Friday, August 31, 2007

Amlak Finance and Tamweel signs deal to function as escrow agents

Amlak and Tamweel, the two mortgage lenders in Dubai, have entered into deals with the Land Department to become escrow account agents.

Amlak Finance has been assigned to launch trust account services from the Dubai Land Department. Apart from this, Amlak will also enhance the financial flexibility of the end-user and provide unit sales services, sales monitoring, construction finance, legal documentation and customer service to major developers.

Tamweel has been assigned the task of an official escrow account agent by the Land Department, and this is for the first time that a mortgage provider has got this designation.

Tamweel said that it plans to convert the current projects of seventy five real estate developers into an authorized escrow structure.

The Director General of the Land Department, Sultan Butti Bin Mejren said "The Dubai Land Department plans to promote regulations that will contribute to the development of the property market in the emirate. The agreement between Amlak finance and the department ensures the users with ultimate protection."

The CEO of RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency), Marwan Bin Ghalita has commented that with the approval of a trust manager for the leading institutes in the market, one can rest assured that the Dubai property market will grow to provide deep rooted confidence and security to all its investors.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Abu Dhabi Municipality announces unique EMERALD GATEWAY Project

The Abu Dhabi Municipality has announced the unique, prestigious Emarald Gateway Project, worth Dh.7 billion dollars, being developed in partnership with the private sector. The project will be located along the main highway Coast Road, right in between the Abu Dhabi International Airport and Abu Dhabi downtown, through a main artery highway that leads to the city.

emerald gateway abu dhabi
The development comprises 88 Towers, which will be developed on either sides of a 3.5 kilometer segment on the Highway. The Site has all the necessary potential to develop into a high-end residential and hotel destination.

The Abu Dhabi Municipality got the Master Plan for the project, tailor-made by KEO International Consultants. The plan was recently approved by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed. In one look, the plan puts before us a powerful vision for "green" residential communities, besides including hotel complexes and a business park.

The Emerald Gateway rather than being just a development, also takes into consideration the community level desires and national level aspiration, with dramatic enhancement of all its surroundings. It will be a wonderful experience for all those who enter and leave Abu Dhabi, while they pass through the extensively shaped landscaped highway corridor, imprinting an ever-lasting memory about their drive along the stretch of the road of the Emerald Gateway.

In the center, one gets to see a giant artistically designed sculpture, inspired by the wings of falcon, which will be located inside the Sculpture Park. Resting on a reflecting pool, this will make an attractive gateway to the city during the day, while at night, it will be all lighted up to glow as two translucent forms. Their surging forms will be a mark of respect to the high achievements of the nation, and will celebrate the national pride of the City of Abu Dhabi. On the whole, the scheme is an integration of many landscaped features through numerous pedestrian links to adjoining communities.

The 88 Towers of the Emerald Gateway are located in two separate development districts; the Canal Park Neighbourhood and the Recreational Park Neighbourhood.

The Canal District, located along an existing water canal, will be developed with walkways and rich green spaces so as to form a Canal Park Neighbourhood for 42 tower plots along the edge of the canal. It will include numerous green gardens, restaurants and retails, terraces for ground level cafes, and a roundabout boardwalk. It stretches from the western edge of the Canal District to the eastern edge, ending with a fountain promenade that serves not only the tower residents, but also those in Al Maqta area.

The Recreational Park Neighbourhood, located along the Southern edge of the site, comprises 46 tower plots in a richly landscaped surrounding. The Park begins at the western edge, that includes two football field sized green areas and stretches to the east incorporating children's play areas, tennis courts, gardens and walkways.

The development also includes a Ceremonial Entrance with a Gateway Reflecting Pool, located along its western edge.

According to the Abu Dhabi Municipality officials, the development is likely to be one of the major public-private partnering developments ever launched by the Abu Dhabi Government. The Government will invest another billion ($242.4 million) for the landscaping and infrastructure services.

The Municipality and KEO officials have confirmed that a binding design and construction guideline will be issued to every plot owner to ensure the quality of design and construction, and their adherence to the master plan.

The CEO of KEO, Donna Sultan, the lead for creation of the Master Plan commented "Rather than looking at the site as the one filled with constraints, we foresaw a fantastic opportunity of putting together the master plan of the site, with its geographical prominence, being located between the City of Abu Dhabi and the airport, and came up with a world-class setting of the Emerald Gateway, which speaks about high national and community goals."

Sky Tower development progresses as scheduled

The Abu Dhabi based real estate firm, Sorouh Real Estate has confirmed that the construction of its Sky Tower development is going along as per schedule.

The elliptically shapped 74 storey tower, which is a part of the Gate District project in Shams, Abu Dhabi was launched last April and is expected to be complete by 2009.

All the three basements of the tower is complete including the work on the core walls of the ground floor. The tower is expected to touch 300 meters in height on completion.

Emaar and Dubai Holdings join hands for prime land developments in Dubai

The leading Dubai-based real estate developer, Emaar Properties, and the largest Dubai-based business conglomerate in the Middle East, Dubai Holding, have together announced a joint-venture arrangement for development of land in major locations in Dubai.

The Executive Chairman of Dubai Holding, Mohammad Al Gergawi, said that both Dubai Holding and Emaar are of the belief that both companies would benefit from working together on real estate projects in Dubai. Both firms are currently holding advanced discussions over the matter, for development of world-class projects in major locations in Dubai.

After its launch in 2004, Dubai Holding operates in various sectors ranging from technology, real estate, finance, health, energy, communication, tourism, hospitality, biotechnology and industry. Emaar on the other hand, powered by its vision 2010, is all set to become the most renowned names in the property market across the world, and is in the process of creating master-planned communities in international markets. It is also into developing new competencies in leisure malls, hospitality, healthcare, finance, and education which has evolved from its integrated approach to real estate development and customer service.

Both companies have strong fundamentals and their potential growth displays a great promise for investors.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Groundbreaking ceremony held in Business Bay for The Pad tower

Omniyat Properties, the real estate development branch of Omniyat Holdings recently held a groundbreaking ceremony of their prestigious Dh.550 million hi-tech tower, The Pad, in Business Bay.

Designed by James Law Cybertecture International, The Pad, will set an example for the rest of the world, with its unique, sophisticated residential buildings, due for completion by 2009.

This totally integrated residential complex is essentially a mix of advanced technology and perfection in design and architecture that personifies 21st century living in everyway. Through its innovative use of technology and design The Pad will offer its inhabitants a unique lifestyle experience not found anywhere else.

The President and CEO of Omniyat Properties, Mehdi Amjad, said "This marks the beginning of a new era, which will see us push boundaries of futuristic lifestyles. The Pad will set new standards of design in the Middle East and beyond. The project has already drawn huge media attention all over the world, particular the markets which are mesmerized by scope of developments in Dubai. This residential complex personifies the 21st century lifestyle in every way."

'The pad' is expected to comprise 231 apartments ranging from studios, one and two bedroom units, and a range of loft homes. The apartments will have various interesting features, including an inspirational clubhouse, which is meant exclusively for its residents. The exclusive club-house will comprise state-of-the-art gym, basketball court, running track, swimming pool with underwater audio system and more. The club will also offer its residents with a big meeting lounge, games room, party room, outdoor sunset terrace and library.

Al Madar's Scala Towers proves successful

Al Madar Property Investments, the real estate branch of Al Madar Group, announced that its 22 storeyed 'Scala Tower' in business bay has been more than 80 percent sold out.

scala tower dubaiThe tower comprises of eighteen storey of residential units with studios, single and double bedroom apartments. It has world-class features such as a hi-tech health club, high-speed internet connectivity, cafeterias, shopping area, recreation area, closed-circuit television, high-speed elevators, 24 hours security and maintenance, car parking and more. The tower will be ready for delivery by 2009.

The Sales and Marketing Director of Al Madar Group, Keith Pepperdine, expressing his happiness over the success of Scala Tower, mentioned that the ideal location of the tower in Business Bay with eye-catching view of the Burj Khalifa, coupled with modern amenities offered by the tower has been the major factors for the success of Scala Towers.

After a series of hig-profile realty projects in the UAE and Dubai, Al MAdar is now looking forward to regional expansion. The company has a rich portfolio of being involved in the property sector for more than fifteen years and has already completed 125 developments throughout the Middle East.

Monday, August 27, 2007

ALDAR marks sale of first phase of Al Raha Gardens in Abu Dhabi

ALDAR Properties, a major real estate development, based in Abu Dhabi, has commenced the handing over process of its completed properties in the Al Raha Gardens development in Abu Dhabi.

