Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Background on the newspaper articles

Some tenants have contacted us commenting that the newspaper articles do not represent their concerns adequately and only focus on the ridiculous two week timeframe offered by Emaar.

Rest assured that the focus of our comments and representations to the media have been to highlight the plight of the majority of tenants who cannot afford to buy. But we cannot write the articles for the newspapers.

The press in this country has to operate within certain conditions as we all know. Emaar is a rich, powerful entity with close links to the government. It is clear from talking to journalists that their editors are not happy to highlight the problems tenants face and the massive rent increases when this would put them in conflict with a powerful vested interest in the country.

The tenants letters have been sent with our representations. We will try to publish these shortly here, so that everyone can see the content. Please tell your friends to visit this site if they wish to receive the tenants point of view, as the newspapers' hands are very much tied as to what they can report, so you're likely to just get EMAAR's lame public relations shill.

We must all exist that within the framework of the laws of the land. Events such as this highlight the differences between how things work in many of our home countries and how they work in Dubai. We must all make our own decisions as to whether a place that operates like this is a good long term place to live; whether it is a safe place to invest and a safe place to do business, when powerful organizations can make snap decisions that turn our lives upside down, and where the press tread carefully to avoid upsetting them.

Many of us still feel that we have a future in Dubai, but for many this will convince them that the place no longer offers the better life that they hoped for. In the end, we can only voice our concerns, but we cannot force change. Ultimately we are all here by choice and we are all free to leave. Increasingly many will decide or be forced to. Emaar can exercise control over the local papers, but it cannot exert such influence over the press abroad, and it cannot prevent those who leave from passing on their experiences of how things work in Dubai to the people back home.

Much as these actions by Emaar at present only affect tenants renting, they highlight the differences between what is considered reasonable in Dubai and what is considered reasonable in many other advanced nations. Such a contrast is something that will undoubtedly be of concern to those who might be considering investment or property purchases, as well as those choosing to move to Dubai with the intention to rent.


Anonymous said...

i will retake the phrase of another blogger:

"Emaar know the bubble will burst very soon, (end of 2007 latest) and need to cash in asap."

I am confident that the market always rules, so if Emaar stands firm on his decision, i advise everyone to move to cheaper areas in Qusais, International City and Ajman. Sacrifice for 1 year, transform Greens and other Emaar areas into a ghost town and remove in when they'll decide to cut their price in half. Then buy as they wish and if you wish to buy off course. what else can we really do?

Anonymous said...

If EMAAR is sooooo desperate to sell before the end of February, anyone care to speculate why? Why not end of March? If it was just the bubble bursting by end of 2007 they're worried about, why risk the bad PR of a 'closing down' style sale where EVERYTHING MUST GO before end of month.

For example, hypothetically of course, a sudden realignment of the UAE currency from the dollar to fight inflation, that would see interest rates double and hammer those with mortgages, collapsing house prices in a flash.

Or some kind of regional crisis perhaps? But that's pretty unlikely, I mean it's not like there are any nearby countries just across the water who're likely to face the possibility of a surprise nuclear attack in the spring is it?

US able to strike in the spring

Oh well, even if it did happen, I'm sure the wind won't be blowing the fallout in our direction anyway so those Greens apartments should retain their value until well after the nuclear winter has passed.

Alka3 dreamer said...

Well, Dubai is becoming the hometown of the deprecates, that’s for sure.. The ratio of males to females is increasing dramatically; this is because many desperate family men have decided to send their families back home so they can share their accommodation with other forced singles... I can count up to 20 good reasons why Dubai is not an attractive place to live in, but its been my home for the past two years, and our apartment in the greens is the only home I had with my wife, honestly am not sure if I can afford any other place right now, but before leaving Dubai for good, I want to fight as hard as possible to keep my apartment, I will not give up on the generosity and the hospitality of the rulers in this country.. I am full of confident that there are other things that we can do, for example, why don’t we all meet at Zabeel park on Friday, along with our children, consider it as an outing, everyone can bring something to eat or drink, it will be a big picnic... believe me there are things that can be done, I appreciate the efforts of the organizers of this Blog, the meeting, the petition letter.. Everything.. I don’t wish to see the day EMAAR gets ruined, it won’t give me any satisfaction... on the contrary, i would like to see Dubai rising and i want to be a part of the whole process, I want to participate in this dream, and I want to stay in my apartment... lets not give up, lets do our best...

Anonymous said...

