Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unacceptable standards & practices

Earlier this month I was talking about the damage to Dubai's reputation that the cancellation by Damac of their Palm Jebel Ali Palm Springs development would do.

As I said then, when the Master Plan was radically changed by Nakheel and the development moved to a different location on the different shaped island, it meant both developers had sold something that could no longer be delivered.

Many people bought off the plan when it was launched five, yes five, years ago and were threatening legal action if the project was stopped.

The Land Department got involved and it seems they've mediated between Nakheel and Damac and the project will go ahead after all.

As usual, the reports are incomplete, contradictory and confusing. And I'm interested in what's missing, what the 'journalists' obviously didn't seek clarification on.

Why? Why don't they ask? Why don't they clarify?

The developer said the reason for cancellation of the project five years after launch was due to 'redevelopment of the plots.' According to Damac, the development cannot be situated on the re-allocated plot.

But now they say:

It will be developed in keeping with the original investor contracts and Damac's contract with Nakheel, master-developer of the Palm Jebel Ali. Damac has undertaken to implement and accomplish the project according to the contracts with investors...

So which is it? It's not possible to build as planned, or it will be according to the original contracts?

How can the development be delivered to buyers according to their original contracts if it's in a different location on a different shaped island?

But we're also told: ...the main reason the project was shelved was the rising cost of materials.

Change of the Master Plan or rising construction costs? Which was it?

So we don't know the reasons the development was cancelled, we don't know exactly what the new development will be, we don't know how it will differ from what people paid money for years ago.

It's not only yet another example of sloppy journalism, it's yet another example of the cavalier attitude of businesses in Dubai.

I've said it before, the attitude is 'give us your money and we'll then decide whether we give you anything in return, what it is and when we'll give it to you.'

It's unacceptable and it has to be stopped.

Stories in Gulf News, EmBiz247 and Khaleej Times.


ZeTallGerman said...

Well, as the real estate sagas of Dubai continue: just now a news flash has popped-up on the Gulf News website, that the CEO of Deyaar Properties has been arrested for "questioning and is under investigation for alleged financial irregularities"... watch this space...

Seabee said...

Yes, I heard that on the radio news earlier - no details of course.

Anonymous said...

With reference to the first post, it appears Deyaar's chariman blew the whistle, according to ITP's Arabian Business website. The Chairman was quoted as saying that the CEO "did something he was not supposed to do".

Surprisingly, ITP is doing pretty well reporting on construction issues. With the Damac Debacle, they went into detail with the specific actions taken by the affected investors: crashed Damac's sales party in the UK, and had already hired a lawyer, etc.

nzm said...

You can keep up-to-date with this saga at the Palm Spring Investors Group blog.