Ishraqah waits for Rera approval on payment plan

Ishraqah, a Dubai-based developer, is awaiting Real Estate Regulatory Agency's (Rera) approval on a new payment plan for its Dh1.2 billion Seasons Community project in Jumeirah Village after the project has been delayed by two years, a top company executive said.

"We are experiencing delays of about 18 months to 24 months due to a number of reasons such as delays in obtaining permits and approvals, handover of the plots and site conditions, new regulations such as green building certification by Jafza and completion of the infrastructure works at the Jumeirah Village master development," Ammar Sweis, Group Chief Financial Officer, Ishraqah, told Emirates Business.

"In addition, there have been delays in negotiations and finalising the main contractor in mid to late 2008 due to the market conditions prevailing at that time."

The Seasons Community comprises four low-rise buildings that consist of 1,250 apartments and 140 townhouses. The project was scheduled for hand over in early 2009.

As per the new regulations set out by Rera and due to the delay in the project, Ishraqah has informed its customers a few months ago to stop making payments on their units in Seasons Community.

"We have submitted a new payment plan to Rera, which is linked to the construction milestones of the project to ensure that our buyers are making payments once the work for each milestone is complete. At this time, we are awaiting Rera's final approval on the same before we release the new payment plans to our customers."

Sweis also said that in the early to mid 2008, certain sales contracts at the Seasons community have been terminated due to a number of reasons, with one among them being failure to make payments.

"Refunds have been made to the buyers from our escrow account after obtaining Rera's approval. We have not terminated any units in the recent months due to the delay in the project, since we are not collecting payments at this time except from buyers of units who have paid less than 30 per cent of the unit price."

A Nakheel spokesperson said: "We have completed all obligations with regards to hand over and are satisfied that handover was timely. Nakheel seeks to follow guidelines that demonstrate leadership in the area of sustainability under the instruction of Dubai Government.

"At Jumeirah Village, we have worked hard with our partners to deliver a suite of initiatives to reduce energy and water use."

An investor told this newspaper: "The Seasons Community project was scheduled to be handed over to us in early 2009.

"However, we have received a delay notification letter from the developer saying the project will now be delivered only in 2011. As an investor, I would like to be compensated for the delay in some way, a flexible payment plan is one way of doing it."