Marina Terrace tenants finally able to stay over

DAMAC blames the year-long delay on 35-storey Dubai Marina tower on “snagging”

  • E-Mail
By  Sean Cronin Published  April 22, 2006

Residents who paid millions of dirhams for their apartments in DAMAC’s Marina Terrace tower, were given the keys to their properties in January — only to be told they were not allowed to stay overnight. The memo was issued to tenants who have been waiting for a year to take delivery of their apartments. The building, DAMAC’s first freehold development in Dubai, was originally due for completion in March 2005 — but the project was hit by delays and work is still ongoing. Residents were not forewarned of the likely delays and some of those who arrived to take possession of their apartments a year ago are only now moving in. Construction Week has seen a notice issued to residents on 3 January 2006. It reads: “Overnight occupation of Marina Terrace is not permitted until further notice. You will be contacted directly with an update as soon as we have further information.” Yet there was no advice issued on where Marina Terrace residents should stay during the night, why they weren’t allowed to stay in their apartments, or how long the overnight ban would remain in place. DAMAC issued the notice after it emerged that although residents were occupying the building, it had not at that point been given a final occupiers certificate — a document issued by Civil Defense certifying that a structure is habitable. A second letter from the developer, dated 1 February 2006, reads: “We are pleased to confirm that we are now in receipt of the relevant certification from the municipality, and so confirm that you may move into your apartment… we will be in contact with you shortly to discuss any additional snagging items that may yet still be pending.” The second letter contains an apology to residents: “We very much regret any inconvenience that may have been caused due to the protracted delay in the delivery of your apartment, yet as you are aware, this is due to matters beyond our direct control.” It is signed by chief executive Peter Riddoch. Riddoch has blamed the late completion of Marina Terrace on contractors Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises, and the delay in issuing the certificate on administrative processes at Dubai Municipality. He told Construction Week: “Internally, DM didn’t get their various departments’ computer print-outs through the systems in time and there was a few day’s delay. “As responsible developers, we would only have people staying in the building when the appropriate piece of paper was issued.” Although some residents have now moved into Marina Terrace, some say there are still problems with the tower. “The other night [10 April] the alarms were going off from 4am until 6am,” said one resident, who spoke to CW. “Later, they told me there was a problem with a water break, and we walked down to see that the intake pipe of the city water into the sprinkler system and fire pumps had completely blown.” Riddoch confirmed there was an incident involving a pipe-burst last week. He said: “The particular instance you are referring to demonstrates the system does in fact work.” Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises was main contractor on the tower. The original construction timetable was extremely demanding — allowing for completion in just 19 months. In the March 2004 issue of Al Habtoor Engineering Enterprises in-house magazine, Marina Terrace project manager, Yehia Abudullah, enthuses about the construction challenges of the project. He said: “You would normally expect to take at least two years to build a tower like this, so to build it in 19 months creates time pressure — we are working day and night to ensure we hand over the project on time.” But 31 months after work started, construction is still ongoing. Contacted this week, Abudullah declined to comment on the tower.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code