Friday, December 29, 2006

Bayswater Project enabling is on the verge of completion

The enabling work of Bayswater, the twenty five storied commercial tower worth Dh.345 million (US$92 million) of Omniyat Properties is on the verge of completion. This happens to be the second of its four commercial developments with the enabling work being carried out by Al Dafra Piling and Contracting Company (APCC).

The President and CEO of Omniyat Properties, Mehdi Amjed mentioned that the enabling work on Bayswater has met considerable progress and the construction is due to start in January 2007 and will be completed by the third quarter of 2008.

Bayswater, is located on a water-facing plot in Dubai’s Business Bay and is designed by Dubarch, the Dubai based Architectural and Civil Engineering Firm. The project is designed to fill the mid-market segment which targets medium sized companies that wishes to occupy a Grade-A office space, that is competitively priced.

Larsen and Tourbo strengthens its presence in the Gulf region

India’s leading Engineering, Construction and Technology Company, Larsen and Tourbo (L&T), is aiming for major construction projects in the GCC (Corporation Council for Arab state of the Gulf) region. After being awarded with the orders for buildings residential properties in Dubai from Trident International and Nakheel, L&T has now been awarded a residential township project worth $120 million at Sohar located in Oman. The properties are expected to be ready by mid of 2008.
Apart from Trident International and Nakheel’s project located in Shaikh
Zayed Road, the Indian Major also won the Marinascape Project of Trident
International Holdings (TIH) worth Dh.440 million. The project covers a total
area greater than 900,000 Sq.ft., located in Residential Twin Towers at the
Dubai Marina comprising of more than 200 villa complexes and condominiums.
The Nakheel’s project with a total built-up area of 178,050 Sq.mts., involves construction of twenty seven residential blocks. The number of apartments on the whole will be 1908, and the project is executed by the Construction Divison of L&T, ECC. Nakheel, being the leading project developer in UAE, is involved in various development projects worth $12 billion in Dubai. In addition to this, it has a variety of milestone construction in Dubai to its credit. With these orders now in hand, L&T has further made its presence felt in the Gulf region. Of-late, L&T along with its Oman-based subsidiary has obtained five contracts to provide water supply system to two towns in Oman, construction of two office and commercial buildings with thirty nine storeys and two thirty five and twenty five storied luxury condominiums in Dubai.

Tameer opens new office in Dubai

Tameer Holdings the leading real estate developer of the region has announced the opening of its new office in Dubai. With a successful and increasing portfolio of developments and properties, both in UAE and abroad, the firm has confirmed its competitive edge by opening a new office in Dubai, the biggest realty market in the Middle East.

This new 12,000 Sq.Ft. office is likely to be located on the Sheikh Zayed Road in the first floor and ground floors of Al Suwaidi building and features a sales office, meeting rooms, showroom, and other services.

The CEO of Tameer Holdings, Mr.Ali Al Khudani concurred that Dubai, being the center of the flourishing real estate market in the region, is the place with unique developments and is the heart of competition in the realty sector. He added that Tameer seeks a challenging and new investment opportunity to create, design and build and tries to provide only the best to its clients.

Till date, Tameer Holdings has to its credit, the AlSalam City mega project in Umm Al Quwain, the Abu Dhabhi Towers, the Gate District at Shams Abu Dhabi, the Elite Residence in Dubai Marina, the most recent Imperial Residence Project in Jumeirah Village and several other high-tech projects both regionally and locally. Apart from this, the firm is also in the process of developing several other massive projects across the Middle East such as Al Maid City located in Jordan, the $26 billion project in Libya, etc.

More Towers licensed by the Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality has granted permission for construction of eight more high-rise towers in various parts of Dubai City at a net cost of Dh.3.5 billion, with 11.3 million Sq.Ft. being the total built-up area. This is the first time ever that the municipality has licensed large number of towers in one month.

The Director of the Building Department, Khalid Mohammad Saleh, has stated that this clearly is an indication of the rate at which the construction activities are taking place in the City. He added that out of the eight towers that were licensed this month, five are in Dubai Marina, the tallest is a tower with hundred storeys and smallest is a thirty seven storied tower. Two other towers are to be built along Shaikh Zayed Road, one with forty nine storeys and another with seventy storeys. A Thirty Eight storied Auto Mall complex that includes an Office Tower and a three storey Car showroom is likely to come up in the Sports City in Dubai Land.

Saleh mentioned that the licenses were issued after thorough analysis of all towers by the engineers in addition to carrying out a third-party audit through a private consultant to double up the confirmation regarding the security and safety of the towers. He added that while granting license to high-rise towers, innovative designs and building efficiency are given due consideration by the Municipality.

The UAE University Project contract awarded to Oger Abu Dhabi

Oger Abu Dhabi has been awarded the Dh.1.5 billion construction package for building the new campus of UAE University in Al Ain. The construction project has been awarded by to Oger by the Mubadala Development Company.

The bid made by Oger was most competitive both in long-term commercial and technical value as against the other four bidders namely Arabtech, ACC, CCC and Al Habtoor. The Chief Operating Officer of Mubadala Development said that the competition was very close, but Oger Abu Dhabi had the best value proposal.

The new campus is likely to have modern teaching and recreational facilities including student and staff accommodation. The construction is likely to be completed in four years time, with the first phase scheduled to be ready by mid-2008.

The General Manager for Oger, Mohammad Fakhouri, mentioned that by working in a competitive market, Oger Abu Dhabi is committed to provide Mubadala Development its distinctive and highest quality services that match the international standards.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The contract for Park Towers awarded

Shapoorji Pallonji has been appointed as the main contractor by Damac Properties for its Park Towers project worth Dh.600 million at the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). According to the developer, the construction is expected to begin in January and is scheduled to be completed within twenty seven months.

This multi-million project is evocative of The Gherkin, in London city and is linked to the DIFC through underground areas. According to Damac CEO, Peter Riddoch, the Park Towers at DIFC will be built with the highest construction standards and will provide the latest in living standards and services. He added that Damac will build the best for DIFC which suits their requirements, in hosting leading investors and financial service companies.

Sheffield enhances its Dubai portfolio

Sheffield Real Estate has announced that their portfolio in Dubai’s freehold real estate market is likely to be enhanced and is aiming towards investing $1.5 billion (Dh.5.5bn) in the coming year.

The company’s plan regarding development of infrastructure and realty projects was revealed during the innovative ceremony of its first project, Marina 101, which is currently being developed under partnership with Rustan Real Estate, the Russian property developer.

Omniyat’s new tower takes inspiration from Apple’s iPod

Inspired by Apple’s iPod MP3 player, Omniyat Properties, a real estate developer has planned to launch projects worth greater than Dh.3billion during the year 2007. The company is likely to announce a minimum of two residential and one commercial development project, while also opening its account during the month of February with the novel iPod residential tower in Business Bay.

The twenty three storied building, designed by Hong-Kong based architects James Law Cybertecture International, will bring more than 200 units into the market in 2009. The tower will be located above the docking station and will be placed at an angle of six degrees for the perfect look.

Omniyat already has made a good impression at a short span in the market with a
portfolio worth Dh.2.7 billion during the first year of its operations which
includes four luxury commercial developments and a residential tower located at
Business Bay.

Mehdi Amjad, the President and CEO of Omniyat Properties, a branch of Almasa Holdings mentioned that though their aim was to launch only three projects this year, the strong demand in the market has compelled them to deliver more. With their entire range of projects, the company is said to have sealed sales worth close to Dh.2.4 billion.

More new companies are to be launched under the Parent Company Omniyat Holdings, in the coming year. The organization that is set up with $250 million authorized capital and $100 million paid-up capital, will manage Omiyat properties and other projects and upcoming companies.

According to Amjad, the first company will aim towards serving the real estate sector and will find a place in the major International Stock Exchange.

Lesser rents quoted for the high tower buildings in Ajman

Many new high tower buildings have come up over the past one year in Ajman, and the real estate agents in the place are facing a tough time, trying to draw tenants to the buildings.

One can see plenty of “To-Let” boards particularly in the Rashidiya and Al Nuaimia area, where there are plenty of constructions being done. According to a real estate agent in Ajman, the owners are ready to lease out the flats at reduced rents. The Northern Emirate Property, which has plenty of units for lease and sale in Ajman, had quoted Dh.50,000 per year for a three bedroom apartment and D.28,000 for a single bedroom flat. According to a resident of the area, an estate agent who had quoted Dh.35,000 for a double bedroom apartment in Ajman about six months ago, is now ready to offer it for Dh.25000. Some real estate agents are even said to be quoting Dh.18000 for a single bedroom flat.

Inspite of such a condition, the real estate agents are confident that the occupancy rates will increase and the rents will also simultaneously rise. The Real Estate Manager for Northern Emirates Property, Roger Wilkinson is of the opinion that the property market in Ajman is good, and as their first project was completely sold out, there are confident of selling all of their tower projects in Ajman.

The mounting traffic in the Dubai-Sharjah route, the floods and water supply problems are believed to be the negative factors contributing for the decline of rents currently in Ajman.

The 2007 budget passed by Emirates Real Estate Corporation Board (EREC)

The Board of Directors of EREC conducted a meeting, chaired by Dr. Mohammad Khalfan Bin Kharbash, the Minister of State for Industry and Finance affairs, for discussion and passing of the corporation’s 2007 budget. According to the General Manager of EREC, the revenue of the corporation is believed to reach Dh58.2 million during 2007, as against Dh.27 million in 2006. The net profits are estimated to be doubled to Dh48.2 million during 2007 as against Dh.22.3 currently.

