Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ferretti, ACI launches Ferretti and Pershing luxury waterfront residences

The Ferretti Group, together with ACI Real Estate has launched two luxury waterfront residences - Ferretti Luxury Beach Residence, and Pershing Luxury Beach Residence.

This freehold ownership project, named as 'Marine ', is worth about Dh.6bn, covering about 1,969,607 square feet of saleable area at the Waterfront.

The twin tower, with its landscaped gardens, set amidst canal and sea views, offers the latest in amenities such as pool, fitness center, sauna and Jacuzzi, with eight luxury yachts per brand for residents to charter at their preferred rates. These yachts will be purchased by the ACI Group.
The twin tower Ferretti Beach Residents will include 44 storeys each, while the Pershing Luxury Beach Residence will have 41 storeys, apart from individual retail units at the ground floor of each tower.

The project is slated for completion by 2011. Robin Lohmann, the Managing Director, ACI Real Estate, said that this deal has strengthened the vision of the company in bringing world-class luxury living to Dubai. The Ferreti Group has been a pioneer in luxury brand for decades now. ACI Real Estate seeks to blend Ferretti's expertise into realty projects of the company, and provide customers with best of both worlds.

The Ferreti Group is renowned globally for its high performance luxury yachts. This partnership with ACI is another instance of its effort to create a unique concept to add tangible and intangible value to its offerings.

Deyaar's new corporate identity makes it the one-stop realty solutions provider of Dubai

Deyaar, the fastest growing realty company in the region, has unveiled its new corporate identity, which indicates the company's strategic shift from single-tower projects to larger communities, located in master-planned developments.

The unveiling of this new corporate identity is to meet the company's vision of seeking to enhance its status as a leading complete one-stop real estate solutions provider based in Dubai. This new corporate identity also indicates the eagerness of the company to develop signature communities.

The Chairman of Deyaar, HE Nasser Bin Hassan Al-Shaikh, expressing his excitement over revealing the new corporate identity, said that this signifies the beginning of the next growth phase for Deyaar.

"The future will see Deyaar entering new markets and carrying on with further expansions marking our presence in master-planned developments to encompass broader range of real estate offerings" he added.

Deyaar has so far launched six projects during the first half of this year in Dubai. The firm has reported a net profit of 266 percent during the first half of 2008, touching Dh.448.9 million, as against Dh.122.8mn during the same period last year. Net profit for the second quarter of this year has been recorded as Dh.246.9mn, an increase of 184 percent from Dh.87mn during second quarter of 2007.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Manhattan-style complex unveiled at Dubai Marina by Select Group

West Avenue Development
The Dubai-based Select Group, together with the UK-based developer Select Property, has launched 'West Avenue ', a 32-storey luxury Manhattan-style complex at Dubai Marina.

West Avenue is a Dh.678mn worth joint residential development, which occupies the last of the remaining plots at Dubai Marina, and is the seventh tower to be launched by the companies. Six of the earlier towers of the company have already been sold off-plan on Dubai Marina.

West Avenue comprises contemporary-styled studios, single and double bedroom apartments, apart from two bedroom Marina and City Suites and luxury penthouses. All the 273 units of the development have been specifically designed for spacious, open plan living.

The other amenities in the development include swimming pool, sauna and steam room, state-of-the-art gymnasium, 24-hour concierge, and shopping an dining facilities.

Situated at the core of the marina, the prices for a studio in the West Avenue begin at a pre-launch price of Dh.1.77mn and are available with an offer for 15-year non-status payment plan. Buyers can also take advantage of the security of an Escrow account, which protects their funds during construction.

The CEO of Select Group, Rahail Eslam, speaking about Dubai Marina, said that it is undeniably one of the most sought-after locations for residential property in the emirate. Ideally located off the Shaikh Zayed Road and Jumeirah Beach, but, in close proximity to commercial areas such as the Internet City and Dubai Media City, the Dubai Marina appeals to both business and leisure residents, and would be perfect for investors seeking to take advantage of the ongoing property boom in Dubai.

Dubai Marina also owns the credit of being the largest man-made marina in the world. The prices in the Marina have surged during the last few years, with the average price per square foot increasing from Dh.800 in 2005 to Dh.2000 in 2008, thereby making the area ideal for capital investment. The location of the marina is believed to be the major cause for its continued growth.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Master developers deny residency visa guarantee clause in their contracts

Few master developers in Dubai have been accused of removing a particular clause from their contracts, which guarantees investors with residency visas, said a report.

Emaar Properties has sent notices to sub-developers to put on hold the processing of residency visas, until further notice, revealed a developer when speaking to the media.

"A particular clause in our previous contracts carried an assurance that master developers will guarantee residence visa. The clause is now removed," said one developer.

Foreigners are less likely to purchase properties in Dubai, if they are not automatically entitled to long-term residency rights. Expatriates in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Iran and Lebanon who faced political instability had been lured to Dubai, mainly on the assumption that owning a property would entitle them to long-term visas, ING said.

Being the commercial hub of the Arab world, Dubai saw property boom since 2002 when the government had permitted foreigners to invest in Dubai properties.

Developer, Union Properties, for instance, said that it does not assure property buyers with residency visas, as it is the responsibility of the Department of Naturalization and Residency to grant visas.

The Chief Executive of Dubai Properties, Mohamed Binbrek, for instance, was quoted as saying that it "never assured any visa and was just acting as a facilitator".

Dubai issues new regulation to check speculation in the market

Dubai has passed on a new regulation to regulate the sale of real estate that are under construction so has to put an end to speculation which has been the cause behind the skyrocketing property prices in the emirate.

As per the law issued this week, sale of off-plan properties in Dubai need to be registered with the department prior to which, they cannot be resold, said Marwan bin Ghalita, Chief Executive, Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

The Standard Chartered Bank, last month, has warned that the property sector in Dubai showed signs of overheating, as speculators who have been betting on quick returns inflate prices of units that are still under construction.

Speaking about the new law, Bin Ghalita expressed his confidence that it would help curb speculation. In Dubai, laws are being introduced step by step. Further, everything is transparent as it is with the Land Department.

The property prices in Dubai have surged 79 percent since 2007, said the Morgan Stanley report, earlier this month.

Demand for properties in Dubai, the home to tallest tower in the world and three man-made islands have been increasing ever-since the government permitted foreigners to invest in properties.

The off-plan law follows the mortgage law which was passed last week, aimed to regulate the booming property sector of Dubai.

It will also prevent master and sub-developers from charging transfer fee on off-plan sales, Bin Ghalita added.

The Developers, however, can be paid with an administration fee of Dh.1000 to Dh.3000 for every transaction, once it has been approved by the Land Department.

The property prices in Dubai is likely to increase by 35 percent this year, and by another 8.5 percent in 2009, and then Dubai takes measures to weed out short-term speculators.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dubai mandates registration of off-plan property sales

It has been made mandatory that off-plan property sales in Dubai be registered with the Land Department of the emirate, and no developers will be permitted to charge transfer fee on such sales, according to a new law announced yesterday.

The Law No.13 of 2008 aims to regulate off-plan sales, and mandates registration with the land department, said Emad Eldin Farouq, Senior Legal Advisor, Land Department.

The practice of marketing residential or commercial units based on an architectural plan of the property, prior to building the structure, is termed as 'off-plan sales'.

"Any sale or disposition that transfers or restricts title will be void, if not registered in the interim real estate register," states the new law.

Hence any developer, who markets or sells other disposition prior to implementation of the law, will have to register it within 60 days, Farouq clarified.

The law also states that master developers and sub-developers will not be permitted to charge transfer fee on off-plan sales, henceforth. However, they will be permitted to accept administrative charges once it has been approved by the Land Department.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Properties Group, Mohamed Binbrek, agreed that this is surely good news, as the interest of small investors and buyers will be protected, and that the Land department will now regulate the market. The new law is likely to add credibility to the market.

