Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Construction sectors on path to quick recovery

The Dubai's construction and real estate sector is well on its way to recovery, with about 3500 buildings worth Dh.25bn or more, being completed during first nine months of the year, reveal official data.

This is an all-time high when considering the value and number of completed buildings, according to data by Dubai Municipality.

The data published by the Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) of Dubai Municipality, the value of construction cost of the Dubai buildings during the first three quarters of the year, touched Dh.25.48bn, an increase by 24percent in comparison to all buildings completed during the corresponding period of 2009.

Further, the number of completed buildings in Dubai also touched nine-month period stood at 3486, an all-time high, in comparison with previous high of 2008, when a total of 2728 buildings were completed during the whole year.

On the whole, the value of buildings completed during initial nine months of this year, surpasses the total value of whole of 2009, which stood at Dh.24.89bn, shows DSC data. Further, the 2010 value is nearly double the value for same period in 2008, before global economic crisis caused the slowdown in the real estate and construction sectors.

Further, with Qatar winning the bid to host 2022 FIFA World Cup, the contractors in UAE are going to get a major share of projects, as the Qatar government is likely to invest more than $57bn in infrastructure development projects during the coming decade.

Further, the latest Dubai World announcement about reaching an agreement with all its creditors on $24.9bn worth debt re-structuring is likely to act as major boost for real estate sector in the emirate, which had recently witnessed decline in values of delivered properties owing to global economic recession.

Further, experts are of the opinion that with the government strongly supporting this major sector and companies within it, real estate in Dubai is likely to be back to limelight very soon. In fact, the government bodies, including municipality have funded atleast one-fifth of total value of completed buildings in 2010.

Monday, December 13, 2010

DIFC's new rental structure to offer 50% discount in 2011

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will introduce its new rental pricing structure in January 2011, offering at least 50 percent discounts for few tenants, the officials here revealed.

The tax-free business hub, also home to 780 businesses, including global financial service firms, will introduce new fee structure to increase transparency.

The Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Business Development, Marwan Ahmad Lufti, said that even earlier there were no standard rates across the entire DIFC.

Few clients will even receive discount of more than 50percent, said Lufti.

The DIFC rental prices per square foot will vary, depending on long-term leases signed by officials, ahead of centre's opening in 2004.

According to new structure, the most expensive DIFC-owned property will cost about $76 per square foot. The real estate consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in their September report said that vacancy rates in Dubai’s financial district, including DIFC and Burj Khalifa, as defined by JLL, will grow from 12percent to a peak of 30 to 40 percent in the next 12 to 18 months. According to JLL, the rate was likely to go back to 10 to 15 percent levels by 2014.

However, the DIFC officials clarified that the office occupancy rate is 95percent in DIFC-owned buildings. The non-DIFC owned buildings constitute only 35percent of leasable office space in DIFC.

The tenants get to choose between new contracts from January or wait for their existing leases to expire. This will permit clients to plan for their long-term growth. Several clients have held back their decisions due to uncertainty over pricing and operational costs. This will remove the uncertainty, said Ahmad Lufti.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Champions Towers III (CT III) model apartment displayed

A leading Dubai-based real estate developer, Memon Investments, an arm of the leading international business conglomerate, Shaikhani Group, has launched a model apartment at Champions Towers III (CT III).

The Dh.145mn high-profile residential development project has been designed by leading design and engineering firm, Adnan Saffarini. The leading real estate developer has prepared a fully furnished unit, with complete furniture, fixtures, appliances and accessories, giving customers a look of the world class features of the model apartment.

The Dh.1.34bn portfolio comprises mainly of high-profile residential projects that include ‘Frankfurt Sports Towers’, and 'Champions Towers'.

The 15-storey tower stands on a total built-up area of 283,671 square feet and offers 254 units comprising studios, single bedroom and double bedrooms. The show apartment highlights key features such as high-speed elevators, basement and ground covered floor parking, valet services, health and wellness amenities, and 24-hour concierge services. The tower promotes healthy lifestyle among its future residents offering health club, swimming pool, juice bar, gymnasiums, sauna and steam room.

The external structure of the tower is fully completed with continuing internal work and block work expected to meet its scheduled deadline. CT III boasts of excellent location that is both premium and serene, where residents have easy access to world class stadiums, educational, religious and healthcare amenities, restaurants, cafes, and sports-themed mall have been built within Dubai Sport City's gated community.

This rapid pace of construction highlights the commitment by Memon Investment towards timely completion of its projects. The first residents will be handover the keys on third and fourth quarter of 2011.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

World's tallest residential tower to come up in Dubai by Q4 2011

The world's tallest residential tower will stand high at Dubai Marina, by fourth quarter of 2011, developer Tameer Holding announced yesterday.

The 107storey Princess Tower located at Dubai Marina is billed to be the world’' tallest residential tower on completion. Further, located in Dubai Marina will also be a 91-storey Elite Residence which is also due for completion and handover by fourth quarter of next year, also developed by Tameer Holding.

The President of the Company, Federico Tauber, said that the Princess Tower 414 meters in height with 763 units, and the 381-meter Elite Residence comprising 696 units in Dubai Marina, and an Imperial Residence with 510 units in Jumeirah Village South by fourth quarter of 2011, is being planned.

According to Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Q1, located along the Gold Coast, Australia, is the tallest residential building in the world at present, with 323 meters in height and 78 storeys.

Tameer will be delivering the 31 storey Silver Tower in Business Bay, and 180-unit Al Jawzaa Tower in International City towards end of this year. During first quarter of 2011, Tameer will also deliver the 32-storey Regal Tower at Business Bay.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More than 160 families occupy The Villa units of DPG

The Dubai Properties Group (DPG) had recently announced completion and handover of The Villa- Phase II, comprising 219 Spanish-style villas in a residential community.

Surrounded by the desert landscapes, and an exclusive enclave located off the Al Ain Highway, The villa is a wonderful retreat in the heart of Dubailand.

Speaking during the occasion held to mark the event, the DPG held a ‘Know Your Neighbour’ event for all Phase I and 2 home owners at The Villa.

The CEO of DPG, Khalid Al Malik, expressed his happiness over welcoming more than 160 families into their new homes in The Villa, and said that this community complements the diverse real estate portfolio of the group and reflects the company’s commitment in contributing to the growth of Dubai by delivering diversified communities across the emirate.

Featuring 540 villas in Spanish-style, The Villa development is a prestigious community with plots ranging from 5,500sq. ft to 12,000 sq. ft., it offers a striking architecture based on legendery cities of Granada, Cordoba, Marbella, Valencia and Mallorca.

DPG is planning to further improve the amenities in the community at The Villa with additional landscaping, a local supermarket, security, retail amenities, and children playgrounds.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Surplus vacant office spaces likely to bring down rents in 2011

The surplus vacant office space in Dubai, which is likely to take years for absorption in the market, is likely to bring down rents further, says Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the leading global real estate consultancy, in its global real estate outlook 2011.

The prices in prime office locations have fallen 50% from their peak in 2008 and residual decline will still be recorded, the report said.

Dubai is the fastest growing office market in the world on a per capita basis, with an increase of 2.8 square feet per capita since early 2008 on A Grade quality office space, said the JLL report in October.

Meanwhile, the Landmark Advisory said that the office space in Dubai will nearly double, touching 80million square feet by early 2015, from the 41mn square feet space in early 2010.

On the other hand, Colliers International expects another 2.5mn square feet of office space to enter the market between 2010 and 2011, with total office space touching 6.4mn square meters.

However, Dubai is not the only city with rents bottoming out. Dubai is also joined by the Mexico City, Madrid, Seoul and Los Angeles during fourth quarter of 2011.

On the whole, global office vacancy rates will slowly move downwards in 2011. However, on the contrary, Asia Pacific will touch the peak of its development cycle in 2011 with a record addition of 6.8mn square meters of office space to be delivered.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buyers can claim compensation from developers for false disclosures

Beginning 13th January 2011, the developers will have to pay compensation to purchasers if the disclosure statement provided by them is incomplete or inaccurate in a material way, stipulates the latest Strata regulation.

The latest real estate update by Clyde and Co states that failure to attach a full disclosure statement (instead of the present interim disclosure statement) from 13th January 2011, or a full disclosure statement to a contract for sale of unit, will result in issues with enforceability of the contract.

Further, Article (5) sub-clause 3 of the Direction for General Regulation Concerning Jointly owned Properties, states that developer will have warranted the information given under sub-clause (1) of article (4), and if any information found in that is inaccurate or if found so within two years from the date on which the unit is transferred from the developer, or if it is incomplete in a material way, the developer will be liable to pay compensation to consumer to whom the unit has been transferred, irrespective of whether the consumer purchased from the developer or from another consumer.

Since the introduction of Strata regulations in Dubai, earlier this year, an extensive disclosure is needed, as per the directions when selling units in Jointly Owned Property (JOP), particularly for “off plan” sales. The interim provisions, which is currently in practice, ensure that an interim disclosure statement be attached to any contract of sale of a unit within a JOP, wherein the title to the unit has not been issued by Dubai Land Department, and if the seller is a developer.

