Add your Voice to this Letter

Getting together and mobilising into group action is easier said than done. Often it is easier to sit on the side-lines and let yourself believe that others will take up the fight on your behalf.

Perhaps the time has come to jolt oneself out of the dazed trance and lift one’s head and shoulders in preparation for some proactive and affirmative action. Let us take the first step on this journey to creating alliances in high places and letting Al Hamra Estates realise that they can no longer walk roughshod over us whilst delivering poor service and charging us extortionate fees.

So lift up your hand, and click on this link to view the proposed letter to Al Hamra Estates.

Comments/suggestions/additions to the draft letter are welcome, as are suggestions on the logistics on how all owners and residents sign the letter before it is sent out.

As somebody said, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know.”

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Residents attend Homeowners meeting in large numbers

Despite the short notice and lack of proper communication, the recent Homeowners meeting  planned by Al Hamra Estates was attended by over 300 people. Al Hamra Estates were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of questions, concerns, criticisms and suggestions from those present. This meant that no nominations were made and no voting took place.

It appears the plan now is to ask owners to submit nominations with a view to setting up a  new meeting for voting to take place. Let us hope that Al Hamra communicate professionally and in a timely manner to inform them of the names of the nominees, and of the details of the next meeting. If owners are lucky, they might just receive a report from the current meeting!

Homeowners Meeting, Sat 5th Oct 2012, 10.00am at Al Hamra Convention Centre

Homeowners Meeting, Sat 5th Oct 2012, 10.00am at Al Hamra Convention Centre

RB Owners Step up Campaign

Reports suggest that the approach taken by Al Hamra Estates in dealing with concerns raised by investors amounts to ignoring them or at the best giving half-truths. In the absence of clear answers and any official confirmations regarding promised facilities, a growing body of investors appear to be uniting under 1alhamravillage@gmail.com, with a view to taking up their concerns to the highest authorities in RAK

RB Beach Joke by Ranjan
One of the options being looked at by the Group is that of invoking Federal law no 5 of 1985 relating to civil transactions (‘civil code’); here is an extract

This law contains more broadly applicable remedies for deception or cheating which specifically enable a duped customer to refuse to proceed with the contract for the goods or services advertised. Main articles:

●   Article 185 – Misrepresentation is when one of the two contracting parties deceives the other by means of trickery of word or deed which leads the other to consent to what he would otherwise have not consented to

●   Article 186 – Deliberate silence concerning a fact or set of circumstances shall be deemed to be a misrepresentation if it is proved that the person misled would not have made the contract had they been aware of that fact or set of circumstances

●   Article 187 – If one of the contracting parties makes a misrepresentation to the other and it transpires the contract was concluded by a gross cheat, the person so misled may cancel the contract Under Article 129 “one of the necessary elements for the making of a contract are that (a) the two parties to the contract should agree upon the essential elements” – that is that the parties should consent. Under the law, misrepresentation falls under the heading “defects in consent” which means that it robs the contractual relationship of one of its essential elements. It follows under Article 210 that where a contract is “lacking in the elements of a contract …” it is deemed “void” and such contract “shall be of no effect and shall not be capable of being rectified by consent”. Thus misrepresentation is treated as a defect in consent rendering the contract void

●   Article 285 – If a person deceives another he shall be liable to make good the harm resulting from that deception [source]

Article (7) of Sale & Purchase Agreement

Vendor’s Obligations, Warranties, Rights

7.1    The Vendor undertakes that the construction of the Apartment shall be in compliance with the drawings and specifications shown on schedules (A) and (B), building codes, rules, regulations and laws in force in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and UAE. Moreover, subject to the Vendor’s right provided for in Art.(13) herein below, all materials and equipment shall be new and in conformity with the specifications mentioned in Schedule(B) annexed hereto.

7.2    Unless the Parties agreed otherwise, the Vendor undertakes to hand over the possession of the Apartment to the Purchaser within a period of 36 months as from the date of signing this Agreement (Date of Completion).

7.3    The Vendor shall remain strictly liable for a period of one (1) year from the Completion Date to repair or replace any defective material, fittings and fixtures which shall include mechanical, plumbing, air conditioning or electrical works.

7.4    The Vendor hereby assigns to the Purchaser all benefits the Vendor holds, or may in the future hold, in and to any warranties that attach to the Apartment or any of the equipment, fittings or fixtures that are incorporated thereinto.

