Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Abu Dhabi's iconic development Capital Gate on track

Capital Gate, the Abu Dhabi's iconic real estate development is progressing as scheduled, revealed ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company), the master developer of Capital Gate.

capital gate abu dhabi
The current phase of construction of the 35-storey iconic tower, involves pouring of more than 6000 cubic meters of concrete to create a base for the 160 meters.

Capital Gate is scheduled for completion in 2009, and thereafter it is expected to house an executive five-star hotel Hyatt in Abu Dhabi, which will be the first Hyatt hotel in the capital. It will also provide the most exclusive office space ever in Abu Dhabi.

Simon Horgan, the ADNEC CEO, said "There is nothing standard about the tower. Each room, each pane and every angle is different. It was designed to provide no symmetry to inspire both observers and visitors."

ADNEC is a top class MICe (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) venue in the Middle East.
DNEC is following an expansion strategy with an aim of catalyzing the MICE industry in Abu Dhabi, and is developing a business and leisure district spreading across 148,000 square meters of land, known as Capital Center.

Located in close proximity to the airport, the Dh.8bn Center will house the state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, an iconic 35-storey Capital Gate, a micro-city consisting of commercial, residential and hotel accommodation, waterfront leisure zone, a marina and an existing grandstand.

Fortune Group partners with Badr Al Islami for easy mortgage solutions

The Dubai based property developer, Fortune Group, has entered into a partnership with Badr Al Islami, a Shariah-compliant arm of Mashreq, will offer Shariah-compliant mortgage solutions to property buyers for their residential and commercial projects.

Badr Al Islami will offer mortgage solutions for Fortune Serene, Fortune Avenue and Fortune Bay, worth more than $272million in value. It will also manage Trust Accounts for all the three projects.

Fortune Serene is a residential project in International Media Production Zone, while Fortune Bay and Fortune Avenue offers commercial space in Business Bay.

As per the agreement, Badr Al Islami will structure finance options depending on investor requirements for each project. It will provide easy finance solutions of up to 80 percent of project value. Buyers can avail maximum of $3.3mn in residential and commercial property mortgage.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ETA unveils VERDE Residences and Offices at Dubai Maritime City

The leading UAE property developer, ETA Star Properties, have announced the launch of VERDE Residences and Offices in Dubai Maritime City.

ETA VERDE Residence
Comprising two towers, VERDE Residences and Offices are designed to earn Gold ratings in accordance with the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) programme.
Located in Dubai Maritime City, near Port Rashid in Dubai, VERDE Towers are designed by renowned architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. The towers are so designed that they utilize the natural forces of light, wind and geothermal mass and recyclable construction materials, along with maximum use of other energy-efficient systems and technologies.

The entire project includes two towers - residential and commercial. The 33 storey curtain-glazed VERDE office tower is trapezoidal in shape, covering a built-up area of 820,000 square feet. It features podium offices and a unique sky garden.

The 48 storey glass tower, VERDE residential tower, is boat-shaped, covering a built-up area of 1.35mn square feet. It is inclusive of double and triple bedroom units, apart from penthouses and four bedroom duplex townhouses on podium liner.

ETA Star has already built several beautiful homes and living communities apart from world-class business and commercial developments across the region. Due to this excellent track record of ETA, the regional banks have developed confidence in ETA Star Properties and a strong credibility has been established with the leading financial institutions in the region.

ETA is currently developing several million square feet of premium properties in several Middle East and South-East Asian countries such as UAE, India, Qatar, Turkey, Oman and Sri Lanka.

Property bylaws implemented in Abu Dhabi

The implementation of bylaws of Law No.3 of 2005 issued by the President, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for regulating property registration, has already commenced in Abu Dhabi.

The Chairman of the department, Dr. Jua'an Salem Al Daheri, said the property law and its bylaws are being issued to keep pace with the comprehensive development in Abu Dhabi. The bylaws are being issued taking into account public interest after consultation with associated parties.

The bylaws are aimed to regulate affairs pertaining to property registrations in the emirate. This includes the terms and conditions of real estate activities, the parties involved, along with their jurisdictions and responsibilities.

Other factors stipulated in the bylaws include specialties of property registration department, attestation of signatories, search memos and transaction certificates, and terms and conditions of selling and buying properties.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Abyaar and Lacroix sign deals to build residential tower in Jumeirah

Abyaar, the property developer and Christian Lacroix, the designer have entered into a joint venture to build a residential tower in one of the most exclusive beachside suburbs of Dubai.

The 38-unit Jumeirah-based tower, offering wonderful views across Dubai's coastline, The Palm and Burj al Arab landmarks, will incorporate a Lacroix-designed façade, vast lobby and luxurious interiors.

Although Lacroix has worked on several Paris-based boutique hotel interiors, this is the first residential offering, wherein the designer has incorporated trademark blend of past and future.

The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Abyaar, Marzooq Al Rashdan, said "We approached Lacroix because he is well-known for his exceptional design and theatrical style, both on and off the catwalk. This marks the beginning of a long term partnership through which similar developments will be established in the region and beyond, placing Abyaar on top of luxury development map international."

Commenting on the development, Lacroix said "We are working on something special that will tell a fanciful Middle Eastern story. The interiors will be contemporary and baroque blend of West and East, new and old, inspired by folklore and history."

