Sunday, March 30, 2008

Arabtec wins the $112.2m Sanctuary Falls contract

Arabtec Holding, the largest construction firm in UAE, has been awarded a $112.2million worth residential contract, the 'Sanctuary Falls', the first resort-style residential golf community in the UAE.

Sanctuary Falls Jumeirah
Launched in July 2007, the Dh.850million Sanctuary Falls aims to establish a new benchmark in community living, says the project developer, Shaikh Holdings.

The development, which has been awarded as the 'Best Golf Development' by CNBC Arabian Property Awards in 2007, has already drawn the attention of investors around the world.


Arabtec will begin construction of 96 distinctly styled resort villas of Sanctuary Falls in April 2008, which will be complete towards the first quarter of 2010.


"We consider Arabtec to be the ideal partner for this project, as they have demonstrated commitment to excellence and in-depth experience in projects such as the custom luxury villas in Emirates Hills and the world's tallest tower, Burj Dubai," said Emran Shaikh, CEO, Shaikh Holdings.


With 96 resort-style villas, overlooking the Earth golf course, Sanctuary Falls feature a selection of various architectural views and styles, with each home meticulously designed to provide unique and inspired living experience. The development provides access to two signature golf courses designed by Greg Norman, apart from offering panoramic views of cascading waterfalls, golf course or nature views. Spreading over an area of 5,600 to 10,600 square feet, it comprises five and six bedroom villas, designed with three various architectural designs - traditional, modern and contemporary. Other amenities include arrival water fountains, swimming pools, landscaped gardens and outdoor seating areas, Scavolini designer kitchen, Bang and Olufesen home theatre and a dedicated concierge.


"The Sanctuary Falls Villas will be built on par with highest construction standards, with latest building materials and efficiency systems. The project emphasizes the high demand for signature lifestyle developments in the booming GCC real estate market, and we look forward to work closely with Shaikh Holdings to create the most dynamic and vibrant communities in UAE," said Riad Kamal, CEO of Arabtec Construction.

Investors express wrath over Damac's back-out

Investors of Damac's Palm Springs project on Palm Jebel Ali are enraged about the project being 'bought off' by Damac due to project alternation.

Damac is now planning to 'buy back' its Palm Springs plot on Palm Jebel Ali, five years after its launch. Damac is not in a position to proceed with the construction of the development, without incurring a significant loss as the plans of master-developer seems to have changed.

The Chairman of Damac Holding, Hussain Sajwani, mentioned in his statement said that Damac has been advised that the Palm Jebel Ali master development has been redesigned and the Palm Springs plot will not be delivered.

Due to redevelopment of plots, the Palm Springs development could not be positioned on the re-allocated plot and hence the Palm Springs project has to be cancelled, he added.

He added that, Damac will provide its customers an opportunity to release the investment made in Palm Springs and transfer the money to any of other projects of Damac at a discounted rate of 15 percent below current market value. As an alternative, Damac is ready to refund money paid by customers, with interest.

However, investors claim that Damac is offering only six percent per annum on the sum invested. The investors are considering taking the complaint directly to Ruler's Court, as they are already furious about the repeated project delays, contractual issues and poor customer service by Damac.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dubai's RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority), Marwan Bin Galita, said "Any investor with a problem or misunderstanding with developer, please check our website or meet us personally and we will clarify it for you."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dubai Properties to launch 50,000 low-budget homes

A top official of Dubai Properties yesterday revealed the launch of 50,000 low-budget homes during the coming years, to meet the growing housing problem among the emirate's middle-income groups.

These affordable housing units will be a true mix of freehold and rental units, announced Mohammad Bin Braik, Chief Executive, Dubai Property Group.

"Although we are involved mainly in built-to-sell business, rental units give a continuous flow of guaranteed returns and provide necessary stability. We are not only building assets, but also building values for Dubai," said Bin Braik.

Dubai Properties has already built a sizeable housing project in Al Quoz area, which will soon be open for rent, he said, but is yet to elaborate on his plans for various housing schemes.

This seems to be good news for the 1.44 million population of the emirate, large numbers of who, stay in Ajman and Sharjah seeking cheaper alternatives, as most of the current projects cater only to high-income groups, leading to imbalance in the emirate's housing market.

House rent and increasing population continues to dominate the list of worries in Dubai, which has prompted the government to cap rents during recent years. A sudden growth in freehold market since 2002, led major developers to shift their focus from rental market to freehold sector. On the other hand demand continued to soar, pushing rents sky-high.

In the meanwhile, large numbers of government-built colonies and low-cost housings were demolished, reducing housing options for the middle-income and low-income groups.
Nakheel, a government-owned developer, has set up 'International City', considered as affordable housing.

According to a top property broker, the high rents at prevailing currently, are good enough to prompt developers to return to rental market, once the income rises up to the same level as that of freehold market.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reclamation of Nakheel's Dubai Promenade project complete

Nakheel has completed the reclamation of Dubai Promenade by placing the last rock on the project's breakwater. The breakwater, stretching 18kms, required 1 million tonnes of rock.

Dubai Promenade is Nakheel's sophisticated waterfront project, which will form a virtual peninsula along the Dubai shoreline, inclusive of a spectacular five-star wheel-shaped hotel.
The Promenade, surrounded by marina, sea and a natural beach will offer panoramic views, idyllic walkways, and well-planned architecture, which render a unique residential and commercial environment.

The first phase sale of the Dubai Promenade was launched on 24th January 2008.

Nakheel, being one of the largest private real estate developers in the world, is a major player contributing to realize the Dubai vision for the 21st century, by offering a world-class destination for living, business and tourism.

