x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Property sale attracts crowds and chaos

Hundreds queueing to buy a house at Emaar Square are left empty-handed

DUBAI // More than 400 people who queued for hours yesterday in the hopes of buying property had to be dispersed by police after huge queues caused chaos.

The crowd - mainly labourers paid to save a place in the queue for buyers - waited outside Emaar Square from the early hours as the developer launched its Mira project.

With only 188 townhouses and prices starting at Dh988,888, demand was huge.

"We've had eight people in the line for most of the day," said Matthew Philip, a real estate agent, who was there to purchase on behalf of some clients.

"It's been crazy the whole day and now the police have told everyone to leave."

There was confusion among those in line earlier in the day when they were initially told the sale would go ahead at 9pm.

"Now someone from Emaar has said it will take place on Saturday morning on a first-come-first-served basis," Mr Philip said.

"They say they will only have the buyers in the line and they must bring their passport and cheque book with them.

"They should have done this from the start that way we wouldn't have had all this."

Police patrol cars as well as ambulances were at the scene as the crowds gathered around the area blocking traffic. At about 7.30pm police, along with Emaar security staff, put up barriers and forced people away from the entrance to the company's offices.

"We were in the queue ourselves and will probably come back again in the morning," said Hitesh Kumar, who wanted to buy a townhouse.

"I have a budget of between Dh1 million and Dh2 million. Anything over that is too much for me."

He said Emaar was popular because of the quality of the projects, which have been delivered on time.

The Mira development will be the first to take place in the Reem area located on Mohammed bin Zayed Road between Arabian Ranches and Global Village.

The project would feature a desert botanical park, camping facilities, sand surfing and camel riding trails, a go-karting and dune buggy track, a rock climbing wall and a skate park.

Mira is expected to be completed by 2016.

nhanif@thenational.ae