Sunday, 14 December 2008

Al Hamra Estates Maintains Dismal Customer Service Record

The following recent comments from EyeOnWorldwide forum speak for themselves:

Posted by jennybeales, Monday, December 15, 2008
Regarding car parking space - They said I have 'Full right of occupancy' but that I do not have 'ownership title deed' on the space. I can send you the pdf letter if you pm me your email add.
Also, I am putting down a lot more than 60% before completion. I think it is 75%. I am getting very worried as it's a long time to have money tied up if project continues to be delayed. And judging on the other phases - there have been major delays.
I haven't signed any contracts yet, so I might try and push the percentage downpayment down to 60%.

Posted by dubaisalvo, Monday, December 15, 2008
"Is anyone concerned that the price of Al-Hamra properties are nearly half the price of properties on Al-Marjan?"


Location Ras Al Khaimah District, Al Hamra Village
Approx. size 455 sq.ft
Floor no. 3rd
Approx. price AED 515,000
View Sea
Completion date December 2009
Consultant's name Natalya Shapovalova

Location Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah District, Marjan Island
Approx. size 445 sq.ft
Floor no. 2nd
Approx. price AED 540,750
View Sea
Completion date June 2011
Consultant's name Natalya Shapovalova

Posted by Astral, Monday, December 15, 2008
I've also got a studio in a Royal Breeze building. Last time I was there (May 2008) I was told that Royal Breeze is part of Phase 3 and won't be ready until at least 2010.

I've made 3 instalments so far, 20% each, the remaining 40% is due on completion. I have had to wrestle them first for the contract, then for the receipts. I am still waiting for receipts, I have received one in person, one by email and am waiting for the last one for the April 2008.
After much pestering I did manage to get a statement of account by email. I think that is the key, to continue poking and prodding until they reply.

I was aware that the parking space was included in the property size before reserving the property. The agent let me know about it, and it's probably in the contract too. I didn't know that you don't own it though. How does that work? Is it a lease?

I am also waiting for a response on the beach access for Royal Breeze.

Is anyone concerned that the price of Al-Hamra properties are nearly half the price of properties on Al-Marjan?

Posted by jennybeales, Monday, December 15, 2008
I have no idea on the completion date or where they are at in the development of the Royal Breeze.

I am still fighting them for payment receipt for the instalment that I made last July!!!
Also, I just got an email on car parking space. They have subtracted the size of the carparking space away from the size of the apartment AND I don't even own the car parking space. Has anybody else been shocked by this??? Or did everyone else know.
So my apartment size has gone from 642 sq ft TO 494 sq ft ...............
Posted by emptyquarter, Saturday, December 13, 2008
Marina Block B,
Does anybody know what the procedure is for hand over and has anybody received a handover letter yet?

Normally, one would do some snagging and get a qualified person to look over things. Is there any company or person that offers that service? I think this is especially important as everything was delayed for a long while and is now being rushed to the finish line.

I will be renting it out for a year contract initially and would be grateful for any leads on how to do that.

Posted by glr1, Saturday, December 13, 2008
Hi Jenny and others,
Has anyone received any report on phase 3 completion especially Royal Breeze. Because no one in Al Hamra is sure about this. Once we sign the agreement then we are legally bound by the schedule of payments in the agreement. So if we don’t see any progress and have paid nearly 50%, we have to negotiate with AL HAMRA for a extended payment plan. From their website gallery there r no pictures on Royal Breeze B TYPE townhouse progress.

This is the reply I got from Al Harma on 21.10.08:

Dear Sir

Please be informed that the constructions in phase3 are in full swing, and the pilings (deep foundations) of Buildings RB1 and RB2 are done already, and RB3 pilings are in progress, in addition to more than 100 type A town houses in phase3 concrete structures fully completed. We are still expecting the completion of the whole phase including Type B Town houses to be between End of 2009 – Mid of 2010

Is anyone aware of the actual progress and can anyone advice on what to do?

Posted by palmtree, Friday, December 12, 2008
I have an apt in marina Block B but still had no letter of completion. I wonder if all owners had received a letter of completion or not? I would appreciate an advice on this.

Posted by mantapla, Friday, December 12, 2008
I bought in RB 8 in April and in July ( I paid only 15% ) I received SPA. My payment plan is 15% every four months and 40 % on completion.