Last week, Dubai passed on a new mortgage law, which states that mortgage contracts need to be registered with the Land Department, and specified the size of the loan, the repayment period and the value of the property to which the loan is linked.

However, developers say that they will insist payment of a minimum of 20 to 30 percent of the property value prior to transferring to a second buyer under a resale transaction. They will also screen customer profiles prior to selling the property off-plan.

"he initial transfer and sale of off-plan properties will be permitted only after payment of 30 percent of total property value,"said an Emaar spokesperson.

Fortune Group to announce Dh.2.5bn worth projects this year

Fortune Group International, the Dubai-based developer is likely to announce five projects, worth Dh.2.5bn by December this year, revealed a top official of the company.

The five projects, covering a built-up area of more than two million square feet, will be launched a residential project, 'Fortune Bellevue' in Park View master development, agreed Saeed Zuberi, the Chief Executive of Fortune Group International.

The company has already launched 'Fortune Heights', a Dh.250mn project at Park View in Ajman. This mixed-use development will house 400 residential units in its 25 storeys, and 90 commercial units in 10 floors.

Park View, a master-plan development by ABH Property, located in proximity to Emirates City, is scheduled to be complete by 2011. A six-acre public park will form the core of the development.

The introductory prices for studio apartments at the Fortune Heights is Dh.550 per square feet, but the prices are likely to go up to Dh.560 per square foot in a week's time.

The single bedroom and double bedrooms are selling at Dh.540 per square foot. The payment can be made within three years, with a 10 percent down payment.

The developer has opened an escrow account in Ajman, which is under negotiation with banks for providing Islamic home finance to its clients. The company plans to finalize deals with a couple of banks in the next one month's time.

Other projects of Fortune Group International are the Fortune Doctor's Tower and Fortune Boulevard at Park View.

Monday, August 25, 2008

UAE house rents surged 17.5 percent in 2007

With inflation at its peak, house rents and associated services in the UAE, has surged by 17.5 percent last year.

The rents increased by 18.8 percent, while other associated services and products, including housemaids and furniture got dearer, except the heavily subsidized power supply and water, which either stabilized or declined.

The figures released by the Ministry of Economy last year, revealed that 2007 was the best year for UAE, in terms of economic growth and revenues. But it was also one of the worst years in terms of inflation, which soared by 11 percent.

The UAE attributes the increase in food prices and rents as the main factors behind inflation, apart from the higher import bills due to decline in the value of US dollar.

Although, the high food prices has been considered mainly due to surge in global farm costs, the strong demand generated by the economic boom, coupled with mounting fuel and construction costs, have pushed costs of rents and other housing services forwards.

The Ministry of Economy reports that house rents and other associated items saw an increase of 17.5 percent in 2007, which is far higher than 12.5 percent growth in 2006. Rents along saw an increase by 18.8 percent, while the prices of furniture and other other services increased by 13 percent in 2007.

Water and electricity prices were the only relief, as water rates continued to remain stable due to heavy government subsidies on water supply for domestic use, while electricity rates declined by 5.5 percent.

The Ministry reports inflation in the UAE at 11.1 percent in 2007, attributing soaring rents and food prices to be the major cause.

The major oil-producing emirate, Abu Dhabi, saw the maximum inflation rate of nearly 11.6 percent, followed by Dubai and Sharjah.

It has been revealed that UAE was the second highest in inflation levels in the GCC, next to Qatar, which had recorded 13 percent. The inflation rate of UAE was thrice that in Saudi Arabia, and four times that in Bahrain.

Economists are expecting inflation to continue to remain high even this year, with the rising rents and food prices. UAE, which is heavily dependent on imports, has increased in value and quantity due to upsurge in regional business, and the peg between the Dollar and UAE Dirham.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Schon assures complete refund to Dubai Lagoon investors

Schon Properties, the developer of Dh.3bn Dubai Lagoons Project, has assured complete refunds to all investors who have bought properties in the project, which had been scheduled for completion by December 2007.

This refund policy has been extended by Schon, as an act of goodwill, following some initial confusion among investors with regards to the phases of the project and its revised dates of completion, the company revealed yesterday.

The delay in completion of Dubai Lagoon project has been due to the unanticipated alterations in civic and transportation infrastructure, which in turn, have resulted in delayed construction and re-scheduling issues have cropped up, the company said.

The Co-Chairman of Schon Properties, Nasser Hussain, speaking to the media, said " Schon properties completely supports and applauds the efforts made by RTA towards improving the infrastructure in Dubai, and we have altered our projects to suit the mandatory infrastructure requirements imposed subsequent to the launch of Dubai Lagoon."

Schon has been holding talks with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) to clarify the situation and arrive at a fair solution for all parties involved. The revised refund policy announced by Schon, has been approved by the Board of Directors of the company, during a Board meeting held this week, to accommodate investors and exhibit good faith.

Investors who have purchased units bearing completion date of December 2007, can claim complete refund, and can apply for this prior to 15th September 2008.

RERA had issued a press release last week which said that the project has not been cancelled and requested continued involvement and monitoring of construction works.

Schon also assured that the agreement with the original contractors, Powerline Gulf, has been re-negotiated to include the first two zones and construction would resume during the coming weeks.

The first zone is due for completion within 13 months, while the second zone is set for completion within 18 months as on 28th July. Negotiations are on with another leading contractor to handle remaining zones, currently being finalized.

Two new towers included in Adnec Capital Center Development

The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has unveiled two distinctive commercial and residential towers by SinoGulf Investments that resemble the movement of sand dunes architecturally.

The towers form a major part of the Dh.8bn Capital Center Development, which surrounds the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. Both the towers together are worth more than Dh.1bn.

Designed by Woods Bagot, world-renowned architects, the towers represent the concept of dune sand lines, when the desert breeze blows. On completion in the last quarter of 2010, the residential and commercial developments offer extensive amenities, high quality finish, high-speed elevators, ample parking and retail outlets. The residential tower also includes a sauna, gym, spa and pool, making the apartments hard to resist for investors and tenants.

Located in a prime location on the corner of Al Karama Street, adjacent to the exhibition center, the towers are ideally placed with easy access to other hospitality, commercial, entertainment, residential and transport amenities.

The Director-Business Development at Adnec, Sanjay Tanna, said that the prestigious Capital Center development located adjacent to the Exhibition Center will no doubt, cater to the demand of both commercial and residential accommodation, currently evident within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Rental properties and serviced apartments in Abu Dhabi are now achieving strong growth rates and occupancy levels, although clear shortage of accommodation exists for executives.

SinoGulf Investments, established in 2003, manage an excess of $1bn investments, with development projects in Jordan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Recognizing the demand for high-end living, SinoGulf has formed an A grade investment opportunity. Currently, SinoGulf Investments are undertaking expressions of interest for their residential apartments.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dubai Lagoons project has not been dropped: RERA

The Dubai Lagoons, the project, which had been slowed down during the past year, has not been shelved, as yet, in contrast to speculations, said RERA, the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority.

The project offers a 99-year leasehold to investors, and has been bought by Schon Properties from its previous developers.

The Chief Executive of RERA, Marwan Bin Ghalita, said the project, which began prior to the launch of RERA, had witnessed some delays. RERA had to respond to the complaints by investors, while also safeguarding their interests and rights.

RERA also discussed with about 60 investors who invested on flats in the project. Scores of disputes could be amicably sorted out, while protecting the interests of investors over its year-long launch.

All investors have been urged to report to RERA, all possible violations, particularly, those pertaining to escrow accounts No.9, Bin Ghalita said.

Timelinks to unveil a new pyramid-shaped project at Cityscape Dubai

Ziggurat from Timelinks
Timelinks, the Dubai-based environmental design company, will launch a city of the future, during the upcoming Cityscape Dubai.

The event will be held between the 6th and 9th October at the Dubai International Exhibition Center.

