M218 Blog (Dubai Marina)


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Friday, July 28, 2006

MAG PDD & MAG 218 (Arabic Feature)

To read article, click on images for enlarged view.









Go to MAG 218 Community homepage, Dubai Marina Communities or DM Blog.


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Friday, July 07, 2006

The MAG(nolia) 218


How does one go about branding the MAG 218? The task is especially challenging as the tower stands among a group of similarly named towers--the MAG 214, 218, 224... with more to come.

MAG itself are the initials of the parent company founder, Moafaq Al Gaddah. The significance of the numbers are not clear, although I have heard that the 214 moniker relates to the number of wives and children the founder has.

In any event, the question remains of how to brand the MAG 218. MAG provides a starting point with a number of interesting possiblities found in the English dictionary:

  • Magadha – An ancient kingdom of northeast India.
  • Magdalena – a river rising in the Andes; or a woman’s name in Spanish.
  • Maghreb – A region of northwest Africa.
  • magic - (the most common word in the list, however, its literation is that of a j as opposed to a hard g).
  • magma – molten rock.
  • magnaminous – courageously noble in mind and heart.
  • magnate – a powerful influential person.
  • magnetic – having attractive properties.
  • magnificent – splendid in appearance; wonderful.
The list goes on. But my favorite is magnolia, described in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia thusly (reading in one's best Southern accent):

The Magnolia is the official state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana. Mississippi's state nickname is the "Magnolia State", because of the abundance of magnolias in the state. The magnolia is also the official state tree of Mississippi.

For those not well-versed in the history of the old South, Louisiana and Mississippi are two states of the former American Confederacy which housed its wealthy landowners in stately mansions surrounded by large live oak and magnolia trees.

That being so, the first choice of any Southern gentleman or lady, with which to brand the letters MAG, would quite naturally be the beautiful and stately Magnolia flower.

The magnolia's natural setting is beside any 19th century stately mansion in the southern United States.


The flower possesses a simple elegance, with its broad petals and creamy white texture. It is, however, not delicate but defined by its hardy and sturdy character. This simplicity yet firmness echoes the style of the MAG 218 tower, a structure possessing an elegant, yet minimalist form while being designed with stability and functionality in mind.

Occasionally one must bloviate to get a point across as I'm afraid I have done. Nevertheless, the magnolia offers a beautiful and elegant image by which to brand the MAG 218 tower.


The magnolia in its natural state.

Source of images: one, two & three and four.

Go to MAG 218 Community homepage, Dubai Marina Communities or DM Blog.


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Friday, June 02, 2006

How MAG 218 & MAG PDD Measure Up

Whether you are looking for a dream home, or an investment in the UK, UAE, France, Spain or Morocco, through our extensive worldwide contacts we can advise you on all aspects of purchasing property, whatever your requirements.

This is how Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants introduce what they do. The UAE's Property Weekly (31 May 2006) interviews managing director Iseeb Rehman who offers interesting comments regarding the state of the property market and the quality of developers in Dubai. It may be useful to review both the MAG 218 project and developer MAG PDD in light of the points raised by Mr. Rehman.

Snagging Issues

The sad part is that nearly every developer is calling in contractors and forcing them to skim so low on the construction costs. What this invariably leads to is that it is physically not possible to deliver quality at the levels promised in brochures. In most mature property markets...reputaions are at stake and developers ensure quality even to the common areas.

    • MAG PDD? The only contractor yet hired by MAG PDD, Arabian Forasol, do not at face level appear to be skimming. The MAG 218 construction site is chock-a-block with equipment and a busy work crew. The main contractor, however, has yet to be announced.

    • The MAG Group may assume this role in partnership with an as yet un-named 3rd party. This could be a cost saving measure--and it may make it less likely the developer will need to scrimp on essential requirements.

    • But will there be any negative impact on the quality of work? It's too early yet to say. But as has been highlighted previously at this website, MAG PDD appears to be intent on making a name for itself through its projects. To start with each tower bears its name. Not even Emaar's towers bear the name Emaar.
Quality of Work

A project such as the Palm Jumeirah has a lot of prestige riding on it, so Nakheel will ensure that delivery matches up to all the expectations... But there are other projects that may not hold up to the highest standards, or even what has been promised. Developers have to bring in the right team right from the inception to monitor all aspects of the construction and oversee the handover from the contractor.

    • MAG 218? Dar Al Handasah, consultant behind the MAG 218 project appears to have the right credentials for the job. Among other large projects they have successfully bid for the new Jebel Ali airport, Dubai World Central, planned as the largest airport in the world.

    • Onsite, in addition to the consultant, MAG PDD has its own project manager, Dr. Basheer Khan, whose job is to oversee the work with developer objectives in mind. As pre-foundation work progresses on the MAG 218, the next crucial point will be when the main contractor takes over. Dr. Khan will surely continue in his role, but the reputation of the main contractor will factor in critically.
Keeping Promises

They (overseas developers) will ensure that the developer is held to their promises, and even take legal recourse when they feel they are being denied. A new generation of private developers in Dubai understands this. They are putting out projects that are closely linked to their brands.

    • MAG PDD? Again reference is made to the developer protecting its name or brand, which is something MAG PDD is certainly aware of. The question, however, of being prepared to defend one's actions or failures in court, if challenged by an unhappy investor, could raise broader issues. Notwithstanding an apparent commitment to stand by its name and promote itself on the basis of its product, MAG PDD and other private developers may need to offer guarantees on a contratural basis.
In Closing

Sherwoods' Iseeb Rehman speaks quite frankly about the kinds of things that concern investors, but then, that fits in with his company's profile. Listen to any developer and you are likely to hear a much different story. Any question about issues of snagging, for example, will be quickly turned around into a company advertisement about its high standards and the quality of its product. It is in this sense refreshing to have an insider like Rehman discuss such matters in some detail.

With regard to MAG PDD and the MAG 218, the biggest question that remains is who will be the main contractor. It is apparent that MAG PDD or MAG Group itself will play a key role of some sort, but the investor will be looking for clarity on this. It is safe to say that MAG PDD has a vested interest in protecting and promoting its name, and towers like the MAG 214, 218 and 224 are obviously the vehicles by which this is accomplished. MAG PDD's comittment, however, might be further assured if it codified this in contractural terms.

A final question is how far the developer is prepared to go to honor its word, with regard to build quality. Realistically, as materials and other costs rise, how much of a reduction in profits or even loss is the developer willing to sustain. If indeed the ultimate cost one pays is to his own name, then one potentially has a powerful tool by which his commitment is, if not assured, then at least encouraged.

Go to MAG 218 Community homepage, Dubai Marina Communities or DM Blog.