Posted by jennybeales, Thursday, December 11, 2008
I am in the same position.
I have paid about 50% of the total for an apartment in Royal Breeze, and I still haven't signed any contracts.
I am due to make another payment but I feel that as the completion date is not going to be made that the payments should be deferred.

Also, I think I have to make 85% of the total value, before completion, in staggered payments. This is a lot of money to have tied up with no return.

I don't know what to do. Why would 1 person have to put 60% down and another have to put 85% down? It doesn't make any sense.

Posted by glr1, Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Dear Investors in Royal Breeze, does any one have an idea about the progress of ROYAL BREEZE-TOWNHOUSES IN PHASE 3?

I have a unit in PHASE 3 TYPE B TOWNHOUSE-102. I had bought it thro GLOBAL ESTATES in May 08 and have paid 47% till date to Global. Global Estates have bought it at a low cost from AL HAMRA and sold it on a high premium to investors. Global Estates have still not given me my receipts till date and they are a rude bunch of people.

Al Hamra has still not given the agreements. There r no progress reports and Al Hamra has stated that completion will be in end 2009 or 1st quarter 2010.

Should we make payments? Most of the developers have given extended payment plans but when I mailed Al Hamra they state tht we have to stick to the payment plan, ie 52% over the next 1 year. But I see a lot of units in Royal Breeze on 50% during construction and 50% on completion only. Even RAK properties have agreed to help investors- article in THE NATIONAL on 30.10.08

Can someone advise me on what to do? We should get together to voice our concern, otherwise I don’t see anything happening.

Posted by Harwood, Monday, December 08, 2008
Was at the Marina buildings on Sunday, haven't been for a month so I was expecting some progress. Could smell paint in Block B and the reception and passage ways look as if they have had another coat of paint, although Block A hadn't it had been masked up for painting.

Swimming pool tiling not quite finished but no activity there, the slipway is now finished it just needs tarmac and brought up to the level of the road.

Lamps have been put on the poles on A/B car parking and light poles erected on C/D parking.

The clubhouse has been partially painted and I am told that will be ready in February, (just by people on site, not management)

A/C in my apartment is on and working (C block), still requires final paint but everything else complete.

Was told there are 40/50 people working on A/B to get them delivered this month and block C will be February (unofficial)

At the present there is one holiday after another so nothing was happening yesterday.

Posted by Cyrus, Monday, December 08, 2008
Dear investors in Royal Breeze,
I think it's a good idea to negotiate with Al hamra real estate regarding the next payment as there is no update, no information or etc about the construction of Royal Breeze.
I think Al hamra real estate is committed to inform all investors about any cancellation, delay or any other problem(s). So far Al hamra real estate has failed to give an honest answer regarding the completion time of RB 1-7 or other sold properties. As far as I know they have completed piling of RB1-3 few months ago but not heard any more news if they have started to do any more work.....

It's a credit crunch, lot of off plan projects in the UAE are on hold/ been cancelled and we have right to know how Al hamra real estate been effected?

Posted by turbo, Sunday, December 07, 2008
Interesting article in TheNational, a small extract:

Six steps to stem the Emirati credit crunch

Third, delays have been a fact in the past and they will only increase now: so master developers must reorganise payment plans in line with construction milestones instead of random time periods. That way, cash flow within the economy makes more sense and liquidity flows cyclically without pausing at developers’ bank accounts. Full Article here:

I am considering asking Al Hamra Estates to delay my next payment in line with construction....

Posted by nick4, Saturday, December 06, 2008
This may be of interest to others who have bought in Marina D

Below is the latest e-mail from John Mathew relating to Marina D. He previously stated that Marina D will only be connected to the generators in March 2009, so it looks as though the release date will be in June or July 2009. They are either planning to do a particularly thorough job to ensure that everything works perfectly or they are simply stalling for time due to lack of funds or maybe both.

Quote from John Mathew:

Please be advised that the power connection will be from the generators to start off with and will gradually be shifted to the main power station. We normally seek a time of 3 months to handover the property as we do a complete inspection like calibration, running of all Air conditioners in the unit through out etc. If these things have no hiccups, then the handover could be done earlier too.

Trust the above clarifies your queries raised. Should you need any more clarifications please do write to me!!!

