Thursday, May 31, 2007

Three Dh.760m projects announced on the same day

Three projects, worth Dh.760 millions has been announced by three dubai-based developers in various locations. Deyaar has announced its two residential towers at Business Bay – Mayfair Residency and Mayfair Tower, for Dh.360million.

The towers that are positioned adjoining each other overlook the lake and are separated from each other by large landscaped area. Both towers provide one and two bedroom apartments, with 213 residential units in Mayfair Residency Towers and 218 in Mayfair Tower. Each tower comprises a terrace garden, swimming pool, gymnasium, high-speed internet connection, steam rooms and maintenance and security services round the clock.

Al Tajir Real Estate has launched the Fortunato Project, worth Dh.320million at Jumeirah South Village. The Fortunato provides the convenience of living in the heart of the city, while also being secluded enough for peace and privacy. Fortunato comprises single and double bedroom apartments, penthouses, and duplex apartments, studio, town houses, loft houses and garden houses. The construction which will begin this September is expected to be complete by mid 2009. The studio apartments are priced at Dh.538,538 for a single bedroom, Dh.682,722 for double bedrooms, Dh.295,000 for studio apartment and Dh.2.2 million for four bedrooms and town houses. In addition, there are the parks, promenades, medical facilities, country club and sports areas such as cricket, tennis and football.

Memom Investments, a branch of the Memon Group of Companies, has launched the Dh.80million commercial tower, Cambridge Business Center, at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The ten storey comprises of about 108 small, medium and large offices, with facilities such as Wi-fi connectivity, mood lighting, and keyless entry.

The Memon Managing Director, Ahmed Shaikhani, while speaking during the launch, states: “Our aim is to bring total convenience to business people by providing a modern workplace where they can also fulfill their personal needs.” The tower incorporates British architecture that brings about memories of traditional excellence, coupled with architectural expertise and progressive engineering. It has been designed by Adnan Saffarini, an architect. The tower is expected to be complete by 2009.

Dubai-based hospitality firm to launch ten properties in Dubai by 2015

It has been planned to launch a new hospitality firm worth Dh.1.83 billion for constructing ten hotels in Dubai by 2015.

"United Hotels", which is based in Dubai, has been formed by fifteen Gulf investors with an initial fund of Dh.367 million, keeping in mind, the promising scenario of the hospitality sector in the UAE. While four of the investors are based in UAE, the other four are from Kuwait, two from Omanis, three from Qataris, one from Bahrain and one from Saudi.

Jasim Al Bastaki, the CEO of United Hotels has mentioned that within a span of two years, the company plans to raise $500 million for investment in seven to ten hotels in the GCC by 2015.

The company plans to manage the hotels under the brand name 'Moon Hotels'. The first four-star Moon Hotel is planned to open at Dubai in 2010.

According to Al Bastaki, the Moon brand will be developed into various categories so as to operate leisure and business hotels. Towards end of this year, United plans to hire thirty five people to work on further development plans for forming new chain of hotels.

Al Basakti added that the 'United chain of hotels' will be unique in its architectural value, which will demonstrate the spirit of Arabian hospitality with a global touch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Phase One of Meydan City witness hundred percent sales

Phase one of the Meydan City development, located at Dubai-Al Ain Road, next to Dubai Properties, in close contact with Meydan Racecourse, has already been sold out.

Located seven kilometers from the Dubai International Airport, and only a five minutes drive from Burj Dubai, Shaikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Festival City, Meydan City occupies 40million Sq.ft of space in about fifteen million square feet of land.

The Chairman of Meydan, Saeed Al Tayer, mentions that the Meydan City has been quickly purchased by the investors who are well aware of the potential of such a location.

"With its strategic positioning as the future inner city of Dubai, coupled with its lush greenery and waterways and its proximity to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, it's no surprise as to just how popular the development has already become", he adds.

The plots in the community has waterfront, canals and promenade views.

The Meydan Marina, the centerpiece is likely to be located at the heart of the development offering more than eighty luxury boats and yachts. A tramline is also planned to be included, which is likely to operate from the Meydan city to Maydan Racecourse, carrying about ten thousand passengers every hour.

The Maydan Racecourse is likely to be opened by the time of Dubai World Cup meeting 2010, and will cover 76million sq.ft. of land area.

Dubai Lifestyle City officially launched at Dubailand

The Dubai Lifestyle City at Dubailand has been officially inaugurated, a project, which was announced during January 2006 at Dh.1 billion, is now hooked at Dh.2.4bn. This is said to be due to the increased construction cost and the additional luxury components that was required during the construction.

The ETA Group is targeting ultra-high net worth residents for the Lifestyle City, which covers about 4million Sq.Ft. comprising 120 'villetes' and 68 Tuscan-themed villas, a golf course, auditorium, theatre, sports and recreational facilities. Apart from this, the city will have a 170 room W Marriott, a 100,000 Sq.Ft. shopping mall, and a 150 room Courtyard.

The Tuscany style of architecture for the city has been designed by Tony Ashai, the Beverley Hills designer.

ETA, together with IMG Academies and JW Marriott brands have entered into a tie-up, and the Cisco and Microsoft is expected to be the pillar for the digital lifestyle.

The prices for the villas currently range from Dh.20million to Dh.40million, and the project is scheduled for completion by July 2009.

Bawadi-Al Ghurair deal plan to build Dh10bn shopping mall

Bawadi, a Tatweer member, has entered into a joint venture with Al Ghurair Investment for development of a Dh.10billion shopping mall.

The first phase of the mall, expected to be complete by 2012, will cover 1.2million sq.mts., of leasable area, according to Tatweer.

The project is the result of a directive from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice-President of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, so as to develop the mall to be the biggest shopping area in the world and thereby to double investment.

Al. Ghurair, the Chairman of Al Ghurair Investment and Saeed Al Muntafiq, Tatweer Chairman also signed the agreement.

Al Ghurair states the agreement basically emphasizes the confidence of Al Ghurair Investments in Bawadi as one of the most sought after investment opportunities and underscores the active role that Bawadi is likely to play to keep up the objectives of commercial and tourism sector as announced in the recent Dubai Strategic Plan.

He added that "The innovative and uniquely designed shopping mall will be one of the largest within the biggest shopping area in the world, and will add a new dimension to the variety of services and facilities offered by Bawadi. With this agreement, both companies will seek to bring back the historic Okaz Souq – the first ever retail outlet which existed in the region – as Arabs are known to be the pioneers in this sector."

Al Muntafiq, expressing his confidence in Bawadi, mentioned that their first agreement which included an initial investment of Dh.800million by Al Ghurair in the Al Maghreb Resort and Spa, will position Baswadi to be a leader in the tourism and hospitality industry providing solid opportunities and a supportive business friendly environment.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sas Al Nakhl ready for rental by 2008

Sorouh Real Estate, a Abu Dhabi based real estate firm, has announced that the second phase of the Sas Al Nakhl project will be ready for rental during early 2008. The first phase, that occupies 45,000 Sq.mts. of built-up area, comprises 104 villas in three layouts and has already been complete and is occupied.

The phase two of the project worth Dh.420million is located besides Phase one, near the Golf Club of Abu Dhabi, in Al Raha. The phase 2 comprises 484 villas and a clubhouse. The site that occupies 133,889 square meters of space also includes a mosque and shops. There are eight layouts of villas ranging three to five bedrooms.

Dr. Adnan Sahli, the Executive Director of Projects, mentions "This development is another example of Sorouh’s commitment to planning, implementation and timely execution."

Seven percent rent cap for UAQ

The rent cap for Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) has been fixed at seven percent a year, as against ten percent earlier. This was announced by Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla, the Deputy Ruler of UAQ, as an amendment in a new law regulating the tenants and landlords.

Also the annual rent rise for industrial and commercial properties has been fixed at ten percent, earlier this sector was unlimited.

The landlords have been advised to keep the tenants informed three months in advance to the contract expiry date, in case of any increase in rents.

Tenants, while vacating, are advised to leave the property in the same condition, as found earlier, apart from damaged items through normal use. Earlier tenants had to carry out minor maintenance works before returning the keys to landlords.

Also residential landlords are advised against demanding a tenant to vacate a property unless five years have elapsed from date of signing the contract, as earlier this was fixed for three years. For industrial and commercial properties, this period has been raised from three to ten years.

Any disputes or disagreements pertaining to these matters will be assessed by the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee

Damac's first project in Saudi launched

Damac Properties, the Dubai based real estate developer, has unveiled its first project 'Al Jawharah' in Jeddah.

