Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
People queuing outside the Emaar sales office yesterday in Dubai. Some were there for hours. Satish Kumar / The National
People queuing outside the Emaar sales office yesterday in Dubai. Some were there for hours. Satish Kumar / The National

Police called to control unruly crush of 100s as Dubai townhouses go on sale

Watch video: Who could resist the offer of a three-bedroom townhouse for less than Dh1 million? Not many, judging by scenes at Emaar's offices in Dubai.

DUBAI // Who could resist the offer of a three-bedroom townhouse for less than Dh1 million? Not many, to judge by the scenes yesterday at the developer Emaar's offices in Dubai.

Police were called for a second day to control a crush of hundreds of people eager to buy. By 6am more than 500 people crowded around the entrance of the company's office in Emaar Square. The previous evening, officers were called to control the huge crowd.

When the sale opened yesterday morning with only a few people allowed into the building, others began to push forward to try to get through. "It was crazy, there was no line, it was just a large crowd of people trying to push through," said Surya Khanal, from Nepal, who had been there since 5.30am.

"There were at least 500 people here in the morning and only Emaar security holding them back."

Emaar temporarily halted the sales and police were called. About 10 patrol cars arrived at the scene with an ambulance.

Order was restored and by 10.30am the crowd had been divided into separate queues for men and women. "Once the police arrived people began to behave themselves and they lined up quietly," said Mr Khanal.

Although calm was restored, the sapping 35C heat took its toll. One woman collapsed and had to be treated by ambulance staff.

The huge demand is for 188 off-plan townhouses in the Mira development near Arabian Ranches and Global Village, expected to be completed by 2016.

Prices were to be just under Dh1 million for a three-bedroom home, but had increased by the time the sale was opened to the public.

"I managed to get a corner house for Dh1.3 million, which I'm pretty happy with," said Rajeev Raja, an Indian sales manager.

Buyers were asked to pay a Dh3,000 deposit and provide a postdated cheque for Dh50,000. "This property is for personal use and I'm not planning to sell it," Mr Raja said.

Many waiting in the queue criticised the management of the sale. "They should have done an online registration, that way only the buyers would have come and there would not have been this situation," said an Indian businessman, who had gone directly to the office after arriving on a flight from Munich at 6.30am.

On Friday evening police had to disperse more than 400 people, mainly labourers and workers paid to stand in line for prospective buyers.

"I have also seen people who bought a property coming straight out of the Emaar office and selling it to other people outside with a 10 to 15 per cent premium," said the Indian businessman.

"The frustrating thing is that most of the people waiting in line are wasting their time.

"I understand more than half of the townhouses had already been sold to VIP customers on Thursday night."

An Emaar spokesman said the response had been "overwhelming", and they had put more homes on sale in addition to the 188 townhouses at the launch.

"The customer rush led to a slight delay in commencing the sale process," the spokesman said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

 Al Maryah Island will host the 114-hectare Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Al Maryah Island rises in Abu Dhabi

Al Maryah has been chosen as the site for Abu Dhabi’s first financial free zone, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and construction activity in the island has been at a fast pace.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National