Omniyat awards The Opus contract to Multiplex

The Opus Tower in Business Bay Dubai
The main construction contract of Omniyat's Dh.1.7bn 'The Opus', a commercial and retail development at Business Bay, has been awarded to Multiplex, one of the leading commercial construction contractors in the region.

As per the contract, Multiplex has been given the responsibility of managing the development's construction and timely and on-budget delivery of the development.

The President and Chief Executive of Omniyat, Mehdi Amjad, said "The main factor behind awarding the contract of The Opus to Multiplex, is their excellent track record of delivering highly complex, prestigious and challenging projects. We are confident that Multiplex and Omniyat can work together to complete construction of The Opus in a timely and cost-effective manner."

The Opus, located on a unique 'Island' plot, is ideally positioned to provide tenants exclusivity, with a spectacular view of Burj Dubai and the Signature Towers, without any adjoining properties or projects.

Designed with the commercial tenant in mind, The Opus will be ready by 2010. At present more than 80 percent of the development has been sold out.

The project, designed by Zaha Hadid, the renowned architect, will enhance the Business Bay skyline with its unique, iconic, and artistic architectural structure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DWC Residential City Phase 2 sales on March 25th, 26th

The Phase II plots of Dubai World Central's 715-hectare Residential City will be launched on sale on 25th and 26th March at Hotel Grand Hyatt, Dubai.

Dubai residential city Phase 2
The plots are expected to be sold out, generating a sale of Dh.6bn, according to Khalid Bin Harib, the CEO, Dubai World Central.

The estimates are based on the sales registration that took place at the International Property Show last month for 284 plots that range from 2000 to 12000 square meters in size.

The Phase two covers a total of 140 hectares, and is the largest among all the five phases of the DWC Residential City. The Residential City will eventually house 53,000 people across 18,000 units.

Land grading work for the phase 2 is complete, with 19 plots being allocated for mixed-use development, while nine plots are reserved for commercial and public amenities such as hotels, malls, schools, mosques, health centers, parks and fuel stations.

The Dubai World Central proposition of being close to workplace in an affordable housing is drawing considerable interest from potential buyers, reveals Khalid.

The land registrations during the past couple of months have grown beyond expectations with major regional property developers having expressed interest in providing affordable housing.
The Phase one sales was complete with 24 hours of launch, due to huge developer demand at the DWC Residential City.

The Residential City will have single to four bedroom apartments of various sizes, in five to ten storey buildings. The unique aspect of DWC Residential City being served by its own light rail, linked to the Dubai Metro, will provide easier transportation within the city and outwards to the existing Dubai City Center.

The Dubai World Center is a 140 square kilometer urban aviation community centered around the world's largest international airport, located 40 kilometers from the existing Dubai International Airport. The project is twice the size of Hong Kong Island.

Dubai Municipality's Mirdif Garden complete

The Dubai Municipality has completed the Mirdif Garden residential project, worth Dh.10million. The project will be launched towards end of March.

The project, which is likely to be launched by end of March in the Mirdif area, will be complete with garden and parks done by the Dubai Municipality. The area which spreads over 1.5 hectares for the garden will include the main plaza, sitting areas and children's play grounds.

Monday, March 24, 2008

UAE Realty market still high in demand

The huge numbers of participators, investors and buyers who thronged the R&R Local Property Show held in Dubai recently, indicates the strong demand for real estate in the UAE.

The Marketing Director of DSL Exhibitions, Tessa Morris says "The R&R Local Property Show is a true reflection and display of UAE properties. Being one of the oldest exhibitions in the UAE, it is also a fair gauge of market sentiment."

"The show witnessed large numbers of visitors than previous shows, and brisk businesses were being conducted, which is a clear indication that suggests that we are nowhere near the peak of the market. Investor interest is a major factor and both institutional as well as individual investors still foresee an opportunity for gains. However, the end-user confidence contributes considerably to the demand," Tessa said.

The focus was not centered on Dubai property market alone, but also in the market of Ajman, where there is much demand for affordable properties, at present. To add to this, the excellent payment plans direct from developers makes Northern Emirates a more viable opportunity.

ACI, Ferreti Group sign deal for Marine Legends project

ACI Real Estate, an affiliate of Alternative Capital Invest of Germany, together with Ferreti Group, has ventured into a Dh.6bn worth luxury waterfront resident project, 'Marine Legends', at Dubai Waterfront.

The Ferretti Group has gained reputation for its luxury motor yachts such as Pershing, Itama, Ferretti Yachts, Riva, Apreamare, Bertram, Custom Line, Mochi Craft and CRN.

Robin Lohmann, the Managing Director of ACI Real Estate, said "Marine Legends reflect the growing demand for high-end residences and aims to provide an appropriate setting that combines the requirements and aspirations of the emirate to appreciate the waterline and improved water canal systems."

He continued "Ferreti Group, with its long heritage of innovation, integrity and industry leadership, shares the spirit of endeavour and dedication to excellence, with us, which perfectly fits our mission of upholding the highest standards."

The CEO of Ferreti Group, Vincenzo Connatelli, said "We have been thinking of UAE as our next destination for international expansion. The market, with its unique platform and a sound business environment, facilitates global and business investment. Dubai is all set to become a leading global business capital, and we are happy to join hands with ACI to be a part of this invigorate phase of growth."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Middle East property market faces risk of being overstretched

The regions property market is facing the risk of being overstretched, said an industry official during a recent conference held at Dubai.

The real estate transactions in Dubai were worth $18billion in 2006, and as per current estimates a staggering $158billion is invested in the property sector of Dubai.