Situated at Jeddah Corniche, near the Red Sea, the project Al Jawharah, is a residential tower of forty storeys comprising of landscaped surroundings, guest lodge, reception area, double height lobby, penthouses and other apartments and multilevel car parking facilities. All rooms comprise aluminium double-gazed windows, skirting for dining and living rooms, premium marble floors, maid’s room and utility room. Spread across two floors is a wide array of other facilities such as separate swimming pools for men and women, jogging track around the podium, health club and a wonderful sauna.

The Damac Chairman, Hussain Sajwani, has mentioned that Damac aims to be the most admired among luxury property services market in the world, by the year 2012. He added, "Saudi Arabia will be an integral component of our expansion strategy and also part of the global vision".

Peter Riddoch, Damac CEO, stated "This is just the beginning, our ambitious plan for Saudi Arabia includes a number of real estate ventures that we plan to unveil within the near future. Saudi Arabia is an important market for us."

Apart from Saudi Arabia, Damac is currently following up projects in Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon, and plans to consider projects in India, Pakistan, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Oman.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dubai skyline expected to have six 'super-towers'

Dubai skyline is expected to have atleast six "super-towers" with more than hundred habitable floors, which is much more than any other city in the world.

The six super towers include the Burj Al Alam (expected to have 108 floors), Burj Dubai (continuing beyond 126 floors), Pantominium (120 storeys), Al Burj (180 to 200 floors), the Princess Tower (107 floors) and Marina 101 (with 101 floors).

These towers are in various stages of construction and Burj Dubai, expected to be the tallest tower in the world, is continuing progress adding a floor a week, and three others are in early stages of construction. The work of Al Burj, is likely to begin only on completion of the Burj Dubai tower.

On the whole, Dubai will continue to shine as the only city to have six super towers, which will boost the image of Dubai as one among the world's mega-cities, not only in terms of height, but also in design quality, aesthetics and beauty.

Dancing Towers, Dubai Towers and Burj Al Arab, is likely to be remembered for their towering heights and is likely to be well-known among tourists for their aesthetic appeal.

Dubai is considered to have the maximum number of skyscrapers and towers under construction, in terms of development, taking into consideration hundreds in Shaikh Zayed Road, and more than 1850 at the Dubai World Central Airport City.

By 2015, Dubai will rise to the position of being the only city to have "six super-towers" to its credit, making it the only city to possess so many towers of more than hundred storey on completion.

Al Kaheel luxury villa project commences at Dubailand

The Dh.1.6 billion Al Kaheel project at Dubailand, has begun, as per statements.

This makes way for the construction of 400 villas at the Eco Zone in Dubailand, meant to be a part of the Al Kaheel Residences.

A representative said "Of these 400 homes, we have 250 of them as luxury independent villas nestled amounts the valleys of their individual community areas. An additional 150 are uniquely grouped together to create our Hilltop Residences offering a new style of living within this homeland of the horse."

Though UAE has thousands of horses, Al Kaheel is expected to be the first commercial Equine Spa and Therapy Center that has been dedicated for the mental and physical well being of the performing sport horses.

The first tourist destination experience of Al Kaheel is also expected to be on-line soon. The road leading to Al Kaheel Equine Desert Safari is also under construction. This safari is likely to be the foremost among Dubailand attractions that are available to both tourists and residents.

Also the "Jewel", Fantasia Theatre and Equine Edutainment Park, is expected to be opened by 2009 and are likely to further boost the tourism industry of Dubai. Spectacular shows and performances will be available all through the day, and 365 days a year for tourists and residents alike.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

India's Sheth Group unveils four Dubai projects worth Dh.2billion

The Sheth Group from India plans to develop Dh.2billion worth four projects in Dubai.

Iris Bay, worth Dh.600 million was already launched on Tuesday. This half-moon shaped tower, which is likely to come up at the Business Bay in Dubai, has been designed by Atkins, the British architect.

This happens to be the second project of the company at Dubai, the first being the 35 storeyed residential tower, Iris Blue, situated at Dubai Marina.

The CEO and Managing Director of the group, Ashwin Sheth, said "The project is in piling and shoring stage and we have received bids from nine contractors for the main construction package. We will be able to award a contract to the main construction package in a month’s time."

The Iris General Manager, Vimal Agarwal, mentioned that Iris Bay aims at the blue-chip corporate community, who is of the opinion that the office environment boosts up the business of the company considerably.

The twenty-one year old Sheth Group, based at Mumbai, is a real estate development, having constructed a few of the largest high-rise, townships and complexes at UAE for the past two years.

According to officials, the achievements of Sheth, ranges from 10,000 built units, with fifty projects already completed.

Seth mentioned that the UAE has four projects for developments, with two at Dubai, the others at the Cultural Village.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dubai focuses on low-rises too

Taking a look at the Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, one can find a number of skyscrapers and huge crowds. This increase in the number of high-rise buildings is because they save space, providing the residents with strong views of their surroundings. They also reveal the effort and talent of an architect, allowing cities to construct impressive skylines.

Dubai is well known for its skyscrapers, such as Burj Dubai and Burj Al Arab. However, not all are in favour of the high-rises. It has more or less distinguished itself with the skyscrapers. The Emirates Towers represent the symbol of this city, rather than the charming wind towers.

For a few, the lifestyle in a high-rise could seem very crowded or very isolated. Also certain medical conditions could prevent some from going in for the high-rise living. Also, a few others love to live with their own independent garden free from the regular city hassles. Such people need something different.

Now there is a realization that Dubai needs other kind of property developments too. Off late, Dubai has begun concentrating on low-rise developments. The suburb of Midriff is a typical example. Even Downtown Burj Dubai, though dominated by its flagship tower, has various low-rise properties. Ultimately, the extent to which it caters the needs of the citizen, is what really matters, rather than the accomplishments of the city in terms of its skyline.

Skyscrapers, sure, is a symbol of high life, both for the residents of the city, and the city by itself. However, recently Dubai has begun laying emphasis on properties that are more human-scale, demonstrating that not all value this kind of life style.

By looking on the other side for once, Dubai again proves its greatness.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Green city project appreciated by environmentalist

The project for construction of zero-carbon and zero-waste in the capital has been supported by a leading environmentalist in the country. They city is likely to generate energy by recycling its waste, and will not produce carbon dioxide, which is one of the gases considered responsible for global warming.

The Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group, Habiba Al Marashi, said "It is an excellent idea and could encourage similar schemes in the future." This was mentioned in response to the announcement by Masdar, the renewable energy organization, about their plans to construct the first carbon and waste neutral city in the world, likely to be launched by end of 2009.

She added that the carbon reduction initiative is very environment-friendly, which creates more revenue for companies, while also improving their image.

Al Marashi says, "The concepts of carbon neutrality, carbon trading, and the whole initiative to address the global warming phenomenon need to become trends rather than being applied only to one-off projects."

She added that the intention of Masdar in making the city a business hub and academic center for laboratories, researchers and light manufacturers will help in spreading the zero-carbon message across the country.

Al Marashi said "I would want companies to achieve and sustain these goals in the near future and would like to see more of these projects in the mainstream."

The new city is likely to house about 1500 companies and will own the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a science and research facility established in joint-venture with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The power is likely to be suppied by the solar farms and wind, with an ultimate goal of making the city self-sustaining.

Abu Dhabi has the fastest growing office rents

The office rents at Abu Dhabi has almost doubled during the last five months, says a recent report. Abu Dhabi, New Delhi and Sofia had witnessed the fastest growing office rents in the world during the past year, says data from CB Richard Ellis, a consulting firm.

The company reported London and Tokyo to be the most expensive office locations in the world. In London, the West End has an average rent rate of $241 (Dh.885) per Sq.Ft. for prime office accommodation.

New Delhi, too, made its entry into the top ten, replacing Mumbai, due to continued boom in information technology operations and in data-center. However, the fastest growing office rents were reported to be in Abu Dhabi, with rents more than doubling during the said period.

Sofia in Bulgaria was the third fastest growing rent market, with 63 percent increase in rents.

The world’s highest average apartment rents for expatriates were reported in Hong Kong, which was well ahead of New York, Tokyo and even London. On the whole, half of the top most expensive cities for rental apartments for expatriate workers were contributed by Asia, while Nairobi was the cheapest.

The survey was carried out by International human resources consultancy ECA among real estate agents, foreign workers and relocation companies, taking into consideration three bedroom unfurnished apartments as a base, which were commonly rented by expatriates.

Such an apartment in a popular area for expatriates at Hong Kong would cost $8600 (Dh.31,575) per month, followed by Tokyo which would approximately fetch $7360 (Dh.227,025) per month. After this, comes New York with $7250 (Dh.26,615) a month.