It has been projected that operation revenues are likely to reach Dh.84.5 million while the operating expenditure is likely to reach Dh.25.2 million.

The Board is also reported to have approved the budget for the project of construction of the premises of Ministry of Youth, Culture and Community Development in Dubai.

The Central Park Project of Sorouh launched

Sorouh has launched the Central Park Project at its Shams Abu Dhabi development, which comprises of twelve towers for diversified uses, water canals, restaurants, lakes, sports and recreational complexes. The work on the project is likely to begin during the month of June in 2007. The first phase of the project will be completed by 2009 and the project will be finalized by the end of 2010.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Better Homes finds success in Indian market

Better Homes, Dubai based real estate agent, has reported that they are astonished to see the market reaction in India, after entering into the booming real estate sector in India. Though the Company, with its head office located in Mumbai, India, was initially worried about how well the buyers would accept an international company which would be more expensive than the local agents. They were also apprehensive about how well the property developers would consider the option of selling through an agent rather than selling directly to the buyers.

However, according to Ryan Mahoney, the Managing Director of Better Homes, the company has completed solid three months of business with a few hundred transactions and the overall response has been very positive. He added that though the initial task of convincing the people that a foreign company does not necessarily mean that it is expensive was difficult, they were able to gain confidence of people to a great extent and now the upcoming middle class are contributing more to their business than the high value properties. The company has found the response from developers also to be equally good.

Better Homes is now planning to set up six offices in Mumbai for brokerage services to residential and commercial property in addition to its head office located in Lower Parel. However, the company agrees that when compared to Dubai, it takes longer to receive payment from clients which could at times result in temporary cash flow problems.

Mahoney said that the positive response from Indian market has given enough confidence for further expansion plans and the company is aiming towards being known as a global brand.

Promotional Offers on Mortgages increases

As per reports by Colliers International, the increase in competition in the real estate market of UAE, has led to changes in mortgage offerings. As against the loan to value (LTV) mortgage of seventy five to eighty percent on majority of developments that was being offered for the past one year, currently there are promotional offers of even up to ninety seven percent LTV mortgages with interest rates of 6.5 to 7.75 percent. The cost of construction that’s continuously on the rise coupled with a competitive market are believed to be the cause for this challenging environment.

Villa units in Dubai to rise to 240,000 by the year 2010

According to Colliers International, Real Estate Consultancy, Dubai currently holds approximately 16,500 villa units and 110,000 apartments and it is further estimated that about 170,000 to 240,000 units will be brought about by the year 2010.

Colliers predicts a softening of rentals and a potential decline in occupancy as against the high level occupancy of more than 99 percent that is taking place currently. As per reports, Colliers project that as the rents soften, and as the supply increases, the market will witness a change from the shared accommodation that is happening currently to single occupier units.

According to the firm, when the space available is tallied with the population growth, it is clearly evident that there is a yearly demand for single family units of atleast six percent since the year 2000. In case an alteration in the relationship between demand and supply arises, it is expected to have a significant impact on the high income category.

Another forecast made by Colliers is the change of payment structures. According to the firm, the trend witnessed by the market wherein there is a partial transition from annually paid rent advance to quarterly rent advance is likely to continue. The report also adds that the residential development market in Dubai has shown a spectacular capital increase on resale. There is a continuous rise in price inflation in the secondary market as per reports.

Rent cap helps in keeping unhealthy entrepreneurs at bay

Dubai is the first among the emirates to directly interfere in keeping a tab on the rents so that it does not go out of bounds. The rental market in 2003-04 was based on a “free for all” policy. The mounting inflationary pressures gave way to a rent cap, which was exactly that was needed for Dubai in the year 2005. The response from Dubai resulted due to the spontaneous increase in rent anywhere between forty to fifty percent on an average during every lease renewal.

Next in line to Dubai’s response, was Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah that strongly voiced for a stipulation of the increase in rent during a year. Now it is over to Dubai to decide regarding the extension of the fifteen percent rent cap in the coming year and for contract renewals. There is also an on-going debate regarding the percentage that it should even be lowered to five percent. Though a final decision on the matter is yet to be taken, The Vice chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Bonds, Nasser Al Shaikh is sure about the need to maintain a rent cap for Dubai. He adds that it will help in keeping unhealthy speculators away while retaining only interested serious long term investors. It also ensures that when it comes to attracting business, Dubai stays competitive in comparison to the rest of the region.

The Investment Director, Leads International, Denise McGinty is of the opinion that it is still a good idea to cap rents, because though one cannot obtain the 25% yield like before, still 8% to 12% yield can be achieved.

Ultimately, when most of the on-going developments are completed, the demand and supply in the housing market of Dubai will level up by itself. Hence as of now, the idea of rent cap is useful as a temporary relief measure.

More homes to be built for low-income families in Morocco

As per the information given by a company official, a company that was formed by Moroccan investors to supervise the construction of 22,000 homes for families with low-income in Morocco will float the local stock market in two years time.

House Invest, which was formed by Jet Asset Management in Morocco and Rea Capita, based in Bahrain has agreed to spend around $400 million on social housing projects in Tangier, Agadir, Casablanca and Marrakesh for the past four years. A fund specializing in social housing which includes top investors from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait will acquire about 90 percent of the capital of House Invest, and the rest will be kept by Jet and Real Capita.

The Managing Director of Jet Asset Management while speaking during a
presentation in Casablanca said that though they have sufficient funds to build
the 22,000 houses, they are planning for an IPO through which the project
company can reach the Moroccan Stock Exchange, thereby bringing more capital for
more projects.
The moves made for eradicating the slums in Morocco, in addition to the reforms made in the financial sector for lowering the borrowing rates coupled with the incentives provided to the Banks for lending money to people with irregular incomes have resulted in a huge demand for low-income houses in the Kingdom of North Africa.

Damac Properties – Expansion Plans

The Chief Executive of Damac, Peter R Riddoch said that Damac Properties is looking forward to expand to Pakistan and India. While Damac already has its presence in the UAE, Jordan, China, Qatar, Egypt and Lebanon, the company is planning to enter the markets of India and Pakistan next year.

Damac, which already has a portfolio of Dh80 billion including the Dh 60 bn. Gamsha Bay Project, which was recently launched, is expecting to account about 60 to 65 percent of the company’s value from projects beyond the UAE. Riddoch added that currently about 68 percent of the total Company value is contributed by Dubai and the rest comes from Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Abu Dhabi.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Realty projects valued at Dh500bn on Cityscape

Real estate projects worth up to Dh500 billion are likely to be announced during the Cityscape event in December. So far, Dh1.7 trillion worth of projects in the UAE have been announced, and they are to be delivered over the next 10 years. Another Dh300bn to Dh500bn worth of projects are to be announced soon.

Tamweel, the Islamic home financer said that it expected 30,000 units - both residential and commercial - to be delivered in Dubai next year.

Dubai Land Department to come up with three new laws

Dubai Land Department is all set to come up with three new property laws wherein Dubai property owners will be allowed to form an elected body to bring more clarity to the emirate's property sector.

The step is taken to ensure the property market does not slow down. The three laws are the Condominium Law, Trust Account Law and Owners Association Law.

The Condominium Law is expected to be out in the next two to three months. The other two laws will also come out soon - within the next 12 months.

A guide having a detailed map of all freehold areas and procedures for registration will be out soon. The Condominium Law will focus on the relationship between investors and developers in freehold apartment buildings, clarifying arrangements for maintenance, utilities and services, besides covering rights of use and owners' associations.

The Trust Account Law aims to regulate 'off-plan' sales and will ensure that when an apartment is booked on an off-plan basis. The developer cannot use the amount. The new law will explain as to when that amount can be released.

The last law, the Owners Association Law, will ensure the formation of a body, where the owner of the building will be able to elect representatives to form an association.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dana Property Development to build 11 towers in iMPZ

Dana Property Development announced that will invest Dh2.1 billion to build a residential complex with 11 towers in the International Media Production Zone (iMPZ).

The construction work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2007 and is slated for completion in mid-2009.

iMPZ has signed agreements with real estate groups Damac, Fortune Group and ETA Ascon to establish residential facilities in the past. With an investment of around Dh1bn, iMPZ will be built on an area of 43 million square feet.

It offers printing, publishing, packaging and graphic arts companies with business incentives, ranging from 100% ownership of businesses to complete tax exemption as well as a specialised infrastructure.

Damac Properties blames the contractors

Damac Properties has laid the blame on master plan developers and contractors for delaying in its various projects.

Damac Properties says, its project Lake Terrace is not likely to be delivered for the next 12 months. Similarly its Dh2 billion worth project, La Residence at the Lotus, the company's first residence tower in Business Bay is due for completion in 40 months.

The project is in the shape of lotus and has four towers, of which Damac launched the first 58-storey development at a square foot price of Dh970. Damac plans to spread its wings to two to three countries in the Middle East next year.

Dubai Industrial City unveils Shuaib Residential Complexes

Dubai Industrial City announced the construction of Shuaib Residential Complexes. Shuaib Residential Complexes is worth Dh1.6 billion.

It is developed at the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Shuaib Residential Complexes is said to conform to the highest national and international health and quality standards.