ALDAR has already handed over the keys of the first phase to the owners, which will be hundred percent complete in another year.

Al Raha Gardens Abu DhabiTo mark the occasion, ALDAR Properties held a ceremony with a few new residents of Al Raha Gardens. The ALDAR Chairman, Ahmed Al Sayegh, said "The delivery of our first-ever project in Abu Dhabi property market, is a matter of pride for us. We have proven our commitment and dedication to the UAE, ensuring that we always strive to achieve our developmental aims."

Al Raha Gardens comprises luxurious villas, townhouses, community retail, schools, dining outlets and much more in a posh landscaped area covering 665,000 square meters of land, making it the most integrated residential development in Abu Dhabi.

The delivery of the first phase of Al Raha Villas also indicates the potential for attractive villa rentals and the secondary sales opportunities for owners. All properties were sold on the day of the launch, and the development is one of the highly desired locations in Abu Dhabi, particularly, for the crowd who commute to Dubai often, as Jebel Ali is just forty five minutes away.

New Dubai Property Forum @

Property Forum
To add to the launch of our portal last week we have now added a brand new Dubai property forum. We have been working on this concept for months now to provide a comprehensive medium to basically unite buyers, sellers, agents, investors and anybody else who has an interest in the local Dubai property market. We have sections that are dedicated to specific developments in Dubai, as well as general real estate topics on there that will hopefully keep users interested and in discussion about all things property.

Here is a list of some of the great sections that we have so far:

Introduce Yourself, General Real Estate Chat, Ask An Agent, Buyers Questions, Sellers Questions, Rental Questions, Dubai Developments, International Property, Abu Dhabi Property, Ajman Property, Fujairah Property, Ras Al Khaimah Property, Sharjah Property, Umm Al Quwain Property, Other Emirates, The Coffee Shop, Announcements & News, Banking, Finance, Mortgages & Home Loans, Real Estate Investment, Legal & Solicitors, Home Insurance, Property Laws, Home Relocation, Rentals, Short Term & Holiday Homes, New To Dubai, Feedback & Suggestions, Support. Given the popularity of the site so far, we will definitely be branching out upon these.

The response so far has been very encouraging and we are glad see more visitors to the site everyday, as well as new users joining. It has also been a nice surprise to see some keen interest from realtors in other parts of the world, both because they are looking to deal with properties here and just out of interest in this unique property market.

There are so many new developments here in the Dubai Real Estate market that we have made one page dedicated just to these so that we also have the option to expand this page more when announcements of up and coming projects hit the news.

The best feature of this forum, however, is the advice and suggestions that members can offer each other and visitors. This is something we can’t create on our own and it is fantastic to see the topics that people are really debating about. The questions, the answers and the suggestions are an integral part of making this site a success and in such a short space of time we are happy to see such a good response, updates will be available as time goes on and new members join our Dubai Property Forum.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

DIP awards office tower project worth Dh.200 million to DCC

The construction contract of Dubai Investment Properties (DIP) LLC Office Tower in Business Bay district of Dubai has been awarded to Dubai Contracting Company (DCC), a major international construction company in Dubai.

The project involves development of a luxurious forty five storey commercial tower, with a separate fourteen storey car park and two basements on Sheikh Zayed Road.
The Investment and Marketing Manager of DCC, Wissam Otaky, said "The DIP tower is a great addition to our projects portfolio, and provides office space solutions with premium quality finishing."

The commercial project will spread over an area of 70,172 square meters, and will comprise of the latest and state-of-the-art technologies, meant for business purposes with supreme functionality, without any kind of compromise on elegance and aesthetics.

DCC, along with Arkiteknik International Consulting Engineers, who are also the architects behind projects such as the Twin Towers Deira, Flora Creek, and the Grand Hyatt Dubai, will together carry the project forward. The tower is in preliminary stages of construction and is due to be completed by 2009.

Shaikh Holdings determined to establish realty projects in the UAE

Sanctuary Falls Jumeirah
Shaikh Holdings, a Dubai-based private company, led by Imran Shaikh, is all set to establish itself in the UAE Realty market.

The company has a rich portfolio of commercial, residential and hospitality realty projects, and is a leading institutional investor in the Dubai property sector since 2002. The company has made considerable investments in developments such as Emirates Hills, Business Bay, The Palm Islands, Jumeirah Golf Estates and the Dubai Waterfront, and such other leading projects by developers such as Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Properties.

During the month of July, Shaikh Holdings already launched its first project, Sanctuary Falls, which is a luxury residential golf development, located in Jumeirah Golf Estates worth $200 million (Dh.734m), and more such projects are in pipeline.

Shaikh says "The UAE property market is still not saturated, and is a very lucrative investment destination. The market provides plenty of opportunities and the proposed regulatory procedures will ensure better stability of the property sector."

Speaking on the new project, Sanctuary Falls, Sheikh mentioned, Sanctuary Falls is a community comprising 96 resort-style villas facing the Earth Golf-course. The project includes modern, contemporary and traditional architectural styles, and hence, the buyers could choose three interior design themes and two kitchen designs.

The architecture for the villas has been designed by DSA Architects, while the home interiors are done by Hirsch Bedner Associates.

Sheikh mentioned that the construction work at Sanctuary Falls will commence in October this year, and is due for completion by May 2009.

"We are trying to introduce new concepts for community living and the resort home concept is one such thing. Although our focus is Dubai, we are also exploring Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi markets. We are also interested in exploring opportunities within the GCC and plan to make use of a variety of financial structures to develop projects during the next five years," he said.

Sheikh Holdings is likely to invest $1.2bn (Dh.4.04bn) during the next five years to develop waterfront and gold communities in the UAE.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Emaar to launch new residential units at Burj Dubai Boulevard

Leading property developer, Emaar Properties, has announced plans to launch the second tower, a part of 29, Burj Dubai Boulevard, which is an architectural marvel, that has been designed by Frank Williams and Partners, the New-York based Architects.

The launch has been planned for 25th August, 2007. Emaar will simultaneously launch the sale of its Boulevard Apartments, situated in podium of 29, Burj Dubai Boulevard.

The Sales Director, Emaar Properties, Saif Al Mansoori, said "Apart from its ideal location on Burj Dubai Boulevard, the hub of entertainment and leisure activity, the elegant design, makes it an unique attraction to the residential offering in Dubai. The Tower 2 and the Boulevard Apartments on the podium are unique and different from each other in their architectural brilliance."

Burj Dubai Boulevard comprises studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments. Easy finance for purchase of homes is being offered by various financial institutions.

The homes have a wide range of modern amenities and world-class fittings and finishes. The development features separate, spacious lobby entrances for both residential towers, in addition to other amenities such as gymnasium, pool deck, basement parking, swimming pool, communal area, children's wading pool, and multi-purpose rooms.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nakheel to re-develop Jebel Ali Village

Nakheel has announced plans to re-develop Jebel Ali Village, and the residents hope to purchase their own homes in the new project. Work is expected to commence towards the end of the year, and will be completed by 2013. Earthworks on the surrounding vacant land have already begun.

The re-developed village will offer a range of medium-density housing which will be supported by commercial, community and retail facilities. However, the size and pricing of the residential units are yet to be revealed.

Nakheel, in their statement, mentioned that the re-development has been planned to take care of quality accommodation requirement, with access to the existing and proposed amenities in the neighbouring area such as the Ibn Battuta Mal and the Dubai Metro Station, being projected.

The current 299 villas in the village will be demolished and the existing tenants were already given a years notice until August 2008, to vacate the premises. These tenants apart from being eligible to purchase homes in the new development, will also be eligible for priority reservation in certain other projects of Nakheel, such as the Discovery Gardens and the International City.

The Jebel Ali Village was constructed in 1977 for providing accommodation to expatriates who are working on the construction of Jebel Ali Port. Certain parts of the existing village such as the Jebel Ali Recreational Club and the Mosque will be retained, although, the Central Park will be expanded to twelve hectares.

The re-development will also comprise a primary school and a range of medium-density housing.

Emaar launches sales of its Samarah Dead Sea Jordanian project in Dubai

The country-subsidiary of Emaar Properties, Emaar International Jordan, has launched the sale of its hi-tech residential project, Samarah Dead Sea Golf & Beach Resort in Dubai on August 18th.

The project, overlooking the Dead Sea, comprises Mediterranean styled homes, within a vibrant retail center and a Spa and Wellness Village.

