Investors win Dh84m claim against developer in Dubai

The three men bought villas being built in a development project in Dubai but they were never delivered.

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A Dubai developer has been ordered to pay three men Dh84m after they failed to deliver villas the men had purchased from a housing project near Dubai Land.

The three Asian investors told Dubai Real Estate Court that in 2007 they made an agreement with the developer to purchase 14 villas at a total cost of Dh341.2m from which they paid Dh84m.

The villas were part of a multi-purpose development project in the Dubai Land area covering over 4.15 million square feet, which was going to consist of villas and low-rise apartment buildings surrounding a golf course.

In 2012 none of the villas had yet been delivered so the trio made a new agreement with the developer.

They cancelled their order for 14 villas and replaced it with a new order for five villas on the condition that the new villas be delivered by June 30, 2014 and the difference in price to be returned to them.

Documents provided to the court by the trio’s legal consultant, Hasan Elhais from Al Rowad Advocates, proved that the three men had made the Dh84m payment but had not received the remaining balance after decreasing the number of villas they had purchased.

An expert, who was assigned by the court to perform an assessment of the development project, said the project was pending closure as only 19 per cent of it had been completed over nine years. In addition, the developer was found to have insufficient funds and labour to deliver the project.

The report was backed by a letter from the Dubai Land Department.

The assessment also showed that the investors paid more than the value of five villas and had not been returned the difference in price.

The trio’s lawyer asked the court to cancel all agreements between his clients and the developer and to order the return of the full paid amount of Dh84m.

The court obliged but ordered the developer to return the amount in addition to an annual 9 per cent interest from the date of the original agreement in 2007.