Huge increase of rental rates over the past decade was noticed in Dubai and Doha, with 100 and 130 percent respectively.

Dh.400million La Vista Residence unveiled

A major real estate developer in the region, Al Manal development, launched the Dh.400million La Vista Residence at the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) yesterday, offering a hundred percent finance option.

On approval, the investors will be able to make use of the financing option from the Emirates Islamic Bank and the financial branch of Mashreq Bank, Badr Al Islami, wherein hundred percent financing will be provided without any down payments and mortgage payments, once the investors move into their apartments.

La Vista comprises seven residential buildings, each comprising eight storey, and a total of 832 residential units. This includes a studio, single and double bedroom apartments, all of which is located in the prime area of DSO.

The construction will commence during September, and is expected to be complete by end of 2008. The prices of La Vista apartments ranges from Dh.530,000 for a single bedroom apartment to Dh.675,000 for a double bedroom.

The Deputy Chief Executive of DSO, Shahla Ahmad Abdul Razak said "The project falls in line with DSO's aim to provide an integrated community, where DSO is saving no effort to provide a high standard of living to people who work within the technology park. Schools, academies, universities, mosques, hospitals, shopping centres, and health and leisure facilities have been designed to be included in the city."

Based on the current market rents, an investor at La Vista Residence is expected to bring about a return of more than ten percent to the investor.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

UAE and South Korea enters into Dh.20billion Deira Deal

A South Korean Company has won the Dh.20 billion contract of constructing malls, homes and harbour facilities along the Creek in Deira.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, made this announcement while on a visit to the country. Sheikh Mohammed will hold discussions with the President and Prime Minister of Korea today.

According to Deira Investment Company and the developer Sungwon Corporation, the Deira contract, is a sign of strong ties between the two nations. This giant tourism and real estate project is likely to be completed in three phases.

Sungwon, laying emphasis on the UAE real estate, has already agreed to invest Dh.4.4bn in the Middle East real estate sector. The company is investing Dh.1.1billion for developing a mixed-used project in Dubai’s Culture Village, covering 11,000 sq.mts., featuring commercial, residential and retail units.

DST awarded the Park Rotana Contract

DSI (Drake and Skull International), the leading player in the electro-mechanical engineering field in the region, has won the contract worth Dh.178 million for carrying out the entire electrical, mechanical and plumbing works for the Park Rotana, a mixed use development being built at Khalifa Park in Abu Dhabi. DSI has been allocated to provide the mechanical, electrical and plumbing works over an area of 180,000 Sq.Mts., which also includes rental apartments.

The project, which is being developed by Al Mada Tourism Investment Company LLC, is basically a joint venture promoted by Rotana Hotels, Resorts and Suites and the ADTA (Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority).

The complex comprises of 300 hotel apartments, 250 hotel rooms, residential apartments and office space, and the hotel will consist of conference rooms, restaurants and fitness and entertainment facilities.

Drake & Skull International's Area Manager, Ahmad Al Naser, mentioned that being the premier MEP contractor of the region, DSI is all set to harness the industrial expertise of their skilled personnel coupled with the cutting edge technology, to offer the best in quality and comfort to the buyers in the development.

Dubai Silicon Oasis launches Dh.1.55bn villa project

Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) has launched a Dh.1.55billion project to build 1,042 villas. According to a statement released yesterday, the construction work has already begun at the hi-tech hub of the region, and is scheduled for completion towards early 2010.

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority CEO and Vice-Chairman, Dr.Mohammed Al Zarouni said "We believe that providing high-quality standards in a safe and comfortable environment is a fundamental requirement for our partners at DSO. Therefore, we made sure that projects under development assure the highest international standards in term of duality, facilities and services."

The project, located within the DSO on emirates road, will be a gated community development with shopping complex, house, play areas and swimming. The Villas will comprise of executive, luxury, twin and town sq.ft. respectively. The project will be designed in Arabic, modern and traditional.

DSO already functions as a free zone technology park for micro-electronic and other high-tech companies who are on the look out for setting up their regional headquarters in the Middle East and Africa.

Recently, the Silicon Oasis authority entered into an agreement with Avava to facilitate an IP telephony network for its new office.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nakheel plans strategic alliance with DEWA


Nakheel, the master developer behind the three palm island of Dubai, has stated that they are ready to provide more than half of the residential developments likely to be constructed in the emirate for the next twenty years. They added that the company is likely to develop two billion square feet of space or more, at Dubai by that time span.

Nakheel's coastal projects (residential and hotel), 'The World', 'Dubai Waterfront' and 'three palm islands' that are linked to Palm Jebel Ali, is estimated at three million. Due to this, Nakheel officials are planning out the way in which future utility requirements of water and electricity could be met, with Dewa)Dubai Electricity and Water Authority).

Once the two enters into an agreement, Nakheel projects such as The Palm Jebel Ali, The Palm Deira, The Palm Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Park will have the necessary infrastructure to integrate with the wider development of Dubai.

Dewa states that it has already held discussions with senior Nakheel officials so as to improve regular communications and liasoning, and to check out the demands required by the Nakheel developments on Dewa’s services.

The alliance has resulted in similar partnerships between Nakheel and the RTA, telecommunications provider and other major service providers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dubai Industrial City warehouse contract awarded to DCE

Dubai Civil Engineering Company (DCE) has been awarded a multibillion contract by Dubai Industrial City (a member of Tatweer), for building the first and second phases of its warehouses with 6million Sq.Ft. of storage space.

The size of each warehouse would vary from 5000 to 10,000 Sq.Ft. depending on the client requirement.

The CEO of Dubai Industrial City, Rashed Al Ansari mentioned that about 400 warehouses would be constructed during the first phase, and about 404 warehouses during the second phase, in addition to providing sufficient retail space next to the warehouses.

He said "We will build cold storage facilities for food and beverage items, as well as areas to store chemicals, base metals and transport equipment and parts to complement the various industrial zones operating across the city".

Dubai Industrial City, located close to Jebel Ali Port and the Jebel Ali Airport, is easily accessible to prominent highways such as the Dubai Ring Road, Emirates Road, Sheikh Zayed Road.

This development provides a location with six industrial clusters for chemicals, transport parts and equipment, base metals, beverage, mineral products and mechanical and machinery equipments.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dubailand master plans receives approval

Dubailand
Dubailand has announced that it has received the approval of Dubai Municipality for 16 master plans pertaining to the family entertainment and leisure project, which is considered as one of their most ambitious project.

The Dubailand CEO, Mohammad Al Habbai has said "The approval of 16 master plans by Dubai Municipality has taken Dubailand forward and will critically help to bring additional investors to this key entertainment and leisure destination."

The Dubailand projects that are currently under development include the Dubai Outlet City, Dubai Heritage Vision, Dubai Sports City, Falcon City of Wonders, Motor City and Al Barari. Other projects such as Al Khaleel, City of Arabia and Polo are in their initial stages.

Dubailand, occupying three billion square foot of space will be located along the Emirates Road. This will include a Dinosaur Theme Park, The Restless Planet, the Great Dubai Wheel, Sports City with state-of-the-art stadiums, the Islamic Culture, the great Dubai Wheel, Dubai Heritage Vision and Science World, the Global Village, Mall of Arabia and several other attractions.

Al Habbai stated that the industry estimates have indicated a strong potential for leisure and entertainment in the region. He mentioned that with these leading projects at Dubailand he is confident that this will place the entire region and, Dubai in particular, as a leading entertainment destination.

Dh.800m project launched by Cayan

Cayan Investment and Development, a real estate developer holding projects worth Dh.15billion to its credit, has recently launched 'Dubai Marina', a Dh.800million development.

The project comprises two residential towers, worth Dh.700,000 to Dh.20million constructed on a podium of retail space. The apartments were open for sale yesterday in a function at the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

According to Cayan officials, the project is due for completion by 2010, and by that time most buildings at Dubai Marina will be ready. It is said that in comparison to other towers in the Marina, this project will be a better bet, due to its close proximity to the boating club and the Marina Mall.

Architect Hazel Wong, the Regional Director of RMJM, has designed the exterior for this project. She was also the designer for the Emirates Towers in Dubai.

The 36 and 26 storey towers of the project, comprises apartments varying from studios, duplexes, three bedroom and penthouses. The soil testing has already been completed, and the piling contract will be announced soon.

The Chairman of Cayan, Ahmad Al Hat0ti, declining the view of analysts that the market is likely to soften, mentioned that they have been facing good demand for the other projects, and more demand is being expected by the end of the year.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rosewood forays into the UAE hospitality sector

Rosewood Hotels, the luxury hotel chain, is making its entry into the UAE hospitality sector with a hotel in the Dubai International financial Center, which will be ready by the end of 2009.

