Dubai property dispute victims to get free legal advice

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Dubai Land Department on Monday announced a new initiative to introduce a free legal service to support home owners involved in real estate-related court cases.

The announcement follows a meeting between senior Land Department officials and representatives of law firms to finalise details of the move.

The Land Department said an agreement had been signed which would see the law firms become part of a new Legal Care Group.

The group will bring together senior lawyers, professional firms and consultants to offer free legal assistance to members of the public with "genuine real estate issues" who might otherwise be dissuaded from taking action because of the prohibitive cost of fees, the Land Department said in a statement.

Mohammed Sultan Thani, assistant director general of the Dubai Land Department, said: "The objective of this initiative is not merely to meet a need but to ensure fairness and justice is available to anyone who might have a concern which involves property, no matter their circumstances.

"This reflects the government's commitment to ensuring there is in place a comprehensive equitable system of legalizing ownership and property transactions."

He added: "Now, no one is prevented from pursuing their rights merely because of the possibility they might be priced out of the legal system."

Richard Green, head of research at CB Richard Ellis Middle East, said: "The offer of free legal advice is another step in the right direction. Overall confidence in the legal dispute system has been somewhat low due to a time lag in addressing the current case backlog.

"This announcement will go some way to renewing faith in the system as well as providing confidence to individual investors facing financial difficulties in their disputes against developers.

"Overall this is seen as another positive advancement for the Dubai market."

In August it was reported that property dispute cases that were originally submitted to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) and Dubai Courts are now being dealt with by Dubai’s new Property Court.

The new court, which started operations in October, was set up under the First Instance Court to deal exclusively with property-related cases.

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Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Joseph O'Reilly

Does anybody have any information on Dheeraj and East Coast who are responsible for unfinished projects in Culture Village ( Cascade Ville) Many thanks!

Posted by: Mohd Saeed

Request investors of Cadi 4 in Jumeirah Village South to get together & form a unified group & approach RERA/Land Department to take action with Almasah International real estate/New world Investment in Dubai. It's been past 6 to 7 years and they have only constructed till basement. 5 to 8 people ever working, if not on hold. Pitiful way they are constructing a simple 4 storey building. In any part of the world it would not take more than 2 years to construct a 4 storey building. Why does Dubai Govt not take any strict action with such builders.. Investors, please put your grievances with the authorities.

Posted by: Josh

We purchased a studio apartment in Abu Dhabi from Al Qudra Development in 2007
It was meant to be ready in 2010. However after paying 30% they stopped collecting payments and halted the development. I call them all the time and they promise to refund but nothing is happening. And Al Qudra is supposed to be part of the government and a reputable company.

Posted by: Sameer

I also bought an apartment in Abu Dhabi form Al Qudra. I paid all the instalments they asked for. Then they stopped construction and are not refunding the money. Does anyone know what my options are? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Sameer D.

Posted by: Ash

Hi, an update to my previous posts, i will send link shortly if I can, well to all the investors who have lost money, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, rera have set up a seperate dept. to repay all money, without going to court and you didn't have to be registered ie Oqood to get your money back, so long as you can prove what payments you have made. Great News. Regards Ash

Posted by: Al Attar Investors

I recently came across a great book by Maha Al Fahim written about her Mother, Amina Al Attar, the eldest daughter of Al Attar Properties group. In the book, particularly two chapters of "money pouring from Heaven and Devils is in the detail it reveals how her family defrauded hundreds of investors out of their investment and could get away with it. The book has gained a lot of publicity in the community and we recommend it to anyone who had invested with Al Attar Properties (Just google Maha Al Fahim Book for the details).

Posted by: Shanta Ashok Gulvady

In 2008 I and my husband also invested in The Serena Residence project in Jumeira Village Dubai by the developer, ICI Investment and were supposed to get handover of the two apartments by End 2010. After we paid 40% of the installments, we realized that the project had stalled and stopped payment. Till date we have no way of contacting the developer. and although our money was paid into the so called escrow account, we feel helpless as there seems to be noone to contact. It was also our hard earned money and I feel completely betrayed by this developer. I request RERA to take some action to help us recover our money.

Posted by: Murphy

Hi i invest in the same project paid 50% of the amount into escrow, i was under the impression that escrow will be safe, the developer does not come on the phone nor there is any hope

Posted by: K M Furqan

Neither I am a flipper of property, nor a businessman. Just a teacher who never before and never after bought any property in Dubai. In 2008 I booked a one room apartment in an off-plan building in Jumeirah village, by a Rera-registered developer, through a Rera-registerd agent, having Esrow account in Emirates Islamic Bank, out of my hard-earned and meager savings and a bank loan. Paid 30% in 3 installments by cheques which all were encashed well in time, by developer who is still here in Dubai. This is fifth year nothing is happening. Majority of the buyers in this project wanted their money back. And gave petition to Rera to this effect. But neither Rera canceled the project in spite of accepting petition with signature of a large number of buyers, nor forced developer to start construction. Now I am nearing my retirement.

Posted by: Fabio martini

I lost 300,000 dirhams in City of Arabia. Simply priced out of the legal system. No one in Dubai interested to know. Shame on you, at least set up a project to deal with all investors who were under the wrong impression that it was safe to invest in Dubai. Word of advice do not ever invest in Dubai

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