging Islamic Capital Markets Iqbal and Tsubota said (in the opening): the essence of Islamic Finance is– “... preservation of property rights, transparency and the sanctity of contractual obligations."

    Dubai law is covered by Sharia Law, and these principles apply, Dubai is seeking to become the Islamic Finance capital - to do so they must uphold these principles, a high level delegation is working on this intention - it may be of interest to take your case to them too. 

  • Babs
    Babs
    2013-04-10T23:16:52

    Thank you Colin, thats a very interesting post, i read the artical and forwarded the part regarding the basics of islamic banking to the relevant people just to remind them how we investors should be treated according to the Sharia law

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-10T11:26:25

     

    ‎‎دائرة الاراضي و الأملاك حكومة دبي LandDpt DubaiGov‎ commented on Cashy'slink‎.
    ‎دائرة الاراضي و الأملاك حكومة دبي LandDpt DubaiGov‎ wrote: "hello, thank you all contacting us .. we will get back to you soon regarding this issue"
  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-04-10T13:51:01

    We heard there is a scheduled meeting on the 14th of December for all parties to meet, we would like the Dubai Based investors to be present. We have asked DMCC,RERA  to invite few of the Dubai Based investors but as usual no response back whatsoever!

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-10T11:28:00

    Please see the above comment from Dubai Land Department on their Facebook page.

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-04-10T13:34:04

    Thanks Colin.

    As for your legal advisors  recommendation to take this to Dubai police, we are looking into this. I  hope the Land Department can  investiagate further and advise.

  • Disappointed
    Disappointed
    2013-04-10T14:45:25

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for your effort in trying to assist us.

     We sent the following letter (one of few) to DMCC, and again no response. Not even an acknowledgment. What exactly is the role of DMCC as "master developer"?

    Dear Ms Jonklaas,
     
    I own 2 apartments in Windtower 1 in JLT that I bought in 2004 with a promised completion date in 2006. This obviously didn’t happen & we have been cheated by the developer, Dr Azizi & that has become amply clear in the recent months. As a master developer what steps have Nakeel/DMCC have taken to sort this mess out & bring the developer to justice? We know there is a new developer on board but it is hard to believe that non-payment by Dr Azizi is holding up the progress. The main reason that convinced us to invest in JLT tower was that the master developer was Nakeel, a Dubai government entity.
     
    As you are aware most of the investors in Windtowers are internationally based and have had enough of the inaction & are suggesting that we go to the international press, Dubai ruler’s office & future planned Dubai property shows to highlight our plight & show how badly we have been treated. We are also approaching some Law firms in UAE to seek legal advice. We put our hard earned money into this project & yet no one in Dubai can be bothered to even give us an official status! We didn’t expect this from a country that is claiming to be an international investment centre.
     
    There are also a number of comments posted on the Cashy.me (please see below) & I urge to read these comments as well as letting other people in authority know to understand the disappointment, frustration & anger. We have been advised to take our case to the police. Are you please able to support us in this considering that we are based in the UK? If not, we will have to go through the UAE Embassy in the UK. Most of our previous communications have been ignored. If you are not able to help, please forward this to someone who can. We have already written to RERA & of course, no response!
  • shivraj
    shivraj
    2013-04-10T16:21:12

    Hi I am another investor with my father in the not so famous WIND TOWER as we investors chose not to damage the name and reputation of the country we work in and enjoy the lifstyle here. 

    When we bought the propert we thought that it is aideal location bang on the SZ road what could go wrong with the 1st two building of JLT. 

    I wish this was all a bad dream and i got back want i had invested, i know intrest rate/value of it toady.....not to forget is is of no value today as the cranes are not moving on site, once movement starts intrest will start too on the same.

    So many building that were stoped for a long time have started moving up, execpt ours...

    the name is right WIND TOWER i must admit...No tower only WIND

    As investors we have not got any, i mean any assurance or even a call form any authority or anyone, this is bad publicity and if you make a example of WIND to the world the world will be even more positive about our great country. 

    Sad investor of WIND - shivraj

     

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-04-10T19:14:21

    No suprise - another Wind investor that feels cheated, betrayed and humiliated.  The authorities have failed the investors terribly and are hiding behind false promises, countless assurances (that's after we have hounded them for answers).  The two Wind towers are an eyesore in JLT but no-one is being transparent to what the problem is (because there is one in spite of what they pacify us with).  I am sick of the whole project and wish that someone would take ownership and give us the truth.  9 years for a project is embarassing for Dubai and downright disappointing for hard working investors.  No more will we put up with the shambolic administration.  Investors are ready for action, the waiting game is over.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-04-10T19:16:32

    Once upon a breeze I had dreams of moving to Dubai for work - NO!!!  I've had a real wake up call.  At least we know where we are in the UK and what our rights are.  Dubai seems to be a playground of lego toys at the moment.  Unfortunately the Wind project is a lego toy that no-one wants to play with.....