Rosewood Dubai, formed under partnership with JMJ Hospitality and Daman Investments, will comprise 200 rooms, apart from 55 managed residential properties, which are likely to be open for sale by end of the year. Both Daman and JMJ are the investors in the hotel, which will be managed by Rosewood. JMJ, being a US-based developer, this is also the first project launched by a US-based developer in Dubai.

The Rosewood CEO and President, Scott III, mentioned that this site was found to be the most attractive due to its location within the financial center, as with the mounting Dubai traffic, executives would rather prefer to stay away from the beach for their business projects.

The Managing Director and President of JMJ, Chris Knable mentioned that this project is the beginning of marking their presence in the region, and that they plan to expand further to other regions too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Burj Dubai progressing on schedule


The Dh.73billion Burj Dubai, is making good progress to becoming the tallest tower in the world, and the final touches of installing curtain wall glass panels are now being carried out on the super-tower developed by Emaar Properties.

Burj Dubai currently has 125 floors and is one among the five tallest constructions in the world. The initial batch of cladding which includes 25 panels, have been specially fabricated with state-of-the-art engineering techniques. The curtain wall, made of high-performance material will add to the unique appearance of the building, and will protect the interiors of the building from external noise, moisture, wind and heat.

The installation floors are first being loaded with the cladding panels and will be moved to position by use of small cranes, and then the glass sheets will be hung using monorail series every 30 to 40 storeys. As for cleaning the cladding, an advanced system for window washing and frontage maintenance, twelve permanently installed telescopic building maintenance machines will be used for cleaning the cladding.

The Assistant Director (projects) of Emaar Properties, Greg Sang, mentioned that the Burj Dubai structure is progressing on schedule, and now that the installation of curtain walls have begun, the finishing works will continue at a fast pace. Also on keeping the tower’s fa├žade in place, the graceful shape which was visualized in the architectural design will soon become a reality, he added.

Al Tajir plans to introduce five projects worth Dh.1.5billion

Al Tajir Real Estate, a new player in UAE’s growing property sector, is planning to launch five projects with a combined value worth Dh.1.5billion. Among these a minimum of four developments will be developed in Dubai. The company has already purchased lands for these projects.

Although a new comer, the owner of the company, Al Tajir, is of the opinion that his firm will soon be recognized in the property sector of the country. He also mentioned that the company has announced the construction of Waterfront Residences worth Dh.800million at Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, through their sister concern Empire International Investments.

Al Tajir Real Estate plans to unveil the sale of their low-rising project housing, Fortunato with 291 units, comprising apartments and townhouses and a development value of Dh.390million.

The project with a built-up area of 637,686 Sq.Ft., will have studios priced at an average value of Dh.295,000; a single bedroom priced at Dh.538,538 and a two bedroom with a price of approximately Dh.682,722. The townhouses with four bedrooms will be priced at Dh.2.2million.

Al Tajir mentioned that a lot of care has been paid to every details of the project. Though, in the best interest of the end-users, the prices are kept low, these are not cheap properties, he added.
The project planned at the Jumeirah Village South by the company is expected to reach completion by mid-2009.

Al Tajir plans to focus its attention in Dubai, while its sister concern Emirate would focus on international and regional developments. In future, Al Tajir plans to launch projects that include the hospitality and commercial components.

Al Tajir mentioned that the company is shortly expected to announce the launch of a luxury five star resort, and another commercial project.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Israqah and Zahran Group launches Dh1.8billion Dubai project

Israqah, the Dubai-based real estate developer and investment firm, has entered into a partnership with a Saudi Arabian company for the launching of Dh.1.8billion real estate project in Dubai.

The 'Onyx project' located on Shaikh Zayed Road comprises a business hotel and two office towers on a retail space platform. Being located next to Emaar Business Park, the two office towers are of 25 and 16 storey each, and the 14 storey business hotel will have10 suites and 200 rooms. Other amenities include health clubs, swimming pools, a day care center, business centre, conference rooms, restaurants and retail outlets.

This announcement by Ishraqah, which is a Saudi-owned company and the Zahran Group, an industrial investment conglomerate, is sufficient evidence of curbing the supply gap for commercial space after years of focus on luxury residential development in Dubai.

During the past week, Emaar had launched a twin-tower commercial project at the Downtown Burj Dubai development of the company, which is expected to be the world's tallest tower.

Now that the ownership structure of Dubai's legal property sector has become more clear, major global institutional investors are expected to enter the commercial property sector, according to analysts.

The Vice President of Zahran Group, Ebrahim Al Asseri, mentioned that the large investment that has been allocated to this project highlights the fact that Dubai's emergence as corporate powerhouse should be supported by developments like the Onyx.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mina Al Fajer in Fujairah with residential villas and apartments

While it may have been a trifle late into the game compared with Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah intends to leverage its natural assets - a long waterfront - in the best possible way.

A new mixed-use development, Mina Al Fajer, aims to offer residential investors a similar sort of grandeur as is the case in the south of France.

"We hope to be present at Fujairah when the tourism boom hits the emirate. It is the natural beauty of Fujairah that is our inspiration in launching this project here," says Abdulrahman Al Awar, Managing Director of Mina Al Fajer Real Estate.

Expected to open by the end of 2009, Mina Al Fajer will combine an equitable mix of mountain and solarium villas and marina apartments.

There will also be a 100-berth marina and a five-star hotel to be managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

"The Mina Al Fajer will be the only project of its kind to combine three different aspects of nature - the mountains, the sea and the pristine beaches. It will be spread over 777,025 square feet and located just at that point where the Hajar Mountains meet the sea," adds Al Awar.

Every apartment and villa will have a sea view, thanks to the seemingly fluid architectural nature of the buildings.

It is the creation of eminent French designer Xavier Bole, and Erga Progress, a Dubai based consultancy which has had projects in Lebanon and the UAE.

On the hospitality side too, Fujairah has a lot going for it. Hotel occupancy figures have more than doubled in the last five years, with weekends seeing the rates shoot up past the 90 per cent mark.

The marina, restaurants and boardwalks will be accessible to guests at the hotel, who will also have their own 200-metre private beach alongside a man-made lagoon.

Project details

  • An apartment in the Dh600 million Mina Al Fajer development is decidedly in the premium range starting at Dh1.7 million. A Fairmont signature villa is even steeper and is between Dh4.5 to Dh9 million depending on the size and location.
  • Too expensive? No way, Abdulrahman Al Awar, Managing Director of Mina Al Fajer Real Estate, assures you. Apart from the 80 marina apartments, 48 mountain and 13 solarium villas are featured in the master-plan. "We did a pre-launch a short while back to check out its desirability, and 40 per cent of the property was gone in just four days. It just goes on to show there are more than enough people willing to put their money on good quality housing and accommodation."
  • UAE nationals and GCC residents can avail of a 90 per cent loan being offered by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi on a 10 per cent down payment.
  • Enabling contracts for the project will commence this month, and excavations are scheduled for June. Mina Al Fajer Real Estate is currently carrying out feasibility studies in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Eastern Europe, Lahore and Karachi.

[Source - Property Weekly]

RAK Properties awarded Dh340m Mina Al Arab contract to Darwish

Darwish Engineering Emirates and RAK Properties have entered into a deal of Dh.340million to carry out the infrastructure works of the Mina Al Arab project.

Mina Al Arab, worth Dh.10billion, launched during May 2006 by RAK Properties, is a mixed used development, with a unique mix of hospitality, leisure and residential components, contributing significantly in making Ras Al Khaimah as the much sought-after tourism destination.

Darwish has been awarded the contract for Mina Al Arab, as it is a prominent engineering firm with a rich portfolio of successful project history in the UAE, particularly in Ras Al Khaimah. The complete package of the infrastructure works for Mina Al Arab has been undertaken by Darwish.

The nature of work entrusted to Darwish by RAK Properties include the modern methods of wastewater treatment, high and low voltage electrical works, drainage works, potable water networks, street lighting, roads and bridges and telecommunication networks.

The Managing Director, RAK Properties, Mohammad Sultan Al Qadi, has mentioned that the company was eagerly on the look out for a contracting company who could meet up the targets and quality standards of this project, and they found the right choice in Darwish, who have a good record of producing quality results on-time.

According to the contract, the infrastructure work will begin this month-end and will be completed within eighteen months.

Zenath real estate plans new series of projects worth Dh.2billion

One of the leading property development companies in UAE, Zenath Real Estate, also a part of the Khalid Abdullah Al Ghurair Group, has announced its plan to construct a series of commercial, residential and hotel projects worth Dh.2billion at UAE.