The City, called Ziggurat project, will be shaped in the form of a futuristic pyramid, supporting the entire community, comprising a population of one million, by harnessing the power of nature.

The Managing Director of Timelinks, Ridas Matonis, agrees that Ziggurat communities can be 100 percent self-sufficient in terms of energy. Apart from utilizing the steam power, the building will also employ the wind turbine technology, to exploit natural energy resources.

The Pyramid tower which spreads across 2.3 square kilometer has several other advantages to its credit. The cities can be accommodated in complexes, which will take up only less than 10 percent of the original land space. The private and public landscaping can be used for leisure pursuits or can be irrigated as agricultural land.

"In case these projects were realized, the world will get to witness communities that are sustainable, environment-friendly and in sync with nature's surroundings. The concept will also give a better quality of life for inhabitants. Transportation within the complex will be carried out through an integrated 360 degree network, so that cars would be redundant," said Matonis.

Timelinks has already planned the design and technology to be incorporated into the project. A number of eminent professors from Europe will be available to explain the technicalities of the Ziggurat project works, and the manner in which these communities could be integrated into the master projects.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New mortgage law in Dubai

Mortgage law in DubaiDubai has issued a new mortgage law, so as to regulate the booming property sector of th emirate, announced RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority).

As per 35-article decree, issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Vice-President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the new law regulates the mortgage process so as to protect the rights of borrowers and lenders, while also enhancing transparency.

The law is effective, after 60 days of its publication in the official gazette. The law states that mortgage contracts can be registered with the land department, on specifying the size of loan, the repayment period, and the value of property to which the loan is linked.

The new law basically covers the mortgage procedures in Dubai. All property purchases happening offplan, for instance, and all the financing must be registered with the land department, said Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita, the Chief of RERA.

The mortgages on properties in Dubai, should henceforth be sold by registered financial institutions and be insured.

The borrower and lender will have to present complete financial documents during the registration of the mortgage.

The government has granted exemption on properties given to nationals by the government. This gives better confidence to the lender, and more security for banks. Ghalita revealed that land department and banks are currently working out mortgage rates independently from central banks.

Being home to flamboyant developments such as palm-shaped islands, the tax-free Dubai began the Gulf property boom in 2002, by welcoming foreigners to invest in Dubai properties. The nascent mortgage business in Dubai has been growing ever-since, with home loans increasing by 55 percent in the year to March.

According to a statement from Morgan Stanley, the property prices in Dubai, have surged 79 percent since 2007, although a 10 percent decline in prices is expected by 2010.

The announcement of this new mortgage regulation coincides with the crackdown by Dubai government on corruption, with major executives in realty and financial firms facing investigations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RERA's property index norms to be out early next year

Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), was due to release the norms for property index, by March this year, but, has now been postponed to early next year. RERA has decided to take its time to release what is expected to be, the most-awaited index in Dubai.

However, the Emirates Business has revealed some of the elements included in the index, which have been decided upon by RERA. A formula has been worked out by RERA for calculation of correct rent for a flat or villa, so as to bring out a reasonable reflection of rates in the neighbourhood.

The index will help landlords from exaggerating rents, said Mohammed bin Hamad, the Director of Rera Owners Relation Regulations Department. RERA has defined average annual rents for studios, single, double, and triple bedroom apartments and single and compound villas. The index is not legally binding, but, is more of an indicator.

The property index will establish rents, not only for a building, but, for each apartment within it. For instance, flats that face a road or are bigger than others will draw higher rents than those that face a backstreet, or are smaller in size or are situated at the corner of a building.

Also, all registrations and contracts for both residential and commercial units would be fed into RERA's database at the beginning of next year.

Mushrif Heights - Emaar's eco-friendly integrated community, unveiled

Emaar Properties has launched the eco-friendly 'Mushrif Heights', an integrated community emphasizing on sustainable development features. The project, worth Dh.12bn, is the latest addition to rich property portfolio of Emaar in Dubai, which includes several prestigious projects such as the Arabian Ranches, Downtown Burj Dubai, Warsan Estate and Dubai Marina.

The first phase of the project, which is the sale of Sidra town homes, will begin on 23rd August 2008.

Located near Al Awir, in close proximity to Mushrif Park, the Mushrif Heights has been designed on the premises of 'Living in Harmony' with nature. The location is ideal, as it permits easy access to Dubai’s business hubs, while also enjoying the serene atmosphere of quieter surroundings. Mushrif Heights enjoy easy road access from Emirates Road, Al Khail Road, and is just 15 minutes away from the Dubai International Airport.

Spreading across 44mn square feet, Mushrif Heights, will be built around green hills, and will be an integrated community comprising townhomes, villas and apartments that offer eco-friendly conscious features, forming a community that is in harmony with nature. Apart from the walkways, parks and landscaped gardens, the Mushrif Heights will include a range of amenities, such as town centers, schools, retail outlets, mosque and other leisure and recreational amenities.

A hill sanctuary offering spectacular views of pristine surroundings will be the central feature of the community, which would make it an ideal getaway from the regular hustle, bustle of the city life.

The Managing Director-UAE, Emaar Properties, Ahmad Al Matrooshi, said that being away from that hustle-bustle of the city, the Mushrif Heights will begin a new development dynamic for Dubai, while also energizing the Mushrif locality.

"All aspects of the project are in sync with overall development culture of forming integrated communities that caters to the lifestyle requirements of residents," he added.

The master-planning of Mushrif Heights is in progress, and this envisages the development of villa and townhome communities and low-rise towers with homes featuring Moorish-style architectural elements. Believed to be a 'sanctuary within a sanctuary', the master-plan focuses on retaining its natural surroundings, thereby offering residents an opportunity to participate towards preservation of natural flora and fauna.

The Sidra Townhomes within Mushrif Heights draws inspiration from Arabic heritage, laying emphasis on bright, spacious and welcoming living spaces. Complete with modern luxury finishes and fitting, the homes have spacious balconies that open to nature.

The homes vary from 2,325 to 3642 square feet of space, and includes single, double, triple and four bedrooms. Sidra Townhomes also include a garden of choice, courtyard and roof-decks.

Prospective purchasers and investors seeking to purchase Mushrif Heights can register online at www.emaar.com, from 10am on 20th August 2008. The sales for registered customers will take place on 23rd August 2008 between 9am to 6pm at the Asmaran Sales Center, Al Qudra, Dubai, and at the Abu Dhabi Sales Center of Emaar.

Emaar Properties is a pioneer in developing master-planned communities in Dubai, and has expanded to 36 markets globally. Mushrif Heights is a further reiteration of the company's commitment to Dubai, the largest contributor to Emaar's revenues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Investors throng Ajman realty sector; Residence Visa granted to investors

With the Gulf region experiencing a realty boom, the peaceful emirate of Ajman is witnessing an all'time high property boom. Ajman is the smallest among the seven emirates, and the second next to Dubai, to open its freehold property sector.

In support to the major property boom, the Ajman government plans to implement $1.4bn infrastructure plan to win investor confidence in UAE.

As per market estimates, about $2trillion worth of upcoming projects are likely in all sectors of GCC. About $330bn of this is being set aside for civil construction projects.

Ajman also has the advantage of several realty developers coming in from Asian countries and from Pakistan, in large numbers.

Also, henceforth the Ajman government has announced that real estate buyers in Ajman will be granted residence visas, provided, the property developers assure to do so, to project developers in the UAE emirate.

This visa will bear a one-year validity period, and will be renewed annually in the emirate of UAE. Agreements will be signed by project developers with the master developers for issuance of visas.

Only an investor or buyer, who gains possession of the apartment will be granted residence visa, provided the developer issues a no-objection letter. The cost of the visa is likely to be around Dh.1500, which can be renewed in Ajman every year.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dusit International set to launch the Dusit Residence Dubai Marina

dusit residence dubai
Dusit International, the Bangok-based Thai hospitality chain, will shortly launch its first branded residence out of Thailand, with the soft launch of Dusit Residence Dubai Marina.

