Renewed hope for stalled projects

AUTHORITIES have resolved the majority of stalled projects in the country, as efforts continue to protect the rights of investors and developers.

It comes as the Villamar development, located on the Manama waterfront, has become the latest to be removed from the stalled projects list.

GFH Properties, the real estate arm of GFH Financial Group, is completing the $700m project, spread over 35,900sqm at the heart of Bahrain Financial Harbour.

The Ministerial Committee for the Development and Infrastructure Projects said only three stalled projects remain as “under review”, compared to eight unfinished projects in 2014.

The head of the committee, Deputy Premier Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said they have managed to successfully resolve issues with developers or refer the projects to another judicial committee.

“The committee held talks with the developers of Villamar project who agreed to complete the project and hand over the housing units to its owners soon,” he said yesterday during a virtual meeting with committee members.

“The project, developed by GFH Properties, is located on the beachfront and consists of three towers of which off-plan units were only sold in Tower B.”

Shaikh Khalid said based on the discussions with the developer they have agreed to remove the project from the stalled projects list.

Work on the Villamar apartment buildings resumed in 2015, after a three-year hiatus when the developer signed restructuring agreements with financiers.

Shaikh Khalid explained that the committee works on two principles; the first includes amicably resolving the issue with the developer and the second is to refer the project to the Judicial Committee for the Settlement of Stalled Real Estate Projects.

He said in the case of Riffa Views, Landmark Cityview Tower, Juffair Views and now Villamar, the developers agreed to complete the projects after consultation with the committee.

However, projects still under review are being dealt with by the judicial committee. They are Marina West, Sunset Hills and Elegant City Development Project.

“Marina West and Sunset Hills stalled projects are under review by the judicial committee,” said Shaikh Khalid.

“We want to protect the rights of all parties under the legal umbrella and even His Majesty King Hamad is keen to close the files of stalled real estate projects.”

He said over the years they have taken steps to overcome the legal and financial obstacles related to these projects.

“While some stalled projects were settled but other real estate developments are under review due to the complicated debts, obligations and rights,” he added.

The government committee in 2016 auctioned Juffair Views to Ramee Group of Hotels for BD3.6 million, while Riffa Views was removed from the list in 2015 as its management made a commitment to complete the luxury residential development.

The committee also dealt with Landmark Cityview project, comprising 88 apartments in Seef District, which commenced in 2009 but was stalled in 2011 due to “circumstances beyond the developer’s control”.

Homeowners received keys to their apartments in Cityview in 2018.


However, the ordeal continues for hundreds of off-plan investors who put their savings in the $750m Marina West project after it was launched in 2007.

It was supposed to be completed in 2010, with 11 residential towers consisting of more than 1,000 units and a five-star hotel.

The GDN reported in May last year that developers from the UAE planned to form a new company to complete the project. However, there has been no official announcement of restarting the project.

Sunset Hills, located at Al Areen Development, is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Investment House and Sorouh Investments, a Kuwaiti investment firm.

The $100m project was also launched in 2007 and included 300 real estate units, including villas, deluxe villas, and luxury apartments which were supposed to be completed in 2009.

The Cabinet referred the Elegant City Development Project to the government committee in November last year after being deemed as a stalled project.

Another project which was removed from the list was Amwaj Gateway, which was auctioned last year and acquired by Esterad Amwaj, an alliance between Esterad Investment Company and Promoseven Holdings.

Esterad Amwaj managing director Akram Miknas said in February that all development work is expected to be fully completed within five years, at a total cost of approximately BD75m.




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