The Director of the group, S.M.Sadique mentioned that these upcoming projects will help Zenath in gaining presence in the competitive real estate market, and that twelve years of exposure in the field has already helped them in building projects that are best in design, quality and luxury.

The group has plans of developing ten hotels, including a four-star 'Landmark Inn' on Al Rigga Road in Dubai within a span of two years. Apart from the Dh.60million four star - Landmark Inn, the other projects include Dh.150m Landmark Palace Hotel at Al Rigga Road, a four-star hotel at Salahuddin Road, the Landmark Grande Hotel at Nasser Square, another four-star hotel at Abu Dhabi, a Dh.150m four-star hotel at Dubai Investments Park, a 220 rooms hotel at Fujairha Corniche worth Dh.150m, a four-star near Dubai International Airport worth Dh.175m and a deluxe service apartment at Ajman Corniche.

These hotels are likely to be managed by the Landmark Group of hotels, irrespective of whether they are Zenath's own projects or join-venture or lease projects.

Zenath's other residential and commercial projects include Nahda Enclave - residential complex in Dubai worth Dh.70m, The Central Park - a shopping mall at Dubai Investments Park worth Dh.175m, a residential and commercial building at Port Saeed, a showroom complex worth Dh.25m at Dubai Investments Park, a factory and warehouse also at Dubai Investment Park and various other amenities at Deira.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Increase in housing supply to drop inflation rates; Central Bank

The Governor of UAE Central Bank, Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi, has mentioned that UAE is likely to witness substantial decline in inflation rates, once more housing units enters the market.

Al Suwaidi mentioned that even during the previous year, the inflation rates in the UAE was not alarming, though, it is a fact that UAE has a high single digit inflation, which is expected to come down considerably when new supplies take care of the property demand. The inflation has always been below ten percent, he added.

Al Suwaidi mentioned this based on the comments by the Director of International Monetory Fund (IMF), Mohsin S. Khan, that the inflation in UAE is expected to cross ten percent and Dubai, in particular, is expected to witness higher rate of inflation.

However, Al Suwaidi agrees with the observation made by IMF that the abnormal high rent rates, scarcity of housing units and the overall constraints in supply are the main factors contribution the high inflation rates rather than the high cost of imports due to the fall of the dollar.

The declining dollar value, to which the dirham is hooked, has resulted in a drop in the purchasing authority of the dirham as against many international currencies. Though, this has in-turn added to the current inflationary pressures, the Government has highlighted that imported inflation plays only a marginal role in the UAE.

First Gulf Bank launched Westbury Square

According to reports, the First Gulf Bank is likely to foray into real estate business, with its own subsidiary.

The Vice President of First Gulf Bank, Ibrahim Eskiocak, mentioned that after developing and managing the real estate projects for quite sometime now, they feel that they posses the necessary expertise to enter the real estate market.

This move was taken based on the decision of the UAE Central Bank to permit the banks to take up real estate subsidiaries. As per the current regulations, Banks can now finance and manage real estate works through joint venture subsidiaries, with sixty percent of stake being held by general shareholders.

The subsidiaries are eligible to buy, sell and develop projects, apart from financing and managing them.

Eskiocak mentioned that they plan to launch projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The Bank, yesterday, launched Dh.600million 'Westbury Square' comprising commercial and residential units at the Business Bay in Dubai.

The project will basically consist of two residential towers with thirty nine floors each and a thirty five storey commercial tower. The project, which is designed by National Engineering Bureau, is due for completion by the end of 2009.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Beach Towers scheduled for occupancy by 2010

The real estate branch of the Al Badie Group (ABG), Al Badie Trading and Investment has announced that their Beach Towers Project of Al Reem Island is all set for occupancy during mid-2010.

The development, worth Dh.700 million, is located at Shams Abu Dhabi, and will provide the public a glimpse of the Marina, the Island, the Abu Dhabi skyline and the sea.

President of Al Badie Investment, Mohammad Joan Al Badie, mentioned that the announcement of their first Al Reem Island development is being made at the appropriate time, and each and every aspect of the development is an opportunity for excellent investment and is a very comfortable home.

The Beach Towers, located in close proximity to downtown Abu Dhabi, is at a convenient distance from all major entertainment and commercial centers, and is expected to become a landmark on the island and will offer rapid returns on the investment.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dubai realty prices announcement needs verification

Developers say that certain investments announced by the real estate companies are not inline with market reality, and the prices are just being hyped so as to place themselves at a higher level.

The construction costs are less than those announced by certain developers. This exaggeration in prices of the projects, are further pushing up the costs of construction materials and services. This, in turn, has an unforeseen effect on the rents and consequently on inflation rates.

Al Yasat Holding Group Chairman, Rashid Al Mazrouie, states that the companies launch projects announcing investments of billion of Dirhams, which in reality, are the price of housing units in the project.

This, in turn, compels the contractors and importers to increase their raw material prices and servicing fee. Masrouie mentioned that there is a need for the developers to form a real estate exchange in the UAE so that the real and logical price of each property could be fixed, rather than keeping the doors open for unreasonable hikes in prices.

The Executive Director of New Dubai Real Estate, Ahmed Ali Al Abduallah expressed his doubts regarding the unreasonable hike in property prices, and added that it could be the media propaganda to the desire of the developer in selling his projects at high profits.

Abdullah added that such an exaggeration in figures will make a negative impact on the market. He mentioned that an authority should soon be established to monitor the developers and their investments so that the developers will stop taking advantage of the media to propagate their projects.

SmartCity Kochi receives a go-ahead

The Smart City Business Park in Kochi has finally received the green signal yesterday, after a series of discussions for three years between the Kerala Government and Dubai Internet City.

The Dh.1.28billion ($350 million) worth SmartCity, basically a joint-venture between Sama Dubai and Tecom Investments, is estimated to occupy a million square meters of land, and is the center for knowledge industry companies in Kochi.

Last month an agreement was signed with the Government of Malta, which led to the establishment of SmartCity Malta, a business township, expected to come up in Ricasoli, Malta.

SmartCity Kochi, developed on the basis of other successful models such as the Dubai Media City and the Dubai Internet City, is targeted towards media and the IT firms, and is expected to be one among the largest business parks in India.

The Executive Chairman of Tecom Investments, Ahmad bin Byat, has stated that SmartCity Kochi would be the ideal place for the best companies in India and across the world to enter into partnerships, work together and bring up new ideas. However, the special focus would be on the sector of IT-enabled services, which is already a big boom in India.

The Kerala Chief Minister, VS Achuthanandan, mentioned that the project has arrived at a time when Kerala is at the verge of making an entry into a new phase of economic development which is knowledge-based. He added that SmartCity Kochi will be among the major players in tapping the enormous potential in Kerala for development of the media and IT.

It is expected that SmartCity Kochi will now drive in new opportunities for employment in areas of hospitality, administration, construction, consultancy, retail and logistics, tourism and construction, apart from the knowledge-based industries.

Deyaar to enter Abu Dhabi property market

The fastest growing real estate company, Deyaar, has announced their decision to enter the Abu Dhabi real estate sector with the Reem Island, a residential project. They have recently acquired three prime plots on Reem island which has a widespread view of the Bay Centre Marina located on Reem island. This purchase of property from Reem Developers in the prime project NAJMAT has increased the total land bank property of Deyyar by 258million Dhirhams.

According to their executive Vice President, the company has set its sights for vast expansion plans with Abu Dhabi on top of the list and is looking for more such opportunities to improve Deyaar's presence in the United Arab Emirates.

Deyaar is hoping to commence construction before the year end and is in process of finalizing the appointment of designers and consultants for their prestigious project.

Deyaar has been recently in the forefront and has been actively finalizing projects and allianzes across the Saudi, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Indian real estate markets with focus on sustaining their growth through successful project deliveries and a deep understanding of the local markets.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Flats in Dubai International City delayed beyond schedule


People who purchased flats at the Dubai International City are complaining about the delay in handing over their new homes by about a year.

While the buyers mentioned that they are already under considerable financial pressure due to this waiting, neither Tamweel, the home finance provider, nor Nakheel, the developer have actually mentioned when their apartments are likely to be ready.

A Nakheel official however mentioned that the delivery of the first phase of buildings at the Dubai International City that began during August 2006 was on schedule and is making good progress. He added that flexibility in schedule is essential during such large scale developments, as changes are sometimes incorporated to ensure high quality standards, which is done keeping in mind the interest of the owners.

