My UK visit was necessary. It was great to see family and friends, (and a very Happy Birthday to my Mum), but I was very content to return to Saidia, warts and all. The trip reminded me a little more of why we left in the first place. Chilly, damp weather and having to have the heating on in May! Congested roads, expensive consumables and packed shopping centres, even on a Bank Holiday. However, that said, I did enjoy some bacon butties, excellent Indian curries and being able to purchase anything I wanted and some things I didn't even know I wanted.
Thank you to my guest bloggers, for holding the fort whilst I was away. All I will say on that is "everyone is entitled to their own opinions".
So, what's currently happening around Med-Saidia ? Well ... here goes ...
1. The road outside AP6 has been serious dug up - again for the (I think) third time. It looks like they've finally decided to do it right this time (we hope). Bought in some seriously heavy equipment and a whole bunch of workers. Now, I am sure this is probably the world over, but there do seem to be a whole lot of chiefs, and not that many Indians. Lots of spectating and speculating from where I was standing. I just hope that this is the last time.
2. In conjunction with the above, the same road heading towards AP14, AP15 and AP16 has also been dug up. Again, for at least the third time in the same spot. Again, we're all hoping that they will not waste any more time, money and manpower, and get it right this time.
3. Talking of The Greens, AP14, AP15 and AP16, I understand from some owners, that these properties are due to be delivered in the near future. That's great news from an availability point of view and finally for many of you that have been waiting a long time to get your properties. I have some video footage of the plots and the surrounding area, if anyone is interested to see these, please contact me for more information.
I guess the main downside to staying in these properties currently is their location. They are quite a distance from anything, so if you do not have car hire or bikes, you're going to get quite tanned and fit.
4. On a much more positive note, the Troon managed golf club has reopened. The restaurant is busy with diners, and the outside terraces are regularly packed with people enjoying the views and sunshine. Yesterday there was a tournament for approximately 30 people, which went very well I understand.
We've had some owners over from Amsterdam this week who are very keen golfers and they got to play the
Course yesterday too, and commented how fabulous the greens were. Something about 3mms ? I do hope
the golfers amongst you know what they're talking about, as to be honest - I didn't. Suffice to say, they liked
the course, but along with most golfers, did say that it would be best to have another course to play as well if
people are over for a week or two they need the choice. Troon have guaranteed a discounted rate of 300 Dhs per round for property owners, as opposed to the usual 450 Dhs. We live in hope that the next course will be
forthcoming in the not too distant future, but I for one will not hold my breath.
5. Another positive. Thomas Cook are in town. They are showing 200 Travel Agents around the resort. I will get a few more details hopefully tomorrow, as there is a journalist from Belgium with them who I hope to see at the golf club tomorrow to discuss future possibilities. She's been asked to produce a couple of articles for a golf publication and a travel magazine in Belgium. They're all staying at the Iberostar Hotel, which along with the Barcelo Hotel is open for business, at least for the Summer.
6. There is still nothing happening by the likes of Property Logic (Jardin Le Fleur) or Oasis. I have heard various rumours, but until I get some news from the horses mouth, all I'll say is, they are seriously holding back the entire resort. Their plots are in strategic areas, and they have just been left to stand empty, collect debris and weeds. Funnily enough though, I still receive regular e-mails promoting Property Logic's (Jardin Le Fleur) properties, making it sound like the entire resort (except their new builds) is up and running. Obviously those of you that read this, know that there is still a long way to go before that's going to happen, and it's a lot to do with them?! It's a tough one. This is only my view, but with all the millions of euros that they must have taken in deposits from people by now, surely they should have enough funds to finish at least RT2 and get something up and running ? No ? I'd really appreciate if someone from PL could explain why this is not feasible.
As to Oasis ... well, all I can say about that is ... I feel sorry for all Oasis purchasers. For all their delays and not 100% build quality, at least GFM have produced and delivered properties and full plots and people are able to enjoy using them or renting them out to holiday makers.
7. Magnum - RT1. Again I have heard numerous rumours. I don't go down to that area much these days, but we have seen a number of GFM workers around the plot periodically. I understand from a range of owners that they have signed for properties, and many will be over this Summer to use them. There is still a big question mark over the management of the site seemingly. If anyone has some concrete news on this, I would be intrigued to find out who is going to look after the area. There is also some question on the electricity and water set up, such as who is paying for it ? There are no metres installed, so no one seems 100% sure who is paying !? Anyway, it's looking good and there is a video link to one of the properties that will be available for rental after the Summer: Click here to see the video of the RT1 property that we'll be adding to the portfolio soon. Yes, SaidiaHolidayRentals has managed a coup by offering the first RT1 property for rental on the resort (as far as we are aware, at least).
8. The Marina and Media are being kept clean & tidy. There are always cleaners and security around. I must find the time to get down there and see if there are any new shops opening. The bank, post office and Marjane are always busy now, and the area is coming to life. I am sure the Summer season will bring new tenants around there. Vaughan is very much looking forward to Venezia Ice opening again.
9. The King has been in the region for a week or so now. His three mast yacht is anchored on the border of Algeria, although it is rumoured that he's staying in Oujda and or, in one of the camp sites in the Old Town. We've not seen him yet this year, but he must definitely be around, as the flags are up everywhere, the light aircraft has been waking us up early in the morning while it is dumping mosquito killer into the air. Down in the Marina today they were putting up a new marquee, so something is bound to happen, maybe when the roads are all fixed, so it doesn't look like there are any issues !?
10. We've managed to secure a number of long term rentals over the past month or so. These range between three months to a year. The tenants are mainly people working on the Resort, who do not want to commute. Very sensible, so the area is starting to resemble a small village. We have the necessities on site. Supermarket, banks x 3, post office, corner shop, car hire. The completed restaurants are almost all open. There are more due in the future, but there are at least eight to choose from already.
There are two water sports companies that are in operation. We've been very fortunate to go kayaking with 'Marsa', one of the two. They offer a wide range of options, and will be based on the beaches outside the hotels during the season.
11. As Vaughan said in his recent blog, the management companies for AP2 and AP6 have now been put in place. This is a good and a bad thing in my opinion. It's almost letting GFM off the hook in the respect that they have a range of issues that are still outstanding, and that should in theory be rectified by them before us owners begin to pay the monthly levies.
Two of the biggest issues on AP6 to my mind, are the swimming pool and the constantly bursting pipes. These should not fall to us to pay for. They were poorly and cheaply installed, thus meaning that they will require regular works. GFM at the recent meetings promised to fix the pools and various other issues, but I see nothing happening and the Summer rental season is almost upon us. How can we rent properties on a resort, advertising an on site swimming pool, ask for top dollar and then not provide ?
I would like to urge all owners to visit the Resort. It is necessary. You purchased here for a reason, you invested huge sums of money. You really need to start taking an active interest. The Resort will have been 'officially open' for one year on 24th June 2010, but to be fair, we've only met a handful of you in person. To make this place work, for your investments to work, you have to invest a little of your time and effort too. Come and see the place for yourself. Come and speak to GFM yourselves - face to face is the best way (as many of you will know from your own experiences). Come and decide for yourself. Come and see the progress. Come and enjoy the sun, sea and sand (sangria optional).
Lastly, just to make you all a little envious, we went to the beach today and I had my first swim of the season. It
was a little chilly at first, but absolutely wonderful once I got used to it. The sea was the azure blue that everyone
talks about, the sand was burning my feet ! I even managed to get a great tan line ! Now the majority of works
are completed on the properties we've looking after, I'm looking forward to trying to get to the beach at least
once a week - yippee !