Property developer Memon Investments managing director Ahmed Shaikhani says developers in Dubai must stay focused on existing projects to avoid disappointment

Memon Investments, Shaikhani Group, Champions Tower II, Champions Tower III

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Like many developers in the UAE, Memon Investments, part of international conglomerate Shaikhani Group, has had its fair share of obstacles to overcome during the past 18 months.


But having recently passed the halfway mark on its Dubai Sports City residential development, Champions Tower II (CT II) and Champions Tower III (CT III), the group is pushing on. CTII is a 14-storey tower featuring 172 apartments with easy access to an 18-hole golf course, a cricket stadium and various other sports facilities, while CT III offers 254 apartments and access to similar facilities. Construction has reached the ninth floor in CT II, with the developer preparing for the next slab and block work on the fourth floor; while the 10th floor in Champions Tower III has already been cast.


Stromek Emirates Foundation completed the initial excavation and foundation work and Al Sarh Contracting are heading up construction. Lead MEP contractor Anwar Al Aqsa is managing the electrical, fire alarm, plumbing and firefighting instalments, while ETA MELCO has been commissioned to install six high-speed, Mitsubishi elevator units into the towers.




Both projects were originally scheduled to be completed in December 2010, but this has been pushed back to the second quarter of 2010. “It’s late, but not too late,” asserts Memon Investments managing director Ahmed Shaikhani.


“It’s the minimum delay. Maximum delays cost too much so we cannot reschedule again. You have to look at the financials and communicate the final deadline with the project managers,” he adds. Shaikhani attributes the delays to financial problems. Customers are not paying on time, he says.


The group has had to be flexible with payment terms; extending agreements by up to six months in some cases. In turn, the contractors have been flexible with Memon Investments. “It’s not something that is in the contract, it’s more of a mutual understanding,” explains Shaikhani.


On the upside, the projects are already “sold out” and in spite of the delay and payment issues, the quality of the developments is in line with its “vision and strategy to provide the ultimate luxury lifestyle to discerning investors” and Memon Investments is confident clients expectations will be met, if not surpassed.




In fact, Shaikhani says the company will be offering amenities and ‘luxury’ above and beyond the original specifications due to the current state of the construction market: “Construction costs in the emirates have decreased and there is a lower demand for supplies and therefore increased competition between suppliers. It’s a developers and contractors market and suppliers are more likely to deliver the quality materials that have been promised”. With construction progressing, the developer has issued tenders for finishing and facility management, bids have been submitted and contracts are due to be awarded by the end of the year.


When asked whether Memon Investments has any other projects in the pipeline, Shaikhani says: “We’re focusing on completion of our existing projects. We’re seeing everything through. Starting new projects at this time may mean existing projects suffer. “We’re excited to approach the construction of the last levels of these projects and eventually the handover of units to our investors, which will be a major milestone in our operations as a developer of high-value projects.”


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