Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shams Abu Dhabi project awarded to Athena

The Shams Abu Dhabi Marina project has been awarded to a Greek Contractor, Athena SA, by Sorouh Real Estate. The Project, worth Dh63million, involves construction of two sea walls and a marina, along the boundaries of the island on Shams Abu Dhabi, which is one of the flagship projects of Sorouh Real Estate on the Reem Island.

The initial seawall will be made of concrete blocks with reinforced rock fills, which spreads over two kilometers of island along the east and north coasts of Shams Abu Dhabi. The second wall will be on the east coast surrounding the Shams Marina.

Shams Abu Dhabi, located in Reem island, about 300mts across the north-east coast of the city of Abu Dhabi, covering an area of more than 1.560 million Sq.mts., which is, approximately 25 percent of Reem Island.

The overall project will consist of 80 percent residential projects and 20 percent meant for recreational and commercial use. On the whole, Shams Abu Dhabi can be inhabited by about 70,000 people, with first phase due for completion by 2009 and the entire project will be delivered by 2011.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Warqa Dump to turn into leading residential unit

The Dubai Municipality is planning to turn the construction dump of Al Warqa into a leading residential unit, by creating a unique design.The execution of this project will be carried out as per the directives from the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

A technical task force, which is headed by the Acting Director General of the Municipality, Hussein Lootah, has already been set up. The team is said to have visited the site for identifying the acceptable altitudes and coordinates, and other planning requirements.

The dump in the area will be reclaimed by restructuring the contour elevations, and the area will be filled with arable soil and sand. A big public garden is likely to be done and other infrastructure facilities including drainage and sewerage network is being planned.

Another alternative for disposal of construction waste has also been explored. The Warqa dump usually receives 35,000 tonnes of construction wastes a day from 2800 odd trucks, in addition to 300 trucks of surplus sands from projects. The municipality has entered into a contract with a company specialized in managing and recycling the construction waste.

Clarification for Tenants

The Director General of the Fujairah Municipality, Eng Rashid Hamdan, clarified that the tenants have the right to accept or reject a rent hike, before referring the cases to the rent committee for taking a final decision on the matter.

Hamdan said that the detailed note that was issued along the new rent cap law, after approval from His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Ruler of Fujairah and the Member of Supreme Council, clearly stated that the annual rent hike has been capped at ten percent.

He added that any new contract that has not been attested by the concerned department will not be honoured by the Municipality, in case there is a dispute.

Property Sector to be reorganized with new laws

The Real Estate Sector in Dubai will shortly be streamlined with the expansion of Property Laws, which emphasizes the rights of apartment owners. The Director of Development and Marketing Administration in Dubai Land Department, Mohammed Sultan Thani, has mentioned that a condominium law for regulation of the rights of apartment owners is in pipeline.

Another law that is soon likely to follow, is a Trust Law, which governs the escrow accounts. Though, the exact date when the laws are likely to take effect is yet to be known, Mohammed Thani, mentioned that they would help in streamlining the property sector, which is highly competitive.

The Condominium law, which defines the relationship between developers and investors in freehold apartment in Dubai, will clarify on issues pertaining to maintenance, services and utilities including the aspects of usage and rights of owners’ associations.

The new regulations, apart from ensuring the rights and duties of an investor in a common hold structure, will also empower the owners’ association to operate their own finances.

Dh.20billion residential projects to come up in DIP

Dubai Investments Parks (DIP) which is a unit of Dubai Investments has announced residential projects worth Dh.20billion to be constructed by the end of the year. This will increase the total investment value of the park to Dh.21bn.

A group of developers are planning seven major developments for construction in the DIP during the current year, with 19,392 residential units and the projects are likely to be completed by 2010.

The developments will cover a total area of 3200 hectares serving residential, academic, research and development, manufacturing and logistics and distribution purposes. The biggest new development of the Park is the Dubai Lagoon project with walkways and apartments surrounding a sapphire lagoon.

New Condominium Law to take effect shortly

According to top officials, it is said that a new condominium law that defines the rights of apartment owners is likely to be introduced in Dubai towards end of this year.

Currently there are lots of uncertainties pertaining to the right of condominium and apartment owners with regard to communal areas and the amenities in multi-storey apartments. There have been complaints from owners regarding high maintenance fees or the developers have been refusing to co-operate with residents’ associations.