The interim disclosure statement should include extensive project details, and the unit, as prescribed in the directions. The interim disclosure provisions will expire on 13th January 2011, and thereafter, a full disclosure statement will have to be attached to any sale contract. The disclosure statement should also include a copy of the proposed JOP Declaration for the project, and an extensive project detail and the unit as mentioned in the directions.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Region's first Rolex Tower launched in Dubai's Financial District

The first-of-its-kind in the Middle East, and the only branded Rolex Tower in the world, has been launched in Dubai's Financial District by Seddiqi & Sons Investment, the real estate arm of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, leading UAE retailer.

Located at the heart of Dubai's financial district, the tower is the result of 50-year partnership between Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and Rolex.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merril, the architects behind the Burj Khalifa and London's Canary Wharf, the glass-fronted structure offers 25 storeys comprising double and triple bedroom apartments, two luxurious penthouses, 31 levels of quality commercial space, and a ground floor for retail units. The design and finish of the tower, makes it one of the iconic buildings in Dubai’s business district.

This is also Rolex's maiden endorsement in Middle East property sector, and the launch of the Rolex Tower reflects the quality and service that are the most vital considerations of Rolex brand, irrespective of whether buying a watch, finding a home, or building a business, said Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Vice Chairman, Abdul Hamied Seddiqi.

Middle East is the key growth destination for Rolex brand. The Rolex Tower is the first of its kind in the region, reflecting shared commitment to lifestyle encompassing precision, elegance and reliability, said Bruno Meier, the Managing Director of Rolex.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi offers 100% foreign ownership

One of the largest industrial free zones in the region has been launched in Abu Dhabi, so that foreign companies will be able to establish their wholly-owned operations, it has been announced.

The Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi Port Co (ADPC), Tony Douglas, said that the Abu Dhabi government has granted the status for Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), wherein 100percent foreign ownership is allowed, and this is the first-of-its-kind in Abu Dhabi.

Located mid-way between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, KIZAD has both free zone and an international investment zone status, aimed to diversify the heavily oil-based economy of the country.

The Executive Vice President of Industrial Zones, ADPC, Khaled Salmeen said that the investment zone permits granting long-term contracts of up to 50 years, and is renewable.

However, the 100 percent ownership is not permitted to all foreign companies establishing in the zone. The management is given the authority to decide depending on what will be beneficial to the Abu Dhabi economy in the long-term, said Sultan Al Jaber, the ADPC Chairman.

The free zone status will be granted to few specific companies, industries or manufacturers, provided, their business plan clearly reflects government economic and strategic values, he said.

The first phase of KIZAD is worth Dh.26.5bn and includes the new Khalifa Port. Abu Dhabi, with its 417sqm Industrial Zone, is moving beyond a pure carbon-based economy. By the year 2030, KIZAD will contribute to nearly 15percent of non-oil based GDP of Abu Dhabi. About 60 to 80 percent of goods manufactured at KIZAD will be exported, said Salmeen.

According to Sebastien Henin, the Portfolio Manager at The National Investor bank, this is an indication of openness given to foreign investors entering Abu Dhabi for business purposes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nakheel to re-commence work at Jumeirah Park, Al Furjan

The leading Dubai master developer, Nakheel, has announced re-commencement of construction work on 525 four bedroom villas in Jumeirah Park, which will be ready by second quarter of 2012.

Moreover, the Park will begin construction work on 289 three bedroom villas likely to be completed during fourth quarter of 2011, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Nakheel also revealed that it is constructing about 2000 villas across its several projects. Several of these projects will be delivered in 2010 and 2011.

Nakheel also pointed out that it expects Arabtec Holding to re-commence work on Al Furjan project shortly.

Nakheel had earmarked the 1500 villas at Al Furjan site as a priority for completion. Arabtec was handed over the $953mn deal to build Al Furjan in 2008, but the work was halted in January this year, due to non-payment of arrears.

The master developer has re-commenced work on eight of its projects, including Al Furjan, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Heights Clusters, Jumeirah Islands Mansions, Veneto, Badhrah, and International City.

Friday, November 12, 2010

6 percent fall in house prices in third quarter

The prices of housing in Dubai declined further by six percent during the second consecutive quarter this year, thereby further widening the gap levels from the third quarter of last year, according to report by Colliers International.

The Regional Director at Colliers', Ian Albert, said that following a period of stable prices, a shallow, but lengthening slide in overall average prices is likely.

The decline in this quarter could possible due to anticipated summer slowdown, and the continued tightness in finance. Although there have been improvements in loan-to-value ratios and interest rates to a certain extent, the banks and financial institutions continue to remain committed to a conservative lending policy, typified by greater due diligence in the lending criteria, he said.

The Dubai House Price Index by Colliers' fell by seven basis points between July and September during the second quarter, while the average prices touched Dh.951 per square foot, marking a decline from the Dh.1,015 per square foot pricing in the second quarter.

The prices of apartments fell by 7percent, villas by 5percent and townhouses by 8percent during the third quarter, the report said.

Several investors are seeking to sell their present investments, while on the other hand, there are fresh buyers seeking attractive prices. This will make Dubai a more mature market, said Sudhir Kumar, Partner at Morrison Menon, the Consultancy.

Among all transactions, apartments constituted 32percent of the transactions, villas 50percent and townhouses 18percent. The transactions indicated a 4percent drop from the second quarter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sorouh to deliver 2500 new housing units by 2012

One of the leading Abu Dhabi-based real estate developers, Sorouh Real Estate, announced plans to deliver about 2500 new residential units to end users in the emirate by end of 2012, said Gurjit Singh, the Chief Operating Officer of the Company.

The deliveries will begin during the first quarter next year and will be done in phases. The handovers will begin with few apartments being delivered in the Sun Towers and the Sky Towers. Sorouh is currently focusing on delivery of its existing developments and those nearing completion and securing income from properties that generate rental revenues, Singh said.

He further pointed out that Sorouh had delivered projects such as Khalidiya Village, Sas Al Nakhi, and Al Ovoun, which will boost the rental income portfolio of the Company. Even the Golf Gardens development, adjacent to Abu Dhabi golf course is complete. The Gate Tower project too, is on schedule for completion in late 2012, he said.

According to Singh, Abu Dhabi market has seen lot of consolidation happening in all asset classes this year, and 2011 will witness more consolidation with the rental and capital values dropping so much that people will get back to the market.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dubai Land Department to re-commence property auctions this month

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) is likely to get back to property auctions, including foreclosed properties from this month.

The Partner and Head of Real Estate, Nick Clayson, said that recent discussions with the DLD indicated the need to re-commence property auctions, including foreclosed property, with the increase in number of transactions being processed daily by the department, as the market stabilizes. The next property auction will begin in November.

Once the Dubai courts approve the property to be sold at public auction as per the Dubai Mortgage Law, the court will send the letter to

Once the Dubai courts approve the property to be sold at public auction as per the Dubai Mortgage Law, the court will send a letter to DLD, seeking to arrange for the property to be auctioned.

The department will then arrange for the auction based on the procedures and laws put forward by them. At present, the department has its own informal rules about auctions. However, a formal set of rules are likely to get effective in next few months, Clayson said.

As for reserving a price on the property, the department will arrange for a valuation of the property.

The Mortgage Law provides that in case the proceeds of the sale are insufficient to cover the debt, then the bank may claim the difference from the borrower. Also, the law permits a judge to postpone a sale by auction in case the borrower can repay the mortgage amount within a specified period or the sale of the mortgage property will cause the considerable damage to the borrower.

According to Clayson, with the market stabilizing and auctions re-commencing, the Dubai Courts will see an increase in litigation brought about by banks against borrowers in default.

Friday, November 05, 2010

UAE takes least time in the world for registration of properties: World Bank

The UAE leads the world when it comes to 'ease of registering a property', said a new World Bank report, which ranked 183 countries globally on major aspects pertaining to business regulation for domestic firms.

Last year, governments in 117 economies passed 216 regulatory reforms aimed at making it easier to begin and operate a business, strengthening transparency and property rights and improving efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures, as per the report titled "Doing Business 2011", the eighth among the series of annual reports published by the World Bank and IFC.

Registering a property is the fundamental need for beginning and operating a business in any part of the world.

"Effective administration of land is a part of that. If formal property transfer is too costly or complicated, formal titles may go informal again," the report said.

In the UAE investor protection is high of the agenda. There is only a single procedure required to register a property in the country, in comparison with at least six procedures in other parts of the region.

Further, the time taken for registering a property in the UAE is just two days, which is the least in the world. This is, in comparison to 32.5 days the regional average, although this is again amongst the least in the world, in comparison to other regions in the world.

The time taken to register a property in other regions of the world averages higher than that in the MENA region, with registration period averaging 86.7 days in East Asia and Pacific region.

Moreover, the cost of registering property in the UAE is also very competitive, as per the report amounting to two percent of property value, in comparison with regional average of 5.7 percent.

The report also highlights that last year 11 out of 18 economies in MENA region adopted a total of 22 business regulation reforms to create opportunity for domestic entrepreneurs.

