With reporting from Ankita Menon
Hundreds of Barwa City residents are embroiled in an ongoing dispute with management about dissatisfaction with facilities and unexpectedly high utility bills.
The development received its first tenants just over a year ago, and is designed to eventually house up to 25,000 people.
It is part of a series of residential developments built by the company across Doha to provide affordable housing for families, including Barwa Village in Wakra and Barwa’s Mesaimeer Complex.
The complaints at Barwa City come on the heels of an announcement this week that amenities on the site have now been completed.
They include a supermarket, fitness center, playgrounds, a large mosque and a school for 2,000 students. Representatives have also told local news media that the city is now 90 percent occupied.
However, tenants say many residential buildings still appear to be empty, and that the promised site amenities seem “far from open.” One resident named Corrine told Doha News:
“The highly advertised amenities that initially attracted us to Barwa City are non-existent or are far from being completed. Barwa City prides itself on being a family community, but they have supplied nothing to support that claim.
For example, although we do enjoy the large grassy areas, there are no playgrounds. There are two fenced playgrounds that belong to Newton’s Kindergarten/Pre-school, for their exclusive use.”
Meanwhile, resident Ahmed Ali highlighted a lack of prayer provisions, saying that the existing mosque doesn’t have sufficient capacity on Fridays. He added that he was disappointed at the lack of facilities, which he had been told would be open by September 2013. The opening was then pushed to April 2014.
Responding to these complaints, a manager from property management firm Waseef Facility and Asset Management, who asked not to be named, told Doha News that the amenities were “in process,” and “almost finished.”
He added that that Lulu Hypermarket would open at the end of April, and that the private leisure club was due to open in around three month’s time. He also stated that playgrounds were “already available.”
Furthermore, several residents have told Doha News that they are disputing unexpectedly high utility bills for gas and chilled water with Waseef.
Resident Corinne told Doha News that she received her first utility bill from the company on Jan. 31, 2014 – and that it was due the same day. The charge was QR3,514.13 for five months’ worth of gas and water – an average of QR702/month.
“It’s a collective utility bill for everyone. So if someone was on vacation for a month, their bill would be same as their neighbors,” she said.
Another resident who spoke to Doha News, Nora Elwahabi, said:
“The utility bills are ridiculously high – which we had no idea about before moving in. Like many others, we have not paid the bills yet, and are hoping the company comes up with a more sensible amount.”
The Waseef manager told Doha News that each resident’s contract specifies two fixed utility charges – one for gas and heating, and one for chilled water. On top of this, residents must pay for their individual water consumption, which is measured using individual meters, he told us.
However, residents told Doha News that these terms and conditions were far from clear when they entered into contracts at Barwa. They cited information sheets given to them that detailed a lower, fixed monthly rate for utilities based on the size of their apartments.
For example, residents of two-bedroom flats should be paying a monthly utility charge of QR355/month. However, according to one tenant’s bill, which covered four months, he was charged QR1,714 – QR294 higher than expected.
I dunno, doesn’t feel all that newsworthy to me. I think majority of the compounds are worse off than this.
Welcome dohabash.com, I mean Dohanews.com.
It’s a fixed rent subsidized facility! Move to the pearl for all it’s amenities !!
Barwa should deliver on what it promotes…see their own website…description is nothing like the reality out there.
While I agree Barwa has not delivered on what they promised so far, how does it make this newsworthy? Isn’t this the normal standard in Qatar? If you have to report on all the housing compounds that don’t deliver what they promise, it will end up taking forever.
Im not commenting on if it is newsworthy just highlighting some of the promotion Barwa has used. If you are looking for newsworthy well if it was where I’m from the promotional video could be a breach of Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act…misleading commercial conduct, and depending on the lease contracts may be open for civil mediation and remedy via the law of tort for breach of contract, but we are not from where I’m from, and I have not one qualification or idea about the legal system here. It’s up to the Doha News Editorial team to decide what they see as a newsworthy article. And yes I agree with housing compounds not delivering on promises. In my compound it is a huge issue, but I just do the maintenence myself, I bought the gym gear and pool side furniture, I just get on with it. Help yourself is my motto and there are a lot of people living in far worse conditions then me regardless of compound issues.
So you came across an untrustworthy real estate agent.. What’s next? A story on how Doha car salesmen are conning people??
Does not make it right though does it? Or does it in your eyes ?
It is NOT a “subsidized facility” … Dohanews is not “doshbash” forum, they are providing facts that you do not easily get elsewhere.
Yes it is a subsidized facility with fixed rent and they present stories not facts based on their view of things
Subsidized? Really? At 7000 QAR 2BR and 8-9000 QAR 3BR? Since June last year the rents increased by at least 25% so….where lies the fix rent and subsidy????
Might be subsidized for citizens moving in there but not the rest?
You’re right, might be…for them
Watch this, it appears that it is all done finish, the commentator speaks in present tense..”the children will love the schools”…”Sporting and recreational facilities abound”…list goes on and on.. I dont know why people are complaining it looks great!
I love the fact that “for mothers and women” there’s shopping, and for “men and fathers” there’s sport. Thanks for sharing, vid is hilarious
Yep I chuckled at that….so sexist…so narrow minded….I like to go shopping but I wear trousers not a skirt..should I be seeking gender identity counselling? I do play sport though, so I may be ok.
That really was hilarious. Couldn’t they have just asked a native speaker to spend five minutes listening to the language and then given them a few tips?
Asking a “native speaker to spend five minutes listening to the language” is asking for too much. :)’
Good point. But then I’m a great speaker but not much of a writer.
The “restaurant” in our compound closed two years ago for “renovations” and is still closed. Welcome to Doha!
By playground I think they mean ground that you can play on.
Play ground is ‘READY’ with all possible locks and in an intention ”no one s supposed to play here”
Dey dont put on the flood lights when people really want to play… people in the managmenet shud see this…
But truely Barwa city could be the best if they really make it happen with what they r comprised of..
Uty bills : how when and where r they calculating is still a mystery … grow up dudeA
May I remind Barwa City’s Property Manager that April Fools Day is over. “Lulu Hypermarket would open at the end of April” and “playgrounds were already available” are jokes and I, for one, feel offended by his words. Anyone can come and see the reality, there’s no playground for kids, hypermarket is way behind the schedule, and the gym provided by Barwa is a joke, two-three treadmills in a 3BR apartment.