A survey, conducted by 'The Financial Times' reported that Dubai is 'at the cutting edge' of world property markets, with property values shooting up by 150 percent over the last two years, which is a total contrast to the UK property values, which increased only by 240 percent over the past ten years.

According to a UAE-based developer, there is a lot of pent-up capital, looking closely at this region, but, returns will be crushed based on escalating costs. Over the past two years, Dubai has witnessed that rents for premium office space has grown more than double, mounting to $1,172 per square meter in few areas. Three years ago, this figure was only about $538.

The main factor contributing to Dubai's property boom is the ever-increasing population, which is expected to touch 1.9million in 2010. Low-cost property is high in demand, but due to soaring prices of materials, investment in this sector is losing its appeal.

To add to this, high construction costs are hindering the progress of many projects, which is a growing cause of worry among developers and investors, alike. Few developers are even buying back their own stock, unable to continue construction.

A Dubai-based developer has agreed that during the past three months, there has been a steady increase in the sale of partly finished buildings.

The Managing Director of an international consultancy firm says that the problem in Dubai is that it has plenty of inexperienced developers, who are building too much, too quickly, and it is getting hard to sustain them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ajman top foreign investments in UAE

Ajman Marina
Ajman has overshadowed UAE emirates when it comes to drawing foreign investments to UAE, reveal statistics.

According to the latest statistics by the Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, foreigners in Ajman own 33 percent of development projects in the booming city, as against 11 percent in other emirates.

Ajman's annual investment growth rate has been estimated at 6.7 percent on an average by the economic analysts. This economic success has been attributed to the all-encompassing plan adopted by the government there.

The Ajman Marina project General Manager, Azad Nouri, says "The rapid economic growth witnessed by Ajman is the result of distinguished services and incentives that the government provides to draw foreign investments."

Ajman is second to Dubai in adopting a free-hold status, which is an excellent law to draw in huge numbers of investors from both local and international markets. Hence numerous investors have been arriving at the emirate to launch their major projects, as they also get to avail the incentives facilitating issuance of licenses, statistics of interest to developers and businessmen and feasibility studies, he added.

Morever, the investments in Ajman enjoy complete legal and legislative protection, with constantly updated laws that benefit investors. These laws foretell a good future for Ajman, where there are various kinds of investment projects, particularly that of Ajman Marina, which will have a positive influence on the real estate and tourism market.

Ajman Marina will witness the transformation of the emirate into an impressive commercial and residential seaside haven. The project gives the emirate a competitive edge and is likely to create an attractive residential and commercial environment.

The Ajman Marina, with its waterfront lifestyle, spreading across a space of 240,000 square meters, is a luxurious retreat, comprising residential, commercial buildings, five star restaurant, international food chains, sea-view cafes, signature yacht club and extensive shopping mall, apart from various entertainment and leisure amenities.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Memon awards Dh.40.35m Cambridge contract to Cairo Group

Cambridge Business Center
A leading Dubai-based property developer, Memon Investments, a part of Memon Group of Companies, has been awarded with a contract worth Dh.40.35mn for construction of its Dh.80m Cambridge Business Center.

This high-profile project at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is the first commercial development of Memon, and was won by Cairo Contracting Company (CCC).

During the moment of signing the contract, the Joint Managing Director of Memon Investments, Rizwan Shaikhani, said "Our vision for an ideal business development is rapidly approaching fulfillment with this important contract being awarded to our new partner, Cairo Contracting Company. We are confident that CCC will match the high-standards of our previous projects. In the process of realizing another magnificent achievement for Memon Investments, as a leading developer in the UAE, we see outstanding prospects for Cambridge Business Center, as an important business address in Dubai."

The strategic location of Cambridge Business Center within the leading integrated innovations hub of the region, coupled with its hi-tech industries and outstanding designs, has contributed to the Cambridge Business Center being sold completely within weeks after its launch.

With classic British architecture across its 108 small, medium and large offices, the business tower will feature advanced technologies such as the Wi-Fi technology, hi-speed internet connectivity and keyless entry.

To serve the commercial tenants, the development would include 11 retail shops on the ground floor, a travel agency, banking facility, and amenities required for rest and relaxation, such as a state-of-the-art health club on the rooftop.

Being one of the largest construction companies in Egypt, CCC holds a portfolio of nearly LE800m and carries numerous prestigious construction works for prominent global companies to its credit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

IRIS set to create a milestone with Dh.5bn investment plan

IRIS, one among the prominent property developers in the region, has announced the launch of their commercial and residential units that spread across 1,000,000 Sq. Ft. of space, along with a diverse portfolio of projects chalked out for the current year.

For IRIS, the year 2008, will prove to be another milestone, as it will add another 270 apartments to its residential portfolio, and 300 commercial units will be added to its portfolio in Dubai Marina, Business Bay, Maritime City and Culture Village.

Speaking about the strategic growth vision of the company in the field of real estate, the CEO of IRIS who is also the Managing Director of Sheth Group, Ashwin Sheth, said "We, at IRIS, are keen to contribute to the existing and emerging investment potential around us. Our projects are so structured, that it will offer a healthy return on investment to our investors, giving us an enviable reputation in the industry."

IRIS, with its diverse portfolio of projects in the UAE, including the IRIS Bay - a unique commercial development at Business Bay, IRIS Blue - a luxury residential project at Dubai Marina, and IRIS Amber - luxury residential development at Culture Village, is continuing to add further to its impressive portfolio by unveiling plans for three new developments during the first two quarters of 2008.

