Thursday, July 31, 2008

Investors prefer buying properties than renting them

An increasing tendency has been noticed among UAE residents to purchase properties rather than opt for rentals, as mounting rental prices are compelling them to seek an alternative housing accommodation, reveals Chris Dommet, the CEO of John Charcoal, Dubai, a leading independent mortgage advisor firm.

Dommett explains that a steady increase has been noticed in rental prices of UAE during the last few years, and purchasing a property seems to be an attractive option to expats who are seeking to build equity from the considerable financial investments that they are making back at their home countries.

Gone are the days when expatriates allowed their hard earned income to vanish in the form of rent. Now the Dubai's expat community is more aware about the local mortgage market and home lending services too, have become more accessible.

It has been considered that the most important financial advantage of purchasing a home is building equity. The option of going ahead for a fixed monthly payment on a long term is also considered a major incentive, with the rents in Dubai increasing year after year.

The large volume and variety of mortgage options in the market, and the low interest rates, have been appealing to a large number of expats, who are eager to tap the booming real estate industry in the region and also are looking forward to buy a property of their own.

Taking the price of the property, and its approximate return in consideration, majority of investors are finding the purchase option more economical, when compared to the rents they are paying.

But, despite the advantages, there are still several expatriates who are still willing to pay exorbitant rent rates, either due to lack of proper understanding of local real estate market, or due to slight hesitation in getting themselves involved in the property buying process of the supposedly daunting UAE market.

Pearl Dubai's Baccarat Residences to be a prestigious address for Middle East

Baccarat Hotel and Residences at Dubai Pearl
Pearl Dubai, a group of investors managed by the Al Fahim Group, launched the Dh.2.5billion Baccarat Hotel and Residences Project in Dubai recently. The project is due for completion at the Dubai Pearl development by 2011.

The Baccarat Hotel and Residences at Dubai Pearl, developed in partnership with the US-based Starwood Capital Group, will reflect the original Baccarat handicraft works, holding a family dating back to 244 years, in high-quality fashion-inspired crystal pieces. The interiors of Baccarat Hotel and Residences will bring to the development its unique interpretation of modern Parisian chic and contemporary elegance. The development also features Baccarat style boutique, with top tier global brands that add to the luxury component of the development.

According to Al Fahim, the Chairman of Pearl Dubai, Baccarat has been renowned for its elegant luxury products that offer unmatched beauty and flawless brilliance. Therefore, the Baccarat Hotel and Residences will display a new destination not only in Dubai, but in Middle East too.

Located in a wonderful 73 storey, the four tower project, will spread across an area covering 800,000 square feet of space, and comprise 340 rooms. The Dh.1bn Baccarat Residences will include elegantly designed apartments, sky palaces with expansive private swimming pools and gardens, sky penthouses, luxury branded apartments and condominiums, crystal chandeliers, roof gardens, towers and boutique offices, renowned hotel brands, gourmet restaurants, premier shopping mall, cinemas, and sweeping staircases, which renders a unique definition to the developments, making them the most prestigious address in the whole of Middle East.

Dubai Pearl is a US4bn world class mixed use development by Pearl Dubai. Located adjacent to the Palm Jumeirah, in the heart of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, the modern business cluster is operated by TECOM and houses the global IT and media companies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Deyaar signs deal for development & management of One Za'abeel

Deyaar Development Company has entered into an agreement with the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the investment arm of Government of Dubai, to begin the development and management of One Zabeel, an iconic 36 storey mixed-use development, located at the World Trade Center roundabout in Dubai.

According to the terms of the agreement, ICD will continue to own the project, but it will be developed and managed by Deyaar.
One Zaabeel development Sheikh Zayed road, Dubai

Launched in June 2008, with an aim to fulfill ICD's vision to identify and develop unique opportunities, One Za'abeel, will enhance the position of Dubai, as an international city of excellence.

Comprising three individual towers - residential, commercial and hotel towers, they are interlinked at the top, and have a common ground at the base. A highway will run through the development, which is the first on its kind for the region.

Construction is likely to begin shortly with completion being scheduled for 2011.

Located in close proximity to the two Metro stations, One Zaabeel comprises a residential tower with 450 apartments, a 370rooms five-star hotel tower, and a commercial tower spreading across 500,000 Square Feet of space.

This agreement further strengthens the position of Deyaar as development manager of high-profile projects in the UAE.

The Managing Director of Deyaar, Saeed Al Qatami, emphasizing on the strong growth of the company said that ever-since the company was launched, the property management division of Deyaar, has evolved from an institutional property manager focusing on management of Deyaar properties to a large property manager with multi-clients in the public domain. The division has been extremely successful in managing big portfolio of properties, and has helped investors in the process of maximizing their returns on assets.

The Director Investments, ICD, Khalifa Al Daboos, said that due to its prime positioning at the end of old business district and at the beginning of Sheikh Zayed Road, the business growth corridor, One Za'abeel is likely to represent the rich trading roots of Dubai, and its rapid rise as a modern international financial and business hub.

Work commences on Universal Studios Dubailand

Universal Studios Dubai
Dubailand, a member of Tatweer, and Laurent Jean Jean, Vice President of Universal Studios, held the ground breaking ceremony for the 7 million square feet Universal Studios Dubailand.

The occasion marked the presence of all future inhabitants of the three among the five lands, to come up in the Universal Studios Theme park.

The Vice President of Universal Studios, Laurent Jean Jean, expressed his happiness over the ground breaking of Universal Studios Dubailand, the premier theme park in Middle East.

On completion of the project in December 2010, it will offer guests from around the globe, entertainment, which would be 'one-of-a-kind'. There will be music, shopping, dining, movies, and more outside the theme park gates. The magnificently themed on-site hotels or comfortable residential communities would be located just few steps away from luxuriously appointed rooms in Universal Studios Dubailand.

Universal Studios, a pioneer in inspiring entertainment for over a century now, is creating a new tourism destination in Dubai, by combining the creativity of Hollywood, with all time great stories. By the year 2010, families can enjoy an unforgettable holiday, a variety of exciting entertainment, a spectacular theme park, and world-class hospitality, all in a convenient location in Dubai, the holiday destination of the future that is taking shape today.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Al Fara'a Properties announces launch of Dh.1bn Burj Al Fara'a

Burj Al Faraa Business Tower
Al Fara'a Properties, the flagship subsidiary of Al Fara'a Construction, Industrial and Property Group has announced the launch of Burj Al Fara'a, worth Dh.1billion, the state-of-the-art commercial tower located at the heart of Jumeirah Village.

The launch of this project is aimed at meeting the strong demand for commercial space in Dubai. It is expected that about 86million square feet of built space will be covered for office space by the year 2010.

The state-of-the-art 38 storey commercial tower will see its ground breaking by December 2008, and is likely to be complete by December 2011. Burj Al Fara'a, will be a highly impressive business location that caters to both local and multinational businesses, seeking to establish their strong presence at commercial business district Jumeirah Village, which is nearing 60 percent completion.

The Director of Al Fara'a Properties, Natasha Gangaramani, said that priority would be given for timely completion of the project, which will be constructed to match the highest industry standards.

