Long way to go. The Dubai Investment Park where the Lagoon project will be developed Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/XPRESS

DUBAI The first of the several apartments in the long overdue Dubai Lagoon project by Schon Properties may finally be handed over to investors late next year, a company representative has told XPRESS.

“The first zone of the project is anticipated to be delivered by November 2015 followed by others. The whole project could be complete by 2017,” said Yeasin Syedur Rahman, customer service manager of Schon Properties.

Schon Properties last June had secured an investment of Dh339 million from the Dubai-based Xanadu Real Estate Development for the completion of the Dh3 billion project – more than six years after the delivery deadline. The company also signed an agreement awarding a construction contract of Dh678 million to PGS Gulf Contracting Company before the project in Dubai Investment Park was broken into seven phases.


Positive development


“A lot of positive development has happened this year. The investment agreement is signed, a new contract awarded to carry out the construction work and work at the actual site is already in progress, especially in Zone 1 where the buildings are almost complete except for the interiors,” added Rahman.

In July, it was also announced that each zone will now be closely monitored until final delivery by the Land Department’s real estate trust account development division.

Investors, however, many of whom claim to have parted with their life savings to fund their investment in this project, are still not convinced. Residents and overseas investors say their faith in the company has taken a battering after a series of missed deadlines, unkept promises and a succession of contract signings.

“If I remember correctly, this is the sixth contractor to have stepped into the project in as many years but we are yet to see any significant progress. I doubt if anything is going to be different even this time around,” says Taimur Rana, who in 2005 bought four one bedroom apartments by paying more than Dh800,000 in zone six where currently nothing except a few excavations have been made.

However the company is now offering investors whose apartments are due to be completed soon (especially those in Zone 1, the most advanced with 8 buildings) discounts if complete payment is made within a stipulated time. “We assure them that the project is on track. We are also offering up to 100 per cent of the paid amount back by assisting them to resell their properties,” Rahman added.

Launched in 2005, the massive delay in the project, comprising communities of eight-storey buildings clustered around a lake, has been blamed on the global recession in 2008, the year it was to be completed. “Sadly, that and all subsequent deadlines have not been met till date,” says David Carr, who has so far paid more than Dh530,000 – 85 per cent of the total cost – for a one-bedroom flat.

“Since putting our first deposit down in February 2007 (60 per cent), we have had nothing but delays, excuses and downright lies. In the last five years my health has deteriorated with all the stress involved (culminating in a heart attack three years ago),” adds the Briton who claims he has been promised by Schon for the last 12 months that Zone 1, where he has invested, will be completed in 30 days. “I feel extremely angry how my wife and I and all the other investors in this project have been treated.”