The designer will be sourcing and creating unique materials for the interior design. Lacroix has designed several hotels, interiors for the French chain of Gaumont cinemas, tramway cards and TGV trains.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cityscape Abu Dhabi to be held in May 2008 for the second successive year

cityscape abudhabi
The premier real estate development and investment showcase in the Cityscape Abu Dhabi will be held between the 13th and 15th May 2008 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center.

With more than 30,000 square meters of exhibition space and more than 300 exhibitors, there is a waiting list of potential exhibitors waiting for last minute cancellations, reveals the organizers at the IIR Middle East.

This is for the second consecutive year that Cityscape Abu Dhabi is being held under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.

This year's event is expected to draw more than 25000 visitors from more than 100 countries, with exhibitors from more than 50 different countries participating in the event.

Abu Dhabi is playing the lead role in sustainable development with over $327 billion worth of projects proposed, planned or under construction. (Dh 70bn worth projects launched 2007 Cityscape Dubai.
The Project Manager of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, Mark Goodchild said "We are honored by the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed. The event emphasizes the importance of real estate market in Abu Dhabi and highlights the proactive support of the capital towards a sustainable industry. The Cityscape Abu Dhabi can play a major role in binding regional and international industry professionals together."

To further complement the exhibition, two parallel conferences are organized on sustainable development and real estate investment and finance. The conference will focus on leading real estate developers, architects, designers and contractors who discuss new ways to design and build sustainable buildings.

The conference will bring together leading property developers, investors, fund groups, bankers and other professionals who are keen to embrace a more transparent real estate property market throughout the region.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

MAG 214 apartments at Jumeirah Lakes handed over to residents

Mag 214 at Jumeirah Lakes
The Dubai-based real estate firm, MAG Group Property Development, has handed over the keys to residents of 306 apartments and penthouses at the MAG 214 building at Jumeirah Lakes Tower development on the Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai.

MAG 214 is one of the several competitively budgeted buildings developed by the company to cater to the mid-range market, which is quite appealing to Dubai’s middle income families.

The 40 storey high-rise building tower with a structural height of 155mts, was completed in 2007, and comprises 312 apartments. Situated above Jumeirah Lakes, MAG 214 offers the lending edge of contemporary design to one of the most sought after residential developments in Dubai.

Each single, double and triple bedroom and penthouse apartment in the building is designed in a unique manner, allowing the resident's choice of living space to reflect their individual style. All apartments including the duplexes and penthouses are fitted with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows. The landscaped gardens in the building include a swimming pool and children's pool.

The CEO of Mag Group Property Development, Mohammed Nimer, said "We excel in designing, finishing and customer satisfaction, and focus on delivering our promises."

Jumeirah Lakes Towers is a dynamic waterfront development with residential and office towers, apart from leisure, hotels and retail outlets.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Realty projects in Gulf Countries exceeds Dh.8.8trillion

The real estate projects that are underway in GCC have cross Dh.8.8trillion mark, according to an industry research.

Real Estate Projects in Gulf
The figure has been arrived at, taking into account all additional developments (even in their concept stage) that are currently happening in the GCC, which accounts for a total of 3,519 projects worth Dh.9.27 trillion.

Majority of these developments are happening in the Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The biggest project under construction in the region is the 'King Abdullah Economic City' at Saudi Arabia, worth Dh.440.4 billion, followed by the 'Dubailand' in Dubai, which is valued at Dh.403.7billion, and thereafter the 'Silk City' real estate project worth Dh.315.6 in Kuwait.

In the light of such massive construction activities, the 2008 edition of Hardware and Tools Middle East will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center between 25th and 27th of May 2008. The exhibition is worth visiting for construction companies, realty firms, maintenance firms, buyers, and contractors from across the region.

Foundation stone laid for Hydra Twin Towers Project at Jumeirah

Hydra Twin Towers DubaiThe foundation stone for Hydra Twin Towers Project at Jumeirah Village in Dubai has been laid by Dr. Sulaiman Al-fahim, the Chief Executive Officer of Hydra Properties.

The first phase of work is likely to be complete by September this year.

The Hydra Properties Twin Tower comprises two residential towers, each of which comprises 32 storey each. Other project amenities include spacious car parkings, spas, shops, gymnasiums, community center, promenades, sports pitches, jogging trails, scenic cycling, schools, clinics, private gardens, restaurants, luxury cafes and other luxurious amenities.

The Hydra Properties Twin Towers are an exclusive community meant for luxury lifestyle, rendering tranquility and comfort.

"We are proud to lay the foundation stone, which marks the commencement of the prestigious project. We, at Hydra, are pleased with the progress of our work, which reflects the commitment of the company in providing superior quality developments. The coming period will witness the beginning of works and construction of many previously announced projects of Hydra Properties," said Dr. Al Fahim.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rental rates for residential units in Dubai found to be stable

Dubai Rental Rates
UAE's largest real estate services company, Asteco, has observed that there has been no significant change in Dubai's annual rents, during the first quarter, compared to the annual rent rates during the last quarter of 2007, reveals their Quarterly Residential Report.

The highest annual rents have been recorded at the Palm Jumeirah and Old Town Burj Dubai, with studio and single bedroom annual rents standing at Dh.100,000 and Dh.140,000 respectively. On the other hand, the lowest rentals have been noticed at International City with studios available for Dh.42,000 and single bedrooms for Dh.58,000.

