Monday, July 30, 2007

23 Marina witnesses ninety percent sales

About ninety percent of the residential apartments of 23 Marina has been sold out with a fifty percent appreciation in price after the launch of the luxury tower in March 2005.

The Hircon International Director, Darshan Hiranandani, is said to have stated that, the product has marked a new beginning for high-rise living, and has drawn large number of end-users. Majority of the buyers are expatriates from Europe, GCC and India, who have actually purchased the units with an intention to live in the ninety storey tower.

The ETA Star Executive Director, Abid Junaid considers this as a major achievement, and has mentioned that 23 Marina, being the first project of Hircon International in the UAE, the accomplishment has been possible mainly due to the attention paid to minute details that provides an enhanced and good living experience for its residents.

The construction of 23 Marina has proceeded as scheduled, and on completion during mid-2009, it will be the tallest residential building in the world, measuring more than 380 meters in height. It comprises 48 duplex apartments on the top twenty four floors, three penthouses on top of the tower and a total of 288 apartments. It boasts of its own private plunge pool, internal elevator and Jacuzzi, landscaped gardens, temperature controlled swimming pool, jogging track, coffee parlour and such high-end luxury. The entrance of the tower will feature a six storey high lobby with panoramic elevators. Prices range from Dh.1,700,000 to Dh.8,500,000 for the duplexes.

23 Marina has also won the prestigious "CNBC Arabian Property Award for Best Architecture in 2006."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Construction work on Palm Deira Corniche- Phase I begins

The construction work on the first phase of Palm Deira Corniche, on the larges Palm-shaped Island, The Palm Deira, has begun and is being developed at a cost of nearly Dh.300 million.

The Corniche which is expected to be nine kilometers in length and 30 meters in width will comprise series of leisure facilities, a marina and parks. The entire development will comprise of twenty four islands that have the capacity to accommodate around 200,000 inhabitants.

Chaiman of Dubai World and Nakheel Properties, Sultan Ahma bin Sulayem, the developers of Palm Deira, said "Unique projects, such as the Palm Islands will boost the tourism industry in Dubai, and the Corniche will allow visitors and residents to enjoy better lifestyle facilities."

The project, supported by world-class infrastructure, lays emphasis on the social and economic development of Dubai. It has been designed to attract families by offering water fountains, large green open spaces, flower beds and advanced lighting system, thereby ensuring a relaxed atmosphere.

The Phase I of the project will stretch over four kilometers along the Old Deira Corniche. This will be separated by a 170 meter wide water channel from the Old Deira Corniche and the two will be inter-linked by a two-way passage for pedestrians and vehicles.

The Palm Deira Executive Director - Operations, Abdullah Bin Sulayem, said "The Corniche which spreads over five million square meters comprises about eleven percent of the total project of Palm Deira. This will be developed in multiple phases and each phase will have several stages. We are currently constructing the Stage I of the first phase that is 900 meters in lenth, facing Hyatt Regency Complex. The work is likey to be complete by this December."

Al Burj may not be taller than Burj Dubai

Nakheel, the developer of Al Burj skyscraper has pointed out that Al Burj may not be taller than Burj Dubai.

The Nakheel CEO, Chirs O'Donnell is said to have stated that "height isn't everything" and that iconic buildings is what matters.

Burj Dubai, built by Emaar, is at present the tallest building in the world. Earlier, there were rumours that Al Burj could end up with 1200 meters in height and would therefore be the world's tallest tower.

Al Burj, earlier known as Pinnacle, was conceived as the focal point of Palm Jumeirah. It was later moved to the Dubai Waterfront and was re-named as Al Burj, and was subjected to major overhauling.

Al Burj the super-tall skyscraper escalates towards the sky, forming a centerpiece that represents the magnitude, vision and ambition of the development. The iconic tower features mesmerizing views of the harbour from the luxury duplex apartments.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Property Law to boost institutional investments

Developers and Analysts in Dubai are of the opinion that Dubai real estate could witness more institutional investment, due to the regulation issued by the government regarding safeguarding the payments of property buyers.

As per the regulation, published recently in the Official Gazette, the payment installments for off plan property will be paid into escrow accounts (also called guarantee accounts or trust accounts), which are authorized by the Dubai Land Department, along with an approved bank. The capital in the account will be released to the developer only when the construction milestones are met.

Prior to the issuance of this law, the investors money was unfettered. In the opinion of Tom O'Grady, a real estate partner at the Dubai office of global legal services, the regulation would prompt institutional investors such as insurance companies, banks and fund managers to invest huge sums into the Dubai property sector. He mentioned that the increase in the number of institutions entering the market, by itself, strongly indicates their growing confidence. And as far as Dubai is concerned, this could be another step forward in the right direction.

In fact, an article in the law states that a percentage of the project value should be retained in the escrow account for a year after the registration of all units. O'Grady mentioned that this will surely boost investor confidence, as end users could be confident about the quality of their property and they will have a hold over the developer in case any rectification of structural problems is required.

The President and CEO of Omniyat Holdings, Mehdi Amjad, mentioned that the law could potentially alter the investors profile in the Dubai property sector, and the realty market will witness a new flow of overseas investors with a very different demographic profile, in comparison to the investors who have been currently investing in the Dubai property sector from the time the property market was open to foreigners. Amjad mentioned that institutional investors, until now, were hesitant to invest in off-plan developments due the lack of security of their investments.

Even the developers seem to have spoken favoring the law, despite the fact that escrow accounts would restrict the developers’ access to any off-plan payments, leading to possible cash flow problems.

Sanjeet Joher, the COO of KM Holding, said "Such legislation is required for protecting the legitimate developers and consumers. This will help the Dubai real estate market and will leave a positive impact on the economy."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Prices of commercial and residential space in Burj Dubai to soar high

The prices of residential and commercial space in the world's tallest tower, Burj Dubai, are touching new heights, with current rates estimated between Dh.4000 to Dh.8000.

The Chief Executive of Coldwell Banker, Hisham El Far said "The residential space in the tower is being sold for Dh.4000 to Dh.6000 per square foot, while the commercial space is being sold for Dh.5000 to Dh.8000 per square foot. The prices have gone up by nearly 25 percent during the last few months, and are sure to increase further, with Burj reaching greater heights."

The company has entered into two deals worth Dh.45 million, and is being approached by many investors looking to invest in Burj Dubai.

El Far mentioned that it is difficult to disclose an average rate, as the prices are yet to be finalized and they tend to increase with the increase in the number of floors.