Posted by DEEPAKUDANI, Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Can anyone update me on Royal Breeze Phase 3, Sea View Apts?

Posted by cowboy, Monday, December 01, 2008
Has anyone been told if their townhouse is being handed over before Christmas? We were told about a month ago that 3rd week of December the contractors would hand the keys but have not heard anything since then.

Posted by James, Sunday, November 30, 2008
Any idea what one beds in A B C D are making at the moment or is there any market at the moment


Monday, 1 December 2008

New Rent Cap for RAK

A new rent cap rule in Ras Al Khaimah was announced on Monday.

According to the long-awaited rule, there will be an annual rent cap as follows:

15% cap on tenancy contacts signed before January 2004;
10% cap on tenancy contracts signed after January 2004;
5% cap on tenancy contracts signed after January 2008.

Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, issued the new rent cap law no. 14 for the year 2008.

source, GulfNews, By Nasouh Nazzal, December 01, 2008


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Beach Access for Marina and Oceana

An investor who visited Al Hamra Village in November 2008 gives the following progress report (source: Eye On Worldwide forum, photo courtesy of Mark Holmes):

The generators are concealed behind the electrical sub-station building located between the car parks of Blocks B and C. Neither the noise nor the smell from the generators is likely to be noticeable near the apartments.

One of the generators was running and all three are connected to the panel room at the electrical sub-station located next to the Marina Block B car park. Two large diesel storage tanks are professionally installed adjacent to the generators and look suitable for long-term use. Three Caterpillar generators (model number 3512) are present each with a rating of 1020 KW.

Apartments in Block B are very close to being ready for hand-over. Block D is basically complete but finishing and clean up is required. The guys on site estimate that Blocks C and D will be ready for handover in February 2009. Blocks A & B are further ahead.

Progress is being made with the construction of Blocks E and F, but these blocks will not be connected to the three existing generators. No indication if additional generators would be provided for these blocks.

There was no progress with the general landscaping and boundary fences etc., and no evidence of any work to construct covers over the parking areas.

A large wall has been constructed around the beach near the Marina clubhouse, speculation is that it is for a summer palace for a member of the Royal family.

The Royal Breeze development seems to have stalled. None of the blocks are above foundation level (basic piling) and generally that area looked the same as it did in March 2008.

The plan for the island area at Al Hamra has not yet been agreed. The highest structure will be limited to five stories.


Monday, 24 November 2008

New buses to be launched in RAK

The RAK Transport Authority (RAK TA) yesterday signed a partnership agreement with Al Arabiya Taxi to launch 'Al Hamra Buses' to connect the various places of Ras Al Khaimah and to start inter-emirates bus service connecting Ras Al Khaimah and other emirates by the beginning of the coming year.

The authority also signed another agreement with a professional company to launch the advanced Al Hamra Call Centre which will be operational by the coming December.

source: GulfNews, By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter


Friday, 21 November 2008

New tenancy law for Ras Al Khaimah

His Highness Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah has issued a new tenancy law enforcing the rights of landlords and tenants in rental contracts and freezing rent hikes at five per cent a year for residential properties.

The law stipulates the duration of a rent contract shall be agreed upon in the contract. And in case the two parties fail to agree on a rental period, the duration of the contract shall be three years for residences, and two years if the rented property is meant for commercial, industrial or professional activity.

Law number eight was issued by Al Qasimi. Under the new law, both parties to the contract shall have the right to renew the contract for the same duration as agreed on in the previous contract – or for any other duration should the two parties fail to agree – and the contract shall be considered as renewed for the same conditions.

Meanwhile, if either party desires not to renew the contract, they should inform the other party in writing three months before the expiry of the contract if the property was used for residence, and two months if it was used for commercial, industrial or professional purposes. The letter should be sent by registered mail so that the other party is assured to receive it.

To protect the right of tenants, the law also covers living conditions. The law stipulates the landlord shall hand over the rented property to the tenant in a proper condition – in accordance with what was agreed on in the contract. And if the rented property appears to be in an improper condition, the tenant has the right to ask the court to annul the contract or reduce the rent.

In return, the tenant is obliged to use the rented property for the purpose it was designed for and in accordance with what was agreed upon in the contract.

