Can Damac really predict the future?

Dubai developer is unnecessarily putting its reputation on the line with a guarantee of no delays, says Courtney Trenwith
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 26 Jun 2013 09:54 AM

Damac’s managing director Ziad El Chaar is one brave man. Not because he has 66 hotel and residential developments on the go in the Middle East and Africa but because he’s guaranteed they will be delivered on time, with no exceptions.

Why would anyone pro-actively make such a statement in a city and a world that has so recently proven to be highly volatile?

"It can't just be announcements; it is critically important to show action and consistent progress,” El Chaar said in a statement on Monday, adding that delivery timelines were now one of the top three deciding factors for buyers.

A brave comment from a company that has been successfully sued for failing to deliver its Executive Bay development in Business Bay and was embarrassed in 2011 when buyers of Damac’s stalled Palm Springs development attempted to protest outside Harrod’s in London with leaflets headlined ‘I would not buy from Damac again’.

No one predicted the 2008-09 global financial crisis and no one can predict another one, even to a lesser degree. This region also has shown there are unpredictable political risks, while who’s to say one of its partners - Versace, Vendi, Trump or Paramount Hotels and Resorts - will be able to live up their side of the deal?

And can El Chaar be sure investors will continue to have the appetite to put their money into off-plan projects?

With completion dates as far as a decade away, there is plenty of time for hiccups. Even if all the probabilities point towards success, there is always the chance that something will go wrong and completely ignoring that seems simply misguided.

El Chaar has put his reputation, and that of his company, on the line for no understandable reason.

I’m not saying he can’t do it, but without a crystal ball why guarantee that you can?

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.