Thursday, August 19, 2010

Al Mazaya Kuwait - The Villa Project Dubai

When Global floated the subsequently "ill-fated" AlThourayia Project Management Company to invest in Mazaya Saudi Arabia, it noted on page 25 in the Private Placement Memorandum that one of the attractive features of that transaction was the involvement of Mazaya Holding (in which Global has presciently acquired a stake earlier, though Global's stake in Mazaya was not mentioned directly in the PPM):
Mazaya Saudi will be positioned to leverage on Mazaya Holding’s competitive market edge, an absolute advantage against competition. As a new entity, Mazaya Saudi will enter the real estate market backed by Mazaya Holding’s respective expertise. The Company will gain from Mazaya Holding’s breadth of practice,  which has materialized through the 18 projects Mazaya Holding has on hand. Such projects range from megascale residential communities, to high rise mixed-use towers, to BOT projects. Mazaya Saudi will benefit from the know-how of Mazaya Holding, and will seek to develop similar scale projects, which shall be backed by Mazaya Holding’s vigorous methodology.
One of the projects touted as evidencing Al Mazaya's absolute advantage (and if you know the Economics definition between comparative and absolute advantage, you'll know just how remarkable a claim that is) was The Villa Project in Dubai, which involved the construction of 500 villas scheduled for completion in mid 2009. (PPM Page 28).

Gulf News recently ran an update on the project's progress.
The villas were to have a garage and vary in size starting from four bedrooms. "The whole attraction for the project was that you could customise the villas with swimming pools and the landscaping would be included in the fee. We were promised courtyards, water features, a school, mosques, shops and a medical centre, but there is none of that," said the businessman.

According to him, the original location for the development was supposed to be near Global Village, but it was moved by seven kilometres to the current location.

"The big thing at the moment is that [Al] Mazaya are expecting us to pay the Dh25,500 cost of connecting the sewage and Dewa [Dubai Electricity and Water Authority] lines even though its not our responsibility, that's the job of the developer. The frustrating thing is that my neighbour who has Dubai Properties as the developer doesn't have to pay."

The businessman had bought his villa in 2005. "It does say in the contract that they have leeway of a year on completion, but even with that it's two years behind schedule and most of us are still paying rent when we should have moved in," he said.

Other issues concern the poor workmanship and finishing, no boundary demarcation, landscaping or community facilities.
These are some rather serious charges.  But AlMazaya is not shy about taking responsibility for its actions as this quote from the CEO of Al Mazaya Dubai evidences:
"The problems with ‘The Villa' have been due to circumstances beyond our control," he said.
It seems even an  absolute advantage cannot overcome the actions of others.  Unclear if the global financial crisis (lower case "g" on global) is the culprit here.

And a tip of AA's massive tarbouche to Laocowboy2 for calling this article to my attention.


Laocowboy2 said...

The Gulf News article has attracted a number of comments from victims. Rather than cut and paste excerpts, here is the link

A horror story - and what can happen when you buy off-plan.

Abu 'Arqala said...


Shocking but not unexpected.

Once I had a fairly "neat" project (main shareholders from "up North"), took it to a good client "down South".

He was highly interested - project made a lot of sense. When we discussed business partners and I disclosed the main shareholders, his interest waned. He gave me a look like I was crazy saying "I don't do business with ...., you can't trust them."