The first project to be launched will be the AED100million residential project at the Culture Village, which would spread across a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) of 47,000 square feet. This will be unveiled during the upcoming SIMA 2008 Property Exhibition on 7th April 2008.

This will be followed by the launch of another luxurious development, worth AED600 million, which is a commercial project at Business Bay, spreading across 278,000 square feet of gross leasable area.

The third project to be added to the company's portfolio will be the AED 2billion residential project in Maritime City, which would spread across a gross leasable area of 800,000 square feet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sweet Homes to commence construction work on Rainbow Towers project

Rainbow Towers
A leading UAE-based developer and total solutions provider in the realty sector, Sweet Homes, has revealed the commencement of preliminary phase of construction works for its Rainbow Towers project, worth AED 1.7billion, at the Emirates City, which also marks the maiden offer by the developer as a full-service real estate company.

This follows the recent shoring and excavation contract, which was offered to Piling Tech LLC for its initial groundwork for Towers B10, B14 and B15, three out of nine towers in the Rainbow Towers development.

Earlier, the developer also announced that six towers were already sold out, and out of the remaining three towers, 70% have been sold already. The entire project is due for completion by mid 2010.

Speaking during the occasion of groundbreaking ceremony, the CEO of Sweet Homes, Fahad Sattar Dero, mentioned that the excavation contract has been awarded to Piling Tech LLC due to their impressive background, outstanding track records, and competitive bidding.

Being ideally located along the Emirates Road, the Rainbow Towers will include nine luxurious 31-storey residential buildings, which comprise high-speed elevators, modern fitness club, Jacuzzi and sauna facilities, recreation area, swimming pool, and sports bar.

Apart from the amenities that the development offers, the investors are also drawn by the unique and highly flexible four-year self-finance payment scheme, which breaks down the payment schedule to just 50 percent of the value, on completion of the project, 25 percent on delivery and remaining 25 percent during handover.

Further to its current portfolio of AED 3.5billion, Sweet Homes has also announced its plan to invest AED 2billion on high-profile commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate developments across Middle East during 2008. Sweet Homes is also on the look out for venture into other UAE emirates through the launch of projects in neighbouring states of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. The company has already begun its first step ahead in this direction, through the opening of the AED 2.5bn Ajman Uptown project, the first freehold villa and townhouse community in Ajman.

Piling Tech LLC, specialized in civil engineering activities, has built a solid reputation in the regional construction sector through its high profile projects for royal families and government departmtners. The company has worked with both government and private firms such as Bayel Tic, Federal Electricity and Water Authority, and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority and Chapal World.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Details revealed for Aldar's Al Dana in Raha Beach development

The plan details of the $5billion commercial development, Al Dana, located at the center of the Raha Beach development in Abu Dhabi has been revealed by Aldar Properties.

al dana aldar
Several buildings are already under construction, including the four integrated buildings that make up the World Trade Center and the Gateway building, designed by the renowned architect, Rafael Vinoly himself, who designed the new World Trade Centre at New York.

The total investment value at the 10.5kms Al Raha Beach development is worth $48bn, including the $5bn Dana, located at the core of the development. Dana will house Aldar's headquarters, due to be ready by September 2009, apart from three international hotels. Seven other hotels are already housed in the development, on the Yas Island, as a part of the 40-hotel programme, to be developed during the coming years.

Aldar has reported a strong growth of Dh.1.2billion last year, and aims to exceed this figure during the first quarter of this year. The company has already begun delivering few of its developments at Raha Gardens to UAE nationals, and more projects are expected next year.

Aldar's Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Barrot, said "Our sales during the first half of 2008 exceeds the Dh.1.2bn mark and has grown more than Dh.2bn. Apart from exposing Abu Dhabi and Aldar to the international community, we are also always on the look out for partnerships."
With this, the total projects that are under construction in Abu Dhabi exceeds $90bn, including the $40bn Yas Island, and the iconic Old Market in the Abu Dhabi City Center.

Earth Developers launches Atrium Gold Towers in Dubai Silicon Oasis

The Dubai-based realty developer, Earth Developers, a part of the Al Abbas Group, has announced the launch of 'Atrium Gold Towers' at Dubai Silicon Oasis.

Atrium Gold Towers are exclusive mixed-use towers comprising three unique towers of 14 storeys - the Atrium Gold Business Tower, Atrium Gold Residency Tower and the Atrium Gold Executive. The tastefully designed homes of the towers offer the most rejuvenating lifestyle in a perfect business ambience provided by its business units.

This Dubai realty project is surrounded by business and comprehensive community facilities such as playgrounds, hotels, hospitals, schools and the community center, apart from state-of-the-art health club with Jacuzzi, spa, swimming pool, parking space and 24 hour security. The development has two floors of shopping arcade that provides the best brands and food courts.

The Managing Director of Earth Developers, Hadi Ebrahim Al Abbas, during the occasion of the launch ceremony held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, said "The Atrium Gold Project is a new-age concept that offers all comforts needed for a futuristic lifestyle."

The launch of Atrium Gold Towers, by Earth Developers, together with Dubai Silicon Oasis, marks their second major project, the first being, 'The Lynx'.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nakheel's Waterfront City masterplan unveiled

Nakheel has unveiled the masterplan for Waterfront City, which forms the highlight of the world's largest urban development project, the Dubai Waterfront.

Comprising a central island, surrounded by four other districts - the Resort, Madinat Al Soor, the Boulevard and the Marina, the Waterfront City will house a residential population of 92,000 and working population of 310,000 people. Spreading across 330 hectares of land, along the western coast of Dubai, the Waterfront Development will house approximately 1.5mn people.