Further appreciating some of the measure taken by the UAE during the past one year, the World Bank report mentioned that the UAE has improved access to credit by establishing a legal framework for operation of private credit bureau and requiring that financial institutions share credit information.

The report said that the trade, document preparation was all streamlined, and the launch of the new Dubai Customs Comprehensive System, Mirsal 2, further reduced the time needed for trading.

Globally, Singapore leads the world in the ease of doing business for the fifth consecutive time, followed by Hong Kong SAR China, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US.

Among top 25 economies, 18 of them made things easier than in the past year. The UAE has been ranked 40th in the world among 183 economies, the third in the region, among 18 economies.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Indians top list of expat investors in Dubai real estate market

Indians form majority of expatriate real estate investors in Dubai, with a total of Dh.9.3bn worth properties being purchased by Indians. Indians have contributed 19 percent to the total investment during the first eight months of 2010, reports

The total real estate investment during the period is worth Dh.48.9bn. Britons come second in the list with Dh.5.6bn worth purchases, followed by Iranians with Dh.4.4bn purchases and Canadians with Dh.1.35bn worth purchases.

The overall list is, however, topped by Emiratis with investments worth Dh.10.2bn.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and the Dubai Land Department are the exclusive partner and primary data source for the information service provided by

The Assistant Director-General of Land Department, Mohammed Sultan Thani, last month, mentioned that about 30,615 sale transactions have been registered with the department till end of August. The total number of sale transactions registered in 2009 was about 43,000, while there were only 31,613 transactions recorded in 2008.

The department has been registering 30 to 35 transactions daily, with maximum being recorded in affordable communities, including Discovery Gardens and International City.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Oversupply in Abu Dhabi residential sector to bring down rents

Project cancellations and construction delays have cut down residential supply in future by 60 percent, estimates a report by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the global real estate consultancy, said.

The average rentals in apartments have fallen by 16 percent year-on-year (YOY), while in certain areas, the rents are dropping by 30 percent, JLL said in its third quarter market overview.

The report said Abu Dhabi's residential rates peaked considerably during 2008, owing to booming demand and limited supply, further contributed by the impact of the rent cap. However, the recently delivered buildings and growing vacancies in existing good quality buildings have resulted in Y-O-Y decrease of 13 to 18 percent in average rentals, the report said.

Added to this, the forthcoming oversupply in the upper segment of the market is likely to result in continued decline in average rentals. Meanwhile, the lower and mid-market segments will remain expensive, rather than being affordable, owing to shortage of supply in these segments.

The JLL report said that the current stock of 182,00 residential units will touch 251,000 by end of 2013. An additional 69,000 units will be delivered by 2013, targeting the middle, high and luxury segments.

The real estate market has seen a major decline in pricing, with average prices continuing to fall to Dh.1,100 per square feet, in third quarter, in comparison to highs of Dh.3000 during boom time.

The residential property prices in Abu Dhabi have dropped by 15 percent during first three quarters of this year, in comparison to same period last year. However, despite decreased rents, and limited transactions, and relatively stable sale prices, the residential segment in Abu Dhabi will continue to be under-supplied, the JLL report said.

Meanwhile, despite several projects being delayed, and an additional 1.5mn square meters likely to enter the market by 2013, the vacancy rate for office sector, currently stands at eight percent for the quarter, the report said.

The vacancies in office sector have remained stable in comparison to second quarter and no major supply has entered the market. Grade A rents too have remained stable, maintaining the average of Dh.2,200 per square meter per annum, as in the second quarter.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dubai property prices yet to hit bottom: Prince Alwaleed

Dubai's depressed property prices will take several more years to bottom out, before recovering, as the market still remains over-supplied, predicted Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Alwaleed said that there are several new buildings coming out in Dubai, and the market is yet to hit bottom, and there are years to go before this could happen, as there is constant increase in supply.

Alwaleed, the nephew of King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, mentioned this when speaking during an interview with Arabian Business online magazine.

The prices have to go down considerably for the demand to reach on par with supply, said Prine Alwaleed, who is also the world's 19th richest man with a fortune of 19.4bn dollars, as ranked by Forbes.

Several landowners are holding on to their old prices. Only when the prices go down substantially, there will be increased demand, he added.

Ever-since Dubai was hit by the global financial crisis, the prices of housing in Dubai have dropped by 50% from their peak in 2008. The Dubai Real Estate Authority has already said that about 480 construction projects which were in their budding stages, have been cancelled to tighten the noose on supply.

However, several developers are left with no option, but to continue working on their ongoing projects, thus adding more units to the already saturated market.

The five year property boom in Dubai was mostly contributed by speculators, who were drawn by the attractive profits made through sale of off-plan properties. These investors vanished when the crisis hit the emirate, with many writing off their initial investments.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dubai surplus properties will take 3 to 5 years for clearance

The surplus residential properties in Dubai will take three to five years to clear, says the Nakheel Chief Executive, Chris O'Donnel, when speaking about the Dubai real estate market.

The general oversupply seen in the real estate market will be cleared, driven by economic growth, he said.

House prices in Dubai have fallen by 60percent from its peak in 2008, largely owing to oversupply situation. The house prices are unlikely to recover before 2011, while the oversupply situation in commercial properties is likely to grow by more than 50 percent next year, said Jones Lang LaSalle, the leading property consultancy.

There is plenty of work, to the extent of Dh.7bn to Dh.8bn to be completed here. But these projects will be completed, said Chris O'Donnel.

Meanwhile, an Analysts poll by Reuters predicts a GDP growth of 2.4 percent this year for the UAE.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Property Sale deed can be terminated in case of difference in specs

The legal experts in Dubai have clarified that a purchaser can approach a competent court to seek termination of the sale contract, in case of any material difference is found between specifications mentioned in the sale contract and the actual specifications delivered.

A Partner and Head of Real Estate Middle East for Norton Rose group, Nick Clayson, said that the law does offer protection to purchasers, in case the measurements and/or specifications of a property differ from that mentioned in actual purchase agreement. But, the remedies provided, depends on the degree of deviation.

A Partner at Afridi & Angell, Shahram Safai, said that general the specifications are so different that the purchaser would not have even received the benefit of his/her bargain.

Decree 6 of 2010 stipulates that a purchaser can even seek termination of a purchase contract, in case the specifications are considerably changed, he pointed out.

According to the current rule, in case the measurement of a property is found to be more than five percent less than the measurement of the property specified in sales and purchase agreement (SPA), the developer is obliged to compensate the purchaser.

A well-drafted contract should specify the rights and remedies of the parties in the event of any discrepancies in such issues. But, even the contract tend to be fairly varied in the region, when it comes to such issued, and do not match international measuring standards, Clayson said.

However, the best thing that a purchaser can do, is to ensure that he obtains a well-drafted contract with intentions of the parties clearly set out and retain copies of all correspondence with developer in respect of the property, he said.

Clayson further pointed out that obtaining a snagging report on completion of the property can also assist the purchaser in the event of any subsequent claims against the developer.

Meanwhile, Safai said that a report by quantity surveyor or professional engineer commissioned to make such an assessment may be required to prove difference in specifications in such issues, although snagging reports may prove as helpful supporting documents.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dubai's property sector continue to witness low rents

The impact of Dubai's real estate crash has been so strong on the rental rates within the emirate, that even an address at the iconic Burj Khalifa, is not immune from this.

About 825 of the tower’s 900 ultra-luxury apartments are still vacant, following its grand launch last year, said Better Homes, a real estate brokerage firm in Dubai.

At present, the cost of renting a studio with marble fixtures and wooden floors has dropped to $1,815 per month from $3,025, while a single bedroom is available to rent at $2,722 ($4,536 earlier), the brokerage firm said.

An owner of a double bedroom residence at Burj, who spoke to the media, said that he had purchased the property for about $1.5mn in 2005. The value had jumped to about $762 per sq.ft., during the peak period. But now, the values are just above his purchase price. However, he is confident that the price will pick up faster here than any properties in other localities, given, its iconic location.

Burj Khalifa, with its one-of-a-kind amenities, including the first-ever Armani Hotel, is the most high-profile example of the once booming real estate market in Dubai.

On the whole, the property prices in Dubai have dropped by an average of 50 percent. Few half-built projects located away from the main highway that runs through the city, may never be completed, as their values have dropped too much, according to analysts.

Meanwhile, the units that are to be completed are also a problem. The Dubai economy needs to still accommodate a series of housing units coming on stream, or soon to be opened, which will further bring down the prices.

In the month of September alone, there was an entry of 27,000 new residential units in the market, with another 9000 to be completed by end of the year, reports Jones Lang LaSalle.

For the year 2011, the Company predicts that about 30,000 new units will come on-stream. The surplus in commercial properties have compelled landlords to offer incentives such as free rent, and allowances, to finish out shell construction space.

Dubai's RERA recently agreed that it is in the process of canceling half of all the projects registered with the authority. Out of 980 developments, 495 are on the chopping block, said the Dubai sovereign-bond prospectus.