When compared on an annual basis, the rental charges were the highest at the Greens in Dubai, with studios recording an average annual rent of Dh.65,000 to Dh.85000, marking a 31% increase. But, the double bedroom units at the International City saw a 36% increase in rents from Dh.70,000 to Dh.95,000 during the same period last year.

Other areas that witnessed a year-on-year rental increase were the Old Town Burj Dubai real estate development, which reported 17% increase for single bedroom units and 21% increase for double bedroom apartments.

As for villas in Dubai, the rental rates are determined on the basis of location, size and condition with Midriff commanding the lowest rate, while Jumeirah marked the highest due to its close proximity to beach and Sheikh Zayed road. The average annual rent for a four bedroom villa at Mirdiff was marked at Dh.175,000, and a similar property at the Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah would rent at Dh.300,000.

Maison forays into UAE realty market

Maison Limited, the Hong Kong developer, has put its first step forward towards entering the UAE property market, through the purchase of four plots at Downtown Jebel Ali, to develop signature boutique residence. This is also the first global commercial and residential real estate venture of the company.
Located in Phase four of Downtown Jebel Ali, adjacent to the Arabian Canal, the development covers 10,000 square meters of land space and a built-up area of 90,000 square meters. The four plots will be combined to make two large plots and the buildings will rise up to G+18 storeys.
The project will feature state-of-the-art amenities with all apartments being completely furnished and feng-shui operated. The Managing Director of Maison, Shaye'e Shamszadeh said "Progressive foreign ownership laws, a buoyant economy, and the UAE government's drive to create a forward-thinking, cosmopolitan center of finance, business and culture, will together ensure that Dubai maintains its continues success and high profile in the global market."
The construction and infrastructure development is likely to begin after handing-over of the plots in March 2009. The project is likely to see its official launch during the third quarter of this year.
Maison Limited is looking into developments in Abu Dhabi too, although Dubai will be the company's main focus.
"Dubai is a trendsetter and we believe that it is the best first step. Abu Dhabi too is in our agenda and will be an interesting stepping stone. Abu Dhabi is still lacking international exposure. But Dubai has the glamour and name," said Cor van der Meulen, the Managing Director, Maison Limited, Hong Kong.
Shamszadeh confirmed that the company will go global with Dubai as the launch-pad.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

UAE - the most preferred choice of property investment in the region

UAE property prices
Majority of foreign investors have purchased properties in the UAE than in any other Gulf States, reveals a recent survey by (Property Survey 2008).

About 95.5% of the respondents in the survey agreed that UAE was their popular choice of investment, being the leading market in the Gulf real estate boom.

According to the survey, majority of foreigners are purchasing properties as an investment, and are of the opinion that UAE would be the best Gulf market to yield maximum returns over the next two years.

Ever since the government opened its market for foreigners in 2002, the housing and rental prices have been on the increase, more so in recent years, due to housing shortage and high cost of construction.

The property prices in Abu Dhabi are likely to shoot up by 25% this year, according to a recent report by HSBC. In Dubai, a 15% rise is expected, as revealed by Standard Chartered Bank.

Among the 3000 respondents who participated in the survey, about 1.24% have purchased properties in Qatar, 1.04% in Bahrain, 0.52% in Saud Arabia, and 0.21% in Oman and Kuwait.

According to the survey, UAE is much ahead than Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait when it comes to offering best returns on buyer investments within a short-term.

For purchase of property, almost all nationalities favoured UAE over the other Gulf states. However, 10% of New Zealand nationalities had purchased properties in Bahrain, while 12.5% bought from Netherlands and Qatar.
The survey pointed out that no nationality had invested in the Kuwait realty sector, except Indians. It was also found that as majority of expatriates in the Gulf are Indians, they were the most active investors in the region, purchasing property in all the six Gulf States.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Tiger Woods masterplan receives a go-ahead

The Tiger Woods, a member of Tatweer, has revealed that they have received the go-ahead for the final masterplan of their new real estate project in Dubai from the Dubai Municipality and the RTA. The design and construction of the project is progressing as scheduled.
Tiger woods Dubai

The project, namely The Tiger Woods Dubai, is an exclusive lifestyle community scheduled for completion by late 2009. The spectacular Al Rawaya Golf Course serves as its focal point.
Tiger woods Dubai

Spread across an area of 55million square feet, The Tiger Woods Dubai will be an exclusive golf community featuring a professionally-staffed golf academy, a clubhouse spread across 139,000 square feet with premium amenities, a high-end boutique hotel, a premium destination spa, 75 mansions, 22 palaces, and 100 luxury villas.

The Tiger Woods Dubai will soon be one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, and will be a genuine oasis for those lucky enough to live or stay within its spectacular grounds, said Tiger Woods.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Emaar's Burj Place open for sale

Emaar Properties has launched a 55-storey two-tower commercial and residential project, Burj Place, within Downtown Burj Dubai, the new center of the city.

Burj Place Dubai
On completion, the Burj Place, will be directly linked to the Dubai Metro and Burj Dubai tram, said a company statement.

Burj Place offers studios, single and double bedroom serviced apartments in the rage of 574 square feet to 1253 square feet, making it the right choice for modern lifestyle. The commercial spaces of 'Burj Place' range from 3837 square feet to 7027 square feet.

