Monday, May 31, 2010

Dubai Properties unveils Nuzul community

Dubai Properties Group has launched a dedicated community, named Nuzul for skilled labour, aimed at improving the lifestyle of the emirate's labour community.

Nuzul offers 2236 residential units across 13 low-rise buildings in Jebel Ali Industrial Area 1. Nuzul features Mediterranean architecture with wide open spaces particularly designed to offer healthy living, working and leisure environment for skilled labour.

Covering built-up area of 92,000 square feet in Jebel Ali Industrial Area, the new community offers amenities such as supermarket, food court, pharmacy, clinic, emergency treatment room, mosque, game rooms, internet room, library, ATM machine, cricket, retail outlets, basketball field and dedicated entertainment and recreation areas.

The Dubai Properties Group had also developed the renowned Jumeirah Beach Residence and The Executive Towers at Business Bay.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Escan announces sale of Al Fanaar development

Fujairah Escan Investment and Real Estate Development announced sale of one of its projects in Fujairah, while the property firm also revives another project along the emirate's coast in Dibba.

The Al Fanaar development, announced for sale, presents three towers facing the sea, a 30-storey commercial building, and a 37-storey residential abode. The use of the third 20-storey tower is yet to be decided. The development features designer apartments ranging from studios to three bedroom apartments, four bedroom penthouses, all equipped with smart home technology.

Located in the heart of the city, the Dh.1.2bn development is linked to the new Dubai-Fujairah fast route, likely to be completed by end of the year, with easy accessibility to Dubai International Airport. The construction is underway and handover is likely by 2013.

The residential units have been launched at Dh.600 per square foot. Payments are to be made on quarterly basis, and 35 percent at the time of delivery. The prices of commercial units are yet to be decided.

The units will be offered directly to GCC residents, while the expatriates will have to purchase it through their companies and should be 51percent owned by an Emirati.

Escan also plans to move ahead with Golden Sand Beach Resort project, announced in 2007. The foundation work is already complete, the company said.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Strata Law in Dubai offers power to Home Owners Associations

With the Dubai Land Department, revealing the much-awaited regulations accompanying the strata law, the developers in Dubai are now left with only six months to hand control to Home Owners Associations (HOA).

The guidelines, implementing Law No.27 of 2007 regarding ownership of jointly-owned property in the Emirate of Dubai, gives home owner associations, control over who maintains their units, chose service levels and costs, thereby gaining control over the much-disputed service fee.

The developers are now given six months to bring their current projects under the law, said Gary Budgen, Executive Chairman at PRDNationwide Middle East. Being an international strata law specialist, Gary Budgen has been assisting with drafting the regulations.

This implies that developers will have to register their sub-division plans, defining common areas and private units, and create Home Owners Associations.

The developers could try to prepare documents such as common areas, for the handover in their favour, rather than that of homeowners, he pointed out.

The Chief Executive Officer of BCS Strata Management Services, Peter Crogan, said that transparent strata management guidelines are essential for the stability of the property market. It will offer a range of benefits boosting confidence of foreign investors, increasing property values and offering better quality of life.

Training has already begun for HOAs at the Dubai Real Estate Institute and the Land Department’s survey department will set rules and guide the surveyors when calculating the dimension of units and common area entitlement.

RERA will have the power to temporarily administer a development to deal with owners' breach of community rules. When registered with RERA, the HOA takes control and can hold their first board meeting after three months.

The HOA will be able to scrutinize the services of existing maintenance providers and decide whether to keep them. The Director of Real Estate Relations at RERA, Mohammad Khalifa bin Hammad, in his statement, said that the guidelines clearly stipulates the rights of unit purchasers in relation to the real estate developer.

The law also includes provisions that restricting the developers' ability to enter into supply agreements on behalf of Owners' Associations, he pointed out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dubai mandates online registration of residential properties

Dubai will soon mandate online registration of residential properties, as Dubai Municipality (DM) plans to compile details of all housing amenities, in order to take stringent action against those who evade paying housing fee.

Those accumulating their housing fee will lose their electricity connection if they fail to pay the entire amount due. The supply will be disconnected by DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority).

