World Economy

Investors Vexed as $6b Dubai Project Lies Dormant

Investors Vexed as $6b Dubai Project Lies DormantInvestors Vexed as $6b Dubai Project Lies Dormant

It has been described as “sad”, “troubled” and “fallen” but for thousands of investors, discussion of the $6 billon Dubai Pearl scheme provokes far less sympathetic language.

The huge mixed-use project, announced in 2002, has been beset by delays and management changes, and lies dormant since construction work ground to a halt in 2006, Arabian Business reported.

A decade later, the project—13% complete, according to its website—looms as a blot on Dubai’s skyline; an exposed concrete core with rusted steel framework; and, until recently, motionless cranes rising from the top of its skeletal structure.

Last month, eyewitnesses claimed on Twitter that the last crane had been dismantled from the site.

It was yet another blow to hundreds of investors that have repeatedly tried and failed to extract information from the authorities on what is happening with the scheme and whether they will ever recoup the millions of dirhams they put into it.

One investor, Australian Lidija Stefanovski, told Arabian Business: “I am just one of many unfortunate investors in this fallen project. Frustration is a small word to describe our feelings when you consider what has been allowed to happen to those of us who paid a premium for luxury real estate but have been left hanging with no answer for what will happen next or how we can get our money back.”

Investors are at their wits’ end and fear the time will never be right.

However, given the track record of the scheme’s decision-makers, with at least three major deals collapsing over the years and top UAE lawyer, Essam Al Tamimi, founder of Al Tamimi & Co, describing the project as “haunted”, there seems little reason to be hopeful.

At 22 million sq ft, Dubai Pearl was touted as one of the largest construction projects in the world when developer Omnix Holdings started work on it in 2004.