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.

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