30 June, 2006

Does Anyone Have More Details?

How many are familiar with the tragic story behind these beautiful residences. Do you know where they are and what the problem is? Actually I hope someone in the know can offer some informed explanations. Read the synopsis to this story at What's Wrong With These Beautiful Pictures?.


Emirates Mac said...

Makes you think twice when you see these neighborhoods.

secretdubai said...

Superb article!

bandicoot said...

Hey BD,
I’ve passed these villas (right behind the giant satellite dishes) hundreds of times over the past few years as my favorite walking path takes me through the main street shown in the picture. Before the disaster and evacuation, when they were still on the market, I even looked at a couple of them with my wife in case they came up for rent. They’re just as lovely from the inside, though the rooms were a bit smallish. Every time I’m there it feels like I’m walking through a ghost town. I always tell my wife the place would make a perfect movie set for some sci-fi film where people had just disappeared in mysterious circumstances! If you look closely at the buildings you can actually see the cracks in some of the walls. Apparently the ground (slope) there is shifting or something like that. I’d imagine they’ll be demolished as soon as they sort out the insurance and money issues. I’ve taken some pictures myself many months ago in anticipation of writing about them someday; not exactly blogging, but perhaps something else. I’m glad you posted about them. What a shame! They really among the most beautifully designed villas I’ve seen here.

BD said...

Agreed, what a shame. I discovered the villas in 2003 just about the time they were being finished. It was a good place to give a friend driving practice. I also visited a show villa and was impressed with the swimming pool and the hillside setting.

What I'd really like to know is what happened to the unlucky buyers. Were they refunded in full? And the ongoing groundswork? Is it part of a scheme to keep up the facade in order to keep this whole story a secret? Or will they someday be slyly put back on the market?

I hope Nakheel has learned enough lessons from this. If they can't construct well on a few sandy hills, how can they possibly construct and build upon the palm islands?

secretdubai said...

I've blogged about these before - at that time you could drive round and see the cracks, they were just staggering. Possibly you still can. They've made a continual effort to quickly patch up and paint over anything you might see from the road side, but drive round the back - and woah. Like two-inch wide cracks from the corners of windows to the ground and the ceiling, that kind of thing. Major structural problems.

As far as I know all the buyers were compensated with higher-value villas in Jumeirah Islands or somewhere.

What I can tell you is that for over a year (possibly longer), they have been working on these villas at night. The banging starts as late as 2am, and it is heavy, clanking of god knows what - metal? concrete? Somewhere in between. Very strange sounds. Quite noisy too.

Oh and when I first blogged about them - which was after the article in ITP (which made me feel it was "safe" to blog them) there was at least one villa occupied, somewhere at the back. The back ones are possibly more stable than the ones at the front, on the slope of Jebel Ali (which started to subside after they were built).

fellow atheist said...

I'm not sure why you have to wait for ITP or whoever else to blog about such issues. I can understand waiting on things that have political nature, but this? Come on!

secretdubai said...

Because Construction Week did a huge article on it, which was pulled from publication through pressure from Nakheel. I figured it was dangerous, so I waited until ITP slipped a smaller article out about it, a few months later.

There are no proper media laws here. Truth is not necessarily a defence to defamation or that good old "harming the economy" clause.

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