In addition, a tenant is not allowed to make changes in the rented property without a written permit from the owner unless the change does not lead to any damage. Should the tenant made changes that cause damage, the landlord has the right to oblige the tenant to restore the situation to its original condition or to compensate the landlord if needed.

Tenants shall also pay water, electricity and telephone bills as well as for any damage done to the rented property or any other fees.

Rent caps are also part of the new legislation. The law stipulates the landlord is not allowed to raise the amount of rent agreed upon except in two cases: the lapse of at least three years from the date of signing the contract if the property was meant for residence, and at a rate of no more than five per cent a year, and the lapse of at least two years from the date of signing the contract if the property was meant for commercial, industrial or professional purposes and at a rate of no more than seven per cent a year.

source: Business 24/7, By Staff Writer on Monday, May 26, 2008


Sunday, 6 April 2008

Time To Speak Up!!

A quick look at comments on Eye on Worldwide discussion forum illustrates the frustration of investors with the lack of customer service from Al Hamra Estates. Just a few comments to give a flavour of the sort of information underload Al Hamra cutomers are having to live with:

Does anybody know any new or update information on Oceana building H? I cannot seem to find any updates at all about this bulding. I still haven't received any info on my contract either!!

I am still waiting for contract of my unit in RB3, have you got yours?

I'm experiencing exactly the same issue trying to get a receipt from Global. Hopeless, you'd thought they would have better accounting system. No contract yet either.
We urge investors to check their Booking Contracts, and if it specifies that the contract will be issued at a specific point (such as payment of the second instalment), then don’t just sit back like yoyo’s waiting for things to happen. Business logic requires that you contact Al Hamra Real Estates reminding them of their obligation. Be persistent, and don’t be afraid to write to the higher authorities such as the manager, or even Sheikh Saud. Here are some contact details to help you along:

Frederic Piras
General Manager
Al Hamra Estates
00971 7244 7263

Remember that Al Hamra are constructing the project with your money, and there exists a legally binding contract between you and Al Hamra. It can only be a good thing if more investors contacted Al Hamra and made their views known in a forthright and constructive manner. After all, we all want Al Hamra Village to develop in an excellent resort of the highest standard.

So play your role diligently by insisting on good customer service, proper communication, and delivery of documents on time.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

How safe is your Investment?

“We have now been advised officially by the Master Developer that the Palm Jebel Ali Master Development has been re-designed and that the Plot will not be delivered. As a result of this official confirmation, we now regret to advise you that the Palm Springs project has been cancelled.

Your attention is drawn to the Force Majeure clause of the Sale and Purchase Agreement which specifically deals with this event. While under no contractual liability to do so, and in recognition of the disappointment which this notice will undoubtedly cause, we are willing to make the following offer to you:

Either transfer to Unit(s) of your choice on another Damac development of your choice at a discounted price 15% below current market.

Or repayment of monies paid by you with 6% interest calculated from the date of each instalment payment.”

The above is an extract from a letter issued recently by Damac, one of the biggest players in Real Estate in the UAE, to investors who had bought units in the Palm Springs development at Palm Jebel Ali. Most had purchased their units well over 4 years ago, and were waiting patiently for the construction to begin, and for the eventual handover. It seems that Purchase & Sale Agreement is used as a licence for many developers to defraud their global customers. An don't be surprised if the UAE government does not come to your aid and you are left to fend for yourself.

The situation in Ras Al Khaimah is no different - infact some of the safeguards such as the use of escrow accounts now making headway in Dubai are not even being talked about in RAK. So for those waiting for delivery of their dream apartment or villa the question we ask is, how safe is your investment? What’s to stop your developer from issuing a similar letter 2 years from now, or saying that those promised balconies or parking spaces are no longer going to be part of the design? How many investors have actually read their contracts?

It would be prudent if investors in the Al Hamra Village were to check their Sale & Purchase Agreement and raise issues of concern sooner rather than later. We are firmly of the opinion that Al Hamra Estates is not immune from the possibility of letting down their investors. Their lack of cutomer care speaks volumes on the ethical code under which they operate. So go on, don't just sit back and dream the dream, take active steps to ensure your dream does not turn into a nightmare.


Sunday, 2 March 2008

The Case of the Elusive Service Charge

If only we all had the luxury of open-ended contracts which developers in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah seem to be able to use with impunity, life would be so much simpler. It would be a lot easier to sell our unwanted gifts on ebay by getting buyers to accept very flexible and loosely worded terms and conditions of purchase, which means buyers would have very little recourse of compensation in the event of items having been ‘creatively’ described.