The new law will clearly distinguish the position of developers and the owners, and boost the confidence of investors in the Dubai property market.

The Director of Marketing and Development in the Dubai Land Department, Mohammad Sultan Thani, mentioned that the Law is in the draft stage, and is yet to be finalized. The Laws require approval from the Government.

He added that the Law will also clarify the authority of residents’ association, including the basis in which the committee member should be elected, and the elected members will have to register with the Land Department. Currently most problems in the market are based on issues between the resident associations’ and developers over maintenance. He added that while the apartment owners have already entered into ten or fifteen year contracts with the developers for maintenance, the residents’ groups should eventually take charge of the maintenance.

The department also has plans to bring into effect a ‘trust law’ wherein developers are required to pay the money deposited by buyers into an escrow account, which is independently audited. This law will be special for Dubai, as the method of construction here is different in comparison to other countries.

Also compulsory

New Metro Construction picks up pace at Al Ghusais

The Dubai Police accommodation in Al Ghusais will soon be demolished for construction of Dubai Metro, and residents of the colony are currently vacating the premises. The colony with more than 300 villas will be demolished in March, as RTA plans to begin its construction of train depot building, with a multi-storey car park facility for about 6000 vehicles in the spot. A metro station is also planned in the premises.

The new facilities will connect Al Gusais and Jeddaf in Dubai and will mainly serve the Metro’s Green Line, which will pass through the most crowded areas in the city.

However, the residents of the colony are provided with accommodation in Dubai and Sharjah, and the new colony of about 300 villas will now be located in Muhaisanah’s adjacent to the Emirates Road.

Work on the project is likely to begin in April, and will be completed by November 2008.

Each plot will have an internal garden, a service building, three car parks and a main villa. The villas will have duplexes with five bedrooms. The service buildings will have a kitchen and majlis. Other amenities in the new neighbourhood include a mosque and twelve shops, in addition to which, RTA is taking care of water, telephone, electricity, car park, school transportation and other amenities.

The Car Park facility in Al Ghusais is likely to cater to metro passengers from Ajman and Sharjah who are provided with the option of parking their cars to continue their travel to Dubai by opting for the mass transit system. On the whole, three multi-storey car parks, with about 10,000 spaces will be built beside Dubai Metro.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dunes Village launched; targeted at corporate buyers

Dunes Village, which is a cluster of nineteen mid-rise towers and which houses about 950 apartments, has been launched at the Dubai Investment Park yesterday, by Manazel Real Estate and Al Serkal Properties.

Covering a land area of 460,000 Square Feet, Dunes Village is worth more than Dh.300 million, and is located in close proximity to Dubailand and Global Village with access through Sheikh Zayed Road. The Dunes Village apartments are being targeted at corporate buyers, who are being encouraged to offer the apartment to their employees as a part of their remuneration package.

The Chairman of Al Serkal Properties, Ahmad Al Serkal, said that as the apartments are competitively priced, and coupled with quick easy financing options, they could be easily afforded by the small and medium companies. He added that purchase of Dunes Village apartments will be an easy goal for the companies located in and around the Dubai Investment Park.

Dunes Village, which consists of nineteen towers with about 950 one, two, three bedroom apartments and studios which is likely to be sold through their agents, The Real Estate Specialists, is due for possession within two years.

IT Plaza contract awarded to Sobha

Sobha has been awarded Dh.125million IT Plaza Construction Contract at

Acacia Avenue Sales meets huge success

According to Landmark Properties, the sales at Acacia Avenue reached Dh.60 million in a span of just two month after its launch. Acacia Avenue is a freehold property development in Jumeirah District of Dubai. The $550 million luxury development which covers 94,000 Sq. mts., was launched by Abyaar Real Estate during the City Scape Exhibition conducted in Dubai last December.

Craig Johnson, the General Manager at Landmark Properties, who are the project agents, mentioned that with the huge success of the initial phase of the project, they are now happy to be involved in the villa phase development, which is due for launch in March this year. He added that they are expecting good response to the release.

The initial phase of Acacia Avenue provided a range of accommodation with freehold one, two and

Freehold Apartment registered in owner's name

The Dubai Land Department announced the first official registration of an apartment in the owner's name based on the new legal framework which was brought into effect last year. This indicates a major positive step in promoting ownership registration of freehold properties.

