Banks blamed for Bahrain project delay
Manama, May 9, 2012
Developers of a major residential project in Bahrain that is more than two years behind schedule have blamed banks' reluctance to finance the development, along with buyers defaulting on payments, for the delay.
Marina Reef, located behind the Bahrain Financial Harbour on the prestigious Reef Island, was supposed to be finished in April 2010.
It is described on one website as 'a place of serenity... and a place of endless dreams', but buyers who shelled out hundreds of thousands of dinars are still waiting to move into their new homes and some are now demanding their money back.
Marina Reef Real Estate Development, which is responsible for the sale of properties at the site, said the global financial crisis, regional turmoil over the past year and frustrated buyers refusing to pay outstanding balances had compounded problems.
'The global financial crisis coupled with the recent regional turmoil had negatively affected the real estate market,' the company said in a statement to our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
'Unfortunately, some of the buyers failed to settle their commitments with us, which added to the financial strain - resulting in contractors slowing down the construction work.
'Furthermore, the continuing unrest in Bahrain since February 2011 has made it extremely difficult for timely handing over (of) the apartments.'
The firm said the project was now 75 per cent complete and claimed it was exerting serious efforts to finalise the financing that would allow construction work to resume.
It said once that happened it would take another six months to complete.
'The company is also following with the defaulting buyers for payment of due instalments,' it added. 'We require an additional period of six months once mobilisation resumes.'
In its statement, Marina Reef Real Estate Development, said it had invested 'huge amount of funds' in the project and was hoping to secure the funding that would allow it to finish it in a matter of weeks.
'The company is committed to successfully delivering this prestigious project,' it said.
'All the buyers have been regularly updated through e-mails and newsletters sent on a monthly basis revealing the current developments.
'Buyers' queries through telephone calls and their personal visits to our offices are being handled by our customer relationship managers and the directors of the company personally involve themselves in meeting the buyers.'
Described as 'a once in a lifetime opportunity to make your dreams of luxurious living come true', Marina Reef consists of 165 luxury apartments with one or two bedrooms.
When it was announced the unit prices started at around BD80,000 ($212,200) and the project cost was BD25 million.
The Marina Reef Real Estate Development is listed on the Industry and Commerce Ministry's website as having BD3.6 million authorised capital, issued capital and capital in cash. Ithmaar Bank is one of the company founders with a 51 per cent stake. – TradeArabia News Service