The project is said to provide the most advanced labour infrastructure and also set a benchmark for the creation of a highly standardised yet affordable accommodation facility for workers. The complexes will include leisure and recreation areas, such as retail outlets, communication centres, cinemas, and restaurants, coffee shops, and sports facilities, including cricket and basketball grounds.

Health and welfare needs will also be provided with health clinics, banking facilities, police, fire stations, laundries and mosques, all located within easy reach of the living accommodation.

It will be a 14 million sq ft self contained facility. It is said to host 87,000 beds in seven plots of the industrial complex. Shuaib Residential Complexes will be located in the Base Metal Zone, Minerals Zone, Machinery and Equipment Zone, Transportation Equipment Zone, and Food and Beverages Zone of the Dubai Industrial City in Jebel Ali.

Lilies Tower sold out

R Holdings announced that it has successfully sold all the units of the Lilies Tower. Lilies Tower is a 45 storied structure with 720 residential units and is shaped as the lily flower.

The Emirates City area has reached 5 million sq. ft and features 72 residential towers with modern shopping centers, hotels and apartments. It also has essential and entertainment needs like green tree spaces, lakes and walking alleys. The city has been designed to meet all the resident's needs and is considered the ideal place to live to experience a lavish lifestyle.

Dubai Properties to display two stands

Dubai Properties said that it will have two stands at Cityscape Dubai 2006. It will display its increasing projects, including Business Bay, Culture Village, The Villa and the Jumeirah Beach Residence. The stands will be located in Hall 1 (C20) and in Hall 6 (B10).

Dubai Properties' added that it will also provide visitors with a preview of the properties available for the Mazad auction, scheduled to take place on December 6. The auction is expected to have exclusive residential units, commercial spaces, towers and plots in Executive Towers of Business Bay and Culture Village. Culture Village will be the highlight of the exhibition.

SODIC to participate in Cityscape

Egypt's SODIC, real estate development company, announced that it is going to take part in the Cityscape exhibition. Cityscape exhibition will take place from December 4 to December 6.

Over 35,000 industry professionals from over 85 countries are expected to take part in this event. SODIC stated that will showcase its latest projects and plans in its pavilion number 8E20, Hall 8 in the Dubai International Exhibition Center.

SODIC aims to introduce the company as Egypt's most progressive developer and the Egyptian real estate sector generally as the most exciting in the region. It aims to compete in both the local market and regional market.

SODIC will also display its recently acquired two plots totaling 984,900 square metres in the booming eastern district of New Cairo in the exhibition.

Saudi group unveils Al Boshra Plan

Saudi Real Estate Service Company has unveiled its plans of developing Al Boshra Plan. The plan is said to be the largest residential project at the Haram (holy mosque), located between Makkah and Meena and will occupy 1.2 million square metres.

The company said that it will showcase projects and sign a number of agreements on new projects and businesses in Saudi Arabia especially in Makkah.

Company officials are expected to be in Dubai this week to showcase projects and network with partners.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rose Tower development from Bonyan International

Bonyan International Investment Group has announced that it has completed the construction of the 333-metre Rose Tower.

Rose Tower is located on Dubai Shaikh Zayed Road and has the latest amenities, premium fittings and state-of-the-art equipment.

Abdullah Atatreh, chairman of Bonyan International Investment Group said, "Completion of the Tower on time is a real achievement."

White Bay to deliver 8,000 units

Emirates Sunland Group has announced that White Bay project in Umm Al Quwain will deliver 8,000 units in the next five years. White Bay is a Dh8-billion worth project.

Sharjah-based Al Murjan Real Estate launched the project. The project is 200-hectare and a resort style residential community. The project promises to contain a mixture of hotels and leasehold apartments and villas with amenities.

It is said that the project will be built in 10 phases. Phase one will begin in the third quarter of 2007. After completion, the project will have two five star hotels on each wing of the harbour. White Bay promises to provide a rare coastal destination for weekend retreats.

Aldar partners with Laing O'Rourke

Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties has entered a construction joint venture with Laing O'Rourke to deliver Al Raha Beach projects in UAE.

Its maiden project will start with the construction of residential and commercial property at Al Raha Beach which will occupy 500 hectare.

The agreement was signed between Aldar chairman Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh and CEO Ron Barrott with Aldar Laing O'Rourke's Chief Executive Norman Haste. This is the first major joint venture for Aldar.

Century 21 to market Diplomat Trade Centre

Century 21 has been appointed to market the $26m worth Dubai Diplomat Trade Centre.

Diplomat Trade Centre is a 20-storied commercial development which is located in the heart of the Diplomatic Area, Bahrain. The agreement has been signed between Century 21 and Bahrain-based project developers Al Safar Group Holding. The agreement is worth $26 million.

As per the agreement, Century 21 will be the exclusive sales and marketing agents for the Diplomat Trade Centre and will offer freehold office space to local and international companies.

Diplomat Trade Centre is slated for completion in late 2008.

Champions Tower II sold out

Memon Group Dubai has announced that its Dh85 million worth residential tower Champions Tower II is completely sold out.

The tower was due for delivery in 2008. However it has been sold out early following a surge of interest from investors.

Champions Tower II is a 13-storied tower with a total of 174 apartments with the choice of 72 studios, 74 one bedroom and 28 two bedroom apartments.

The tower is located in close proximity to an 18-hole golf course, a cricket stadium and academy, rugby and football grounds and a track and field stadium.

Nuzul, Ascott bag twin contracts

Nuzul Holding BSC and Ascott International have bagged two contracts in Bahrain and Qatar.

Ascott International inked management contract with Nuzul Holding BSC for two serviced residences - Somerset Juffair in Manama, Bahrain, and Somerset Corniche in Doha, Qatar.

Somerset Juffair in Manama, Bahrain is 118 unit while Somerset Corniche in Doha, Qatar is 200 unit. With this contract, Ascott International will manage the twin properties for 10 years.

Abyaar launches Acacia Avenues complex

Kuwait's Abyaar Real Estate Development announced the launch of Acacia Avenues complex which will be built in Jumeirah. Abyaar stated that the project will be worth $550 million.

The complex will be 94,000 square metre and will be in the market in the first quarter of 2009.

Abyaar stated that it will develop the two tallest tower blocks in the centre of
the project, each of 137 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments along with 50
villas. The remaining three towers will be sold to other private developers.
Contracting company Wade Adams has been signed for the piling work which will start in the month of October. The building work on the main structures will start in March or April next year. The project is designed by an Italian architect, Matteo Nunziati.

Emaar to build budget hotels in India

Emaar MGF, Indian subsidiary of Emaar Properties, has joined hands with Accor to come up with 100 Formule 1 budget hotels in India in ten years. It said that it will invest Dh1.1 billion ($300 million) for the same.

Emaar MGF has identified many locations across the country for the development of Formule 1 hotels. It will start with major metros. The company revealed that it aims to develop 50 hotels in the first five years of its operations, with the remaining 50 to be developed in the second phase.

An agreement to form the joint venture was signed in the presence of Emaar Properties chairman Mohammad Al Abbar and Accor SA Chief Executive Officer Gilles Pelisson.

Budget Hotels India Private Limited will have 10,000 rooms.

Finance trouble because of cowboy developers

Cowboy developers are putting finance in jeopardy. Cowboy developers are those who secure loans and buyers' down-payments on property projects and then leave the country.

Banks and other financial institutions in the country are thinking twice before lending to new developers and also to companies which complete their projects late or never complete.

With the Dubai Land Department introducing regulation on trust accounts things are worsening. Investors' payments are safeguarded by independent bodies. Currently, most payments are made directly to the developers.

Lenders are now favouring a certain property developer with established. If
developers cannot secure loans to meet construction costs and do not have
sufficient personal finance, they will opt for the option of using the buyers'
down payments.


The Land Department has time and again outlined the plans to bring in regulations on trust accounts in Dubai, which would limit a developer's access to buyers' down payments before construction is complete.

Regency to build 50 more hotels

Regency Group is all set to come up with a 50 hotels in the next five years and also a partial initial public offering by the end of next year.

Regency Group has just started a hotel management company in Dubai ‘Oryx’. Oryx is a partnership with the Dubai government.

Regency has revealed plans of 12 to 14 hotels in the UAE and plans to begin with three-star hotels worth around $70 to $80 per room.

Regency is holding talks with several developers in the UAE including Tat-weer. Regency has also revealed plans to expand into Asia, especially India.

Makaseb Holdings launched Quattro West project

Makaseb Holding and Ta'sees launched Quattro West which will be built at Jumeirah Village, Dubai. It is a Dh1 billion joint venture project of the two.

The project includes four 30-storey towers which will be built above a common five-floor high base structure. The five floors will have shopping malls, a banquet hall, a convention centre, a business centre and a parking facility.

Out of the four towers, two will have commercial office space while the other two will include 260 hotel apartments and suites. Quattro West will have a built up area of one million square feet.

Makaseb Holding is a joint venture between the Rufi Group of companies, Sharm Land Limited, A&A Investment and Quattro.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Infinity Tower got International Property Award

Infinity Tower has won an award in the 'Best Architecture' category in the International Property Awards in London. International Property Award is considered as the most prestigious award in the property world.

Earlier, Infinity Tower bagged awards for the 'Best Development, Dubai' and 'Best Architecture', 'Multiple Units, Dubai', 'Best Developer Website, Dubai' for and 'Best Property Marketing, Dubai' categories in the Arabian Property Awards.