The Emaar International Jordan General Manager, Steve McCartt, said "The Samarah Hillside homes will provide a lifestyle experience for Jordan through integration of several leisure amenities in close proximity. Jordan has witnessed keen interest from Dubai investors including the Jordanian community in Dubai. Through this sales launch in Jordan and Dubai, we wish to offer a purchase opportunity for Jordan and international investors."

Samarah Dead Sea Golf & Beach Resort is owned by The Dead Sea Touristic and Real Estate Company, a venture of Emaar Properties PJSC. The project aims to energize the Jordanian economy with particular focus on tourism growth and luxury property development.

At present, Emaar is launching the sales of homes within the Hillside comprising two and three bedrooms ranging 314 to 404 sq. mts., in size. The multi-functional residential community is situated opposite to the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dubai Industrial City rents out land for construction of factories

Dubai Industrial City
Dubai Industrial City, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has rented out its land for an investment worth Dh.777million. Thirty new factories are expected to come up next year.

About 25% of first phase infrastructure is already completed and by 2015, work within Industrial City will be ready.

The CEO of Dubai Industrial City, Rashid Al Ansari, said "There are 388 new world investors in town and the infrastructure contracts worth Dh.777 million have been signed to construct a network of roads and primary services. The city has six main sectors namely metallurgy, chemicals, equipment, food resources and beverages, construction materials, communication, equipment and machinery. The city will offer lands on lease for 49 years, which could be later renewed for another fifty years."

The Dubai Industrial City Real Estate Development will cover an area of 62 million Square meters and with the first phase of the project worth Dh.734 million. The city will contribute Dh.36.7billion to Dubai's GDP by 2010. The city will construct 87,000 housing units worth Dh.1.65 billion for labourers.

Bavaria Gulf to launch its first project in Dubai Jumeirah Village

Bavaria Gulf, a German boutique property developer, has announced plans to begin its first real estate project in Jumeirah Village South, Dubai.

The company has already completed construction of about 1000 residential units, since its establishment, during the past twelve years. Since then, it has grown at an annual rate of 30 percent.

Being a boutique developer, it is well-known for providing home solutions ranging from apartments and condominiums to villas and gated communities.

All homes constructed by Bavaria Gulf in Germany, have been certified by TUeV, the most stringent certifications in the world.

Dr.Shahriar Daneshjoo, Bavaria Gulf Chairman said, "Through our focus on medium range developments, Bavaria Gulf, aims at contributing to the long-term vision of housing for all, as outlined in the Dubai strategic plan by H.H.Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al MAktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai."

Dubai, being well positioned to reach the goal of being a leading Arab and global city, as per industry estimates, the total value of real estate projects in Dubai, will touch $230billion. Also, as per predictions, demand will foresee supply, despite the supply of 175,000 residential units by the year 2010. This by-itself provides enough scope for a company like Bavaria Gulf, which engages in a range of home solutions, said Dr. Shahriar.

The Bavaria Gulf has already been well-accepted in Europe. Dubai is the global headquarters of Bavaria Gulf.

Residents of Westside Marina- the first to abide by the new Strata Law

Dubai property owners are gearing up for the new Strata Law, likely to be implemented shortly.
As a preparation for the forthcoming introduction of the law, the residents of Westside Marina Building, along with the support of their developer, Tulip Developments, have signed a joint submission from AUAE Strata Global and Better Homes to manage the property and homeowners association of the building.

As per law, the developers will handover the ownership and control of common areas of the building, rather than handing over just the individual units.

At the moment, property owners have legal ownership only on the actual unit purchased by them, and have no claim on common areas such as the gym or the pool. The new law will divide the common areas by the number of units and will handover an equal share of every owner.

Through Strata, ownership, management and maintenance will be in the hands of the homeowners, and it will be their responsibility thereafter to ensure that these areas are managed and maintained in an effective manner. Every building will elect committee members group, who inspect such matters.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Armani Hotels to be launched in Burj Dubai

Armani Hotels Dubai
The Armani Hotels and Resorts and Armani Residences, are a joint venture between Giorgio Armani, an Italian fashion designer and Emaar Properties. It is scheduled to launch its first property in Burj Dubai during 2009.

During the time of entering into the venture in 2005, Emaar had agreed for an investment of $1billion for development of ten Armani luxury hotels and resorts in major global cities. Under the terms of the agreement, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. is awarding a long term license to Emaar Hotel & Resorts LLC for the operation of a collection of luxury hotels and resorts, whereby Emaar will be fully responsible for real estate, construction, management and operations, with Giorgio Armani overseeing all aspects of content, design and style, including interiors and amenities, incorporating the various Armani fashion, beauty collections and furnishings.

The next Armani hotel has been planned in Milan, which will be followed by Marrakesh and New York.

Mohammad Al Abbar, the Emaar Chairman, said The Emaar Hotels and Resorts are in the process of undertaking several prestigious developments across the region to take advantage of the booming tourism sector.

The company has announced that Dardenne, who is currently the CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, will guide the development of luxury projects in major cities and other emerging markets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Property owners follow new trends while renting out flats

Renting out flats or rooms with preference attached to caste, religion or nationality has not been uncommon in Dubai until the recent past.

This trend however, seems to be changing with time, as now, certain property firms also prefer to rent out entire buildings to people belonging to the same nationality. Although, this could be considered as discrimination, the officials do not necessarily think so.

The officials are of the opinion that, as more and more individuals from various nationalities are being drawn to Dubai, when people of the same nationality live together, there is likely to be more harmony and peace.

For instance, the new building in Rigga Al Buteena Area, has eighteen flats comprising studio, and one to four bedrooms halls which has been set aside only for the Filipino nationals.

Talking on this issue, Nizam Hasan, a bachelor, is said to have mentioned that a building in such a prime location would attract huge bachelor crowds, particularly, with the rule imposed by the civic body that bachelors could live anywhere, except villas. He said "I though the company just preferred the Filipinos more than other nationalities, but on enquiry got to know that it was set aside only for Filipino community. This is not a good idea, as bachelors are already facing accommodation problems. This is discrimination, and the authorities should look into the matter."

However, Mohsen Kafri, the Manager of Pearl Island Real Estate, who manages the building, mentioned "We respect individuals of all nationalities. However, having been in this business for the past couple of years, we have seen that people of same nationalities live more harmoniously as they share same culture and communicate easily with one another."

Khafri also mentioned that they plan to acquire more residential properties which they wish to rent out to other nationalities in the same manner, and in future they intend to rent out flats exclusive for 'women' and 'men' separately.

The Head of Buildings Inspection Section of Dubai Municipality, Omar Mohammed Abdul Rahman, mentioned that although they have not come across a situation like this as yet, the real estate companies have the right to rent out the flats to anybody of their choice, and that, any such grievances could be brought to the notice of the rent committee.

RAK Island purchased by UAE nationals for Realty projects

An island in Ras Al Kaimah has been purchased by two UAE nationals to set up a real estate project, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the country.

The nationals purchased the Al Khayal or Fantasy Island for Dh.600 million, which will be later developed as a tourist site at a cost of Dh.8 billion.

The 22,000 square meters island, situated in Al Hamraa area of Ras Al Khaimah, was purchased by Ahmed bin Ali Al Abdullah (Executive Director- New Dubai Real Estate Development Company) and Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Shaibani (Executive Director – Amlak Al Medina Real Estate Company).

The two nationals purchased the island with an intention to set up realty firms, and have entered into partnerships with UAE property investors to develop the island.

Work on the island is expected to commence next year, and will be executed in four phases over a four-year period. The island will house 2,200 units, including flats and villas and commercial center.

Al Abdullah said, the natural island will be the focus for hotels, tourism, fishing and leisure activities. He said "The land has been offered by the government at a good price that would yield good returns, and we look forward for more governmental support for the completion of the project within the stipulated time. Most of our alliances include investors from Bahrain and Kuwait."

Al Abdullah mentioned that they have entered into an agreement with a local bank for management of the project investment, and that they plan to promote Ras Al Khaimah as a tourist destination.

As of now, sixty percent of the project is being planned to be put on sale, and on completion of the development, it will be sold in full.

The island will combine curved architectural and fishing design, and take the shape of a fisher's spear or an arrow used by UAE nationals in the past.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dubai Festival City launches Marsa Plaza

Marsa Plaza
The Dubai Festival City has launched an exclusive residential tower, Marsa Plaza, comprising 510 residences, and 212 serviced, extended stay apartments that are managed by InterContinental Hotels and Resorts Group. The residential tower caters to busy professionals and executives who are on the look out for well-positioned resort-styled quality accommodation.

Marsa Plaza will provide residents with shopping restaurant and services. It will comprise a 900 metre sandy beach too.