Studies indicate that Dubai ranks second to Moscow in terms of commercial floor space, with limited stock of quality office space in Dubai. The insufficient supply and comparatively cheaper rates compared to other property destinations such as London continue to be a major factor behind the growth of Dubai as a premier business hub.
Burj Al Fara'a construction will progress as per rigid timetable set up by the company for timely completion of the project. Al Fara'a Properties also plans to undertake several other project launches as a part of their expansion plan for 2008, intended to bolster the company's portfolio and establish position as the top developer in the UAE.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baani launches iDubai, maiden project at Maritime City

iDubai tower
Baani, the Indian developer, together with Gowealthy.com, launched their first project in the UAE, iDubai, worth Dh.1.5bn in Dubai Maritime City.

Located at the Harbour Residences, the iDubai of Dubai Maritime City comprises two 50 storey towers - the Sky Tower and iTower, offering retail space spreading across 10,000 square feet, and commercial space of 40,000 square feet.
The Bhatia President, Virendra Bhatia, said that the iDubai resembles the Flatiron building in New York City, due to its sleek, slim shape.

The seven storey atrium and five storey podium parking in each tower offer sea views from all apartments. Comprising seven single and double bedroom apartments in each floor, the iTower has it single bedroom units spreading across 1050 Sq.Ft. to 1425 Sq. Ft. of space, while its double bedroom units spread across 1720 Sq. Ft. to 1990 Sq. Ft. of space.

The Sky Tower includes three bedroom sky villas with each villa measuring 3820 Sq. ft. on each floor. Each villa houses an infinity pool in the top floor.

The Phase two of iDubai includes garden villas ranging from 3200 sq. ft. to 4100 sq. ft. apart from eight townhouses.

Located at the heart of Dubai Maritime City, iDubai is a true example of modern waterfront living. Apart from the retail outlets and terraced gardens, other amenities for residents include tennis court, fitness center, swimming pools, spa, library, business center, and guest suite. All units include the latest in IT communications technology, apart from 10 storey parking area, and 24 hour security and maintenance.

Dubai rents likely to stabilize after record growth phase

Although the slowdown in residential rates continues in Dubai, there is light at the end of the gloomy rental tunnel, reports Gulf News.

Dubai, with its large population, has witnessed the negative effects of rental increases that stretch beyond the wallets of common man. Hence, such news comes as solace for Dubai population.

However, there will be no considerable residential rental increase compared to that during the past three months. On an annual basis, the average residential rates in Dubai, increased by 22 percent, says Asteco's quarterly report.

The Research Manager at Cluttons UAE, Mathew Green, says that although the current rental growth is lower than what was seen two years ago, the figures continue to remain strong and unmanageable for the majority.

He revealed that, however, no significant declines in growth rates are likely during the next few years, with supply failing to meet the high demand. The rental growth for apartments is being overshadowed by villa market with acute shortage fuelling huge increases.

According to Asteco, the increase in rents of villas is the direct result of continuous undersupply, marking a 20 percent increase compared to the previous quarter.

"The continued undersupply of townhouses and villas, compared to growing demand from UAE nationals and well-earning expatriates have led to huge leap in villa rents," said Asteco report.

However, the supply of mega-projects such as the Dubai Waterfront, Dubailand and the Jumeirah Golf Estates will help in soothing the undersupply during next two years.

Better Homes, agrees that the residential rates are unlikely to drop and in contrast, it is likely to increase during the first and second quarters of 2008. However, there is stability, due to rent caps imposed for tenants residing in existing properties. However when considering leasable properties in these areas, rents are still on the rise, due to undersupply of rentable properties.

According to analysts, the rates will begin to stabilize when more developments are delivered. It has been noted that Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai is one of the most popular locations, recording highest annual rental growth of 51 percent. This is followed by Bur Dubai with an annual rent increase of 42 percent. With the availability of rentable accommodations coming only from new apartments, landlords are taking advantage and demanding high rents from desperate home-seekers, it is said.

Friday, July 25, 2008

ACW unveils Platinum Two -freehold residential project at Dubailand

Platinum Two Apartments
ACW Holdings, the leading developer, yesterday launched their latest development worth Dh.200mn at Dubailand, promising to offer investors with annual returns of 45 percent.

The freehold residential and serviced apartments project, 'Platinum Two', located in Arjan in Dubailand, spreads across a built-up area of 164,598 square feet of landspace. It comprises a total of 254 apartments, 220 studios, and 34 single bedroom apartments and 19 retail shops.

About 45 percent of these are investment based on tourist arrivals, which is anticipated to be 15mn annually by 2010. Reports state that growth of tourism in the Middle East is likely to grow on an average of 7.1 percent until 2020, with the rest of the world lagging behind on an average of 4.1 percent annually. Tourism accounts for 18 percent of direct GDP in Dubai, out of the Dh.198bn growth in 2007.

The Platinum Two development, although a purely freehold project, the units are rented on daily, weekly and monthly basis, and the income is collected. After removal of the costs, investors can get back 60 percent of the net income.

According to Ian Pask, the General Manager, ACW Holdings, the development is definitely not a timeshare. The apartments are never let out, while investors receive and income. The company has sold about 1000 units of this kind already, in other developments of the company, and only six of these have been returned.

ACW Holdings owns a portfolio worth Dh.5bn in the UAE, including the Knightsbridge Court and Kensington Manor residential apartments and Hanover Square serviced apartments. This is further likely to expand to Dh.20bn within three years.

ACW Holdings has also launched Dh.1.3bn project on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah and two other projects in Ajman. The Company also plans to launch 1400-unit hotel resort development in Ajman during October.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tourism growth bring prosperity to Dubai property sector

Real estate in Dubai continues to bring in prosperity to property sector recording double-digit annual revenues, the report said.

The property boom in Dubai is being driven by factors such as high population growth rates, increasing demand from expatriates, and strong regional liquidity.

According to a report by Lehman Brothers on "Dubai Inc: Credit Overview and Relative Valuation", tourism accounts for 30 percent of Dubai's GDP, with no sign of slow down being seen in near future in the tourism-oriented realty developments and increased airline services.

Dubai is fast emerging as a real estate, financial and tourism hub, as well as an oasis of stability in a troubled region, reveals report. Taking into account the supply-demand imbalance and prices in real estate sector, it looks like the Dubai property sector will remain elevated during the next couple of years, and thereafter, the bulk of properties that are currently under construction will near completion.

The property sector continues to remain attractively priced, offering good return on investments. However, with the ambitious growth strategy of the emirate, there is a risk associated with continued heavy supply that could weigh on technical, the report states.

The government is also eager to double annual passenger movement from 8million to 15million by the year 2015. With the corporate being closely monitored by the sovereign, they operate as commercial entities and are not subjected to interference in their operations, says the report.

As for the potential risks, the report states that although realty sector slowdown has been long expected, it is yet to happen. But, once the new supply hits the market during next couple of years, a slowdown is likely within the sector, and the focus would then be shifted to other developing stories in the region.

The rapid pace of development is placing increased strain on the price and availability of construction materials and supply of labour, all of which could lead to considerable growth barrier.

Al Nujoom Islands of Sharjah enters Phase II

Al Nujoom Islands Sharjah
Al Hanoo Holding, leading property developer in Gulf has announced its venture into Phase II of the 'Al Nujoom Islands' projects in Sharjah, UAE. The Phase II includes infrastructure, apart from Phase I of construction works.

The Chairman of Al Hanoo Holdings, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Shakrah, said that the cost of Al Nujoom Islands infrastructure is estimated to be Dh.1.2bn, which includes roads and pavements, bridge construction, installation of power lines and water services. The area considered fit for construction is only 40%, while the rest 60% of the remaining project area is water and vegetation.

