Dubai: Plantation Holding, the $3.5 billion equestrian development in Dubailand, has been taken over by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), officials have confirmed.

In a statement to Gulf News on Sunday, Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), notified the public "not to deal with Mr Arthur Fitzwilliam", the previous owner of Plantation Holding.

"The registration of Arthur Fitzwilliam has been deleted from the developer's register as he failed to comply with laws and regulations of real estate development," Rera said.

This is good news for the Dubai real estate sector because it serves as a warning to all developers.

It is now clear that those developers who do not comply with Rera standards and regulations will be issued severe penalties and rooted out of the real industry.

Ehsan Ilahi, an official at DIB, said it will take about one month for all the information, such as balance sheets for the project to be collected before any further decisions are made.

"At the moment, as far as I understand, the arrangement is that the project will go ahead according to plan," Ilahi told Gulf News.

Contact bank

Anyone who has bought units in the project has been asked to contact Dubai Islamic Bank.

It is not clear how much of the project has been sold already. Tom Woolf, a director of Plantation and friend of Fitzwilliam, was not available for comment when contacted by Gulf News.

Plantation was due to hold its first international polo events next April.

However, the likelihood of this is now unclear as the future of the 20 million square foot development hangs in the balance.