Saturday, June 30, 2007

'Abu Dhabi homes are under-priced', says HSBC Global report

Despite the 53 percent higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Abu Dhabi, the average residential property prices are almost ten percent cheaper, says new research.

The HSBC Global Research in its report mentioned that "if we take Dubai as a proxy and follow the regression trend, the current GDP per capita level, the pricing of the houses in Abu Dhabi stands at Dh.14,808 ($4,035) per Square meter, rather than Dh.11,230 ($3,060) says the new HSBC Global Research report."

Residential prices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stand at Dh.12,371 and Dh.11,230 per square meter, respectively.

In case Abu Dhabi readily opens up the property sector to the same level as Dubai, the residential property prices are likely to shoot up, says the report.

Buyers from foreign countries are permitted to purchase 99 year leases, while the investment in properties is limited to specific areas in the capital.

According to HSBC, the market rigidities and the regulations are actually curbing the potential demand, and hence the prices.

Despite the population being highly skewed towards expatriates, the foreign property ownership is comparatively restricted. There is less incentive for the expatriates to win the residency status and the settlement is impractical.

Just as in other cities, foreign workers are not eligible for permanent residency or for citizenship. The report states that "Limited accessibility to mortgage lending, coupled with high mortgage rates that are as high as seven to eight percent, are actually blocking price appreciation." Moreover, the mortgage penetration rates are the lowest in the UAE. Penetration in Abu Dhabi is even lower as more than ninety five percent of home financing takes place in Dubai.

Due to such low penetration rates, growth rates are high, and the mortgage lending in the UAE is growing by almost eighty percent during 2006.

ECC is the contractor for Smart Heights

The Engineering and Contracting Company (ECC) has been appointed as the main contractor for the Smart Heights project at TECOM by Damac Properties.

The project is due for completion by end of 2008.

Smart Heights is the second project of Damac in TECOM, the first being 'Executive Heights', an office tower.

Smart Heights offers an office space of 288,000 square feet with 22,000 square feet of retail outlets and six levels parking. Among the other amenities are the day care center and health care.

International Foundation Group was the enabling works contractor.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dubai International Real Estate to invest Dh.18.35bn in UAE projects

Dubai International Real Estate, a company managed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, plans to invest Dh.18.35bn in various projects in the UAE, says a senior executive.

The Manager of the Company, Mohamed Al Sayegh, said "We plan to invest upto $5bn in all types of real estate projects in the UAE, like residential, commercial or mixed use within the next three to four years."

He, however, declined to reveal the total value of the company's project. "We have developed a number of projects in the UAE, but the total value cannot be disclosed," says Al Sayegh.

He was speaking on the occasion of the launch of Dh.750million HHHR Tower with seventy storeys, financed and developed by Dubai International Real Estate. The tower will be built by Al Ahmadiah Trading and Contracting, formed in a joint venture with Hip Hing Overseas, based in Hong Kong.

The tower, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, comprises residential, commercial and office complexes and is currently in its construction stage, and is now designed to accommodate offices, showrooms and 454 luxury apartments.

On completion of the HHHR Tower, the first project after the joint venture, due to be completed by May 2009, Al Ahmadiah Hip Hing will explore various other projects across the Middle East, including Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi, said the CEO, SK Joshi.

The total project value of the company to date is Dh.2bn.

Memon launches Champions Tower III

Memon Investments, the Dubai-based property developer, has launched Champions Tower III in Dubai Sports City, thereby taking the UAE portfolio of the company to the Dh.500 million mark.

The residential tower comprises sixteen storeys and is being constructed at a cost of Dh.145million and is due for delivery during early 2009. Construction will begin in August this year, says the company official.

The Champions Tower III follows the Champions Towers I and II, both of which were launched in Dubai Sports City and have been sold out.

The total value of the three Champions Tower projects including the Dh.80 million Cambridge Business Centre by Memon, located at the Dubai Silicon Oasis, are approximately Dh.500 million, which is a part of the Dh.1 billion investment plan of the company.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dubai Oasis to invest upto Dh.1billion in Sports City

The Dubai-based real estate developer, Dubai oasis, has announced that it is ready to invest upto Dh.1billion for developing four serviced apartment projects in Dubai Sports City.

The first being, the Oasis Tower-1, a part of residential and serviced apartment, is kept on sale a few months ago. The company statement reveals that it is almost hundred percent sold out.

The company said that the construction of the Oasis Tower-1 has already begun and is expected to hand over the project on schedule during fourth quarter of 2008. The second planned project in DSC was launched during first week of June, and will be a specially serviced apartment development. The company is also in the process of acquiring two other serviced apartment projects, due to be launched next year.

The Vice-President for Marketing and Sales, Hamid Ashtarani, said the ideal location of Oasis Tower-1 on the ridge of arterial water channel and the large man-made lake was one of its strongest selling propositions.

The Oasis Tower-1 comprises eighteen storeys with 232 units containing various facilities that include a rooftop gymnasium, swimming pool, commercial and food and beverage amenities.

He said "The foundation works are being carried out and full-scale construction is likely to commence within a couple of months. We intend to complete the project on schedule."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ruwaad Holdings to develop Hollywood-based theme park in UAE

A Hollywood-based theme park featuring rides on blockbusters from Paramount Pictures like Mission Impossible, Lara Croft and Titanic is likely to be built in UAE.

The list of box-office hits of the legendary California-based box-office hits, also include 'War of the Worlds', 'The Godfather', and the 'Star Trek films.'

The emirate in which this state-of-the-art, Dh.9billion development will be located is yet to be revealed. But it is likely to provide a blend of Bollywood, Hollywood and Arabian films, says the developer Ruwaad Holdings.

Paramount has entered into a deal that permits the Dubai-based firm to make use of its movies and characters as the basis for the simulators, park's rides, shows, and events.

The Chief Executive of Ruwaad Group, Hayan Merchant says "The Paramount Park in the UAE will be the main focus of a family-oriented development which is expected to include shopping centers, lifestyle properties, boutique hotels and resorts."

The project will be entirely funded by Ruwaad and Paramount is not investing in the development, though it will help in planning and designing of the park.

He said that this will boost the inbound tourism and the economic growth of the country and more details regarding the project will be revealed towards the end of the year.

In the meanwhile, both Paramount and Ruwaad are considering other development opportunities in the Middle East and around the World. The Ruwaad Destinations CEO, Darrel Metzger said "We are also looking at other regions, as this project calls for destinations in places such as Malaysia, India, South Africa and the Middle East."

Ruwaad is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dubai nine group, which operates in twelve countries and four continents.