The Dubai Festival City is a large residential, commercial and entertainment development in the city of Dubai, UAE. The Dubai Festival City is the largest mixed-use development in the Middle East.

Iberotel Hotels & Resorts to manage Dh.800million project in Fujairah

Iberotel Hotels and Resorts, a company that manages high-end resort and hotels in Italy and Egypt, has now been designated to manage a three-phase project, worth Dh.800 million in UAE by a German travel company named Tui, and Dubai based company called Travco Emirates.

The General Manager of Iberotel, Ashraf Helmy, said that the overall project in Fujairah, will be completed by 2009, and will comprise of two resort hotels, a dining and shopping area, so as to make it a self-contained community, but will not house residential complexes.

The first phase of the project, is the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort, a five star hotel development with spa, aqua center, wellness facilities, and watersports such as windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and para-sailing.

The Al Aqah Beach Resort is a five star development worth Dh.250 million. It will include 300 rooms, 18 suites, out of which two have private swimming pools. The construction of hotel, which began last year, will be open from next month.

The project has been designed by Rami Eidhahan, the famous Egyptian architectural house, and is rooted in Arabic culture and heritage.

Helmy mentioned that the Travco project is going on inline with Fujairah's efforts to develop its resort sector into well-known hospitality industry. Apart from beautiful beaches in Fujairah, the local government is banking on its archaeological sites and mountain chains to attract several multi-billion property investments.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mortgages, much in demand in Dubai

mortgages in dubai
With the increase in property and property prices in Dubai, the demand for mortgages is also rising simultaneoulsy. The home loan and finance service providers have a major role to play in the current Dubai realty sector.

Although, obtaining finance was a littly tricky in the past, the market has improved considerably in recent times.

Banks wish to give mortgages, but are not prepared to accept high risks. When a credit history or credit scoring system is absent, banks have had to find their ways to obtain loans for their clients, through evaluation of risk against the property value, while also assessing the individual's monthly income and visa status.

More number of international companies are now making their presence in the local market, and the competition is getting tougher, which is only good for buyers. In the opinion of some investors, when compared to developed markets such as US and UK, where the interest rates on mortgages are very low with four to five percent, the finance options in Dubai are more expensive. The reality is that at about 8-9 percent, the rates are at a moderate level in comparison to less developed countries, where people pay even up to sixteen percent as interest. For instance, in India, an investor is expected to pay atleast 12 percent as interest rate, which points towards Dubai as a better option.

The lenders in a competitive market have no option but to compete on price, and hence cut down the rates, unlike the Central bank, which has a definite role in handling the interest rates.

While considering a purchase over a time period of fifteen to twenty years, even a slight difference in the borrowing rate, could make a huge difference to the buyer. Unlike in other countries that have a credit reference agency, which tracks the credit history of its residents before processing a loan application, the transient nature in Dubai has brought about some troubles with lending and financing. In Dubai, people come and go all the time and the lenders are at a loss to gain information on the credit history of the borrowers. This has increased the risk involved in lending.

However, the establishment of Emcredit, the first independent credit bureau in the UAE, is an exciting news for the market. This encourages more lenders to the market and helps them in making more informed decisions. However, for a system such as Emcredit, to be successful, there should be great collaboration from all lending companies and banks.

The increasing numbers of finance service providers, is changing the realty market in Dubai, easing out the task of owning a home. As the market keeps developing by the day, more banks are coming forward to lend with stiffer competition, and the interest rates are expected to drop down. As for a couple of years from now, there is a need for placing more financing options before the public, so as to make the purchase of a home more reasonable.

ADNEC site construction work on schedule

Construction work for Adnec (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center) Site is on schedule and will be completed by 2008, said the officials.
adnec Abudhabi

The Adnec Sales and Marketing Director, Paul Vincent, stated that the extension of exhibition space will be delivered by October or September 2008, and the tower will be ready by the following year.

The entire ADNEC development, inclusive of the 2.3kilometer Marina, four or five hotels, and most other facilities will be completely operational by 2011.

To commemorate the current status of construction, the officials are said to have buried a time capsule into the foundations of the building. The capsule was inscribed as "A Moment in Time", which contains artifacts that throw a light into the daily life in Abu Dhabi.

Officials, Architects and representative from Adnec and Arabtec (the construction company) were present during the occasion.

Foreign developers should submit a series of documents for setting up Real Estate Trust Accounts

A major loop hole that had been pointed out in the new law on Escrow accounts, has now been clarified by the Dubai Land Department.

The department officials have announced that "a special arrangement" has been made to permit foreign developers registered as offshore companies, to develop trust (Escrow) accounts that were introduced last month to safeguard the payments of the investors.

According to the conditions pertaining to Law No.8, mentioned that for setting up Real Estate Development Trust Accounts, the developers who wish to set accounts, are required to submit certain documents along with a trade license. Thereafter, various legal experts pointed out that the licenses for land transactions in Dubai, have been so far granted only to GCC or UAE nationals by Dubai Economic Department (DED), while the freezone companies are issued documents by the freezone authority. This actually indicates that the foreign companies with a title deed to own a plot of land will have to go through 'local' companies, to obtain the appropriate license for building developments on the plots.

The Dubai Land Department has now announced the submission of the following documents for setting up escrow accounts by offshore companies in Dubai.

An official certificate issued by a competent authority in the country, in which the company has been registered. The certificate will imply that the company is registered and incorporated in that country, the legal status of the company and the capital amount.

  • Original certificate of property ownership contract.
  • The competent administrative authority in the company should issue a copy of decision concerning the sale/purchase of the property, along with authorization issued to the nominee/agent in this regard.
  • A Power of Attorney, authenticated, authorizing the representative of the company to sell or purchase the property and to register the same at the department in the name of the company.
  • The list of partners/incorporators, names of managers and addresses to be submitted.
  • A certification of the name and address of the approved agent in the country.

Fortune Tower nearing completion; will be handed over by October

The construction work on the Fortune Tower development located at Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai, is finally nearing completion, after a deadly blaze in the tower, which involved the death of two, and injury of dozens of workers.

Fortune Tower
The Fortune Group, the Dubai-based developer recently announced that the construction work on the Dh.170million project at the Jumeirah Lake Towers is 95 percent complete, and is ready to be handed over towards end of October.

On January 18th, fire broke out on the upper storeys of the 34storey building, which left two workers dead, and forty others with injuries. An investigation on the cause of the blaze revealed that, a burning welding material lighted-up the wooden parts of an area of scaffolding.

A representative of the Fortune Group said that the building suffered no structural damage, and the work resumed within a couple of months. Completion and testing of the tower with 35 storeys will be conducted by next month end, after which, the customers will be allowed to inspect he premises, and the handover will be done in October.

The Fortune Group mentioned that the project was sold within four months of its launch. The Chief Executive of the Fortune Group, Syed Mohammad Ali said that the project will meet the increasing demand for commercial space that is maintained by the economic growth in the region.

The construction works is being managed by IJM Corporation, based in Malaysia. On completion, the tower will have a total office space of 350,000 with a total of 254 office units.

The Fortune Pearl, Fortune Bravo, Fortune Bay, Fortune Avenue, Fortune Executive Tower, Crustal Tower, Casa Marbella, Fortune Pavilion, and Fortune Serene are the other projects of the Fortune Group

Friday, August 17, 2007

Saadiyat Island being developed as an international tourism destination

Saadiyat Island, which is the largest mixed-use development in the Gulf, lies 500 meters away from the Abu Dhabi. The Arabic translation of the word 'Saadiyat' is referred to as the "Island of happiness."

The natural island with 27 square kilometer in space is in the process of being developed as a tourist and residential destination.

Saadiyat is one among the most important development opportunities that the capital has ever had in its history.

The island with a waterfront that stretches about 30kms, has natural eco-features including the mangrove forests, and is being developed as an international tourism destination.

Developers say that this will mark a new era in the rapid evolution of Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat is being planned to be developed in three phases and is scheduled for completion by 2018.

The master-plan includes seven individual districts, 29 hotels, including a seven-star property, cultural centers, museums, three marinas with space for about 1000 boats, and two golf courses.

One course will be one of the first Gary Player Signature courses in the UAE, with beachfront holes - civic and leisure amenities, villas, apartments with sea-views, and more, in the prime real estate.

Saadiyat is expected to house a community of 150,000 people or more. It will be linked to the Abu Dhabi main island, through two freeways with ten lanes, which makes Saadiyat more accessible to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fujairah found ideal for resort development

Fujairah Beach
While most emirates in the UAE are working on construction of commercial and residential projects, Fujairah is in the process of developing hi-tech resort and hospitality sector.