Infinity Tower is a 80-storied building at 330 metres and has the highest twisting tower in the world. It offers one to four bedroom residential apartments with duplexes and penthouses on the higher levels. Street level has a designated shopping and retail outlets for both residents and visitors.

Every Infinity apartment has contemporary internationally styled interiors with marble and wood finishes, and premium fixtures and fittings. It has high-speed Internet and access to digital/satellite TV, state-of-the-art air conditioning, and a comprehensive automation system to control lights, air-conditioning and other functions from a central handset.

The building includes a fully landscaped podium with a rooftop park, outdoor infinity pool, whirlpool and children's pool, located on the seventh floor. Other amenities include a health spa with treatment rooms, a gymnasium, conference rooms, cigar lounge, a fully-equipped nursery, an outdoor tennis court and a fully enclosed parking garage with state-of-the-art security.

Plaza Mayor launched

Makaseb, Ishraqah and Ta’sees announced the joint venture project of Dh3bn worth 'Plaza Mayor'. The joint venture agreement was signed by Hisham Abdul Ghani, Founder of Makaseb Holding Ltd., Hesham El Far, CEO, Ishraqah and Saad Ibrahim Al Moosa, President of Ta’sees.

The Plaza Mayor is situated in Jumeirah Village. It is inspired by its Spanish namesake and will cater to local sensibilities by absorbing UAE market preferences. The Plaza Mayor is expected to cover approximately 3 million square feet of built up area, with a ground surface area of over half a million square feet.

The towers will offer parking and retail level with a premium 4-storey hotel with 80 five-star rooms. The towers will have 45 levels of premium office space. The Plaza Mayor project is expected to act as a key commerce and tourism driver on completion.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Saudi enters world property stage

Saudi Arabian property developers participated at Cityscape, Dubai. The organisers of the largest international B2B real estate event are said to be surprised by the Saudi Arabia's response.

Cityscape 2005 had 1,200 square metres of space booked by Saudi companies. This year the figure it has gone up to 2,500 square metres, with around twenty major Saudi companies.

Cityscape Dubai is held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre. It will be held on December 4 to 6 2006.

The Saudi government has promised to provide every Saudi citizen with a home. The Saudi government has also revealed plans to upgrade and expand the country's electricity network and water supplies, the construction of which will cost an approximately around $700 million.

Abyaar appoints Pulse Holdings

Kuwait's Abyaar Real Estate Development has appointed Pulse Holdings to drive develop all commercial, hospitality and retail outlets.

Pulse will activate Abyaar's Dubai Marina apartment towers which will be followed by a further major development to be launched at this year's Cityscape. Pulse was chosen for its proven retailing expertise at the luxury end of the market.

With previous experience of placing prestigious brands in the most successful mixed-use projects in Dubai, including Emirates Towers and Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Pulse understands the needs and expectations of consumers, developers and retailers.

Pulse revealed that the Abyaar contract involved maintaining the company's key differentiators through profiling the retail mix to meet stakeholders' exacting demands.

Sama Dubai supports launch of ECAT

Sama Dubai took part in the Environmental Symposium on 'Challenges and Threats to the Environment - Lessons from the Past to Shape the Future', as the Strategic Sponsor. The seminar was held from November 14-15 in Dubai.

The two day event marked the official launch of the Environmental Centre for
Arab Towns (ECAT). ECAT was founded by the Arab Town Organization (ATO) in 2005. ECAT is a scientific research institute that deals with environmental issues
concerning Arab cities' natural resources.
Sama Dubai was the only real estate developer supporting the event. Sama Dubai's environmental best practices and wide ranging initiatives to ensure the conformity of its projects, operations and procedures to the highest international environmental standards were highlighted in the event.

'The Lagoons,' was a landmark development of Sama Dubai and was taken as an example for the event. The project has been designed and constructed to ensure harmonious existence with the surrounding ecosystems.

The purpose of this event was to explore innovations and developments in hazardous and non-hazardous waste management practices, discuss ideal methods for assessing environmental threats and observe the impact of environmental and health awareness programmes on reducing, reusing and recycling wastes.

TAKtical International invest in Dubai

US-based TAKtical International announced its plans to invest Dh250 million in the UAE real estate sector through its Dubai-based subsidiary, TAKtical Realty Group.

TAKtical International further added that the investments will be announced by December. Tariq Khan, founder and managing director of TAKtical International said that the affordable housing market is largely overlooked in Dubai but there is scope for such projects in other emirates of the UAE.

Home ownership in Dubai

There are many risks involved while buying a property, especially for those venturing the market for the first time.

Many buyers have been shortchanged by developers who cut corners to reduce costs.
Some developers land in deep trouble by making savings on things which cannot be seen, such as wiring and drains. The quality of construction is often hideous.

There is an oversimplification of the property market in Dubai. More importance is given to square-foot rates and the quality of construction is often neglected.

Dubai developers lack the experience of building villas in wet climates and so do not have the necessary understanding of managing rainfall.

Air conditioning of a house is a crucial factor. Cheaper-built villas will have the uglier, officestyle square ceiling vents, as opposed to less obtrusive recessed units. Each room must have its own control unit, otherwise one will end up conditioning empty rooms and running up a huge, unnecessary electricity bill. Villas with individual room controllers may be more expensive, but will help save money in the long run.

Pay attention to property service charges

Property industry is rapidly maturing. Service charges are forming an important part of any property deal. Investors are paying more attention to the sales and purchase agreements.

Service charges include the cost of maintaining a building. Most property owners living in apartments or villa compounds with shared facilities have to pay them, because it is the only manageable way to share the costs of looking after the property.

Service charges cover things like repairs, cleaning, security and shared amenities such as porters, community gardens or swimming pools. One is supposed to pay a small share of everything even if he or she does not use some of the services.

Service charges form a vital part and a clause on the same must appear in the sales and purchase agreement. Before signing any property contract, service charges should be clarified.

The agreement should state what services you are paying for, how the landlord or property manager will collect payment, how the amount is calculated, how it is divided between tenants and whether there is a 'sinking' or reserve fund.

The tenant is entitled to check whether costs are reasonable. The buyers must necessarily insist on transparency.

Lagoon Lounge opened

The Governor of Muharraq, Lagoon Bahrain opened its first on-site, customer relations centre, 'The Lagoon Lounge', on Amwaj Islands.

The centre is expected to process investor transactions of up to $120 million.
A considerable amount of business is expected to be conducted in the Lagoon Lounge over the next couple of months.

The Lagoon Lounge aims to streamline all back-office operations for sales and investor service. The Lagoon Lounge has been designed in the style of The Lagoon Bahrain.

It is now the main hub for business deals.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mayadeen buys buildings in Emaar Business Park

Kuwait's National Ranges Company (Mayadeen) said it has acquired two buildings in Emaar Business Park on Sheikh Zayed Road for Dh500 million. It also announced plans to invest another Dh105m in a commercial building under construction at Dubai Healthcare City.

The company has bought three adjacent lands 1,231 square metres in the Shams Abu Dhabi development. The firm is buying real estate assets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in order to expand in the real estate sector.

The company plans to build four high-rise towers for residential and commercial use in Shams Abu Dhabi. Construction is slated to begin early next year and is expected to end in mid-2009.

Mayadeen has bought Building No 2 and No 4 in Emaar Business Park on Sheikh Zayed Road. They are fully occupied and have a combined built-up area of 34,627sq m, and have a current rental yield of 6.2 and 8.6 per cent.

Mayadeen has contracted to buy an office building that is under construction in Dubai Healthcare City, with a built-up area of 7,523sq m, for Dh105m. It is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Makaseb Holding invest Dh20 billion

Makaseb Holding, a regional real estate investment company, was launched here with an investment of Dh20 billion. The money is expected to touch Dh100bn over the next 10 years.

A rapid growth has been witnessed in real estate market. Makaseb has been formed with an aim to enter the real estate market by acquiring existing real estate projects and developing new ones.

Makaseb means "profit" in Arabic. It is a joint venture between AA Investment Company, a Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah-based business, Pakistan's Rufi Group, Egypt's Sharm Land and Quattro Limited. Each company own a 25 per cent stake in the project. Makaseb aims to develop master-built communities and commercial, residential and hotel projects.

Abu Dhabi rent cap may bring down inflation

Abu Dhabi rent cap is expected to bring down the inflation across the country. Standard Chartered Bank has slashed its UAE's 2007 inflation forecast to 7.30 per cent from 9.60 per cent.

Abu Dhabi's rent cap aims to avoid cost-of-living pressures and is lower than its own forecast of an 18 per cent increase in rents next year.

Inflation is expected to fall to 7.30 per cent in 2007, down from 13.80 per cent in 2006, according to Steve Brice, regional head of research, Standard Chartered Bank. An inflation survey released in September in the GCC countries revealed that the 2005 and 2006 inflation was much higher than official estimates.

Abu Dhabi's move to cap rent increase at seven per cent in 2007 has had an impact on the inflation outlook.

Aldar properties to issue sukuk

Aldar Properties stated that it is waiting for an approval from the Ministry of Economy, to issue a sukuk, or Islamic bond and/or debentures in early 2007.

The decision to seek ministry approval for the issue and listing of a sukuk on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange was taken at a board meet on October 30th.

