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Wed 29 Jan 2014 09:40 AM

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

Petition signed calling for increased security after robberies at Dubai community

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

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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Lack of Sleep #Al Furjan Resident 5 years ago

Wonder why Nakheel no longer respond to media enquires... is that because they are doing very little to sort out any of the problems that have happened/are happening in Al Furjan???

The lack of security is just the last in a long list of complaints residents have.

The security situation is leaving the community scared and frustrated.

Casper Morgenstern 5 years ago

And there is still no effective and permanent solution for one of the communal parks that was funnily called "Lake Al Furjan". Nakheel simply dumped twee metres of sand on top of the water and installed pumps. The pumps were removed 5 months ago but the sand is still there. It is supposed to be a village lawn for our children to play on.

Saudi Engineer 5 years ago

Where is Mr. Dhahi Khalfan while all of this is going on?
I found the disclaimer at the end of the article HILARIOUS!!
* 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.
I wonder why they would completely ignore AB or any other publication?

Faisal 5 years ago

Dear Saudi Engineer, this not a compound. Its a private development.

Making personal statements would not erode the general impression of Dubai being a safe city - and yes, the residents of Dubai do owe him a lot.

It is Nakheel's responsibility to ensure that security/ access to the locality is arranged. Dubai Police always ensures general security at macro level. Even in localities like Warqaa, Mirdif, Khawaneej, etc.. there are many incidents - but usually due to the fact that the residents themselves have been careless. You cannot blame the police for each and every thing. Had Dubai Police refused to provide security, only then you can make sarcastic comments.

Suzita 5 years ago

That's a very disturbing news as we live just right the opposite project (Disco Garden).. Its true that the community is not gated although there's hardly any traffic in there. One thing i noticed is that entrance and exit points are very open --- or maybe there are still on-going civil works in the area. Maybe if they could set up surveillance cameras to cover the entire street?!?

SA1 5 years ago

@Faisal - Not condoning personel barb, but fact is Jebel Ali Police jurisdiction is one of the biggest and they operate from porta-cabins. With communities developed in far off places, and lots of labor/bachelor accomodations/camps, there is need to setup additional Police branches in this area and possiblly break the Jebel Ali jurisdiction into multiple units.

Shehryar Iqbal. 5 years ago

I would like to thank Arabian business for setting an excellent example of journalism and setting the correct standard as how the right news should be relayed to people not only the News that is right. Well done Arabian business what you are doing is nothing less then serving the country and its people, both National and expats by bringing real issues into light.
Keep up the good job !
Shehryar Iqbal.

Tom 5 years ago

Suzita may have hit it on the head, because quite possibly the culprits just came across the street to this community from the slums of Discovery Gardens. Nahkeel does owe it to this community to safeguard the residents. This also highlights another issue that possibly the UAE should implement visa quotas due to the population imbalance, because it is very apparent from reading the newspapers that many people live in the Dubai that can not afford to live in Dubai are resorting to criminal behavior in order to stay there. It is causing a rise in crime rates in a beautiful city where residents invest in a family life where they expect safety and security.

Villege circle resident 5 years ago

City, especially Al Quoz till JAFZA was expanding in folds for the last 15 years. But, there is no change in that Port-a-cabin makeshift police station. Possibly, guys involved in those theft lack police fear that is not good for the community.

Mark Williams 5 years ago

@Faisal - Dont take it personally Faisal, Dubai is a growing city. I have been here many years and its been very safe however as you say its down to individuals to lock up and keep their items safe however policing levels I think have to rise above macro levels now as Dubai is expanding very quickly. If crime is not checked and dealt with then thieves will see these developments as an easy target. I would suggest that owners in this development equip their own CCTV and alarms and make sure their properties are secure, its within your power to do so.