But there is a problem - on ebay the negative feedback from dissatisfied customers that will build up against our profile will mean that soon nobody will be willing to buy from us. Unfortunately this model does not apply to Al Hamra Estates, as they seem immune to any amount of negative feedback, and continue to market their merchandise with open-ended contracts designed mainly to protect themselves.

The matter of service charges which every investor will eventually have to face up to is just such an example of the use of ‘creative’ contracts by Al Hamra Estates. Investors may recall that very little information was provided on this matter and generally kept low profile even when questions were asked. With information gleaned from various sources, we will however attempt to summarise the possible charges that investors will have to cough up on handover of their unit.

A Single Offshore Company License Fees

The freehold within Al Hamra Village is based on a single offshore company license, plus yearly fees to be paid to the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority. First year charges quoted by Al Hamra early 2007 were AED 2,500 for studio, 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed units, and AED 5,000 for Townhouses, Duplexes and Villas

Project Maintenance Fees (figures for the first year)
These were originally estimated as AED 7 per sq ft for apartments, and now have been increased to AED 10 per sq ft. Figures for Townhouses and semi-detached duplex villas were originally mooted to be AED 520 per month, and for luxury villas type B & C AED to be AED 840 per month

Connection Charge (electricity & water)
AED 1,000 (refundable meter registration) plus AED 300.00 per KVA*(load of your particular unit) - one time payment.

Registration Fee
2% of the purchase amount on completion & full payment of the unit (one time payment to the Land Department of Ras Al Khaimah).

Visa (optional)
AED 4,000.00 per person (includes administrative fee, medical, visa, transportation, etc.

So taking a one-bed, 1000 sq ft apartment costing AED 550,000 as an example, the costs stack up as follows:

Offshore Company License Fee AED 2,500
Maintenance Fees AED 10,000
Connection Charge AED 5,000
registration fee AED 11,000

This brings the total to AED 28,500. The charge has already gone up from AED 7 per sq ft to AED 10 per sq ft, so the total figure for the first years associated charges stacks up to a whopping £4,750 for our friends over the channel (based on an exchange rate of 6.0).

Let's hope the dream that is Al Hamra Village lives up to expectation and is worth the money we will be forking out to pay the service charge.


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The Mystery of the Royal Breeze

In many countries the divide between the rich and poor remains wide as ever, with little prospect those on the upper rungs of the wealth ladder loosening their grip lest that those at the bottom might climb up a little. Whether this is the case in Ras Al Khaimah we leave readers to consider. But one thing is certain; the Al Hamra Village resort has been blessed with the privilege of experiencing the Royal Breeze. Mind you, the prospect of this not happening is quite distinct, given the track record of inaccurate information emanating from Al Hamra Estates.
So what exactly is the current status of the Royal Breeze development at Al Hamra. The best we can do is submit a recent report filed by a poster on the Eye on Worldwide forum, who says that after lots of emails to Al Hamra he eventually managed to get the following basic information:

  • Al Hamra Estates says it does not have the facility to keep customers informed of progress (photos, etc) and this service is not included in their customer care department scope of work.

  • Phase 3 is still under piling stage and construction standard will be similar to the existing Phase 1 & 2 buildings

  • Phase 3 is scheduled to be ready within 3 years

  • Prices of properties purchased in the years 2004-2005 at Al Hamra have risen by 2.5 times

  • Al Hamra Estates never gave, and shall never give any compensation to any party whatsoever, no matter what the reason, this is their policy and they cannot change it.
He was keen to stress that the above information was provided by Al Hamra, and we see no reason to doubt his word. Sadly, it would appear Al Hamra's policy of refusing to communicate with investors continues even when Royalty is involved. Whether The Royal Breeze will be built (and when) continues to be shrouded in mystery. While many investors feel that the way Al Hamra Estates deals with it's customers is unprofessional, some would argue that their behaviour borders on the unethical. We are inclined to agree.

We cannot but help repeat one posters advice: As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, so keep asking and monitoring to ensure you get what you signed up (and paid) for. No use complaining after the event.


