Bahrain firm vows April delivery for homes
Manama, December 7, 2011
Bahrain-based developer Mega Real Estate has vowed to complete work on a delayed apartment block in the Juffair area of the kingdom in the next four months and deliver by April at the very latest.
Our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported on Sunday that buyers who invested in the Juffair Views project were still waiting for their new homes more than two years after they were supposed to be ready.
Officials told the GDN that it was 90 to 95 per cent complete and only fixtures and fittings were unfinished.
They claimed the delay was due to materials being sourced from China with the original contractor being unable to complete the work due to manpower issues.
However, they said they were now in the process of shortlisting other companies to finish the work.
"The delays are because we are waiting for materials and are in the process of changing the construction company," Mega Holdings Company chief executive officer Ebrahim Al Shaibeh told the GDN.
"We have shortlisted a few construction companies and very soon we will engage them and next month work will start. I'm expecting the project to be handed over between February and April.
"One thing that should be added is that Bahrain went through a big turmoil with the economic crisis and the political situation. This affected many developments in the country and this should also be taken into consideration."
Mega Real Estate took over the project from Durrat Al Bahrain about two years ago and, according to the original contract, the apartments were supposed to be handed over in June 2009.
The delays have prompted some buyers to take legal action, with some demanding their money back and others complaining they have not received the compensation they are entitled to.
They claim they should have been paid BD10 ($26.5) per day since December 2009 until the apartments are delivered.
However, Al Shaibeh argued the company was not responsible for paying charges for late delivery since that clause was agreed by the previous developer.
"The liquidation charges were agreed by the previous developers, they were the ones that signed this," said Al Shaibeh. "Any commitment we have with the tenants we will fulfil, but if it was agreed by the previous developer we can't."
Al Shaibeh said investors who didn't want to wait for their apartments could get a 50 per cent refund on what they had paid so far.
He revealed about 15 people had already taken the refund, the latest on November 1, and accused people of only wanting their cash back because of a slump in Bahrain's property market.
"Some who bought want their money back because the market has gone down and they have to leave Bahrain," he said.
"With those people I have paid them back 50 per cent of their money. If the people don't want to wait for their apartment then they can take 50 per cent of what they paid.
"Some people only want their money back because there are many developers offering affordable houses and instead of an apartment for BD80,000, they can get a house with a garden for the same price."
A group of Bahraini and foreign investors previously told the GDN that some had paid 60 per cent to 100 per cent for their apartments and now wanted a full refund and compensation because of the delays.
However, Al Shaibeh claimed the majority of buyers had only paid between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of their actual cost.
He was speaking to the GDN during a meeting at the headquarters of Mega Real Estate, at which two buyers - Bahrainis Mahmood Abdul Nabi and Ahmed Ghuloom - said they were happy to wait.
"I'm sure they will finish the project," said Ghuloom.
Juffair Views was earlier advertised in the GDN as a 26-storey seafront development located in Juffair.
The development, estimated to cost $15 million to construct, offered one and two-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom penthouse. – TradeArabia News Service