Emaar Properties Sales Director, Saif Al Mansouri said "At Burj Place, Emaar invites its customers to be connected to Downtown Burj Dubai and Dubai. Burj Place is the new addition to the Downtown Burj Dubai, the address of prestige and status. It is a place with variety and style, offering a unique investment opportunity."

The development value of the project is, however, yet to be revealed.

The residential and commercial units of the development will be open for sales tomorrow at the Downtown Burj Dubai sales center, with various institutions offering attractive finance options.

The Dh.73bn ($20bn) Downtown Burj Dubai, flagship mega-project of Emaar, known as the 'most prestigious square kilometer on Earth', is now one of the most desired destinations in the bustling city of Dubai. The units at 'The Old Town' and 'The Residences' have been handed over to the customers, and three hotels, and a modern shopping mall are already open in the development.

$300mn G Tower project launched in Dubailand

A $300million G-Tower project has been launched in Dubailand by Galadari Investment Office (GIO) together with YOO (a Phillipe Starck and John Hitchcox-owned design company).

G Tower Dubailand
Located in the City of Arabia in Dubailand, the G-Tower project includes a residential G Tower and a commercial G Tower. This project in Dubai by YOO is also their first project tin the Middle East.

The G-Tower is a 45-storey tower, 280 meters in height, comprising 240 apartments spread across a gross floor area of 640,698.51 square feet.

Construction for the project has already begun, and will be complete towards 2010.

The Chairman of GIO, Rashid A.W. Galadari said "We have focused on transforming ideas of art and culture into a physical structure adding a new dimension to Middle East property development."

YOO has 45 developments that are underway in 22 countries. With a portfolio of more than $40billion, and a total built-up area of about 40 million square feet, the company is now looking for expansion into the Far East.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

GGICO launches Axis Residences Phase 2

The Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO) a leading real estate and investment firm in Dubai has launched the second phase of its highly successful 'Axis Residences' at Dubai.

Axis Residence Dubai
The Second Phase of Axis Residence towers boasts of high-level amenities, with all the towers featuring well-designed interiors, spacious balconies and terraces, apart from leisure packages which include pools, health clubs, gymnasiums, and open-air relaxation packages. Safety has been given the prime importance and the apartments are equipped with leading safety features including fire safety and alarm system, security system, smoke detection system and child-proof electrical switches. All the apartments are well-connected through intercom, and the MAT TV and satellite infrastructure offers world-class entertainment.

Leading real estate brokerage firm,, have been appointed as the leading sales agents to handle commercial sales and marketing of all the seven towers.

GIGCO has offered the investors with a tailor-made 7.5 year payment plan with initial booking deposit of 5% out of the value of the unit as the first installment, followed by another 5% of the value payable within 3 months of booking installments. The rest 90% is payable with equal 1% installments beginning October 2008, in 90 months time span.

The CEO of, Peter Penhall says "The initial payment plan during the first phase of the project was very successful with excellent draw for investors. The second phase of GGICO has again increased the bar, with their tailor made plan, which facilitates investors."

GGICO has a well-planned focused strategy for the future, and is poised to replicate its proven track record with successful master developments including Emirates Crown and Horizon Towers in Dubai Marina, Olympic Park in Dubai Sports City, first phase of Axis Residences due for completion towards end of 2008.

The first tower among the seven towers of this project is expected to be ready towards end of 2008, which further boosts the company’s commitment towards delivering an enhanced proposition with all its offerings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nakheel launches Veneto, first exclusive residential community in Waterfront

Nakheel, the most innovative real estate developers in the world, has announced the launch of Veneto, the most exclusive residential district in Waterfront.
Veneto Waterfront

Being the first community to be launched in the largest coastal realty development of the world, Veneto is so designed to create an exclusive waterside neighbourhood on the fringe of Waterfront City in Dubai.

Comprising limited numbers of villas and low-rise townhouses, Veneto features City Center living close to Sheikh Zayed Road, each home located within a reach of less than 2kms from the coastline.

Veneto will have 1400 villas and townhouses, and 1200 low-rise apartments in Dubai. The handover during the initial phase of the villas will be during second half of 2009.

The villas and townhouses will have abundant space around the development, apart from a range of amenities such as the community centers, mosques, nurseries, schools, community pools and health care, apart from wonderful and tranquil environment amidst landscaped parks, waterfront boardwalks, tree-lined walkways, waterways and marina.

The Waterfront Managing Director, Matt Joyce, said "Nakheel launches the first community in Waterfront with immense pride. As far as Dubai is concerned, it is exceptionally rare that villas are located in such a close proximity to city center. So Veneto has something very unique to homebuyers, and more so, because this is a waterfront project."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ajman property prices likely to soar by 30%

The boom witnessed in Ajman property market is primarily due to the economic growth and also due to the development taking place in its neighboring emirates Dubai and Sharjah.

Ajman has several reasonably priced residential projects that cater to the mid0-income groups. In fact, Ajman has the maximum number of medium-level developments, as majority of these are developed by players who are unable to bear the high construction cost of Dubai. To add to this, the new Escrow/Trust Account Law has brought out more stringent rules in Dubai, thereby decreasing the number of new medium-level developments there.

Analysts reveal that the price and rental structure of residential properties in Ajman are extremely moderate. Majority of developers offer affordable payment packages agreeable to mid-income standards. For instance, the price of a single bedroom apartment in Ajman’s Emirates City, is equivalent to that of a studio in Dubai. This has motivated several mid-income category buyers to re-assess their investment patterns.

