Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

‘It’s not what I bought’ - Remraam owners reluctant to accept handover

Some want to cancel their investment, others are bitter at being offered smaller apartments in a downsized community - but most feel they have no choice but to comply in the end.
Some investors in the Remraam development in Dubai are unhappy that it has turned out so different from what they were promised. Jaime Puebla / The National
Some investors in the Remraam development in Dubai are unhappy that it has turned out so different from what they were promised. Jaime Puebla / The National

DUBAI // Dozens of investors want their concerns to be properly addressed before accepting a handover of the Remraam apartments they sank their cash into seven years ago.

Some want to cancel their investment, others are upset that they have been offered smaller apartments in a downsized community.

“I’m frustrated and fed up because since my building has not come up, they will give me another one-bedroom in another building,” said Ayman, a software professional who currently rents in Sharjah. He had paid Dh52,000 towards a one-bedroom apartment that cost Dh1 million in 2008, but was offered a swap to a smaller apartment for Dh800,000.

“I want my money back, but if I cancel I will have to pay a huge sum and forget my first instalment,” he said. “The finish of the building is not worth what I’m paying.”

Most Dubailand projects were placed on hold in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, and Remraam was scaled back to 56 buildings from a planned 200.

The developer, Dubai Properties (DP), declined to comment on individual cases. “We communicate directly with investors throughout the sales and handover process and we are committed to working with our investors to provide a positive customer-service experience,” a spokesman said.

“We believe that the Remraam community is ideal for Dubai families looking for spacious apartments with community facilities.”

Alen, a business consultant, was offered Dh15,000 as compensation for a 200 sq ft reduction in the size of his apartment. “This is not even 1 per cent of the value I am ideally eligible for and I don’t want to take the handover when it is not what I bought,” said Alen, who is living in a rented property in Quasis.

“I’m sure that day is not too far where I will be arm-twisted into signing something. It’s a double-edged sword because it’s our hard-earned money and so we can’t say bad things because it will bite us back somewhere down the line.”

Residents also said they have to drive 6-8km to Motor City or Arabian Ranches for groceries because local shops are not open yet.

A major sore point is the lack of a direct approach to Emirates Road. Residents have to take a roundabout route using the Dubai Bypass or the new Emirates Road and then Al Qudra Road to reach the community, and exit using Lahbab Road.

The DP spokesman said the building of shops, a clubhouse, gym and community hall was continuing.

He said direct access was provided to and from Emirates Road and the community was ideally located between the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Arabian Ranches Bypass Road.

Another buyer, H S, said he was in a bind because his contract did not specify a handover date. He lives in Discovery Gardens and has already paid Dh120,000 towards a Dh750,000 studio apartment.

“I could wait 20 years or 30 years for possession,” he said. “I’m not a legal person so I didn’t check this.

“I just want my cheque back and to cancel the contract. But I’m told I have to make the remaining payments. So now I can’t do anything because I don’t know when they will hand over. I want to continue my life.

It may turn out to be a good community but now there is no connectivity, no shopping mall like they said there would be. I will never buy anything under construction ever.”

rtalwar@thenational.ae

Updated: April 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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