Monday, 18 February 2008

Power Supply Crisis

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that keeping customers updated on the progress of investments they have made in your company is of the utmost importance if you are to keep them onboard, and if you want to ensure your company maintains a good profile. This simple fact seems to have eluded those in charge of running Al Hamra Estates. One comment posted by an investor sums up Al Hamra Estates position rather succinctly - “from Al Hamra there is only one reaction: nothing”. Another poster observes “vague suggestions that something will be done in 6 months are no different than the meaningless approximation of project completion dates”.

The latest rumour circulating on discussion forums revolves around the power supply (or rather lack of it) situation at Al Hamra. And rightly so, for without power any progress comes to a grinding halt. Even by UAE standards the delays faced by investors at Al Hamra Village are unprecedented. We can only conclude that somebody has seriously goofed here - either the developer is not liaising properly with the government regarding energy supplies or the government has not been forthcoming or knowledgeable about its own resources. In many countries there would be calls to instigate investigation into incompetency, corruption, etc. if such a thing was to happen.

We can only speculate (in the absence of any information from Al Hamra Estates) that in the short term, temporary solutions such as the use of water borne generators may be the answer. In the long term, there is undoubtedly an urgent need for new power plants to meet the growing demand for energy in RAK. Such facilities are unlikely to be ready until about the time Royal Breeze is completed, 3 or more years from now. In any case, it would it at least 18 months before any new plants could be built and in operation.

Some investors are saying that problems with FEWA will be resolved soon, even within the next 3 to 6 months. Others however are of the opinion that because of the large number of new developments in RAK, Al Hamra Estates is actually running out of energy, and the project may have to abandoned! A recent report by Coffee on the Eye on Worldwide forum may be of interest to investors:

Have just returned from a weekend at Al Hamra and understand that we may still be looking at several months before power is connected. Meantime whilst Management will have us believe that A & B blocks are completed and only awaiting service supplies, I took a wander and see that some ground floor apartments still have cables hanging from ceiling and walls and are nowhere near complete and no signs over the last couple of months of any work going on in these blocks - this may suggest that we really are still a long way off handover. Also on my walkabout I spotted that transformers and water units have been installed in the maintenance building alongside buildings B & C - so at least when FEWA have the supplies Al Hamra are seemingly in a position to move the supply into the buildings, which until very recently they were not! There seem to be markers going into the ground for the siting of Royal Breeze apartments, and again no sign of any physical construction work going on in these areas.

To finish off, since he has put it so well we cannot refrain from sharing this posters final comment:

...if only Management would share the truth with us all it would make the waiting much easier and stop these rumours which help nobody.......


Sunday, 17 February 2008

Royal Breeze showcased at the Burj Al Arab

Our man in Dubai was present at the recent ‘showcasing’ of the Royal Breeze apartments at the Burj Al Arab on 28/29 Jan 2008. Whilst not definitive by any account, nevertheless we present his findings during a chat with one of the the sales managers there. Potential investors are cautioned that Al Hamra Estates has a history of lack of communication, and often the information given is of the ‘flexible’ or changeable variety (such as the ever shifting handover dates).

When phase III including RB will be completed?
I got three different answers from three different agents working for Alhamra: end of 2009, July 2010 and early 2011. However the manager who I spoke to said July 2010?

What do you sell today?
RB 4, RB 6, RB8 and apartments in Alhamra Palace Hotel.

Was it successful?
Yes we sold around 160 units within 48 hours.

When construction will be started?
They have already started the construction

Would RB1-3 be completed ahead of RB 4-8?
Yes we will start with three buildings first (RB1-3)? No I am not sure, just drop me an email and I’ll find out for you..!???

Would be any constructions on the beach side?
Yes it will be as plots on the sea side are own by local people; nevertheless the RAK government will not given any plan for tower constructions on the sea side, perhaps G+2?

Would RB have a private beach?
The RB would have a private beach around 1000 Sq M opposite RB6-7.

Any plan for man made island?
Yes the start of the trunk will be next to the RB’s private beach opposite the Road.

So we might see towers rising from the island?
It is not decided yet if we would start to sell plots to developers or develop them ourselves.

Would car park area and terrace be included in management fees?
No only build up area and balcony.

Courtesy of a post by Cyrus on Eye on Worldwide forum


Friday, 15 February 2008

Beach Facility at Al Hamra Village?

