Nakheel stays silent on empty villa compound mystery

A 208-VILLA compound built by the developer of such world famous projects as ‘The Palm’ islands and ‘The World’ remains uninhabited, despite being completed over two years ago.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  July 31, 2005

A 208-VILLA compound built by the developer of such world famous projects as ‘The Palm’ islands and ‘The World’ remains uninhabited, despite being completed over two years ago. Properties in Nakheel’s multi-million dollar Garden View Villas complex within Dubai’s ‘The Gardens’ residential community went on sale in June of 2003. However, soon after tenants moved into the three- and four-bedroom villas, cracks appeared on the walls and occupants were quickly moved out. The 200,000 square-metre re-sidential development, situated on a hilltop near Jebel Ali on the outskirts of Dubai features 208 two-storey, semi-detached properties. The three- and four-bedroom villas cover 300 and 330 square metres respectively. Prices started at US$408,000 but sales are currently on hold. “The sale on these villas are on hold currently,” said a Nakheel sales representative, when approached by Arabian Business. “Currently we are not selling these villas. It has not been said as to when they will be up on sale again, but as of now until further notice, it’s on hold.” The villas, which were the first in Dubai to offer a title deed, feature individual plunge pools, patio areas and fitted kitchens. Maintenance work was due to be carried out by Nakheel staff. When sales were launched in June, 2003 Saif Sultan Al Shamsi, the managing director for The Gardens said: “The Gardens is an extremely popular residential area in Dubai, due to its wonderfully convenient location to the likes of the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City. Residents of The Gardens residential community will eventually benefit from a host of cultural, social and commercial facilities including the expansive retail and entertainment outlets of themed The Gardens Shopping Mall, a community centre, recreation club, schools, banks, health clinic and pharmacy.” He added: “Whilst the villas were being built, we witnessed enormous interest from potential buyers. We expect that given their unique location, they will prove to be extremely popular. Our sales people are expecting a busy time!” After the launch of the Garden View Villas sales drive two years ago, Nakheel claimed to have sold over 200 of the villas on a freehold basis. But since the initial batch of tenants were relocated when the cracks first appeared on the buildings, the powers that be at Nakheel have stopped sales. “It’s a decision from the management,” the Nakheel sales representative told Arabian Business. “They say they need to develop the area further. There was a sale of a few villas, but thereafter it has been put on hold.” When approached by Arabian Business, senior management at Nakheel refused to comment on the uninhabited compound. Meanwhile, Nakheel has confirmed that the construction of the residential projects on the multi-billion dollar Palm Jumeirah development is running one year late. But it has denied site reports that some villas on the man-made island have had to be demolished and re-built. The developer has informed all owners of residential properties on the project that the final handover of their properties will be delayed by one year. The handover is now expected in November 2006. In a statement the company said: “Property owners were also informed of a revised payment schedule which has been restructured to the benefit of owners, with remaining payments spread out over the period until completion.” The final completion date for the development is expected to be announced in due course, as soon as the individual developers have confirmed their exact programmes.

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