Friday, August 7, 2009

Dubai Marina Madness!

Dubai Marina is one of my favorite UAE Mega Projects and my number one pick for Dubai's Residential Mega Projects. Despite all of this the Dubai Marina is having a lot of problems right now with the delivery of many of its high-rise towers. This is unfortunate for Dubai as well as the many people who invested in these towers pre-construction. An excellent article from TheNational.ae entitled 'Dubai Marina's High-Rise Dreams Deferred' goes into more detail. Here are some excerpts from the article:

Harvans Nagpal and his wife once dreamed of a relaxing retirement in Dubai, enjoying leisurely days beside a sun-drenched swimming pool and unbeatable views from a beautiful, brand new serviced high-rise apartment overlooking the city's glamorous Marina.

Now the 70 year old London accountant's plans are on hold dogged by uncertainty brought by delays in the building of the apartment and the prospect of its cost rising beyond his means

People like Mr. Nagpal are statistics in the real estate bust, as projects throughout the UAE, especially in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, have been delayed, slowed down or become insolvent. Today, many of those investors are grappling with the fallout as projects, especially those by smaller developers, languish in crisis.

Mr. Nagpal bought off-plan in late 2007, paying a 25 percent down payment on a Dh1 million (US$272,000) one bedroom apartment in the 19-floor Harbour Residences. He was told that his apartment would be ready by early 2010, with his first Dh250,000 already paid into the development's escrow account. The strikingly designed tower remains little more than an artist's impression and a hole in the ground.

Harbour Residences is a development by Dheeraj & East Coast, a joint venture between Dheeraj Constructions of India and East Coast LLC of Dubai. The most recent construction update on the company's website, posted in March, shows a bare pit.

A survey by The National found at least nine idle sites where work has not progressed above ground; furthermore, the Marina is home to a number of partially built buildings on which work appears to have slowed or halted.

It is a similar story for countless other investors in properties around the Marina. Close to the most northerly of the road bridges across the Marina are two massive craters, both without signs of activity other than security guards sitting in chairs at the entrances to the sites. One plot is littered with rubbish, but no information is displayed. A hoarding on the other says it is the intended home of My Tower, a 36-storey building first advertised in 2007.

On some sites, progress has been halted, with skeletal foundations left exposed to the atmosphere. On others, work even appears to have gone backwards. Shahla Tower, a planned 39-storey residence, occupies a prime site by the water. The new Marina Mall is a five minute walk across the road bridge that runs alongside the plot, the beach and the seaside shops and restaurants of The Walk are even closer. Launched in 2006, the tower was due for completion by mid-2008. Yet, for months now, the only sign of activity at the site has been the drone of generators driving water pumps 24 hours a day to keep the half finished foundations dry. The status of the project has yet to be categorized by RERA.

Another site echoing only the sound of generators is that of the Eden Blue Tower, a pit of protruding metal foundations that has seen little activity for six months except for the pumping of water. Nearby, more pumps, and little else, are at work on the foundations of the Dubai Marina Star development, a project initiated by Al Seef Investments, a Dubai investment company, and since taken over by the UK Capital Investments Group (UKCIG).

++ Here is the link to the complete article from TheNational.ae


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