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.”

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.

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 »

Towards Better Communication

We received a phone call from John Mathew on 17th January in response to our recent follow up letter.  It was a pleasant surprise that the manager of Corporate Strategy & Development at Al Hamra Estates took the trouble to telephone, even though it was mainly to offer reassurance and solace, rather than agreeing to change the terms of the payment schedule for the Royal Breeze.

During the conversation John Mathew stated that he

    • acknowledged the importance of good customer service, and said he was glad that we were raising our concerns with Al Hamra Estates.
    • was going to raise our request for the revised payment schedule with management.  He also stressed that he felt it was unlikely there would be any change.
    • will be looking to install two cameras on the site to allow us get some idea of construction progress.
    • stated that there was a late delivery clause in place with the companies doing the construction, and that this was going to be rigorously enforced to keep construction on track.
    • was looking to send out a construction progress update to all Royal Breeze investors in the near future.

Whilst the phone call appears to more of a damage limitation exercise, nevertheless it is encouraging to see that Al Hamra Estates is making some effort to offer us better service.

Let us continue with our efforts to secure better communication and excellent customer service from Al Hamra Estates.  As more investors join the group it will become more difficult for Al Hamra Estates to ignore our concerns…..

Follow Up Letter

To: John Mathew, Manager Corporate Strategy & Development, Al Hamra Estates

Dear Mr Mathew,

Whilst it is reassuring to know that work on RB1 and RB2 has started, we are disappointed with the level of detail in your progress report.  From your statement that the ‘work is in full swing on the structures of RB 1 & 2’, we are still none the wiser – does this mean the walls are going up, or that the foundation been completed, or that level 1 has been reached, etc? We would greatly appreciate a more detailed progress report with photos.

We understand that projects are unavoidably affected by issues around resourcing of materials, workforce shortages, power supply issues, etc.  Our only request is that if there are changes in design, timescales, facilities in the resort, etc. that we be kept fully informed, rather than left wondering what is happening with the development. Many of us who purchased our units over 2 years ago were led to believe that completion would be end of 2008.  During further correspondence with Omar Obeid in Jan 2008 we were told that ‘the expected completion date for the Royal Breeze buildings will be between Dec 2009 and Jun 2010’ by him.  We are now being told that completion may not happen till the end of 2010.

We would also like to remind you that many of us have already paid 60% of the purchase price, with another 10% being due at the end of this month.  We feel that this 60% payment should be more than sufficient to pay for any work on RB1 and RB2 at this early stage of the construction.  Many of us are struggling to make the next payment due to the financial downturn, so would like to repeat our request that 50% (or 40% for those who have already paid 60%) be payable on completion.  We would be grateful if you are able to make a strong representation on our behalf to the General Manager, Romain Felber asking that the payment schedule be revised to these terms.  We hope Al Hamra Estates will look favourably on our request.

One question that we would like answered urgently is that if an investor is unable to make the next payment for the Royal Breeze, what the consequences are, and what understanding / help Al Hamra Estates will offer in such circumstances, given the global financial crisis.

We have many further questions that we would like you to address, such as standard of finish, fixtures and fittings, maintenance charges, etc.  If you are agreeable, we would like to suggest setting up a regular communication with you, perhaps once a month or bimonthly, which would give us the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns and make suggestions as a group.  Be reassured that we would endeavour to make this communication professional and constructive and avoid generating any bad publicity.

In conclusion, we would be grateful for a more detailed progress report, an agreement to amend the payment schedule as requested, and consideration of our request for a regular communication.

We look forward to your reply.