Al Hanoo Holdings recently organized two workshops with Emcor Services and Halcrow International for carrying out the latest developments on its project.

The project includes 13 sections, with the first three comprising main coastal ground forms, while the rest ten are islands separated by canals that are carefully designed to be the highest in relation to water circulation in canals, the movement of which depends on tidal ebb and flow movements and utilization of pre-designed schemes that doesn't cause harm to surrounding environment.

The 10 islands will be interlinked by bridges and will comprise 40 high-rise towers for commercial and residential purposes, apart from four hotels, 145 apartment buildings, two resorts, 1400 water-front and park-side villas, large commercial center including a hypermarket, five marine clubs, two entertainment centers, nine smaller commercial centers and six centers for light industries. The island will also house several schools, mosques, banks, coffee shops, stores, restaurants and a population of 40,000 residents.

The Nujoom Islands, also known as 'Stars Islands' are the largest residential, commercial and tourism development project in the Sharjah city. Covering a distance of 60mn square feet on coastal land, along shores of the Arabian Gulf, in the village of Hamriya, it is easily accessible from the Ettihad Road, and the Emirates Road.

The project will be built in three phases over a five year period, by the Saudi-based property company, Al Hanoo Holding, which is also the company behind Sharjah's Emirates Industrial City.

The project will be complete by 2010.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ras Al Khaimah plans to offer long-term residence visas to investors

The government in Ras Al Khaimah plans to offer long term residence visas (more than three-year residency permits) to property buyers, revealed a top government official.

The Ras Al Khaimah Government is making an effort to facilitate long term residence visas to property buyers, announced Dr. Khater Massasad, the Chief Executive of RAKIA (Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority).

Dr. Khater said that he hopes that this will happen in future, and boost foreign investments in property sector.

At present, UAE grants a three-year renewable employment and residence visas to expat workers and professionals in private sectors, sponsored by their employers and spouses, while the public sector employees are granted a five-year visa.

The discussions are on regarding issuance of long-term residence and business visas that are likely to help expatriate investors and businessmen in boosting investor confidence. This initiative, if successful, will boost investments further. Currently property investors are granted three-year renewable residency permits, facilitated through offshore companies and developers.

There is no federal law that guarantees residence visas to property owners, and it is being facilitated through companies. The companies sponsor the residence visas of investors. This enables investors to get their visas, while also being able to live in these properties.

Stallion Properties launches Santorini development at RAK

Santorini Development in Ras Al Khaimah
Inline with its plans to raise the total portfolio of its projects to Dh.4.5bn in UAE, Stallion Properties launched Dh.1.2bn worth Greek-style development on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Santorini development will include 560 units, spreading across an area of 463,000 Square Feet. The units will include Zeus villas, Aphrodite townhouses, Artemis luxury condos and Apollo condos, water bungalows, and five-star hotel.

Inspired by the iconic Greek archipelago, Santorini development offers residents the enjoyment of majestic romance of Greek island, together with the luxuries of Arabia.

Each property in the Santorini development comes with its own unique features. The Zues villas offer wonderful panoramic sea views with Jacuzzi on terrace and your own private infinity pool. The Aphrodite townhomes offer the luxury of serene views of a private lake, while the Apollo condos include duplexes and penthouses with Gymnasiums, pools, and podium parking. The Artemix luxury condos go further in offering private clubhouse, vas Jacuzzi, lap pool and children's wading pool.

The construction will commence in October this year, and will be complete in 2011. Stallion Properties has also entered into tie-up with Aspire Real Estate to help with sales and marketing of Santorini project.

The units at Santorini are sold in packages of seven, as the investors intend to make money from resales, with the cheapest package being available for around Dh.10mn.

The Marjan Island is a Dh.6.6bn project and is also one of the major developments in progress in Ras Al Khaimah. The mega-project is a mini archipelago, and includes five man-made islands spread across 2.7mn square meters. The Island is so designed that it stretches over two kilometers into the Gulf.

Stallion Properties also plans to launch two towers in Palm Jebel Ali at a cost of Dh.3bn, thereby increasing the portfolio of the company to around Dh.4.5bn.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Warsan Villas to contribute a profit of Dh2.2bn to Emaar

Warsan Villas by Emaar
Emaar could make a profit of Dh.2.2bn, once its new master development Warsan Villas is complete within three years time, revealed an industry analyst.

A contract worth Dh.599mn has been signed between Arabtec and Emaar to design, and develop 550 townhouses in the 3.4mn Square Foot development, located on Al Awir road. This implies cost of construction of each villa in Warson is a little more than Dh.1.08mn.

Emaar has not yet revealed the prices of the villas, although Warsan Estate has been rolled out on sale at a price of Dh.4.7mn for a townhouse. But, the local real estate websites indicate that Warsan three bedroom villas are priced at Dh.4.9mn to Dh.6.28mn.

This implies that Emaar is collecting minimum of Dh.4mn per villa on an average. Hence for the entire Warsan development, comprising 550 villas, Emaar is likely to gain a profit of Dh.2.2bn.
The construction of Warsan project will last for 30 months, with the villas being delivered phase by phase all through the construction period. Emaar now has four mega projects in Dubai, including the Dubai Marina, Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living and now, the Warsan.

Warsan Estate, spreading across 3.4mn Square Feet of space, is a residential community of villas. Warsan Estate would include 500 family homes on completion. The Warsan Estate features the usual high quality finish that all Emaar properties offer, being an excellent mix of amenities for residents. The spacious three bedroom townhomes range in size from 2463 Sq.Ft. to 2864 Sq. Ft. located amidst elegant landscapes.

The Warsan Estate townhomes feature slanted terracotta roofs, elegant arches, balconies, marble and granite countertops, ceramic flooring, bathroom, kitchen cabinetry, and grand bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and built-in wardrobes. The lifestyle amenities that are standard to Emaar, are also found in Warsan Estate, which includes a community plaza, full-fledged retail center, mosque and nursery school, Playcourts, swimming pool and shaded walkways.

With such huge demand for the Dubai properties, particularly villas, Warsan is likely to better fill in the shortage of family homes in the market. Located in close proximity to Global Village, Mushrif Park, and Dubai International Airport among others, Warsan is also easily accessible and connected to the Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and rest of Dubai through Al Khail Road and Emirates Road.

Residential property prices in Dubai may slow down in 2010

According to realty industry analysts, the residential property prices in Dubai are likely to continue its upward trend till 2010, until the demand-supply imbalance gets stabilized.

The Managing Director of Al Mal Capital Research, Robert McKinnon, said that the prices are likely to moderate by next year, although not substantially. With continued delays that plague the industry, one cannot expect a supply-demand balance until 2010.

Flurries of predictions have been witnessed during recent days regarding the supply-demand situation in Dubai, particularly with the major bulk of real estate units set to hit the property market.

As per the real estate price index in Dubai, an appreciation of 40.8 percent is seen in the residential sector each year. The prices in commercial property sector have risen by 42.7 percent during the same period.

Major projects announced in Awali City of Ajman

Awali City in Ajman
Awali Real Estate Investment has announced the launch of four towers worth Dh.1.2bn within Dh.20bn Awali City in Ajman.

