Hundreds of investors in real estate projects at Dubai Sports City (DSC) are to hand in a petition to Dubai Land Department urging authorities to audit the project and investigate delays by third-party residential real estate subcontractors.
Over 370 investors in 30 projects have signed the petition, which will be submitted to Sultan Bin Mejren, director general of the Dubai Land Department, in the coming days, Arabian Business has learned.
Launched in 2003, DSC is part of the Dubailand master development and was set to include cricket stadium, 60,000 multi-purpose stadium, 10,000 seat indoor stadium, sports academies, golf course and a range of third-party residential and business premises.
According to the investors’ petition, they claim “what we have is a half built sports city, with many building plots standing abandoned and investors chasing non-existent developers to try to get their money.”
While the US$4bn project continues to host a series of high profile international sporting and entertainment events, including the Pakistan Australia Twenty20 International cricket series and last month’s Oktoberfest Dubai 2012, Dubai was one of the markets hardest hit by the global downturn, with real estate prices dropping by up to 60 percent and nearly half of projects in the emirate stalled or canceled.
Many of the delayed DSC residential projects are subcontracted to third party developers by DSC’s master developer and these are the projects which are the focus of the investors’ petition.
“All projects should have an audit carried out by a third party which is sent to RERA [Real Estate Regulatory Authority]. Investors should have the right to access those audits to access the project finical status and the balance of the escrow accounts,” the petition claimed.
“There needs to another way other than arbitration and courts for investors to have their contracts cancelled and claim back their money. If arbitration and courts are the only way then class action should be permitted so that investors can share the costs,” it added.
Earlier this year, DSC told Arabian Business it planned to hand over a minimum of six new projects this year. In response to questions from Arabian Business, the master developer said in March it would deliver between six and 10 towers in the year ahead and a flurry of further projects in the three to five years that follow.
It also said none of its projects had been cancelled by RERA.
“Dubai Sports City developments and sub-developers’ developments vary in size, and we estimate that a further six to 10 towers will be delivered in 2012, with more to follow every year for the next three to five years,” said a spokesperson.
“[We] will be completing Canal Residence West, a development offering 500 apartments. Over 95 percent of this development has been sold and construction is at 91 percent.
“Gallery Villas project, a luxury development of 50 villas, will also be completed.”
DSC is a 4.6m sqm development located off Emirates Road, originally designed to feature a mix of sports complexes surrounded by residential and commercial buildings in the heart of Dubailand.
Representatives from DSC insist that the project is ongoing and will be completed, albeit in stages. They claim the development has a total of 5,500 residents with over 90 percent of the main infrastructure complete.
“There is no specific date of completion as each project has its own timeline and will be completed in stages,” said the spokesperson, adding that the 25,000-seat capacity Dubai International Cricket Stadium was fully operational.
“The global economy has had a significant impact on Dubai Sports City, just like all other projects being developed in Dubai and throughout the world. Dubai Sports City is proud to have delivered so many projects to date and is still committed to delivering its vision and to continue to maintain a strong presence within Dubai’s marketplace.”
DSC representatives did not respond when approached by Arabian Business for comment on the petition.