However, the good thing is that people are no longer willing to purchase off-plan properties. Rather, the savvy investors or institutions are actually moving in, aiming distressed or re-priced assets, says Paul Devonshire, Director, Pramerica Real Estate Investors, specializing in the MENA region.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Abu Dhabi property market to see more consolidations in 2011

The real estate market in Abu Dhabi is all set for another consolidation in 2011, with huge supply of high-end homes in the next 15 months, which will do little to meet the shortage of mid-income housing, said a real estate executive yesterday.

The Abu Dhabi developers will continue to complete and handover projects next year, while about 8000 high-end homes are likely to further enter the market towards end of next year, revealed Gurjit Singh, the Chief Operating Officer, Sorouh Real Estate.

Speaking during the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai, he further said that the undersupply situation is focused on Abu Dhabi, and is predominantly the mid-income segment, and the gat needs to be filed. He, however, agreed that the government in Abu Dhabi is promoting more middle income rental housing projects.

Being the second largest developer in Abu Dhabi, Sorouh, is one among several other developers in the emirate to focus on developing government-backed housing projects, targeting Emirati families.

Singh pointed out that the government is more involved in making provision for Emirati housing, and this should continue, as there is need for such type of housing.

The developers across the UAE have been through the global economic crisis, which ended a six-year real estate boom, with Dubai suffering the most, while Abu Dhabi which is supported by the oil-revenue in the country, has managed to fare better.

Monday, October 18, 2010

UAE to adhere to current sponsorship system

The current UAE sponsorship system will remain unaltered, as the country is spending about Dh.50bn per annum to host 4 million foreign workers, said the Minister of Labour, Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash.

He added that he has not seen a country that did not have a sponsorship system for foreign workers. He revealed that the government is open to improving systems and changing policies to boost local economy.

He said that the Ministry of Labour has been improving the sponsorship system and will continue to do so, whenever it sees benefits from modifying the rules.

The average cost of hosting a worker is estimated to be about Dh.55,000. The cost of a skilled worker is Dh.144,000 while that of an unskilled worker is Dh.33,000, said Dr. Mouawiya Al Awad, Director of Institute for Social and Economic Research, Zayed University. The overall average annual administrative and recruitment costs per worker, are worth Dh.2,674. Total wages and cash and non-cash benefits are an average of Dh.41,000 per worker annually.

But, despite the costs, hiring of foreign workers is an economic advantage over private companies, and to the UAE economy, in comparison to the productivity levels of the workers, the study revealed. The study found that return on investment on foreign labourers is five times more than making the hiring of foreign workers a more attractive option.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dubai Silicon Authority grants freehold status to Cedre Villas

The Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) Authority has the right to grant freehold status to real estate projects being developed within the free zone, a senior official has revealed.

The Senior VP Engineering Management, Muammar Al Katheeri, at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said that the DSO has the right to regulate based on its operational requirement and to decide on the areas that are to be granted as freehold.

As of now, the Cedre Villas will be granted freehold status, Al Katheeri said.

Earlier during the year, Regulation No.1 of 2010 which amends the Regulation No.3 of 2006, designated areas for expatriates to enjoy as freehold, and this was published in Dubai government official gazette. The 2006 regulation had designated DSO as an area in which foreigners could own property, but restricted the ownership rights to leasehold interests only.

The 2010 regulation removed this limitation and enabled the property within DSO to be owned by foreigners on freehold basis.

Al Katheeri said that granting of free zone status for projects depends on the management, as to how they see the future, and what they consider as best suited for operation as free zone.

The lease and sale of all 368 units in the first phase of the Dh.1.55bn Cedre Villas project has been completed, while the second phase was delivered in June. Nearly 40 percent of the units have already been leased and sold.

Al Katheeri revealed that during the launch of the project a 10 percent discount was given, which is now reduced to 8 percent. But, on the opening of the community centre, this will be further reduced to five percent or no discounts at all, as the project has witnessed good sales from the day of launch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Affordable developments in Dubai gain strong foothold

The selling prices in several freehold communities across Dubai remained stable during the third quarter, in comparison to previous months, as per the latest report by Asteco, the property management company.

The third quarter report by Asteco Dubai, says that although further price adjustments are likely in the near future, affordable developments such as Discovery Gardens and Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) were priced at Dh.500 and Dh.750 per square foot respectively.

The report explained that Asteco has recorded an average drop of 6 percent for apartments. This is largely due to rapid increase in availability of apartments. But, there has also been an increased sale with owners who are likely to take handover of their units, but are unable to make the final payment, which constitutes large percentage of overall sales price.

This trend was also reflected in Downtown Burj Dubai, which, despite being at the opposite end of the price range, still commanded Dh.1,300 per square foot.

Although demand for townhouses and smaller villas is gathering pace, Asteco expects this to continue only in short-to-medium term. During the third quarter, properties in Jumeirah Island, Emirates Hills and the Green Community remained unchanged in terms of prices at Dh.1600, Dh.950 and Dh.700 per square foot respectively.

According to Elaine Jones, CEO of Asteco Property Management, there has been a change in focus in the real estate sector, as maximizing rental yields and long-term capital appreciation, has gained priority over short-term sale profits, with pro--ctive property management being a key factor.

The rental market in Dubai is favouring tenants. Despite an overall rental correction of 6 percent for apartments, the units in JLT dropped 2 percent, with 3 percent adjustments in Discovery Gardens and Downtown Burj Dubai.

The transaction numbers are usually at their lowest during summer and Ramadan. But, this time, it has been surprisingly active with several people taking advantage of the quiet months seeking value for money accommodation. Therefore, the drop in rentals is less significant during second quarter, the report explained.

Meanwhile, villa rentals have been slightly better, with average decline of 4percent from second quarter, following increased stock entry into the market in out-of-town developments.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Cityscape Global formally unveiled in Dubai

The Cityscape Global real estate exhibition was formally unveiled by H.H. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, at 10am today.

The Cityscape Global exhibition this year will showcase properties from the Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Jordan, amongst other places.

This edition of Cityscape brings with it improved overall confidence in Dubai, as the conglomerate Dubai World had announced last month about having secured approval from 99percent of its creditors for a debt restructuring plan.

Moreover, last week, the Dubai Government placed a $1.25bn dual-tranche bond, which was oversubscribed four times, indicating strong investor interest in the emirate.

Following formal opening on Monday, Shaikh Maktoum, made rounds of the exhibition, which will run till Thursday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center. He stopped at several stalls to look at the displays and speak to exhibitors.

This year's Cityscape Global involves participation of more than 200 exhibitors, including developers and service providers.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Nakheel makes Dh.3.4bn payments to creditors; resumes work on a third project

The leading real estate developer, Nakheel, on Thursday confirmed that it has paid out Dh.3.4bn in cash to creditors till date, and announced the appointment of a consultant to assess claims.

Nakheel also confirmed that it has resumed work on a third project, namely the Emirates Cluster, located in International City, following Al Furjan and The Garden View Villas.

Nakheel has begun paying out trade creditors the money owed to them, Dh.500,000 or less in March, and confirmed that it has initiated payments worth Dh.4bn to its other creditors on 30th June. This leaves Dh.600mn as outstanding.

Nakheel is also working closely with other trade creditors to achieve its 95 percent acceptance of all payables and claims by end of the year, a Nakheel spokesperson said.

This acceptance is required by the developer to issue the sukuk to pay creditors remaining 60 percent of outstanding, which it hasn’t paid in cash.

The issuance of sukuk, is a part of the restructuring plan of the Nakheel, is widely believed to happen before year-end.

Completion of short-term projects is another mission related to the re-structuring plan. Last week, the developer began construction on Al Furjan Villas and apartments, and The Garden View Villas.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More than 300 real estate projects in Dubai to be completed soon

About 307 real estate projects out of the 980 registered projects in Dubai, are likely to be completed shortly, states the prospectus of bond by the Dubai Government.

The government, by quoting RERA in the prospectus, said that out of the total number of registered projects, 46 have been completed, while another 307 are likely to be completed in due course.

The number of registered projects that are either cancelled or are in the process of cancellation, totals to 495 in number.

According to RERA, there are a total of 500 registered developers in Dubai, with more than 630 being registered brokers.

The major developers in Dubai are all owned by the Dubai Government, and/or the Ruling Family of Dubai. These include Emaar Properties, Nakheel, Dubai Properties, Union Properties and Deyaar Development.

But, the Dubai Land Department has reported 1,188 sale transactions, in comparison to 510 sale transactions during the second half of 2009, an increase of nearly 132 percent.

The Land Department reported a slight decrease in the number of mortgage-related transactions, with 1697 such transactions taking place during the first half of 2010, in comparison to 1861 such transactions during second half of 2009.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dubai Court announces new law for incomplete off-plan properties

The Dubai Court of Cessation has established legal principles for real estate sector, wherein, in-complete off-plan properties will not be registered directly in the name of buyers in the final real estate records.

They can be registered in the Initial Land Registry of the Land Department, as per the provisions of Act 13 of 2008.

On completion of off-plan units that are sold in advance, the developer may apply to the Land Department to register those units in the names of buyers who have met their contractual obligations. But, this can happened only after the developer is in receipt of completion certificate from competent authorities.