The registration of the apartment met the approval of the Assistant Director of Dubai Land Department and was witnessed by the Head of Customer Service Department. The registration was carried out as per Article 23 of the real estate market could be expected, with the new framework reinforcing the ownership by the groups which were previously excluded, and by establishing definitive rights.

Assistant Director of the Land Department in Dubai, Jumaa bi Humaidan, said that this indicates the commitment of the department towards preservation of Landlord’s rights under the new framework. This first registration system is a collective effort involving customer service, technical and information technology departments, who worked in good co-ordination for creating the electronic platform to handle numerous registrations of the apartments and the ownership entity changes that happen during day to day trading. He added that the foundation has been designed with support from major property developers and real estate companies.

The Head of Customer Service Department, Majid Al Ujail, mentioned that this registration platform which endorses property ownership indicates the boom of real estate market in Dubai. He added that the Land Department is likely to issue ownership certificates for complexes and residential flats during the next couple of months.

Al Ujail mentioned that this will change the manner in which real estate ownership is being carried out in Dubai.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dubai Property Market witnessing more young buyers

The youth in the GCC have begun to take interest in the development of property market, and as a result the real estate industry has begun to change shape. The developers and sellers in the Middle East are now said to be focusing on the 20-35 age group category, rather than the 30-50 age group category of buyers. The situation is the same worldwide, as the normal age for first time buyers is dropping.

A major reason for such a situation is due to the fact that UAE and such other countries have a large population of highly paid young professionals who are actually responsible for the growth of the knowledge-based economy of the region. Hence there is an increase in the number of young buyers who are snapping up freehold property in the UAE, which indicates that the market in the country has now grown on par with the international scene.

The positive climate coupled with affordable property, is luring young investors to consider probable investments in hot properties like Discovery Gardens and Dubai International City. Due to such changes in the scenario, the property sector needs to get acquainted with this major segment – the youth. The sellers who think that the 20-35 age groups belong to the category of inexperienced lots, they are mistaken. The youth today are very much aware of the rules and regulations of real estate investments and the latest trends. They can also easily recognize property issues, and hence take into consideration all aspects before making the final investment.

Now there are plenty of options such as low interests, long term financing options etc from the banks of UAE, and many middle-class and young youths are now considering property purchase as a good investment option.

Abu Dhabi Property Market to Contribute Dh.40billion to its GDP

Abu Dhabi’s real estate investments and constructions are likely to contribute about Dh.40billion to the GDP of the emirate during the current year.

The Head of the Construction Committee and member of the board for ADCCI (Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Khalfan Al Kaabi, mentioned that about 110 statutes or more, along with other regulations, have been amended or passed during 2006, which indicates the determination of the government to restructure the law on par with international standards.
Al Kaabi expects a steady growth in the property sector of Abu Dhabi during the coming years. He stated that Abu Dhabi is badly in need of additional commercial and residential hotels and buildings to meet the strong demands and to keep pace with the steady growth.

However, Al Kaabi is of the opinion that a regulation for controlling rents and the landlord-tenant relationship is unwarranted, as the seven percent rent increase in annually, is by itself reasonable and is almost on par with the rate of inflation.

The decision by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council to permit the Sorouh and Aldar companies to register and own properties, and market them to foreign investors was welcomed by the officials, who mentioned that this will boost the confidence of investors in Abu Dhabi property market and persuade foreign buyers to enter the real estate market in the emirate.

Five Star Resort planned at Abu Dhabi Beachfront

A Five-Star Resort, worth Dh.800million, at the beachfront in Abu Dhabi, is to be built by the Al Fahim Group. The company has entered into an agreement with the TDIC (Tourism Development and Investment Company) for construction of a 369 room hotel which features Conference facilities of about 12000Sq.mts. in area.

The Chairman of TDIC, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, states that the resort is located in the main road and links the Central Business District and the Abu Dhabi International Airport and is in the proximity to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, which is a landmark destination for regional, international, local and business travelers.

The hotel will be in the midst of nineteen luxury residential serviced villas, each located around a central pool. The hotel will have an all-day dining restaurant, signature dining outlet, lobby level bakery café, themed restaurants and a terrace refreshment area. Separate Luxury Spa facilities for women and men, a beauty parlour and gymnasium are added complements. The hotel will also have a roof-top tennis court, an outdoor terrace pool and a two storey podium with rooms all in a nine-storey tower.

