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Omani investors raise concerns over real estate investment deception in UAE

Investor Protection
  • The concerns raised underscore the importance of robust regulatory frameworks and investor protection measures to safeguard against fraud and ensure transparency and fairness in real estate transactions.

Omani investors raise concerns over real estate investment deception in UAE

Muscat: A group of investors from Oman has come forward with allegations of being deceived by a major real estate developer operating in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The investors, who had eagerly invested their funds in what they believed were promising real estate ventures, now find themselves trapped in a web of broken promises and financial uncertainty.

Adam Al Balushi, one of the investors, has implicitly pointed fingers at a prominent real estate entity well-known in the UAE market.

He claims they were lured by captivating marketing tactics promising substantial returns on investment and luxurious properties in prime UAE locations.

However, their optimism has faded as they face project delays, incomplete developments, and a lack of transparency from the developer.

“We were swayed by glossy brochures and convincing sales pitches, only to realise that reality fell far short of the promises made,” lamented Al Balushi.

“The projects we invested in have been plagued by persistent delays, and attempts to communicate with the developer have been met with evasion.”

Al Balushi expressed his disappointment, and said, “What began as an investment to lay the foundation for my father’s retirement plans has turned into a nightmare as we struggle to retrieve our money. Imagine the plight of my retired father, who invested his life’s earnings with high hopes only to see his dreams shattered.”

He revealed that the investment was for fractional hotel-type ownership, not residential property, and accused the real estate group of deceptive practices, including the use of luxury cars and high-profile partnerships with celebrities and companies to entice investors.

They also allegedly resorted to fake reviews on social media and other platforms.

Despite their efforts, Al Balushi and his father have been unable to engage with the developer directly, facing obstacles in communication and legal recourse due to high fees for fighting their case in court in the neighbouring country.

Al Balushi emphasised the broader issue of inaction by both the developers and the relevant government department, despite numerous complaints from investors, signaling a systemic problem that needs urgent attention.

He warned fellow Omanis against similar traps, urging them to conduct thorough due diligence before investing in real estate.

Financial experts echo this sentiment, advising potential investors to scrutinise developers’ track records, seek independent legal counsel, and remain sceptical of overly optimistic assurances.

Al Balushi has raised the issue with the Oman government and local authorities, including the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion, to prevent others from falling victim to deceptive practices.

The plight faced by these investors serves as a solemn caution to fellow Omanis who might be tempted by similar marketing stratagems promising swift and guaranteed returns on real estate investments.

Financial experts stress the imperative of conducting thorough due diligence and exercising prudence against impulsive decisions spurred solely by enticing advertisements.

“Potential investors must exercise vigilance and undertake comprehensive research before entrusting their capital,” advised a financial analyst.

“Scrutinising the developers’ track record, seeking independent legal counsel, and maintaining scepticism toward overly optimistic assurances are vital precautions.”

Despite their struggles, Al Balushi and other investors retain hope for a resolution.

However, their experience serves as a reminder of the risks associated with real estate investments and the importance of due diligence, especially when influenced by enticing marketing tactics.

As the saying goes, let the buyer beware.


Gulf Estate Gazette

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