Enough! Can we get some investor-protection already? (Updated)
Eva Fernandes is beyond disappointed with the lack of investor protection in Dubai. When are things going to change around here?
March 23, 2011 5:26 by Eva Fernandes
I’ve written on this subject many times before and the fact that I still continue to have to write about the subject is more a upsetting than it is annoying.
I am talking about investor protection, yet again. Yes, that unfortunate group of people who took out loans, took a risk and literally poured in thousands, if not millions and millions of Dirhams into a promising market for projects that were scheduled to be completed in two or three years. Then the property market crashed. And as investors tried to get in touch with their developers, all they got was a gigantic question mark.
But that was to be expected. The recession had just hit and nobody really knew where they stood, especially in the rather young Dubai property market, which was facing recession for the first time. Everything was up in the air and what with the $25 billion debt bomb in 2009 I can even forgive developers for being non-communicative towards their investors.
But let’s face the facts: we are now nearing the end of the first quarter of 2011 and we are still hearing reports of investors complaining that they are being mistreated or ignored by their property developers.
Take for instance, the investors of the Dh2 billion Living Legends project who are tired of being side-lined by their Saudi developer and are thus going to go on a protest march to the office of their developer, Tanmiyat, in Dubailand this Thursday, to demand answers on the progress of the project.
This particular project was supposed to be handed over by 2008, and then delayed to October 2010—a common theme across most developments in the emirates. But it isn’t the non-delivery that has fuelled the protest march but the lack of communication between the developer and the investors.
“I have chased Tanmiyat several times, but could not get a concrete reply from them on the project. Every time they told us they would get back…they never came back. We tried to meet with senior company officials, but were able to meet only with the customer care relationship manager” says one particular investor in the Tanmiyat project who has invested Dh1.6 million in a villa.
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