The emirate has already drawn innumerable multi-billion dirham real estate investments due to its ideal location of Indian Ocean beachfront, archeological sites and mountain chains.

However, Fujairah still lags behind other emirates in UAE when it comes to residential properties for non-GCC nationals.

Roger Wikinson, the Sharjah-based Northern Emirates Property Managing Partner, has termed the status of real estate sector in Fujairah as "low-key" in comparison to other emirates. He mentioned that the infrastructure to accommodate the expansion of freehold projects, is lacking in Fujairah. But, it can surely turn out to be a well-established tourism and hospitality sector.

The main factor for this lack of activities in freehold market is the lack of regulations that govern the ownership of freehold properties for expatriates.

However, there are no barriers pertaining to investment in tourism and business sectors. Zenath Real Estate, part of Khalid Abdullah Al Ghurair Group, announced plans to construct 220-room hotel in Fujairah Corniche, worth Dh.150 million.

Other recent developments in Fujairah includes the Mina Al Fajer Resort, a mountain-sea resort property, worth Dh.600 million, which comprises 200 rooms five star hotels managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The Resort also includes 48 mountain villas, a marina, 13 solarium villas and eighty marina apartments, apart from five-star restaurant. The hotel is scheduled for completion towards end of 2009.

Al Tajir announces financing options for Fotunato investors

A leading real estate specialist in Dubai, Al Tajir Real Estate, has announced tie-up with the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) for offering Sharjah-compliant financing options to potential investors in Fortunato, their new property that was launched in May 2007.

The Fortunato is a self-sustained development at the Jumeirah-Village South. The construction work of the community is expected to begin in September this year, and will be complete by mid-2009.

The Chairman of Al Tajir Real Estate, Haytham Al Tajir, mentioned that Al Tajir's partnership with DIB will help customers with many financing options to choose from.

He mentioned that so far, the response for the new project, Fortunato has been excellent and eighty percent of the 320 units that were launched, have been sold out. Al Tajir will shortly be one of the best residential communities in Dubai, he added.

Fortunato development, worth Dh.320 million, covers 637,86 square feet in area, and comprises studios, one and two bedroom and four bedroom apartments, and townhouses. The Fortunato Community, will be easily accessible to its neighbourhood parks, promenades, medical facilities, country club, health club, sporting facilities such as the tennis and foot ball courts, cricket pitch and community center.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Abu Dhabi developments do not sell like hot cakes, as in Dubai

A recent study conducted by Deutsche Bank revealed that although Abu Dhabi property market seems to be growing at a rapid pace, the developments do not sell out immediately, as in Dubai. The study pointed out that Abu Dhabi has not been successful in implementing the manner in which Dubai did, by following relaxation of foreign ownership laws.

A Research Analyst at the Bank, Mohammad Khan, said that in comparison to the pace of property sales in Dubai, the developers in Abu Dhabi get to experience "A more cautious buyer pool."

The research was based on the reports of a study of residential units being sold by Aldar Properties, the largest developer in Abu Dhabi. Mohammad found that among the 5000 residential units on sale since 2005, only 60 percent of them have been sold.

The Bank is of the opinion that the buyers in Abu Dhabi are taking cautious steps, out of fear of having to face legal obstacles, and financing of purchases.

Also, the Abu Dhabi property market has not witnessed an increased demand from expatriates, and is instead depending on the national buyers. However, the nationals in Abu Dhabi are less likely to buy from their own city, as they are already entitled to government-sponsored housing, and hence prefer investing in second homes in Dubai or outside UAE.

The expatriates may opt to buy from Aldar properties, but only two our of four major projects - the Yas Island and the Al Raha Beach are made available to non-Emiratis.

The Bank also pointed out that though the expatriates have plenty of job opportunities due to the oil industry, there are not much other booming industries.

Dubai, on the other, has drawn to its side high-profile executives to free zone developments such as the Media City, Jebel Ali and the Internet City.

Finally, although the property ownership laws in Abu Dhabi are currently on par with that of Dubai, the Bank suggests that the expatriates in Abu Dhabi are still uncertain about the legal system. In addition to this, the immature mortgage market, is also bringing about another drag on the Abu Dhabi property sector.

Ground work in The Palm Jebel Ali, nearing completion

Nakheel has announced completion of more than half of the ground works at The Palm Jebel Ali.
The company is currently under the process of using a technique called "vibrocompaction" wherein the specially designed vibrating probes help increase the bearing capacity of the soil, and makes it ready for construction. This work helps in ensuring that no land subsidence will take place in future.

Currently eighteen vibroprobes are being used for the work, with each probe holding a capacity of 1800 revolutions per minute, and weighs approximately 2600 kgms, resulting in a force of 30 to 50 tonnes, according to statement from Nakheel.

The vibrocompaction increases the soil bearing capacity of the reclaimed land by more than eighty percent, and creates a land mass that equals the mainland Dubai, in its strength.

The Palm Jebel Ali, Managing Director, Marwan Al Qamsi, has assured that the process will ensure the strength of the island, and added that through this process of vibrocompaction, the desired result which would require twenty years for accomplishment by natural process will be achieved within months.

The process also ensures that the reclaimed land mass in The Palm Jebel Ali will be strong enough for construction of high-rises, and also ensures that the island will not move or sink.

Now, with most of the reclamation work nearing completion, Nakheel has already begun the infrastructure work, which is eventually capable of supporting a population of more than 250,000 people.

The Palm Jebel Ali will host a population of 1.7million by 2020.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Realty owners in Dubai look for better quality services

Facilities Management
A leading industrial expert is reported to have commented that the Middle East is witnessing a new property owner profile, which demands higher standard and quality in building services, security, energy usage and environmental impact. This is due to the fact that emirates throughout the region are open to various levels of foreign ownership, be it leasehold or freehold, and this is making way for a new trend.

The financial sector is one of the leaders in this new trend. More number of financial institutions, both regional and international are employing staffs who are aware about an effective facility management. Farnek, for instance, has more than 500 buildings that cover a floor space of over one million square meters. It provides security protection for over 100 properties and keeps 100 installations operational, and claims to be able to keep up a building's energy cost by 25%.

Though the estimates may not be the same, the Frost & Sullivan Middle East Survey suggests that facilities management market in the region will grow from US$200 million during 2006 to US$576 million by 2012, with UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, as major leaders in this path.

Though facilities management in the Middle East is still in its initial stages, it is progressing relatively fast, and will soon outstrip the booming construction industry in the region. With the induction of more buildings for leasehold and freehold, more managers and property owners are actually looking at the life-cycle cost of their buildings.

CHI Development breaks ground at Jumeirah Golf Estate

CHI Development Group is the first developer to break ground at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, through their work on the luxury residential estate, Lime Tree Valley.

The project, focusing on a Mediterranean-style development, represents the essence of New Dubai, and is expected to be an exclusive community in the heart of the emirate, due for completion towards end of 2008.

The Lime Tree Valley, is basically a luxury residential estate, situated in the Jumeirah Golf Estates "Earth" Eco-signature golf course and comprises 121 villas on individual plots. The homes boast of southern spannish type interiors, and mesmerizing views facing the golf course. The architecture reflects Mediterranean Village, designed by Godwin Austen Johnson, an internationally-renowned architect. The villas range from 4200 Sq.Ft. to 6995 Sq. Ft., located on plot areas ranging from 8000 Sq.Ft. to 15,200 Sq.Ft.

The Director of Development for CHI Development Group, Roger Wakeham, mentioning his happiness on the occasion of ground-breaking ceremony, said that Lime Tree Valley will be a landmark project in Dubai, not just due to its attractive external features and design, but due to the fact that the villas will be of high-standard in construction and materials.

CHI has already sold 70% of its homes in record time, and has now decided to release only limited villas during the initial stages, with the completion of show villas only during early 2008.

The CHI Development Group, is a developer with its base in UAE, and comes from an Irish background, has brought about truly world-class development, with its portfolio of partners.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Dunes Golf Course in Dubai Sports City nears completion

The Dunes Golf Course in the Dubai Sports City is in its final stages of completion, and is all set for play towards the end of the year.

The course is officially being planned for inauguration during December 2007, so that there will be sufficient time for the course to mature before its launch.

The infrastructure that was required for supporting the 211 acre site is now all ready. The course has been supplied with 50kms of piping to provide irrigation, supported by a pump station that has the capacity to supply more than two million gallons of water every eight hours, and various other necessary amenities.

