Ajman offers swaps at current market price

Mediation committee working on several projects

In an effort to resolve investor complaints of being duped by dodgy developers, Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Arra) is offering them a property swap option at the current market price, 'Emirates24|7' can reveal.

“We have a solution for them (investors in stalled projects or in projects haven’t been constructed)… we are offering them a swap facility and that too at the current market price,” Yafea Eid Al Faraj, Executive-Director, Arra, said in this exclusive interview.

“We are seeing that the mentality of the investors has changed. It is not like before when they would seek a refund. They now understand that moving court is a costly process and the chances of getting back their investment is slim even if they get a favorable judgment… And so to have something is better than have nothing .”

To avail of this facility, an investor will have to personally visit Arra office where he/she will be given the swap options after considering the merits of their case. Under the swap, the money previously paid by the investor will be adjusted in the new apartment price.

Asked if an investor who had booked a two-bedroom apartment could opt for a one bed, Al Faraj said: “If there is a possible way to reduce their size of investment, we will consider it. But, I don’t want the developers to lose and so we will take each solve complaint case by case.”

No details were shared of the number of investors who had opted for the swap.

He, however, confirmed that Arra was not averse to investors wishing to swap their properties for units in Dubai.

“It is allowed… we are having a deal with Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency for swapping to units in Dubai… We are just solving their problems. Now, there is no way to keeping the problems going on, we have to close them.”

More settlements soon

Al Faraj revealed that the mediation committee was on the verge of settling claims worth Dh250 million in a project and a announcement would be made soon.

This disclosure follows after Arra managed to settled claims worth Dh1.4 billion on Al Helio Downtown project last week.

Asked about the status of Al Helio project, he said the project had not been scrapped and negotiation were on with the developer.

“As a solution, we transferred ownership for the land to developers who have paid in full. And this is the most important thing. We are trying to be fair to all and we don’t want end users to lose his money.”

Al Helio Downtown was originally a Dh4-billion master development, spread across 115 acres and comprising 65 freehold plots – commercial, residential, and mixed use. The project was launched in June 2008 and scheduled for completion in 2013.

Another project that the mediation committee is looking into is the Escape, a $500 million equestrian-themed community. Launched in 2008, the project was to have over 500 villas, 16 low-rise buildings and a boutique hotel.

“Our committee is working on it… we have a couple of options to solve the issue and we are also finding a solution for the end users,” Al Faraj disclosed.

Arra was established in December 2008, according to the provisions of the Amiri Decree No8 of 2008, as amended by the Amiri Decree No11 and No12 of 2008.

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