Also, on the other hand, plans are on, to build another Dh.2.9bn Universal Studios theme park in UAE, based on Hollywood films featuring 'Jurassic Park' and 'King Kong' have been planned in the Dubailand.

Lack of timely delivery has resulted in shoot-up of rent rates

There is a shortage of 26,000 housing units, in comparison to the expected delivery of 40,000 units during 2006. This has resulted in rise in rents during the first quarter of this year, according to results of a new research.

Due to delays in key projects, only about 14,000 units were delivered in Dubai. This demand-supply gap resulted in rising rents, as the rentals for two bedroom apartments rose to eighteen percent during the first quarter of 2007, in comparison to the same period last year, says Asteco, a property management company. The rents for single, and three bedroom apartments rose by fourteen and thirteen percent respectively.

However, Asteco, in its report, mentioned that as the increase in rent rates were mainly due to the shortage of completed residential units, a large number of developments are expect to hit the market by end of this year and thereafter the rents are expected to stabilize.

The government had also recently stated that the house items and housing rents had risen by fifteen percent in the UAE, with inflation touching 9.3 percent during 2006. The average annual rents for single, double and three bedroom apartments were Dh.80,000, Dh.115,000, and Dh.140,000 respectively during the first quarter.

Dubai Marina recorded highest rentals of Dh.110,000 to Dh.210,000 on average and rents increased by 20 percent during fourth quarter.

Villa rentals increased by fourteen to fifteen percent in Umm Suqeim quarteron-quarter and Garhoud. The rentals in Old Dubai were highest in Jumeirah 1, and ranged from Dh.270,000 to Dh.500,000. However, the villas are said to be scarce in supply than the apartments.

Asteco report states that the steep increase in Dubai rents has resulted in increase in demand of residential accommodation in nearby emirates such as Fujairah, Ajman and Sharjah.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Abu Dhabi will shortly clarify the regulations for real estate sector

According to a top UAE law firm, the regulations currently drafted by the Abu Dhabi Land Department, clarifies the rules and procedures in the booming real estate sector in the emirate.

Several laws have been issued since the year 2005, which deal with property registration and ownership for the UAE and GCC nationals, and foreigners in Abu Dhabi.

Mohammad Kamal, Property Lawyer, at the Dubai-based Al Tamimi and Company, however, says that these were just "skeleton frameworks" which heavily depended on added regulations, termed as implementation regulations, to fill in grey areas.

Recent discussions between the Abu Dhabi Land Department and Al Tamimi, revealed that implementation regulation regarding Law No.3, concerning registration procedures for land in the name of UAE nationals have been already drafted and sent to the Executive Council of the emirate for approval.

Meanwhile similar regulations for Law No.19 were issued during 2005, to define the ownership rights of UAE, GCC and foreign nationals. This is in draft stage.

Kamal said that the continued activity and interest in the Abu Dhabi property market will serve as a catalyst to speed up the process of implementation of regulations, which would ultimately clarify legal issues that arise, particularly for GCC and foreign nationals.

As per Law No.19, UAE nationals have the right to own property anywhere in Abu Dhabi, but the ownership for GCC nationals is restricted only to certain designated investment zones.

The law permits GCC and foreign nationals the right to own apartment units or entire floors in investment zones, but foreign nationals are allowed to only own the surface rights, not the underlying land on which the building is located.

For owning land outside the investment zone, non UAE-nationals will have to obtain special allowance from Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Kamal said that the Land Department will be adding Lulu Island, Saadiyat Island and the High Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones to a list of investment zones which also includes the Al Raha beach and the Al Reem Island.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sheffield plans to invest Dh.5bn or more in Dubai realty

The Managing Director of Sheffield Real Estate, Abuali Malik Shroff, says he plans to invest more than Dh.5bn in the Dubai property market towards 2009, banking on the expected boom of the tourism sector in the emirate.

Shroff says "We are looking towards en-cashing the potential of the tourism sector in the near future, so that our investors could be benefited."

Sheffield is confident about a return of 8.33 percent every year to its investors, for the initial three years in its Dh.1.4 billion Marina 101 project, expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2010.

"We will manage the property on behalf of our investors, promising them of a 25 percent return over a period of three years on their investment. An investor can be certain to get back his money in a span of five to six years," he says.

"We are looking at short-term rentals, as tourists from Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia could seek accommodation for fifteen days to one month. These people would prefer to stay in furnished apartments, where they are provided with facilities of a five star hotel at reasonable costs."

According to Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) statistics, the number of hotel guests in Dubai almost touched 6.3million during 2006, in comparison to 6.1 million during 2005. The number is expected to rise further as Dubai is now focusing on becoming a regional education and financial center.

As of now, Sheffield has a land bank of 500,000 million Sq. Ft., valued at more than Dh.1billion. The company recently launched the Corporate Tower, its first commercial project, in the Jumeirah Lake Towers community of Dubai worth more than Dh.300m.

Shroff said "Commercial properties have always stood out as a stable investment all over the world. We are witnessing a continuous surge in demand in this segment in Dubai, and our project is equipped to offer better returns to our investors."

Corporate Tower is the seventh project of Sheffiled in Dubai. The company is also in the process of making investment plans in various other residential projects, and plans to invest Dh.700m for construction of a gold and diamond retail mall in Dubailand.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Banks should be facilitators rather than competitors in realty

Real Estate developers have requested the banks to leave the task of real estate development to them, and to focus on playing the role of a facilitator, rather than a rival.

A study covering the UAE real estate market during the past five years revealed that investment firms and banks have began competing with development companies.

The study by the Al Tharaa Investment Group states that once the banks become the competitors of the developers, they create very difficult conditions on developers who actually desire to seek the services of banks. The study says that permitting the banks to enter into real estate market is an "injustice" towards developers that might cause huge losses to a large number of developers. This could also result in a fall in growth of the real estate sector.

Without finance from banks for developers, and the property investors, the boom in property market that has been witnessed by UAE would have been impossible. The study pointed out that the bank is the most cherished partner for the developers.

However, the Banks view the realty sector to be the most flourishing one, and they have been allowed a certain percentage of investment in the real estate.

The CEO of the Dubai Real Estate Company, Obaid Al Salami, is of the opinion that the firms working in the real estate development should not involve themselves in financing, and hence the banks should leave the real estate development towards those specialized in it.

The Executive Director of New Dubai Real Estate Company, Ahmed Ali Al Abdullah said "The role of banks in the society and in the economy is a much bigger one than the real estate projects," but he however added that, it is good for banks to enter the property sector in a manner that does not harm the real estate companies.