The Municipality, together with DEWA, collects the fee on behalf of the former. The Municipality has launched a campaign to ensure that every housing unit in Dubai, irrespective of its rented or owned status, pays the fee.

According to the Municipality officials, the multi-phase campaign will see DEWA issuing notices to its subscribers for payment of housing fee, covering all areas in Dubai within six months.
Meanwhile, Municipality will make it mandatory for expatriate tenants and owners, including freehold property owners to register the details of their housing units with its online databank.
The Director General of Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, said "If you are staying in Dubai, you have to pay your housing fee. Earlier there were no proper tools to collect it, but now, we have developed tools and will ensure that people pay it without fail."

According to Head of Marketing and Housing Fees Unit in the Finance Department of Dubai Municipality, Abdulla Hashim Abdul Ghafoor, said that online housing fee registration service on the Dubai Municipality portal was recently launched with the main purpose of compiling the data based on which, housing fee details would be added to DEWA bills.

He clarified that customers will be able to pay housing fee online to DEWA, while their details will be registered with the Dubai Municipality.

He also revealed that all housing units, including those in Dubai's gated communities and freehold properties, will be sent notices to register their details. In case they fail to register within a month, the housing fee will be charged based on the estimates of RERA for their sites, Abdul Ghafoor said.

At present, the residents pay five percent of their rent as the housing fee through their monthly DEWA bill. Abdul Ghafoor agreed that Municipality did not intend to make any change either in the amount or in the payment method for the time being.

However, the houses of UAE nationals which are being used by the civic body for providing various municipal services, will be exempted from housing fee, Ghafoor said.

Land Department to deregister properties of defaulting buyers

The Dubai Land Department has begun to deregister properties wherein the buyers end up losing their title, if they have missed payments on off-plan projects, despite having received several reminders.

The letters were sent on behalf of developers, who have completed about 80percent or more of a project.

According to the release on 15th April of Executive Council Resolution 6 of 2010, it has allowed developers, including Deyaar, Emaar, Al Fajer, Omiyat Properties and Al Mazaya Real Estate, to repossess their properties and retain 40 percent of their value.

The Assistant Director General of Dubai Land Department, Mohammed Sultan Thani, said that few properties has already been de-registered since the beginning of the procedure, and the buyers too agreed, as they dint want to pay any more. He agreed that it is mostly happening through mutual agreements.

Seized properties will be auctioned by the Land Department, and the funds will go to the developer, unless the sales generate a surplus, which will be passed on to the original buyers.
However, Thani revealed that there are no properties currently put up for auction. There are several investors now considering legal action against a ruling which they consider to be favouring developers.

During the peak property boom, majority of the developers were dependent on the off-plan model, in which projects were financed by selling units before construction actually began.

The practice led to speculative buying at inflated prices, which fell by almost 50 percent or more by end of 2008, following a 78percent surge in a span of one year from June 2007. During this phase, certain property laws governed transactions between buyers and developers.

Majority of the developers are in a strong legal position, as there was less clarity in the contract, with lack of rules during the time when the contract were signed, said one of the buyers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dubai most preferred investment choice among global investors

Global Investors have held faith in Dubai economy, making the emirate, the first and most-preferred option for future investments within Middle East, revealed the latest international survey report.

The global management consulting firm, AT Kearney, in its survey report, revealed that about 28percent of investors prefer investing in Dubai, followed by 18percent in Abu Dhabi, 15percent in Egypt, 8percent in Oman and other Middle Eastern states.

The investors have chosen Dubai as preferred destination for investment mainly due to its ease of doing business, access to best infrastructure, advanced logistics amenities and safe environment.

The AT Kearney, in their report, said that Dubai is a gateway destination, much like Hong Kong for mainland China and Singapore in Southeast Asia. About 81percent of those surveyed have investments in Dubai, and plan to maintain or increase their investments in next three years. The investors also expressed confidence in Dubai's ability to rebound from global crisis.

Dubai has helped the UAE to maintain its ranking as the most-preferred destination in the Middle East, despite the drop by three rankings.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Burj Khalifa welcomes its first residential community

The world's tallest building in Dubai, Burj Khalifa, welcomed its first residential community at Armani Residences, following the launch of first Armani Hotel in Dubai.

