Residents fury after crime spate at Nakheel’s Al Furjan development

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Dubai residents at Nakheel’s Al Furjan villa community have spoken of their safety fears following a huge spate of burglaries at the luxury development.

Around 100 residents last month signed a petition highlighting their concerns about the burglaries and calling for increased security at the development, where villas are priced at around AED2.5m ($680,643).

However, residents report that the incidents have continued to occur, with a recent spate of burglaries occurring during the day while occupiers they were out of the house, with cash, electrical goods and other items stolen.

“I thought Dubai was a relatively crime free place so I am absolutely flabbergasted as to what is happening. The few security men we have appear to be doing their best but in a complex of this size, it really is a drop in the ocean,” one resident said in an email to Arabian Business. “At this stage, and with the current frequency of break-ins, we are becoming extremely worried for our family’s safety.”

Some incidents occurred because entry points had not been locked. Others reported that locks had been pushed, while some residents were at home when the robberies occurred.

“It is only a matter of time before someone is in the wrong place, at the wrong time and may get hurt. I do a lot of travelling with work and now have the added worry leaving my wife and young family alone in what appears to be an unsafe area,” another resident said.

“Now we have to check that the doors are locked before we go out. We can’t go upstairs and leave the downstairs doors open, which really effects the quality of your life. I never thought I would hear about anything like this in Dubai. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it myself,” he added.

With hundreds of villas in the development, but just a small handful of security guards, some residents have spoken of taking matters into their own hand, a move which has met with a mixed response.

“What worries me more so is the open talk of people setting up bait traps and setting up vigilante groups to go 'hunt' these guys down,” one resident said. “People need to be mindful of any laws around openly declaring actions like these... Now this is where the Police should be allowed to do their job. We can, as good citizens and residents, help with that as has been mentioned by setting up a Neighbourhood Watch.”

Last month, a Nakheel spokesperson addressed the issue in a statement to Gulf News: “Safety and security are paramount in our communities. We are working to raise the security in a number of ways in Al Furjan including increasing the number of security patrols on the ground. We are also working with authorities to turn Al Furjan into a gated community.”

Al Furjan made the headlines last September when Arabian Business published photos that appeared to show a large part of one of the communal areas flooded by putrid water, which residents claimed had been there since April. Residents told Arabian Business that Nakheel has provided no explanation and ignored repeated requests to fix the problem.

Despite the water and crime issues, it was reported this month prices at the development rose by up to 26 percent in 2013, according to new figures released by online portal Dubizzle.

Its latest 2013 UAE Real Estate Price Trends Report showed that advertised prices for three-bedroom villas in Al Furjan rose from AED2.5m in January 2013 to AED3.15m in December 2013.

Last October, Nakheel launched 400 new homes for sales at Al Furjan, adding to the 800 villas and townhouses that already occupy the growing community. A new retail centre at Al Furjan is also due to open in early 2014.

* Nakheel no longer responds to media enquiries from Arabian Business, nor does it grant Arabian Business access to any of its media events or announcements.

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Posted by: Glen

This is not limited to the Al Furjan Development but is also a concern in The Gardens, we have been living there for 10 years now and it was previously well managed with security advising tenants immediately when there were breaches of common nieghbourly decency or visible breaches of terms of lease,

Sadly it appears that Nakheel Asset Management has lost their appetitite to manage this asset in the interest of the owners and even less so in the interests of the tenants.

Buildings are taking on the appearance of labour camps with laundry hanging over the balconies, cycles in the common area that block passage ways. Barking and howling dogs in contravention of the lease agreament as well as an incident of a dog chasing an eigh month pregnant who fell as a result. One can even hear dogs barking and howling in the apartment block diagonally accrosss the road.

Labourers usin the passage as a shortcut through the building and also sleeping under the staiwells. Many reorts, no action.

Posted by: Mrs H

petty crimes also in the Springs but Emaar are not bothered - despite this being a 'gated' community there are gardeners, maids, salesmen , DVD sellers etc touting for business each week - and don't get me started on the barking dogs...

Posted by: Derek Kroner

Although I full agree with the safety, of the area and the concern by residents. The comment made by TOM "Slums" and aloo people who can afford live only to come here? Sure, that is one way of looking things, and that is what the communist try to do, TOM, there are no paradise on Earth where something bad does not happen, it is just that everybody, including ourselves need to be vigilant. I appreciate what Dubai is doing considering that they do not tax you pathetically like other countries do, and relatively is a new country and is learning to do things right at much shorter time than others did. Now about your comment on slums, these are the people who built those villas and they are doing the same for others to stay in other areas, would you build your own villa in this scorching heat and in an in human condition outside. Atleast the developers have come a long way in respecting that, have some rational thinking to a burglar issue and do not suspect they are the ones who steal.

Posted by: Paul

One word sums up all these problems - NAKHEEL...!!!

I really don't understand why they are still allowed to continue their business, damaging the reputation of Dubai.

Who in their right mind would invest any money in one of their developments?

Posted by: Shaheen

What about the road which was clogged wtih water in july/august 2013 in the gardens area...its still not repaired...now who will repair it???? its been 7 months now.....n dont know what is the delay....I have to go around the whole of discovery to get to the main road or ibn battuta....i am sure lots of people in the gardens r facing the same issue....

Posted by: Matt

I agree with the above. Jebel Ali Police station operates out of porta-cabins which simply do not fit into the image of Dubai at all. The facilities are very poor, and the low amount of staff try to work from those facilities, but the area they cover is HUGE. If they had better facilities, hopefully in a few locations, they could employ more staff, and hopefully include more english-speaking staff as well, as Jebel Ali region is mainly an expat area.

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