Deyaar Development expects customer defaults in the 'high single digits' across its projects after real-estate prices slumped in Dubai, Chief Executive Officer Markus Giebel said.

The developer, which put a quarter of its projects in Dubai on hold, has a 'substantial amount' of customers on plans that allow struggling home buyers to delay payments, Giebel said in phone interview late yesterday.

'There will be a certain period of time we can still do easy payment plans and assist our customers,' Giebel said. 'But we believe within this year there will probably be a time we can’t continue these plans anymore and we will see the first customers in default situation.'