The Waterfront City will house 144 high-rise towers that stretch more than 100 meters in height, and 45 percent of the area will be covered by residential sector, 33 percent will be allocated as office space, 11 percent for hotels, 6 percent for retail, and 5 percent for civic and culture, revealed Frank Konings, the Nakheel Project Director for Waterfront City.

The Central Island district forms the defining element in the design of the Waterfront City. It is a grid of five streets by five streets, leaving walkable distance between blocks, easing out the traffic flow within the city.

Maximum shading and climate control in the city can be obtained by building higher masses on the south side and making efficient use of wind flow for cooling. Each city block will have a line-up of arcades and trees.

The Managing Director of Nakheel, Matt Joyce, said "Waterfront City forms the centerpiece of the Waterfront development and the masterplan is so-designed that it caters not only to businesses, but to residents and visitors of Dubai, alike. Each of the five districts that make up the Waterfront City, has its own individuality and is vital for promotion of a diverse and unified city. It will have a density similar to that in Manhattan, and hence, the retail, culture, commerce and private accommodation will be overlapped to form a compact city center."

The company is yet to give away contracts for initial works. Even the sales are yet to begin. However, the infrastructure works are expected to commence during early June, and the entire city is expected to be ready by the year 2018.

APG appointed as Architects for Damac's Suburbia project

Surburbia Damac
The Architectural Planning Group (APG) has been appointed as the architectural and mechanical consultants for Damac's Suburbia project, located in the heart of Downtown Jebel Ali.

Surburbia is a prestigious development with two towers and amazing townhouses, based on Moroccan architecture. The luxurious single, double and triple bedroom apartments comprise elegantly designed interiors with thoughtfully planned space and utilities and open roof terraces. Other amenities include parking on four levels of the podium, updated IT facilities, jogging track, swimming pool, gymnasium and children's play area, apart from juice bars, cafes and retail on ground floor.

The development is a buzzing urban center with restaurants, cafes and entertainment facilities. It comprises a cool, shady Trellis District where residents can enjoy a peaceful walk in its Medina with its maze of pedestrian alleyways and relaxed atmosphere, while children get to play in a safe environment. The four Dubai Metro Stations render an effortless travel between the zones, amidst low-rise residential neighborhoods, country yards and plazas.

Downtown Jebel Ali is a community with public spaces between the streets, buildings, parks and plazas, that matter as much as buildings themselves. The major attraction of Downtown Jebel Ali area is that it is a pedestrian-friendly area, where people can walk around with comfort all year round and safety of children is taken into consideration too. Despite having the highest level of unrivalled transport infrastructure, the locality will be a 'no car' zone.

The Chairman of Damac, Hussain Sajwani, said "We are pleased to appoint APG as the architectural and mechanical consultants for Suburbia, which will add value to our project portfolio. APG, with its strong record of delivering quality projects, will bring to Suburbia their large pool of expertise and experience."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Schon Properties announces aggressive expansion plans

Schon Business Park Dubai
Schon Properties has announced its aggressive expansion plan aimed towards creating Dh.10bn portfolio of properties over the next two years time. Several new residential, commercial and hospitality projects are expected to be launched at Downtown Jebel Ali during the coming weeks.

Schon Properties has received good response for all its projects that have been launched till date, which includes the Dubai Lagoon, Schon Business Park, Quartet residential towers, and the Schon Residences, which was pre-launched at the Property Show last month.

"This is a very exciting phase for the UAE realty market, particularly Dubai. Taking a step further, we are now planning to launch new hotel apartment developments and residential projects, which would continue our successful practice to date of meeting and exceed the expectations of our customers," said Schon, the Vice-President of Schon Properties.

Launched in 2007, this Dubai-based development company is a part of the larger Schon Group conglomerate and has exceeded the sales of Dh.2billion in a span of six months time, achieving huge success in Dubai's realty sector.

Old villages in Satwa to make way for Jumeirah Garden City

Villages in Satwa, located right behind the skyscrapers on Sheikh Zayed Road, are being demolished by bulldozers, which send warning signals to other thousands of residents that it is high time they find a new place to live.

The vast area between the Satwa Road and Sheikh Zayed road will be cleared of all old houses and will make way for a huge new garden city, reports Gulf News.

The new city, likely to be named as 'Jumeirah Garden City', will be positioned behind the towers from the Trade Center Roundabout to Al Safa Park on the Sheikh Zayed Road.

The project is in its planning and designing stage, and will comprise various canals, gardens and greeneries. The Safa Park will connect the canals to the Dubai Creek extension. These canals will pass through Al Wasl, Jumeirah and Satwa areas.

The project aims to beautify these areas, making them the most attractive areas in the emirate. Huge ponds are also likely to come up in these areas.

The Land Department had already served eviction notices to residents in the decades-old villas in Satwa. The area has families and bachelors living there for almost a decade, due to the cheap rent and proximity to the market.

Majority of the people currently living in the area are families with low-income, who face difficulty in paying higher rents in other localities.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Real Estate Sector biggest contributor to UAE's GDP last year

The UAE economy has achieved significant growth record of 7.4 percent in 2007 over the previous year, with the gross domestic product (GDP) touching Dh.698bn, announced the UAE Ministry of Economy.

As per the Ministry's report, the biggest contributor to the UAE's GDP is the fast emerging real estate sector. During 2007 the real estate contributed 8 percent to the country's GDP, with an investment of Dh.25.8billion. The government has shown considerable interest in assisting UAE nationals to own free residential units through various residential plans that offer good standard of living and stability.

About 23.1billion (16 percent of total investment) has been put forward for establishment of developed infrastructure, including airport expansions, internal and external road networks, bridge and tunnel constructions and communications.

