Following the Downtown Dubai fire that broke out the weekend of November 6th, we’d like to take this opportunity to let you all know exactly what transpired since. In all honesty, such an event evokes nothing less than shock, worry, and fear, among a range of emotions.
It’s one of those things that you don’t really think about, as a fire is the last thing anyone would predict, let alone want. Frankly, we were especially affected by the incident, considering we have not one, not two, but five funded units in that building, all of which operate as holiday home rentals.
But, this is something that happened and needs to be addressed. So, in the spirit of transparency that we so often highlight on our SmartCrowd platform, we’ll delve into the incident, and how we handled it, along with some key reflections we believe would definitely benefit us all.
The First 24 Hours: The Aftermath
The fire occurred in the early hours of Monday at a 35-story high-rise in Downtown Dubai, and we were alerted right away. Immediately, we got in touch with our holiday home provider to ensure that, first and foremost, all the guests were safe and accounted for. Fortunately, there were no casualties, and all the tenants had been evacuated safely.
After ensuring the safety of all the guests, we notified all investors in those specific units of the incident, reminding them that we were still investigating and collecting facts. Above all, it was extremely important to us that we provide our investors with timely updates over email and emergency WhatsApp groups. In addition, we informed our stakeholders and regulator of the situation, ensuring all parties were well aware that we were handling everything as efficiently as possible.
We proceeded to compile all our property documentation to be sent to our insurance companies in order to determine what our next course of action would be in case of any damages. Though it was too early at the time to define the nature of the damage, the insurance companies were nevertheless very responsive, assigning a surveyor to the case to quantify the damage caused, if any. Additionally, we received forms in case we had to file claims in order to initiate the insurance process.
Our team also visited and viewed the site, though the building was still closed off for investigation. However, upon external inspection, our team concluded that only one corner (left) of the building seemed to be affected by the fire. We then verified what side the units were located within the building, taking comfort in knowing that our properties were most likely not affected.
48 hours Later: Back On Track
The building was accessible after 48 hours, and we continued to send detailed updates to our investors via email and WhatsApp groups to reassure them that we were doing everything in our power to gather as much information as possible in a swift manner.
As soon as the building was open, our team immediately viewed the units and inspected any damages. Thankfully, our units were completely fine, with the exception of one unit that had a wet floor due to firefighters hosing down the building, causing some water to seep into the apartment through the balcony.
Now, a major positive development in those 48 hours was the return of the tenants and guests. Following that, our holiday home provider then activated the bookings again once the building was operational again, with a few new guests checking in. During that time, debris clean-up and external restoration of the facade were taking place.
Overall, everything was handled in a timely manner so investors didn’t have to worry at all. In terms of insurance, there was no need to file any damage claims, though we are still trying to see if we can recover losses from the minor interruption in bookings.
Moral Of The Story
Before we move into what we see as the moral of the story, we’d just like to reiterate how relieved and fortunate we are that this situation panned out the way it did, given that all tenants were safe and that there were no damages to the units.
That said, the key thing we want to highlight here is the importance of diversification had this situation gone south (God forbid). Though we would eventually have recovered from any losses, it would have involved a long-winded, and honestly, pretty painful and lengthy process. Point is, this is precisely why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, or rely on a single investment. In fact, we encourage our investors now more than ever to diversify their investments, both across different asset classes, as well as within asset classes, as you truly never know what could happen!
At SmartCrowd, we allow you to diversify by giving you exposure to various pre-vetted properties on the platform. After all, owning multiple properties in assorted areas, with different rental structures, and so forth, is the key to successful and smart investing. That’s because if one investment fails or is adversely impacted, then there’s a good chance that your other investments will remain unaffected. It’s like having an umbrella business for when it’s raining, as well as an ice cream business for when the sun is shining!
So, while we can’t always time the market or, in this case, predict fires, it’s always wise to spread out your investments to minimize your portfolio risk, so that those stomach-churning ups and downs are kept to a minimum!
For our investors and potential investors, such circumstances only go to show that investing with a platform like ours is as hassle-free as it gets. No matter what happens, the only thing investors have to do is sit back, relax and collect their dividends while everything else is taken care of by our dedicated team. As always, we urge our investors to build a diverse portfolio of properties to hedge against potential losses, which you can do right here on the SmartCrowd platform.