However, El Far is of the opinion that leasing the property would prove beneficial to the developer, than selling it, as there are chances of better returns from the property over the years.

Meanwhile, Emaar Properties, in their statement, said that the prices of apartments would vary depending on the level in which the apartment is based, and its finishes. They mentioned that so far, the investor responses to their homes are strong, and that they are in the process of streamlining further sale queries to accommodate this.

However, according to Dubai Land Department, there is not yet a single deal in Burj Dubai that has been registered with them. The Department mentioned that they undertake registration deals only when the building is completely finished, and that, currently all deals are only internally registered with the developer, Emaar Properties.

But, the department plans to tie-up with the company to implement the primary registration system, and the company will then have to register their sales when agreements between the parties are being done.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Emaar to stop short-term rentals in its properties

The residents residing in homes constructed by Emaar Properties are not permitted to let their properties on short-term basis.

Emaar has sent circulars placing certain restrictions and has asked the residents to keep tab on illegal activities. The circulars were sent to residents in Emaar communities of The Greens, The Springs and such others. The circular states that the villas and apartments should not be let for short periods or used as bachelor accommodation. The circular has also asked residents to keep Emaar informed in case anyone violates the rules or employs housemaids without a sponsor.

When the residents were contacted, it was found that while majority of residents supported the neighbourhood watch-style appeals, they were not supportive of the ban against letting out their homes while on vacation.

A UK designer living in the Springs community mentioned that she agrees with Emaar about the neighbourhood watch, but expressed unhappiness that while on a vacation, she would want to rent her property, just as she would do in any other place.

However, according to Emaar, the rules are being enforced keeping the interest of safety and security of the residents and homeowners. The circular mentions that short-term holiday lets are not permitted as per the agreement signed between the developer and the purchaser. However, despite this, short-term accommodation of Emaar properties is being frequently advertised on websites and newspapers.

According to Walter Halt, an independent property consultant, this was being done, due to the fact that there is no federal law on the subject.

"A law concerning how communities are managed is yet to be finalized, which indicates that all master developers bring up their own rules regarding community management."

Dh.100m hotel to be built by Landmark in Dubai Industrial Park

Landmark Real Estate Investment Management (LRIM) plans to invest Dh.100 million in a three star hotel in the Dubai Industrial Park (DIP).

LRIM, is a fund manager based in Dubai, and is making investment through its Landmark Real Estate Opportunity Fund launched during September 2005.

The fund has been invested in nearly ten real estate projects throughout UAE. According to Landmark's COO, Riyaz Jivanjee, this is the first hotel project in their portfolio.

The property will be managed by Copthorne Hotels and Millennium hotels under the brand Kingsgate Hotel and Resorts.

The property is expected to comprise 200 hotel rooms and forty suites. The preliminary design works has been agreed, and the hotel is expected to open during second quarter of 2009.

The Chief Executive Officer of LRIM, Chris Purdon, said "The project has been designed to meet the needs of leisure and business travelers and capture an investment opportunity due to the difference in demand and supply for mid-scale accommodation of business visitors to Dubai."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Burj Dubai stands highest in the world

Burj Dubai stands high as the tallest tower in the world at 512.1 meters, announced Emaar Properties on Saturday, the 21st July.

The Skyscraper with 141 storeys, has overtaken the Taiwan's 509m Taipei 101. The Burj also overtook the next highest, the Petronas Towers of Malaysia standing at 452m.

The tower forms a part of the Dh.73billion Downtown Dubai Complex, located off Sheikh Zayed Road, which is due to be completed during the year 2009.

However, Burj Dubai, will not be officially recognized as the tallest tower, until it is occupied. This condition is imposed by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the organization that ranks the highest structures in the world.

On its completion during 2008, Burj Dubai, will also be the tallest tower in the world on the basis of all four criteria, listed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The council measures the height until the top of the structure, the height upto the highest occupied floor, the height until the roof, and till the tip of the antenna, flag pole or the mast.

Burj Dubai took just 1276 days to be known as the tallest building in the world.

During the process of construction, Burj Dubai overtook the skyscrapers that were previously known as the tallest architecture around the world, such as the Empire State Building in New York with 381 m, the Jin Mao Building at Shanghai with 421m, the Sears Tower of Chicago (442 meters), and the Petronas Towers of Malaysia (452 meters).

The Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohamed Ali Alabbar, said "Four years ago, Burj Dubai was conceived as a ninety storey structure. But, with the inspiration from the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, High Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to construct a global icon, we went ahead with further works on Burj Dubai."

He said "Burj Dubai is not only an architectural and engineering masterpiece in concrete, steel and glass. It is a human achievement that cannot be equaled. Burj Dubai will surely inspire the future generations to think and look beyond the ordinary and to challenge their mind and spirit."

The Council plans to hold its eighth world congress in Dubai next year, and will use Burj Dubai as a case study to point out to what extent the modern-day structures are pushing boundaries.

Victory Heights Villa contract awarded to Al Jaber

Al Jaber, the Abu Dhabi-based group, has been awarded the Dh.977 million contract for construction of 579 villas in the Victory Heights cluster of the Dubai Sports City.

The Victory Heights Golf Residential Development is a joint-venture between the Dubai Sports City and Arcapita, a Bahrain-investment bank.

The Phase one comprises construction of the 579 of the total 935 villas of the prestigious victory heights golf course villa community, located within Dubai Sports City.

The total value of the contract is Dh.977million, and the first set of homes will be delivered during April 2008.

The General Manager of Victory Heights, Yasser Abdullah, said "The Victory Heights development is a unique endeavour and choosing the right contractors is imperative to ensure first-class quality. Al Jaber met our stringent requirements with their excellent track record and experience with other high level developments across the region."

Apart from a few five-bedroom A and B type villas, majority of the Phase one of the golf course villas and townhouses have already been sold out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tenants permitted to stay for three years in their rented homes

The Dubai Rent Committee has cleared air, and announced that landlords who wish to move back into their homes that have been rented out, cannot do so, until the tenants completes three years of contract.

Despite the fact that the standard rental contracts last one year, unless the agreement signed by both parties state otherwise, the rent committee would still stand in support of the leaseholder.

The General Secretary of the Committee, Mohammad Ahmad Al Shaikh, said the tenants have the right to stay in the property, due to the money invested in furnishing the house.

"It is no doubt, the prerogative of the house owners to live in their own house. But, in case, they have decided to let out the house for rent, they should understand that it is for a minimum of three years, though the contract is signed only for a year," Al Shaikh said.

