190913 abdullah bashammakh
Abdullah Bashammakh is unable to pay the remaining amount of the property he purchased. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani, Photographer

An elderly man, who used his life-savings of Dh506,000 to make a down payment on a Dh1.15 million villa, is seeking help as he risks losing a substantial part of his deposit due to payment defaults.

Ex-banker Abdullah Khamis Bashammakh, 67, said he has had no income for the past four years and therefore cannot pay the balance amount to take possession of what could have been his first and only property in the country.

“I always dreamt of owning a house in the UAE which has been my home for the past 50 years. But it looks like my dream will remain a dream. What’s worse, as per the terms of my contract, I cannot exit the property without losing 40 per cent of my deposit. It’s a Catch22 situation,” said Abdullah who is originally from Yemen but holds a UAE-passport.

Abdullah said he paid the developer Dh506,000 for a villa in Al Qudra in three instalments between 2016 and 2017 from the money he got in end-of-service benefits.

“I was hoping to spend my remaining life in my own house with my family including my wife, son and two daughters,” he said.

“My son offered to pitch in with the balance amount, but as luck would have it, he got weighed down by responsibilities and couldn’t pay the remaining instalments,” said Abdullah who now lives in a rented accommodation in Ajman.

“In recent months, I have visited the developer’s office several times to seek a refund, but they have offered to give back only 60 per cent. This essentially means that I will have to forego Dh202,400 of my hard-earned money. My son already has a bank loan and can’t take another one to pay off the developer. We are stuck,” he said.

Abdullah said efforts to sell the property have drawn a naught as the developer has told him that that he cannot transfer its ownership to anyone outside his family.

“I am desperately looking for a solution. I don’t know what to do,” he said.