The first among these is the Mashrabia Residence, a 25-storey twin tower residential project with a total of 800 apartments. The residence will spread across 14,965 square feet of space on each floor. It will include amenities such as the health club, swimming pool, retail space and parking amenities. The prices begin with Dh.575 per square foot, and an additional Dh.3 per floor.

The Chevron commercial towers will include 25-storey towers each, spreading across 15000 square feet of office space on each floor. It will house 304 offices in each tower, with amenities such as health club, gymnasium, and retail space. The prices begin at Dh.650 per square foot with additional Dh.3 being charged per floor.

The projects are due for completion by 2011.

The Dh.65mn worth design and engineering contract for 15 residential and commercial towers in Awali City has been handed over to Adnan Saffarini Engineering Consultants. The towers include 11 towers of 32 storey each, which makes the northern and southern gates of the city, and four 50-storey buildings, which form the entrance to Awali City from Emirates Road.

According to Mohammed Al Nemer, the Chief Marketing Officer, Awali Real Estate, Awali City is the first among a series of projects to be launched in Awali this year. The demand for real estate has grown considerably in Ajman, during the last couple of years, which has encourage developers to launch several mega projects in the emirate to fill-up the supply-demand gap.

Moreover, the Ajman government has developed a sound infrastructure system and reformed its laws to ensure complete transparency and accessibility of the real estate market, he added.

Awali City is a Dh.20bn development in Ajman along the Emirates Road, and is developed on 33million square feet of land. It will include 136 plots of land meant for residential and commercial use. It will include a range of towers, varying from 17 to 50 storeys, and will accommodate 120,000 people.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bloom Properties launches Bloom Gardens in Abu Dhabi

Bloom Properties, the joint real estate development arm of Emirates International Investment Company (EIIC) and the National Holding is launching a luxury residential development Bloom Gardens, located on the prestigious Eastern Mangrove Corniche Road.


The development comprises 640 luxurious detached and semi-detached villas, apartments and townhouses along the seafront. Construction of the landmark project will commence in January 2009.

Being an exclusive gated residential development, Bloom Gardens is just a short distance away from Mangroves. The gardens combine detached villas of four, five, six and seven bedrooms, apart from three and four bedrooms, townhouses, all in a lush landscaped environment, designed by renowned international architects.

Among the other amenities are the concierge services, guard-controlled access for pedestrians and vehicles, restaurants, serviced laundry, clubhouses, coffee shops, safe play areas, tennis and basketball courts, parking space within units, recreational building in the neighborhood, pool house, barbeque and picnic area, apart from retail outlets and convenience stores for everyday use and designer boutiques.

According to Hani Shammah, the CEO of Bloom properties, the Bloom Gardens will be ready by the first-half of 2011.

The Bloom brand takes a fresh approach to property, particularly community-oriented development, bringing about a new generation in property development, setting it apart from other developers in the capital.

Apart from Bloom Gardens, the company is currently developing large scale mixed-use, master-planned communities across the MENA region. The Bloom communities will include unique features with strong operators in hospitality, education, leisure and healthcare facilities, depending on the location.

DEC, Robodh Contracting in Dh4.5bn property development joint venture

Dheeraj East Coast (DEC) and Robodh Contracting have entered into a joint venture for development of a property portfolio worth Dh.4.5bn. This portfolio is likely to grow with new projects arriving at the market.

According to the MoU, Robodh Contracting LLC would remain the main contractors for the existing and future projects of DEC. Robodh would be responsible for construction of all projects in DEC, including co-ordinating with various subcontractors.

The Managing Director of DEC, Dheera Wadhwan, said that finding the appropriate main contractor is a vital decision in real estate development. Their joint venture with Robodh, apart from standardizing, also helps adhere to highest quality benchmarks, also helps in timely delivery of the projects. Also, through a long term relationship, the joint-venture is likely to reduce cost of construction, permitting better control over subcontractors.

The CEO of Robodh Contracting, P.H. Menon, said that the joint venture helps reflect the trust that developers have placed in the company, through its core competence of competitive and timely delivery with highest quality standards.

Deeraj East Coast has a total of 20 upcoming projects in Dubai, with a wide array of developments such as commercial and residential projects featuring global culture, mixed-use lifestyle, and combinations of modern and old world charm and business, projecting various stages of development.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Abu Dhabi housing rates higher than in Dubai for first time ever

The housing and rental rates in Abu Dhabi has surpassed Dubai for the first time, says recent industry reports.

According to latest figures released by HSBC, the average rent per square meter in Abu Dhabi was $272 per square meter during the end of 2007, and is $430 per square meter during second quarter of 2008, marking a growth of 58 percent.

During this period, the average rent in Dubai was $343 per square meter during the last quarter of 2007, and $420 per square meter during the second quarter of 2008, marking a 22 percent growth.

Even for purchasing a house, Abu Dhabi witnessed 61 percent growth in house prices, between the last quarters of 2007 and second quarter of 2008, while Dubai saw an increase of 37 percent during the same period.

According to an analyst at HSBC, the main reason behind such a scenario is that the market in Dubai is much tighter, and delivery delays are more apparent. Abu Dhabi is at a premium, as affordability is higher.

The report states that although delays are happening in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets, Dubai is experiencing rapid growth, and basic infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewerage systems are unable to match the pace of development.

About 160,000 units were expected to hit the Abu Dhabi housing market by the year 2010. However, at present, Colliers International estimates that only 31,000 units will be available, due to problem with delays.

In another recent Fitch report, Dubai has been warned of a possible oversupply situation with a major influx of housing units into the market towards the year 2009.

However, the report by HSBC predicts that most units would be delivered by the year 2011. The scarcity of housing in Abu Dhabi has prompted people to shift to Dubai, and commute to Abu Dhabi. This may prevent a possible oversupply situation in Dubai.

Analaysts feel that the housing shortage in Dubai too, will remain so, until 2010, when the bulk of supplies hit the market. However, even an oversupply in 2010 cannot be confirmed, due to the continuous ongoing delays in the market.

The report also states that prices in UAE, although on the rise, are still affordable as per international standards. At present the plot prices are an average of Dh.7000 per square meter, and towards end of the year, a residential property sales price of Dh.28000 is expected, which suggests that price growth rate will slow down since the beginning of the year.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

UAE mortgage market set for a boom

UAE Mortgage Market boom
The construction boom in UAE has resulted in major surge in its mortgage market, with investors being able to take advantage of various new incentives on the offer to purchase real estate.

According to a new survey, the mortgage market in UAE is currently worth Dh.20bn, and is likely to triple to Dh.64bn during the next three years.

Mortgage advisors are of the opinion that Investors are increasingly relying on mortgages to purchase property, with more than 71 percent of UAE investors requiring mortgage to finance their property purchase. This indicates that there exists considerable demand within local market, which shows no sign of slowing down.

This huge demand could be triggered by various factors, such as, increasingly maturing local mortgage market, with both seasoned and first-time investors taking advantage of attractive mortgage incentives to purchase real estate.

Increasing prices of properties are influencing the investments of property buyers, and low interest rates are continuing to fuel the demand. These offers, together with the introduction of new laws, pertaining to property ownership has enabled the UAE mortgage market to truly thrive.

Earlier, the investors had to either utilize their own funds or release equity on other properties in their home country, due to limited availability of local finance. However, the landscape of UAE mortgage market has seen a tremendous change with several new lenders, including the financial institutions and banks, entering the market to take advantage of the rising demand and work with a wide range of developers.