This move will give Islamic finance investors an opportunity to participate in the issue and Aldar Properties will take advantage of the current liquidity in the Islamic finance market.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dubai Silicon Oasis to build 750 new villas

Dubai Silicon Oasis has announced to build 750 new villas at its 7.2 million square metre facility.

It will invest Dh3.5 billion in building the villas. This will include the infrastructure, landscaping, 560 villas, staff accommodation and a sewage treatment plant as well as the DSO headquarters. Construction is slated to begin early next year.

Apart from this project, DSO has approved the construction of 40 towers with a total investment of Dh2.8 billion.

DSO is Dubai government's vision to attract investment in high-tech industries, especially electronics components, semiconductors and micro-chips.

Once the project is completed, DSO will host more than 100,000 residents who can live and work within the community.

RAK Airport Tower Project launched

Tasees launched the Ras Al Khaimah's AED 1 billion Airport Towers project.

The project is situated in the Ras Al Khaimah Airport Free Zone near the RAK airport. This project aims to drive in increased commerce and tourism to the emirate and also function as a business services nexus.

Saad Ibrahim Al Moosa, President of Ta’sees; Eng. Mohammad Saleh, President of Al Aqariya Group; Oussama El Omari, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAKFTZ) Authority and Eng Hisham Abdul Ghani, Chairman A&A Investment attended the launch.

The Airport Towers project comprises of 10 commercial towers with 10 floors, two tower blocks of furnished apartments, a luxury hotel and a cargo village. The park will also have a building for Rnata Travels.

The RAKFTZ is an important partner in the emirate's development, and is trying to attract further capital flows to RAK's economy.

The Airport Towers project will offer hospitality, residential, corporate and retail space in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

Limitless unveils Downtown Jebel Ali

Limitless unveiled Downtown Jebel Ali, a township worth Dh70 billion township. It added that Downtown Jebel Ali will house 235,000 people.

The project is considered a massive one and is expected to be completed in phases by 2011. It will occupy an 11 kilometre land stretch covering 200 hectares with built-up area of 70 million square feet.

The project is expected to have a total of 326 buildings out of which
237 will be residential and the rest commercial. It will be divided into four quarters, each divided into three districts with business, residential, dining and retail facilities.
The project is said to be connected to Dubai with four Dubai Metro stations and an automated people mover system.

The infrastructure work is slated to be completed by 2009 while the entire project is slated for completion by 2011.

Dubai Industrial City begins Shuaib Residential Complexes

Dubai Industrial City unveiled the construction of Shuaib Residential Complexes worth DH1.6 billion accomodation complex.

Shuaib Residential Complexes is expected to conform to the highest national and international health and quality standards and will provide the most advanced labour infrastructure in the region.

The complex is proposed to have diverse leisure and recreation centers such as retail outlets, coffee shops, communication centers, cinemans, hotels, sports facilities.

Essential facilities like health clinics, banking facilities, police, fire stations, laundry and mosques will also be included in the complex.

The complex will have 87,000 beds stretching over seven plots of the industrial facility.

Ras Al Khaimah announced Yasmin Village

Ras Al Khaimah announced the launch of Yasmin Village at a press conference.

Yasmin Village is a rural residential and commercial project in Ras Al Khaimah. It has a mountain view ans is away from city life. The project has lot of open space and ideal setting with villas, apartments, office space and communtiy buildings.

Yasmin Village proposes to have rain water harvesting, chemical-free sewage treatment plant with latest biotechnology. It also has plans to use solar energy for lighting throughout the development and will use battery operated vehicles for a shuttle service for residents.

Yasmin Village will have a ring road that encircles the entire development.

Ishraqah to invest in real estate

Ishraqah announced that it will invest Dh6 billion in the next two years in real estate projects around the world.

Ishraqah has revealed plans to create distinctive developments in several markets such as Morocco, India, Pakistan and Egypt. It has said that it will follow the international real estate standards and provide distinctive projects in all the markets.

Ishraqah has already bought an Dh1.48 billion plot of land from Limitless where it will build a residential project in Jumeirah Village by the the end of this year.

Sungwon to build luxury towers in Dubai

Sungwon Corporation plans to invest over $1.2 billion in property development in the Middle East in UAE's property market over the next three years.

Sungwon plans to invest by entering an alliance with Dubai Properties. Sungwon plans to pump in the money for building unique world-class lifestyle developments at Business Bay and Culture Village. Sungwon also plans to build luxury towers in Dubai.

Sungwon is one of the large integrated real estate, construction and engineering company of South Korea that has built many luxury high-rise residential/mixed use complexes.

Sungwon is known for its high rise mixed-use complexes, civil works, environmental plants and special projects, including championship golf courses, world class stadia and resorts. In 2005, Sungwon has built 52 commercial and residential projects so far.

Daffa International, Middle East Real Estate form JV

Grubb & Ellis/Gulf States Realty Advisors has been set up in order to provide real estate services to Qatar and the Gulf region.

Grubb&Ellis/Gulf States Realty Advisors is a joint venture company between Daffa International Company and Middle East Real Estate Services.

Daffa International will hold 51 per cent stake while Middle East Real Estate Services will have the remaining 49 per cent.

The tie-up is an effort to boost Qatar's real estate sector.

Maximus Group begins Silicon Oasis project

Maximus Group has begun work on two of its debut ventures at Silicon Oasis in Dubai, The Dunes and The Apricot. The project are worth Dh360 million.

The Dunes will offer apartments with balconies, terraces and gardens and other leisure facilities while the Apricot will offer premium open office spaces of the highest specification.

The projects are slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2008. Larsen & Toubro, India's largest contractors have been signed to build the project.

Hilton comes up with first residence in Dubai

Hilton Hotels has unveiled its plans of first residence property in Dubai. The hotel chain plans to build a 371-apartment Hilton Jumeirah Beach Residence in September next year.

A.A Al Moosa Enterprises owns the project and Hilton International will manage the same. The project will be located near the golden sandy beaches of the Dubai Jumeirah strip, and proposes to offer a home away for Dubai residents. It is said to offer a complete lifestyle experience for the residents. The Hilton Jumeirah Beach Residence is aimed to be a premier place for leisure and business travellers.

The tower will be 44-storied and will feature a blend of Arabesque and Mediterranean design elements. There will be one-bedroom to four bedroom apartment types, including five loft and two penthouse apartments.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bando Construction to invest in UAE

South Korean property developer Bando Construction and Engineering has revealed plans to invest in UAE's real estate projects next year. It said it will invest approximately $1 billion.

The company added that it plans to unveil many new developments including retail, commercial and residential units.

Bando Construction and Engineering is a 30-year-old company which has more than 280 professionals working in Korea. It builds approximately around 2,000 apartments every year and has a sales turnover of more than Dh1.83 billion in South Korea.

Bando’s Chairman Hong-Sa Kwon said, 'We aim to establish our hold here, but are also considering opportunities throughout the region.'

British top UAE's real estate investors list

AC Nielsen report revealed that British migrants invest the most in Dubai's real estate sector. They invest to find appropriate opportunities in the UAE, especially in Dubai and eye property related deals.

AC Nielsen surveyed and collected data covering UAE citizens, Arab migrants, Asian migrants and those from Western regions to review the type of investment opportunities. According to the report 50 per cent planned to invest in the UAE. On the other hand, Westerners had invested the most in the UAE.

Mohammad Al Hashimi, executive chairman of Zabeel Investments, the one that commissions AC Nielsen report said, 'The results of the research are very interesting, especially those planning to stay in the UAE for a number of years.

Also, it is very clear from the migrants' hesitation that there is a serious need for clarification into the ownership and liability laws with regards to property.

Emirates Sunland holds VIP agents event

Emirates Sunland Group, the property development company gave a brief of their upcoming projects at a VIP event for Dubai’s top real estate agents.

The event was organised by Emirates Sunland Group (ESG) to give select agents a preview of three projects, including the Palazzo Versace Hotel and Condominiums to be built on Dubai’s Creek, D1, an 80 storey residential/resort apartment tower, and a master planned community in Umm Al Quwain, to be known as White Bay.

White Bay will be officially released at the end of November. Palazzo Versace Condominiums will be released on an invitation only basis and the Group has already been inundated with registrations of interest from potential purchasers.

The VIP agents’ event was held at the Fairmont Hotel. It was held with an aim to promote strong relationships between ESG and the region’s best real estate companies. Agents were invited to meet staff from ESG’s specialist design, construction and sales teams, as well as talk with Soheil Abedian, the Managing Director of Emirates Sunland Group about each of the projects.

Soheil Abedian said that, “It is important that we provide the local agents with a better understanding of who we are as a design and development company and the quality of our products – many of which have received prestigious awards.”

Emaar launches Nuran

Emaar Properties launched Nuran Al Majara Residences at Dubai Marina. It is a subsidiary of Emaar Hospitality Group LLC and offers fully-serviced residences.

‘Nuran’ is an Arabic name and means two lights, representing the sun and the moon.
Nuran Al Majara Residences at Dubai Marina has 90 fully-furnished residences fully serviced, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. Its location offers convenient access to the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village and Emirates Golf Club.

All residences are fully equipped with modern household conveniences and appliances. Recreational facilities include a complete range of health and fitness facilities within the premises.
"Nuran highlights a philosophy built on "Always" marked by pre-emptive, warm and sincere service, which is unceasingly attentive and yet appropriately discreet,” said Esther Wai, General Manager, Nuran Serviced Residences.