In the meanwhile, the Land Department is granted the right to register units in the names of buyers, in case they submit a request, or by the developer, on behalf of the buyers when they have fulfilled their commitments.

The court confirmed that the developer is obliged to apply to the Land Department for registration of sold units in the final Land Register, within 60 days from the date of the law. But, this needs to be done only if the units are 100 percent constructed. Else, it will be registered in the Initial Register as incomplete units.

The Court of Cassation clarified that the developer's role will be confined to submission of the application to the Land Department. The department will be the only body that can take action according to its powers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dubai property prices, rents to ease further in short-term

The rents and property prices are likely to soften further shortly, revealed the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in their report recently.

The Economic Researcher at the Dubai Chamber, Ehsan Khoman, said that the demand-supply dynamics are favoring over-supply, given the significant volume of construction projects over the past years.

The study also revealed that the real estate market in Dubai has focused more on high and ultra-high end segment of the market. With low confidence levels and subdued demand, the prices and rents could dip further, he said.

But, the sector will recover in the medium to long term. In the medium term, rental yields and property prices are likely to get stabilized, with growing confidence levels and recovery signs, Khoman continued.

With the lending conditions likely to ease on lower interbank rates, and with the overall investor sentiment being restored, the prices and rental returns are predicted to return to pre-crisis levels, he said.

Further, the government intervention has given the much-needed strength to the market. The study pointed out actions taken by Dubai Land Department and Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Issuing visas linked to property ownership are also vital, as property investors and homeowners are now permitted multi entry visas into Dubai for minimum of six months.

The study emphasizes that few regulations are necessary here, particularly, when the developer is permitted to retain 30 percent of contract value, in case a buyer cancels an off-plan purchase. Therefore, off-plan buyers, seeking to cancel a project, will have to forfeit 30percent of the total value of the unit, he pointed out.

According to Khomam, further measures in this regard can boost investor confidence and revive overall market demand. In order to enhance the level of transparency, professionalism and overall market confidence, few policy recommendations need to be made. Such regulations can improve transparency levels, professionalism, and overall confidence in the market.

The study actually revealed that the latest performance in the property sector, coupled with dropping prices of properties, have brought relief to residents and businesses alike. For those with insufficient capital, this is the right time to make return on investment.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nakheel re-starts all its short-term projects

Nakheel has announced that it is in the process of re-starting all its short-term projects, as per the re-structuring plan to be finalized by year-end.

The CEO of Nakheel, Chris O'Donnell, has instructed that all deals with contractors should be ready by end of next month, so as to begin construction of all eight short-term projects.

Nakheel has already held talks with the banks, and consolidations, and re-structuring will be almost completed by end of the year, he said.

Located off the Emirates Roads in Dubai, Al Furjan said that it is the first project in which Nakheel has signed deal with its contractor, to work on 300 villas, the work on which began two years back

The Managing Partner at Al Shafar Transport and Contracting, Tarent Zoabi, confirmed that work was underway on 63 villas, to be handed over in the first quarter of 2011. The remaining 237, is also 60 percent complete, and will be delivered by fourth quarter of next year.

Although, there was a short delay owing to economic conditions, the company got paid for first phase, inline with the re-structuring plan, and therefore hope that the rest of the payment will be released by the year-end, said Zoaibi.

Meanwhile, Arabtec is likely to commence work on the rest 500 villas in this phase of Al Furjan, and is considered to be one of the short-term projects by Nakheel, which is still pending. The developer hopes to reach a deal with Arabtec by the end of next-month.

Arabtec and other contractors will resume the work on this and other sites. This phase of Al Furjan has already been sold out. The Phase Tw0 is a long-term project, said Mohammad Rashed Bin Dhabeah, the Managing Director, Nakheel Construction.

We are also working on creating a park adjacent to Golden Mile on Pam Jumeirah, said Chris O-Donnell.

Nakheel is yet to reveal how many of its long-term projects will finally go ahead. The first focus is to finish the re-structuring and the eight projects in next two years, said O-Donnell said.

Short-term projects are phases or certain components of master developments, where construction has progressed considerably. These include initial phases of Jumeirah Park, Al Furjan, Veneto and Badrah, Madinat Al Arab, Jumeirah Heights, Jumeirah Village South, Jumeirah Island and finishing bits and pieces on Palm Jumeirah.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dubai's property sector shows strong signs of re-bound

Dubai's real estate sector has shown indications that it is likely to bounce back.

The September figures indicate that there are less vacant properties in Dubai now, following a sudden late summer rush, reports the latest edition of ArabianMoney, the Gulf's independently-written investment newsletter.

According to the current data analysisi by website, the residential property vacancy rate has dropped from 11 percent to 8 percent following summer, a decrease of 25 percent in the residential vacancy rate.

According to the Editor and Publisher at ArabianMoney, Peter Cooper, this is a major shift and a significant change in the local realty sector.

In June, it was found that there were 20,130 properties for sale, and 11,797 for rent in Dubai, making a total of 32,000 (nearly 11 percent of estimated 300,000 unit housing stock).

But on 7th September, ArabianMoney present only 14,984 units for sale and 9,634 for rental.

This could be an indication that people are actually coming back after summer, and lower rent has brought back the commuters from Sharjah to Dubai, and has also served as encouragement for those paying higher rents in Abu Dhabi to turn to Dubai and commute from here, he said.

He also said that new property supplies have been slow in entering the market. This could be due to the sudden construction halt witnessed two years ago, he said.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Completed buildings in Dubai attract more value in Q2 2010

The value of completed buildings in Dubai witnessed a major spike in prices by more than 45 percent during the second quarter of 2010, in comparison to that of first quarter this year, based on the statistics published by the Dubai Statistics Center of Dubai Municipality.

This indicates an all-time quarterly high for the value of completed buildings, as per the Dubai Municipality data, which has been maintaining records dating back to the year 2005.

The increase in value of completed buildings is largely due to the 80 percent jump in value of multi-storey buildings completed in Q2 this year. However, the number of multi-storey buildings that have been completed grew only marginally, touching 87 buildings from 82 buildings during first quarter of the year.

The rise in building values is noteworthy particularly bearing in mind the fact that there has been a 17percent drop in the number of completed buildings (from 1358 in Q1 2010 to 1128 in Q2 2010).

The value of completed buildings in Dubai had hit a low during fourth quarter last year, with 614 buildings worth Dh.4.3bn completed. But, thereafter, the value of completed buildings has recorded a good improvement, jumping by more than 76 in Q1 and by more than 45 percent in Q2 of this year.

The latest announcement by Dubai World that it has reached a deal with 99 percent of its creditors regarding $24.9bn worth debt re-structuring is likely to further boost the real estate sector in the emirate, which witnessed a decline in value by 50 percent on delivered properties during the past couple of years, owing to global economic recession.

According to experts, the government supporting this major sector and real estate companies are set to make a major comeback earlier than expected.

The value of buildings, public facilities, particularly those funded by government bodies, including the municipality, grew by more than 67 percent from Dh.1.74bn in Q1 2010 to Dh.2.9bn in Q2 2010, as per data.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweet Homes to deliver 1st phase of Ajman Uptown villas by August 2011

The leading UAE-based real estate developer and multi-service provider to the property sector, Sweet Homes Holdings, has announced plans to deliver the first phase of its residential villa projects, worth Dh.2.2bn in Ajman Uptown community development by August 2011.

The master developer also revealed that about 555 of these units will be handed over to customers who have been prompt in their payments, as per the construction-linked payment plan for the project.

According to Sweet Homes, majority of the investors who have signed up for the said payment scheme, have acquired villas from phase one, and is therefore driving the completion of the initial phase of the project.

Currently, two major sub-contracts for the 1504 villas have been awarded to Sweet Homes General Contracting (SHGC), the in-house arm of Sweet Homes Group, and the main contractor for Ajman Uptown project.

SHGC reported that the sub-structure of all villas have been completed and superstructure works are under process across the double, triple and four bedroom townhouses and well-designed five-bedroom VIP villas in the project.

The CEO of Sweet Homes, Fahad Sattar Dero, said that the imminent delivery of the first phase of the villas is the realization of a vision. Several of the company’s investors from phase two and three are also showing interest in moving to available villas in the first phase, that are similar to units that they had earlier invested in.

The Dubai Islamic Bank is the appointed custodian institution of the project, which is conducting regular inspections, and has given satisfactory remarks on the project’s progress. This includes villas in the first phase of the project, with nine designs - VIP, Acacia, Camellia, Erica, Begonya, Erica-1, Erica-1, Erica-2 Vertical, Erica-2 Horizontal and Dahlia.

The project is also closely monitored by Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (ARRA), while even third party construction firms and quantity surveying firms, have reverted with positive feedback after assessment of construction progress.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dubai, now among affordable cities in the world

Dubai is now ranked as being a more affordable city in the world for expatriates, given, the decline in property rents and thereby a major decline in cost of living in the emirate, as per the latest global research report.

According to a EuroCost International Study, Dubai has fallen down in its rankings to 31 from 12 last year, owing to sharp decline in rental rates.