The Dunes is an eighteen-hole signature golf course that is designed by Ernie Els, and is expected to be the central point of the Victory Heights in the Dubai Sports City.

Dubai Sports City is the first sports city in the world, built for the purpose. It is located on 50 million square feet of land in the Dubailand development. The Sports City features four wonderful stadiums a cricket stadium with 25000 capacity, multi-purpose indoor arena with 10,000 seats, multi-purpose outdoor stadium with 60,000 seat capacity, and filed hockey venue with 5000 seat capacity. The Sports city will incorporate hi-tech sporting venues for activities, events and sports and will house commercial and residential developments.

Dubai joins hands with Tunisia for construction of Dh.14billion

Dubai has joined hands with Tunisia to build a new city in the North African country, that could house upto 500,000 people.

The Dh.14billion Century City Project will be built at Tunis, and will include two huge residential complexes, quaus for yachts and seaside resorts.The project will cover 830 hectares of land, and will house about 2500 international firms, in addition to fourteen five star hotels and a range of sports and recreational facilities.

The foundation for the project was laid by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and Sine al Abidine, the President of Tunisia.

The Dubai Holding's international property investment arm, Sama Dubai, is developing this Century City as a joint-venture with the Tunisian Government. This project is the largest investment deal of the North African Government.

The project requires ten years for completion, although, the first buildings will be completed in two years. Dubai's investment in the country is expected to mount to Dh.66.2billion from the present Dh.10.5billion with this project.

A Dh.8.25bn stake was secured by the Tecom-dubai Investment Group consortium, and Dubai Investments and Emaar Properties have also announced new projects in the infrastructure investing about Dh.25bn in Tunisia's economy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The first Real Estate Trust Account in Dubai becomes operational

The first account under the Real Estate Trust Account, Law No.8 becomes operational. The investor payments invested in Al Manal Development for the new La Vista Residence project at Dubai Silicon Oasis are being banked with Badr Al Isami, Islamic Banking Division. Mashreq PSC is the first Real Estate trust management account to be opened in Dubai.

The new property law is designed to safeguard the rights of property of investors, and requires an Escrow Account at a Bank, and should be approved by the Dubai Land Department. The law has been established by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The commitment to the new law by Al Manal Development has been well appreciated by the CEO of Real Estate Regulating Agency (RERA), Marwan Bin Gletah, who, pointing out to Al Manal, mentioned that they are the ideal role model for other property developers in Dubai.

He said the law implemented by Al Manal Development is a major part of winning international credibility, and all parts of the property development sector have a major role to play in implementation of this law. This sends a clear signal to all investors that Dubail will do everything possible within its limits to ensure that their investments are protected.

The Al Manal Development Chairman, Juma al Ghurair, mentioned that the initiative taken by the company was to prove its commitment to protect the investment of the client, and show that the company is trustworthy.

The La Vista Residence project, worth Dh.330 million at the Dubai Silicon Oasis, is a 7.2 Sq.Km master-planned community located on the Emirates Road in Dubai with easy access to Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port. The Construction of La Vista Residence will begin in October, and will be completed during end of 2008.

Demand for housing in Dubai will continue to surpass supply

According to a private property developer, the demand in Dubai realty sector will surpass supply, during the coming two years.

The CEO and President of Omniyat Holdings and Omniyat Properties, Mehdi Amjad, said the demand-supply imbalance in Dubai's real estate market is likely to continue into the next decade, as the sector anticipates continuous inflow of investors from various demographic profile.

Added to this, the population in Dubai is expected to double in the next eight years, and the massive demand for property will continue.

According to Amjad, the Dubai property market is continuously on the look out for new property and is continuing to invest in new launches, despite plenty of buildings being delivered all over Dubai. This was a fact that was proved with the delivery of projects such as the Jumeirah Beach Residence and International City. About 25000 units in Jumeirah Beach Residence alone were absorbed into the market so easily, without even causing any difference to the market demand.

Amjad added that Dubai is targeting population growth, and this will lead to increased demand for real estate. However, though demand will continue to exceed supply, it will not reach extremes as during the past years. The government is doing everything possible to keep pace with the demand by increasing the land availability for developmental works, and by controlling the raw material cost.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nakheel announces the handover of land at Madinat Al Arab

The Master Developer of Al Burj Real Estate, Nakheel, has announced that the handover of the first plots of the land will take place at Madinat Al Arab, in August this year.

The company had purchased seventy percent of the Phase I plots of the Madinat Al Arab worth AED 7 billion, making it the biggest investor in the development. The waterfront plots will be developed into districts comprising 10 to 50 storey buildings for resort, commercial and residential use. Nakheel is currently in the process of developing the infrastructure work of Madinat Al Arab, which will continue in parallel to the construction by other developers.

The Vice Chairman of Al Burj Real Estate, Abdul Rahim Al Zarooni said "We are proud to announce the handover of the first plots of the lands at Madinat Al Arab by Nakheel, which marks a significant development during our second year of operations. Out investments in Madinat Al Arab are inline with the strong demand in the real estate sector, which is limited to waterfront developments, in particular."

Al Burj Real Estate, is one of the biggest real estate investment companies in the region, with a net profit of AED 935million during of 2006. Madinat Al Arab project continues to generate huge demand from developers and investor alike. The project has drawn great interest from investors and developers alike and is competitively priced.

Madinat Al Arab will stretch along the natural beach front of Dubai, that borders Abu Dhabi and new Dubai, next to Jebel Ali Free Zone, the largest airport in the world. The downtown comprises of all key components of the masterplan with commercial, residential, mixed-use and amenity and resort zones.

ETA Star's expansion plans

ETA Star plans to double its portfolio next year with a series of project launches on the Dubai Waterfront master development near Palm Jebel Ali.

The company will launch its four million square foot, Dubai Waterfront land bank towards next of next year, which is a major portion of the Dh.8billion projects that it plans to announce in 2008. The projects will range from residential buildings to hotels and serviced apartments.

This year the company plans to complete its on-going construction works on Star Metro, the eight storey apartment tower in Deira, and the Star metro located at Al Barsha. The mixed-use freehold project, The Palladium, at Jumeirah Lake Towers is also nearing completion and will be delivered towards end of this year.

ETA Star also plans to launch another two new projects in Dubai this year. The first one being, a Dh.2b development at the Dubailand master development, featuring a group of low rise residential blocks, which is expected to house 800 units. Another project is the launch of small scale residential project worth Dh.100million expected to house about 100 units.

ETA Star is working on projects outside the UAE, and aims to generate 40 percent of its revenue from international projects by 2009. Countries such as Eypt, Turkey, India and Oman are already in ETA's hit list for new projects.

On the whole, ETA has a portfolio of Dh.8billion

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dubai to invest more towards developing Theme Parks

Plans are on to invest more than Dh.20billion for making Dubai as one of the top-most location to house the most prestigious theme parks in the world.

The ambitious target of Dubai to attract 15 million tourists by 2010 has captured the attention of even the biggest names in the global entertainment business such as the US film studios Universal and Paramount Pictures.

On completion of the projects in hand, Dubai will be the place for rides and attractions based on hits such as the 'Mission Impossible' and 'Titanic' and the emirate would no longer be only a haven for golden beaches and luxury hotels.

Paramount Pictures recently permitted Ruwaad Holdings, a real estate firm to construct a theme park in its name. It will be a Dh.9.2billion mixed-use development, featuring shopping centers, resorts, and hotels. The location for constructing the theme park is yet to be finalized. This project is expected to face a stiff competition from Universal Studios, which will help in setting up a Dh.8billion Universal City at Dubailand. The 6.5m Sq. Ft. project will be one of the largest theme parks in the world, and is expected to draw more than three million visitors to Dubai by 2010.

In the meanwhile, the Al Ahli Group, based in UAE, has entered into partnership with the American Kids TV network, Nickelodeon, to together develop its Dh.3.67 billion Dubai Amusement Park and create content for its entry into local TV entertainment. The amusement park is expected to be opened by 2011, though its location is yet to be known.

The company signed similar licensing deal with Marvel Entertainment, the owners of Spiderman and Batman comic book hero franchises.

Apart from attracting the big names abroad, Dubai is also creating its own Amusement Park themes.

Real Estate offices warned against promoting mortgaged buildings

The Real Estate offices in Abu Dhabi are not allowed to rent out or encourage mortgaged buildings, unless they receive permission from the Commercial Buildings Department, said a senior rent official.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Basous, the Deputy Director of Rents Administration, pointing out to the rent law, is said to have mentioned that the real estate offices were not granted authorization to handle renting or advertising issues for mortgaged buildings even if they have the landlord's approval.