Dubai Properties aims residential and commercial investors

Dubai Properties aimed investors and business leaders from the Asia-Pacific region at the recently concluded first UAE-Asia Investment Forum held along with Global Entrepolis at Singapore (GES) 2006.

GES 2006 was a four-day event and had a multitude of events on connecting
businesses around the world. It is a platform where participants, delegates and
exhibitors were offered opportunities to forge partnerships, secure funding,
share expertise and network.
Dubai Properties presented investment outlooks for all of its residential and commercial master developments including Jumeirah Beach Residence, Business Bay, Culture Village and The Villa at the UAE-Asia Investment Forum.

The delegation met Singapore government officials and discussed co-operative business development strategies with chief officers and senior executives from real estate and financial institutions in the Asia Pacific region.

The master developer was the Platinum Sponsor of the event. It attracted over 15,000 visitors from over 70 countries, and provided investors with information about business expansion opportunities and investment solutions in Singapore.

Dubai Properties participation in the first UAE-Asia Investment Forum was part of its international business strategy to project the UAE as a potential market hub.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Grant Donald to visit Dubai

World-renowned landscape architect, Grant Donald will be visiting Dubai from November 30th to December 3rd to unveil new trends in the world of design and architecture at the forthcoming Dubai Ideal Home Show.
Grant Donald has more than 25 years of experience in this field and has acquired an impressive portfolio as a Landscape Architect and Educator. He has lectured on Landscape Architecture and Landscape Design in many international cities including London, Beijing, Edinburgh, Prague, Mumbai, Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Ankara.

He is currently the chairman of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) committee for the development of Landscape Architecture in the African continent, as well as being the 1st western professional to become a member of a Chinese society of Landscape Architecture.

With an aim to educate the public and professionals worldwide on Landscape Architecture and Design, his work has been published in many journals, magazines and books in three different countries and different languages.

Grant has been associated with many of the world’s well known projects such as Disneyland, Hong Kong and 2010 world expo site in Shanghai, PRC. Grant continues to work with and educate students, design professionals, developers and government agencies to intelligently design landscapes.

ETA Star wins Property Awards

ETA Star has bagged three major CNBC Arabian Property Awards for its achievement in the real estate industry. ETA Star's The Grandeur Residences and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah and Hircon's 23 Marina properties have won Best Architecture awards while its corporate website www.etastar.com was nominated as the Best Developer website in UAE.

ETA Star received the awards at a glittering ceremony held at The One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel in Dubai on Saturday. The ceremony was attended by leading developers and agents from GCC. NBC Arabian Property Award was launched to differentiate the highest levels of achievement in a range of property related fields. A total of 16 awards were presented at the ceremony including Best Developer, Best Real Estate Agency, Best Property, Best Golf Development, Best Architecture, Best Interior Designer, Best Property Portal and Best Apartment.

Abid A Junaid, Executive Director, ETA Star received the award. Abid A Junaid, said, "This is a proud moment for us as two of our iconic projects have been recognized for their architectural splendour. ETA Star has built its reputation on a singular focus on quality, and it is a testament to our firm adherence to international quality standards."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Emaar launches Old Town Island phase II

Emaar Properties, realty major have come up with the second phase of Old Town Island, Attareen in

Mizin starts Liwan Project

Mizin, Tatweer's real estate company stated that it will start infrastructure work at the 13-million sq-ft Liwan project. The project is located at the intersection of the Emirates and Al Ain roads.

Mizin Chief Executive Officer Sami Al Hashimi said, "Infrastructure work is a crucial step for the success of any project." Roadwork started on August 1 and is slated to be completed by February 2007. Plot grading started in mid-October and is also aimed to be completed by 2007.
Liwan will have 100 residential complexes with six business towers, entertainment, dining and retail areas. It aims to cater to the tourist and business needs of the region.

Property show clocks spot business of Rs 60 cr

The Indian Property Show, which brought together more than 80 real estate and financial companies from the subcontinent, saw record spot business worth Rs 60 crore and inquiries estimated at more than Rs 600 crore.

Sumansa Events, which organised the four-day event that concluded on Sat, said that the exhibition showcased 17 billion dirham worth of property from India and attracted more than 11,000 visitors. Sunil Jaiswal, CEO, Sumansa Events, said the show sought to address two factors including accurate information and direct access to real estate developers from India that would help NRI's in taking decision.

He said the Indian real estate sector is one of the hottest investment options, and rates higher than bank deposits or bonds where the return ranges between 5.55 and 6 per cent. The retail market has been growing due to higher disposable incomes, lower interest rates, easy availability of housing finance and growing salaries.

RAK Properties takes part in Extravaganza 2006

RAK Properties PJSC took part in Extravaganza, an exhibition of luxury products and services for members of the Moscow Elite. It took place at the Manege Exhibition Center in Moscow from October 26 to October 28, 2006.

RAK Properties benefited a lot from the exhibition. It answered many queries about investing in the property market in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Mohamad Sultan Al Qadi, Managing Director of RAK Properties said, “There are many investors who are choosing to invest in UAE in general and RAK in particular; RAK is the upcoming place for real estate investment.”

Julfar Towers, a 43 storied twin office and residential towers was the company’s maiden project. It was worth AED 500 million and was completed in February 2006. The company’s second project was Mina Al Arab worth AED 10 Billion and was launched in May 2006.

Dubai Industrial City gets ISO certification

Dubai Industrial City has been awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2000 certification by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance, an accredited third-party registrar of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

ISO 9001:2000 was awarded to Dubai Industrial City after a comprehensive audit of all its processes from an internal review of customer contracts to the final delivery of products and services.

"The ISO 9001:2000 quality standard shows the high accountability that Dubai Industrial City places on both executive management involvement and measurable quality objectives," said Khalid Al Malik, Senior Vice President of Industry and Knowledge of Tatweer.

According to the external auditors from Lloyds, Dubai Industrial City’s Management is well aware about its organisational goals and strategies. It has established short term and long term plans to achieve client-focused objectives.

DIRC to roll out of properties worth Dh2 billion

Dubai Investments Real Estate Company (DIRC), real estate hand of Dubai Investments PJSC announced the roll out of properties worth Dh2 billion. The firm added that about 70 per cent of the 2,200 housing units under Ritaj development - its first residential project at Dubai Investments Park have been sold out within a week of its launch.

Achieving 70 per cent sales for the first phase in less than a week's time, is certainly a remarkable achievement. Ritaj is a project that represents the concept of affordable luxury. The development provides a range of more than 2,200 housing units, including studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments.

CHI Development Group to award contracts for Lime Tree project

CHI Development Group will award contracts for phase 1 of the Dh500 million 121-villa Lime Tree project at Nakheel's iconic Jumeirah Golf Estates here. The project is aimed to be completed in the third quarter of 2008. The company has already bought a few plots of land in Dubai for development.

CHI has bought land parcels on Lime Tree Valley that surround part of 'Earth', the Eco-signature course designed by Greg Norman at the Jumeirah Golf Estates. All their projects are niche. They are not master or mass developers.

The villas will portray the essence of New Dubai, a luxury community living in a convenient location complete with all essential facilities. Construction has already begun on the golf course with initial earthworks and lake formation well progressed.

SunAlliance give home insurance to SGG residential projects

Star Group Global (SGG), UAE based real estate developer and Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA), world’s leading insurance providers have signed an exclusive agreement for one year free home insurance in SGG’s residential projects currently underway.

The 17-storied Yacht Bay tower and the 34- floor Royal Oceanic, both located at the prestigious Dubai Marina are the projects included under this insurance. SGG revealed this as gifting peace to the customers. SGG has developed expensive fittings and possessions in its residences.

Star Group Global has the region’s top architects, consultants and contractors involved to provide high-quality real estate projects. SGG has a 50-year history in the UAE of tailoring personal and commercial insurance solutions and Royal & SunAlliance brings both global experience and local knowledge into this innovative offer of home insurance.

Lootah real estate comes up with Shamal Terraces

Lootah Real Estate Development has announced the launch of Shamal Terraces. Shamal Terraces is a town house development representing different type of town house developments. The company has more than 6,000 workforces and has completed over 1,000 units so far. It is located in Jumeirah Village.

Each townhouse is proposed to spread across three floors with three bathrooms, occupying 4,285 square feet. High ceilings and large glass sliding doors create well-lit, spacious living areas that provide a sense of luxury and homely comfort.

Each townhouse will have state-of-the-art facilities including a high-speed internet connection in every room, intelligent home automation system with monitored access, contemporary kitchens with excellent finishes as well as a 2-car garage with remote-controlled gate.

White Bay project in Umm Al Quwain

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Umm Al Quwain Deputy Ruler, and Shaikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Investments Group LLC (EIG) have recently signed an agreement for the establishment of White Bay.

White Bay is proposed to be a master planned community and tourism resort in Umm Al Quwain. The project is worth more than Dh8 billion. It will be marketed and managed by Emirates Sunland Group (ESG). ESG is 50:50 partner of Sunland Group, an Australia based property Development Company, and UAE-based Emirates International Holdings Ltd.

White Bay is proposed to be a destination for those who would like to experience the facilities and services of a world-class resort, all in the natural environment of Umm Al Quwain.