According to Saeed, the hotel is designed in a manner that is apt for the market demands and with its current location, will soon emerge as a destination which is best suited to cater to business traveling.

The Hotel complex is likely to be inaugurated during the third quarter of 2008.

Landlord-Tenant Disputes continue to rise sharply

Dubai Property Lawyers and Legal consultants state that the number of cases filed by the tenants against their landlords is increasing stridently after the seven percent rent cap came into effect last month. Tenants in the Northern Emirates and Dubai are complaining that the landlords are trying all possible tricks to win the cases filed against them and are trying to expel the tenants.

Due to the increasing numbers of complaints from tenants, the officials have warned strict actions to prevent any sort of abuse by the Landlords. However the complaints from the tenants are still on the increase, as the greedy Landlords are trying to rent the properties at higher rent rates to new tenants. Tenants complaint that the methods used by the Landlords to evict the tenants are the kind that outwit the law, and use compulsion when the requests fails.

Helpless tenants have begun notifying the authorities. A tenant in Bur Dubai is said to have complained that his Landlord has asked him to vacate on the pretext of carrying out repair and maintenance work in the premises. His contract was refused to be renewed, and the claim made was only verbal. The tenant had already paid a fifteen percent hike the previous year, and states that it would be an unfair deal if he had to vacate the hourse for a false repair claim.

In another incident, an Arab expatriate complained that his Landlady misled the authorities for having him evicted. His rent was already increased during 2005, and as there was no option of increase the following year, the Landlady was asking him to vacate the property for her personal use. He requested a couple of months time for vacating the premises, during which the lady refused to have any contact with the tenant, and finally filed a case that the rent had not been paid for two months, and the tenant was compelled to vacate.

The Chairman of Dubai Rent Committee, Mohammed Saeed Al Gandhi said that a total of 339 complaints were filed last month, most of which turned out in favour of the tenants. He added that if a landlord asks the tenant to vacate on the pretext of maintenance works, he should submit the approval from the local municipality for doing so. In case the maintenance work does not require vacating the tenant, the case will turn in favour of the tenant.

Emaar plans to ease out the purchase options for tenants

Further to the announcement made by Emaar Properties to the tenants at The Greens, regarding the selling off properties which are now under rental, Emaar has now sanctioned additional time period for the tenants to arrive at their decisions.

Last week Emaar had sent a letter to the tenants that they had the option of buying their homes before they are sold out to outsiders, though the time allotted for arriving at their decisions for just one week.

Following this announcement, about 120 residents signed and submitted a letter to Emaar requesting for re-consideration of its announcement, as majority of the residents were not in a position to purchase flats, and the time allotted to them to arrive at their decision was also small.

Now, a spokesperson of Emaar Dubai has stated that on further discussions with Amlak Finance, they have decided to ease out the purchase options for tenants and have arrived at a better option, which could prove more beneficial. As per the current option, a three percent discount on the earlier price quoted is being offered. Hamptons, who is in-charge of managing the purchases willl provide more details regarding the discounts.

Emaar has also announced that it is willing to waive off the property registration fee, wherever applicable, which will further reduce the financial burden on tenants. Now, the tenants are also provided with an option of approaching any other mortgage provider, if required, in case they do not wish to route it through only Amlak Finance, Dubai. Amlak Finance was offering the tenants the option wherein only the principal amount profit needs to be paid in four easy installments during the first two years. The Principal payments will begin only after two years, thereby reducing payments significantly in the first two years.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Infinity's foundation site flooded

The Infinity Tower's foundation site was flooded yesterday, due to the collapse of a wall which supported the Dubai Marina waters. However, hundred workers on-site is said to have had a lucky escape.
The excavation work of "the tallest building with a twist", the Infinity Tower, was almost nearing completion, when the workers heard a loud sharp sound, who later noticed the sand pouring down on all sides. The foreman asked the workers to escape immediately.
The Eighty storey tower, worth Dh.700 million, is said to have a ninety degree twist. The Manager of Arabtec has mentioned that the happening is in the process of investigation.

A few preventive measures for building safety

Following the recent fire that emerged at Jumeirah Lake Towers, strict emphasis is now being laid on the safety procedures to be carried out at the construction sites. Strict safety guidelines, worries over the construction delays and regaining the confidence of the investors have been highlighted.