The survey report states that the UAE mortgage market is getting more complex, with mortgage approvals being one of the major reasons behind delays in purchase of projects by investors. Hence, despite several mortgage options being available to property buyers, obtaining mortgage can still be a major responsibility. A good mortgage broker, apart from identifying the best deal, will also have to facilitate the entire process. The property buyers watch for reputation of the lender, the pace at which the mortgage can be processed and other factors, apart from rate alone. The survey states that speed is everything in UAE property market.

The Survey was carried out last year by John Charcoal Dubai, an independent mortgage franchise operation. The Company works in close co-operation with leading financial institutions, real estate agents, and property developers to bring in speed and transparency to property buying process in the UAE.

Dubai all set to stage biggest ever Cityscape exhibition

Dubai is all set to host, what is termed as, the 'biggest-ever', Cityscape property exhibition, during later half of this year, with about 60,000 industry professionals and 1000 exhibitors.
The business-to-business real estate investment and development exhibition will feature industry pioneers and include five conferences.

The prestigious architectural awards will be one of the major attractions in the event, which has been extended for four days fro 6th to 9th October, in a space of 75,000 square meters, close to Dubai International Exhibition Center's capacity.

The event has grown during the past two years by 25 percent and 27 percent respectively, with this year being the biggest in terms of exhibition space and also in terms of participants.

The exhibition features 849 exhibitors, 51,855 industry professionals, all taking part from 136 countries. Besides the Cityscape Dubai Conference, the event will include Real Estate Leadership Strategy Facilities and Asset Management, World Architectural Conferences, Hotel and Tourism Investment and Development.

Regional pioneers such as Aldar Properties, Nakheel, Qatari Diar, Saraya Holdings, Tanmiyat Group, Abyaar Real Estate Development, Tameer, Al Qudra Real Estate, Aqaba Development Corportation, and Mag property Development have all signed up as sponsors of the event.

The Architectural Awards will be based on the theme 'Design for an Emerging World', and excellence will be rewarded in the field in emerging regions of the Middle East, Gulf, Africa, Asia and subcontinent and Australasia (except New Zealand, Australia and Japan) and Latin America.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Downtown Burj Dubai units announced for sale

Emaar Properties has announced sale of units in Downtown Burj Dubai beginning 12th July.

The units located in Standpoint, Burj Place, Burj Park V and "M" Burj Dubai, offer uninterrupted views of Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building.

Customers get to choose from the studios, single, double and triple bedroom apartments. Several other units too, would be open for sale on the event.

Online registrations have already commenced for the limited number of homes and office units, and the registered customers would be served first registered, first served basis on the day of sales.

The customers can log on to www.emaar.com for registrations. The sales event will be hosted at the Downtown Living Sales Center and at the Abu Dhabi Sales Center of Emaar from 9am to 6pm.

The Downtown Burj Dubai has established itself as one of the most desired residential and commercial developments in Dubai. Apart from the amenities such as Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Mall and several hotels, the mega flagship project features few of the most architecturally exceptional buildings, including Burj Dubai.

The Downtown Burj Dubai is a mixed-use development in Dubai, and is the new 'heart of the city'. Several homes in the development have already been delivered to customers, and the shopping centers, hotels and business houses render a vibrant outlook to the community.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Credo announces completion of Le Solarium in Dubai Silicon Oasis

Credo Investments FZE has announced completion of their first project in the country, the Dh.405mn Le Solarium, which is also the first commercial project to be completed and delivered at the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

The project work, which was awarded to Sun Engineering and Contracting Company (LLC) began during third quarter of 2006. The project targets key businesses in the business and economic hub, with customized IT infrastructure.

The President of Credo Investments FZE, Sajjad Rashid, said that completion of this project will enhance the credibility of the company in the eyes of customers, and help boost up the confidence that the customers have placed in Credo.

Each office rooms is innovatively and elegantly designed, incorporating all the latest amenities. The easy accessibility of Le Solarium from the Global Village and Dubai Airport, and also its proximity to Knowledge Village and Dubailand, makes Le Solarium, all the more attractive.

The commercial center, which is a G + 14 storey building, includes state-of-the-art amenities that spread across the 71,000 square feet of space. Designed by National Engineering Bureau, Le Solarium features amenities such as a business center for conferences and meetings, customized infrastructure for telecommunications, private kitchen and bathrooms in each unit, wireless connections for high-speed internet, climate and light control, excellent security system, a food court, a shopping center, a health club and swimming pool and parking amenities for more than 600 cars.

Spreading across 7million square meters of space, DSO has been designed to be the most comprehensive and integrated micro-electronics based Technology Park. The DSO attracted an investment of $1.6bn this year.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dubai property sector fears an oversupply

The Dubai property sector could take a backseat, if the surplus developments likely to come to the market next year, outstrips demand, and if the government steps back on its promise to issue residency visas.

In the opinion of Matthew Green, the Research Director at Cluttons, UAE, if the government withdrew its promise to grant residency visas for freehold purchasers and their families, it would shun away several hundreds of expatriate buyers, who consider Dubai market to be safer against troubles than in their home countries.

These comments were made following the release of report by Fitch, the ratings firm, which identifies oversupply, and sustaining of foreign demand, as major challenges that Dubai realty sector is likely to witness in near future.

According to the report, if the supply does not surpass demand, prices of properties will decline, reducing revenues further, and this would leave a negative impact on credit profiles of developers.

There are high chances of late deliveries and even project cancellation, due to logistical constraints, that would ultimately result in better match between demand and supply, it is said.
According to analysts, although supply is fast catching up with demand, oversupply is not considered as major threat to the market. As far as supplies are concerned, there are two factors that affect supply -one is delays and the other is construction constraint. However, risks are expected to a certain extent, as supply is catching up with demand beginning next year.

According to Green, oversupply is not a major concern at this point, or for the next three years. Looking at the deliveries over the past two years, only 50 percent of the expected supply has been delivered on time. In 2007, for instance, only 30,000 units were handed over after completion, as against a forecast of 60,000 units in 2006. Delays are part of the Dubai property market, and in fact, it may help in the long-term by 'drip-feeding' supply, rather than dumping numerous new units all at once.

As for the office space, it is said that with a population of 1.4million, Dubai currently has, more or less, the same amount of office space under construction, as in Moscow or Shanghai. The office sector is likely to experience a “price correction” when the new supplies hit the market in the next two years.

Dubai is expected to draw considerable demand for properties, as the emirate is a major player in contributing to the $1.8trillion worth of projects that are likely to enter the GCC realty market next year.

The report by Fitch states that foreign demand is a major factor that contributes to Dubai property market, mainly due to the number of expatriates living and working in Dubai.

According to Green, the tension between US and Iran, will not affect the stable Dubai or Middle Eastern markets in any way, nor will it dampen foreign demand, as historically Iranians have been major investors in Dubai, and any escalation in the region, could actually contribute further demand for property.

Amlak's Skygardens project nearing completion

Skygardens Dubai
The Dh1.65bn worth Skygardens project in DIFC (Dubai International Finance Center) is now nearing completion, revealed Amlak finance, the largest mortgage provider in the UAE.

Being the first residential tower in DIFC, the Skygardens comprises a total of 575 apartments across 39 storeys, and includes studios, single and double bedroom apartments, duplexes, and penthouses.