Economist Ahmed Al Samarraie has said that the competition is open as long as it is in a transparent framework, involving economic freedom and equality.

Sultan Thani, the Director General of Dubai Land and Property department said that they do not intend to stop the banks from involving in the real estate sector.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Al Yasat to develop Dh.3.5b health care city in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi based Al Yasat Holdings, a part of the Al Mazroui group, plans to develop a healthcare city on Shams Abu Dhabi, worth Dh.3.5 billion.

The project intends to bring together wellness and clinical services.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mukaram Ulla Khan said "We are carrying on talks with a German Consortium for launching a healthcare city on Shams Abu Dhabi. We plan to announce the project during the first half of next year."

Khan said the company will construct a residential tower worth Dh.360m in Shams Abu Dhabi.

He also said that the design of the tower is in its final stages, and that the company will be emphasizing on an eco-friendly structure.

Shams Abu Dhabi is being developed at the Reem Island by Sourouh Real Estate, and covers about 25 percent of the island, and occupies 1.32 Sq. mts., ninety percent of which will be marked for residential buildings.

The entrance will have the distinct Gate District, constituting eight buildings. It will also comprise one of the largest parks in the UAE, which covers about a million square meters.

Shams Abu Dhabi will be developed in various phases, the first of which is likely to be completed by 2009, and the entire project will be complete by 2011.

Al Yasat has another two developments in pipeline, one each in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. "We will build a mixed-use tower at the Business Bay in Dubai and launch another residential tower at Abu Dhabi during initial part of next year," says Khan.

Al Yasat has already invested about Dh.1bn in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi property sector, including the recent launch of Dh.550m commercial project, The One Tower.

Khan mentioned "Abu Dhabi is facing a shortage of residential units, and hence we decided to launch residential projects there. We expect property prices to rise by twenty to twenty five percent each year. We plan to finance the project ourselves."

Damac launches Dh.2.5b Damac Heights

The Dubai-based Damac Properties has launched the 'Damac Heights', their first branded project in Dubai, worth Dh.2.5billion.

Damac Heights, is located at Dubai Marina, and is a ninety storey tower, comprising three, two and single bedroom apartments up to the sixtieth floor. The next twenty five levels have been dedicated to penthouses and duplexes.

The Chairman of Damac Holding, Hussain Sajwani said "We have got the land and are planning to start the works soon. We expect the tower to be complete by 2011."

The tower, designed by the Aedas Architects, offers facilities such as gymnasium, swimming pools, steam and sauna amenities, health clubs for men and women, daycare centers and nurseries, golf simulator, games rooms, banquet area and barbecue area.

Every property of Damac Heights that is purchased, or for purchase of any other Damac Property, worth Dh.350,000 during DSS 2007, the buyer will be offered a chance to enter a draw, wherein one luxury car will be raffled. The draws are likely to be held every second week starting 5th of July at the Mall of the Emirates.

Deyaar launches Dh.400m Saphire Residence

The first phase of the Dh.400 million initiative at the Dubai Silicon Oasis, the 'Saphire Residence', was launched by Deyaar yesterday.

Saphire Residence serves the rising demand for new affordable residential offerings in Dubai. It offers ninety one, two and three bedroom apartments.

The Deyaar Chief Executive Officer, Zack Shahin said "The project will enjoy an integrated community setting in an area that is likely to experience considerable growth in the near future."

Saphire Residence, comprising eight storey, scheduled for completion in 2008, will be the first, among four other buildings, that Deyaar plans to launch in Dubai Silicon Oasis. The Oasis is a 7.2 Sq. mt., master-planned community at the Emirates Road.

The Dubai Islamic Bank will offer their finance scheme, wherein no due will be required to be paid before the end of the construction. The launch is closely followed by the sale of a number of residential and commercial projects of Deyaar at the Business Bay.

The net profit of Deyaar has risen from Dh.5m during 2003 to Dh. 73m in 2004, Dh.141m in 2005 and Dh.412m in 2006. Deyaar's recent share sale was also several times oversubscribed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

DIFC passes the Real Property Law

The Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) Authority, after their sixty days consultation period, has passed the Property Ownership Laws, according to reports, yesterday.

The DIFC LAW Number Four of 2007 (Real Property Law) and (DIFC Law Number Five of 2007) Strata Title, as well as regulations that complement the laws have been endorsed by The Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The laws and regulations will take immediate effect.

The Law guarantees the ownership of freehold buildings and lands, and other interests in land within the DIFC.

The Law, though basically follows the English common law, also incorporates the Torrens system of land registration, which is popular in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Singapore.

As per this law, the land transactions can be registered in a central register, administered by the DIFC. The title interests that are already registered in the DIFC are "indefeasible."

Individuals opting to purchase property in the DIFC, or planning to lease or rent, or lend on the security of real estate in the DIFC, can rest assured that their investment is safe and is fully supported by the protection of the law.

The Strata Title Law establishes a system of guaranteed freehold title for units in buildings within the DIFC.

The law provides a combination of the benefits of guaranteed titles, clubbed with an administrative structure that has been designed to take care of day to day management of the buildings.

The DIFC says, it will help in overcoming the complexities of co-owners association constitutions, master community declarations, etc., through introduction of simple, but comprehensive system of rights and responsibilities.

The law, inline with the DIFC's mission as an International Finance Center, also provides an internationally proven system for registering real property ownership.

Shaikh Holdings willing to invest Dh.4.41bn in UAE Realty

Shaikh Holdings, which is a real estate development and investment company, has announced its intention to invest Dh.4.41 billion ($1.2 billion) in the next five years in major waterfront and golf communities in the UAE.

A community with ninety six villas on Earth golf course in the Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, is likely to be the first among the developments of Shaikh Holdings. These landscaped villas are expected to be put on sale next month.

Shaikh Holdings has actually diversified its interest from core trading into expansion of real estate developments in regional and international markets.

The company's portfolio comprises commercial, residential and hospitality real estate, and has been a leading institutional investor in the Dubai property market since the year 2002.

The Shaikh Holding's primary investments in Dubai include Business Bay, The Palm Islands, Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Waterfront.

The Chairman of Shaikh Holdings, Kaiser Shaikh, said "We have been making considerable investments in the projects of Dubai government's developers since the year 2002."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dubai Real Estate Corporation declared as public commercial institution

The Dubai Real Estate Corporation has been established as a public commercial institution, affiliated to the Dubai Executive Council, according to a decree issued by the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Ahmen bin Byat is likely to be appointed as the Chairman and Dr.Omar Mohammed Ahmed bin Sulaiman is expected to be the Deputy Chairman. A CEO will be appointed later.

