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‘It’s been seven years and we still haven’t got our refund’

British woman battled breast cancer, but faces uphill task in getting money back from defaulting developer

  • By Jay B. Hilotin, Chief Reporter, XPRESS
  • Published: 20:50 August 29, 2012

  • Image Credit:
  • paper promises: Jocelyn and her husband Ricky Chambers with the artist impression of the proposed Paris Residence and the agreement papers

DUBAI: Seven years after she invested in an apartment that never got off the ground, a British woman is still chasing the developer for a refund.

Breast cancer survivor Jocelyn Chambers, a 55-year-old administration executive in Dubai, said the stress of running after the defaulting developer is not good for her recovery.

“I’m just up to my eyeballs,” said Chambers, who is married to an American executive. “I don’t need this kind of stress. I’d like to enjoy my life and our hard-earned money.”

No work done

In February 2005 the Chambers booked a studio at Paris Residence 1, a project of the 32Group Properties Ltd. “To date, they have not broken ground on the said property proposed for International City,” said the mother of two. The Chambers had given Dh140,000 to the developer. In August 2011 the developer agreed to pay them back Dh35,000 and the balance over 24 months.

“Since August last year, we have only received three payments instead of 12, and only after we went to their office and shouted for our money. At this rate it will take eight years to be paid back.”

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Chambers added: “I know we should be grateful we are receiving something, while many others have lost all their investment, but it was their proposal to us which we accepted, and they are a company still operating in Dubai.”

As per the sales contract, and as the developer has defaulted, the Chambers should get their money within 60 days from the time of cancelling the agreement, along with interest, she said. “The company executives never respond to my emails. And when I call, they ask us to send them email. We’ve always been given a runaround.”

The Chambers, who have been living in Dubai for six years, said: “We love the UAE and don’t want a bitter taste in the mouth. My son went to university here. ”

The Chambers said they opted out of taking the matter to court as it would incur exhorbitant costs of over Dh100,000. “That’s money we do not have and is more than what they [developer] owe us. We are caught here and seem to have no option but [to] sit back and wait, which is not fair.”

“After more than seven years that they have held my money, I want the outstanding back in full.”

Chambers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent nine months of treatment in India and Kenya. Her cancer is in remission, but she still undergoes quarterly tests and a yearly scan. “Personally, all the stress this is causing is not good for my health.”

When XPRESS contacted 32Group Properties, Darya Roshan, a company official, said: “I would have to look into their file to get you the exact story. However I am out of Dubai at the moment and would be back by Sunday (September 2).”

Comments (11)

  1. Added 03:03 August 31, 2012

    Since more than 4 years Al Fajer Properties owns us more than 1 Million AED. No email - no fax sent to them are answered by them since years. We bought in oct. 2005 an Apartmet in an 100 % Residential Tower ( Falcon Tower) at Nakheel directly, located Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers. We paid installemnts in time, 45 % total of the purchase price.This Tower was transfered by Nakheel to DMCC in August 2006. DMCC sold the Project to Al Fajer end 2006 and it was confirmed to us by DMCC that nothing will change to the origanl contract with Nakheel, that Al Fajer Properties will deliver the Apartment end 2008. Nothing was delivered to us - since today we are waiting for our money and an answer from Al Fajer Properties.

    J. Brandes, Braunschweig, Germany

  2. Added 21:36 August 30, 2012

    Courts should be cheaper for common man's usage and have English at all levels. This is an Arabic country but English is a connecting language

    Jayraj B, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 20:23 August 30, 2012

    This is a sad and thoughtful situation .

    Faisal, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 20:21 August 30, 2012

    I will them all the best to get their money back. My husband had also paid for two flats and one villa years back. Not a brick has been laid. He passed away two years back and I am struggling to get my husband's hard-earned money back for my two small kids. Developers do not care. Unfortunately we cannot do anything. I hope this couple get their money back.

    Anonymous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 19:23 August 30, 2012

    These guys are crooks they dont understand others feelings,the ministry should help the poor couple get back their hard earned money. And also punish the developers so that they will not continue doing this.....

    Ryan, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 18:17 August 30, 2012

    There are probably 10,000 cases where investors are looking for refund from developers. I dont understand what developer will look for in her file in such a simple logical case.

    V.K.Jain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 17:48 August 30, 2012

    I wish this lady all the best in recovering her costs. This is unfair to her and all those that have showed faith in the development of Dubai. Some friends of ours are paying 25,000 Dhs per month in Bank charges on properties Nakheel is sitting on since 2007 and have little intention to release soon.

    John Shepherd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 15:39 August 30, 2012

    Leeches. Hope that the developer is punished and the couple not only get back their investment but also get paid damages. Authorities should protecting the powerless.

    Phil, Doha, Qatar

  9. Added 15:23 August 30, 2012

    We have been cheated by Schon Properties for the Dubai lagoon project. Pls do a story on that also

    Marco Jones, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:01 August 30, 2012

    My story is not exactly the same, but Avanti holding where I invested about AED130k has probably even scrapped their plan to build apartments in Ajman. They have sent emails stating that the money is safe with them for over 3 years now , but no idea when I shall even see a part of it.

    sunder krishnan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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