The landmark tower, which is 35 storey in height, contains 146 premier serviced residences, that face the Dubai Marina. Located ideally in the heart of New Dubai, the Dusit Residence intends to cater to both leisure and business travelers, with only minutes away from the Knowledge Village, Dubai Media City and the Dubai Internet City. The Dusit Residences are easily accessible to the Mall of Emirates and the Ibn Battuta Mall.

The contemporary five-star residence is well-designed with a comprehensive range of integrated facilities for both long and short staying guests, featuring food and beverage outlets, including Dusit Gourmet, Fusion Lounge, fully equipped health center with swimming pool, a spa with Thai massage, foot reflexology, all of which will be ready for customers by later next year.
Among the other amenities are quality brand toasters, washing machines, wireless internet, iPod docking stations, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, mobile office support, all of which can be installed in the guest residence, along with secretarial assistance, if needed.

Dusit Residence Dubai Marina is now, the third Dusit property in Dubai, with a residence in Al Barsha, and a flagship property in Dusit Thani, all of which opened in 2001 and is located at the financial center of Dubai. So far, there are three Dusit properties on Palm Jumeirah, which will be complete within next few years. Another property will be launched in Abu Dhabi by end of next year, and another new Dusit Thani Lake View hotel in Cairo will be open in January 2009.

The Giovanni Boutique Suites getting ready as scheduled at Dubai Sports City

The Giovanni Boutique Suites, located in Dubai Sports City, will be ready by April 2010, revealed Salya Developments, the developer of the project. Salya Developments are an international arm of the UK based Salya Corportation.

The Boutique Suites are an upmarket Italian property development, designed by the renowned Italian designer, Giovanni Batista Ravaganani, and has about 400 well-done suites.

The Dh.300mn Boutique Suites is the only fully furnished project by the developer. Located adjacent to lush green jogging tracks, which promotes health and fitness, it was sold within the first seven weeks of pre-launch.

The Managing Director of Salya, Dr. Rakesh Chandola, commented that Branded Boutique properties are usually highly priced due to the high associated costs.

He added that Salya is the only developer of Designer and Boutique properties in Dubai that are within easy reach of most investors and customers.

Salya Corporation had acquired the islands of "Brunei" and "Finaland" on 'The World' in April 2008. With this, the land bank, the investment value of Salya touched Dh.800mn. Salya will spend another Dh.2.4bn towards construction and development of the islands. The Mermaid Princess Boutique Resort (Island of Brunei), and The Finland World Resort (Island of Finland) are part of 15 projects that are now under pipeline in Salya's list.

The islands are now in their planning stages and the pre-launch is being planned in October 2008, with handover expected in another three years.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Desert Dream launches Dream Harbour residential tower at Dubai Waterfront

desert dream harbour
Desert Dream Real Estate and Investments, one of the pioneer developers in the region, will launch their latest project, 'Dream Harbour', worth Dh.1.7bn, at the Dubai Waterfront, a community by master developer Nakheel.

The 48 storey residential tower, rendering a unique feel of Modern Arabia, would spread across 67,850 square feet of land space, covering total built-up area of 750,000 square feet, excluding car parking space. The prices would begin with Dh.1995 per square foot.

Being ideally located along the Palm Jebel Ali and the Arabian Gulf, the Dream Harbour is just adjacent to the beach on the main boulevard.

The development offers residents with three Souk style shopping galleries with architecture that keeps with local culture mosaic facades and historical arches. The rooftop which offers panoramic views of Waterfront has two swimming pools, a sauna and steam room.

The penthouses are complete with spacious living and dining area, piano rooms, grand lobbies, modern kitchens and en-suite bedrooms, all with their own private swimming pools and stunning sea views. Apart from penthouses, there are a variety of apartments including single, double, triple, and four bedrooms, with mixed single level and duplex options.

The Chairman and Chief Executive of Desert Dream, Mahmoud Khan, revealed that with this project, the portfolio of the company is about Dh.2.5bn.

The project includes amenities such as swimming pools, steam room, sauna and retail space.

According to Khan, although residents in Dubai complain about the high residential prices, Dubai is still cheaper than most other countries. Also the kind of lifestyle that Dubai renders, nobody else can. Moreover, Dubai has been referred to as "credit-crunch free-zone", referred Khan.

Desert Dream has no immediate plans to launch projects in other emirates, but has four more projects planned for Dubai. The three other developments in Dubai are in the Dubai International City, Business Bay and Discovery Gardens.

As for the green building regulations, Desert Dream plans to achieve a gold standard LEED rating through recycling water and cutting down on electrical output from air conditioning units by shading.

Located along the western shores of Dubai, the Waterfront will transform 1.4bn square feet of empty desert and sea, into an international community, for an estimated population of 1.5mn people, which is twice the size of Hong Kong Island.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dubai residential units to yield maximum returns in 2008

The residential units in Dubai has the most attractive returns in 2008, with a 37 percent annual growth rate, followed by commercial and retail space, reveals new study.

The Egypt-based Prime Group, in its report on the Dubai property market, said that continued buoyancy is expected in prices across the board, but, on an average, these prices are more moderate than has been witnessed over the past few years.

In short, the residential units will yield best returns this year, growing to Dh.2100 per square foot (37 percent growth), followed by commercial space at Dh.3800 per square foot (23 percent growth), and retail at Dh.5800 per square foot (13 percent growth). However, as far as the hospitality segment is concerned, the company expects average room rates to increase by 12 percent, touching Dh.1060, said the Prime Group in its report on the Dubai property sector.

The dynamics in the Dubai real estate sector is deeply rooted in the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, which emphasizes on achieving a diversified economy in key growth areas, based on the priority sectors within the associated blue print.

The plan focuses on real estate development and construction sector, apart from travel and tourism, while the realty sector provides necessary infrastructure for growth of all other businesses, and the tourism sector sustains the economic buoyancy through aggressive and continuous expansion in visitors to the emirate.

The present boom in the residential real estate sector is contributed by factors such as the high population growth, better salaries that makes housing more affordable and improvement in the real estate regulatory environments, says the report.

The increase in the annual demand of residential units for 2008 is 24000 units, which is likely to rise up to 27,000 units by the year 2010. On the other hand, the cumulative supply, presuming a 40 percent delay in the year-on-year rollouts for all projects till date, totals to 375,000 units by 2010, with an incremental annual rollout touching 67,000 units by next year.

The results of such a demand-supply pattern in the Dubai residential market is that, a 39 percent shortage in supply noticed in 2007, would revert to balanced levels by end of 2009. Also, a surplus of 31,000 residential units may be seen towards 2010. However, the report also contraindicates this by predicting that the extension of undersupply status may continue post 2010.

With the little details available on when the necessary stock will reach the market, the report has presumed that the entire rollout will be equally split over the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. The report also states that a 40 percent delay is likely for arrival of residential units as per the cumulative supply estimate of 2.8square meters towards 2010.

Sunland rejoices over successful sale of Nur residences within weeks of launch

Nur Cultural Village
The Sunland group has successfully sold about 86 percent of their 'Nur' residences, within two months of launch. This implies that about 165 out of the 191 single and double bedroom apartments, worth Dh.592.88mn have been successfully sold by the group.

The Arabic translation of 'Nur' meaning 'light' is a 27 storey boutique residential tower located within the Culture Village, facing the Gardens of Goodwill. Launched on 10th June 2008, only 26 of the apartments remain for sale.

The apartments of Nur range from 767 square feet for a single bedroom apartment, to 1412 square feet for a double bedroom, with additional space for private balconies. The development has two penthouses, split over level 26 and 27 of the tower.

The residents can enjoy exclusive amenities located on the fourth floor, including an outdoor private swimming pool, which stretches across 20 meters, landscaped outdoor gymnasium and terrace. The prices at Nur begin with Dh.2mn for a fully furnished single bedroom apartment.