Currently, Beirut is the most expensive city in the Middle East, just followed by Abu Dhabi, which has also seen a drop in rentals last year. However, the price decrease was remarkable in Dubai, with decreases of up to 50 percent, based on the type of housing, the EuroCost study report said.

The report said that the housing crisis has affected several locations across the globe in many ways. Majority of the countries have recorded a drop in rentals last year, a factor that was less eminent until the last few years.

Certain markets, however, have been better resistant to the crisis, and in few countries, expatriate rentals have remained stable or have even increased. The other reason with the fluctuation in exchange rates last year, the rent price evolution would have been different in euros and in local currency.

This may be the reason for cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing to fall out of the top 20. Dubai, in particular, has seen considerable decrease in expatriate rents last year, the report pointed out.

Meanwhile, cities such as Sydney, Beirut and Rio have grown in their ranking and are now among the 20 most expensive places in the world.

EuroCost International specializes in cost of living services for expatriates in more than 250 locations worldwide. Although the expatriate housing conditions vary depending on the country, the EuroCost publishes a yearly worldwide ranking, depending on specific type of housing.

For the latest survey report, EuroCost has taken into account double and triple bedroom flats (Average prices converted in euros, with December 2009 reference rates), and has reported several marked changes in the findings of 2010 worldwide ranking of expatriate rent.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New real estate regulation announced in Sharjah

According to a new real estate regulation issued in Sharjah today, the landlords in Sharjah can now turn their residential buildings into commercial or professional facilities.

The Sharjah Executive Council passed the resolution in a meeting, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

As per the new real estate measures, a committee will be established to examine applications for commercial and professional use of buildings, in view of technical criteria.

This initiative aims to regulate the use of buildings at the permissible leaseable residential districts.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

New properties in Dubai found lacking in quality of finish

The quality of finishing in newly completed properties in Dubai has dropped considerably. This could be due to cost-cutting measures adopted by the developers, including hiring cheaper contractors, said a Dubai-based firm.

The Managing Director of Land Sterling, a property valuations firm based in Dubai, Youcef Betraoui, said that ever-since the downturn, there has been a fall in standards owing to cost cutting and the hurrying up of work to complete deadlines. The developers have also been found hiring cheaper contractors for cost-cutting purposes.

Betraoui, whose company is regulated by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the UK and the RERA in Dubai, said that on an average the company receives about 20 to 30 issues with each villas, although, it varies from one project to another.

When things began getting worse for developers, this number grew to 50. When owners spotted this, they demanded that a professional inspect the property before handover. The company has seen atleast 20 percent increase in demand for snagging services during first half of this year, he added.

According to Betraoui, the decline in quality is not just for medium quality developments. It is also for multi-million dirham penthouses in the Palm Jumeirah.

Although the palm-shaped Nakheel development usually are among the best quality finishes in Dubai, there are Dh.15mn worth penthouses that have water leakage, spotlights that did not work, and doors and windows that had problems.

Land Sterling is involved in inspecting the quality of building work prior to hand-over of properties by the developer to the owner (known as snagging).

After inspection, the snag report will be sent to the developer, and a copy of it will be sent to the owner. After completion of the said works (which takes a week to a month), the company does a follow up inspection. If the work is found of sufficient quality, the final payment is made and the keys are exchanged. The work also involves a one year warranty from the developer.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Dubai Marina tops list of favourites among tenants, investors alike

Dubai Marina continues to top the list of most sought-after developments in Dubai for tenants and investors alike said a survey by leading real estate portal.

The survey conducted among 400,000 visitors to the website, including 100,000 properties and 200 brokers said that 17.5 percent of online search among people preferred Dubai Marina, while 16.1 percent chose Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), 13.1 percent Palm Jumeirah, 7.3 percent Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), and 6.8 percent chose Arabian Ranches.

Even in the rental sector, Dubai Marina topped the list with 16.7 percent choosing it as favourite development, following by JLT at 9.9percent votes, Palm Jumeirah 6.7 percent, Mirdif 5.9 percent and Jumeirah 5.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the once popular rental destinations, Discovery Gardens and International City, showed a downward trend, with only 4.2 percent and 3.4 percent showing interest in them.

The popularity of Dubai Marina has increased considerably, with growing demand from Abu Dhabi commuters as the real estate sector in the capital has suffered a set back due to shortage of units, resulting in high rentals, said Jesse Down, Director of Research and Advisory, Landmark Advisory.

The waterfront location with accessibility to major retail clusters makes Dubai Marina a popular residential area. Moreover, the Marina is a well-established community with a positive feedback loop, drawing more demand, Downs said. But, despite being so, the rents in Dubai Marina registered a 20 percent decline, as per the Rental Index by RERA.

The rent declines are driven by sharp growth in supply and weakening demand fundamentals. The supply in Marina, including JBR, has grown by nearly 20 percent this year. There is a three-year pipeline for the area, which could keep rents from re-bounding any time soon, Downs points out.

Meanwhile, with several projects nearing completion and close to handover in Abu Dhabi, it is likely that several people working in Abu Dhabi and living in Dubai will consider moving into the capital. Given, the increasing supplies and dropping rentals in Abu Dhabi, commuters are likely to be attracted back to the capital, and this trend may gain momentum in 2011 and 2012, which could have a major impact on Dubai Marina and JLT, Downs said.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Developers strive to keep up the Owners Associations deadline

While the developers have begun using the strata consultants to keep up the October deadline for registration of owners association, it is said that an extension to the deadline is likely.

The CEO of Strata Global, Kent A O'Brien, said that the October deadline to complete all documentation process and to register owners' associations with RERA (Real Estate Regularoty Agency), will be extended further.

The Head of Strata Management at Cluttons, Graham Yeats, also responded similarly.

"The pressure to meet the deadline will be there. Even RERA will have to do a lot of processing within a short span, but it will be worthwhile in the end," he said.

The developers in Dubai, who have been proactive till date, are continuing that way. But, few others are hoping that they will not have to spend money on compliance, O'Brien said.

Yeates said that several developers are using consultants to handle the registration. The main document is the JOP declaration, which outlines the details of the project, including the method of calculating the cost sharing.

RERA will ensure that this is calculated in an equitable manner and consultants can assist with this formula. Although it is a tight deadline, the proactive developers are working towards reaching this goal, he concluded.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dubai realty sector to be the first to recover from downturn impact

Dubai's real estate sector will top all the other sectors that are likely to recover from the downturn, which had left a major impact on most economic sectors in the Gulf region, said the Nakheel Chairman.

According to Ali Rashid Lootah, the property sector in the emirate is in a state of stability when it comes to rents and property prices, and this makes it more attractive for investors and dealers.

The developments happening in the Dubai realty sector over the past two years also have a major role in re-structuring the sector, he said.

The property market in Dubai has strong pillars of support that actually helps the sector to remain on the top of all other sectors, and this will help in kick-starting the gradual recovery process. Other major factors that are conducive to property market are the advanced infrastructure and investment environment in the emirate. The current stage is, only a transitional phase which will open doors for a new period in this market, he explained.

Lootah expects a strong "wave" of demand for properties in Dubai, very soon. His expectations are based on the growth of population in Dubai over the past couple of months, which is reflected by the surge in domestic power and water consumption, in comparison to the same period last year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Few developers announce three-year residence visas for property purchase in RAK

Certain developers in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) are offering three-year residence visas for purchase of property within the emirate, despite the fact that federal law permits only six month visa, it has been reported.

For instance, the Al Hamra Village in RAK is said to have been openly campaigning that it can offer visa and financing to Royal Breeze Direct Sea View Apartments.

An expatriate residing at Al Hamra Village said that an expatriate can have 100 percent ownership of a property in Al Hamra Village, while also enjoying several other benefits, including residence visa renewable every three years, and interest-free financing of up to 40 percent of property value.

The expatriate, who is also a sales agent, said that the visa will be provided by Rakia, and will be guaranteed on purchase of a property. The title deed will be given after submitting full payment. A trade license will be will be given before obtaining the residence visa. For this, a one-time payment of Dh.5000 will have to be submitted. The visa given is renewable every three years for Dh.2000.

Although, the RAK laws are entirely different, the visa is guaranteed, the agent said.
For availing the interest-free finance scheme, a deposit of 60 percent will have to be made over a two-year period, he said.

The sales campaign reflects the newsletter content by an RAK-based legal firm, which said that establishment of a special purpose vehicle in the Rakia free zone will permit the director and shareholder to obtain a three-year visa and permit them to sponsor dependents.

However, as per the UAE federal law foreign owners of the UAE property, are entitled to a six-month multiple entry visa, effective 1st June this year. The law mandates that applicants own a property worth minimum Dh.1million and earn a monthly salary of Dh.10,000 for the visa. The visa will have to be renewable every six months at a cost of Dh.2000.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nakheel to begin work on six mega projects in Dubai

Nakheel, the leading Dubai-based property developer will begin work on a minimum six mega projects in Dubai early next month, it has been announced.

The projects on which Nakheel aims to resume work are Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Park, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Islands Mansions, Al Badrah and Jumeirah Heights Clusters.