Many landlords are said to have approached the rent committee as the tenants are refusing to vacate the property. But, according to Al Shaikh, the case will move in favour of landlord, only if, the contract clearly states that the house will have to be vacated after a year.

In the meanwhile, the landlords have branded the rule as "absurd" and "against the basic principles of ownership laws", as it prevents them from moving into their own house, but, the tenants have welcomed the policy.

As per the guidelines issued by the rent committee, the landlords who wished to move back into their own homes, could do so, provided, they do not rent our their house again.

The committee says that in case the landlord wishes to move back to their own house, their intention behind doing so, should be proven, and the landlord should ensure that the tenants are provided with sufficient notice period.

Any landlords violating these conditions will have to bear the consequences, the rent committee said.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Aldar Resort deal awarded to Six Construct

Aldar Properties, the leading Abu Dhabi developer, has awarded the construction contract of its Al Gurm Resort Residential villas to Six Construct.

The construction will include the supervision of the infrastructure development, and its related service. The luxury villas will be developed in different phases and is scheduled for completion by May 2009.

The Al Gurm Resort will be located in the tropical mangrove forests of Abu Dhabi, on the edge of waters with lagoons and indigenous wildlife, with about sixty species of birds. The resort will consist of seventy three luxury homes, and about 158 five-star suites and will be managed by the Banyan Tree Hotel Resorts.

The Aldar Chariman, Ahmad Al Sayegh, said "Aldar is proud of the Al Gurm Resort project. Apart from being an icon for Abu Dhabi, the stunning residential development will significantly add to the already expanding tourism sector of the emirate, through the world-class hotel that is likely to be established."

Reef Real Estate Investment Company plans to expand overseas

The Reef Real Estate Investment Company, worth Dh.700 million, plans to invest Dh.2 billion in the overseas market during the next five years.

This will include both residential and hotel projects. The company is currently evaluating a few investments in the high-end developments in both hotel and residential sectors.

The Managing Director of Reef Real Estate Investments, Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Zaued Sager Al Nahyan, said "We would also like to expand our base to markets like Europe and North America in future. In the Middle East, we are evaluating investment options in Egypt and Jordan, where we expect to spend about Dh.1.5bn."

Sheikh Ahmed was speaking during the occasion of the launch of the First Corp Executive Hotel in Al Barsha in Dubai, being developed by Reef Real Estate Investment Company. The Dh.120 million property, is being positioned along the lines of hotel apartments, with rents ranging from Dh.650 to Dh.1200 and houses single and double bedroom apartments and studios.

The Corp Executive Hotel, which is positioned as a four-star, is expected to generate about 95 percent occupancy during its first year of operations.

The second Corp property is being built in Business Bay and is scheduled to be opened during mid 2009 and will comprise office and hotel space.

The Managing Director of Corp Executive Hotels and Coral International Hotels, Michel Noblet, said the Corp is planning aggressive expansion plans.

Noblet said, "We are currently considering five to six different markets and we are open to projects in any part of the world, though, our current aim, is to invest in hotels in every commercial district in Asia and the Middle East. We are contemplating expanding the brand in Malaysia, Asia, Indonesia and Africa."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rent rates soar high with 292,000 new entrants to Dubai each year

According to officials, the house rents in Dubai will continue to escalate in the coming years due to the influx of about 292,000 new entrants (residents and employees) each year.

Despite the market showing signs of softening during the recent past, the issuance of more than 800 residence and work visas everyday will continue to push the demand upwards.

Investors, landlords and developers could consider this to be a good news, but it is not so for thousands of tenants who are struggling to make ends meet, making life in Dubai, dearer.

According to JAJ Consulting, Shahid Umerani, told Dubai Quality Group that the prices of a few apartments in UAE have already been settled in 2007 with a downward adjustment of close to ten percent. But, with Dubai, continuing to remain a topmost business destination, and the inflation remaining high, coupled with low interest rates and increase in mortgage business, a strong outlook for positive growth is still expected in the long term.

This, in turn, will have an impact on companies, with employees demanding salary hike. Sensing this scenario, Abu Dhabi announced a new housing scheme for bachelors with a capacity of 110,000 people, indicating a shift in future demographics.

However the panel hopes that the rent rates would come down in the near future, as it is almost getting out of reach for majority of the residents.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dubai Industrial City takes initiative to introduce lease regulations to realty agents

Dubai Industrial City (DI), also a Tatweer member, has organized a meeting with more than hundred real estate agents operating in the emirate as participants, with an intention to introduce the agents to the land lease regulations of the city and to introduce them to the new property developments that are taking shape in the major industrial destination.

The DI's CEO, Rashed Al Ansari, informed the agents that the developments of the city has picked up pace over the past six months, and more than ninety five percent of the industrial land has been leased out to over four hundred investors. He re-iterated that the DI was formed with an intention of establishing an industrial base in Dubai, and the city is more than willing to extend its full support to serious investors. Al Ansari explained that the industrial land, however, could not be sub-leased to third parties and the investors would risk their land in case they fail to abide by the project plans approved by DI previously.

Pointing out the fact that DI has completed the construction of four office buildings which has the capacity to accommodate the investor needs, and the needs of companies operating in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, he added that this meeting was an important step to help real estate agents understand the objectives behind the development of the city in a better manner.

Dubai Industrial City is a dedicated industrial destination with six industrial clusters. In other words, DI is a one stop-shop destination for warehousing, logistics, labour cities, and entertainment, industrial and residential zones. The free zone offers tenants a critical competitive edge in logistics, human resources and business operations.

Al Qasimi Group to invest in budget hotel in Dubai

A 370 room budget hotel, worth Dh.140million will be built in Dubai, by the Sharjah-based Al Qasimi Group, announced the company's Chairman.

"Budget hotels are increasing in popularity these days. Dubai is facing shortage of hotel rooms to meet the growing tourist demand, which has resulted in increased hotel fares. Hence, there is need for budget hotels to meet the increasing demand, while also serving those on the look out for a bargain," said Faisal bin Khalid Al Qasimi, of the Al Qasimi group.

The group already has a three-star hotel "Princess Ramee' in Dubai. The construction of the budget hotel, will be close to Mall of Emirates, and will begin in August and will be completed by 2009.

According to the company, the room rates of the budget hotel will be less than Dh.367, though the exact rate is yet to be decided on, as the construction of the hotel will take another two years to be complete.

Shaikh Fasal mentioned that they have branches in Sharjah, Oman and Abu Dhabi, apart from Dubai, and are looking to expand into Qatar and Bahrain too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Burj Dubai become tallest tower in the world by 21st of July 2007

This Saturday will make The Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world. The huge structure will overtake Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which is the current record holder of being the tallest tower in the world.