The prices of the apartments start from Dh.4500 per square foot, to an average of Dh.3900 per square foot for unfurnished ones. The land area is about 6000 square meters.
The Skygardens, although had suffered some setbacks due to misunderstandings between Amlak and the owner Mazaya Holdings, it is now on schedule for completion in August.

Amlak has bought the remaining 80 percent of the building for Dh.1.65bn from Mazaya Holding, which remains as the developer. The apartments are ideal for executives working in DIFC, although even people from other international finance centers such as Singapore and London, are being targeted.

The DIFC connects Skygardens through a footbridge from the concourse level of the tower. The constructing of the bridge is still in the planning process.

The seventh floor of the building includes an indoor garden area, with complete water features and sitting areas.

Amlak has already seen a growth of 155 percent in net profits between the first half of 2007 and first half of 2008. This year's net profit has already touched Dh.269mn. This latest venture of Amlak, in the form of Skygardens, is expected to strengthen its position further in real estate sector.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dubai to house new property court

More transparency likely in property-related matters, say developers

Dubai will house a new realty court which deals exclusively with property-related cases from September, announced a top official at the Dubai Courts.

The Judge Mohammed Yousuf A Sulaiman, the Deputy Director for Dubai Courts and Cassation Court's Senior Judge, has revealed that the Property Court will be established as per Law No.1 of year 2003, under the main section of the court called 'The First Instance Court.'

It will include jurisdictions over all properties in Dubai, except those associated to Dubai International Financial Center, which has its own judiciary system.

Yousuf said this is being done as per the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. Following the success of the Labour Court, this new court specializing in all property related matters is being launched.

The Chief of the Court of First Instance (Properties Court), Judge Abdul Qadir Mosa, will be responsible for setting up the property court.

At present all property-related cases are being tried under the Civil Law. In case of any new law being enforced within the jurisdiction of the property court, the law will override the Civil Law for all property cases, said the judge. The judgment passed in the property court, can be confronted in the Appellate Court.

There will be a minimum of ten judges in the property court, and the numbers would vary depending on the number of property-related cases.

Yousuf said that currently there are no cases pertaining to real estate issues that are pending at the Dubai Courts. The Dubai Courts do not hear rental disputes, which is solely being dealty by the Rent Committee of Dubai Municipality.

The establishment of this property court is expected to bring more transparency among developers in Dubai, while investors will continue to be inclined towards taking risk, agreed developers and analysts.

Following the announcement of establishment of the court, the Chief Executive of Amlak Finance, Arif Alharmi, commented that the establishment of the property court is a positive development as real estate market is heading towards maturity, and the value of transactions are on the rise.

Arab Richardson, the Nakheel Spokesperson, said that this court would help in efficiently dispensing matters pertaining to property ownership and mortgage enforcement. This move marks a part of futuristic development of legal process pertaining to property industry.

The Director of Research in EFG Hermes, Stephan Schurmann said that investors would be willing to take risks and there will be less illegal activities by developers. However, the question remains as to how well the court would be implemented and how the structure and setting up of the court would be.

The Chairman of Pearl Dubai, Abdul Majeed, agreed that it is a good initiative and will boost market confidence, and will bring more regulation and transparency to the market, while the property disputes too will be solved quickly.

The Tamweel CEO, Wasim Saifi, says that the initiative to create a separate court, by itself, shows the significance that the Dubai Government gives to realty sector. This specific court meant for realty sector will help in crossing hurdles bringing in greater transparency.

The court should work in co-ordination with RERA, rather than developers having to deal with multiple bodies, as at present the Land Department and RERA handles property cases. It should be brought under one umbrella, the Executive Director of ETA Star Properties, Abid Junaid, was quoted as saying.

Plus Properties launches Beirut Towers -luxury residential development

Beirut towers from Plus properties
A $125m luxury residential development, Beirut Towers, has been launched by the Dubai-based developer, Plus Properties, within the International Media Production Zone of TECOM. The project comprises of two towers - Verdun and Ashrafieh with 23 Storey each.

Designed by Agostine & Rafael, a renowned consultancy firm, drawing inspiration from the Lebanese culture and heritage, the floors of bot the towers will be named after famous street in Verdun and Ashrafieh, two of the most prestigious residential neighborhoods in Beirut. The names of the floor in Verdun Tower being - Dunes, Bristol, Ain Tine, Koraytem, Verdun 730 and Verdun 732; while that in Ashrafieh Tower are Sursok, Sodeco, Sahet Sassine, Monot, and Abdl Wahab.

The towers feature studio, single and double bedroom apartments on single or duplex floors.
The CEO of Plus Properties, Georges Chehwane, mentioned that the project is an evocative of Lebanon, and is sure to provide residents of Dubai, particularly the Lebanese nationals, with a taste of Beirut.

A number of financing options have been placed before potential tenants by Plus Properties, including the use of escrow accounts.

The dates of commencement of Construction and completion of the project are yet to be announced by the developer. TECOM is the master developer of the project.

The residents can also gain access to major road networks such as Emirates Road, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road, and landmarks like Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City, Mall of Emirates, Dubai Sports City and the forthcoming Al Maktoum International Airport, due to the proximity of IMPZ to these locations and landmarks.

On completion, IMPZ, which will stretch over 43million Square Feet of land, would be a cluster of media and production companies, with the free zone housing commercial, industrial, and residential and community service project.

Beirut Towers has already drawn an overwhelming response from international and regional investors during the open house sales launch event, which was held on 1st of this month at the Jumeirah Beach hotel.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Gulf Property market unlikely to succumb to global property fall trend

For those of you, who are on the look out for an investment opportunity that doesn't succumb to the global fall in property investment transactions, the Gulf property market is still a welcoming one.

According to Robin Williamson, the Managing Director-Middle East operations of DTZ, expert real estate firm, although the initial phase of sub-prime crisis seems to have passed, the credit crunch is likely to continue well into 2009, particularly, in the European and US property markets.

However, on the contrary, the Gulf region and few other markets such as the Asia Pacific, will be less affected to a great extent, and will continue to be an attractive one, he added.

This positive stance about the Gulf Market follows the publication of DTZ's annual Money into Property report, which studies the global property trends. The report shows that the value of real estate capital market has touched $12trillion in 2007, an increase of over 18 percent from the previous year.

As against the year 2007, when Global Investment transactions grew to $730bn, DTZ expects a fall of 30 percent this year touching $500bn, due to the global investment environment last year. Even the global direct real estate transactions have fallen by 50 percent during the first quarter of 2008, as against the same period during 2007.

Williamson revealed that only a few regions can escape the effects of the sub-prime fall out. Based on the company's research and on-the-ground experience in dealing with Gulf markets, there are strong indications that the global property markets are less likely to surrender to these global trends.

DTZ, which began its operations in 1975, is one of the most established realty firms in the region, with a strong presence in six GCC locations, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

IRIS unveils Dh.2.5bn IRIS Mist in Maritime City

Iris, a leading property developer in the region, on Sunday, unveiled their new Dh.2.5bn residential development, Iris Mist at Dubai Maritime City.

IRIS Mist
Designed by the renowned architects, WS Atkins, this 200-meter tall structure is the first in the region to have taken the shape of patterned sea waves. The fa├žade of the tower is to be built in layers of white pre-cast, glass and aluminium with various texture and colors.

