By Tom Arnold
EXCLUSIVE: Group says it will withhold funds until project concerns are allayed.
Disgruntled investors in Tameer Towers are planning to withhold payments for the Abu Dhabi project in protest at, what they claim is, a lack of progress on the AED6bn ($1.64bn) development.
The Tameer Towers Group, which represents around 50 investors with a combined investment of AED 100m in the project, have accused developer Tameer Holding Investment of becoming increasingly aggressive in payment demands for its flagship scheme.
They claim the Dubai-based company has issued threats of cancellations to investors as part of new payment schedules issued without warning.
In a strongly-worded letter the group plans to send to Tameer president Federico Tauber, it says it will “not tolerate the lack of transparency, lack of communication, lack of progress and unreasonable demands of Tameer.”
The new payment schedules, the group says, propose different completion dates of units, with those investors opting to stay on the existing plan facing a delay to completion exceeding that allowed in their contract.
“We believe Tameer is operating in a wholly unfair manner, bullying investors into submission on the basis of the contractual terms and conditions but without acknowledgement of the fact that they've made no progress on site,” one angry investor told Arabian Business.
The letter informs Tauber the group plans to suspend further payment of installments for the project until its concerns were allayed.
In a statement to Arabian Business, Tameer confirmed it was committed to the project, with contractors now working on the development’s sub-structure following completion of the enabling works and foundations.
It said in recent weeks it had issued “lean” payment plans “stretching over the project timeframe” in response to customer requests to pay according to the development of the scheme.
In addition, it said it had decided to waive the penalty clause incurred so far by investors for late payments.
Tameer said it had assigned a dedicated company representative to communicate with each of its clients.
Tameer Towers Group, which includes doctors, architects, engineers, pilots, directors, lawyers and construction managers, said it was receiving guidance from legal advisors and could take legal action if its anxieties were not addressed.
Uncertainty had surrounded the development of Tameer Towers, which will form the focal point of The Shams district of Reem Island.
It followed comments from a Tameer official in March stating the development was moving ahead but the developer was reviewing the construction programmes and associated costs of its iconic development.
Further confusion about the status of the project arose the same month when Murrary & Roberts Holdings, part of a joint venture in the first phase of the construction of the development, announced to shareholders its contract had been terminated.
However, when contacted, Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises, also part of the venture, said its contract had not been cancelled.
However, following Tauber’s appointment as president, Tameer announced in May it had signed a construction agreement with a joint venture of Al Rajhi Projects and Construction and Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises for completion of the project, which is scheduled for delivery from December 2011 onwards.
The nine-million square-feet complex features four residential towers, a commercial office tower and a hotel.
Tameer Towers Group can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tameer said its customers should call 04-407 5500, 02-499 8888 or email email@example.comFor all the latest construction 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.
quite frankly i do not understand why developers dont want to talk to investors, give them a % discount and a construction based payment plan. This is much required for brand UAE which is barraged by too much criticism.. sirs.. instead of launching media office to promote dubai why dont you allay investor concerns.. investors word of mouth is the most trusted form of branding
What Chairman Tauber fails to say , is that while new payment terms are based upon progress, Tameer with only the basic piling works complete and nothing above ground, say this equates to a 35% payment demand from investors..really!!!
I am relieved to hear there are other people there who feel the same as me. 3 CEOâ€™s in 13 months, behind programme, contradictory progress reports, dissolved joint venture with Sorouh, no financing from mortgage providers, zero communication to customers, no site progress, yet an aggressive stance when they do not get what they want? This greedy attitude will not be tolerated any more. The tide is about to turn.
I've been following the news, rumors, Tameer officials' statements, Tameer management changes every few months and pictures of the site since last year showing lack of progress. And all this information is leading me to believe that the risk involved in this particular project is too great for any buyer or investor to continue paying for. Prudent investors & buyers should wake up to the fact & realize that this could be a failed project, going no where. And as prudent buyers and investors, you need to cut your losses by accepting this possibility and exiting this project. After all, in such uncertainties, cutting your losses is your gain. And cutting your losses quickly prevents emotions from clouding your judgment.
Thanks to Tameer for assisting in scaring investors away from the UAE.
Basically I am willing to get rid of my own property there at the original price or a bit lower, right now, i do not feel this is going to end up right, Im sure they will have probably a 1year minimum delay. They really aren't worth the hassle, and not worth even to deal with.
Property developers are totally unprofessional in the UAE. Tameer group is a joke. It shoud be shut out of business.The only project that is proceeding on time is Marina Heights and Al Reef villas (thinking of getting a 5 bedroom) away from the crowded city. But overall this is giving ABudhabi a bad reputation, along with the HYDRA charade. Abudhabi authorities need to instill professionalism in the developers, need to develop guidelines, timetable for payments or this is the final dealth blow for property in Abudhabi . Mortgage lenders are to blame as well, depite low EIBOR rates, they just increased Mortgage rates by a further 2%. This will surely ensure more defaults and skips and leave these same mortgage companies with dead properties. They all need to sit down and clean up their act.Most of the top brass are not qualified enough and need to be replaced, ASAP
It was a big mistake that we trusted you. We are confident that UAE and AbuDhabi leaders will step in to stop your greed. As of us, we have appointed a reputable legal firm that would represents more than 60 of Tameer Towers victims and we are ready to go all the way. We have nothing to lose.
The extent to which these companies can behave like this is worrying....the authorities need to be putting laws in place with sever penalties for companies behaving like this.....financial penalties dont seem to work so lock them up !
This project is dead in the water - too many investors have lost confidence to so such a degree over Tameer Towers extremely poor customer service, abysmal lack of communication and total disregard for the anxiety this has caused that they have refused to make further payments, alongside of which many apartments still remain unsold. No other service provider would survive in the current economic conditions were they to act in a similar way. The only sensible and honourable way forward is for Tameer to refund investors and sell the plot onto another developer as their name is too tainted for it to succeed under their banner.