The more laid back amongst us may be inclined to take for granted the facility of a free and private beach at Al Hamra Village. Let's face it, we may at this very moment be dreaming of lazing on the beach deckchair, sipping the amber nectar with the warm evening sun providing a soothing thermal massage. Such an essential facility could be located at two possible sites; a) at the lagoon in the vicinity of the Marina blocks, and b) at the sea front area (separated from the Al Hamra Village by a wide open plot of land not owned by Al Hamra)

Click to enlargeThe direct beach access at the lagoon near the Marina blocks should provide a nice venue for sun and sea bathers, with little in the way of waves. However, there may be issues around cleanliness due to the surrounding Al Hamra development, the marina berths and possible heavy rain. Whether this will be a nice beach area to chill out remains to be seen.

In our opinion the large stretch of beach at the sea front should be reserved for the residents of Al Hamra, but Al Hamra Estates have only indicated that an area located at the far end of the Royal Breeze (away from the lagoon and marina) might be set aside for the exclusive use of residents. This assertion has yet to be depicted in any official Al Hamra literature. It would be unwise for prospective investors to assume that the entire Al Hamra development is fronted by a massive sea-side beach.

The reality of the current situation is that investors in Al Hamra are totally in the dark as to beach access facilty, if any. Indeed, it would not be unkind to say that Al Hamra Estates has done a sterling job in keeping it’s customers in the dark on this issue, even when pressed for answers.

Let us hope that the natural evolution of the Al Hamra project will eventually lead to full sea front beach access as the only sensible option. Perhaps if investors continue to raise their concerns on this matter, Al Hamra Estates (and whoever owns the sea front plot) may come around to seeing the wisdom of making the sea front an essential part of the development.

(adapted from a post by upandhi on Eye On Worldwide forum)


Monday, 11 February 2008

Make Your Voice Heard

Below is an initial draft of a letter that will be sent to the top bods in RAK. Investors in the Al Hamra Resort project are urged to leave their suggestions for amendments/additions/deletions to this letter by way of comments (link below), before the final draft is sent.

As investors in the Al Hamra project we are looking forward to enjoying the excellent lifestyle, facilities and weather once the units are completed and handed over. Our positive outlook and patience is mixed with a feeling of extreme frustration when comes to getting information, or any sort of customer service from Al Hamra Estates (AHE).

Why should we have to rely on fellow investors who have been able to visit the project site for updates? Why should we have to discuss the progress of Al Hamra based on rumours? Why is Al Hamra so reluctant to speak to it’s customers? A typical response from AHE is that “we do not have for the moment this facility and this kind of service [customer service]”. For such a big company as Al Hamra Estates, it is ludicrous to suggest that they do not have the manpower, expertise on finances to communicate with customers on the progress of the project.

At the recent RAK Conference on 27 Jan 2008, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, said that Governments should become models for the private sector by taking efficiency and competitiveness to new heights. We would add that “providing excellent customer service” is another key principle for role models to adopt. AHE cannot be exempt from this drive towards efficiency, competitiveness and excellent customer service.

Despite our reservations, we still remain optimistic about Al Hamra project, and look forward to enjoying the fruits of our investment. We just wish that AHE saw it’s investors as integral to the project, and communicated with us as such.

We would like you to look into AHE communication policy with customers and their lack of customer service, in particular ensure that AHE
  • keep customers informed of progress and respond to customer questions

  • take responsibility to ensure that any reseller it hires give clients accurate information, and keep them informed of progress

  • does not blame resellers (such as Global Estates) for its own failure to keep customers updated. After all, resellers can only provide information supplied by AHE

  • take immediate steps to dispel the impression of the vast majority of investors that AHE does not wish to engage with it’s customers in any way, and customer care is at the bottom of it's agenda.

  • make excellent customer service a top priority

  • take seriously any grievance investors may have with regard to poor customer service

  • set up an Investors Discussion Forum, or take note of the issues being discussed on public internet forums by investors so that investors don’t have to speculate on discussion forums as to what is happening with the project

  • send out an regular progress update email, with photos if possible to investors

  • have a clear and fair policy on compensation any breach such as delays in the completion date, or reduction in finish quality
We will continue to insist for that Al Hamra Estates deal with us in a honest fair and customer friendly way, and deliver what was agreed in the contract.