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Dubai residents scammed with fake real estate ads asking for advance payment

Story Highlights
  • Recently, Dubai’s regulatory authority imposed a fine of Dh50,000 each on 30 real estate companies who violated ad rules

Dubai residents scammed with fake real estate ads asking for advance payment

As Dubai’s regulatory authority imposed a fine of Dh50,000 each on 30 real estate companies recently, who failed to comply with the terms and conditions specified in real estate advertisements, Khaleej Times spoke to residents who fell prey to such advertisements.

Across social media, there have been ads of real estate agents luring potential tenants with fake photos of properties.

Many Dubai residents were scammed by these posts online and some had even paid an advance. When Mohammed Nael, a Jordanian national was on the hunt for a new home, he explored various sites. When he physically went to see a place, it was not the one shown in the picture online.

“I really liked the room which I saw online. When the real estate agent showed me a couple of properties, I asked him if I can see the one which he had posted the photo about. He said that the room has been occupied and is no longer available,” said Mohammed.


Confused with what was happening, he checked other properties online and found that many real estate agents were posting photos of flats that were very attractive, but were completely different in reality.

“I wanted to check other places and got a few agents’ numbers. I found that real estate agents are luring people with attractive photos. One agent even promised for a property that he listed on one of the social media sites, and asked an advance for it. But that made me suspicious,” said Mohammed.


The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department (DLD), established terms and conditions to govern advertisements and curb negative practices within the industry.

The authority asks all companies in the real estate market to adhere to advertisement rules and provide accurate and correct information to customers by obtaining advertising licenses.

Rera also said that it is obligatory to include a QR code to enable investors to identify and verify all associated property data advertised. Authorities in Dubai have asked property firms time and again to strictly follow rules related to advertisements to ensure transparency.


A similar situation was encountered by Faris bin Hamdan, a Syrian national who was looking for a flat in November last year. “I joined a developer last October and wanted to settle my family in Dubai. I checked a couple of 1 BHK, but none matched the photos which the agent had posted,” said Hamdan.

“After a few months in the company, I realised that these practices are followed by agents to get the customer to meet them and then convince them to rent out a flat,” he added.


Some residents hailed the authority’s action against such fake advertisements and said that authorities should monitor the websites in order to not waste their time, money and efforts.

Syed Afeef, another resident, was in search of a place for his family around City Centre Mirdif and it took him nearly two months to rent out a property which he was satisfied with. “The real estate agent wasted my time. He posted photos of 2 BHK which looked very posh and had a significantly reasonable yearly rent. The post mentioned that the flat will be furnished and when I checked out the place, the apartment did not even have a door mat,” said Afeef.

“I lost enough time, money and efforts with such bogus advertisements posted on Facebook and other sites,” he added.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).


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