In Ajman, the prices the average prices for a studio is US$600 per sqm and for a single bedroom apartment, it is US4480 per sqm.

Studies reveal that rates for residential properties in Ajman have surged by 30% in 2007. The demand for smaller units such as studios, single bedroom apartments too are surging, due to influx of expatriates from emirates of Dubai and Sharjah. They find Ajman to be a good residential and investment proposition due to its excellent connectivity to other emirates.
A similar growth rate in Ajman's property prices has been predicted by analysts for the year 2008-09 too.

Middle East retail property developers urged to go 'green'

The organizers of Retail City 2008 in Dubai, have urged property developers in Middle East to adhere to the emerging global trend of building 'green' malls, which is something that cannot be ignored.

The fast-paced Arabian Gulf economies have been developing ambitious retail infrastructure projects. The 'Retail City 2008' expected to take place between 1st and 3rd June 2008 at the Dubai International Exhibition Center, will witness a gathering of investors, global retailers, shopping center developers, shopping center management, franchise networks, architects and regional authorities all under a single roof, to focus on all aspects of retail development cycle.

The Project Manager of Retail City 2008, Naomi Koningen, has said that the Middle East retail sector currently exceeds $100bn in value annually, and is second to the residential property sector in the non-oil economy. Hence, it is vital that this huge economic sector takes into account the impact that it bears on the environment and the need for sustainability in design and construction of malls and stores.

Monday, April 14, 2008

ACI-GIO team to strengthen world-class realty solutions for G Office

An affiliate of Alternative Capital Invest GMBH of Germany, ACI Real Estate, together with Galadari Investment Office (GIO), the luxury holding division of GALVEST, has entered into partnership to offer world-class real estate solutions for signature commercial property 'G Office' at Dubailand.

Spreading across 20mn Sq. Ft. of Arabia district, the project is positioned along the main gateway of the residential and retail center at the heart of Dubailand. The vast urban development will offer open-air leisure and entertainment facilities, including the Mall of Arabia – world's biggest mall, and the Dinosaur theme park Restless Plant.

The 45 storey tower, designed by an internationally renowned architect, Alex Vacha, is 280 meters in height, with 24-hour concierge and valet services, and car parking spaces. The building is a perfect fit for office goers as it offers the opportunity to explore the advanced building management system and two spacious communal sky decks, above the podium.

"G Office represents a new move in terms of design, thereby rendering a new dimension to the growing commercial property market. Our alliance with ACI real estate, the creators of Sports Triology Towers, will bring both companies into the forefront of realty sector. The GIO's vision of raising bar of design-culture with our projects and ACI's commitment to excellence will provide the region with the best property solutions available," says Rashid AW Galadhari, Chairman, GIO.

The project is expected to be complete by 2010, which will be another landmark development to ACI's project portfolio, which is at the moment, staggering at Dh.10bn scheduled for Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dh.200bn The Mohammad Bin Rashid Gardens Project to keep up Green motive

Dubai has embarked upon a massive green initiative, costing about Dh.200bn, spreading across 880mn square feet of land, aimed towards preserving and protecting the environment.

The Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched the project, named 'The Mohammad Bin Rashid Gardens Project' on Friday.

house of wisdom
The project comprises four clusters with 73 percent greenery, implemented by Dubai Properties, a member of Dubai Holding.

A model of the project has already been shown to Shaikh Mohammad during the launch on Friday.

The event saw the participation of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - the Dubai Crown Prince, Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum -Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi - Cabinet Affairs Minister, and Lt. Gen. Mussabah Rashid Al Fattan - Head of Shaikh Mohammad's office.

The CEO of Dubai Holding, Al Gergawi, said the project, with its green environment-friendly buildings, restricts power usage and protects against wastage of natural resources, aiming to meet Shaikh Mohammad's concern over health and welfare of future generations.

The Project is divided into four sections - the 'House of Wisdom' which includes translation houses, Knowledge Gardens, international universities, international organizations, history and science colleges, and Shaikh Mohammad’s Mosque.

Secondly the 'House of Humanity' will include the House of Giving, Museum of Light, Mohammad Bin Rashid Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, Human Civilization Museum and charities.

Thirdly, 'House of Nature' project will be the main cluster of the project, which includes international themed gardens, hotels, recreational clubs, a huge zoo, flower gardens, apart from alternative medical and herbal clinics.
House of Commerce

Finally, 'House of Commerce' will comprise higher educational institutes in Banking and Finance, Insurance Companies, Large International Company's branches and Islamic and International Banks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Damac to continue with construction of Palm Springs

Damac Palm Springs
Damac Properties has now formally announced the reversal of its decision to stop the Palm Springs project, say media reports.

After the leading Dubai-based developer, cancelled the 25-storey beachfront development project at the Palm Jebel Ali last month, offering the investors with compensation far below the current market value, the investors raised hues and cries about losing millions of Dirhams on their investment.

The tale is said to have created a bad publicity for Damac in major markets which the firm has been seeking to attract investments from, particularly in international markets such as the UK.
Investors have revealed that they received calls from Damac earlier this week, informing them about progressing with the Palm Springs project.

The project will be located on the new plot provided by master developer Nakheel, with few changes in the building plans.

Damac's Senior Vice President, Niall McLoughlin, in his statement, mentioned that Damac will shortly announce a decision on the project.