7.5     The Vendor shall deliver the Apartment to the Purchaser clean and ready for occupancy.

7.6     The Vendor shall construct the infrastructure of the Village including roads, lighting, walkways and landscaping, substantively, in accordance with the Vendor’s overall development plan for infrastructure of the Village.

7.7    The Vendor represents that he obtained and currently holds all permits, licenses, approvals and authorizations which are required under the applicable laws, rules and regulations, in order to own, dispose of the Apartment in any way whatsoever, and no such permit, license, approval or authorization restricts the Vendor from selling or otherwise transferring to Purchaser the Vendor’s interest in the Apartment.

Royal Breeze Handover Fiasco

At long last investors in Royal Breeze buildings 1 and 3 have received letters from Al Hamra Real Estate Development, confirming handover dates ranging from October to November. It seems that a management fee of about 10AED per sq ft is being applied (it is not clear if the car parking space is used in calculating the charge), and there is a one off water and electricity connection charge of 1200AED per KWA as well as a one off water meter refundable deposit of 1000AED. In addition, some owners are being asked to pay a penalty charge as well.

Owners are advised to carefully read their contracts to check if Al Hmara Real Estates is delivering the ‘product’ to specification, as in our view the buildings and infrastructure are far from complete, and the handover process is a fiasco designed by Al Hamra Estates to protect themselves from legal action by unsatisfied owners. Why else would Al Hamra Real Estates rush to handover units that are incomplete, with roads and communal facilities such as a beach area and gym either non-existent or not ready?

In keeping with their track record of abysmal customer service and lack of communication with investors, Al Hamra Real Estates has provided no information on the burning issue of the promised beach for owners, no information on what white goods (or other furniture) will be supplied, no information on the readiness of the infrastructure (such as roads, pools and gym), no photos have been provided, and no help for the purchase of furniture and equipment. It would seem that the main aim seems is to rush (maybe even bully) owners into accepting units that are far from ready with a lack of infrastructure and facilities.

We earnestly hope to be proven wrong in our assessment of the handover fiasco; let’s wait to hear from owners who are about take possession of their units. In the meanwhile we can only ask Al Hamra Real Estates not treat their customers as pieces on a chessboard, be honest and transparent with us and give us excellent customer service and support in this exciting time of taking possession of our units.

Recent Comments from Marina Residents

Some comments posted on EyeOnWorldwide forum:

Just spent my first weekend in my new apartment …… the place is fantastic, walking out of the apartment going down to the marina jumping onto a jet ski and going for a blast was excellent.

Had a wee chat with the marina manager and he seems like a nice bloke, had a walk around the marina club and met the manager there or “captain” as he likes to be called he assured me that the place would be open this weekend so I guess I will have to go there for a bit of a bevvy.

All in all it’s been well worth the wait. Mr B Read the rest of this entry »

Beach Access Issue

Letter to Al Hamra Estates, 20/6/2009

Dear Mr Mathew,

Following on from your earlier replies and our telephone conversation on 17th January 2009, we are very keen to continue with our dialogue with Al Hamra Estates (AHE) in order to stay abreast of developments and construction progress. We hope that our earlier request for a regular bi-monthly construction update for RB investors is being given serious consideration by AHE.

We are appreciative that you personally acknowledged the importance of good customer service for AHE, and were encouraged by your refreshing willingness to listen to our concerns regarding the development. We were also pleased with your plans to install cameras on the site to allow investors get some idea of construction progress.

The purchase of our apartment(s) was heavily influenced by assurances in all RB sales and publicity literature that the beach area in front of the RB buildings was to be accessible for the use of RB residents (stated or implied). Investors were clearly led to believe that they were buying into the Al Hamra Village resort package, which included facilities such as beach access, gym, and swimming facilities at no additional cost. Here, for example is what Global Estates (who are selling RB units) have to say on their current website

“It’s not just any beach – it’s your beach. As a resident of The Royal Breeze you’ll be privileged to enjoy access to one of the last remaining private beaches in all of the Emirates. Whether it’s a morning dip, an afternoon sunbathe, or a romantic sunset stroll, you just walk out your gate and there you are. You’re surrounded by miles of ivory-white sand, brushed by balmy breezes from the Arabian Gulf and tempted by its clear, warm waters.