An owner from Jordan, Naseer B, said that he had purchased two flats in the Moroccan section last year. At the time of purchase Tamweel officials had promised that the apartments would be ready by August 2006. In accordance with this, Naseer had written a tenancy agreement with his landlord during May 2006. However, from August’06 till this minute the handing over of the flats has been delayed, and Tamweel mentions that the delay is due to hold-up on Nakheel’s part.

Naseer adds that the status of work of the flats was more than eighty percent complete during August, and the situation is the same even now.

Another buyer mentioned that she had to take up a bank loan for paying the downpayment to Tamweel. She currently stays in a rented flat. So due to this delay she has been bearing the burden of bank loan plus the burden of rent for her current flat.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hi-tech lifestyle in Dubai @ iPad tower

ipad tower
The 23 storey iPad, one among the most famous buildings now under construction, was designed by James Law, the Chairman of James Law Cybertecture.

James Law, on his return journey from Dubai to Hong Kong, planned this design, as he was on the look out for a new building at Business Bay in Dubai. Law, hit upon the idea of combining cybertecture with something new in the field of technology. On looking at the iPod, which he was listening to at the moment, he felt it represents the way of life in future.

Cybertecture, is an architecture that is not only about stone, glass and steel but also involves interactivity, digital content and use of technology.

iPad, the building under-construction, is developed by Omniyat, and is situated along the Creek in Business Bay providing views of Burj Dubai. It includes iAmbience rooms that changes color while receiving phone calls and iRotation rooms which provides its residents with changes in views. Other features included are the iHealth for the bathrooms that detects the blood pressure, weight and temperature of the individual using it, and the iReality rooms that feature real-time videos of about sixty two locations all around the world.

On the whole, the project will have a total of 231 apartments, with Dh.1 million for a studio apartment. The views will be stunning, along with interchangeable interiors. The motto of ‘live in the future’ will be indicated in all the products of iPad.

iPad, which is already in the process of building, is being scheduled for completion by 2010.

Al Fajer to enter Indian Property market

Al Fajer Properties is likely to invest a billion dollars or Dh.3.67 billion in the Indian Property sector.

The Chief Executive of Al Fajer, Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, mentioned that the company is convinced with various opportunities present in healthy cross-border investments as far as the two countries are concerned. The company wishes to develop projects in India through a joint venture and by facilitating small investors in India to buy properties in Dubai, which would yield them good returns.

The company, while making its entry into the Indian property market, aims to develop three main kinds of projects – townships, commercial and gated residential community.

Zadeh mentioned that the company has been carrying on talks with two major real estate developers and are targeting the locations Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Gujarat in India.

Pond Park to come up at Al Ghusais, Dubai

As part of the Dubai Municipality's plans to provide more greenery and recreational facility to its residents, a new and modern generation park, the POND PARK is likely to be constructed in the Al Ghusais area.

Work on the project is likely to begin soon as the civic body has already given its approval for the design of the park. The project is expected to be complete by March next year as per the Head of Projects and Designs, Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al Ali, who also mentioned that the project would be part of Dubai Municipality’s Strategic Plan for 2007-2011.

He also stated that more such Pond parks are planned in various areas of the emirates including Al Quoz, Al Nahda and Al Barsha. The current project at Al Ghusais will be spread over an area of 17 hectares with three segments. The first segment of the Pond park will contain a Jogging area of 3metres width and 2 kms in length surrounding the pond. The pond will also be surrounded by games and other facilities with shaded sitting areas. To ensure safety of children and visitors the pond is likely to be fenced.

The second segment of the design will have the main park area that consists of separate play areas for children with walkways and shaded sitting areas. It will also have a 3 metre slope which gives a panoramic view of the pond and will also be an ideal location for picnics or for conducting special functions.

The third and final segment of the project design includes football field, a couple of tennis courts, a basket ball court and a beach volley ball play area.

Tamouh plans to launch its mega project Marina Square

Tamouh investments, one among the leading property developers in Abu Dhabi are in the process of chalking out plans to launch a new mega project at UAE.

The Chief Executive of Tamouh, Joe Ong, has announced that the company plans to invest about Dh.6billion or more for its project ‘Marina Square’ at Reem Island and added that the first plot of Al Reem Island is scheduled for completion by 2009.

The 6.2million Sq.Mts of natural island, spread along 350 metres of Abu Dhabi’s seashore, is expected to develop into a full community in a span of fifteen years.

The first plot of the Al Reem Island, the Marina Square, spread over 13.2 million Square Feet, comprises of thirty percent commercial and seventy percent residential districts. It is a multi-purpose project comprising of branded retail outlets, cineplexes, shopping arcade, restaurants, branded retail outlets, a five star hotel, private beaches, sports facilities and a marina.

Ong mentioned that the constructions of all the fourteen towers are being initiated together, so as to complete the project on scheduled date.

Ong said that Abu Dhabi is undergoing a tremendous growth in the real estate sector, due to an ambitious vision, and added that, Tamouh intends to offer quality lifestyles to Abu Dhabi’s residents, along with a promising future which holds the greatness of the city.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Which is better investment option - Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is currently doing well in the property sector, and the recent Cityscape exhibition has only added to this excitement. However, the truth is that these major construction activities taking place in Abu Dhabi currently, is not being considered as a major threat to its matured neighboring emirate, Dubai.

It is a different kind of market, and the motivating projects that are being carried out at Abu Dhabi will bring about a balance in the overall profile of UAE as a business, residential and holiday destination.

However, whether Dubai or Abu Dhabi is a better investment option, will depend on individual requirements of the buyer. The massive demand for commercial and residential property in Abu Dhabi is actually soaring up the prices. However, the major supplies currently reaching the Dubai market, and the progress of the emirate in offering world-class infrastructure, will actually lure investors to Dubai who intend to occupy their properties very shortly.

However, this major growth of Abu Dhabi is a real booster for the UAE economy. This is clearly indicated by the project values which has touched 170 percent increase last year in comparison to 2005. With several new projects coming up, this figure is expected to increase even further during the current year.

The population in Abu Dhabi will be doubled in ten years and about 2,50,000 housing units will be required. This bigger picture indicates long-term sustained growth of Abu Dhabi market.

This optimism in Abu Dhabi is the result of combined efforts of tourism, leasehold ownership, development of infrastructure and international airport expansion, which will help in maintaining the prominence of the capital in the real estate market.

Abu Dhabi chalks out Plan Abu Dhabi 2030

The Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 – the major development initiative of Abu Dhabi, is expected to change the UAE capital into a vibrant global metropolis within a couple of years. This move comes at the apt time, when the emirate is already witnessing a boom in development.

The total number of projects, that are already under development and those that are being announced sum up to Dh.1.47 trillion as per estimates. The Ministry of Executive Affairs at Abu Dhabi had been authorized during 2006, to design and work out two main tasks, jointly with the Department of Agriculture and Municipalities.

The first among these, were to bring the best development experts to Abu Dhabi for creation of a comprehensive plan for the evolution of the city by the year 2030. The second was to create suggestions for the best regulatory and institutional framework to manage this real estate development of Abu Dhabi.

However, Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 highlights a holistic approach to the planning policy in the city, and all individual developments will be committed to contribute a shared vision for the emirate that is surrounded by sea ecology and rare desert.

The main principles outlined by the government for shaping the development of the city under Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, are that, Abu Dhabi will remain to be a contemporary expression of an Arab City, where the people continue to live in a healthy, close and supportive proximity with one another, in the first place.

Secondly, the practice of measured growth will be continued by the city that shows a sustainable economy. Thirdly, Abu Dhabi will be taken up to reach new heights and will be moulded by a natural environment of the coastal and desert bio-networks.

Abu Dhabi will clearly indicate and maintain its stature and role as a capital city Finally, Abu Dhabi’s community infrastructure will help in maintaining the culture, values and social status of the Arab community.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Abu Dhabi property market scaling new heights

Abu Dhabi, with its excellent infrastructure and natural waterfront, is very much considered the city of the future. The booming property market in Abu Dhabi is on the brink of touching Dh.3billion, while property sales is likely to fetch Dh.9 billion during the next decade.

Three main mortgage players and seven banks are catering to the property market of Abu Dhabi today, to meet the increasing demand of the commercial developments, as well as the home finance of the market.

Tamweel, the real estate major had opened its office at Abu Dhabi during 2006 and is ready to enter into partnerships with other major developers to encourage growth of property sector in Abu Dhabi.

The Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2007, the three day property finance and investment exhibition is one among the major business-to-business real estate events in the world, with 200 odd exhibitors in the event.

The Dubai-based developer, Sama-Dubai, who is a member of Dubai Holding, in the meanwhile, launched a scale model worth Dh.1 million on the first day of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi exhibition.