This announcement was made during a talk with the Dubai Civil Defence officials regarding the safety measure being adopted at the construction site.

Under the new safety guidelines, each project and development in Dubai will have its own fire station, operated by the Civil Defence officials.

The Director of Dubai Civil Defence Department, Brigadier Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, after visiting the site, mentioned that most major builders including Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Holding have agreed to set up fire stations, which will help in reducing damage considerably.

"Most of emergency and safety techniques is in black and white. We are completely satisfied with what we have done," said Brig. Al Matrooshi. Even during the construction, the structure had a comprehensive safety system, with an emergency staircase suspended from top of the building, and a siren.

The Safety Manager for Burj Dubai, Mohammad Moizuddin, said that in most structures, the safety system is built after construction. But we did it during the construction process itself, just as a precautionary measure.

The system is supported by two water reserve tanks on the ground floor and the seventy third floor with 10,000 gallon capacity each.

There are also three cranes on the top floor that operates with their own power and are not affected by any power failures caused by fires. The cranes have the capacity to evacuate the staff in the site using five emergency cages.

The Civil defence officials could also call helicopters to rescue cane drivers and in the event of a fire, the entire building could be evacuated in thirty two minutes.

Arabtec awarded the Dh.1billion hotel contract

Arabtec, together with Dubai Contracting Company (DCC) have won a contract, worth Dh.1 billion for working on a hotel on Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai.

The work includes the main hotel building construction, comprising four basement levels, mezzanine and ground floors and fifty one storeys, Arabtec has revealed.

The contract is worth Dh.1,076 million, but the company who has awarded the work is yet to be disclosed.

Arabtec Holding, Managing Director, Riad Kamal, said "The participation of DCC with Arabtec in this joint venture is due to the successful track record of earlier joint-venture for the construction work of the Fairmont Hotel in Dubai."

Arabtec, established in 1975, employs more than 24,000 people.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Damac launches Water's Edge, ninth Business Bay project

Damac Properties has announced its ninth project, 'Water's Edge' in Business Bay.

Water's Edge is basically a twenty storey commercial waterfront development, but the company has not yet divulged the value of the project.

The Chairman of Damac Holding, Hussain Sajwani, said "Our presence in Business Bay is due to deep-rooted belief in the extremely dynamic and vibrant master-plan being created for the development. The launch of the project is due to the impressive success experienced by the previous eight projects launched by the company in Business Bay, like, Business Tower, Executive Bay, Capital Bay, The Corner, Business Central, HAZ Tower, XL Tower and the Park Central."

Water's edge is expected to be a self-contained development with office space, retail space and recreational facilities.

Damac CEO, Peter Riddoch, has mentioned that Water’s Edge would be the ideal location for those who enjoy being in the midst of all action, like the pleasure of working in an office tower, which perfectly complements the various advantages that a self-contained development has to offer.

"Water's Edge is a perfect commercial eco-system with wonderful waterfront views. An exclusive world of boutique retails space that adds zest to the environment. The project will also have a serene and beautiful landscape with parking at five levels," he added.

Damac also recently launched 'The Signature Series', featuring the most expensive penthouse in the region, with each penthouse costing more than eight million euros.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Falconry and Lifestyle project planned in Abu Dhabi

A multi-million Dirham, desert village project, show-casing traditional Bedouin lifestyles and falconry is expected to come up in Abu Dhabi shortly. It is said to develop into a major tourist attraction and draw keen interest from future Emiratis generations.

The scheme is being innovated by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces. The project will be developed by Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD).

The plans were disclosed during the International Festival of Falconry at the Englefield estate in the British county of Berkshire.

"We are currently in the process of designing the concept, and we do not know precisely how big it will be, though, we know it will be. But it will depict the way people once live, and interacted with nature. It will be a place where we can take our children and show them our culture and the lifestyle of yester years," said Al Mansouri, who represented the UAE at the festival.

The development will be located at a site in the interior of Abu Dhabi, though the exact location is yet to be decided. It will comprise of residential areas, a museum, and hotels.

The development is expected to be complete in the next four years. Eight researchers from the EAD and the National Falconry Club, are planning for the educational and interactive center. It will also include certain zones that reflect scenes of Bedouin lifestyles, an old souk, and a desert oasis.

Al Mansouri added, "One of the major focuses will be education. We need this project for teaching children, as these are part of our culture, which might otherwise be missed out. This project is being created for education, conservation and cultural preservation."

Following the announcement of the project, other global attractions such as Guggenheim and Louvre art galleries are to be built in Abu Dhabi.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Emirates-Premier Inn joint-venture to bring in 5000 rooms in GCC

Emirates Group and Premier Inn, the biggest brand in UK, is expected to include 5000 additional hotel rooms in the Gulf region.

A statement from the Senior Vice-President, Business Development, Derek Swan, said "We are on-track with our plan to include 830 new additional rooms in the market within the next eighteen months, and will launch about 5000 rooms across the GCC in the next five years to come."

"The demand from visitors seeking quality budget hotel accommodation in the UAE is ever increasing with the major tourism developments and booming economy," he added.
Premier Inn has secured a prime location to build hotel, at Abu Dhabi's micro city, comprising residential and commercial towers, retail zones and hotels.

Premier Inn plans to construct the 250 room hotel at a plot situated opposite to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, taking advantage of the proximity and accessibility of the location to the site where quite a few major events are held. Premier Inn, in the GCC, is a joint venture between Whitbread, the leading hospitality group in UK and the Emirates Group.

PTI Gulf Hotels, the joint venture recently broke ground on its hotel property outside UK at the Dubai Investments Park, and secured about Dh.200 million for financing its first three developments in Dubai.

The DCCI property branch and DPG to join hands

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) is expected to merge its Real Estate and Property Business Group with the Dubai Property Group (DPG).

This new group together, will be operational under the name of DPG, to represent, promote and protect the interest of the real estate community in Dubai.

According to officials, the merger is expected to form a direct link between the DPG’s ongoing debates, information seeking and recommendation activities and the status of DCCI as a legal institution with the capacity to execute the recommendations.

The DPG Chairmain, Ahmad Al Matroushi, said, "Through this merger, the joint membership base will have the representation it deserves, and the voice that it is striving for. By merging with DCCI, we intend to create a strong combination with more influence, more members and a greater pooling of information with lively exchange of ideas. This will also help in deepening the international business links with Dubai."

