By Staff writer
Owners still unsure when repairs will be carried out on Dubai tower in JLT, 2 years on from fire
The cost of repairing the fire-damaged Tamweel Tower has reached $21.2 million (AED78 million) according to the latest assessment carried out.
Two years on from the fire that partially gutted the 34-storey tower, the 160-odd property owners are still no further to establishing when the repair work will be carried out, according to a report in Gulf News.
The establishment of the Tamweel Tower Owners Association, complete with an escrow account under its name approved by RERA, appeared to have paved the way for significant progress. However, no funds have been released to fund the repair and according to Arab Orient Insurance – insurers of the building - technicalities in the issue have caused the delay.
“For two years, we did not know who we can deal with in order to process the claim. Tamweel was not prepared to get involved in the claim although the policy has been issued under their name and instructions,” an official from Arab Orient Insurance told Gulf News via email.
The insurers said it requires a formal authorisation from individual owners to appoint the association as the owners’ legal representative.
The repair cost of the building was first estimated at $13.6 million (AED50 million) in July this year, but according to the report, this has now increased to $21.2 million.
A new loss adjuster has been appointed to survey the cost of the fire damage, which was caused by a discarded cigarette that fell into a pile of waste.
Owners who financed their property purchase with a loan from finance company Tamweel have had the accounts suspended since the fire.
“Following the fire, as a goodwill gesture, Tamweel went to great lengths to support homeowners, including suspending the collection of monthly instalments for customers whose homes in Tamweel Tower were financed by the company. In fact, we are still not charging owners for these payments,” a spokesperson told Gulf News.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Im am an owner in Tamweel Tower, have quietly watched the process for 2 years and can confidently state that the Insurance company is being unfair at present time.
How does it matter if they didnt know whom to pay the money to, earlier. They didnt have to pay any money until this point in time. This is the first freehold fire in the city and the owners association has worked tremendously hard, in unchartered waters, towards the restoration of the tower.
The actions of the insurance company just reinforce people's hesitation to invest in the region.
The insurance company, has stalled the entire process of restoration at the very last minute. Just as all the work with regards to damage assessment, registration of the owners assoc, tendering of the bid, and final quotes from contractors was completed, the insurance company now claims that they donâ€™t know who to pay out to. They have been involved in every step of the process. They havenâ€™t raised this issue even once for the past 2 years. Furthermore, the escalation in cost of repairs is baseless. The initial estimate was never verified by any contractor. There was only one claim submitted after careful review of the entire scope of work. This is a clear delay tactic to prolong payment of the claim, whilst 160 homeowners continue to suffer with no end in sight.
These situations are always ignored by the 'hastey investor' because they never think these events will ever happen to them. If you actually forgot about the money aspect of Dubai property...sat back and really drilled down into what ownership protection, Laws etc were in place to 'protect' your investment...it is very difficult to argue why anyone would want property in Dubai. The prospect of 'wealth' from property blinds all in the beginning and the end.
There is a banking term from old that goes something like:
"The first rule of investment...is to protect your investment"
How many could truly argue their property investment has adequate protection given the uncertainty of Dubai property Law. History speaks for itself and is there for all to see. Nothing substantial has changed...yet it is ignored by many.
There is nothing 'different' this time than the last. Is it any wonder history repeats itself? We appear to have the memories of a 'gummy fish'!