The developer of the mixed-use tower, Emaar Properties, handed over the homes to buyers of Armani Residences.

Burj Khalifa has now truly come to life, with the first residential community in the luxurious Armani Residences, said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties.

With the opening of Armani Hotel Dubai, the tower is buzzing with activity, and with the handover of The Residences and The Corporate Suites, Burj Khalifa will be one of the most vibrant lifestyle communities, he said.

The orientation for home-owners of The Residences, and the Corporate Suites, the high-end offices in the tower at Burj Khalifa, is currently underway.

Armani Residences have been developed through a collaboration of Emaar and Giorgio Armani. Personally designed by the Fashion Legend, Giorgio Armani, himself, the single and double bedroom apartments at Armani Residences celebrate luxurious modern living.

Located on levels 9 to 16 of the tower, and ranging in size from 100 to 200 sq meters, the homes offer wonder views of the city and Downtown Dubai. The homes have been carefully designed to reflect the impeccable and refined taste.

Residents will also have access to the range of amenities at Armani Hotel Dubai, including eight innovative outlets and a serene spa. Apart from the highest standards in security, the homes feature smart-home technology, and have fully automated systems for security, temperature and drapery control, lighting and air-conditioning.

The fittings and finishes are to world-class levels, and there are other necessary amenities on the offer such as swimming pools, exclusive residents’ lounge, health and wellness amenities, and the best fine dining restaurant at Level 22.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MAG218 tower ready for handover

The Dh.450mn worth MAG 218 residential tower, comprising 555 apartments in 66 storeys is ready for handover to residents, following the official opening ceremony on 15th May.

Speaking during the handover, Mohammed Nimer, CEO of MAG Property Development, mentioned that about 90 percent of MAG 218 tower was sold within months of its launch in 2006, with several investors initially paying an average of Dh.750,000 to Dh.850,000 for a single bedroom apartment. Today, despite the drop in prices during the past two years, the apartments have still appreciated by 10percent on an average. The competitive rental returns can be achieved due to realistic original selling price.

Pointing out to the positive side of the MAG group, Nimer said that the strategic pricing by MAG Group has kept more than 70percent of owners as end users, thereby keeping speculators at bay. There have been no cancellation notices so far received by the group. As for service fee, the property management arm of MAG Group, rates are more competitive at less than Dh.10per square foot per annum.

The MAG 218 tower comprises 333 single bedroom and 222 double bedroom apartments and six retail outlets, with complete 572 covered parking spaces, and an outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pool. The top-five floors feature a complete glass exterior, offering panoramic views of the Manama, the Palm, the Jumeirah and beyond.

The dedicated recreational facilities and community floors offer a modern gymnasium, dining hall and event, TV room and outdoor terrace.

The residential tower is strategically located close to all the facilities at Dubai Marina and, is only five minutes walk from Dubai Internet City and Media City. The tower is aimed at the mid-range market and is appealing to Dubai's mid-income families.

The latest completion follows handover of more than 300 apartments at the 43-storey MAG 214 tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers on Dubai's Sheikh Zayed Road in 2008.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Imperial Residence at Jumeirah Village completed

Tameer Holding Investment LLC has announced that the topping out of the superstructure on the Imperial Residence development, a two-tower project, rising from an impressive podium in Jumeirah Village South, has been completed.
According to President, Tameer Holding Investment, Federico Tauber, work on the development is progressing as planned. The topping out of the superstructure on both towers has been completed, and the project will be delivered by first half of next year.

Situated in a strategic location, facing Al Khail Road, the Imperial Residence is easily accessible to Emirates Road and several other iconic developments in Dubai, and it is located minutes away from Mall of Emirates and the Ibn Battuta Mall, the Arabian Ranches, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Marina and The Palm Jumeirah.

The development offers residents with easy access to both Dubai and Abu Dhabi with unparalleled views of spectacular Dubai skyline and the Dubai Sport's City, Tauber said.

Located in close proximity to free zones such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Jebel Ali, and Imperial Residence, it is set to be one of the most attractive addresses in the residential district, he added.