Nakheel is currently engaging contractors in certain short-term projects, aiming to continue work in the coming weeks. All short-term projects will kick-start by early October 2010, it has been reported.

The developer, the Palm Islands, has issued payments to contractors, and this has helped in resuming stalled projects in the emirate.

The Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Ahmed Lootah said that the company was dealing with 1000 trade creditors. The companies, including Halcrow and Arabtec Construction, and Halcrow, the UK engineering company is involved in the Palm Jumeirah and they have confirmed to have received payments from Nakheel.

The Chief Financial Officer of Arabtec, Ziad Makhzoumi, stopped work on Al Furjan in January, and said the project would re-start soon.

Victory Heights hands over 600th villa in Dubai Sports City

Victory Heights, the Dubai-based developer, has handed over keys to the 600th villa of its 961-unit golfing residential community in Dubai Sports City.

A statement by Victory Heights confirms that 75 percent of the 794 phase-one units of the community have been completed.

The Dh.2.5bn golfing residential development, a joint venture between Arcapita, the Bahraini investment bank and the Dubai Sports City, have been completed towards end of 2010, the statement said.

The General Manager at Victory Heights, Yasser Abulrahman Al Raee, said that with about two-thirds of luxury villas now in the hands of homeowners, the first phase of Victory Heights is now nearing completion.

The development is now buzzing with activity and is more like an established community, given its spacious homes and beautifully landscaped gardens, he said.

The Victory Heights villas are built in three different styles - authentic Spanich Andalusian, Mediterranean and classic European styles, with several offering wonderful views of the golf course fairways and lakes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International City units see less demand

Despite the drop in prices, at least majority of people are not too keen on investing in international city units, says a survey report by Emirates 24/7.

Atleast 91 percent of those surveyed have shown an aversion to investing these units largely due to infrastructure issues, apart from investor apathy.

The prices are likely to go down further, as nobody would invest until there are proper entry and exit gateways. Further, there is the parking issue and foul smell, said one of the respondent.

Another respondent agreed that International City needs to address the infrastructure issues to support the project. The prices will keep falling until this is met.

The poll findings revealed that at least 24 percent of the respondents believe that the drop in prices are yet to hit the bottom, and is bound to go down further.

Only 8 percent of the respondents agreed and expressed their willingness to invest in International City, while 2 percent of respondents said they may probably buy as the current prices are lower than the launch price, and that rentals could cover the investment. Another 4 percent agreed that International City offers good investment at low risk.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marina Square units likely to be the costliest in Abu Dhabi rental market

Abu Dhabi's Marina Square apartments on Reem Island, ready for handover, are likely to be the costliest in the rental market of the Capital.

At present, the maximum rental for a double bedroom apartment at the Corniche is about Dh.210,000 to Dh.230,000 a year.

The rents will be about 10percent more than those for similar apartments on the Corniche or Abu Dhabi Island, said Andrew Laver, Manager for Valuation and Advisory at Chesterton International.

This could be due to the location, parking, views, and lack of congestion. Several owners and potential tenants have been waiting for the handover of the units. The entire project renders a new lifestyle with excellent views, an underground parking system, away from the hustle-bustle of the city center, he said.

More than 3000 units across the thirteen high-rises will be ready to be occupied post-Ramadan. Several of these will enter the leasing market during the next few months. The owners are likely to demand a premium, and do not mind keeping their properties vacant until they earn the desired rent.

Certain other factors such as limited availability of units for rents on the Corniche, also contributes to high rental prospects for Marina Square. Moreover, any building that is completed is often fully rented out in two months.

The Chesterton's projections indicate that rentals for apartments on the Corniche may remain comparatively stable during the coming months with the delivery of Marina Square units. But, properties along Al Falah and Hazaa Bin Zayed may see considerable decline in rents.

However, Charlie Walsh, Head of transactional services at Asteco Property Management, is not ready to compare Marina Square with Corniche. Comparison of rentals between Marina Square and Corniche is difficult, as the grade and quality of accommodation on the Corniche varies depending on the age of the building. Moreover, the units in Marina Square are yet to be handed over, and therefore, rentals are yet to be proven.

Further, the Corniche is considered a prime locality to life, with older buildings offering larger-sized units, although without much amenities. On the other hand, the Marina Square is a modern development with amenities such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, ample parking and more, although it still needs to establish itself as a community, Walsh concluded.

On the whole, as the experts are yet to arrive on a common ground about rentals, it is for market forces to decide them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Developers offer attractive perks to lure investors

The developers have begun trying several marketing strategies to attract property buyers, such as offering "guaranteed rentals" to multiple unit buyers, and also offering free maintenance for their units.

The Dubai-based Vakson Real Estate, for instance, has offered eight percent guaranteed gross rent for two years to investors purchasing three or more apartments in its 'University View Apartments' at Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The units are all ready to be occupied, with majority already sold out. The units located in a good location are much in demand, a company official agreed.

The investors are given post-dated rent cheques on signing contracts. The developer is also offering financing options to investors.

In RAK, Al Hamra Real Estate is offering free furniture and one-year free maintenance to property buyers, apart from developer finance. For those opting to rent, the units are offered with three months' free rental apart from free electricity for three months.

Several developers were offering numerous such perks to attract buyers. But these offers withered away when the real estate sector was hit by the recession.

However, experts are of the opinion that property buyers are no-longer interested in sales gimmicks of companies, and are cautious in making decision. They are looking into quality, location and reputation of developer, rather than the free gifts offered.

The leading global real estate consultancy, CBRE (CB Richard Ellis) expects about 31,194 new properties to enter the Dubai market this year, and more than 10,000 in Abu Dhabi.

According to Reuters' poll, house prices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are likely to fall by 10 percent and 13 percent in 2010, with increase in housing units in both markets.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Declining rentals to make Dubai, Abu Dhabi markets more attractive

According to property analysts, an oversupply in the market will actually make the UAE a more competitive place to live and work.

The Manager of Residential sales and leasing, Better Homes, Kosta Giannopoulos, said that growing number of vacant units will make if easier for people from outside the UAE to move in.

Apart from the declining rents, the infrastructure and the systems are improving, and majority of expatriates believe in Team UAE, which could give them a greater sense of belonging, he said.

The Assistant Branch Manager at Better Homes, Jon Yarrow, agrees that the Green Community has a queue of tenants seeking to move in. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact number of vacancies, several developers are delaying handover of units.

The vacancy levels are likely to increase within next six months as more supply enters the market, he added.

Cluttons International recently revealed that Sharjah is not far behind, and there are high levels of residential units being rented out in Sharjah too, particularly in the new projects.

However, there are high vacancy levels looming large in Dubai and Sharjah. This is evident with the growing number of "to-let" boards across Umm Suqueim and Jumeirah, where traditionally villa rental inquiries have been slower.

But, the outlook seems worse for office sector. The latest research by Landmark Advisory indicates those oversupplies will double empty office space to 45.9mn square feet by 2014. The vacancies would grow to 53 percent and 58 percent by 2013 and 2014 respectively.

However, this will bring down quality office rents, thereby making Abu Dhabi and Dubai more attractive for new businesses.

According to Landmark Advisory, the residential sector rents will peak between 25 and 28 percent in 2012. Colliers International sets current vacancy rates at 13 percent.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Dubai Land Department accredits Emirates Islamic bank to lend under Tavseer

Emirates Islamic Bank (EIB) is the first Bank accredited by the Dubai Land Department to lend under Tavseer, the latest initiative by the Dubai government to guarantee financing of few property developments announced in the month of June.

EIB has been given access to the Dubai-government supported guarantee scheme, which aims to assure returns to participating financial institutions, protected by Dubai's RERA's (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) stress test of approved projects.

The Tavseer initiative by the government has gained acceptance amongst industry experts. According to them, this initiative by the Land Department to increase confidence in the market through an official stamp on certain projects is the first positive step, although even cancelled projects need such attention.

The Head of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Middle East, Matthew Green, said it is not good for Dubai’s image to have building sites standing idle. Therefore, Tavseer is a vital step taken by the Land Department to get the developments moving.

Such an initiative will inspire confidence and accelerate the real estate market's continuing maturity. The move will help accelerate 40 chosen projects within Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Jumeirah Lake Towers that are already 60 percent complete, commented Marwan Bin Ghalita, the RERA CEO.

Land Department revealed that discussions are underway with banks and developers to set up a comprehensive legislative and procedural frame work in support of the Tavseer guarantee, but wasn't open to further clarification.

The Director-General of the Land Department, Sultan Bin Butti Bin Mejren, said that other bank applications too were under consideration for Tavseer and more projects would be included within the next three years, with each given a special focus.

However, Green pointed out that although Tavseer is a good start to stalled projects, investors require more clarity directly from the developers about such projects. Equal transparency is required for other projects too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dubai house prices dip 4percent in Q2 2010

The house prices in Dubai slipped four percent during the second quarter this year, said the latest report by Colliers International, the leading real estate consultancy.

According to the agency report, this is the first quarter-on-quarter contraction that has been reported in the past one year. The additional housing supply and declining rental incomes are likely to further mount pressure on the prices of housing.