The merger will be completed towards end of this year.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dh.500m 'The Prism' contract awarded to Commodore Contracting

The contract for Dh.500million flagship project, 'The Prism' at the Business Bay, has been awarded to Commodore Contracting by Credo Investments.

The President of Credo Investments, Sajjad M. Rashid, and the Commodore Contracting Chairman, Ameen Hesdin, have signed the contract for the project, due to be one of the most prestigious commercial properties in Business Bay.

The CEO of Credo Investments, Mohammad Dewji, said, "We have appointed reputed companies for contracting and project management, and as Business Bay, by itself is a prestigious development, we offer an equivalent quality standard to our investors in The Prism. The quality and safety which pervades in all our projects have helped us in creating trust among all our clients."

Rashid also mentioned that the ideal location of The Prism is a great advantage. The Prism, being located at the entrance of the 64million square feet Business Bay, overlooks Shaikh Zayed Road.

Rashid assured that all aspects of the project are being taken into consideration carefully, so that the property could be handed over on time.

The work on three main elements of Business Bay, such as the laying of foundation towers, establishing ultra-modern infrastructure and extension of Dubai Creek are going on at a speedy pace. Quite a few local and global companies have already chosen it as their business location in future.

Nakheel to spread its wings overseas

Nakheel, the Dubai-based developer, has opened its international branch, to develop waterfront projects abroad.

Nakheel, though yet to expand outside the UAE, will initially begin transactions within the next six months in a country, which is located at a flying radius of five to six hours from Dubai.

"Nakheel has already earned reputation internationally for development of world-class waterfront projects. There are also plenty of opportunities in the international market across the Dubai World group, wherein Nakheel could make use of its experience in water-based projects," a representative said.

"The international strategy will merge with the strategy of Dubai World, once the first transaction takes place within the next six months. The markets that are currently being considered are at a flying radius of five to six hours," he added.

Nakheel will soon be following the footsteps of companies such as Emaar and Damac, which have already invested billions of dollars into real estate market overseas.

Dheeraj increases its investment in the Dubai Culture Village to Dh.700m

Due to the rapid growth of Dubai real estate development, coupled with the increasing demand, Dheeraj and East Coast (DEC) is increasing its investment to Dh.700million in the Culture village, adding another residential development in pipeline.

The three projects of DEC in the Culture Village includes Cascade Manor, Cascade Ville and The Estate.

The Managing Director of DEC, Dheeraj Wadhawan has said that Dubai is on its way as the city of the future, and has been attracting business men and home-owners worldwide. The emirate has been witnessing high demand for both mixed-use and residential developments.

He said that this latest addition to the already existing three projects in Culture Village, indicates DEC's confidence in Dubai market, and its potential to yield sustained returns.

According to Wadhawan, the fourth project of DEC will be launched before next October in the Culture Village. He said, the new project will be developed in accordance with the current Cascade Villa project with a unique feature of "waterfall".

The earlier residential projects - Cascade Manor and Cascade Ville – had more than seventy percent sales, followed by "The Estate" mixed-use project.

The fourth project of DEC's Culture Village is scheduled for completion by late 2009.
These four projects, among the eighteen projects of DEC are located in the most prominent business locations of Dubai, and also includes the DEC Towers worth Dh.450 million, and Marina Wharf I and II, which are also located in the prestigious Dubai Marina.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Marina Plaza, the first commercial tower in Dubai Marina, launched

Emaar Properties, the Dubai-based developer, has launched Marina Plaza, the first commercial tower in the Dubai Marina master-development.

The freehold tower with twenty eight storey, forms a part of the Dubai Marina Mall Complex, and is seated on a podium of eight storey, facing the marina. The sales for office space within the tower, begins on Thursday, and the project is due for completion during 2009.

The Sales Director of Emaar, Saif Al Mansoori, said "Marina Plaza addresses the rising demand for business space in Dubai. Investors will be benefited from its ideal location within the most sought-after developments in the city."

The tower is expected to have 160 units, with six units in each floor and a complete penthouse floor.

Each floor will be wholly available for sale. The project will come up adjacent to the Dubai Marina Mall Complex.

Tecom has set up SDC to design green buildings

Energy and Environment Park (Enpark) by Tecom has given rise to a green building consultancy, namely, Sustainable Design Consultants (SDC) which is dedicated for providing building solutions in the UAE and in the region.

SDC offers advice on nearly seventy buildings in Dubai, including the DuBiotech, IMPZ, Dubai Studio City etc., which are designed as per the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment) guidelines.

Tecom CEO, Abdullatif Almulla, is said to have stated that Sustainable Design Consultants provide not just the local experience of implementing green building certification, but also provides a durable overall value to the community with a regenerative way of building.

"Setting up of SDC indicates that Dubai is actually responding to the global concerns regarding environment, as it builds up the resources and skills for sustainable planning so as to benefit the future generation," he added.

SDC has secured projects from real estate developers in Dubai, who will assist Enpark in developing itself into a sustainable free zone with its team of LEED, the accredited professionals expertized in development, design, execution and maintenance.

The Director of Enpark, Ali bin Towaih said "Green building projects with sustainable design requires planning ahead, as the selection of the site and building orientation will critically affect the future performance of planned activities."

"While initiatives are being made to advance green building principles in Dubai, SDC will consider implementing a better design and greener infrastructure which remains as a role model for a more pleasant community," Ali bin Towaih said.

Friday, July 13, 2007

UAE Realty firms look beyond UAE

Despite being one of the most vibrant real estate industries, the UAE continues to pump a huge portion of its capital into overseas ventures.

Companies such as Emaar Properties, Tameer, Damac and ETA Star are targeting North Africa and South Asia. Emaar Properties has already launched about $110 billion worth of projects outside the UAE. The company has also now announced a new project, the Cairo Gate Mall, worth Dh.2.58 billion, in Egypt. The mall is expected to be the largest mall, covering 250,000 square meters in area.

"Emaar is diversifying some income sources and plans to generate sixty to seventy percent of revenues from its international operations," said Arif Amiri, the Director, business development, Emaar Properties.

Nakheel, though yet to venture outside Dubai, has recently announced the opening of Nakheel International, as a preparation for its overseas pursuits.

ETA Star, the Dubai-based company with a portfolio of Dh.7.5billion in the UAE, is already developing three projects overseas - The Jasmine Count and Technopark in Chennai, and The Gardens in Bangalore, with total value worth Dh.1.46billion invested in Indian developments alone.

