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  November - December 2009


Tribute to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand,
the world’s longest reigning monarch. Blessed are all Thais to have a King of sincerity, compassion and plain common sense. For all those who respect His Majesty for his integrity, it was an immense relief and joy to learn that the great monarch is convalescing from his recent illness. In this humble tribute, commemorating His Majesty’s 82nd Birthday, AseanAffairs presents a snapshot of His Majesty’s life and works.

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Q: What made you turn to Thailand and got involved in property business?

A: I decided to come somewhere I liked and I already had a beautiful house in Bombay, which prompted me to move this side. In the UK it has just become a show of wealth and I simply dislike it- I did not enjoy my elite status there. Instead I wanted to know more people and visit newer places. I came here and thought that it was a wonderful place and immediately wanted to be shown around this place. I fell in love at first sight. I wanted an outhouse to settle in Thailand. It has progressed well from the time we invested and so far we have put in 9 million dollars. I have over 70 percent of the company but I always ask my friends to join in because it’s always nice to have them.

Q: What differentiates David Lloyd Asia from other luxury property developers in Koh Samui and Phuket?

A: The people there will know each other. We have got a new tennis centre there. We also have our own floating thing there. I don’t want to create an exclusive enclave, but I want to create life- the place should be full of activity. Clubs will be there. I want life to grow there, amidst luxury.

Q: What has been the response to Absolute Sea Pearl Villas and Spa Resort which reportedly offers buyers a rental return on their investment?

A: The situation was absolutely hell indeed. Everything in Thailand is real now- my money, my property. It was more of a franchise and they were a franchise in my name as they wanted to get into the league, it had started fine but then they drifted apart.

Q: How does fractional ownership work in Thailand, where most locals are apparently new or not familiar with this concept?

A: This is accepted worldwide and I do not consider it to be fractional. What we are doing is we are selling it to the customer at 30000 pounds and giving a 10 year guarantee on the contract. It’s real shareholding in the apartment; there is a tax to it for which you use the contract.  After the 10 year period, the shareholders will vote whether or not to sell the apartment. If it is decided that the apartment should be sold then the entire money goes to the customer. We consider this to be incredibly unique. We also have the permission from the Pension Fund in Britain; some 9 banks are funding it. We think it’s a fantastic project. We have got 3 in Phuket, 3 in Cypress, 1 in Canada, 1 in Turkey and 3 in Spain and 1 lined in Australia. There are 10 already to come to Phuket as we think it has a massive market. It’s a cross between a holiday club and an investment. It offers all kinds of service- it has started and is going really well. But we sell only 75 percent of the apartment and keep 25 percent to ourselves. We have a clause with developers that they can’t sell retail. Gradually as we grow they will be the developers and seller.

Q: Many properties in Phuket are not affordable for Thai buyers due to very high prices. They cannot even buy with leasehold prices in some projects. Even a discounted price remains unaffordable for them, some property consultants said. What’s your take?

A: Restrictions on the foreign ownership of property create difficulties for developers using fractional ownership. What are the difficulties, if any, in your case?
The hardest thing I find here is to get your mind and I can understand why countries do it- to protect the land owner, he being local. But in the process people get rounded which proves more detrimental to the land owner. They give you a deal if you buy land because they need investors. Moreover, they have a rather clever and convoluted methodology. If you know anyone in Thailand it’s okay, otherwise you have tie up with an optional company so that you have this back to back situation and then what happens is the money that you pay does not go to the Thai government. But if it’s a tied company then the money/revenue comes into the country. If you can sell in Thailand, you get a pact of 10 percent and the country benefits in the process. There are investors wanting to come to Thailand but the process is detrimental to the country. I think this system should be changed as this is the biggest hurdle that I have had to overcome.

Q: Leasehold laws in Thailand only allow one 30-year term, instead of 60 to 99 years in most other countries. An extension to the lease may be negotiated with the land owner, but the law does not guarantee it. Isn’t it a great risk for long-term investors and a negative factor for potential investors?

A: It surely is. But here the land owner and the lease holder are the same people. I am here to live in this country- not just as an investor. So I always think how to get more money into this lovely country and I also think that the biggest problem is the laws here which certainly need to be changed in my opinion.   ....

David Lloyd Properties
    David Lloyd Resorts at Kamala Falls is a residential resort designed to incorporate both long-term residential facilities and amenities together with the shorter term requirements of the traditional holiday resort. This resort is all about location. The nightlife and shopping of Patong is only 10 minutes south of the resort and the serene relaxing beauty of Kamala beach only 2 minutes north. With 4 golf courses within 20 minutes drive, Kamala Falls makes a great hub for the active, and the inactive visitor.
    The resort consists of 109 condominium apartments with 32 in the programme. There is a range of sizes and layouts and enjoys sea views and a magnificent 100m long swimming pool divided by cascading walkthrough curtain waterfalls and supported by a David Lloyd managed clubhouse.
    Kamala Falls represents the best balance of all that Phuket has to offer.
Situated between Patong and Laguna on the beautiful West Cost of Phuket,
Kamala offers easy access to a wide range of facilities and entertainment whilst retaining its own ambience and charm.
     Kamala Bay enjoys a magnificent 2.5 kilometres crescent shaped beach providing good swimming in crystal clear water and plenty of small bars and seafood restaurants line the beach so you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun goes down. The bustling markets and nightlife of Patong are only 10 minutes away by Tuk Tuk too - the choice is yours!
     The resort perches on a beautiful site next to a national park, rich with many tropical trees and dense with foliage – and ideal for exploring. The resort has been developed alongside an existing natural waterfall and also has its own 40m waterfall in the centre of the resort which flows all day long. With Elephant rides and sunset cocktails only minutes away, the resort is ideally placed to suit a wide range of interests. Read the Complete Article Subscribe to ASEANAFFAIRS Magazine

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