At the Royal Breeze, you will enjoy a private beach on the Arabian Gulf, a links-style championship golf course, private marina, onsite destination shopping mall and an onsite 7-star resort hotel.” http://www.royalbreeze.com/

In various communications, AHE has also confirmed that RB residents will have the use of an extensive and exclusive beach area, though no exact details have been provided to date. Despite many requests for clarification, it is extremely upsetting and worrying to learn that the question of the beach area for the use of Royal Breeze residents remains unresolved. It is our understanding that AHE is considering purchasing a section of the beach in front of the RB buildings for the exclusive use of RB residents; we have also been advised that a section of the beach area at the base of Dana Island may be reserved for RB residents.

Given that beach access (and facilities) is such an essential component of the package and lifestyle we purchased from AHE, and given the uncertainty of the Dana Island project, can you please confirm that a) RB residents will have use of an private beach area, and b) provide details of the location of this dedicated beach area. It is disappointing that whilst many of us have now paid up to 70% of the purchase price and the project is now over three years into the launch, no concrete information on details of the beach area have been provided.

We are, however confident that AHE will not let us down, and fully intends to deliver the promised resort with all the promised facilities, including the beach area for the RB. It seems inconceivable that residents can be denied beach access in after all what a 5 star beach resort. We are heartened by the many positive comments from owners whose Marina apartments have been (or are currently being) handed over. To avoid further investor worry and misunderstanding we request that you confirm the existence of a beach area for RB residents as a matter of urgency.

The Al Hamra Investors Group remains committed to playing it’s part in ensuring the success of the project, and will do all it can to promote the resort. We very much hope we can avoid the need to contact the RAK authorities if the beach area were not to be provided.

There are other questions / points on which we would like more information, and would appreciated any updates on the following:

  • What is the current position of the Dana Island project?
  • A detailed construction progress report on RB, with photos
  • What is the status of proposed webcam on RB site?
  • Is expected completion date for the RB Dec 2009 – Jun 2010 still valid?
  • Please provide further details of standard of finish, fixtures and fittings, maintenance charges, etc
  • What health / fitness facilities (such as sauna and fitness equipment) will be available for the use of RB residents?
  • Please give an update on the entitlement to resident visas (as stated in the original contract)
  • Will RB residents have access to any part of the golf course, and on what basis?
  • Will RB residents be able to avail from the facilities of the Al Hamra Fort hotel? If there is a cost involved, please give details?
  • Please provide further info about the proposed construction of the project by HH Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi opposite the Marina development

As always, we would like to re-iterate that we want to maintain constructive dialogue with AHE, and will always work with you to achieve a resort that we can all be proud of, be happy with, and enjoy living at.

Looking forward to your reply.

Construction Update

Thanks to Denny for the following update (sent by Al Hamra on 30/3/2009):

Dear Customer,

We take great pleasure in informing you that Marina Building E, F, G & H are nearing completion and we have appended details of the pending tasks and estimated handover dates for each of the buildings, for your perusal. We shall write to you soon again for the handover of your property. This mail is just to prepare you for the handover. We have already handed over 200 town houses and Marina, A to D apartments.

Building Pending Tasks Estimated handover
Marina E Final Testing/inspection; painting 30/4/2009
Marina F commissioning of electricity, A/C, testing, inspection and final painting 5/6/2009
Marina G commissioning of electricity, A/C, testing, inspection and final painting 5/7/2009
Marina H Wood joinery, aluminum work, commissioning of electricity, A/C, testing, inspection and final painting. (Currently painting is being done) 5/9/2009

Kindly make necessary arrangements for finances, interior designing, etc.

We take great pride in informing you that the Al Hamra Mall is functional now and we have also attached details of the pending task of the Marina Club House and the completion schedule. We shall keep you updated about the other developments, but in the meantime should you need any more information, please do get in touch with us.

We also take this opportunity to reiterate that we value your patronage and look forward to a long standing relationship which is mutually beneficial.

Best Regards

Charges Payable on Handover

Assuming you bought an apartment with the following details:

Purchase Price AED 550,000
Built up area of 900 sq ft (excluding parking)
Maintenance Charge of AED 10 per sq ft
Exchange Rate is £1 = AED 5.5

You can expect the following additional payment on handover:

Maintenance Charges for First Year AED 9,000 £1,636
Fewa connection charges AED 8,500 £1,546
Electriicty meter deposit AED 1,000 £181
Registration land deposit (2% of original price) AED 11,000 £2,000
Total AED 29,500 £5,363

The Fewa connection charge and electricity meter deposit charge may vary depending on the type and size of unit you own.

Investors have expressed concern over the large Fewa connection charge, as they feel this was included in the purchase price.

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