Damac Properties has also emerged successful overseas. About more than half of its total portfolio comprises projects in Egypt. It has also expanded itself into Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey and is in the process of trying to secure a land bank in China.

Real estate analysts are of the opinion that this trend is likely to continue, with the maturing of the UAE property market, and dynamic emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe offer attractive returns.

The Property Consultants at the Colliers International are of the opinion that over the past five years, the real estate developers in UAE have done exceptionally well, and it is quite natural that they would want to succeed in international markets, as well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sungwon announces the launch of Dh.2.5bn Lagoons project

Sungwon Corporation, a South Korean construction giant, is expected to announce the launch of a third project worth Dh.2.5billion in Dubai, the third largest by the company so far.

Sungwon's Vice President-Middle East, Richard Lee, said "We are developing Santevill at Business Bay and Santeview at Culture Village. So you can see the progression and could say we are following the water."

This progression has encouraged the company to select The Lagoons as its next destination for development. Dubai Properties is the master developer behind the Business Bay and Culture Village and Sama Dubai master developer of The Lagoons.

Lee has refused to reveal the details of the third project. But, said "During last July, we had said that we planned to invest Dh.4.4bn in Dubai during the next two years. Santevill and Santeview accounts for Dh.1.83bn. Santevill is inspired by the shape of dhow, and the twin towers of Santeview takes the shape of traditional Arabic architectural motif. "

Sungwon has entered into a deal with HSBC Bank Middle East, to provide conventional mortgages for buyers of its properties. The developer also has entered into a partnership with Amlak Finance for Sharjah-compliant home loans, earlier during this month.

Sungwon, is one among the largest integrated real estate companies in the world. According to the firm, it has built more than 130,000 apartments and 1000 high rise towers as contractor and developer.

Lee said "We undertake design, construction and marketing of our projects, which means significant savings, which we pass on to our buyers."

The Santevill apartments begin at Dh.1,100 per square foot, while the Santeview apartments will be competitively priced based on the starting price of the master developer, i.e., Dh.1850 per square foot. The enabling work has already been completed on Santevill, where eighty percent of units have been sold out.

Limitless to develop realty projects in Saudi

Limitless based in Dubai, which is an arm of the Dubai World Group, has announced its plans to develop real estate projects in Saudi Arabia and opening of its office in Riyadh.

The Business Development Director-Middle East of Limitless, Abdul Salam Al Jassmi, said "Saudi ticks all the right boxes in out global strategy. We are assessing projects in Riyadh and other cities in the Kingdom."

The Dubai_based developer already has projects in Pakistan, South East Asia and China.

"We are continuously monitoring the market, and our aim is to produce tailor-made developments which while preserving the traditional Saudi culture, also creates modern self-sustaining urban communities that provide entertainment, employment and recreational facilities," Al Jassmi added.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Schon Properties launches Business Park worth $200 million

A business park, worth $200 million, has been launched by Schon Properties, near Jebel Ali International Airport in Dubai Investments Park (DIP). Schon Business Park, approximately 1.1 million Square Foot in area, comprises three storey building with 410 offices having a capacity to accommodate 4000 employees.

The ground floor comprises furnished offices and 80,000 square feet of retail area. The other three levels of the park are divided into shell and core space, and a business center featuring executive board rooms and video conferencing.

Danial Husain, Vice President, Schon Properties, said "Our extensive market research revealed that Jebel Ali Free Zone Area and Dubai Investments Park face a major shortage of office space, and plenty of companies are keen on shifting offices to New Dubai."

"We chose Dubai Investments Park due to its high demand and close proximity to the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai World Central," he added.

Schon Properties is a newly formed holding company, with various realty projects in the UAE, including the Dh.3billion Dubai Lagoon project in the Dubai Investment Park.

Aspire plans new series of projects

The Dubai-based leasing, property and sales management company, Aspire, plans to launch projects worth Dh.8billion during the next one year after a major restructuring.

The company launched Jehaan residential project, worth Dh.530 million in Jumeirah Village South, during January. The company also plans to launch series of new projects worth Dh.7 billion in the Jumeirah Village South and The World.

The company will split into three units to cover sales and marketing for its sophisticated projects, realty development and brokerage services. Aspire also plans to enter into a joint-venture with a Korean construction company to launch a new-look brand image and also to combat the high rates charged by contractors. Aspire also plans to begin it's own architecture firm soon.

Aspire's first major announcement is expected to be the launch of the first phase of multi-billion residential and hospitality project on The World development by Nakheel. In the coming two months, Aspire officially plans to launch sales of 200 townhouses and villas and is expected to announce the operator of a luxury hotel.

Aspire's Managing Director, Harshit Kantaria, said "The concept and infrastructure plans are already approved, and we are waiting for the green signal on unit designs. We intend to start construction in a year."

Kantaria mentioned that the residential project which the company plans to launch in Jumeirah Village South will be a thirty storey tower comprising 600 units and will soon be joined by six other similar towers, in case the market response is favourable after the initial launch, scheduled for August.

Kantaria said that residential projects are in strong demand from public, particularly the one-bedroom units and studios.

In the meanwhile, the strong demand for luxury properties in India could encourage Aspire launch projects outside its base in Dubai. Aspire considers Saudi Arabia also to be a potential target.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Land value in Dubai averages Dh.400 per Sq. Ft. - reports Land Department

According to the reports released by the Land Department, the land value in Dubai has averaged Dh.400 per square feet during the first half of this year. The total value of land transactions at the Dubai Land Department has touched Dh.38.55billion during the first six months.

There has been an average of 1857 cash sales worth Dh.16.49bn that involved about 41.34 square feet of land, i.e., an average of approximately Dh.399 per square feet of land.

The Dubai Land Department has witnessed 1359 mortgage transactions, worth Dh.18.08billion, and about 196 donations of land and property averaging about Dh.3.97billion during the period June 30th.

The cash sales of land involved about 102 districts in Dubai. A total of 1,622 transactions had taken place, which involved the sale of about 24.32m sq. ft. of open spaces for Dh.23.44bn. About 18.67m sq. ft. of developed land was also sold through 2,607 transactions.

Marsa Dubai district was the top selling one, with about 8.67 percent of total land sales. The prices ranged between Dh.171.52 to Dh.5670.11 per square foot. This was followed by Al Barsha First with 6.57 percent sales, worth Dh.1.08 bn., with prices ranging from Dh.220 to Dh. 7,789.68 per square foot.