The new body is expected to own and manage all registered properties that come under the Dubai Government's name. It will invest, build and utilize the industrial and commercial lands in the emirate. It is also expected to provide building, marketing, rental, commercial and real estate management services with required infrastructure.

The corporation is also given the freedom to enter into deals with companies, persons and institutions that it considers appropriate within its areas of jurisdiction. It can also team up with other concerned authorities so as to contribute to any kind of civil planning.

Sheikh Mohammed has also issued a decree to set up a board for the Dubai Real Estate Corporation. The board is entitled to manage the corporation and will be kept in-charge of the general supervision of its financial, administrative and technical affairs. The board has the right to appoint auditors and determine their remunerations.

The council has the privilege of appointing the Chief Executive of the Corporation to carry on a number of responsibilities and to make decisions that he deems appropriate to achieve the objectives of the corporation, including general supervision, implementing the strategic policies, making suggestions on new projects and investing the funds of the corporation. The Chief Executive also makes necessary suggestions on the organizational front, and governs the work of the corporation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New property ownership law likely in Fujairah

Fujairah, in an initiative to emulate Dubai, plans to pass laws that permits foreigners to purchase homes for the first time, said an official.

According to the technical advisor to the government, Salem Abdo Khali, the legislation, when it comes into effect, is likely to trigger the development of a 4 kms land reclamation project, on the south of Fujairah's port.

Dubai was the first emirate to permit foreigners to purchase property in designated areas during 2002, which brought about an economic boom.

Currently, investments in Fujairah are on the rise due to its ideal location outside the Gulf and the narrow passage of Hormuz, through which about 17 million barrels of oil are transported everyday.

Among the billion dollar worth projects that are set aside for Fujairah, a few include a liquefied natural gas storage hub, an overland pipeline to reroute oil exports from Abu Dhabi and expanding the handling capacity of the port.

Construction of a new freeway could actually cut down on the driving time to the emirate by over more than half an hour, and would encourage more Dubai investors to invest in properties at Fujairah.

Khali said "With the road, we will be easily linked to demand for real estate from Dubai." The details of whether the new laws of foreign ownership would be extended to the freehold, is yet to be known.

However, Khalil mentioned that the plans for real estate land reclamation, in addition to more industrial land planned to the north of the port, are at their early stages. He added, that the new development will comprise of town houses, villas and apartments.

High Rise Properties enter into more property ventures

High Rise Properties, the Dubai based developer, is expected to offer atleast ten more towers in Dubai for sale, with 16 low-rise buildings in Ajman for investors as its record touches Dh.20 billion.

The Chief Executive of High Rise Properties, Faisal Ali Moosa, said "On the whole, our portfolio would be around Dh.20billion involving those already announced and the ones that are now under planning and designing."

"Among these, a minimum of eighteen towers is likely to be constructed at Jumeirah Village South, and a group of sixteen low rise buildings in Ajman, which is sold at a price of Dh.14 million per housing about 80 to 85 flats, most of which has already been sold to investors."

He added "we are overwhelmed to see the demand in the market. The market demand continues to outgrow supplies."

"We are planning to develop major mixed use developments, comprising commercial, residential, shopping and hospitality centers, that create communities," he said.

Al Moosa is of the opinion that the property prices will continue to appreciate in the coming years. "Now international buyers are cracking properties and the demand is more from international markets such as South Africa, Russia, Europe, Iran and India. Besides, high rents are prompting companies to develop their own properties or purchase it for employees residence, which creates new asset class for companies," he says.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Abu Dhabi plans expansion towards West

Abu Dhabi plans to invest Dh.305 billion in construction projects in its Western Region during the coming year.

As per reports by National Consultative Council (NCC), the projects earmarked include, new houses for UAE nationals, educational institutions, hospitals, parks, mosques, roads and market places.

The project comprises 36 bridges and interchanges on Al Ghuwaifat to Abu Dhabi highway, along the Saudi border. According to the group, such a decision was taken, as most of the areas in the western region lacks proper infrastructure.

Abu Dhabi covers 89 percent of total land mass of UAE, and the western region is a vast desert area that accounts for 83 percent of the emirate's land mass.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mubadala to set-up a real estate development company

The investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Government, Mubadala Development Company, has entered into a joint venture agreement with the CapitaLand of Singapore, to set up an integrated real estate development company, which will mainly invest in the realty market of Gulf.

The partners have committed to invest an initial equity worth $300 million. The announcement is followed by the launch of the Abu Dhabi Singapore Business Forum (ASBF).

The new company will be both a developer, and facility manager for its maiden developed that is scheduled to be launched at Abu Dhabi shortly.

The project covers 1.4 million square meters of land, and has two kilometers waterfront area. It is easily accessible to key transport networks and the central business district.

The plot is one among the few areas that is likely to be developed on the main island of Abu Dhabi.

The company is expected to identify new real estate opportunities for expanding its presence in the region and in Abu Dhabi.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Mubadala, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, says "We found CapitaLand's industry leadership in Asia, which means that the company has vast experience in executing such world-class development projects."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Projected growth in Home Finance

The UAE's home finance sector has grown in line with the country's real estate market in the past three years, with current outstanding housing loans standing at Dh11.5 billion, according to a recent study by EFG-Hermes. The Egyptian investment bank estimates that the UAE housing finance sector will grow by Dh14bn in 2007, Dh18bn in 2008 and 2009, Dh14bn in 2010 and Dh17bn in 2011, based on an expected population compound annual growth rate of about three per cent.

Amlak and Tamweel are by far the dominant forces in the Emirates home finance market, accounting for 35 and 25 per cent of the industry, respectively.

EFG-Hermes predicts total growth in real estate projects will be more than Dh419bn between now and 2011 and says that of those, Dh64bn will be funded through credit.

The UAE's home finance sector has grown in line with the country's real estate market in the past three years, with current outstanding housing loans standing at Dh11.5 billion, according to a recent study by EFG-Hermes. The Egyptian investment bank estimates that the UAE housing finance sector will grow by Dh14bn in 2007, Dh18bn in 2008 and 2009, Dh14bn in 2010 and Dh17bn in 2011, based on an expected population compound annual growth rate of about three per cent. Amlak and Tamweel are by far the dominant forces in the Emirates home finance market, accounting for 35 and 25 per cent of the industry, respectively. EFG-Hermes predicts total growth in real estate projects will be more than Dh419bn between now and 2011 and says that of those, Dh64bn will be funded through credit.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rakeen's global expansion plans

The Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) based property developer, Rakeen, is fast expanding itself in the Middle East, India, Africa, Europe and the CIS, report Gulf news.

