x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Emaar denies claims over Dh152m forfeit

Emaar Properties yesterday disputed media reports that it would have to forfeit a Dh152 million deposit because of alleged defiencies in the development of the Commonweath Games Village in Delhi.

Emaar Properties yesterday disputed media reports that it would have to forfeit a Dh152 million (US$41.38m) deposit because of alleged deficiencies in the development of the Commonwealth Games Village in Delhi.

The Dubai developer said in a statement the bank guarantee in question had actually been extended until the end of the year at the request of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The company also maintained that the village complex received "rave reviews" from the participants who stayed there and that any deficiencies pointed out had been "duly rectified".

"If there are any pending items that need rectification, they shall be done after the Village is handed over back to us" by the games operating committee and DDA, the statement said.

Emaar issued the statement in response to reports in the Indian media that it may have to forfeit the deposit because of problems associated with the complex of 34 apartment towers built for athletes from 71 countries. The games concluded last week.

The development was the focus of a litany of complaints from arriving athletes, who described filthy accommodation, shoddy plumbing, broken elevators, snakes on the premises and flooded basements.

Many of the problems came about after the area was hit by the wettest monsoon in the region in 30 years.

Emaar MGF, the company's Indian subsidiary, built the village and has said the reported problems were largely due to poor maintenance.

The upkeep of the village is the responsibility of the operating committee for the games.

In any case, Emaar now looks bound to become a central player in the finger-pointing that has followed the Commonwealth Games. The event turned into a major sporting success for India but an organisational embarrassment for the government.

India's Central Vigilance Commission has been given three months to figure out how a $450m showcase event ballooned into a $6.6 billion liability.

Under Emaar's contract for the project, the flats will eventually be returned to the developer, refurbished and then handed over to customers who bought them as homes.

Emaar said it sold 333 apartments to DDA at lower than the market price and had not yet collected the full amount. It also said it offered to buy back the apartments from DDA.