In the cases of most construction projects, though the fire-fighting equipments and safety guidelines have been adhered with, the necessary training and instructions for operating the equipment has been found lacking.

Starting from the moment a developer visits a site, until the suppliers enter the sites, the safety procedures should be a part and parcel of the entire project, and everybody associated with the project should abide by it.

The accidents that happened on-site could result in delay on project completion, and will create uncertainty about the project in the mind of developers and investors which is unwarranted. And in such a circumstance, investors need to be reassured about the completion of the project, and also the assurance that similar situation is unlikely to arise after its occupation. The communication preferably should be in writing rather than oral, with sufficient proof that the crisis is under control.

Everyone should be educated about the basic fire prevention measures. All the tenants and residents should have sufficient information regarding building safety.

The measures taken by the civil authorities for executing the safety guidelines should be very strict.

Finally, the investors themselves need to ensure that the construction companies and developers adhere to the preventive measures and safety guidelines in their projects.

Monday, February 12, 2007

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Abu Dhabi’s property sector expected to reach greater heights

The residential real estate market sales are expected to reach Dh.9 billion during 2007 according to Industry experts. The mortgage market in Abu Dhabi represents about one-third of the total real estate market worth Dh.3 billion.

Al Shirawi, while speaking to the Abu Dhabi Economic Forum, stated that the property market in Abu Dhabi is likely to witness a strong growth due to the realistic economic policies by the government and the efforts put in by the real estate developers in providing affordable houses for the middle income group. He added that with the current rental property law in place, there is likely to be a growth in the real estate sector.

Industry experts often refer a freehold property law in Abu Dhabi following the one which already exist in other emirates for boosting the growth of the property market. Al Shirawi mentioned that the best resale value for the leasehold property market in Dubai is more than 90 percent indicating the buyer’s confidence in the government. However, the developers should ensure that the standard quality is met with, and that the delivery schedules are met to boost up the growth in the UAE real estate sector.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Marina Project of UAQ reaches Second Phase

It has been said that Emaar is presenting three to four bedroom villas in a two storey for Dh.2.04 million during the phase 2 of Umm Al Quwain Marina, at the Mistral Community.

Umm Al Quwain Marina is basically a joint venture between the Governments of Emaar Middle East and Umm Al Quwain, which is likely to launch the second phase soon.

The Mistral Community consists of a spectrum of Portuguese and Spanish style villas. The sizes of three and four bedroom villas of the two storey range from 3,458 Sq. Ft to 4,311 Sq. Ft.

Ahmad Al Matroushi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties for UAE and the member of Board of Directors for Emaar Middle East, mentioned that the investor response has been encouraging and that the launching of the second phase might take place earlier than scheduled. He also mentioned that the potential investors can visit the Sales Center of Umm Al Quwain for gathering more details on the villas and to get an overview of the project. He added that the wonderful response received during the first sale of the project is a clear indication of the faith of the home-owners in the project.

The Palm Jumeirah design revised

Nakheel has announced the change in design plan of the trunk of “The Palm Jumeirah”, by dropping the two kilometer canal. Instead, a landscaped park has been decided to be the focal point as per the revised plans. This change of plan is done for achieving a better balance between recreational facilities and waterfront leisure and for providing the residents with much needed community space. The park that is 7.8 hectares in area will comprise of large water features with fountains and pools.

While announcing the revision to its plans, the CEO of Nakheel, Chris O Donnel, said that the new design will add to the community nature of the trunk by showing it as one continuous destination rather than a number of individual unrelated developments. The residents can take a walk to any point in the trunk from their apartments like from hotels located at the trunk to the luxury retail center or to the Golden Mile.

Donnel added that in the process of evolving Palm Jumeirah to one of the premium resorts in the world for leisure and tourism, the company is trying all possible methods to include amenities that bring more vivacity to the island. Donnel mentioned that the new park will be a practical feature with beautiful landscaped areas and a wonderful space for residents to enjoy their leisure time whether they take a stroll or enjoy a picnic as a family.

As per the current plan, the palm includes major amenities for entertainment such as beachfront hotels, shoreline clubhouse, and marinas. The trunk is also said to host Trump International Tower and Hotel, which is a joint project by Nakheel and Donald Trump.