The Chief Operating Officer of Rakeen, Imad Haffar said "Currently we have nine projects that are in various stages of development in RAK, and we are also present in eight other countries including India, Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine. In addition, we are seriously considering Europe and Central Africa for further expansions."

The domestic portfolio of Rakeen comprises The Gateway, Al Marjan Islands, RAK offshore, Jabal Al Jais, Al Hamra Amenity Center, Banyan Tree Resort.

Al Marjan Islands is the first man-made island project that will be developed in RAK. It comprises a group of five islands which extend more than 2.7 million sq. mts., worth $1.8 billion. The project is expected to be ready by mid-2009.

The latest to join Rakeen's domestic portfolio of projects is the RAK offshore, a functional and modern complex, which comprises of 12 futuristic towers. The new project is expected to be the new hub for offshore financial operations for regional business community.

Rakeen has floated a joint venture property 'Rakindia' in India, with a paid-up capital of $120million.

Haffar said "Currently we have three projects under development in Chennai, Vaizag and Coimbatore. Shortly, we will have some in Bangalore. India is the most happening place, and we are looking to expand there."

Rakeen has already formed a $130 million joint venture, Prestige Land Iran, at Iran. Currently the company is developing a 190,000 Sq.mts shopping mall, and an office tower, and is planning to develop residential buildings and townships.

In Georgia, Rakeen has multi-use projects that are in various stages of development. In Africa, Rakeen is exploring a business potential at Congo, while in Europe, Bulgaria and Italy are two immediate targets.

Hafar mentioned "We are very eager about our expansion plans. Rakeen, which was launched eleven months ago, with a capital of Dh.400 million and asset base of Dh.4 billion, now the assets have more than doubled."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hydra Properties to launch $500million realty project in Mexico

Hydra Properties, an arm of the Dubai-based Royal Group, has launched $500 million realty project "Hydra Waves" at the beach city of Mazatlan in the Northern Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Hydra Waves comprises a five star restaurant with 500 rooms, a 1000 seat conference center, 1000 apartments with sea-view, a ballroom hall and a shopping center.

The Hydra Properties CEO, Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, said "We have decided to launch our property in Mazatlan because, like UAE, it offers visitors diverse choices of tourism, including its rich traditions, heritage and colorful colonial-style architecture. We have named the project Hydra Waves, as it is likely to be built amidst the waves in the sea, presenting a wonderful oceanic attraction for tourists. Mazatland, is an ideal and affordable vacation choice for tourists with a wide variety of activities such as fishing, sports, bird-watching, tennis, golf, fine-dining, nightlife and shopping."

Hydra Properties already has a significant number of real estate projects that targets tourists, businessmen and residents. It has showcased its strength in constructing communities that highlight difference in environments by establishing comfortable lifestyles.

Hydra Waves is the most recent of its prestigious real estate projects, which focuses on modern concepts that define state-of-the-art lifestyle. The company has leading development projects such as Hydra Towers, Hydra Village, Hydra Twin Towers, Eves Tower, and Hydra Downtown Tower to its credit.

Mubadala to set-up a real estate development company through joint venture

The investment vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Government, Mubadala Development Company, has entered into a joint venture agreement with the CapitaLand of Singapore, to set up an integrated real estate development company, which will mainly invest in the realty market of Gulf.

The partners have committed to invest an initial equity worth $300 million. The announcement is followed by the launch of the Abu Dhabi Singapore Business Forum (ASBF).

The new company will be both a developer, and facility manager for its maiden developed that is scheduled to be launched at Abu Dhabi shortly.

The project covers 1.4 million square meters of land, and has two kilometers waterfront area. It is easily accessible to key transport networks and the central business district.

The plot is one among the few areas that is likely to be developed on the main island of Abu Dhabi.

The company is expected to identify new real estate opportunities for expanding its presence in the region and in Abu Dhabi.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of Mubadala, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, says "We found CapitaLand’s industry leadership in Asia, which means that the company has vast experience in executing such world-class development projects."

TME wins Mina Al Fajer Resort construction contract

A Malaysian Contractor, Tidalmarine Engineering (TME), has been awarded the Dh.600 million contract of constructing the Mina Al Fajer Resort in Fujairah, by the Mina Al Fajer Real Estate.

A statement from the company said "The selection of TME comes just after the launch of the project, which highlights the commitment of Mina Al Fajer to complete the project as scheduled, towards end of 2009."

Ahmad Ali Khafan Al Daheri, the Vice Chairman of Mina Al Fajer Real Estate, and the TME Regional Manager, Nik Abdullah, entered into an agreement on behalf of their companies.

The Construction of Mina Al Fajer Resort is expected to start this month and is likely to be completed by 2009.

Mina Al Fajer is basically a sea-front community which includes a marina, 13 solarium villas, 80 Marina Apartments, in addition to a five star restaurant with 200 rooms, which will be managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

The Managing Director of Mina Al Fajer Real Estate and Director of Development and Investment, Abdul Rahman Al Awar, said the Marina, being an important aspect of the resort, it is vital to have a partner who has expertise to complete such a project on time.

Al Awar mentioned "The marina at the Mina Al Fajer Resort is one among the main attractions of the entire development, so we have taken great care to choose a company that will build it the way we envisioned it."

Dubai land department delegates to visit Hong Kong

An official delegation from Dubai's Land Department is said to have visited Hong Kong yesterday, with an intention to find a few facts pertaining to their real estate.

The delegation, headed by the General Manager of Land Department, Sultan Butti Bin Mijrin, had earlier visited South Korea and Australia prior to the launch of new ownership regulation in the Dubai property sector.

Bin Mirjin mentioned "By visiting Hong Kong, we aim to keep ourselves better acquainted with best practices in the real estate sector around the world, so as to compare them with the procedures adopted in Dubai." According to Bin Mirjin, this will help in bringing in the most successful experiences and knowledge into the Dubai Property Market.

The Dubai property market is one of the most active markets in the world. The active growth that is currently happening in the market is attracting investors from all around the world, most of whom are already well-experienced in the real estate sectors in their domestic market. Bin Mirkin says "This by itself pushes us to constantly make sure that the land registration systems and market regulations here are on par with the best worldwide."

The delegates are expected to meet the officials from Hong Kong's registration department, land department and real estate brokers committee.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Old buildings violating safety regulations to be demolished

The civic body at Sharjah has issued demolition notices to many old buildings that are likely to be knocked down soon, according to official reports.