The third largest district from sales point of view was Trade Center First with 6.07 percent sales recorded during the initial six months. Al Sheba district witnessed 5.06 percent of total sales.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Realty purchases by UK residents to be financed by NBD

With the aim of providing finance to UK residents intending to buy residential properties in UAE, the National Bank of Dubai (NBD) has announced a tie-up with John Charcol, a leading UK based mortgage adviser.

The mutually exclusive tie-up will also offer re-financing to US residents who have already invested in the Dubai residential realty sector. Even mortgages for residential properties, both under construction and the completed ones, from about fourteen reputed developers approved by NBD, are on the offer.

The Head of retail banking of NBD, Suvo Sarkar, says "This tie-up with John Charcol, is a part of innovative approach by NBD, to provide flexible products to a maturing home finance market so as to diversify our customer base."

Ed Zublin awarded the Dh.380 million Injazat contract

Ed Zublin has been awarded the Dh.380 million contract by Aldar Properties for construction of Inja-zat's data center and office facility.

Injazat Data System, one of the leading Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) company has announced that the new project will enable advanced IT-enabled services and hosting facility.

The project, located at Madinat Mohammad Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, covers 17,000 square meters in area and comprises a two storey Tier IV data center with a data hall of 2000 square meter in size designed to support about 9000 serves and associated infrastructure.

It also comprises a headquarters with five storey, that has the capacity to accommodate about thousand employees, featuring a 200-seat auditorium, library, gymnasium, coffee shop, eight storey car park and other recreational facilities.

"The selected contractor and design teams for the project are quite reputable and are ideal to implement the scope of requirements for such a high-profile project. Zublin was selected after an extensive commercial and technical evaluation process and were chosen on the demonstration of their expertise and market experience to implement the project," said the Senior Development Manager of Aldar Properties, HAzem Al Nowais.

The Manager of Data Center Services at Injazat said that the data center is likely to offer world-class services, while also giving us the ability to expand our service coverage across the entire region, providing clients with high level of performance.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Commercial space much in demand in Abu Dhabi

The density of Abu Dhabi is almost five times that of the global average, and more than doubles that of Dubai, and hence finding a suitable office space is getting extremely difficult in Abu Dhabi, say new reports.

The HSBC Global Research has stated that "The office market in Abu Dhabi is tighter than the residential market, with ninety nine percent occupancy rates. Even the vacancy rates are as low as one percent in comparison to the global average of nine percent and two percent in Dubai."

Also, apart from quality of supply being low, most office buildings require renovation. According to Colliers International, approximately 744,580 Sq.mts of office space is likely to enter Abu Dhabi market by 2012, doubling the existing supply.

As per reports though the occupancy rates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ninety nine percent and ninety eight percent respectively, the office density is more than double in Abu Dhabi when compared to Dubai.

The Bank expects the upward trend in rents and prices to continue until the demand and supply meets equilibrium. According to Colliers International, office rents in Abu Dhabi have increased by more than thirty percent in comparison to 2006.

Though the rental rates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi seem to be moderate, the rental yields are on the higher side, at 7.8% and 8% respectively.

According to HSBC, however, the rents are expected to stabilize over the long term, though prices continue to rise until yields fall closer to the US risk-free rate, and thereafter, the prices may stabilize.

HSBC says "Similar to what has been observed earlier for office space, rental rates though comparatively cheap, yields are on the higher side. This trend could be noticed in most emerging markets, though the opposite is true in developed markets."

Abu Dhabi realty management - Khalifa Committee

The Abu Dhabi Government had established the Department of Social Services and Commercial Buildings (DSSCB) during 1981, with an intention to organize and centralize all aspects pertaining to real estate sector. The DSSCB is also known as Khalifa Committee.

The main responsibility of the committee was to develop and manage residential properties, protect the right of tenants and maintain social justice. Since then, the committee has developed more than 100,000 residential units and about ninety percent of all buildings in Abu Dhabi are still administered by this committee.

But, with the onset of the economic boon in 2002, the DSSCB has been struggling hard to keep pace with the infrastructural needs of the fast growing emirate. This growth has created blockage in the property market.

The Government however, has been slowly reducing its dependency on the committee, and has been gradually returning the property management responsibilities, back to its owners, and has limited its role in property development.

However, during the recent past, a significant shift has been witnessed in Abu Dhabi's leadership approach to economic development. The Government has now adopted a more vigorous, entrepreneurial stance, enhanced by the empowerment of new generation of policy makers and business leaders. Thereafter, the real estate activities in Abu Dhabi has picked up significantly, permitting even non-nationals to buy leases.

Investments are being made at a rapid pace, on a wide range of new projects, most of which are focused on diversifying the economic base of the emirate and expanding its service sector.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Abu Dhabi witness property projects worth more than Dh.100bn

Over the past few months, property projects that are worth more than Dh.100bn have been launched in Abu Dhabi, says the organizers of the Abu Dhabi Real Estate and Investment (IREIS 2008) property show.

The Director of Dome Exhibitions, Anoine Georges, said "Until last October, Abu Dhabi had seen real estate project announcements worth Dh.240bn. But in a time span of less than nine months, the figure has gone up by nearly fifty percent and has touched Dh.333.8bn, and this growth is expected to continue."

Among the recent projects in Abu Dhabi are: The Green Community by Masdar, the Dh.11bn Desert Island project by the Toursim Development and Investment Company, the Dh.7bn Building Materials City, and the Dh.7.34bn Marina Rise by Eshraq.

According to Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the investments in the construction and realty sector in Abu Dhabi are expected to contribute Dh.40 billion to the GDP of the emirate this year.

Georges said that almost every project being launched in Abu Dhabi, currently, is aimed towards high-income earners. "It is only a matter of time before the developers target the middle-income segment, a segment with huge potential," Georges added.

ADCB to venture into mortgage development

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the third biggest lender by assets in the UAE, plans to set up mortgage finance and property development units to keep pace with the property boom in the emirate.

The mortgage unit is likely to be an "equal venture" with the UAE developers, Sorouh Real Estate Company, Aldar Properties, and the Abu Dhabi government investment firm, Mubadala Development Company.

Currently Amlak and Tamweel are the only two mortgage providers in the UAE. The mortgages provided by other banks contribute to only thirty percent of the entire market.

Also, the ADCB has entered into another joint venture with Macquarie Bank of Australia to focus on the property development and management.

The increasing oil economy in the UAE, coupled with changes in regulations that permit foreigners to purchase homes in certain parts of the emirate has actually spurred a property boom in Abu Dhabi.