Dubai Homes now available in simsari.com

Homes in Dubai are now being purchased by click of the mouse. The Vice President of an Investment Bank in Dubai, Ahmad Goheer, while checking his emails, found an email which made a mention about a particular website that sold luxury apartments in Dubai. Goheer logged on to the site “Simsari.com” wherein two apartments in a high-rise that was almost nearing completion caught his attention. After going through the floor plans and completing his calculations, the Pakistani banker, immediately drove past the tower to check if it actually existed. On returning home, Goheer just went ahead, and clicked on “buy now” option, without thinking twice. The decision of spending over $1 million for two apartments was made instantly by Goheer.

On the same site, Goheer also made loan arrangements from Dubai Marina neighborhood.

This reveals the hold of the internet in the real estate market, though most real estate sites only display the listings and the investors are required to phone an agent. There is the auction site such as e-bay offering houses for cash or for those who can arrange the financing.

“Simsari” the Arabic translation of which means “my agent” is a Dubai government owned site, that provides buyers with options to proceed a little further though not all the way. Simsari is the first site to allow buyers to make arrangements for mortgages online, and allow credit card deposits for properties. However, in the final stages, the buyers will have to appear in person for handing over the documents and for signatures on hard copies.

Selling properties online, however, is not very appealing, when a buyer actually wishes to inspect the house and neighbourhood. But in the case of Dubai’s dynamic market conditions, apartments are sold straight from architect’s rendering in immediate areas which may not exist for long. Investors in Dubai property market are mostly from Asia, Europe or Mid-East.

Simsari, which is still in its pre-launch mode, already sold four properties last week, and is in the process of finalizing another twenty, wherein mortgages have been approved online. Properties that are displayed for sale online vary from $20million apartment building with 80 units, due for completion by 2009, to a studio apartment for $89,600. Simsari offers satellite-imagery of construction site which includes a view of neighbourhood homes and backyard swimming pools. The incentives for an online purchase include half percent commission of Simsari, the regular two percent sales charge in Dubai, and occasionally an opportunity to get through a pre-launch offer.

Accor hotel group considers Middle East as its top target

The French Hotel group, Accor, is trying its best to enhance its new markets by pushing in its budget brands in the Middle East and Dubai in particular. Once, the current expansion phase is completed, Middle East is likely to be the top markets of the group.

Accor plans to build about twenty eight new hotels in the region in a span of four years, with half of these in Dubai.

Gilles Pelisson, The Chief Executive Officer of the group mentioned during his recent visit to the UAE that the Middle East, and UAE in particular, is emerging as a platform for their brands and it is necessary to expand. At the moment only three hotels are operated in the city by Accor.

Out of Accor’s twenty eight hotels, six hotels are from Majid Al Futtaim Group, and two from Al Ali Property Investments in UAE. The rest eighteen are in the middle and budget categories. Pelisson is of the opinion that these properties play a major role in increasing the presence of the group in the Middle East. He added that as far as hotel industry is concerned there are plenty of competitors in the five star category, and the three and four star and the economy products are less developed by international competitors. He also stated that Accor aims to operate about seventy to seventy five hotels in Middle East in the next couple of years.

Accor plans to sell its properties worth about three billion euros in three years, though it doesn’t seem to be keen on investing money for owning assets in the Middle East.

Burj Dubai construction suffer delay

The construction of 900 million Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building is behind schedule by a couple of months in comparison to the scheduled work timetable, as admitted by the officials.

The reason behind this hitch is mainly due to the bankruptcy faced by Schmidlin, the Swiss-based curtain walling giant, which was contracted for installation of exterior-cladding on the concrete tower.

Greg Sang, the Assistant Director of Projects, Emaar group, stated that they encountered problems with their Partners regarding the curtain wall cladding, which in turn left its impact on the site. He added that a new contractor is now working on the project, and is showing good progress.

However, Sang denied comments that the completion of construction would take a year later than its scheduled date i.e., the last quarter of 2008. He confirmed that though there could probably be a couple of months delay, the final completion date is still scheduled for end of 2008.

The exterior cladding of Burj Dubai will not only protect the tower from scorching temperature and dust levels, but also needs to withstand strong winds. The final floor count of the mega project is yet to be revealed, as there are rumors that the height of the building has been altered due to changes in design. Sang said that though the final floor count has been decided it is maintained confidential, though it is sure to exceed 160 floors on completion.