Only on paper: Investors with documents of properties they bought in Zone 6 of Dubai Lagoon

Dubai Investors in a project in the Dubai Investment Park are demanding “justice” as the building hasn’t got off the ground even seven years after they invested their hard-earned money.

“We want our money back,” demanded investors in Zone 6 of the Dubai Lagoon project developed by Schon Properties. “I invested over Dh212,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in Zone 6 of the Dubai Lagoon project between December 2005 and February 2008 only to discover that the developer does not have the necessary permission to put up the building,” alleged one of the investors.

Dubai Lagoon, which was initially marketed as a Dh3 billion mixed-use development with seven separate zones, has been in the eye of a storm over delays since its launch in 2005. While some zones of the project have not taken off at all, others have started but have yet to be completed, prompting investors to lock horns with the developer on several occasions.

“We want to know where our money has gone. Why hasn’t construction begun? And why is no action taken to safeguard our interests?” asked A. Mohammad, an investor in Zone 6.

Another investor Taimur said the Dh200,000 he has so far invested in a one-bedroom apartment has gone down the drain.

“According to the agreement signed by the developer on December 14, 2005, construction was to have been completed within 24 months. But all we can see seven years on is an empty patch of land.” A Dubai-based businessman alleged: “The developer is now offering us another apartment in a zone under construction which is supposedly bigger. But we do not want that. For one, we will have to put in more money for what could well be another empty promise. It is like chasing a mirage in the desert and paying for it. Secondly, we fear the developer will change the terms and conditions of our original agreement to its convenience.”

Investors said they approached the Dubai Land Department and Rera (Real Estate Regulatory Agency).

“We are desperate as we are losing our hard-earned money by the day. We have been forced to continue living in a rented accommodation for seven years with no hope in sight,” said Mohammad.

Schon Properties Vice-President Danial Schon said: “Schon has been engaged in comprehensive meetings with contractors, customers, Rera and financial advisers over the last three months with a view to infuse the project with new capital and deliver on our promise. Please be assured we are 100 per cent committed to this project and delivering to the customers who have been patient and supportive and more than accommodating under unprecedented market circumstances.

“Although we cannot comment on specific cases, we can say that all the stakeholders understand what is needed to get the project complete and we are creating options for all those customers to realise their investment.”