The Managing Director and Founder of Sunland Group, Suhail Abedian, pointed out that the demand for the Nur residences have been quite strong, ever-since the talk about the development began during its inception stages. A lot of young professionals and families have shown interest in the development with local and Middle Eastern investors.

The development, worth Dh.725mn, is the third scheme in Dubai by the Sunland Group, and is a proof of the growing success of the developer's expansion within the UAE, owning a local portfolio of more than Dh.13bn.

The success of Nur, follows the earlier launches by the developer, such as the D1 and Palazzo Versace, both of which are also in Culture Village.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abu Dhabi to witness Dh 200bn worth of realty investments

With the Abu Dhabi government pitching in to fill up the void in supply of residential units within the Capital, the real estate investments and infrastructure in the UAE Capital, is likely to touch Dh.200bn by 2012, reveal latest studies.

The establishment of Abu Dhabi Commercial Properties, apart from various initiatives taken to fine-tune real estate regulations, is also prompting the growth of the market, which is expected to see about 140,000 housing units by the year 2013.

With the market maintaining a growth which is stronger-than-expected, Bonyan International Investment Group (Holding) L.L.C., has identified a real estate company as one with high-potential investment opportunities within the emirate, inline with its regional expansion plans.
Keeping in mind the current growth in population, which stands at seven percent per annum, the government, has increased its interest in boosting the tourism sector, coupled with continuous development and modernization of infrastructure.

The Abu Dhabi property sector is heading towards an unprecedented boom, and, being in the middle of a major economic development, this is likely to continue for the next fifteen years. The emirate has been identified by Bonyan International, as being a market with high potential to accommodate various large-scale developments with its liberal and modern growth policies.

DEC broke ground for construction of Cascade Ville, Cascade Manor and The Estates

Dheeraj and East Coast LLC (DEC), a leading Dubai-based property developer, broke ground for its three prestigious projects located in the heart of Culture Village.

cascade ville by east coast
The Dh.615mn worth projects are Cascade Ville, Cascade Manor and The Estates, among which, Cascade Ville and Cascade Manor are residential developments, while The Estates is a mixed-use development.

Speaking during the occasion, the Chief Finance Officer of DEC, Sailesh Jatania, said this is a major step ahead for the project, which indicates that work is progressing as scheduled.

Robodh Contracting LLC, the main contractor of DEC, which is also one of the leading contracting companies in the region, has been assigned the task of construction of all existing and future projects of Dheeraj and East Coast, including the appointing and co-ordination of sub-contractors.

The initial groundwork has been assigned to Sharaf Foundations, a company with solid track record of more than 50 projects across Oman, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, which includes drilling, excavation, shoring and foundation works.

The three projects in Culture Village cover an area of 60,981 square feet, with a built-up area of 412, 743 square feet. The well-designed projects are in perfect harmony with the overall concept of the Culture Village, and feature wide open spaces, cobblestone walkways, traditional wind towers, waterways with quaint bridges, eating joints and creekside souks.

Being a true blend of residential, commercial and retail living spaces, that combine the old-world charm with luxury of modern lifestyles, the project unites diverse nationalities and encourages them to live and work in harmony.

The seven-storey Cascade Ville is a residential project with well-done three bedroom apartments, state-of-the-art health club and gymnasium, retail boutique, café, frontal waterfalls, and 24-hour security.

The Cascade Manor is an eight storey structure, with a blend of modern and old-world charm, comprising single, double and triple bedroom apartments and a park with lush gardens.

The Estates is a mixed-use development, combining true Arabic architectural styles with modern construction technologies to form a mix of unique residences and contemporary offices that render a unique and lively community lifestyle.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Work on Abu Dhabi's Hydra Avenue Towers, well ahead of schedule

A renowned UAE-based property developer, Hydra Properties, has already completed the foundation work of their prestigious Hydra Avenue Towers project at Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, well ahead of schedule. Hydra Properties has stated that it has fast-tracked the progress of the project.

Hydra Avenue Towers in Abu Dhabi
The Hydra Avenue Towers includes six towers, of 29 storey each, adding splendor to the City of Lights at Al Reem Island. The project is carried out by Tafsir Contracting Company, and Prime Engineering Consultancy has been appointed as the Engineering Consultants for the project.

The six skyscrapers grouped into clusters of three each, are so designed that they triumph over a podium stretching more than five floors. The towers are particularly designed to offer solace for residential needs of men and women on the move, and to provide a holistic living environment to residents. Hydra Avenue Towers also includes retail towers too, that reflect the spirit of times that we live in. The futuristic smart home technology will be deployed to ensure the required comfort and convenience to residents. Hydra Avenue Towers focuses on sustainable development and is determined to adhere to global standards in an eco-friendly space management

The CEO of Hydra Properties, Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, appreciating the Hydra Avenue Towers, described that it adds majesty and grandeur to Al Reem Island. The Avenue Towers is progressing so quickly, that it fills the void in the property market in Abu Dhabi, and answers the prayers of investors and those who seek luxurious and serene living spaces.

The Project Eng. Mohammad Fawzy, Head of Engineering Division, Hydra Properties, said that the project has gained momentum with successful completion of foundation works, which has taken several months for completion. The company is now shifting focus on finishing the pillar work, as quickly as possible.

The Hydra Avenue Towers has been scheduled for completion by 2011.

DED and RERA sign deal to improve Dubai realty sector

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in Dubai has entered into a partnership deal to improve the quality of support services offered to real estate investors and customers.

The Deputy Director General for Planning and Development, Khalid al Kassim, and RERA Chief Executive Officer, Marwan Bin Ghalaita, signed the agreement during a signing ceremony recently heald at DED headquarters in Diera.

According to agreement, RERA will use the license and business registration system applied by DED for issuing licenses pertaining to real estate activities. This is intended to ease licensing procedures pertaining to real estate activities and will enhance the overall performance of Dubai's real estate sector.

The agreement is in accordance with strategic objective by DED to constantly review its existing procedures so as to simplify its rules and regulations. The business registration system at DED has been streamlined and made more user-friendly. Investors can now set up businesses with minimum procedures and paperwork, and DED will assist them by co-ordination with other government authorities and departments.

Al Kassim said that through this agreement with RERA, the company is emphasizing its commitment to work together on initiatives that support the progress of realty sector in Dubai.

According to Marwan Bin Ghalaita, RERA will form the basics of licensing for real estate activities and execute procedures that hasten the issuance of licenses for such activities. Through joint initiative, RERA and DED will explore mutually beneficial opportunities that enhance the quality of support services offered to realty investors and customers.

Business owners holding old licenses can correct their status inline with the new regulations. RERA is looking forward to launch real estate activities that adhere to international criteria for real estate licensing, Ghalita added.
The activities included in the list of real estate activities are consultation, realty development, selling and renting, brokerage in buying, buying land and real estate, rental services, organizing public auctions, timeshare residential units, timeshare residential units rental services, real estate pricing services and all real estate future activities.

DED was established in March 1991 aiming to organize, regulate, and boost trade and industry in the Emirate of Dubai.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

With more than 3000 high-rises, Dubai notices dearth of open spaces

About 3000 mid-rise and high-rise towers are currently in various stages of design, planning, development and construction in Dubai, from now till the year 2025.

For instance, the Dubai World Central (DWC) alone will have 1100 apartment towers in its residential cluster, and 850 in its commercial cluster.

Besides, there are about 200 towers currently under development in Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Lake Towers.

A few hundreds will come up in Jumeirah Village South, Dubai Waterfront and Dubailand.

Taking into account the small land area of about 4,114 square kilometers, with a population of more than over 1.4million, this is a rather huge development.

Matthew Green, the Research Manager, Cluttons UAE, compares this growth of Dubai, with that in New York City, with about 5500 high-rise towers.

Inflation being high, many countries are struggling with economic downturn, while Dubai continues to fly high with its strong boom. But, although Dubai continues with its growth, with new developments being launched every other day, this fast-paced development is hurting the environment as there is a dearth of open spaces such as public parks.