He warned that in case these offices get themselves involved in renting out or marketing these kinds of buildings, they will have to face legal actions as per the rent laws.

He emphasized that the department has the right to lease mortgaged apartments to big establishments and companies, who can afford to pay the rents without delay. Or else, all lease processing will have to be done through the raffle draw system, he added.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Emaar launches sales of Ghadeer Town Homes

Emaar Properties has announced launching the sale of Ghadeer Townhomes at The Lakes, on 11th of August.

Buyers looking to invest in the property can register online from August 5th to August 7th for participating in the launch.

Emirates Islamic Bank has already come forward with easy home financing solutions for potential buyers.

Ghadeer Townhomes is a gated community located amidst serene lakes in a picturesque living environment and offers direct access to the Lakes Community Center which comprises various recreational and retail outlets. It also includes the Ghadeer Neighbourhood Park and a swimming pool of its own.

Investors have the option of choosing from five different types of Mediterranean-styled townhomes, with sizes ranging from 2485 to 3153 Sq. Ft. The three bedroom Ghadeer Townhomes, features spacious verandahs, terraces, balconies, two car parking spaces for each home, and gardens.

The Emaar Sales Director, Saif Al Mansoori said "The Lakes is a well-established residential community and is very much in demand by the investors, who prefer the comfort of villa living or townhouse. Also, at the moment, the supply of townhomes is limited to Dubai, and there is an increased demand for independent homes with gardens and other amenities. Ghadeer sinks with this need."

He added that Ghadeer has the advantage of, being located within the Emirates Living neighbourhood, which comprises The Springs, The Greens, The Meadows, The Views and Emirates Hills. The residents get to enjoy the amenities such as a flourishing community center, day care centers, shopping outlets, renowned schools and nurseries. All homes within Ghadeer have the additional advantage of providing privacy to residents, as the homes have gardens enclosed within walls.

Ghadeer is situated in the north-eastern boundary of The Lakes, which already comprises four communities namely Forat, Deema, Maeen and Zulal.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Nakheel's 'Greece Island' sold for $15.5million

The World Islands
Nakheel has announced that 'The Island of Greece' in its offshore Dubai development The World, has already been sold for $15.5 million. The details of the buyer are yet to be known.

However, a Nakheel spokesperson is said to have confirmed that the owner is not the US rocker Tommy Lee, or former Baywatch star Paymela Anderson.

The price range of $15.5million is considered to be at the low end of the scale, as prices range from $15 million to $50 million.

Of the total 300 islands, 40% has already been sold. The spokesperson said all of islands that make up the Canada and the US have already been bought. Even Europe has almost been sold, though no one has come forward to buy France.

Nakheel has so far sold twenty one islands, including Moscow and Kazakhstan.

While a few islands represent countries, others represent cities.

Every year, Nakheel invites fifty people mostly celebrities, or men from the elite business group, to come and view The World, and then they are welcome to buy the project, if they find it interesting.

The next set of invitations will be sent out in November.

The reclamation work is set to be completed during 2008, when the islands will be handed over to developers.

Monday, August 06, 2007 - New Dubai Portal Launched

With the Dubai property market recording high levels of growth and returns, also given Dubai's reputation to stand out from the crowd, there isn't a better time for these two features to be combined, this is exactly what Dubai's hottest new portal aims to accomplish. This new and exciting project, offers a different kind of service to realtors, private sellers and potential investors in Dubai real estate and best of all, it's free.

Property portal
With so many Real Estate websites pertaining to the UAE that offer the same standard service to visitors, features listings of all the leading freehold developments in Dubai in an easy to use format, as well as a travel hub to book flights and hotels to the Country. All the information you need about buying and selling property, as well as life in Dubai is on hand in a one-stop-shop.

Mark Wallington, Managing Director for said he is certain that the Dubai Real Estate market needs a new angle and is confident that this new portal can create a niche for itself. "There are currently a large number of generic real estate websites available in the UAE and specifically Dubai. We are aware of this fact, and therefore set out to create a portal that takes the positive aspects of what's available in the Dubai property market and go one step better. There are many factors to consider when designing a portal to promote your business or product. Not least of these is having a user friendly website where your customers can find the information they need or view your properties with ease, no useless animated intro's or lack of information, we keep things as simple as we can so that our users can quickly and easily access the information on properties that interest them."

Wallington also said that they have received a good response to the website already. "During our 'soft' launch we had over 300 property agent's sign up and over 700 properties listed. This brilliant response goes to show that the Dubai Real Estate market is looking for a different class of property website to get their properties in the "shop window" he said. "Leading developments like the Burj Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah are really creating attention for the City as a business and tourism destination. Dubai has previously been recognised for being home to the world's richest horse race, the Dubai shopping festival and the Rugby Sevens, but now it is property that attracts overseas interest the most."

An important aspect of the is that both real estate agents and private sellers can place their property listings onto the website free of charge. The website is updated frequently and the best properties available on the market are regularly featured in the 'Hot Properties' section of the portal. Visitors are encouraged to get in contact with the company or agents who list them and can expect a swift response to any further enquiries they may have.

Laura Bentley, a marketing executive for the portal went on to say: "The website has been designed to help investors, sellers and buyers unite to check the latest properties on the market as easily as possible. The key feature of this site is to allow agents and private owners to list their properties at no cost but to get the best possible exposure."

As the completion of more and more projects approaches, might just provide a solution to the difficulties that buyers and sellers in Dubai face from the many websites that just don't offer an entire range of property services in this expanding sector.

Nakheel appoints SMRTE for operation of the Palm Monorail project

Nakheel has appointed SMRT Engineering, a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation of Singapore, for the operations of Dh.1.4 billion monorail in The Palm Jumeirah.

The contract will be finalized and SMRTE will soon be appointed as the operator for The Palm Monorail.

The contract was awarded to SMRTE by Nakheel through a competitive tender. There were four international submissions that have been reviewed over a span of three months.

The Palm Monorail is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and is expected to be developed by a group of major international companies under the leadership of Marubeni Corporation. The monorail is a Hitachi-based double tracked system that are 5.45kms elevated with four stations. The project is hundred percent automatic and driverless, although an attendant will always be available on board. The monorail has the capacity to carry about 2400 passengers per hour in each route in four separate trains, with three cars. The maximum capacity would be to carry 6000 people in nine vehicles.

The construction work is expected to be completed by November 2008, and happens to coincide with the Atlantis launch, The Palm Jumeirah.

The Palm Monorail, apart from being the first such system in the region, will also turn out to be a global milestone for the transportation industry.

Clubhouses from Nakheel and Emirates Leisure Retail

Nakheel has entered into a deal with Emirates Leisure Retail, an arm of The Emirates Group, to commence the operations of the club houses and its associated retails towards end of this year.

Nakheel has already announced plans for The Shoreline Apartments Clubhouses, which will offer high quality leisure and retail amenities to The Palm Jumeirah residents.

The clubhouses will host a range of facilities including ATMs, general stores, spa, coffee shops, hairdressers, nail bars and children's clubs. Every clubhouse will house an Asian, Australian, South American or Mediterranean themed bar or restaurant, in addition to a gym.

The leisure and retail amenities will be accommodated in four out of the five Shoreline Clubhouses. Although only the Shoreline Apartment residents will be extended a membership offer for the clubhouses, the general public will be permitted to access the surrounding restaurant and retail amenities.

The Phase 1 of The Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made Island in the world, is currently in the process of being handed over to residents and more than five hundred families are already living on the island.

The Nakheel CEO, Chirs O'Donnell has said that during the end of last year, The Palm Jumeirah's first residents made their entry, and currently there are hundreds of families who have made their way into the homes in the island. It is now a vibrant community that is still in the process of development, and it surely needs the best in leisure and retail facilities.

Dubai Investments gears up for major expansions

The real estate branch of Dubai Investment Group of Companies, DI Real Estate Company (DIRC) will have projects worth Dh.14billion by end of 2007 as against Dh.4billion worth of projects currently in hand.

The Managing Director and CEO of the group, Khalid Kalban, said the project would be part of a development contract in one of the UAE emirates.

He mentioned that DIRC and subsidiaries are the fastest growing firms among the forty four companies of Dubai Investment group, due to the flourishing construction sector.

The increasing property value has led to all the property companies of Dubai Investment, including manufacturers of building materials such as glass and aluminium contributing to business growth of the group to a great extent. The group recently announced that the income during the first half of the year increased by seventy seven percent to Dh.1.77b from the Dh.1billion recorded during the same period a year ago. The net profit increased by forty eight percent to Dh.803million from Dh.544million for the same period.