The Assistant Director General for Governmental Projects at the Municipality, Sultan Al Mualla, agreed that there are plenty of buildings that are past their life-span and in poor condition.

According to the Municipality regulations, any building, that is more than thirty years old, could be considered "unfit" and are due to be pulled down, though it also depends on the condition of the building and not the age alone.

Many old buildings that are already in a bad shape still continue to exist, despite the warnings issued to the owners by the municipality to either knock them down or to renovate them.

Al Mualla said "There are several buildings that have been issued notices. We will take strict measures against them, if they do not comply with the regulations that are meant for public safety."

However, as reported by Emirates Today, it is a fact that several old buildings with cracked roofs and walls, and structures close to collapse, that are in various stage of dilapidation, are still being rented out to residents, ignoring the municipality regulations of safety.

These buildings, other than being an eyesore, also cause great harm to residents with exposed electrical wirings hanging randomly around the walls. The health of the residents are also infected with rooms infested with pests and cockroaches, with foul smell emanating from the rotting wood of windows and doors, disintegrating concrete and rusting metal.

Al Mualla explained that the municipality inspectors have submitted reports to a special committee which will assess the situation before taking any action.

Al Mualla said that warnings have already been issued to a large number of buildings. A second warning will be issued to the owner and to the residents for evacuation. He added that talks are on, with the Water and Electricity department to disconnect services to buildings violating the regulations.

However, the Municipality agreed that if a building is well maintained and deemed safe after the inspection by the authorities, then it will not be demolished even if it is well beyond thirty years after construction.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tecom Investments to launch Energy and Environment Park

Tecom Investments, a member of Dubai Holding, is said to be launching the Energy and Environment Park, which is a comprehensive eco-friendly community for residential and commercial use. It will symbolize the commitment of Dubai to sustainable development and create an eco-friendly community while also ensuring a good quality of living for its workers and residents.

The project which is likely to cover eight million square feet in area will provide a business environment that fosters clean energy and sustainable development. The commercial aspects will comprise commercial office space, boutique and retail facilities, showrooms for energy saving technologies etc. It will also include energy efficient residential units, conference rooms, and a green hotel. The energy efficient residential area will offer various real estate options for a sustainable lifestyle and community.

ENPARK, an academic component will provide environment and renewable energy related education programmes. It will house a sustainable development research center to show the latest sustainable technology and energy applications.

The park has been launched at a time when the global renewable energy market predicts to exceed $220 billion annually over the next five years. Phase I of this ENPARK project is due for completion 2010.

Aldar to be provided with $2.1b syndicated funds

The Morgan Stanley Bank has launched syndication of separate conventional secured term loan and the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has launched the Islamic Ijara facilities totaling $2.1billion for the Abu Dhabi based real estate developer, Aldar Properties.

These facilities will be used for financing the infrastructure of the Al Raha Beach, located along the Abu Dhabi beachfront, which is a mixed-use retail, office and residential development, constructed by Aldar.

The lead arrangers who have underwritten the facilities include the Morgan Stanley, the Dubai Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

The Aldar development comprises construction and office management, retail sites, residential properties, leisure facilities, luxury schools and resorts, and other tourist attractions.

This development of Aldar is expected to house more than 120,000 residents, which is located away from the main highway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and links to Al Raha Gardens, Khalifa City and the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Deyaar projects witnesses hundred percent sale

The realty firm, Deyaar, has confirmed that it has sold out four projects, worth Dh.1 billion within a few days of launch, thereby beginning a new trend in the vibrant property sector of the region.

Among the four projects that have been sold, Fiftyone @ Business Bay and Mayfair Residency were sold out on the first day of the launch, and the other projects Metropolis and Mayfair Tower were sold within a week, thereafter.

The CEO of Deyaar, Zack Shahin, said the quick sale of their projects proves that investors considered Deyaar to be a leading regional developer. He said "The speedy sale of Fiftyone @ Business Bay and Mayfair Residency is due to a combination of factors - compatibility with the needs of investors, architectural splendour, flexible payment terms and the substantial demand for Deyaar developments by investors."

Currently, Deyaar is in the process of expanding its real estate portfolio and has announced various other new freehold developments, so that the soaring demand for residential and office space in the city could be met.

Deyaar is one among the major real estate players in the region, with commercial and residential projects to its credit in the UAE, London and Turkey with approximately 16,000 units in its UAE portfolio alone.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sharjah property law requires tenants to attest the tenancy contract

The Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, has issued Law No.2 of 2007, which regulates the relations between the tenants and landlords in the emirate.

As per the new law, the Landlords are prohibited from increasing rents up-to three years from the date of entering into the tenancy contract, and thereafter two years for any additional increase.

The Rent increase should not cross the rent of comparable-value properties, and in case both parties are unable to agree on a rent value, the matter could be referred to rent committee.

Article 12 of the law states that, the landlord should not ask the tenant to vacate the property, prior to three years from signing of the contract, unless, the tenant is irregular in rent payment or is refusing to pay the rent.

The law also stipulates that the tenancy agreement should always be in a written format and should be attested by the competent authorities or the municipality with the payment of a definite fee. The cost and responsibility of getting the contract attested within fifteen days from the date of issue, has to be borne by the tenants. Those failing to do so will be required to pay three times the attestation fee as fine.

Local and federal government establishments have been excluded from the attestation fee.

The law also states that any maintenance or repair works in the leased properties should be carried out by the landlords, unless agreed otherwise. The tenant will have no right to make any alteration to the property thereafter.

UAE property market touches Dh.845bn

The realty developments value at UAE that are currently under construction has touched Dh.845 billion, equivalent to one-thirds of total of Middle East

The Chairman of Aldar Properties, Ahmad A. Sayegh, while speaking during the inaugural of Citi Asia Pacific Property Conference at Singapore, has requested investors to take Abu Dhabi also into consideration, as an investment destination, pointing out to the strong demand in three main segments - office, residential and hospitality.

According to Al Sayegh, more than 70 percent of UAE's wealth and more than 65 percent of GDP have been contributed by Abu Dhabi, and the overall population of the emirate had also grown by 75 percent during the last decade.

The two-day conference brought together developers, promoters and net worthy investors from United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific for discussion regarding investment options in the property sector.

These discussions mainly aim to draw attention to the diversity and depth of the real estate market about the fastest growing economies in the world.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Weak dollar great for Dubai's realty market

Despite the recent softening of the dollar, the UAE's decision to stick with the dirham's peg to it could spell a potential boon for the real estate market.