Damac had reasoned that the cancellation of the project after five years of launch was due to the "re-development of plots" and that the development could no longer be situated on the re-allocated plot.

This explanation was however questioned back, when Palm Jebel Ali master developer, Nakheel, said it had informed the investors about changes to the masterplan about ten months ago.
About 60 UK-based investors have been threatening Damac to take the matter to court, unless the developer reverses its decision and progresses with the construction work.

The group stormed the London launch of Damac's Jumeirah Village South project, and gave the developer a time-limit until 11th April to change its decision or face legal action.

In the meanwhile, Damac also changed its mind about the cancellation of Haz Tower in Business Bay on Wednesday, after the investors complained about the plans to pull back the project. The Haz Tower worth Dh.240million was launched in July and is now estimated to be about Dh.660mn.

Aldar plans first-of-its kind investment funds in UAE

The largest property developer in Abu Dhabi plans to launch four realty investment funds that offer exposure to the booming property market of the emirate.

The Chief Executive Officer of Aldar, Ronald Barrott, said that the funds, one each for retail, office, residential and hotel property, will be launched next year, with a view to expand the funds so as to eventually make it multibillion-dollar vehicles.

The funds will be the first of its kind for Aldar and the UAE. The company, which has about 25 percent of its shares directly or indirectly owned by the government, has its remaining shares floated on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market, with a development portfolio of $65bn. Aldar is responsible for atleast one-third of the development happening in Abu Dhabi.

The final details are yet to be worked out, but, Aldar will manage the funds and carry a certain percentage of shares, with the remainder kept open to domestic and foreign investors.

Abu Dhabi is the richest emirate in the UAE and home to 95 percent of its hydrocarbon resources.

Just as in Dubai, even Abu Dhabi is going through an extraordinary boom to develop and diversify its economy and raise its profile.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dubai realty remains unabated despite fluctuations in other sectors

The growth of real estate sector in Dubai remains protected from all other fluctuations currently happening in oil prices, whether short or medium term, and in fact, the higher oil prices will only stimulate the fast-paced growth.

The value of few of the realty projects in GCC, Iraq and Iran have crossed $750bn, and about 33% of this belongs to the UAE, particularly, Dubai. The figure is higher than the combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the same region, which totals to less than $700bn.

Experts predict that this trend will continue, despite the fact that oil prices are likely to drop during the short and medium terms.

A strong point to be noted in the growth of Dubai is that it has been consistently defying all predictions by Analysts. Over the past five years, most experts predicted that the realty market in Dubai will begin to show a downward trend, and that it is a "bubble waiting to be burst".
Although it is agreed that such growth has never been sustainable for long, none is able to explain why the market continues to thrive in Dubai.

GCC has the 17th largest economy in the world, with 500,000 high-income earners and a GDP of $525 billion. The total half trillion dollar economy creates more than $500 billion in revenue, which is being used for investment. The volume is believed to boost the real estate and construction sector in Dubai.

UAE mortgage market to witness a major leap

The mortgage market in UAE will witness a major leap from Dh.20bn to Dh.64bn towards end of this year, over a span of next three years, with more than 60 percent of home finance getting Sharia-compliant, revealed the officials.

Sabahuddin Azmi, Specialist in Islamic banking and finance, revealed that UAE housing market had an outstanding credit of Dh.17billion towards end of 2006, and is now expected to touch Dh.20bn towards end of 2008. This may rise even further by 2011, with a surge in real estate activities, touching Dh.419bn during this period.

Azmi said that Amlak Finance and Tamweel, both Sharaia-compliant companies are dominating the UAE housing finance market at present, with 35 percent and 25 percent shares respectively.
Azmi was speaking during the concluding day of the two-day summit, involving international panel of thirteen financial experts, who were discussing the differences between Western family wealth management policies and Islamic Sharia-compliant principles.

The summit was held under the patronage of Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ground-breaking ceremony held for Flamingo Creek

Flamingo Creek
The ground-breaking ceremony for a residential community, 'Flamingo Creek', located at 'The Lagoons' master development in Dubai Creek, took place yesterday.

The project is being developed by National Properties, a wholly-owned real estate subsidiary of National Bonds Corporation.

The freehold project comprises 244 low-rise villa-style apartments and townhouses, which also marks the entry of National Properties into the luxury residential market. 'Flamingo Creek' will be an easy access to retail, education, leisure and entertainment facilities, including the Dubai Opera House.

The National Properties CEO, ABdulsalam Almarri, and Mohammed Qassim, CEO of The Lagoons, together with Buti Al Jumairi, the CEO of National Bonds Corporation, along with other senior management staff of National Properties, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony held at the project site in 'The Lagoons'.

"With the rapid expansion of Dubai City, the longing for serene spaces is bound to grow stronger, and Flamingo Creek will bring in a new dimension to life. It will offer all the comforts of city life without losing the charm and beauty of nature," said Lootah.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cirrus announces launch of Aquarius Gate

Aquarius Gate
Cirrus has announced plans to launch Aquarius Gate, a Dh.3billion mixed-use project at Nakheel's Waterfront Development.

The development will be the first one at the waterfront to house commercial and residential units, apart from also being the first to have an approval for operational trust account from Nakheel, and also the first to gain approval to sell properties from the Dubai Land Department.