Also, the Dubai Towers project, a model of the four-towers, in The Lagoons master development alongside Dubai Creek, stretches to more than two meters in height. The CEO of Dubai Lagoons, Abdul Salam Al Merri, states that the model of Lagoons Dubai in City-scape is the biggest project of the company, and will find place in the project sales center in Dubai. The model has been worked on during the past couple of months, and will be ready by next month.

Al Fajer enters into partnership with German firm

Al Fajer properties has announced that they have entered into a partnership deal with RE/Max, a major German real estate franchiser which has more than 5000 offices spread across more than 50 countries.

The Al Fajer CEO, Dr.Shahram Abdullah Zadeh, states that the partnership was entered at the right time, when the Dubai property market is witnessing a great dynamism, offering the best opportunity of growth for foreign investors. In addition to bringing in investment to Dubai’s property sector, Zadeh mentions, that his company is confident about the partnership with the German RE/Max, as it will shoot up German investments in Dubai.

He added that German investors have already shown interest in the Jumeirah Business Center Towers, and now with their partnership with RE/Max, an effective channel has opened its way, which would ensure continued interest in Dubai realty sector.

The Regional Manager of RE/Max, Markus Preller, mentioned that in comparison with other European investors, the UK in particular, German investors in Dubai are comparatively small in number. The tie-up with Al Fajer will enable RE/Max in driving more German investors to Dubai, he adds.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arabtec wins Dh.370m contract for Umm Al Quwain Marina

Arabtec Holding yesterday announced that it has been awarded a Dh.370m ($101 million) contract of designing and constructing villas at Umm Al Quwain Marina.

About 277 villas are being planned under the leadership of Emaar Properties. The project will be completed within two years.

With this, the total number of villas currently under construction by Arabtec will reach a total of 2,801, with 759 villas for Emaar, 558 for Dubai Properties and 1484 villas for Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Programme.

During the last four years, Arabtec had already completed 4,964 villas with 4,386 villas for Emaar properties at Emirates Lakes, Emirates Hills, Springs, Meadows, Arabian Ranches and about 560 villas for Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Dusit to launch Dusit Palm Island Project

Dusit International, the operational branch of Dusit hotel service business is making a strong presence in the Middle East by constructing two additional hotels and a residential unit through Dusit Palm Island Project, at Dubai.

The Dusit International Chairman and Managing Director, Chanin Donavanik, states that with the new project in hand, there will be three Dusit hotels in Dubai, the leading destination for business travelers and tourists.

According to Donavanik, in addition to the current Dusit Dubai Hotel with 300 rooms, the latest project agreements will help Dusit gain a stronger hold in the Middle East. He said that the new project comprises two luxury six star hotels ‘Dusit Devarana’ and ‘Dusit Thani’ and of-course the fashionable Dusit Residence, the launch of which, will be announced separately.

The luxury hotel ‘Dusit Devarana’ catches inspiration from Indian architecture and comprises of 114 big suites and rooms, while ‘Dusit Thani’ is a property that is inspired by Moroccan architecture comprising 272 suites and rooms.

Fifty one @ Business Bay being launched by Deyaar

Deyaar has launched its new office tower, worth Dh.300 million - Fifty one @Business Bay.

Placed in a prominent location, Fifty One @Business Bay will help catch a glimpse of the lake and the island, a landscaped area, and is located at close proximity to the world’s tallest tower, Burj Dubai. With a total of twenty one storeys, Fifty one @ Business Bay comprises 164 office spaces. Beginning 8th of May, the project will be displayed for buyers and investors at Cityscape, Abu Dhabi.

Damac plans further expansion with $1bn project at Saudi

Damac Properties plans to invest Dh.3.67billion ($1 billion) in the booming real estate market of Saudi Arabia by the end of this year.

The Chairman of Damac, Hussain Sajwani mentioned that Damac will be launching villas and residential apartments worth one billion dollars at Jeddah and Riyadh. He added that such a decision was arrived at, based on the demand for residential projects at Saudi Arabia.

Sajwani also mentioned their intention to invest a billion dollars at Morocco for building a mega tourism project in one of its coastal cities. He added that they also plan to enter the sub-continent, and are already in the process of planning a project at Hyderabad. Projects are being planned at Pakistan too.

Damac’s most recent announcement was the launch of Gamsha Bay in Egypt, a tourism and residential project, worth Dh.60billion with luxury hotels, 18 hole golf course, and marina, all spread in 3000 hectares of land.

Damac CEO, Peter Riddoch, expects total investment in the project to touch $16billion in a span of ten years.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bawadi to be the biggest retail zone in the world

The Dh.100billion tourism and entertainment destination at Dubailand, ‘Bawadi’, will host the world’s largest shopping destination covering 40million sq.mts of land area.

This is the outcome of a directive from the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, due to its expected contribution to Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015.

The shopping area will comprise of street shopping, boutique malls and shopping malls in an underground shopping area all connected to Bawadi’s various elements, so as to become the longest shopping avenue in the world.

Bawadi, the world’s biggest area by development size, launched during May 2006, comprises of hotel that is 10km long, convention centers, shopping strip and entertainment.

The Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Mohammed Al Gergawi, mentioned that apart from offering the largest shopping area in the world, it will link to 31 hotels ranging from three star to five star, representing a strong platform for tourism development in the emirate, which will re-inforce the status of Dubai as one of the premier family destinations in the world.

Bawadi, is being constructed by Tatweer, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding. Bawadi will add 31 hotels with 29000 rooms with its centerpiece development Asia, offering 6500 rooms, entertainment, shopping malls and convention facilities.

Tatweer Executive Chairman, Saeed Al Muntafiq has confirmed that the initial road works is almost nearing completion, and the infrastructure work is on schedule.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Nakheel clarifies the issue over Terra Del Sol

Nakheel has cleared the air by confirming that they are the master developers of Discovery Gardens, putting an end to the confusion about the apartments in a development, Terra Del Sol, which had been marketed by Damac Properties.

The investors were basically confused about whether they had bought the apartment from Nakheel or Damac.

A representative of Nakheel mentioned that they are the master developer of Discovery Gardens, and are responsible for construction of the entire project, comprising 291 buildings with 26,000 odd multi-sized units in a family-oriented community.

Discovery Gardens, launched during July 2004, created a high demand, and the construction of the buildings began the same year. The statement from Nakheel mentions that most of these buildings are sold to developers, and hence the cost of apartments in these buildings is determined by the individual owner.

The Damac CEO, Peter Riddoch, has stated that they had purchased two buildings from Nakheel, and re-sold them to third parties during 2005. The buildings in Terra Del Sol were very similar to rest of the major development, and Damac had placed its identity tag on the two buildings for marketing purposes. The investors were also clearly notified about all details, so that they do not feel cheated.

Meanwhile, a few British investors who had booked flats during 2004-05 with Damac, claimed that while booking, they were told Damac Properties were the ones to build Terra Del Sol, keeping Nakheel as the master developer during the entire Discovery Gardens project.

A resident is said to have stated that Damac had earlier mentioned that they are the ones undertaking construction of the properties, and there was no mention of Nakheel being made. He added that he was only notified about Nakheel being the developer during the year 2006, when Damac had asked the family to sign a Power of Attorney, authorizing them to buy properties from Nakheel on their behalf.

A property developer, Sarfraz Mirza, also mentioned the same issue, and agrees that Nakheel was brought to the picture only last year at the time of signing the documents.

Palm Jumeirah depends on firefighters to bring the fire under control

Fire broke out in a building under construction above the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, the iconic offshore development. One person was hospitalized due to smoke inhalation.

The construction materials that caught fire created huge dark clouds of smoke. A representative of Nakheel states that the fire broke out at 4pm in a building, currently under construction, owned by a third party developer, on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah. The fire spread within the building, setting fire to construction materials, and producing massive smoke.

However, the permanent fire tender of the Palm Jumeirah, reached the scene within minutes, along with required support from Environmental Health and Safety, and the fire service of the Civil Defence. The necessary measures have been undertaken for the safety of public in the island. All workers have been asked for an explanation.

The Palm Jumeirah, is one among the three major man-made islands, with Nakheel as its developer. Launched during 2001, it extends 522kms of the Dubai Coast and offers 4000 odd homes, due to be ready by 2010.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Nakheel's Discovery Gardens nearing completion

Occupying 26 million square feet beside Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens will attain complete build-out in 2008. The first of the themed communities, Zen, will start handover early next year.

"The handover process will be on-going stretching over a year," says Fahad Yousuf Al Haidan, General Manager — Discovery Gardens.

The development has 291 buildings all of which has been sold out. It will add more than 26,000 multi-sized apartments with a focus on establishing a 'family-orientated community'.