It comes at a time when many overseas investors, particularly from the euro-zone and India, are looking at property here as a medium-term investment option.

"If the central bank were to adopt a flexible exchange rate, rather than a peg to the dollar or a basket of currencies, then it would be able to gain control of interest rates," says Steve Brice, Regional Head of Research at Standard Chartered Bank.

"The good news for investors is this outcome looks unlikely at this juncture as the central banks in the region, including the UAE, do not appear to be ready to undertake this significant policy shift."

The dollar's softening against the major currencies in recent weeks has thrown up a multitude of possibilities for real estate investments from overseas.

Leading Dubai-based agencies have reported a pick up in interest from the UK and India during this period, though it is too early to say whether all of this is related to the currency situation.

Walter Hart, an independent property consultant, paints a scenario that could be of interest to an investor from the euro-zone.

"If funds are being brought into the country in order to purchase property in a non-dollar linked currency, such as pounds sterling, then property has been getting 'cheaper' by the day - almost," Hart contends.

The same property that is on the market at, say, Dh1 million would have cost around £170,000 a couple of years ago when the pound to the dirham exchange rate was at 1 to 6.

"It would now only cost around £140,000 at an approximate current rate of 1 to 7. If you are purely investing in the property market with a short- to medium-term plan to sell and repatriate funds to some other country, than these considerations take a very much more important role."

On June 7, it is launching the world's first Indian Rupee FX contract. It may be no coincidence that Indian buyers are expected to make their presence felt in Dubai's property market going forward.

Just recently, an Indian investor acquired an entire tower which is under development in Jumeirah Lake Towers.

"The recent strengthening of the rupee - it has risen over 15 per cent against the dollar in under a year - has necessitated the need for an efficient and easily accessible to all, risk management tool," says Colin Griffith, Chairman of Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, which is launching the contract.

But what would the mechanism mean for the property market here? With the Indian Rupee FX contract, an investor can sufficiently safeguard his interests against currency fluctuations.

For instance, if someone has Rs10 million today, that will fetch him Dh900,000 to buy property for that value. If after sometime the rupee strengthens the Rupee FX contract will hedge the risk for future currency movements. In other words the value of the futures goes up as the rupees falls.

Presently, for investors choosing between buying property in India or Dubai, the emirate offers at least 20 to 25 per cent more benefit on currency and interest rates. That could bring in a lot of short-term investors and speculators who would want to park money in Dubai property until the Indian market corrects.

[Source : Property Weekly]

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dubai Marina Mall unveiled

Emaar Properties has launched the Dubai Marina Mall complex, comprising an entertainment and shopping center. The Dubai Marina Mall, situated along the waterfront, is scheduled for opening during mid-2008.

The complex covers an area of 42,000 Sq. Mts., and comprises of various retail outlets that offer a wide range of shopping options, a Cineplex, restaurants, cafes and children's entertainment area. The basement will be of two levels, in addition to a five storey parking area that has the capacity to accommodate 3000 vehicles.

The retail subsidiary of Emaar Properties, the Emaar Malls Group, is expected to lease the retail space soon. The mall focuses on a balanced entertainment and retail facility to suit the requirements of visitors and the residents of Dubai Marina.

The Chief Executive of the Emaar Malls Group, Rashid Doleh, says "Dubai Marina is one of the most fashionable lifestyle neighbourhoods in the city, and the Dubai Marina Mall will enhance the quality of living of residents by serving as a one-stop shopping and entertainment destination"

Dubai Marina Mall is expected to have a strong clientele with the 75,000 odd population of Dubai Marina, and several thousand residents residing in the waterfront neighbourhood.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dubai to witness a surplus of mega malls

According to real estate developer Nakheel, the mega malls at Dubai is almost nearing capacity and there is an increased need for diversity in shopping concepts.

The CEO of Nakheel Retail, David Thurling, who is also behind the development of projects such as the Ibn Battuta Mall, is of the opinion that it is high time the local developers focused on new shopping concepts such as town center style shopping zones, factory outlets, and retail outlets and themed malls that link to main transport hubs. Even retail zones that are linked to metro stations, malls with focus on entertainment zones or shopping centers with a character or historical period theme are the other options that could be considered.

While speaking to delegates at the Dubai Retail City trade show, he said "The challenge for us in the industry is to think outside the square and to look at mall design in a different way for it to be competitive and offer something new in the market."

He added, that from a Nakheel point of view, the mega mall concept in Dubai cannot continue for long, as Dubai already has surplus current and upcoming malls, in addition to three largest shopping malls in the world, and we cannot continue building more of the same.

Dubai Land Department weeds out unscrupulous brokers

The Land Department will shortly be empowered to adjudicate on all disputes arising between real estate agents and property owners as Dubai moves to clean up the market from unscrupulous brokers.

Such disputes are currently handled by the local courts, which more often than not lead to lengthy delays in arriving at judgments.

In a related move, the Land Department will ensure that a real estate agent is bound by a proper contract in his dealings rather than the 'verbal' deals which are favoured by many.

"At the moment, brokers are not using any type of contract. So we could not take any action since the paper work was not there. Now we can," says Khamis Mohammad Al Muhairi, Head of Land Valuation and Studies Centre, Dubai Land Department.

The real estate brokerage law was passed in May 2006. A deadline was set for December 2006 for real estate brokers to be registered in Dubai. But brokers complained about insufficient time allotted to them and the Land Department has extended the deadline to July 2007.

The new procedures are in line with Dubai's 'get tough' attitude with errant agents and efforts to stamp out their influence in the market.

Many unsavoury practices still take place as Dubai’s freehold surge continues to bring in a new class of property owners who may not be well versed in all the legal and procedural requirements. They are often unwitting victims of such agents and only realise their mistake way too late.

The Land Department is aware of the problem and has already initiated a series of path-breaking steps. These include compulsory registration of all agents if they are to practice their trade, and issuing of broker cards.

"Our main task at the moment is to bring everything under the umbrella of regulation, not to do the process quickly or slowly," says Al Muhairi, who is at the helm of setting up the regulatory framework for the real estate brokerage industry.

"The main problem behind all the issues is the lack of a legal document. The biggest issue is that one project has 10 brokers claiming a stake in the deal and that too with no proper documentation. People have been sitting in their majlis concluding deals. This will stop."

Al Muhairi has a timetable in place to work out a RQS (registration-qualification and training-segmentation) module based on best industry practices from other jurisdictions. These are then fine-tuned to suit the local environment.