Dubai Investment Industry (DII) another branch of the group that invests in start-ups, plan to enter joint-venture projects with a steel fabrication company in Abu Dhabi and another tiles and boards manufacturing company in Fujairah. The company also plans expansion in three of its subsidiary firms.

According to Kalban, one of the group's unique, multifaceted complexes of residential, business, industrial and recreational developments, the Dubai Investments Park (DIP) has about 1000 tenants. He pointed out that the expansion of the development at DIP can be understood by looking at Green Community alone, which has about 2000 residents, and in a period of three years, is expected to have about 20,000 residents.

He announced that Dubai Investment Group of Companies are in the process of planning major investment projects in Banking sector in Indonesia, Brunei and Philippines after another three years.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Mizin initiates Infrastructure work on Arjan community project

Mizin, the Dubai based developer, has commenced infrastructure work on its Arjan community project, worth Dh.20billion, which is also one of the three developments of the company in Dubailand.

Arjan is located at the Dubailand interchange, between the Umm Suqeim Road and Emirates Road. Arjan will feature Dubai's open air amphitheatre, a unique attraction and a major location for conducting events. It will comprise of freehold mixed-use developments with 100 residential complexes and six iconic commercial towers that can house 67,000 residents. It will also include commercial, residential, leisure, retail and event and cultural developments. The Great Dubai Wheel, will be located within the Arjan Community, and will be a unique landmark to Dubai skyline.

The CEO of Mizin, Sami Al Hashimi, said "We feel proud in contributing to the development of Dubai realty market with more innovative and hi-tech projects. Our project location, which is in close proximity to all major Dubailand attractions, will serve as an added benefit to the Arjan development."

Mizin is a member of the real-estate specialized company, Tatweer. Mizin plans to go an extra mile beyond traditional real estate development, introducing innovative and unique ideas and ensure that implementation meets international standards.

Plus Properties makes its entry into UAE Realty market

Plus Properties, a Dubai-based development company, has made its entry into the Middle East realty market, with three residential projects in the UAE, worth Dh.850million.

Plus Properties expects to set up offices in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and UAE and will cater to realty services such as leasing, warehousing, and other services after its development unit gets operational.

The first projects of the company include development of two freehold towers in the master development of Dubai Waterfront near Palm Jebel Ali, and construction of a thirty storey tower on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

As revealed by the officials, the three buildings together comprise 750 luxury units, but more details of the project will not be revealed until its launch in September. The buildings will be designed by Hong Kong-based Company, James Law Cybertecture International, which is also the company that designed the iPod shaped tower in Business Bay. The designs are awaiting final approval of the master developer.

The General Manager of Plus Properties, Muath Jalil, mentioned that the company is aware of the competition in the UAE real estate market, and that the major challenge lies in winning the hearts of the people by proving that they are not just another developer in the market, which will take some time.

George Chehwane, a Lebanese businessman is the Founder and CEO of the Dubai-based company.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

L&T joint venture wins construction deal worth $150m

According to a statement, The L&T - ECC (Eastern Contracting Company) joint venture has been awarded the $150 million construction contract for construction of Victory Heights Golf Residential and Development.

The Victory Heights Golf Residential and Development is basically a joint-venture between the Dubai Sports City and Arcapita, an investment Bank based in Bahrain.

The L&T-ECC joint venture will construct the final phase of the Victory Heights luxury residential community project in Dubai Sports City.

The project comprises construction of 295 villas in the Calida, Novelia, Carmen and Morella villages of the community. The entire project of Victory Heights covers 25 million square feet of space and contains 935 town homes and villas located in and around 'The Dunes' golf course. Prices begin from Dh.2.87 million.

Construction of 72 Business Bay Towers under progress

Construction work on phase one of 72 towers in Business Bay is in progress. This comprises one third of the total number of buildings in the master development that covers 64 million square meters.

More than eighty percent of Business Bay comprises developments by third-party investors, including international and regional property developers. The plots in the phase one of the multi-phase project are reported to have been completely sold out.

The Master developer of Business Bay, Dubai Properties, is building eighteen towers on the whole, including, Porsche Design Towers, Vision towers, Executive Towers, Signature Towers, Aspect Towers and more in pipeline.

The Executive Towers comprises eleven buildings out of which one is for commercial purpose and the rest nine for residential purposes. It also includes a Hotel with 303 rooms.

The overall project, on completion, will comprise residential units, office towers and retail and hotel areas. However, this is a commercial project, and aims to consolidate Dubai’s position as a global business hub and aims to meet the increasing demand for office space.

The other mixed-use master developments of Dubai Properties include The Villa, The Tijara Town, Culture Villas and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Dubai yields better returns on commercial investments

Although the office rents in Dubai are on the lower side in comparison to the global standards, the office market in Dubai has generated a return of more than twenty percent on investment, which is considered to be one of the highest in the world.

Increasing demand for Grade A office space, coupled with minimal vacancies, has led to a situation wherein new projects are grabbed away within days. To add to this, healthy policies and economic conditions have resulted in more companies getting settled in Dubai, boosting up the rental values further.

The highest increase have been recorded in Sheikh Zayed Road and New Dubai areas, with rental rates ranging from Dh.300 to Dh.350 per square foot on an average, due to minimal vacancies.

Although, due to increasing rentals, there are probabilities of the small and medium sized companies relocating their offices to other emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Ajman or Ras Al-Khaimah, where the rents are comparatively lower, the continued supply of office space in the market is expected to stablilize the prices. As of now, about 50 million square feet of office space is expected to come up by 2010.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Real Estate Regulatory Agency for better supervision of registrations and property laws

The Dubai Land Department, that supervises the booming property sector of the emirate, is in the process of undergoing a major reformation.

The department plans to create two agencies under its wing, so as to keep pace with the strong flow of freehold property registrations, and various add-ons to the regulatory framework of the emirate.

This has been planned following an announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which led to the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the first body to be affiliated to the Land Department.

The agency has been assigned the task to supervise the key regulations pertaining to the property sector, including the recent regulations on trust accounts, real estate brokers and the responsibilities of Home Owners Associations (HOA).

A separate agency will be created shortly to exclusively deal with the freehold title deeds registrations in Dubai.

According to officials in the Land Department, the two major works of the department - registration, and monitoring and regulation of the market, will now be handled by the new agency.

The Executive Director at the property division at Morison Consulting, Sudhir Kumar, said the rapid growth of Dubai real estate sector has made the move of Land Department inevitable.

He said that supervising the process of land registration and keeping tab on regulations are huge jobs, and it makes better sense to split these tasks, for better performance and efficiency.

The main role of the agency will be to grant license and regulate real estate brokers in Dubai. The agency will also supervise the escrow account which was introduced recently for safeguarding the buyers payments in special accounts.

Emaar announces reduced NOC charges

Emaar Properties has announced a major reduction of its certification charges for homeowners who wish to sell their properties.

The company has announced that the cost of issuing a Notification of Completion (NOC) certificate has been slashed by ninety percent, with the fee dropping down from Dh.5000 to Dh.500.

Such a measure was initiated due to complaints from various property owners about the high fee charges by Emaar in comparison to other developers.

Homeowners who already possess the title deeds for their properties should provide the Dubai Land Department with NOC while transferring their ownership to a second party.

Developer Nakheel has already decreased their fee for NOC from Dh.1000 to Dh.500. The fee is charged as verification charges for ensuring that there are no outstanding issues regarding property or any unpaid service charges.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Al Mazaya appoints GCC as main contractor for Dh.1.25b project

The General Construction Company (GCC) has been appointed as the main contractor for the Al Mazaya Business Avenue project at the Jumeirah Lakes, worth Dh.1.25billion. The contract work has been handed over to GCC by Al Mazaya Holding.

The project comprises three towers of forty five storey each, for commercial purpose. The cost of construction is said to touch Dh.799million. The project is scheduled for delivery by 2009.

The Executive Manager and CEO of Al Mazaya Holding, Khalid Esbaith, said “The economic growth of UAE has prompted several international firms to open branches in the UAE and Dubai. However, there is a lack of office space. Al Mazaya Business Avenue will help in alleviating the shortage of commercial office space to a great extent.”

Among the three towers of the project, the first tower was snapped by the Hilal Al Zarroni Group and Dynasty Enterprises for $111 million, the second building was stumped by Hilal Al Zarooni and Baraq Group for $109 million. The third tower will be let out as a long term investment for Al Mazaya to generate revenue.