ADCB expects to double its assets in the next three years to about Dh.183.5bn, keeping pace with the economic growth in the UAE.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sourouh Real Estate short-listed six contractors for Saraya project

Sourouh Real Estate, the Abu-Dhabi based developer has short-listed six companies to bid for the infrastructure package of Saraya project, worth Dh.3.5 billion, located at the Abu Dhabi Corniche Road.

The six contractors chosen to submit tenders in this infrastructure development include: Orascom Contracting Industries-Fujairah, Al Geemi and Partners Contracting Company WLL, Copri Construction Enterprises Est, Mohammad Abdul Mohsin Al Kharafi and Sons, Saif Bin Darwish, Al Jaber Transport & General Contracting Est.

The project comprises twenty eight high-rise and mid-rise commercial and residential towers that are ten to forty storeys in height, and a hotel with serviced apartments. The development is spread over a huge waterside site and covers 125,000 square meters. The development is believed to enhance the visual appeal of the corniche and improve the view of the city.

The development was master planned by PTW Architects of Australia.

Shaikh Holdings launches its first UAE development

A Dubai-based development company and real estate investment, Shaikh Holdings, has launched its first UAE development, a cluster of ninety six villas worth Dh.730 million in Jumeirah Golf Estate.

The prices of villas in the project range from Dh.7.3million to Dh19.7 million, ranging from 5600 to 10,600 square feet in size. Construction is scheduled to begin during October. The construction contract will be awarded within the next two months.

Shaikh Holdings, with its origins in Bahrain, plans to invest about $1.2billion into plenty of waterfront-themed and golf projects throughout the UAE within the next five years.

The company, though new to the Dubai property sector is a major investor in the property within the emirate since the year 2002, with investments in major developments such as the Business Bay, Palm Islands, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Waterfront. It has also ventured into partnerships with major real estate players in the market.

The CEO of Shaikh Holdings, Imran Shaikh, said "This is our first development project in Dubai, though we are currently working on a number of other projects too. We wish to buy more land at Jumeirah Golf Estates and are working on it. We have also acquired few pieces of land in other deals, and are exploring various other options."

Designed by DSA Architects, the villas within Sanctuary Falls overlook the Earth Golf Course, designed by Greg Norman at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nakheel launches Jumeirah Heights

Nakheel is sticking with the Jumeirah branding for its latest launch. The Jumeirah Heights will have mid-rise buildings and be a community for around 11,000 residents.

Targeted at white-collar workers and young couples, it takes its place between the Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Lake Towers on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Construction on the development which will feature 2,300 units started in May.

Says Mohammad bin Ghannam, Senior Manager for Jumeirah Heights, "Following the success of Jumeirah Islands and the overwhelming demand at the launch of Jumeirah Park in late 2006, we are delighted to bring this new product to market, especially at a time when people throughout the UAE are looking for exactly this kind of property."

"The key aim with Jumeirah Heights is to provide choice - both in terms of the variety of residences on offer and the financing options."

Two metro stations will be situated within reach by the time of the project's completion in 2010. Jumeirah Heights is to have three distinct areas -The Village Centre, The Fronds and The Clusters.

In the first stage of development, the Village Centre contains two mid-rise buildings featuring nearly 650 apartments and retail facilities.

The two fronds are to have two mid-rise apartment buildings and 17 townhouses. The two clusters will each house three low-rise apartment buildings with two- and three-bedroom lofts.

[Source - Property Weekly]

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

L&T-Eastern venture wins deal of Victory Heights at Sports City

The contract for the final phase of construction of the Dh.550 million Victory Heights, a villa community at Dubai Sports City, has been awarded to a joint venture between the Indian Construction giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Limited and Eastern Contracting LLC.

The project that has been undertaken by the joint venture involves construction of final phase of development of 295 villas. The villas are designed in eleven different styles, comprising, Spanish, Mediterranean and European architecture.

The villas that the Eastern and L&T joint venture company plans to construct will be located at Morella, Calida and Novelia villages in the Victory Heights Community.

Victory Heights is an exclusive villa community that covers 25 million square feet in area, and comprises 935 villas and town homes spread across The Dunes golf course. The eighteen-hole championship golf course is designed by renowned golfer Ernie Els.

Located within the first integrated sports city in the world, the Dubai Sports City, the development offers a wide range of amenities such as retail, schools, sports, leisure and community facilities.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Deyaar's Al Dana has been handed over

Deyaar, a Real estate firm, has announced the hand-over of its flag-ship residential project of fourty four storey in Sharjah.

Al Dana, worth Dh.260 million was designed by Horizon Consulting and was built by United Engineering Construction.

It comprises two and three bed-room apartments. The tower is well-equipped with sauna, gymnasium, steam, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, 24 hour security and spacious retail spaces. Building on the success of its projects, Deyaar is a well established real estate firm.

Monday, July 02, 2007

UAE properties much in demand even in virtual real estate sale

According to property websites, the UAE real estate market is booming to such an extent, that the investors are now willing to pay for virtual land in the country.

A website is said to have created a "virtual version" of the world, offering famous addresses for sale. Investors can purchase properties online, including major properties such as Mall of Emirates, Burj Al Arab, and the Emirates Towers for $1,500 (Dh.5,508) each, as they do not mind ever physically visiting their properties. claims to have sold 3,700 cities all around the world for "real" money, and the virtual real estate market is booming as more people are logging onto the internet.

The site is said to have sold many states in the United States for huge amount of money such as Texas for $23,000, New York for $19,350 and California for $53,000. says investors purchase its "real" estate for many reasons. Some are just eager to own a prestigious piece of land, despite of it being only in a virtual world, or it is just that they have an emotional association with the location.

As claimed by the site, financial rewards could also encourage others in case the visitors to the virtual properties, happen to click on advertisers connected with these locations, or offer to purchase buildings or neighbourhoods in their city.

Various sites in the UAE are already on the offer on For instance, Abu Dhabi, is a part of the growing real estate empire of a Toronto-based investor. The owner is willing to transfer the ownership of Abu Dhabi for $1000 (Dh.3,675).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tameer and ACC signs deal worth Dh.605m

Tameer Holding has entered into an agreement with Arabian Construction Company (ACC), worth Dh.605 million, for being the main contractor of Elite Residence in Dubai Marina.

ACC has already been custom-made to work on Tameer's Princess Tower in Dubai.

The Elite Residence comprises ninety one storeys with eighty two residential floors, four basements, four car parking floors, covering an area of 1.4 million square feet at a height of 380 meters.

"Our timetable for completion of the project is thirty months, after the preparation of piling operations and the site", says Hassan Auji, ACC General Manager.