"Australian cities have their system well structured. From an RQS perspective, they press on awarding class distinctions within the brokerage industry. But for that we have to have be level with our initial steps, only then can we get into segmentation," says Al Muhairi.

"It is a fact that when a regulatory law comes into place the structuring of an ethical framework begins. There are always modifications and additions."

[Source : Property Weekly]

Sunday, June 03, 2007

South Korean firm to build Dh.380m Office Tower

The flow of new office tower projects in Dubai continues, with the opening of a Dh.380 million Oval Tower in Business Bay.

Oval Tower, launched by D'SECO, a South Korean developer, is a freehold project comprising nineteen storey and additional amenities to suit business requirements Prices range from Dh.1,100 per Sq.Ft. and is subject to rise, depending on the office type and the number of floors.

Pumyang Construction Company, a Korean firm has been awarded the main construction contract. The building work is likely to commence in June, and will be ready by March 2009.

This launch is likely to be followed by a number of other new commercial projects in Dubai, that are likely to be unveiled this month, with a view to fill the void in the office space supply within the emirate.

The Oberoi Group of India to open hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Oberoi, the leading luxury hotel developer of India, plans to operate two hotels, one each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, representing the entry of the group into the fast emerging regional tourism destination.

At Abu Dhabi, Oberoi plans to manage a resort property and a city hotel, though the developers are yet to be known. An agreement has already been signed for construction of a hotel in Dubai, which is a part of the Dh.800 million property project being developed by Rani International at the Business Bay.

The Chairman of the Group, P.R.S. Oberoi, mentioned that the company’s development plan is focused on Asia and Middle East.

Oberoi Group has thirty two hotels in five countries already, and is planning to launch new properties at Muscat, Maldives, Marrakesh, Cambodia, Thailand and Sharm Al Shaikh. It also has about a dozen hotels under development.

Oberoi said "It is very difficult to make a target. You have to have the right partner, the right location, and the right market. We are only going to build luxury hotels, and not big ones."

Oberoi insists on checking out the 'reputation' of potential investors before signing a contract, rather than the amount of money the investor has.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fortune Avenue - Business Tower from Fortune Group

The Dubai-based Fortune Group has launched Fortune Avenue, a Dh.300 million commercial tower at Business Bay. Fortune is already working on the Burj Al Alam in Dubai which consists of 108 storeys. Fortune Avenue is the fourth development of the company at Dubai.

The nineteen storey Fortune Avenue, is ideally located among a multitude of major blue chip corporations and international corporations within the emerging business district, Business bay.

Fortune Avenue, which spreads over an area of 300,000 Sq. Ft., features exclusive space, and fresh corporate styles that caters to business leaders. The tower also has a lovely waterfront retails area on the ground with a restaurant and coffee chop.

The main features of this project is the world-class technology that meets the growing sophistication demands of today’s business market, and the architectural design, which derives inspiration from two perched falcons, the birds native to the UAE.

The Hilltop Real Estate, a Dubai based company is likely to represent the Fortune Group as their major channel partners for Fortune Avenue in the North America.

Fortune Avenue - Business Tower from Fortune Group

The Dubai-based Fortune Group has launched Fortune Avenue, a Dh.300 million commercial tower at Business Bay. Fortune is already working on the Burj Al Alam in Dubai which consists of 108 storeys. Fortune Avenue is the fourth development of the company at Dubai.

The nineteen storey Fortune Avenue, is ideally located among a multitude of major blue chip corporations and international corporations within the emerging business district, Business bay.

Fortune Avenue, which spreads over an area of 300,000 Sq. Ft., features exclusive space, and fresh corporate styles that caters to business leaders. The tower also has a lovely waterfront retails area on the ground with a restaurant and coffee chop.

The main features of this project is the world-class technology that meets the growing sophistication demands of today’s business market, and the architectural design, which derives inspiration from two perched falcons, the birds native to the UAE.

The Hilltop Real Estate, a Dubai based company is likely to represent the Fortune Group as their major channel partners for Fortune Avenue in the North America.

Friday, June 01, 2007

More Construction firms required for building Dh.26b residences in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is on the look out for construction companies to construct a Dh.26billion residential tower block development to house 50,000 people.

The Mohammad Bin Zayed City Project comprises 347 residence units that are divided into five sectors.

The KEO International Consultants, CEO, Donna Sultan, said that they will be advertising for the pre-qualification process in a month’s time, and the design period will take up-to one year.

The project is due for completion by 2011-12.

Abu Dhabi is already in the process of undergoing a major real estate development, with premier master-planned islands and neighbourhoods that are intended to transform the UAE capital into a major tourist destination.

The total value of projects already announced has touched the Dh.1.83 trillion mark, that include the Dh.35 billion Al Reem Islands, Dh.58 billion Al Raha Beach Development, Dh.100 billion Saadiyat Islands and Dh.43 billion Das Islands.

Mohammad Bin Zayed City is expected to be one among the major real estate projects that would be of considerable help in the expansion plans of the city, and could help accommodate more residents.

Burj Dubai Completes 130 floors

The Burj Dubai, expected to be the tallest tower in the world, yesterday completed its 130th floor.

The high tower, located in the Dh.73billion Downtown Dubai Complex, off Sheikh Zayed Road, is currently 468 meters tall, which is about 16 meters higher than the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur at Malaysia and just 40.9 meters shorter than the Taipei 101 Tower, which is currently the tallest building in the world, and stands are 509 meters.

On completion of construction of Burj Dubai during 2008, Burj Dubai will be the tallest building in the world, and will be recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which ranks the tallest buildings in the world.

The Executive Director of CTBUH, Antony Wood, mentioned that he keeps getting proposals about the next tallest building in the world, though most of these remain in the conception stage.

He added that "We are basing our congress in Dubai next year and one key factor is the Burj Dubai will be more-or-less structurally topped out by then."

However, wood mentioned that for the Burj Dubai to gain recognition as the tallest tower in the world, it should be topped out structurally, should be able to reach its structural height, all cladding should be one and more than anything, it will have to be inhabited.

The 130 floors were completed in 1226 days ever since the excavation work began during January 2004. Ten cranes and the quickest high-capacity construction hoists in the world, that has a speed of 2m/sec are required to move men and materials.

The chairman of Emaar Properties ( the company behind the tower), Mohammed Ali Alabbar, said that Burj Dubai is almost reaching the top, and the construction work has gained a new shape in the field of engineering technology, as it is equivalent to none.

From now, every new level at Burj Dubai will be the terminating steps in building marvel that reiterates global capabilities. Burj Dubai is expected to remain a mixed use tower with residences, hotel, offices and retail spaces.