The Head of Capital Investments at Colliers Middle East, Eamon Alashkar, commented that although Dubai is growing at a rapid pace, more prominence should have been given to public spaces during the initial planning stages. At present, most developments in Dubai are a bare minimum of active public space, which is insufficient, taking into account the population and built-up area alongside it.

"Ultimately it will all depend largely on the manner in which the government restricts developments in certain locations and the development of green areas," Green was quoted as saying.

It is however, sad to note that in the rush to build and reap rewards, few developers have ignored the open grass areas and parks, in comparison to other major cities such as New York and London.

Dubai's future built environment is dependent on the objectives of profit-driven real estate developers, to a great extent, Alashkar added.

In few cases, although open spaces are effectively advertised to attract investors, the final picture looks different. It is saddening to note that although a park or an open area finds space in a brochure, which helps in turning in money towards the project, in reality, it is not possible to make profit out of a patch of grass.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dubai Pearl - a truly self-contained green community

Dubai Pearl
Dubai Pearl, the luxurious self-contained community for super-wealthy, which incorporates cutting-edge technology, scheduled for completion in 2010, displayed its brand recently in a glitzy Paris hotel, with roomful of wealthy developers, architects, investors, and businessmen. However, it is also a part of the growing trend in Dubai, where community meets sustainable planning.

H.H. Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, in 2007, issued a directive for developers and builders to abide by the international green building standards, as a part of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, to ensure Dubai remains a healthy and environment-friendly city.

The Chairman of Pearl Dubai LLC, Fahim, said that Dubai Pearl is all about sustainability, focusing on people and communities.

The Founder of Emirates Green Building Council, Sadek Owainti, is an advocate of this directive, who feels that the importance of sustainability is unavoidable in UAE. It is the core of living to maintain resources for future generations. Although, it is a slow beginning, as far as governmental support is concerned, UAE is ahead of Middle East.

The three major elements that need to be taken into account when planning a sustainable development are the community, the environment and the economy. A balance has to be attained between all three aspects. There was a massive rush for green ideals during the 60s and 70s, but it really never happened, as only few factors that were taken into account. Without inclusion of a business element into the equation, the development can never be completely sustainable.

A major aspect of sustainability is to see how best a community can be preserved by way of job opportunities, creating an environment where people will be happy. They do not have to drive around, as everything at Dubai pearl will be available at a short walking distance. It is about laying emphasis on creation of healthy living environment, Fahim said.

Self-contained community is great way for business-oriented developments to get their good remarks while also keeping the luxury elements intact. Fahim is keen to emphasize on the importance of the business hub of Dubai Pearl to its growth as sustainable development.

Although Dubai Pearl has not gone to extent of other developments like the zero-carbon Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, which is the most widely acknowledged among sustainable developments, it strikes a complementary balance with the best on offer.

Dubai Pearl is now working with consultants to achieve gold level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in sustainability. Being an earnest advocate of recycling, the positioning of the Dubai Pearl building is such that it can utilize maximum sunlight for energy conservation.

New property court in Dubai to get operational in September

Dubai's RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) will soon create a property court, which is likely to begin operations in September.

At present, although majority of dispute cases are attended to by RERA, the disputes do not make it to the civil court, as investors will have to wait for a certain period, ranging from 18 months to 3 years.

However, with the new court likely to be introduced, the end-users, tenants, investors, developers and contractors can have their disputes heard in a shorter time-frame.

Michael Kortbawi, a Partner at Bin Shabib law firm, said that RERA is already loaded with work. On establishment of the new court, it will have a better understanding of the market than the civil courts.

Real Estate is a major contributor to the revenues for Dubai government.

Morgan Stanley report positive about MENA property sector

Morgan Stanley, in their coverage on twelve property stocks in MENA region (Middle East and North Africa), has identified Emaar, Aldar, Qatar Real Estate and Palm Hills, as top pick for investors seeking to take advantage of the thriving real estate sector in the region.

Mai Attia, a Morgan Stanley analyst, in her report, titled "Winners and Losers in MENA Property", indicated a positive note on MENA property market, and said that a growth, driven by Qatar and Abu Dhabi, is likely to happen, with the market remaining undersupplied until 2012.

The report states that for the first time, a proper assessment of the Net Asset Value (NAV) has been considered in the region for pricing of property stocks. Till date, the analysts had set price targets for property companies at 100 percent of Discount Cash Flow (DCF), which is not so accurate, when compared to the NAV approach while pricing property stocks.

The report said that the main beneficiaries in the booming property market in the region will be Emaar, which will benefit from the high growth and low risk of its diversified business model, followed by Aldar, the pioneer in Abu Dhabi market, which will benefit from escalation in property prices and increase in demands. The Qatar Real Estate, a leader in booming industrial property segment in Qatar, and Palm Hills, an Egyptian company, which has diversified landbank, high profitability, partnerships and exposure to the Saudi market.

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services company, offering services in investment banking, investment management, securities and wealth management services.

The employees serve clients worldwide including governments, corporations, individuals and institutions from about 600 offices in 32 countries.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Construction of SkyGardens project begins at Reem Island

skygardens abudhabi
One of the leading property developers in Middle East, Plus Properties, together with Taahud General Contracting Company, has entered into a Dh.400mn construction contract for developing the SkyGardens project, a waterfront property at Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.

This deal makes way for commencement of construction of SkyGardens project, which is likely to turn out to be one of the most prestigious waterfront projects dotting the Abu Dhabi skyline, revealed a Plus Properties official. Enabling works of the project have already commenced.

SkyGardens is an iconic residential waterfront project, designed by renowned architect James Law, featuring a range of single, double and triple bedroom deluxe apartments, garden apartments and sky garden duplex villas.

The SkyGardens duplex villas feature amenities such as private swimming pools, luxurious interior and exterior finishing and suspended gardens. All units of the development open to sea view, with a 360 degree panoramic view stretching from the sea to Abu Dhabi's stylish skyline.

Located in a quite and upscale marina neighborhood at Reem Island, the development is linked to downtown Abu Dhabi by a bridge, and is just 20 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi airport.

Taahud is one of the major players in today's construction market, with a series of prestigious projects to its credit. The core management team of this Abu Dhabi-based company includes reputed industry professionals with decades of experience in local and regional construction sector.

Dubai property prices likely to fall 10 percent

The property prices in Dubai have surged 79 percent since 2007, and, may fall 10 percent by 2010, with the supply surpassing demand in the Gulf emirate, reveals a research not by Morgan Stanley.

This correction in Dubai's realty sector could have an undulation effect on its neighbouring countries in the region, with the shares of 12 regional property firms, dropping an average of 35 percent, states the research note.

At the worst, Dubai property prices may follow the pattern experience during the late 1990s in Singapore, wherein property prices dropped 80 percent in 18 months, although it is a "low probability event", said Morgan Stanley report.

Dubai property market will see an oversupply in 2009, which will lead to a series of price declines. Although these price declines are limited to Dubai, given the level of undersupply in neighboring markets, one cannot ignore the 'contagion' effect on Middle East, North Africa property share prices, with the investor confidence levels dropping down, Morgan Stanley said.

Being home to man-made palm-shaped islands and indoor ski slope in the Desert, Dubai hit the property boom in the region in 2002, when the foreigners were invited to invest in real estate. Thereafter, the regional economic growth in Dubai was supported manifold by the rise in oil prices, which drew streams of investors into the business and trade hub.

The Standard Chartered Bank last month mentioned that Dubai was boiling with speculators inflating prices of real estate that are still under construction. It was recommended that the emirate introduce capital gain tax to deter short-term investors.

Now, as per the Morgan Stanley price index, the property prices in Dubai surged 25 percent during first half of 2008, but is higher by 79 percent as against that in the beginning of 2007. The price increases have been driven by a variety of factors including speculation, genuine demand, and escalating construction costs.

