United Arab Emirates: Landlord jailed after real estate brokerage company tricked people with bogus project

The Dubai prosecutor’s office had accused the owner and his advertising manager of fraud. The Dubai Court of Appeal later overturned the verdict and cleared the director of the charges, while holding the owner responsible for the fraud.

The real estate company had neither a license to build real estate units outside the country nor a license from the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency to collect monthly installments from clients in the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai Misdemeanor Court found the owner and manager guilty.

One of the victims claimed to have signed a contract to purchase real estate for 176,400 dollars (648,799 Dh) and paid almost 309,000 Dh. He had been promised that the apartment would be ready after three months. However, a letter from the relevant country authority stated that the project had not obtained construction permission. A Dubai official said many customers had filed complaints and the company had been ordered not to collect deposits from the public. He was also slapped with a fine of 50,000 Dh.

Lawyer Bader Khamis, who is representing the manager in this dispute, appealed the verdict citing lack of evidence. He claimed that the defendant was only an employee and did not collect money from the victims.

“My client works as an advertising manager and his role is limited to marketing for the owner, according to his job profile. He did not receive the victim’s money [in his capacity as an individual]“, explained Khamis in front of the judges.