Hi Everybody,

I have jus learned from the colleague, living in The Lakes, that our scenario will most likely repeat there. It seems that Emaar is using The Greens as a test ground for future "wonderfull" offers to its tenants. If we could team up with people in The Lakes, we would be in a far stronger position.

Al Ghozlan Tenant

Anonymous said...

excellent! I have also asked a couple of relations in The Springs and one in the Lakes to see if they want to team up with us. I really believe those guys don't have a clue of what is going on now.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if we can all meet up and discuss again. EMAAR is a large company and they are responding to queries. Only problem is they are responding to what the papers are saying and the papers are very biased. They are twisting the story so it seems people are interested to buy if rates are better - thats not the case. Why doesnt someone take the intiative to organize this meeting on friday

Anonymous said...

Teaming up with people from the lakes would be useful if indeed they are in the same situation.

I spoke to a couple of friends who live there and at the moments its all rumours. We cant really join up with them until its confirmed

It would be wrong for them to approach EMAAR before its confirmed

It would also weaken our case - and we would be seen as trouble makers instead of people with a genuine problem!!

Anonymous said...

hi just wanted to check if there has been any developments after the letter was sent .. any reply so far from emaar or from the ruler's office ? this is getting really frsutrating now with the deadline approaching .. i dont want to buy coz im not being offered a fair price ! :s

Alka 3 tenant

Anonymous said...

Has anybody ever seen those brain new buildings next to Greens on the Barsha road? I have seen those buildings under completion for 3-4 months if i am not mistaking. Every night i come home from work around 8-9, and never i see a light. I just called one of the mobile mentioned on the wall of these buidling out of curiosity. They are asking 90 k minimum for a 1 bedroom, so basically the new price that will be imposed in Greens in a few months. Ok fine, i understand, this is the market price. But before evicting some people next door to set up this new price in Greens, don't you want to fill up those buildings on a first place??? Am i being completely unreasonable or illogic by asking this question??? i am not bringing any judgement, but can someone explain and help me in my ignorance?

Al Ghozlan 4 "about to leave" tenant

Anonymous said...

The numbers speak for themselves:

Cash Flow Figures:

AED 10.3 Billion in Dec 2005
AED 2.6 Billion in June 06

so 75% use of cash in 6 months. There has been major investments and share of capital with Saudi Arabia wich makes Emaar in desperate need of cash inflow. Off course Greens is a drop of water in the ocean of Emaar and many there could care less about us.

As well the stock price has plunged for the past 6 months besides the fact that the Company makes more profit than 6 months ago. I believe that experience and investors have learned that cash is King in a company, and we no longer look at what is its profitability but rather what it has in the banks.

Even if Greens might stay empty for one year or more, it is worth taking the risk:

better take a risky million in one year than a safe 100,000.

I have a feeling that a business at this size doesn't care much about the relation with its cutomers anymore rather its cash flow and expansion in the market. That seems like a tough comment i know, doesn't mean i agree with it, but one day or another, we should accept it.

Anonymous said...

Its only been a day and no reply yet but I am sure there should be a response in the papers tomorrow.

I think we should get all the tenants to meet up again

what does everyone think? does anyone have the energy to get all together again??

Anonymous said...

i believe the first meeting at the Greens agreed to meet again on Thursday Feb 15th (today), 8pm. Same place as last time.

Anonymous said...

Hi All, I somehow think this is all getting too emotional and we need to focus on the facts as this will be our only hope.
1.) Emaars decision is legal and the Law protects the tenant even if the Apartment is sold. The fact is that a new landlord will for sure do his best to kick us out from the Apartment for the simple reason that the rent is below Market. The question is (Is there a way to prevent this??) if anyone knows a legal way to protect us from this then have it published here. I would suggest that one way is that Emaar extends all our contracts for at least another 1 to 2 Year before they sell. this will force any buyer to stick to the contract conditions for the additional time period. ((A new owner has to honor the existing contract, he has no chance with the Rent committee.
2.) For the once who want to buy, all those doubts about the Market change are valid, so the only way to be safe is that we get a good rate (better than Market) i.e. Emaar needs to dicount at least another 10% to make it a possibly safe investment.

Anonymous said...

lets not give up, lets do our best...

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right the main issue is not for those who want to buy but for those who want to continue rent because THEY CANNOT afford to rent at market prices.

Unfortunately the papers are not reporting this view but are reporting whichever opinion EMAAR is giving them

The letters written to both the Dewan and to EMAAR management is requesting what you have stated (an extension of our contracts by an additional 3 years so that the new landlords are obliged to honour it and prefrential rates for those who want to buy.

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