For 2009, the prices will begin feeling the pressure, once oversupply becomes evident. Hence a 10 percent decline in property prices can be expected between 2008 and 2010, reveals the Morgan Stanley note.

Few developers are in fact, trying to keep away short-term investors. The developer of the Palm Island, Nakheel, has asked buyers at Trump International Hotel, to wait for a year, before selling off their units to the secondary market.

Although, Dubai is the leader for the Gulf Property market, the minor relaxation in prices in the emirate, may however, not bear an impact on Abu Dhabi and Qatar, as the property sectors here is likely to remain undersupplied until 2012, the report concluded.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ajman invests Dh1.4bn in developing infrastructure projects

Ajman has infrastructure projects worth Dh.1.4bn that are currently under construction, so as to support the sky-rocketing pace of real estate developments within the emirate. Ajman is the third largest property market in UAE, next to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Ajman has six mega projects that are underway, which makes up to a combined value of Dh.40.8bn. This accounts for a total of 10 percent of all projects that are currently happening in the UAE.

The projects in Dubai, account for 50 percent of the construction activities taking place in UAE, while Abu Dhabi contributes to 30 percent of the activities in UAE.

Ajman is currently involved in enhancing its road and sewerage treatment plants. A solid infrastructure program with Dh.500mn being allocated for infrastructure alone, and Dh.800mn towards launch of sewerage system, has been one of the most important infrastructure projects in the emirate.

As the investors were hesitant over investing in Ajman due to lack of water, electricity and road networks, and the government in Ajman has given top priority to this sector and is making serious efforts to implement good infrastructure networks and attract more investors.

An agreement to build the first coal-fired power plant in UAE, worth $2bn, was signed by H.H. Shaikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, and Ernest Nevaratnam, the Head of Investment and Projects, Malaysian Mining Corporation.

JCA Real Estate appointed as exclusive sales agent for Emerald Tower at Ajman

Emerald tower Ajman
BSEL Infrastructure Realty has appointed JCA Real Estate, an associate company of Jitendra Group of Companies, to market Emerald Tower, a 100 percent freehold residential tower in Emirates City of Ajman. JCA Real Estate has been given exclusive rights to advertise, market and sell Emerald Tower anywhere in the world.

The Chairman of JCA Real Estate and Founder, Jitendra Gianchandani, announced that investors and buyers will be offered an excellent property in Ajman, which not only offers a good lifestyle but also yields good returns. For the first time ever in the history of Ajman real estate, a 11 percent return has been assured to investors, which assures that the Emirate of Ajman would continue to grow in future.

The Chief Executive Officer of JCA Real Estate, R. Lewis, said "The launch of Emarald Tower unveils a new chapter for the company. The Company will conduct international road shows to promote Emerald Tower. The booking amount is as low as Dh.10,000, with buy back guarantee by the developer and UAE residence visa, subject to immigration laws or approval.

The 50-storey tower, worth Dh.252mn, is located along the Emirates Road in the newest development area of Emirates City. Emerald Tower will have an earthquake resistant structured, good quality architectural design crafted by Adnan Saffarini Engineering Consultant.

The tower is equipped with amenities such as swimming pool, health club, and safety systems, advanced CCTV, prayer room, 8 high-speed elevators, and covered car parking with each unit. The buyers and investors get to choose between one bed and one bed plus study room apartments, ranging in size from 730 square feet to 1070 square feet. The prices begin from Dh. 346,750 to Dh. 508,250.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Now affordable insurance for tenants/homeowners in Dubai

Now tenants and homeowners in Dubai can relax, as they do not have to spend hefty sums for safety and security. A deal between Better Homes, leading property consultancy group, and RSA, the insurance giants have brought in affordable insurance in Dubai for tenants and homeowners, for as low as Dh.190 to Dh.50,000 coverage.

Better Homes said that insurance levels for UAE were as low as five percent during the past, due to Dubai's transient nature and low crime levels, which resulted in low levels of insurance purchases.

Earlier people visiting Dubai, were short-term visitors and they lived in rented accommodation and never invested heavily in the contents, and hence felt that insurance was not a necessity, said Billy Rautenbach, Director of Operations, Better Homes.

However, with more expatriates choosing to make Dubai their permanent home, the demand for insurance services grew. Recent flooding, fires and incidents have further strengthened the need for insurance coverage.

Rautenbach explained that it is important for property owners and tenants to be covered by adequate insurance.

Rautenbach said that his company felt that most people have trouble in accessing a first-class product, and hence they have come up with a product that can directly be offered at the time of purchase or lease, apart from saving 20 to 30 percent against market rates, in addition to vast coverage.
The cover is inclusive of accidental damage due to fire and floods, and accommodates spaces from bedrooms to villas with prices beginning at Dh.190 per annum, which is one of the cheapest in the market.

Together with RSA, Better Homes have come up with a range of packages with rates that aptly fit the client requirements. Standard rates have been developed for content values. Clients with larger properties or additional contents, would customize the quote, said Julie Deighton, a spokeswoman for Better Homes.

The best part about the entire thing is that size of the property is not taken into consideration, as the client can select the amount of coverage that suits them. The policy is being offered through a streamlined process during which the clients will receive a complimentary quote depending on their property requirement, which is far free from the elaborate paperwork.

Here's a gist of Premium Value for coverage:
  • For a content coverage of Dh50,000, the premium is Dh190
  • For a content coverage of Dh100,000, the premium is Dh300
  • For a content coverage of Dh250,000, the premium is Dh700
  • For a content coverage of Dh500,000, the premium is Dh1,500.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Abu Dhabi office rents surge 27 percent

office rent in abu dhabi
Office rents in Abu Dhabi have surged by 27 percent as against that in April 2007, states the Better Homes Commercial Review Quarterly Report. Better Homes is an international property consultancy group.

The recent Cityscape Abu Dhabi has sparked a craze for buying, thereby leading to considerable rent increases, states the report.

The launch prices of the Al Dana development in the Al Raha Beach, has revealed a supply shortage of Dh.4400 per square feet, and this indicates a shortage in office supply.

The units of Al Reem Island are being sold at the range of Dh.2000 to Dh.2500 per Square Feet, while the rentals are in the range of Dh.250 to Dh.300 per Square Feet.

There is also an acute shortage of residential and commercial properties in Abu Dhabi as against that in Dubai, and this shortage has also led to high rentals.

With the supply coming into stream during the next few quarters, the tenants and end-users states the report by Better Homes.

The industrial sector in Abu Dhabi sees a shortage of supply of labour accommodation, with more developments initiated in Abu Dhabi. The rental rates for low quality accommodation are around Dh.3000 to Dh.3500 per month, while the higher quality areas are seeking rates at Dh.3750 to Dh.4250.

As for the retail sector in Abu Dhabi, there has been a steady increase in rent and sales rates during the first quarter. The average prices of retail spaces in Abu Dhabi are between Dh.350 to Dh.400 per square feet, while sales average on Dh.2000 to Dh.2500 per square feet.

Dubai Investments to launch Dh.2bn Mirdiff Hills in Dubai

mirdiff hills dubai
Dubai Investments (DI), through its real estate arm Dubai Investments Real Estate Company (DIRC), has announced plans to launch the Dh.2bn Mirdiff Hills mixed-use development in Dubai.

Being the latest in a series of mega projects launched by DI, Mirdiff Hills is considered a self-contained community with corporate offices, residential apartments and retail outlets.

The project, with a total built-up area of 2.7mn Square Feet, includes all modern facilities including clubhouse, swimming pool, playschools, internet connectivity, children play area, cafes, and 24-hour security.

Speaking during the launch of the project, the Managing Director and CEO of DI, Khalid Kalban, mentioned that DIRC aims to play a leading role in regional property sector, and through the launch of Mirdiff Hills the company plans to take a considerable step towards achieving objectives and consolidating the market presence of the company.