The size of fixed investments in 2007 has grown to Dh.144.5 billion, as against Dh.121 billion in 2006. The investment percentage to domestic product has touched 20.7 percent in 2007. Although the real estate and manufacturing sectors, jointly, contributed 35 percent of the total investments in the country during 2007, industries such as medicine, petrochemical, building materials, and food continued to surge.

Nakheel's final Shoreline Apartments at Jumeirah released

Shoreline Apartments
Nakheel has announced the release of the final Shoreline Apartments, which could be the final opportunity to invest at The Palm Jumeirah.

The apartments, which are located at the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah, are easily accessible to private beachfront clubhouses and are inclusive of amenities such as retail outlets, world-class fitness centers, swimming pools, direct access to white sandy beaches of the island.

The Trunk is connected by an innovative monorail system and houses numerous shopping destinations, hotels and cafes. The area is the core of activity with the entire 2500 Shoreline apartments already handed over. More than 1500 apartments have already been occupied by residents.

The five private beachfront clubhouses will be unveiled over the coming weeks.
The Director of Sales, Manal shaheen said, "This year will be a huge change for 'The Palm Jumeirah'. More than 2000 families are now residing on the island and more amenities are opening up at the development and it is no longer a concept."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hydra Properties launches Hydra Heights Tower at Al Reem Island

Hydra Heights Towers
A leading UAE realty developer, Hydra Properties has revealed the launch of Hydra Heights Towers at Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

The Hydra Heights Towers will be a group of three residential towers, each being 30-storey in height, so designed that it will adhere to the eco-friendly concepts while also utilizing the finest in state-of-the-art technology.

The 'Hydra Heights Towers' are a unique realty development with tenants offering the latest in smart home technologies, apart from facilities of convenience and comfort required for today's fast-paced lifestyle.

The CEO of Hydra Properties, Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, said "Today's modern and connected lifestyle requires that applications within a living space are in tune with the lifestyle behavior of its occupants. In this development, we have ensured that the needs of all tenants are well addressed through the smart home concept."

Dr. Sulaiman also assured that this luxurious development would be one of the most prestigious developments by Hydra Properties.

The Abu Dhabi-based Hydra Properties has been rated as one among the most influential fifty realty developers in the Middle East and Arab World, according to Arabian Business Magazine.

DEC launches Garden Heights and HQ at Jumeirah Village

Dheeraj and East Coast (DEC) has launched two new projects, Garden Heights and HQ, worth more than Dh.700mn at Jumeirah Village. With this, the total DEC investment in Jumeirah Village crosses Dh.1bn.

The latest five-phased development by Deeraj and East Coast in Jumeirah Village, 'The Lawn' is built with an investment worth more than Dh.300 million.

The Managing Director of DEC, Dheeraj Wadhawan, said "The new projects are prompted by the strong investor enthusiasm shown towards our previous projects at Jumeirah Village , 'The Lawns', with 100 percent of the project being sold out."

The Garden Heights, worth Dh.300 million, is a freehold residential project. The ground floor is entirely dedicated as a retail space. Spanning over a built-up area of 231,000 square feet of space, the development include four floors on basement parking and 24 floors of mixed-use space.

The development comprises 280 residential units in a two storey building, which includes 31 three bedroom duplexes, 36 two bedroom apartments, 65 single bedroom apartments and 146 studios.

The HQ, worth Dh.400mn is a commercial project, covering a built-up area of 300,000 square feet.

Available at a competitive price, both the developments are scheduled for completion by 2011.
DEC has 18 upcoming projects in Dubai, worth more than Dh.4.5billion, as on date.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Omniyat launches Octavian, twin-tower at Business Bay

Octavian business tower from Omniyat Properties
Omniyat Properties has announced the launch of 19-storey modern office twin-tower, Octavian, in Business Bay, which happens to be the eighth project by the company in the prestigious downtown business hub of the city.

Octavian, is another 'intelligent' development by Omniyat that reflects futuristic technologies, and is named after 'Galius Julius Caesar Octavianus', the first emperor of Rome and the man behind the most significant developments of the eternal city.

The President and CEO of Omniyat Properties, Medhi Amjad, said "Emperor Octavianus is remembered for his dynamic and inspirational approach to development, the qualities, which we believe are reflected in the unique structure of Octavian, a modern interpretation of a three-dimensional ornament."

The Octavian, which has received approval of RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority in Dubai), is a joint-venture between Omniyat and Investate, a Bahrain-based real estate investment company in which Omniyat has a 40 percent stake.

Even before its public launch, 13 floors out of the 19 floors of Octavian were sold within two days. According to a company official, the mad rush is due to the confidence that customers posses in the Omniyat brand name coupled with the strong international appeal of Business Bay.

The Octavian is a unique form of two-transparent towers, connected by a black center-piece, which is so designed that it sparkles in sunlight, emanating lightness and strength. The interior is designed in a manner so as to deliver easy maintenance and operation, along with a classic touch. Both towers of the Octavian has three podiums and four basement parking levels with 1250 bays and hi-tech security as a part of the facility. The ground floor of the building will be alive with 60,000 square feet of land set aside for retail space including restaurants, shops and other outlets.

Located in close proximity to Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center and the Dubai International Financial Center, the Octavian is designed by Kling Consult, a renowned German Engineering. Enabling work of the project will begin in the third quart this year, and will be complete by 2011.

The Dh.1.2bn project will be the first project of Omniyat this year, and is one of the eight developments which will quadruple the value of the company's Dubai property portfolio to Dh.21bn this year.