Ideally located on plot R6 in the 'Harbour Residence District of Maritime City, the Iris Mist will be in proximity to Jumeirah Beach Road, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai International Airport and Bur Dubai.

On completion, this freehold development spreading across a built-up area of 850,000 square feet, will include 54 residential storey comprising 355 luxurious single, double and triple bedroom apartments, six retail outlets, apart from 28 units allocated as office space.
The residents will get to enjoy a wide spectrum of state-of-the-art facilities including health and fitness centers with swimming pools and retail area.

The Chief Executive of IRIS and Managing Director of Sheth Estate, Ashwin Sheth, mentioned that with this launch, the company has reconfirmed its interest to meet and surpass the expectation of investors who seek unique properties at competitive prices in a mixed-use locality.

He added that IRIS Mist has been designed to surpass the highest and safest international construction standards, and is thereby an ideal place to live in.

The tower will be ready for hand-over to residents by July 2011. Being a 'green building', the design of the tower makes use of amenities that reduce use of non-renewable resources, while also shutting down on pollutants and maximizing opportunities for passive cooling and ventilation.

Till date, IRIS has successfully launched various residential projects at Culture Village and Dubai Marina, including the IRIS Blue, which has been recently handed over to residents and investors.

IRIS has developed several luxurious residential and good quality commercial developments in UAE and India. The portfolio of IRIS in Dubai is worth US$1250mn and includes about US$250mn worth projects in India. IRIS aims to reach a portfolio of US$2.3bn during the next three to five years.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mada'in announces first commercial venture 'The Domain'

Madain - The Domain commerical building
Mada'in Properties has announced the venture of their first commercial project, 'The Domain', a 14 storey tower, at Dubai Silicon Oasis, worth Dh.400 million.

Spreading across a land area of 7.2million square meters, with a built-up area of 303,159 square feet, The Domain is an integral part of series of projects to be launched by the company during the course of the year.

The Prices of the tower begin with Dh.1650 per square foot. Conveniently located in the Dubai Silicon Oasis, The Domain is easily accessible from the Dubai International Airport, Sheikh Zayed Road, the City Center, Al Khail Road and Emirates Road.

The Domain, located within a rich corporate ambience, is best suited for multinational companies, and includes a series of impressive facilities with 647 parking spaces, state-of-the-art gymnasium, swimming pools, restaurants, retail outlets and cafes. The fifth floor of the tower will feature a garden spreading across 18,348 square feet. The offices within The Domain will be equipped with smart office software, for better convenience of its occupants.

The Chief Operating Officer of Mada'in Properties, Kieron O'Connor revealed the plans of the company to launch few more projects, with a total value of nearly Dh.3billion, in Gulf this year.

"With this architectural wonder, we offer multinational companies with an ideal platform for conducting their businesses. Just as all our other properties, The Domain, too, will include the same aesthetic elements and sophistication that Mada’in has been known for," said Abdul Aziz Al Awar, the CEO of Mada'in Properties.

The development is due for completion in 2010. Mada'in had recently announced a Dh.1.25bn development, Marina Arcade in Dubai Marina.

At present, out of about 65 projects being developed in Dubai Silicon Oasis, 40 percent are commercial.

Durar 1 residential twin tower unveiled in Dubailand

Durar 1 twin tower
Durar Properties, a UAE-based developer, together with Abu Dhabi-based 'Ali and Sons' and other Saudi groups, has launched its first joint venture residential project, Durar 1 twin tower, worth Dh.250mn in Dubailand.

Spreading across 63,000 Square Feet, Durar 1 is a 19-storey twin tower development at Residence Complex in Dubailand. Comprising 236 units of single, double and triple bedroom apartments, the prices begin from Dh.1050 per Square Foot to Dh.1175 per Square foot on the 19th floor.

Ideally located at the region's largest tourism, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle destination, Dubailand, Durar 1 promises the ultimate in contemporary living.

The tower has been designed as a family-friendly development, which is evident when one glances at the positioning of its facilities and the comfort and security that it offers to the homeowners. Several financing options too are on the offer to ensure total satisfaction and reassurance to customers, said Miqdadi, the General Manager, Durar Properties.

Durar 1 is a freehold real estate project in Dubai, and includes sky gardens, temperature-controlled roof-top pools, high-speed elevators, reception lobby, sauna and steam rooms, gymnasium rooms, round-the-clock concierge facilities, children play area and nursery, excellent communication amenities and ample parking space.

The General Manager of Durar Properties, Mohammad Miqdadi, said the company is planning for Durar 2 and Durar 3.

Durar 2 will be a commercial building in Jumeirah Village, and will be launched during the next three months. Durar 2 is worth around Dh.190mn to Dh.200mn. The construction of Durar 3 will commence in the next two to three months time and will take 22 months for completion.
Construction of Durar 1 commenced in May 2008 and is due to be completed in December 2009.
To further enhance its portfolio, Durar Properties has entered into a partnership with Ali and Sons, and Durar 1 is the result of this collaboration. Durar Al Emarat Properties will operate and manage properties, apart from purchase and sale of land, property maintenance, property leasing, carrying on feasibility study as and when required.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Dubai, Northern Emirates realty markets to stabilize by 2010

According to a leading developer, the property market in Dubai and other Northern Emirates is likely to stabilize towards 2010, attaining a sustainable balance between investors and property owners.

The realty sector in the United Arab Emirates has witnessed an unparalleled growth over the recent years, due to the frenetic and speculative property market in Dubai, surpassing the rest of the Arabian Gulf States together with ease, said Mohammed Nimer, the CEO of MAG Group Property Development.

The construction boom will reach its heights during 2009, with about $3billion worth of realty under construction. Thereafter, the value of market is likely to fall back to the levels during 2007, of about $1billion, as majority of units are delivered. Hence, this is hoped to subdue the surging market prices, he added.

According to CEO of MAG Group, homeowners currently account for 30 percent of properties sold at launch. Real estate sales are currently being largely dominated by short-term investors, rather than end users. This has led to inflation in prices, as the units are 'sold-on' premium several times prior to completion.

The evidence of UAE construction boom reaching its peak next year is evident in the database of Proleads, a Dubai-based research company, which keeps tab on major construction projects across the region from initial planning to completion.

The database displays about 80 units blocks individually budgeted at a value of $100million now under construction in the Northern Emirates and Dubai, with a total value of $4billion. A dramatic decline is seen in the database on announced or newly planned constructions on similar buildings for next year and by 2010, dozens of projects are shown to reach completion.

With most projects still being under construction and the next bunch of supplies hitting the market in 2009-10 will help in bringing about some stability to the market, Nimer pointed out.

However, this is not likely to provide a major respite from mounting prices, as certain other factors such as ever- is not something to be expected in the short term, Nimer concludes.

Al Qudra's Lilac Tower open for sale

Al Qudra real estate has announced its third and final sales offer of the Shades project, the Lilac Tower, at the core of Shams Abu Dhabi, a project master-planned by Sorouh. The Shades project includes five towers-Amber, Lime, Lilac, Azure and Carmine.

Lilac overlooks the Central Park at Shams Abu Dhabi and has been designed to offer unparalleled luxury and comfort. This wonderful infrastructure has 50 Storeys to its credit, comprising studios, single and double bedroom apartments, complemented by a range of quality amenities.

Among the other amenities of the tower are a landscaped rooftop terrace, a business and day care center, fitness and entertainment areas, swimming pool, and ample underground spaces for parking.