He revealed that several other prestigious projects are in pipeline, and DIRC is all set to expand its growing portfolio and presence in UAE realty sector.

Mirdiff Hills is a landmark project, and is likely to be one of the most desired mixed-use destinations in Dubai. With a unique blend of residential, retail and commercial units, together with world-class and leisure amenities, Mirdiff Hills will be a good self-sustained township, which offers tenants a comfortable community lifestyle, described Obaid Al Salami, the General Manager of DIRC.

Construction has already commenced, and the project will be complete by 2010.

Located in the Mirdiff area of the City, the Mirdiff Hills features 680 comfortable apartments, 380 offices and 129 retail units. Designed by the renowned Dubai-based architects Al Shurooq Engineering Consultants, the construction leaders Al Arif Contracting Company has been appointed as the lead contractor.

DIRC owns a portfolio of excellent mix of residential and commercial projects in UAE, apart from the Dh.14bn mixed-use development that is currently under construction in Ajman. DIRC has also made its presence felt in the hospitality and sports management sectors through its subsidiaries.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Dubai's retail world, much in demand, despite high rents

mall of emirates
According to latest research, the highest rental rates in Dubai are not in residential sectors, as is often believed, but in the retail world.

The retail rent rates in Dubai, have not risen significantly ever-since the first quarter of 2008, with high-end retail locations such as BurJuman and Mall of Emirates fixing rents in the range of Dh.400 to Dh.600 per square foot.

Average retail rent rates are fixed at Dh.600 per square foot in Dubai, and Dh.400 per square foot in Abu Dhabi.

According to data from Jones Lang LaSalle, average rent for convenience stores and neighborhood centers is Dh.200 to Dh.250 per square foot. But in the case of regional and super regional centers, the rate goes up to Dh.400 to Dh.550 per square foot.

But the startling fact is that despite such high rentals, the occupancy rates continues to remain at more than 90 percent, as people are ready to pay heavily for the prized position, in the gleaming retail industry of Dubai.

A report by Colliers International has shown that retail occupancy rates are as high as 98 percent or 100 percent in 'destination' shopping malls, with wealthier Emiratis and expatriates having the means to shop, with the new supply of shopping malls.

According to a commercial review by Better Homes, an international property consultancy group, retail has contributed immensely in increasing the overall sales registration activity during the second quarter of 2008 by 234 percent, as against that during the same period last year.

The review by Dubai Land Department indicates that the total real estate transactions surged 204 percent year after year, from Dh.6.8bn in 2007 to Dh.13.9bn in 2008.

The report by Better Homes explains that the current retail supply of gross leasable area (GLA) in Dubai is 1.6mn square meters. The current demand for GLA is 118,000 square meters, while the intended retail GLA supply towards end of 2008 is just more than 2mn square meters.

In the opinion of Craig Plumb, the Head of research - Mena region at Jones Lang La Salle, the supply of retail floor space per person, at present, is comparatively low in UAE, when compared to more mature markets. Therefore, the market can accommodate the large amount of additional supplies that are currently under development.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dubai ranked as most transparent realty market in the region

With more investors across the world opting to shift their focus on markets least hit by credit crunch, and thereby seeking to enter Gulf markets, the volume of property sales in Dubai is set to rise, confirms a leading global property investment expert.

Dubai has registered the greatest improvement in real estate transparency globally during the past two years, recording a surge of 55.2 percent in property deals, and is set to hit Dh.717bn in 2008 as against Dh.462bn in 2007.

According to Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Blair Hagkull, a leading real estate investment and advisory firm, Dubai, with credit crisis hitting real estate markets of Europe and US, investors are now targeting Gulf markets, particularly Dubai.

Speaking to reports during the launch of a new study on "Real Estate Transparency Report 2008" for MENA region, he revealed that Dubai has been ranked as the most transparent realty market in the region. Dubai has been ranked a transparency index exceeding other budding economies such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets.

JLL is an investment adviser with a track-record of $200billion worth projects in MENA. It has 180 offices worldwide, and has worked in 25 countries in the MENA region. The JLL Transparency Index covers 82 markets, and is rated against five transparency tiers. About 33 questions are designed to measure transparency objectively put into each market.

Transparent markets are those that are open and easier to carry on businesses with transparency maintained in transaction processes, market fundamentals, performance measurements, and the regulatory and legal environment.

Bab Al Bahr Tower at Al Marjan Island launched for sale

Bab al Bahr tower al marjan
Rakeen, the land developer and master planner of Ras Al Khaimah Government which adheres to environmental responsibility when planning and developing projects, has now announced the sales launch of the Bab Al Bahr Office Tower, one of the key projects within the Dh.1.2bn mixed-use resort development, Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah.

The Bab Al Bahr Office Tower is the 'only' office and commercial building between the entrance of Ras Al Khaimah and the downtown Ras Al Khaimah City. The Bab Al Bahr Office Tower includes 108 offices for sale, located in the free zone area, open to all local and international investors.

Bab Al Bahr is the inaugural development project on Al Marjan Island. The man-made coral shaped island spreads across 4kms into Arabian Gulf. The island-inspired completely integrated community offers visitors and occupants extensive landscaping, exotic gardens and 500-meter long stretch of beach.

Bab Al Bahr Office Tower is a 2-storey office facility, spreading across a shopping complex of 19000 square meters. The tower provides a complete range of business and office amenities that offer wonderful views of the Gulf, apart from parking amenity for about 400 cars. The office storey also offers free zone trade licenses and easy access to a fully integrated development complex, including residential apartments and 320 room resort hotel. The shopping complex includes luxury retail stores, food court, cafes, family entertainment center, and four screen cinemas.

Rakeen has recently entered into marketing and sales initiatives for Bab al Bahr Tower, following recent commencement of construction, which has been progressing at a healthy pace. Construction work is currently in the piling stage, and the progress is well on schedule.

A Member of the Board at Rakeen, Wahid Attalla, said that the company hopes that the initial sales results of the tower would surpass the expectations of one and all, as the resort development has been so designed that it meets world-class amenities that cater to leisure, business, recreational and personal needs of clients.

Virtual Offices form the latest trend, as companies are unable meet high costs


virtual office in Dubai
Unable to manage high operating costs in Dubai, majority of the new companies are planning to begin operations in the free zones in UAE, such as Ajman Free Zone, Fujairah Free Zone, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone and Hamriyah (Sharjah) free zone.

According to a study by Jitendra Business Consultants, one of the prominent consulting firms in UAE, the four Emirates are making efforts to attract companies through their innovative offerings such as Flexi-Desk, e-Office and Virtual Office.

The "Virtual Office" in Fujairah Free Zone, bears the address of an office, the telephone numbers, the meeting rooms, of an office, except the fact that the determining factor, you, are not actually present in the office.

For instance, the Ajman's Free Zone e-office center, includes amenities such as high speed internet, and table space. The e-office center includes exclusive business desk with interiors and amenities such as board rooms, meeting halls, restaurant and high-speed internet connectivity. Even the Sharjah (Hamriyah) Free Zone includes similar amenities.

The "Flexi-Desk" by RAK Free Trade Zone, is networked desk, which has been designed for single-person users such as self-employed businessmen or establishments. It offers a furnished semi-close office with an executive desk, chair and private email address, and an individual post box number.

The Managing Partner of JBC, Jitendra Gianchandani, said that the trend is on the rise, with new companies seeking economical options, as the emirates have realized that a huge business potential bridges the gap.

According to Gianchandani, Virtual Office is just right for investors who wish to operate a bank account with minimal resources, and just one or two visa requirement. With the e-office or virtual office, investors can open a bank account anywhere in UAE, and also import or export goods from any seaports or airports in UAE. In addition to this, annual audit is not compulsory and the presence of all shareholders is not necessary during incorporation, which further leads to cost savings.

Gianchandani revealed that his company has helped several companies to obtain Virtual Office, e-Office, and Flexi-Desk licenses till date.