Last year the company had doubled its sales and tripled its profits compared to that achieved during the year 2006.

Prices of Abu Dhabi homes likely to shoot-up by 20 percent

The price of homes in Abu Dhabi is likely to shoot-up by at least 20 percent in the current year, states a report from Sorouh Real Estate.

The report indicated that demand surpasses supply, and negative real interest rates are contributing to more investments. The Europeans are investing in the UAE, with an intention to make better use of their Euros, while the dollar is declining, taking the UAE dirham with it.

The five-fold increases in oil prices during the past six years have boost Abu Dhabi's economy and the low interest rates have led to more investments in real estate.

The Chief Property Development Officer of Sorouh, Gurjit Singh, said "We easily notice a growth of 20 percent this year. We are seeing the growth phase and it is still very early on the clock."

He said that the average prices for residential sectors range between Dh.1300 and Dh.1700 per square foot. The numbers of Europeans investing in Abu Dhabi residential sector falls between 8 and 12 percent, and the numbers are on the rise due to the strength of Euro and the Pound.

Sorouh is also developing realty projects worth Dh.40bn, Singh revealed.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Santeview project by Sungwon meets record sales within a day of launch

Sungwon Corporation has announced the record sales of their Dh.1.5bn Santeview project at Culture Village, within a day of its launch in the market.

This record sales carried out by the Group on Santeview and back-to-back contracts, worth Dh.700million, which include building an office tower at Business Bay, and a five-star luxury hotel apartment complex at Dubai Sports City, has been a feather on the cap for the company as a professional international developer and builder in the region, say top officials of the company.

The CEO of Sungwons Middle East Head Quarters and the General Manager of the Dubai branch, Chang-Pyo Park said "Santeview at the Cultural Village will include G+32 storey tower, and an G+40 storey residential tower. The initial two levels will exclusively comprise retail space inclusive of the best brands in the world. Other amenities such as the smart home and office features, hi-tech security features, contemporary design with an Arabic touch, intelligent space design, coupled with the strategic location adjacent to the Culture Village metro station, makes Santeview the most sought property development in the area."

Being one of the largest construction companies in South Korea, Sungwon, is also doing civil work projects in Qatar and Bahrain, including highways, roads and sewerage pipelines. At present the company is carrying out work on a $109mn massive flyover project at the Isa Town Gate Intersection in Bahrain.

Sungwon Corporation is planning an official launch of civil works contracting services in the UAE and to participate in other large infrastructure projects happening in the country. Apart from the Middle East region alone, Sungwon has made its presence felt in the construction and property development projects in various other countries outside South Korea, including South East Asia and Kazakhstan.

The company has also entered into an escrow account with HSBC Bank Middle East, to contribute towards the growth of the property sector in UAE and to consolidate the trust which the customers have posed in them.

Apart from this, Sungwon also owns golf courses, and is well-known as the builder of the FIFA World Cup Stadium in Korea, rails, roads, highways, subways, tunnels, bridges, ports and airports.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sternon Group to launch their first mixed-use project in Dubai

The Dubai-based Sternon Group, involved in the local and international property market for the past twenty years, has announced their plan to develop real estate projects in Dubai, worth Dh.300mn.

Sternon Tower Dubai
The Sternon Developers, the new arm of the group, will implement a series of mixed-use projects across Dubai during the next couple of months.

Their first project 'Sternon Tower' will be a mixed-use development in the Jumeirah Village South, in close proximity to the Dubai Autodrome. The construction of the 16-storey development will commence in June 2008. The tower will house residential units with studio, single, double and triple bedroom apartments, apart from penthouses, retail segments and offices with high-end amenities and world-class construction standards. The units will be freehold, and will be accompanied by a residence visa.

"Sternon, has so far focused only on underwriting and promoting properties of other developers in Dubai, but now, we plan to develop our own real estate projects, backed by our expertise in implementing high-end commercial and residential projects in United States and India," said Hussaini Nalwalla, Managing Director.

He mentioned that the robust real estate growth in Dubai is a true reflection of the amazing vibrancy of Dubai, and nearly 35 percent of growth is expected annually. The appreciation in value of projects in Dubai that have been promoted by Sternon, has prompted the company to enter into full-fledged property development.

The Sternon Tower in Dubai, which will commence construction in June this year, will be ready by December 2009.

Saadiyat Island to be a flag-ship project of the emirate

Saadiyat Island, better known as 'island of happiness', is a 27 Sq Kms natural island development, lying 500 kms off-Abu Dhabi coast, and the flagship development of the UAE Capital. The project, which is due for completion by 2018, is created based on an eco-sensitive philosophy with a special low-density masterplan.

Being a leading island destination, the Saadiyat will be a modern, integrated residential community, and will be home to 150,000 residents with a complete range of civic, cultural, leisure and tourism amenities. Two iconic causeways will link Abu Dhabi city to Saadiyat, one of which will operate a light rail system, and the other will be a bridge stretching 10kms, making it a five minute drive from the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat will be developed around seven districts comprising 29 hotels, an iconic seven-star development, 3 marinas, mooring for 1000 yacths, 2 golf courses, arts and culture hub, and 19kms beachfront, apart from residential developments and leisure amenities.

Saadiyat will also be home to five major cultural institutions, designed so as to host international art and cultural fairs and events. The institutions are 'The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi', 'The Louvre Abu Dhabi', 'The Performing Arts Center', 'The Maritime Museum' and 'The Sheikh Zayed National Museum'. The cultural district of Saadiyat will also house an iconic seven star hotel, quayside, hotel accommodation, exclusive villas, hotel accommodation, green parks and retail opportunities and harbor.