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-04-22T06:18:02

    Hi Colin,

     

    just to update you on the latest,  it seems this is getting worse, we just heard that the new investor HABN consisting of a Yemeni investor with a local sponsor  who bought the previous developer shares at a low price are now trying  to resell and make money that prices started to go up. This should be another article to discuss on BBC Miiddle East Business Report. I wonder if we the main investors who poured their savings into these projects  get a portion of the profit. 

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-04-22T10:51:11

    Thanks for the update Jane, so sad to hear of the present situation. I've written to the authorities again today. This article may be of interest: "Top UAE lawyer Dr Habib Al Mulla has accused real estate watchdog RERA of dragging its heels on the formation of a real estate law in the country.

    In an interview in Arabian Business, Al Mulla said: “In property there is no framework to protect the consumers. We need a proper strong real estate law in Dubai and in the UAE.

    "Until now we have not seen anything tangible come out of RERA. I think they are well behind and they need to speed up.”Al Mulla added he was concerned that no strong legal infrastructure had been put in place during the recent recession."

     

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-09T01:09:09

    Hi Colin

    As investors we are so sick and tired of the way we are being treated.  We have posted on forums, sang in union at our disgust about this farce of of a project but no-one in Dubai has responded.  We never get replies to e-mails.  I feel so helpless and really depressed at the state of things and how they're being allowed to get away with it.  Please can you put some pressure on the relevant authorities to give us HONEST answers.

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-05-10T13:54:48

    Hi, I will make calls again on Sunday and Monday to see if we can get any information from someone.

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-05-10T16:39:55

    Thanks Colin.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-12T02:13:27

    Let's hope you get some answers.  It's sheer frustration for us investors as no-one is hearing our plight.  Thanks for your help and support Colin.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-12T02:13:32

    Let's hope you get some answers.  It's sheer frustration for us investors as no-one is hearing our plight.  Thanks for your help and support Colin.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-15T15:25:03

    Hi Colin, let me guess no reply from anyone?  This is the sheer frustration that investors have had to put up with for 8 years.  They have fobbed us off and made false promises yet fail to see that it's OUR money they've got tied up in this embarassing project.  I'm shocked that no-one in Dubai has intervened to give this project the kick-start that it needs (or sent in bulldozers to demolish it).  Staying stagnant has been an option for too long.

    Let's hope they give you some answers but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-05-19T12:14:41

    Hi All, I am really sorry but there is nothing right now. It is like calling and emailing into a black hole - but I will persist and keep trying different avenues. 

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-05-19T16:47:02

    Hi Colin.

    Check this link, it goes back to December last year. It makes you wonder who is backing Aziz's interest and ignoring the real investors interest and at what cost. I am sure this will not please the ruler of Dubai.

    http://www.bonningtontower.com/bonnington-business-lounge.asp

    Thanks

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-05-19T16:54:08

    Sorry Colin posted the wrong link. Check this please. thanks

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Tanmia+secures+$108.9m+deal+for+two+towers.-a0310974274

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-05-20T12:10:54

    Thanks for this Jane, I had seen this before and refrenced it in communication with the authorities. Will try again today.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-26T01:08:25

    As usual any correspondence to Dubai seems to get lost.  Investors are being made total fools of.  People's livelihood is in this ill-fated project and no-one can see light at the end of the tunnel.  Just who can we get answers through because I for one am totally fed up and can't believe no-one can get through to them.

  • autumn2010
    autumn2010
    2013-05-30T20:29:37

    No joy I guess.  No matter who investors e-mail, ring or meet there are no answers.  We're just hitting a brick wall no matter what approach we take.  I find it totally baffling that this is allowed to happen.  The so called authorities who were put in place to protect things like this are turning a blind eye to investors.  I am sick of this whole fiasco.

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-05-31T17:12:21

    Hi, no joy at all. Sorry. But I will keep trying and think of new approaches to try to get some answers...

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-06-06T13:13:16

    I'm advised that this matter should be taken to the Real Estate Court at Dubai Courts. They also offer pro-bono legal services under a program called "sure.' Sincerely good luck and please do keep us advised, if we receive any additional information I will post it as soon as received.

  • Jane
    Jane
    2013-06-07T06:19:21

    Thanks Colin. Who did yo uconsult with for the advise, if you do not mind me asking please. Thanks.

    I am not sure if cashy.me can follow up on this level as was suggested last week by Autumn  (one of the investors), and I was just wondering if you have managed to hear back from the Senior Deputy Director, Real Estate Investment  Management & Promotion Center, and from the Tanmia Person responsible for this project. I believe Autumn provided you with their names and email addresses previouly.