The project is open for sale to both UAE nationals and expatriates during the two road shows to be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, the 5th July, and at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina on Sunday, the 6th July.

Due for completion by 2011, the project offers residents a one-stop-shop intelligent home solution with air conditioning, entertainment and other appliances all under a single roof.

The Acting CEO of Al Qudra Real Estate, Claus Peter Rees, said Lilac Tower has been launched in June and is now looking to commence sales and is hoping for great success.

Rees disclosed that the project has been offered with flexible financing options that offer buyers the opportunity to purchase both floors and individual units under an attractive payment scheme with 30% of amount to be paid during construction period and rest 70% to be given on completion of construction.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bonyan's Dh4bn Community project in Dubai, completely sold out

Bonyan Dubai
Bonyan International Investment Group has announced that its Dh.4billion Sama Al Jadaf Community Project, at Al Jadaf area in Dubai has been completely sold out.

The company revealed that the success of the project is a part of the developer's growth in the booming real estate sector of Dubai, wherein land transactions has risen by 170 percent from Dh.62bn in 2006 to Dh.175bn in 2007.

The Sama Al Jadaf project, a 135-plot master development, offers ideal plots for residential, commercial or hospitality developments, and has attracted several investors and end-users through its intelligent design within the entire community.

Infrastructure and city services are effortlessly clubbed into the layout of the whole project, while the motorists too can enjoy the benefit of multiple access points and roads, cleverly planned to alleviate traffic problems.

Al Jadaf area is the perfect location for the project due to its close proximity to Dubai International Airport and Dubai Festival City, and is highly accessible through Garhoud bridges and Business Bay.

The Chairman of the group, Abdullah Atatreh, revealed that the fact that several local and Gulf-based investors have acquired plots in this project is an indication of the strong support that the market offers for high-quality developments.

He also said that the company plans to complete the properties in Sama Al Jadaf during the coming years, and the impact of the project will be felt in Dubai's real estate landscape.

The developer has also recently announced another mega master development project, worth Dh.3.5bn Eye of Ajman community development, spreading across 6.27mn square feet with 109 plots.

The company's portfolio includes Dh.3bn worth of residential and commercial developments such as the Lulu Tower, Rose Tower, Sharjah Gate, Dubai Gate 1, ABBCO Tower, and other regional projects that are a part of the company's expansion plans. The company plans to touch a portfolio of Dh.10billion in three years.

Nakheel, Al Shafar sign deal for construction of 300 villas at Al Furjan

Nakheel, a Dubai World Company which is one of the world’s largest real estate developers, together with a subsidiary to Shafar Group, Al Shafar Transport and Contracting Company, have entered into a contract for construction of 300 villas and terrace homes at Al Furjan development.

Al Furjan villas from NakheelThis contract is a milestone in the development of Al Furjan, followed by the last week's announcement of contract last week between Arabtec and Nakheel for Dh.3bn to build the first 1500 homes of the development.

Al Furjan offers a combination of traditional neighbourhood living, with spacious villas and terraced houses carrying immense open space and ample amenities.

Located towards 540 hectares south of Ibn Battuta Mall, and Discovery Gardens, and The Gardens, Al Furjan boasts about 4000 homes, apart from hotels, apartments, and commercial and mixed use plots in the developments surrounding Al Furjan, housing a total population of 90,000.

The construction is likely to commence during the third quarter of this year, and the delivery of residences will take place by the third quarter of 2010.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Emaar Bawadi unveils Maysan Towers at Asmaran

Emaar Bawadi unveils Maysan Towers
Emaar Bawadi, the joint venture between Emaar Properties and Bawadi, has unveiled Maysan Towers, the first residential tower complex, comprising three high-rise apartment towers within Asmaran master-planned community in Bawadi, spreading 70million square feet.

The registered customers can purchase homes on a 'first come first served' basis on 30th June during a sales event held at the Asmaran Sales Center located on Al Qudra Road. The sales center will display a model two-bedroom apartment, so that homeowners get a picture of Maysan residential apartment experience. Several financial institutions have come forward offering easy home finance options.

Located just minutes away from the Bawadi Square, the Maysan Towers community is located in lush landscaped surroundings, with a range of lifestyle amenities and community services. Ample parking space is offered on three basement floors and four partial podium levels.

Designed in elegant Mediterranean style, the Maysan Community includes three residential towers of 30, 26 and 24 storeys each. Located within the entertainment and hospitality districts of Asmaran, the Maysan captures the dynamism of Bawadi Boulevard, Bawadi Square and retail and entertainment souk.

Maysan is also in close proximity to world-class hotels, including the world's largest hotel located in Bawadi. Residents get to enjoy amenities such as fully equipped gymnasium, swimming pools, children play area and games rooms, apart from underground parking and retail. The nine feet high ceilings in rooms add to the feeling of space and light, with all rooms having tinted double glazed windows for comfort and privacy. The kitchen is equipped with bench-top ceramic, 4-burner electric hotplate, refrigerator and dishwasher.

The Chief Executive Officer of Bawadi, Arif Mubarak, commented that Asmaran is a path-breaking development, that brings an integrated lifestyle community, and the new apartment complex will be appealing to those who prefer a home in one of the most happening destinations in Dubai, but away from the regular bustle of the city.

The Managing Director of Emaar Bawadi, Issam Galadari, said that, Maysan Towers are the first residential apartments showcased at Asmaran, an integrated neighborhood that has established itself as a sought-after home destination. The Meysan residential tower emphasizes the development expertise of Emaar and Bawadi, two leading developers in Dubai.

Asmaran will be completed in phases, and after completion, it will be home to a population of 55,000, featuring family-oriented theme park, a mall spreading across 3million Sq. ft., commercial space of 4mn Sq. Ft., more than 5300 serviced apartments, nine world-class restaurants, and a wide range of retail and leisure amenities.

Morina Residences meet record sales

Morina Residence
First Dubai Real Estate Development Company has reported record sales on its first launch of residential units at Morina Residential Tower, situated near the Gate of Shams Abu Dhabi on Al Reem Island.

The Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Abudul Rahman Al Kandari was quoted as saying that about 25 percent of the project has been sold generating revenue of Dh.136m, as per the marketing plans, while the total value of the project is Dh.400m. The Company has agreed to resume sales even during the construction process, so as to study the price trends in Abu Dhabi market and to take advantage of the current boom.

The project, as of now, is progressing on schedule. Excavation, piling and construction has begun. This distinguished residential project is one of the most important ones in the Abu Dhabi portfolio.

Comprising 29 storeys, the tower covers an area of 63.572 sq. ft., offering exclusive executive homes with stunning canal views, amidst mangrove trees, ample green space and leisure amenities.

According to Al Kandari the strategic location of the tower in proximity of main amenities at Shams Abu Dhabi, public transport network, and water taxis, has added to value of Morina Residences.

The residences are a wide choice of single, double and triple bedrooms, ranging from executive houses to one or two level duplex and exquisite homes of high design and quality. The units are well-equipped with all necessary home appliances with each flat owning a balcony or more. The towers include 24 hour concierge facility, swimming pools, fitness center, club, children’s play area, information center, reception hall, terrace, parking spaces and more.

Al Kandari assured that the company will work towards offering the best quality at Morina Residential Tower, introducing state-of-the-art project, with the same quality of amenities as the recently completed Sky Gardens residential project at DIFC.