Apart from the said, the Saadiyat Island will include the Saadiyat beach, the South beach and the Marina District.

Dr. Allen Greenspan, the Former Chairman of Board of Governors, Federal Reserve, USA made a visit to Abu Dhabi recently to attend an exhibition at Emirates Palace, devoted to Cultural District of Saadiyat Island. Dr. Greenspan was accompanied by HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority & Tourism Development & Investment Company, the company behind transforming the Saadiyat Island to a flagship cultural, leisure and residential destination.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Masdar City HQ to be the world's first positive energy building

The multi-billion dollar investment in Abu Dhabi, Masdar, involved in the development of innovative technologies in alternative, renewable and sustainable energies, and green design, has chosen Chicago architecture firm, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture for designing its headquarters in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is the first zero-carbon and zero-waste real estate development, fully powered by renewable energy.

The headquarters will be the first large-scale, mixed-use 'positive energy' building in the world, producing more energy than it consumes. Apart from this, the Masdar City Headquarters in Abu Dhabi will have few other positives and benefits such as the following:

The City will be the lowest in energy consumption per square meter for a modern A class office building in an extremely hot and humid climate. It will feature the largest building-integrated photovoltaic arrays in the world. The building will employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and de-humidification system, and will be the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, though development of its solar roof pier before the underlying complex.
The CEO of Masdar, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, said "In line with Abu Dhabi 2030 Development plan, Masdar emphasizes on sustainability over height. We hope and expect that this will begin a new direction for worldwide competition in sustainable design."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Construction of La Vista Residence project assigned

La Vista Residence at Dubai Silicon Oasis
Two firms have been appointed by Al Manal Development, to build the La Vista Residence project in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

Al Qandeel Contracting Company and Zahrat Al Safa Construction Company, has together won the combined contract, worth Dh.250million. The work on the residential property development is likely to commence in March this year.

Comprising seven residential buildings, with each being eight storeys high, the La Vista Residence Project, offers a total 832 residential units. The work on the first five buildings will be undertaken by Zahrat Al Safa Construction Company, while the work on the remaining two will be undertaken by Al Qandeel Contracting Company.

The project spreads over a built-up area of 943,000 square feet, covering 290,000 square feet of land. The project, which is likely to be complete by August 2009, offers a studio, single and double bedroom apartments, and is a pure family-oriented community with good schools and shopping malls in the neighbourhood. Other amenities include swimming pool, party hall, gymnasium, sauna and Jacuzzi kids pool, apart from 24 hours security and covered car parking for 860 vehicles.

Located in Dubai Silicon Oasis, in close proximity to the New Ring Road, Emirates Road and Dubailand and Academic City, more than 75 percent of the units have already been sold, ever-since the launch of the project, which happened in May 2007. The prices per square feet have surged by 15 percent, following the launch.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Nakheel reveals development of Worlds of Discovery on The Palm

World of Discovery theme parks at palm
Nakheel has revealed details about its deal with the Busch Entertainment Corportation (BEC), the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch Company at the US, to develop four theme parks, named Worlds of Discovery.

The theme parks will include Aquatica, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens.
The President and COO of BEC, Jim Atchison, announced the deal with the CEO of Nakheel, Chris O'Donnell and the Managing Director of 'The Palm Jebel Ali', Marwan Al Qamzi at the SeaWorld Orlando yesterday.

Both BEC and Nakheel entered into an agreement this month, for the construction of four theme parks on the second island of the three palm-shaped Islands by Nakheel. BEC, which is based in Orlando, operates ten 'Worlds of Discovery' parks throughout the US.

The 'Worlds of Discovery' in Dubai, will be built on a section of 'The Palm Jebel Ali' known as 'The Crown'. The first phase of 'Worlds of Discovery' will be unveiled during 2012. Apart from the four theme parks, the project will comprise other family tourist attractions such as spas, hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops.

"Dubai has fast become a leading tourist destination in the world, and a major part of the strategy has been attracting world-class entertainment brands to the emirate. We have already entered into partnerships with major brands such as Atlantis, Cirque du Soleil and the Trump. Our partnership with BEC is another example of the growth of Dubai, as a city of global prominence," said O'Donnell.

Al Qamzi said "Worlds of Discovery will turn out to be the attraction of The Palm Jebel Ali, and am already excited about opening the doors to the first visitors during 2012."

Real estate sales peaked to Dh 1.16bn last week

Real Estate Sales in Dubai last weeks peaked to Dh.1.16bn, reveals Dubai Land Department.

Al Warsan First recorded the highest sale for a plot with Dh.39,500,500 followed by Al Farsan First at Dh.35,000,000 for the sale of a building.

The villa sales for the week were done at Emirates Hills Third. The total value of land sales recorded, was the highest on 27th February 2008, Wednesday, at Dh.279,475,904.

The combined value of plot sales, flat-sales and villa-sale for the period was Dh.715.9mn, Dh.114.8mn and Dh.18.36mn respectively.

The Construction sector in Dubai, in the meanwhile, is well up-to-the mark, and is on par with the surging demand for space in the emirate.

Trakhees, the Civil Engineering Department of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation has issued an average of 250 permits per day for construction of buildings in Dubai last year.

The Managing Director of Trakhees, Nazek Al Sabbagh, said "The growth in construction sector of Dubai, is ahead of demand, and recorded significant growth last year. Dubai is a world-class city which will see numerous state-of-the-art buildings in days to come."

Also, with the maturing markets of Dubai real estate and construction sectors, the emirate witnessed a considerable drop (from 30% in 2006 to 10% in 2007) in number of construction violations during the past year.