Aquarius Gate is a mixed-use development comprising residential and commercial units at Madinat Al Arab, in the heart of Dubai. The beachfront community in the Waterfront will be adjacent to the beaches, a Metro-station, restaurants, shops, parks and other amenities. One side of the development will feature an art wall, which depicts the various Islamic cultures from around the world.

The commercial tower of the development offers panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and the Palm Jebel Ali from its 29 storeys. The residential tower, on the other hand, offers views across the Marina, the Canal and the Palm Jebel Ali. The residential tower will include single, double and triple bedroom units, apart from townhouses.

Aquarius Gate is the second major development by Cirrus in Dubai. The Celestial Heights in Downtown Jebel Ali was the first. The Waterfront, located along the western shores of Dubai, will transform the 1.4bn square feet of empty desert and sea, into an international community. It will serve an estimated 1.5mn population and will be twice the size of Hong Kong.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Iris launches its fourth project IRIS Asmar

IRIS Asmar Dubai
IRIS, the Dubai-based Indian property developer plans to boost its portfolio to Dh.5bn this year, through the launch of its latest project, 'IRIS Asmar', worth Dh.100million.

IRIS Asmar is a seven storey residential building in Cultural Village, which comprises eight triple-bedrooms and seven four bedroom apartments. This is the fourth project of the company in Dubai, which raises the current portfolio of the company to Dh.2.5bn.

'IRIS Asmar' is designed on the concept of Islamic Architecture, which will reflect the essence of Culture Village in terms of diversity and design, paying attention to detail. The tower symbolizes modern living, offering a panoramic view of Dubai. The special combination of privacy and space, coupled with exclusive finishes and unique synthesis of design and technology ensures that every apartment symbolizes perfection and a five-star lifestyle.

Located ideally in the heart of Culture Village, in close proximity to the Waterfront Canal, in close proximity to Dubai International Airport, Sheikh Zayed Road and Business Bay and Emirates Roads, the residents of IRIS Asmar get to enjoy paramount views of the waterfront development.

Among several other amenities at the complex, are high-speed internet facilities, ground floor retail space, advanced safety systems, high-speed elevators, 24-hour concierge, and access to Satellite Television, state-of-the-art fitness club, closed-circuit television, sauna, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, landscaped podium, and private parking spaces.
Each apartment within the property development feature private decorative latticed balconies, Arabian style gardens, rooftop swimming pools, and traditional Arabesque details with parapets and domes. The starting prices of apartments in Iris Asmar is Dh.2,835 per square foot, which is likely to go up to Dh.2,888 per square foot.

The Director, Iris Properties, Ashwin Sheth, says "With the fast-paced growth of the property market, the major concern is to find good contractors and consultants. Completion of project on time, is more challenging than selling the apartments."

He also revealed that two more projects are in pipeline, waiting to be launched this year. One is the launch of the development in Business Bay and Maritime City in April, which will increase the company's Dubai portfolio to Dh.5bn, spread across six projects, on four million square feet of land, including parking areas.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Emaar's Burj Park sales to commence on 5th April'08

Burj Park Dubai
The Dubai-based property developer, Emaar Properties, has unveiled its premium Waterfront residential zone, the Burj Park, which is also the first of its kind in Downtown Burj Dubai.

Strategically located within a walking distance of 'Burj Dubai' and 'Dubai Mall', the Burj Park offers direct access to Park Island and Burj Lake Promenade, a 25-hectare park, located on an island that is accessible via the bridge walkway.

The sales of studios, single, and double bedroom apartments in the 50-storey Burj Park will commence on 5th April 2008 at the Downtown Living Sales Center, located within the Downtown Burj Dubai.

The Burj Park development redefines the lifestyle experience by blending the elegant views offered by the Park with state-of-the-art amenities. Most of the residences in the Park open to a panorama of water and greenery, including 'The Fountain' and world-class musical water feature, incorporating choreographed light, music and projection.

The Burj Park V also features non-classical architecture, together with modern décor, designed to collaborate between local and international architects.

The Emaar Properties Sales Director, Saif Al Mansoori, says "The Burj Park V is located in a prime destination offering impressive waterfront views to its residents. The central location within the thriving neighborhood, Downtown Burj Dubai, which has already gained recognition as a global investment destination, adds to the affluence of the community."

Potential investors are free to log on to for more details or could contact their toll-free number at 800-EMAAR (800-36227).

Friday, April 04, 2008

ACI, Al Odaid deal signed to launch new development at Al Reem

ACI Real Estate, an affiliate of Alternative Capital Invest in Germany, has entered into a strategic partnership with Al Odaid Real Estate in Abu Dhabi, to launch a new development at Capital Bay on Abu Dhabi's Al Reem Island.

The development comprises five residential towers, all built on a single podium. Each tower will comprise about 17 to 22 storeys on a total built up area of 1.2 million square feet. Apart from this, the residents will have the opportunity to enjoy a plethora of state-of-the art amenities such as the gymnasiums, roof top pools and Jacuzzi.

Located along the northern shores of Abu Dhabi, The Al Reem Island is a natural paradise, anchored on the pristine blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

The Managing Director of ACI, Robin Lohmann, said "The partnership with Al Odaid opens a new chapter in our expansion across the UAE. Moving in to Abu Dhabi will not only add value to our portfolio, but, will also signify our commitment to align ourselves with industry leaders, who share our passion for innovative realty projects."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dubai's office occupancy rates strikes an all-time high at 98%

office building Dubai
Dubai has been the most-preferred choice for expanding international companies and major businesses, and this huge influx has led to a high demand for commercial real estate. The rate of office occupancies in Dubai has touched an all-time high of 98% to 99% with zero vacancy levels, reports ''.