    Thanks Colin.

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-06-08T14:48:25

    Hi Jane, it was a lawyer within the government. The two contacts I received from Autumn have not responded to emails, I just sent reminders. There is a pro bono clinic at the DIFC on 13 June, from 9am, the telephone number is 04 4273333 for an appointment. Good luck with this.

  • Sona2002
    Sona2002
    2013-06-22T22:25:05

    In trying to find answers I came across this 

    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/the-waiting-game-501003.html?page=0

  • Colin
    Colin
    2013-07-29T22:06:59

    Dubai has set up a judicial committee to liquidate the cancelled real estate projects and make settlements pertaining to them.

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, issued on Monday a decree setting up the committee.

    The committee’s duties include reviewing and settling complaints between real estate developers and buyers of the projects that were cancelled.

    The panel will also liquidate these projects once a final decision is made by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera).

    Rulings are final

    The committee will provide settlements after deducting liquidation expenses, and will also handle grievances, operational procedures or related issues.

    All rulings issued by the committee are final and cannot be appealed and they will be carried out through Dubai Courts.

    The committee can request the services of consultants, auditors and experts to assess the financial position of the project.

    Sole authority

    The developer will bear all expenses for these services. Auditors and consultants will also verify the amount paid by the buyers to the developers, money deposited in the developer’s escrow account as well as funds used in the operations.

    The decree forbids Dubai Courts and Dubai International Financial Centre courts from looking into any claims that now fall within the purview of the committee. Any claims or complaints submitted to these courts will now be referred to the committee.

    Also see Gulf News for additional important information on timelines and procedures

  • kath
    kath
    2013-08-08T17:53:27

    I am also a Purchaser of an apartment in Wind 1. Like many of you have had 9 years of inefficiency, fabrication and lies.

    In January 2013 i received an email from agents of HABN (Freehold Property Sales Centre) FPSC asking for proof of all payments made. I sent this along with details of bank transfer to the account of the specified person for Oqood registration fee AED 1500.  The email gave a different apartment number i queried this and was told they were reducing by three floors so the first two numbers were to be three less and the last two to remain the same.  Is this the case with you all? I was also advised i would be given the opportunity to be able to sell or transfer to another development if i didnt want to wait until the new completion date of January 2015.  May have been the intention who knows what do we believe anymore.

  • Dubai_investor
    Dubai_investor
    2013-08-10T01:39:39

    Hi Kath,

    Welcome to the Wind Towers Club. Its not a very fun club as you well know.  My unit number was also reduced by three floors and the size of my unit was increased slightly which I was told was going to increase the amount that I owed upon completion.  (I have paid up 90%).  I too paid the AED 1500 Ogood registration fee to the developer but I found out later that the developer was required to register all the units with Ogood so they were just trying to fleece a little more from the investors. 

    This is the first I have heard of a completion date of Jan 2015 and of course I believe it just as I do every word that comes from any Dubai goverment official. 

    cheers,

     

    Jim

     

  • kath
    kath
    2013-08-12T19:23:43

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for the welcome, i don't feel as isolated now i know there are so many other people in my situation and worse if they have invested in more than one property.  There must also be many residents in neighbouring blocks who aren't happy with the ugly view of two unfinished buildings. 

    What a cheek to suggest you pay extra.

    Kath 

  • kath
    kath
    2015-02-19T20:47:01

    Hello all purchases Wind 1 and Wind 2 i have received an email from Ottomans asking me to transfer money. Also a request to pick up the Sales & Market Agreement in person. My balance was due on completion under the original contract. It all seems a bit vague has anyone done this yet?

  • shivraj
    shivraj
    2015-02-20T10:55:02

    Hi no email noting come to me at least, what does the contract state. Any increase in the price. Any news is most welcome.

  • kath
    kath
    2015-02-20T18:29:15

    I am in the UK Ottomans have asked for the Contract to be collected I am going to ask them to email a draft.  Have you already paid 100% if so this may be the reason why they have not emailed you.  The email was sent to "dear all" so assumed everyone would have got one. The email came from Randa Khoury at Ottomans if this is any help.   Maybe we will get other responses. 

  • shivraj
    shivraj
    2015-02-20T23:57:52

    Hi Kath, i have paid 70% only the last 30% is due as per old contract it was on compltion, so no idea. 

  • shivraj
    shivraj
    2015-02-20T23:57:57

    Hi Kath, i have paid 70% only the last 30% is due as per old contract it was on compltion, so no idea. 

  • shivraj
    shivraj
    2015-02-20T23:58:00

    Hi Kath, i have paid 70% only the last 30% is due as per old contract it was on compltion, so no idea. 

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