Dheeraj East Coast to come up with 16 projects

Dheeraj East Coast (DEC), a joint venture between India’s Dheeraj Group and the East Coast Group announced the launch of 16 projects worth $1 billion (Dh3.6 billion). DEC took off with its maiden project DEC Towers which is worth Dh300 million in Emaar's Dubai Marina. It is a twin-tower with 21 and 25-storey residential area and an L-shaped retail segment on the ground floors.

The company has managed to buy plots and is developing many projects in Business Bay, Jumeirah South Village and Culture Village. In Dubai Marina alone, DEC has six plots and its investments in this community are in the range of Dh1.5 billion. The company is ready to launch a new residential project, Marina Wharf II.

In Business Bay, DEC is coming up with three commercial towers at an investment of approximately Dh800 million. The projects will include a unique corporate tower which will be developed on 650,000 square feet and will offer single unit office space as large as 3,500 square feet. The project is also proposed to have a strong retail component on the ground floors while on rooftop with a revolving restaurant.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Emaar Properties wins award

Emaar Properties has won Construction Week’s ‘Developer of the Year’ award for its adherence to build quality, aesthetics, timely delivery and evidence of intelligent master-planning. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, UAE Managing Director of Emaar Properties received the award from Grahame McCaig, General Manager and Zeyad Baker, Deputy General Manager of Dutco Balfour Beatty.

The Developer of the Year Award from Construction Week, an industry-specific publication, is a great honour in its own kind. The winners were selected by a high-profile panel of construction industry experts by consensus.

Emaar has handed more than 14,500 homes in Dubai through its various projects including the Arabian Ranches. Emaar has announced several development projects in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, India and Pakistan.

Al Futtaim to invest $3.5b in Egypt

Dubai-based Al Futtaim Group plans to invest 20 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.5 billion) to build a new residential area on 1,750 hectares of New Cairo, Egypt. Phil McArthur, managing director of Al Futtaim Group Real Estate has revealed that the project would be built on land purchased by the group in the year 1997 and would be called Cairo Festival City.

McArthur also said that the project would take seven to 10 years to be completed. Along with housing units, Cairo Festival City will feature hotels, shopping centres and recreational sites.

Dubai land sales cross Dh3bn mark

According to the Dubai Land Department, land deal transactions have touched the Dh3.09 billion mark in the month of October this year. Aim for this year is to touch Dh38bn mark by way of land deals.

In all 234 cash sales transactions worth Dh1.03bn have taken place last month. Out of which 135 were mortgage transactions which were worth Dh1.96bn and 15 were donations of land and property which were worth Dh97.48 million.

The total value of real estate has thereby risen in the year 2006 compared to that of 2005. The real estate value touched Dh17.3bn in the first half of 2005 and was estimated at Dh20.6bn in the same period this year.

Building materials cost to rise further

Building and construction materials prices are likely to go up by another 10 to 15 per cent in the next few months. Since January, the prices of building materials have gone up by at least 40 per cent. The UAE building material industry is worth Dh36.67bn and supports more than Dh638.5bn worth of projects.

Currently no decline of price is possible mainly because supply is less than the demand. The market is opting for cheaper raw materials to complete ongoing projects. In order to deal with the sky-touching prices, some builders are also opting to bring in more cost effective innovative products.

“We try not to increase prices of our building materials in a situation where prices are already touching the sky. Instead, we look for more innovative opportunities and ways of doing business,” said Ghadian Daban, the Managing Director of the Dubai-based Arab Suppliers Group, which deals in steel, aluminium, fibre glass and wood.

New Grosvenor business tower from Asam Investments

Asam Investments and Real Estate, a real estate investment and development-focused company revealed its plans to launch Grosvenor Business Tower at Dh450 million that will be located in the Tecom free zone.

International companies who seek to establish their businesses in free zones are drawn to Dubai. Free zones help customize policies and infrastructure. The tower will have a rooftop recreation zone called ‘The Unwind’ and will also have a health club and rooftop pool with sauna and steam rooms, and a retail zone.

Dubai Properties to take part in UAE-Asia Investment Forum

Dubai Properties has announced that it will participate in the first UAE-Asia Investment Forum during Global Inter policy Singapore. It said it will also discuss business development opportunities with investors in the Far East. The event is expected to attract over 15,000 visitors. It will take place from October 30 to November 3.

Dubai Properties is also the Platinum Sponsor of the five-day event, which will provide investors with information about business expansion opportunities and investment solutions in Singapore.
It aims to reach out to clients looking to capitalize on the region’s dynamic business opportunities and set new challenges for business growth.

Dubai Properties’ participation in the event will serve to strengthen Singapore and Dubai relations. Dubai Properties has been partnering with Asian counterparts in the areas of property investment and development for quite some time now.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Omniyat Properities open Gemini sales

Omniyat Properties, the real estate development arm of Almasa Holdings, has opened its fourth commercial project, Gemini, a Dh500 million freehold office tower in Dubai’s Business Bay.

Gemini will be completed in the second quarter of 2009 and will raise 20 storeys and will comprise of 260,237 square feet of office space. It is aimed to be a unique structure with the fa├žade being constructed from solid black granite blocks with meandering aluminium and white glass.

It will have twin towers which will be linked by a 15-storey central block with house freehold offices, serviced offices, a tranquility zone, retail and medical facilities. The building is designed to have four underground parking levels, and will promote the ‘everything-under one-roof’.

Gemini will aid efficiency as staff will not have to leave the office to pay bills, go to the dentist or visit the travel agent. All these tasks can be done in one place with minimal effort which will enhance workplace productivity.

Property recruiment consultancy opens in Dubai

UK-based property recruitment consultancy Macdonald and Company has opened its first Middle East office in Dubai.

Macdonald and Company specialises in finding recruits in fields such as development, investment and finance, project management, architecture and urban design, and building. Dubai was a natural choice for them to open an office because of its rapidly growing economy and property sector, the company said in statement.

Nakheel unveils Cape Town plan

Nakheel Hotels and Resorts, a Dubai World company plans a whopping $1 billion investment in Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, which was acquired last month for $1 billion.The new investment will be made over the next four years to prepare the Waterfront to receive more visitors during the 2010 soccer World Cup that will be hosted by South Africa. A number of facilities will be added to Waterfront in three phases.

The development will be financed through bank loans and other options. However, the amount that will be raised through banks was kept undisclosed. Nakheel plans to raise funds for the site from the World Cup marketing campaign that will bring millions of extra tourists to South Africa before and after the event.

It is estimated half million people will visit South Africa for the World Cup. Two luxury hotels and one budget hotel will be among the facilities being built as part of the new development. The masterplan for the development has been created by project management firm WS Atkins and Partners Overseas.The V&A Waterfront contains 603,000 square metres of approved bulk development rights, of which 45 per cent remains to be developed.

Earth course villas of Nakheel go on sale

Villas at the Lime Tree Valley development at Nakheel's Jumeirah Golf Estates will go on sale from November 7.

A first phase release of 121 properties, which are adjacent to the Earth golf course, have four to six bedrooms ranging in size from 4,200 sqft to 6,995 sqft. UAE-based CHI Development Group was the developer, and Better Homes is principal sales agent. Lime Tree Valley is one of seven residential developments planned for the Earth golf course.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Al Madar announces foray into booming UAE market

Al Madar Property Investments has announced its foray into the fast-growing UAE property market with a string of residential and commercial projects. The property developer plans to invest several billion dirhams in seven major projects in Business Bay in Dubai and GCC.

Al Madar Group was founded in 1992 as a company specialized in the design and construction of civil and industrial projects as well as infrastructure and marine development works. Al Madar has since grown to become one of the premier business houses in the Gulf and has today a presence in several business and industrial sectors, including real estate, contracting, engineering, manufacturing and trading.

By launching a series of high-profile projects in the UAE, Al Madar hopes to capture a sizeable share of the country's booming property market and reinforce its regional standing. Through its projects located at Business Bay, it aims to cater to the country’s demand and tap into the country's rapidly expanding property market.

UAE tops region in terms of construction value

UAE's breathtaking rate of development has seen it account for a third of the $1 trillion total construction value of projects in the GCC. The country is the region's top spender on construction projects with $294 billion worth of building work announced so far - more than Bahrain, Qatar and Oman combined.

Kuwait is in the second place with construction projects announced totaling $211 billion, narrowly beating Saudi Arabia with $201billion. According to a company organising the Big 5 trade fair, the rapid growth in construction spending (estimated in the UAE at 11 per cent per year on average over the last decade) is sustainable, but the UAE's domination of the market is not guaranteed.

The UAE is definitely a major player in the GCC, but the exciting companies are involved in huge activity in the other Gulf States, many of which are selling land to foreigners and attracting more and more tourists.

The five-day Big 5 exhibition held at Dubai Exhibition Centre from Sunday attracts global companies in the building and construction sector, as well as air conditioning and refrigeration, cleaning and maintenance, glass and metal, bathrooms and ceramics, marble and machinery and water technology and the environment.

Companies' interest in the GCC would dip if development slows. There is still a huge amount of work required and for the foreseeable future there is no sign of a slowdown. Once the majority of construction is complete, refurbishment and renovation is still required - it's not just new build which attracts companies.Organisers are expecting 43,000 visitors, compared to that of 38,535 in 2005. However, this year hundreds of companies were turned away through lack of available space.

Italian minister of trade Emma Bonino will be among the visitors at the show. Total Italian exports to the UAE in 2005 reached 2.5 billion euros ($3.15 billion), up more than 20 per cent on 2004. Trade in the first half of this year reached 1.5 billion euros - a staggering 35.7% increase on the same period in 2005.