About more than 90% of Dubai's buildings have been kept aside for commercial utility purposes, most of which are either recently launched or are under construction, with most adopting 'strata' sales.

The office lease charges have been the highest in Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, ranging US$1055 per square meter. This is followed by Deira with $825 per square meter. These figures have been arrived at, after compiling and analyzing statistics from landowners and tenants.

On comparing the leasing or rental rates of 2007 with the prevailing rates, an increase in charges by more than 60% has been predicted for a newly leased out commercial space in Dubai for the year 2008-09.

The parameters taken into consideration by investors and organizations are central location, large floor plates, technological connectivity, logistical connectivity, long-term leasing options and parking space. Customers prefer direct transactions with leaser and developer. The complexity of Dubai's multiple strata owners pose problems to those seeking to transact or interact with a single entity.

Just as the case of any investment norms, developers in Dubai's major commercial properties pursue short-term gains and strata owners for immediate capital gains.

Unlike residential complexes, the commercial properties require more parking amenities. With the Dubai realty market expected to stabilize by 2010, we foresee stabilization in the allocation of parking bays to commercial enterprises.

Mada'in Properties launches Dh.1.25bn Marina Arcade

Marina Arcade Dubai
Mada'in Properties yesterday announced the launch of their Dh.1.25bn flagship project, Marina Arcade, at Dubai Marina, as an initiative to build a Dh.3bn portfolio in 2008.

The Marnia Arcade is a 60-storey tower, connected to a glass-roofed shopping arcade. Spreading across 950,125.68 square feet in area, it includes seven townhouses with Jacuzzis, and gardens on the Marina Arcade rooftop. It will include single, double, triple bedroom apartments, apart from duplexes and penthouses.

Among the other amenities are parking space capacity for 850 cars, a state-of-the-art gymnasium spread across three floors with each floor covering 38,000 square feet in area, a roof-top garden, jogging track, designer stores and cafes.

The project is expected to be complete by June 2011. The starting price of the apartments are Dh.2,050 per square feet from the sixth floor upwards.

The Marina Arcade is the first of the four projects, likely to be launched this year, with a combined value of Dh.3billion.

Abdul Aziz Al Awar, the Chief Executive Officer of Mada'in Properties, says "The Marina Arcade is an apt tribute to the vision of marina development, apart from Dubai's meteoric ambitions."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gulf Realty Companies likely to report strong growth in 2008

The realty companies in Gulf, whose profits have increased by more than 20% last year, are expected to continue their strong growth in 2008, remaining immune to global economic slowdown, maintaining favorable market conditions and foreign investments, say analysts.

A Real Estate Analyst, Stefan Schurmann, at EFG Hermes, said "The fundamentals for the Gulf region in 2008 are good, and this will help real estate developers in the region to post healthy profits."

Delivery of projects is happening, and residential units are being delivered and booked accordingly, and the realty companies are re-evaluating their land value and lowering interest rate, which is, in turn, motivating people to buy, he said.

The net income of 17, out of top 20 realty companies in the six member GCC region increased to 21%, while their combined assets increased to 55%, touching $46,98bn, according to Zawya Investor data.

Schurmann said that Gulf realty developers are benefiting from the global slowdown with foreign investors putting their money into the region. An increasingly sophisticated legal framework is also helping to attract international buyers.

The London-based MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) indicates that Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar are spending $1.45 trillion on an average on real estate projects.

The Gulf's largest construction market, the UAE, has approximately $223.8bn worth of realty projects under construction, with some of the main benefactors of construction boom.

Deyaar Development has seen a 29% increase in profit, touching $145.7million, with the value of projects touching Dh.8bn in 2207, as against Dh.2.4bn in 2006.

Union Properties had a 12% profit, touching $186.5mn, due to increase in profit margin from sales and management.

Emaar Properties, the largest realty developer in the region, has however, recorded only a small increase of 3.2% in profit, touching Dh.6.57bn last year, due to its diversification activities. Gowever, Emaar expects its profit to be in line with 2007 this year too, while a few analysts expect Emaar to perform even better.

In Abu Dhabi, Sorouh Real Estate and Aldar Properties posted strong gains with the property market continuing to boom. Aldar's profit soared to 29%, touching $342.3mn, while Sorough saw its profit climbing by 55%, touching $528.5mn.

Even the Saudi-based realty companies, involved in construction of 'economic cities' reported strong results, as demand for property in the Kingdom continued to grow.

Nakheel launches the tenth precinct of The Emirates

Nakheel has launched its final and tenth precinct at the residential district of International City, 'The Emirates'.

Construction has commenced early this year, and is likely to be complete by the third quarter of 2009.
The Emirate Nakheel

The Emirates, based on traditional regional architecture, will feature 856 studios, 756 single bedroom residential units and 52 commercial units.

The internationally-themed communities in 'The Emirates' include England, France, China, Italy, Greece, Russia, Persia and Morocco.

The International City, which has been designed as an integrated multi-purpose development to meet the demand for affordable housing in Dubai, is expected to house 70,000 people towards end of 2008.