Setting up of properties - 24th January 2010

Well, the 'infamous' date of 15th January 2010, has come and gone ... and I am very pleased to announce that things do seem to be on the move as of this week! I know, imagine my surprise?! I have had assistance from GFM with outstanding snagging issues over the past week or so. I know many of them have been outstanding since 2007 ... but the main thing is, they are starting to work on them now. I am really very happy with this turn of events. I really don't know the why's or indeed wherefores, I just know they are working. Let's all keep our fingers crossed it is for the long-term this time.

I also met with the 'new' 'Directeur Commercial & Marketing' - Mr Trifess during the week, and left the offices for possibly the first time ever with a really positive impression. Someone that instils confidence at last! He's a very busy man, so I was honoured to be granted some time to talk about 'looking forward' and the future for the resort. I sincerely hope that he lasts longer than some of his predecessors.

We're really getting into setting up the newly signed properties now, which is great, and keeping us very busy. It still never ceases to amaze me that when people sign for their properties, they are often not reminded that they need to sign paperwork for the water & electric companies to be able to install meters for the utilities. This is not an automatic installation. They do not do it for you unless you ask and pay for it. You should get given the relevant paperwork by GFM, much of it in Arabic, and you're supposed to sort it yourselves. Luckily, we've been stepping in and helping out with this recently. If you don't have the spare four to six hours to sit in the water or electricity office and don't speak the language ... we can help you.

One thing about setting up peoples places is the fact we have to go to Oujda more often. Not that I particularly like the place, but it has become slightly more interesting recently, due to the fact there are a few more shops to explore. This in itself is especially good if you go with a local that used to live there, but also the fact that they now have a McDonalds. Now, I need to point out, I was never a fan of McDonalds in the UK. However, like many things, if you're told you can't have it, you want it more. Here, it's more that they don't have it, so when they do - everyone wants it. The two main cities of this region, Nador and Oujda, have succumbed and now have the golden arches reaching towards the blue skies. The one in Oujda is near the new, improved bus station, while the one in Nador is on the sea front promenade. As we were nearby last week, we decided to give it a try and I can tell you, it was great! I can now lay claim to fame that I have eaten in McDonalds in Rio, St. Petersberg and Oujda!

This week I've been out and about on my new(ish) bike quite a lot. I really do need the exercise (I miss not going to the gym). It's also given me the time to take some very up to date pictures from around the resort, and Mr V is in the process of setting up on a new page for the website - Recent Pictures. I hope to be able to update these at least once every 4 months (of course only if anything has changed).

The place is generally looking better than it has for a while in my opinion. There is work taking place on the newest hotel - Grand Oasis Hotel (I think that's what it's going to be called). There's also an army of workers on both existing hotels, fixing them up and rectifying outstanding snags. The Bijoux site, nearest to the Fadesa offices, looks almost complete. They've got the biggest satellite dishes I've ever seen on a residential plot. In addition there are lots of new faces working on AP14, 15 & 16 - The Fairways & Greens - Azure developments. It is a serious hive of activity around there these days. I'm still loving the fact that currently the guys are still bringing their cows, sheep and goats through the resort down to the beach to graze. I personally don't want that to change, but am pretty certain it will in the future.

On the other hand, plots that do not seem to be moving in any way are those of Property Logic or Oasis. Nothing doing I'm afraid. Also, on RT2, the Best Western billboard has been removed. I'm quite certain it wasn't the wind that removed the 'lost' panels. It doesn't look to me as though there will be any tourists staying there again this Summer. RT7 hasn't been touched since December 2008. Oasis, well what can I say, it hasn't been touched since before we moved here in September 2008... who knows what's happening? Anyone?

I hope to find out a little more about the situation with RT1, Magnum next week, as we have some people coming over to see their property, and I hope to be able to obtain some up to date information about the situation there. It looks pretty much completed now, but seemingly there is still an issue with the paperwork and management company.

V1, V2 & V3 are all being worked on by the owners. Some of them look great, swimming pools, landscaped gardens and fabulous interior design. I saw two baby owls perched on the roof of a V3 villa yesterday - very cute.

We had a new addition to the Saidia Holiday Rentals team this week. On Friday morning the old gardener shouted up to me as he does regularly. This time however he was trying to show me something in his hand. It turned out to be a baby tortoise that we've adopted and named 'Rockie'. It's likely to be the closest we get to having a pet. He's living nicely in the garden area on the balcony and seems very happy. At least he won't get run over by a car or chopped up by a lawn mower now!

According to the Maghreb Arab Presse (see our news section) some 8.3 million tourists visited Morocco in 2009, a 6% increase compared to the previous year stated the Minister of Tourism. Let's hope even more of them head towards Saidia this year!

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Saidia Holiday Rentals is: On site, on time, on budget

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