Residents and owners of Emaar Properties villas and town houses in The Meadows and The Springs, part of the Emirates Hills district of New Dubai have been delighted to learn that their service charges are not going up this year. But they have many reasons to feel contented.
Emaar Properties has always regarded these two projects as flagship developments, and saw them as a laboratory to gain experience in how to best deliver projects. The objective was to build a reputation as a solid, long-term company, and not some fly-by-night developer who you never saw again once they had your cheque deposited.
Residents and owners in The Meadows and The Springs heard this admirable objective and smiled to themselves thinking that this would be another great hope trammeled by the reality of experience. But things have turned out rather well.
To begin with owners found that Emaar kept to its one-year initial maintenance and snagging guarantee without quibbles, and in most cases any necessary repairs were quickly carried out. There were a few bad cases but for the delivery of 6,000 residences in a relatively short period this could be expected.
In addition, residents have been delighted by the way the community has been finished off since they got their keys. The lakes and swimming pools and communal areas have been completed, and the gardening maintenance of the access roads and public areas is exemplary.
This year the shopping and health club facilities have opened, perhaps a little behind schedule but they are impressive additions to the neighborhood. The smallest Meadows village has a huge gymnasium with indoor tennis court, a small Spinneys supermarket, useful small shops and an excellent Iranian restaurant, a variety of cuisine anyone would enjoy and well worth trying.
Down the road is the Town Centre complex with an indoor shopping mall housing McDonalds and Haagen Dazs ice cream, and a larger Spinneys supermarket. While at the entrance to The Springs is a neat little shopping arcade with a Choitrams supermarket and smaller gymnasium.
There are still a few shops to open, and some parts of The Springs and The Meadows remain unfinished, such as the site for the new mosque. But as every day passes the community becomes more like the model that Emaar Properties set out to create.
Home owners are also doing their best to upgrade the community. As you tour the compounds occasionally piles of sand can be seen in front of houses, as though moles were digging in the back garden. This will be yet another owner installing a swimming pool and garden landscaping.
It all helps to finish off this district of New Dubai, and to combat to some extent the monotony of a large number of homes built in similar styles, something typical of many bourgeois areas of major cities.
However, perhaps the best kept secret about this part of New Dubai is its location which is ideal for executives working in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and even better for those employed in the Dubai Media City or Dubai Internet City. It will also be the location of choice for the thousands of white-collar workers in the upcoming Dubai Multi Commodities Centre which backs on to The Meadows.
Thus those who bought off-plan from Emaar Properties in this particular development have little to complain of, quite apart from the fact that their home will have more than doubled in value. They even have a strong local residents committee led by PR-guru Jack Pearce which has negotiated a freeze in community service charges for this year, an amazing achievement in inflationary times.