The majority of units will be studio and one-beds, with a selection of two-beds as well. Landscaping will be key to the development.Discovery Gardens will reveal six communities — Zen, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Cactus, Moghul and Mesoamerican courtyard gardens.

Total investment on the project is Dh12 billion. Nakheel had opted for a quick sales cycle to sell the full buildings.

"We wanted to integrate the selling process and give the investors a chance," the official says.

"Discovery Gardens will promise comfortable living for people working in Al Quoz and Jebel Ali. The industrial zones are close to the upscale area of Dubai, but remember there are umpteen workers looking for mid-range housing in that area alone. Discovery Gardens is intended for medium to high income families."

The internal department within Nakheel in conjunction with the Land Department is registering sales as an on-going process.

[Source - Property Weekly]

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Al Qasimi to build budget hotel

The Owner of Orient Tours, Shaikh Faisal Bin Khalid Al Qasimi of Sharjah, has declared that he plans to build 380 rooms budget hotel near the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

The property, worth Dh.150million, is one among the several other budget hotels planned by Al Qasimi Group in the GCC. Shaikh Faisal mentioned that they are entering into the business of budget hotels with the government’s approval and he expects the hotel to be ready towards end of 2008, though the operator is yet to be finalized.

Faisal mentioned that there is a great demand for budget hotels in the emirate, and with steady growth in inbound tourism, the tour operators are facing shortage of hotel rooms. This shortage of rooms exists in all categories like beach resorts, budget hotels and city hotels. On the other hand, UAE is witnessing tremendous growth in leisure, business and tourism and hence the budget hotels are a must to keep up with the pace of growth.

Planet Group to develop hotels in the region

The Arabian Travel Market 2007 witnessed the launch of ‘Planet Group’, a conglomerate of eleven reputed companies from the travel and hospitality sector.

The Chairman of the Group, George M Moussa, mentioned that the success of tourism in Dubai is based on the fact that it is a unique, plentiful and quality destination with dedicated professionals in the tourism sector coupled with the strong marketing efforts from the Dubai Government. The aim of the group is to assist the tourism industry in the city and add its share of social and economic contribution.

The Group intends to build a five star restaurant, a convention centre complex and an apartment with a total cost of Dh600 million at Danat in Abu Dhabi. The hotel with 440 rooms and 190-unit apartment complex is expected to be completed by mid-2009.

The eleven companies in the group will be managing various sectors such as travel, hospitality, freight, cargo, hotel, real estate, aviation, logistics, entertainment, exhibitions and food and beverage.

The Group already operates and manages the Orient Guest House, Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa, Show Biz Pizza Place and Galaxy Plaza Hotel. Planet Group also has a real estate branch, Dynamic Real Estate, whose first project in Ajman is already in the process of development, and further aims large scale project developments.

According to reports, the inbound division of the group has already drawn 1,27,000 tourists last year.

Luxury Resort being developed at Coral Island, a part of "The World"

The leading Dubai-based developer, Nakheel, is in the process of constructing a super-luxury resort at the Coral Island, which is one among its 300 man-made islands, which together forms 'The World'. The project value is yet to be revealed.

The 300-island development, 'The World', which is reclaimed from the sea, takes the shape of the world map, and the first island to be developed on it, is the Coral Island, which spreads over an area of 73 hectares.

The Coral Island will be among the world’s most prestigious developments that include a specialist spa hotel, marina village and a residential development. On the whole, the island will have a beachfront of about 9.5kms. The island is scheduled to be ready by 2010.

The work at the development is going on at a fast pace, with most of the 300 islands taking shape. "The World" which is located a little off the Dubai coast, is 94 percent reclaimed, and is scheduled to be completed by 2008.

The Marina village is the main attraction of the development, the place where visitors can indulge in excellent dining, leisure and retail facilities, in addition to a 150 room hotel and Spa, and a world class marina. The suites in the hotel will be among the largest in Dubai, with an in-house swimming pool.

The CEO of Nakheel, Chris O'Donnel, has announced that, till date, "The World" has been a good commercial success, and Nakheel plans to build on this by forming the Coral Island. Dubai market, being extremely competitive, the Coral Island offered by Nakheel will be one of a kind.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Damac launches Wildflower project

The first villa project by Damac Properties – the Wildflower, positioned in the Earth Community of the Jumeirah Golf Estates at the Arabian Travel Market, has been launched. Damac, during this occasion, also revealed details regarding its Gamsha Bay Project, based in Egypt, which is a 320 milllion Sq.Ft. leisure destination, one of the largest developments in the region.

The Wildflower Villa project in Jumeirah Golf Estates, is located in close proximity to various developments such as Jumeirah Islands, The Palm Jumeirah and The World and makes use of traditional architecture.

The Damac Chairman, Hussain Sajwani, mentions that the Egypt-based, Gamsha Bay project will be a yardstick in its architecture, innovation and design in the region. The world-class development will attract tourists and help boost the economy of the region.

The leisure development, being the largest in the region, offers residents a wide range of options like apartments,, marinas, townhouses, villas, 18-hole golf course, shopping boulevards, five-star restaurants, scuba driving, spa resorts and other recreational and entertainment venues and amenities along with an innovative sports adventure theme park.

The Chief Executive Officer of Damac, Peter Riddoch, states that due to the massive growth in the real estate sector in the region, plenty of business opportunities are being created. Hence, Damac, is of the opinion that ATM is the apt platform to capture a share of both leisure real estate market and the tourism sector, both within UAE and in the international market.

Palm Deira project plan revised

Nakheel, the developers of the building Palm Deira has revised their building plan, releasing a new masterplan, which is believed to save construction time and money. The length of the island that stretches off the Dubai coast, has been reduced by 3.5 kilometres (now 12.5kms) compared to the original design. The width however remains unaltered at 7.5kms.

The land mass of the palm will now be six million Sq. Mts., more than that originally envisaged. The palm, which will be seven-and-a-half times bigger than the Palm Jumeirah, will be the biggest man made island on completion. The Palm Deira Operations Officer, Abdullah bin Sulavem, has mentioned that, as the depth of the Arabian Gulf increases substantially moving further away from Dubai’s coastline, this leads to considerable savings on construction time and sand volume.

The new plan also includes creation of nine different areas, five islands forming the massive corniche – Deira, North, South, Central and Al Mamzar, which will link to the main Palm Trunk, Palm Crown, Palm Crescent and Palm Fronds.

Deira Island, the Phase one of the project, will form the entrance to the whole development and will be connected to the Deira district by bridges running across Port Hamriya and Dubai Creek.

Transport links will be integrated with current road networks and Dubai Metro, which is under construction. The entire reclamation work, which is running as per schedule is due for completion by 2013. The Palm Deira, on completion, is expected to be a “feather in the crown” for Nakheel.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dh12bn worth local and international projects to be launched by RAK

Rakeen, the real estate development arm of the Ras Al Khaimah Government, will launch local and international projects worth Dh12 billion in the next three years, a top company executive said.

“We plan to launch new projects worth Dh7bn in Ras Al Khaimah, while we study Dh5bn worth of projects in the international markets such as Lebanon, India, Egypt, Jordan, Georgia and Iran,” Dr Khater Massaad, Chief Executive of Rakeen, said yesterday after announcing the launch of the Dh1.2bn Bab Al Bahr luxury resort on the 21-million square feet Al Marjan Island.

While Rakeen has already launched projects worth Dh7bn in the emirate, it is also studying details of six more mixed-use projects.

The Bab Al Bahr resort will be the first to be developed on Al Marjan Island. On completion in 2009, the resort will consist of a fourstar deluxe hotel, time-share apartments, freehold residential apartments, a shopping centre and an office tower, offering residents and investors 360-degree sea views and open private beach fronts.

A total of five residential buildings, with 710 residential freehold apartments, will be constructed with 110 studio apartments, 300 one-bedroom apartments, 220 twobedroom apartments and 90 three-bedroom apartments.

Bab Al Bahr will also have a 290-room four-star deluxe hotel, incorporating 120 timeshare apartments, in addition to a 25-storey Bab Al Bahr retail and office tower, which will offer retail shopping and office space under a free zone trade licence.

Al Marjan Island is a cluster of five coral-shaped islands extending over 2.7 million square metres. Land reclamation is planned to finish by the end of this year, while development completion is planned for June 2009.

The total development cost of the island was $1.8bn (Dh6.61bn), he added.

The project in Esfahan, Iran, due for completion in 2010, will have a shopping mall, a seven-star luxury hotel, office and residential tower, a three-star hotel and an exhibition centre.

Rakeen is not averse to entering the booming Indian real estate sector.