Colliers had earlier reported that its index grew by 2 percent during the first quarter, in comparison to the final quarter last year.

Colliers expects about 33,000 new units to enter the market towards end of the year, less than its original estimate of 41,000, due to delays or re-scheduling of the project.

The Regional Director at Colliers, Ian Albert, said that on the whole, Dubai has 340,000 or more residential properties with 87% occupancy rate, and further declines are anticipated. The market cannot absorb the additional supply, unless there is an increase in population, and the release of stock is slowed down.

Albert also said that due to considerable drop in rentals, investors are hesitant about home ownership when it comes to income generation. This, coupled with other factors such as weakening demand, rigid mortgage approval processes, may all lead to surplus units in the market.

Colliers index data shows seven percent growth in overall house prices year-on-year, with total number of property transactions increasing by fifteen percent every quarter.

The apartment prices dropped by five percent while, villa and townhouse prices dropped by three percent and eight percent respectively, in comparison to the last quarter.

The maximum numbers of transactions were recorded by Arabian Ranches during the second quarter, followed by The Springs, Victory Heights, Downtown Dubai, and the Green Community.
However, in terms of pricing, The Palm Jumeirah Villas, Downtown Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah Apartments and The Lakes - Villas, were the top developments.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rise in Dubai villa prices by 6.9 percent

The villa prices in Dubai grew by 6.99%%, while apartment prices fell by 5.23 percent between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010, as per report by a leading real estate information company.

Based on the June figures of Sales Price Index for Dubai (SPID) announced by, an online database of proprietary real estate indices for UAE, there is a decrease of 0.35% between the months May and June 2010, in comparison to the decline of 1.23 percent of corresponding period between April 2010 and May 2010.

During the same period, the prices of apartments grew by 0.71%, compared to a drop by 2.88% last month. On the other hand, villa prices fell 2.18%, in comparison to 0.63% during the month of May. This reflects a marginal increase by 0.26% over June 2009 figures.

According to Ahmet Kayhan, the CEO, the slight drop noticed during the past two months, is just reflection of the seasonal adjustments, rather than a trend.

The SPID indicated that all residential units dropped by 1.47 points in Q2 2010, to the level of 174.74 basis points, a decrease by 0.84% from Q2 2009.

For the month June 2010, Residential Sales Price Index was a mere 69.21 points above its base value of 100 points in January 2003. However, the Apartment Sales Price Index was 54.22% above and Villa Sales Price Index was 195.54%, above its base value of 100 points in January 2003.

Arabtec signs deal to construct La Hoya Bay project

Arabtec has announced that it has signed a contract to construct the La Hoya Bay project at Ras Al Khaimah, worth about $680mn (Dh.2.5bn).

The project, located on Marjan Island, will be constructed within five years, with the first phase set to begin immediately.

The La Hoya Bay project has so far met delays, as it was launched amidst the global recession and downturn in the Dubai real estate market.

Rakeen, the RAK-owned real estate firm, took over custody of La Hoya Bay's parent firm Khoie Properties when it became insolvent.

Arabtec said that the project will be completed within two and a half years and that the first phase of the project, worth Dh.900mn will begin immediately.

The project will comprise five mixed-use elements, apart from external landscaping works. The Sector A (LA Hoya Residences) will include seven residential buildings and recreational amenities; Sector B (La Hoya Bay Business Village) comprising offices with free zone status, apartments and retail space; Sector C (LA Hoya Bay Regency) which includes a European Village consisting of 12 residential buildings a 200-room hotel and retail space; Sector D (La Hoya Bay Autumn Leaves) which include premium service apartments with medical amenities, private yacht, and community centre for the semi-retired, and Sector E (La Hoya Bay Bermuda Hotel and Apartments) which consists of 800 quality condominiums, a 300-room hotel and yacht club.

The external works include landscaping, swimming pools and three marinas, all spread across gross built-up area of around 5.5mn sq. ft.

The Chairman of Khoie Properties, Frank Khoie, said that the project will help Ras Al Khaimah in its effort to grow into a destination of quality waterfront and resort environment living.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rental declines pressurizing landlords in Sharjah

The landlords in Sharjah are having a tough time, with major decline in Dubai rentals. This, coupled with the latest round of power failures, may force tenants to flee to the neighbouring emirates, fear landlords.

Now retaining their current tenants is a major challenge for landlords, as tenants are preferring locations such as Discovery Gardens, Al Ghusais and Mirdif in Dubai.

Few landlords in Sharjah have already reduced their rents to remain competitive with their Dubai counterparts. They could offer more incentives in the wake of power crisis during renewal of tenancy contracts.

Several new residential high-rises in Sharjah are also nearing completion. Another major factor affecting rentals is the amount of supply entering the market, points out the new report by Asteco, when speaking about the situation in northern emirates during second quarter.

Until the recent power crisis issue in Sharjah, the rate of decline for apartments in Sharjah was eased, it was thought. The three-bedroom apartments in Al Khan and Al Nahda, too, recorded a drop of 4% during the second quarter, following 9% decline during the first quarter.

Although there was no rental change for studio apartments, the single and double bedroom units witnessed 8% and 4% drop respectively. This decline is more in the case of villas.

Now, it needs to be watched, how Sharjah's residents, landlords could fallout from the power breakdown during their upcoming contract renewals.

In fact, soft market conditions continue to prevail in the northern emirates in the UAE. Rents in Ajman dropped at the same pace as during the previous quarter, while properties near the Corniche fell 12 percent, following 7% decline during first quarter. But the Corniche area still continues to draw in people working in the emirate.

In Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, there are not much changes reported in apartment rental rates.

The office rental segment in Sharjah is more or less parallel to that of residential. The rents saw a steady decline in rents during the second quarter. Sharjah government is coming out with a tourism masterplan and as a part of this plan, about ten new hotels are hoped to be built in the emirate.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More tenants in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah migrating to Dubai

A major dip in rents across the UAE has prompted more than a third of tenants to switch homes last year, with several opting for homes with larger rents, said a survey report.

The findings of the survey, conducted by YouGov Siraj Omnibus in June, also revealed that with rents dipping, Dubai has again turned out to be the preferred destination for those planning to shift residences from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The online survey included 770 adults over the age of 18.

The survey reveals that 35 percent of UAE residents are of the opinion that the real estate outlook will improve in 2011, in comparison to 32 percent who feel it would deteriorate, while 21 percent feel that it will remain the same.

Compared to tenants' optimism, the property owners' have exhibited more confidence about outlook on 2011 real estate at 47 percent.

Although there is optimism, it is a cautious optimism, and the UAE residents are grabbing the current opportunity of low rentals when upgrading their accommodation, the survey report said.
The survey reveals that about 40percent have moved from single bedroom units to double bedrooms, and 46 percent of those wh lived in double bedrooms last year, now live in three bedrooms.

According to YouGov Siraj Research Director, Himanshu Narang, Dubai is better-placed when it comes to availability of residential and commercial units, followed by Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Sharjah is seen to have better value for money, surpassing Dubai and Abu Dhabi, respectively.
But, the findings indicate that migration is geared towards Dubai, particularly from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Among the current population in Dubai, 18percent have recently moved in from Sharjah, while other 35percent residents in Sharjah have agreed that they plan to move to Dubai.

In Abu Dhabi, despite the 15 percent drop in rents, 16percent of residents plan to move in to Dubai.

The latest report by Deutsche Bank also states that Dubai property prices continued to fall moderately in June, hurt by oversupply and low demand.

Rentals in Abu Dhabi have dropped by 15 percent during last quarter, said the report by Asteco Property Management. The Abu Dhabi market is seeing more supply entering the market. But, the fall in rents are not huge enough to bring back the flow of tenants from capital to Dubai, where the property is much cheaper.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dubai Marina is the hotspot to buy, rent property

The Dubai Marina has been voted the number one hotspot to buy and rent property in Dubai during the second quarter of the year, said the latest findings by a leading real estate website,

The second quarter enquiry results said that it accounted 20.4 percent of search terms for sales and 15.9percent rentals. The Dubai Marina properties are now viewed atleast once in every five searches, the report said.

The Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Lake Towers were the second hot spot with 11.8percent (purchase inquiries) and 8.1 percent (rental inquiry) during the same period.

The findings also revealed that Mirdiff is the third most popular choice for rentals outside of new Dubai, the report noted.

The current trend noticed in Dubai's property market is that buyers and renters are moving further outside of the traditional residential areas of New Dubai, particularly to locations such as Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

Among the other popular choices are International City and Discovery Gardens. The findings are based on about 450,000 visits to the website during Q2 2010.

In terms of search, the property hot zone locations by are:

To buy, Q2 2010
Dubai Marina, 20.4%
Palm Jumeirah, 11.8 %
Jumeirah Lakes Towers 11.2%
Arabian Ranches, 6.5%
Jumeirah Beach Residence, 5.9%

To rent, Q2 2010
Dubai Marina,15.9%
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 8.1%
Mirdif, 7%
Jumeirah, 6.8%
Palm Jumeirah, 6.3%