Nakheel finished 4000 apartments and villas

Nakheel is currently developing 17 projects across Dubai and has recently announced that it will hand over about 4,000 apartments and villas on the Palm Jumeirah within the next few months. Chris O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer of Nakheel said that the Dubai property market “will continue to prosper”.

There is still huge demand for villas currently and they still have room to move price wise. With apartments, however, things might slow in the next six months. O’Donnell laid stress on the high standard of quality. He added that Nakheel is in no hurry to sell the land on the $3 billion (Dh11bn) The World project. Currently, 25 per cent of the land on the development comprising 303 islands has been sold.

Rather than counting the number of islands that they have sold, Nakheel factors in the land sold. There are two things about selling land. One is the square foot rate that you sell it at and the time when you sell it. Nakheel are at a point wherein they have sold 25 per cent of the total land mass on The World. Currently, Nakheel has got some buildings under development on some of the islands on The World. They are getting some very good interest in the sales of land and O’Donnell is very confident that it will be a huge success.

Mizin starts infrastructure work at Liwan

Mizin, Tatweer's real estate company, specialising in infrastructure development, on Wednesday announced the start of infrastructure work at the 13 million square feet Liwan project.

It is located at the intersection of Emirates Road and Al Ain Road, close to the Academic City and Silicon Oasis. The freehold development is in line with Mizin's management strategy of launching projects after the completion of site planning.

Infrastructure work is a crucial step for the success of any project. Mizin plans to rapidly complete the task reflecting the highest standards of quality, and facilitate its stakeholders to start work on their projects without any delay.

Roadwork will be completed by February 2007. Grading of plots began in mid-October and will also be completed by early next year. Liwan will comprise of 100 residential complexes, six business towers, entertainment, dining and retail areas.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Construction of Palm Deira started

Palm Deira will be a fullyfledged district of Dubai with schools and hospitals, as well as villas and accommodation for the lower end of the market, a Nakheel official has said. Construction started yesterday after months of reclamation and sand filling.

Full details will be announced before the end of the year and selling of the first batch of the reclaimed land will begin by mid-2007, he said. “Palm Jumeriah is focused on residential [areas] and resorts, but if you look at Palm Deira, it needs amenities such as schools, universities and hospitals. It needs to work as a city for it to be successful. And it will be the final chance for buyers to invest in a development with a seaview.” Announced in November 2004, the project was quickly sold with 40 per cent of the first phase being also snapped up. But there was also speculation whether investor fatigue in Dubai’s mega projects had taken its toll.

“Right now we have reclaimed over 13 per cent of the project, and we intend to deliver this project that His Highness [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai] promised. “Very soon people will be able to start construction. We are making land available closer to the Deira side so that investors can start construction. We have seen tremendous interest in residential and hospitality sectors, but I see tremendous scope in commercial space as well.” The Palm will be 18 kilometres long by 9km wide and will feature 41 fronds.

Nakheel is in talks the Road and Transportation Authority to link it with the Metro. “Nakheel is also working on water taxis that will link all its island projects, such as The World, to this project. There will be marine transportation hubs as well.” While Al Sulayem was careful to explain that the project focuses on the high end of the market, similar to other Palm projects, he added that there will be opportunities for investors at the lower end too.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

UAE attractive equity investent destination in the middle east

The UAE is among the three most attractive equity investment destinations in the region alongside Kuwait and Egypt, meriting a rating of “overweight”, according to a report on the Middle East released yesterday.

“From the perspective of a regional investor with full market access, we suggest an overweight stance on Egypt, Kuwait and UAE; market weight on Bahrain and Oman; and underweight on Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said the report by Switzerland-based Credit Suisse.

“The Gulf continues to appear valued in line with the mainstream MSCI [Morgan Stanley Capital International] emerging markets universe, with the latter currently trading on trailing PER [price to earnings ration] and PBR multiples of 13.8 and 2.3 times, respectively,” the report said.

Trailing PER is still the highest in Saudi Arabia at 22.7 times, followed by Qatar at 20.1 times.
The UAE comes in third with 15.8 times trailing earnings and the lowest multiples in the region are now in Bahrain at 11.4 times and Kuwait at 9.7 times, according to the report.

“We maintain our regional sector recommendations with an overweight stance on the banks and telecom sectors and our underweight stance on materials,” said Samer El Khatib and Nima Noorizadeh, the research analysts at Credit Suisse and authors of the report. A key catalyst for the development of the Middle East equity markets is the implementation of regulatory reform.
GCC countries have been adopting measures to implement structural reforms with the aim of further opening the region’s equity markets.

[Source - Emirates Today]

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Garden Apartments in Uptown Mirdiff

The Garden Apartments, one of the four styles of apartment buildings in Uptown Mirdiff, are fully occupied for almost a year now. A busy sub-lease market has emerged for these apartments in the higher end of the market. As the project is close to the completion, there is extensive secondary market activity, whereby premiums of between 20 to 28 per cent are attained.

Superbly appointed Townhouses, stylish Rowhouses and five distinct apartment styles are planned around a Grand Piazza, the centerpiece of the community. Abundant with neighbourly appeal and filled with convenient shopping and dining outlets, UPTOWN Mirdiff is delightful, secure family living environment. Welcome to your neighbourhood.

Villas
Three Bedroom Townhouse built-up area approx 2,500 sq ft
Three Bedroom Rowhouses built-up area of approx 2,000 sq ft

Apartments
Studio Apartments of 480 sq ft
One Bedroom Apartments of 1,200 sq ft
Two Bedroom Apartments of 1,600 sq ft

Motor City from Union Properties

Motor City is the ultimate destination development. Destination developments offer a combination of entertainment, dining and retail within a pedestrian-orientated, multi-use environment. Destination developments appeal to the sophisticated consumers who, sated with goods and services, seek memorable experiences and sensations to enrich their lives. What distinguishes destination developments are careful attention to independent, but complimentary amenities that draw different kinds of visitors at different times and the unconventional use of materials, scale and composition to evoke feelings of excitement, energy and creativity.
Masterplan Even within Motor City, conceived as a cluster for the automotive and racing industry, the Green Community and Uptown residential areas have been woven into the masterplan.

This will complement the business park, hotels, showrooms and automalls that form such key elements of the masterplan. The multi-billion dirham venture is to be one of the premier tourist attractions once completed. “In terms of what they offer, Green Community and Uptown are well differentiated. The units are large varying from 2,500 square feet to 4,000,” says Azzam. “We realise there is a ready market for such four-star developments in select overseas markets. “In Dubai, the company has achieved definite success in doing expansive community-themed developments — in fact we pioneered and mastered it here.

Two residential brands move to overseas

Two of Dubai’s coveted residential brands, Green Community and Uptown, could be recreated in select overseas locations, according to the developer, Union Properties. It will also represent the next logical step for the company’s push to widen its top-line growth. “A move overseas will be the next step — but our role will not be confined to being the investors. We will come with the full package,” says Simon Azzam, Chief Executive Officer. “It means bringing the know-how, technology and making sure that our brands are well protected. The look and feel of any such venture will have to be true to what is there in Dubai.”

Portfolio of projects
A decision on the timing of the overseas move has not been decided. Union Properties has got a full portfolio of projects on hand in Dubai, including the Motor City development and those in Dubai International Financial Centre.

There has been speculation for some time now that some investor groups were interested in tying up with Union Properties for overseas projects. It was in the late 1990s that Union Properties launched Green Community (in joint venture with Dubai Investments) and followed it with the Uptown in Mirdiff. More recently, there was the launch of the Green Community West, with all units put up for sale being snapped up by investors in a matter of hours.

This is a fact not lost on Azzam. “We know both Green Community and Uptown have found a standing in the local market and will be an easy sell. This, we believe, can be translated to new markets as well. “But Dubai is still the primary market at the moment — the need is to focus on delivering the many projects we have already launched. The launch is always the easy part; delivery is where all the hard work takes place.”

And I can truly say that a Green Community has both the green and community aspects to it. It is not just there in the name. “The fact there is relatively limited selling of our units on the secondary market confirms we are on the right track.”

[Source - Property Weekly]

Careful to appoint an estate agent

Dubai’s booming real estate business definitely has a certain glamour value with the way projects are marketed, but it is also a diversion from the fact that buying property is essentially a serious matter that needs careful consideration. Before you employ an agent, it is important to do a little research. Get to know who has skilled in-house staff in the area you require professional services for. Which agent is the most active in the type of property you are looking for?

A number of precautions can be taken with practically no hassle. For example, visit Dubai Property Group’s website, which lists real estate company members who adhere to the group’s code of ethics. When dealing with a bro ker, ask for the power of attorney from the owner. Ask for a list of properties being managed or leased by the agency - this will demonstrate their strength and experience.

To check the company's legitimacy, you could also ask for a copy of their trade licence and insist on receiving an official offer. Always get everything in writing. Before making your payment, always check the real estate agent’s liability. If it is only to lease the property, never hand rent cheques over unless the company is man aging the property too. These cheques should only go to the landlord's office. Those buying property should also consult the original sales and purchase agreement, and proof of ownership from the master developer.

Owning and renting property in the UAE is for the vast majority a fulfilling experience, not the beginning of the end. Planning and research could provide peace of mind and the opportunity to take advantage of a blossoming sector, and will be the best deterrent to real estate fraudsters.