The Imperial Residences, on completion, will house 510 apartments offering a range of highly sophisticated contemporary and spacious studios, single, double and triple bedroom duplexes. The residents will have access to a range of amenities including recreation areas, gymnasiums, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, children's play area, landscaped outdoor area, 24-hour security, and underground parking. The residents also have access to several retail outlets, located on the ground floor of the development.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dubai property prices record first annual growth following downturn

Dubai property prices have grown two percent during the first quarter, in comparison to same period last year. This is the first such annual increase, after the downturn hit the property sector in the emirate, said a report by Colliers International, the UK-based real estate consultancy.

The house prices recorded a four percent rise during January to March since fourth quarter of last year, the third successive quarterly growth. The house prices are now on par with 2007 levels.

These positive developments show that confidence in Dubai residential sector appears to be returning in-line with Colliers Q1 House Price Index 2010 report, wherein the price index rose by 4 basis points in the first quarter.

While the results offer positive news for Dubai real estate market, the global real estate consultancy remains cautious about the coming year.

Despite the stability in the market, there remain several concerns. The market will see significant oversupply by end of the year, and therefore, the index may experience some fluctuations when going ahead. But, it is to be watched as to how much of that supply matches the end-user demand for community-oriented developments, said Ian Albert, Regional Director, Colliers International.

Colliers estimates that 41,000 housing units will enter market by end of 2010, mostly in low to mid-income categories. This additional stock is likely to create a downward pressure on property prices, although it is yet to be clear if this supply will bear a negative impact on established projects.

Rents in UAE unlikely to rise in near future

Residents in UAE can heave a sigh of relief, as rents are unlikely to rise in near future, revealed industry sources

Rents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, whether residential or commercial may not grow much, and if any, they may decline further, believes insiders within the industry.

Residential rents in Dubai will soften further, although not dramatically, during the next few years, said Ronald Hinchey, Partner at Cluttons Middle East.

This is due to the fact that tenants have the option to choose between several apartments, townhouses and villas, with more on the way, according to report by Colliers International. Rents in areas that are already lived-in may also not be spared, as new apartment buildings and communities will try to draw tenants by lowering the prices.

Rents already seem to be coming down, and landlords are not flexible on pricing, and cheques are on empty properties. The population in Dubai is also seeking a good deal to move to.

However, the uncertainty still remains if the landlords will pull their properties off market this summer, and it is yet to be known of whether the traditional post-summer boom would rebound this year.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Victory Heights announces more than 80 percent completion

The Victory Heights in Dubai has completed more than 80percent of its phase one villas, and will begin working on construction of the first community centre of the project in May this year, the developers have revealed.

About 615 villas have been completed till date, out of the 780 total sold units constituting phase one of the residential community, surrounding The Els Golf Course. Figures reveal that 61 percent of the sold villas have already been delivered to owners. Three out of seven villages have already reached 100percent completion and delivery. While Carmen, Estrella and Olivia have already been delivered, villages of Novelia and Esmerelda will be completed and delivered within next few months.

The construction work for the first community centre of Victory Heights has been awarded to Proscape, and the work will begin this month. The community will lie at the heart of Dubai Sports City, offering a range of world-class sporting amenities.

The General Manager of Victory Heights, Yasser Abdulrahman Al Raee, while agreeing that the project has hit 81percent completion, said that the company is planning to forge ahead with the development of remaining villas and amenities, particularly with the work on the first community centre likely to commence this month. This will be followed by a second community centre, and both facilities together will further enhance an already vibrant community with healthy lifestyle.

Located at the heart of Dubai Sports City, the world's first integrated sports city, Victory Heights is an enviable mix of sporting, recreational and community facilities, with a great collection of stylish homes from grand villas to distinctive townhouses. The villas are built in three different styles - bold Mediterranean, classis European and authentic Spanish Andalusian.

Victory Heights is also the right place to live in for golf-lovers. Both The Butch Harmon School of Golf and The Els Club are at a walking distance from the villa community.

Also, located within five minutes drive, is the International Cricket Stadium, five sporting academies offering world-class coaching to children of all ages in various sport activities such as rugby, swimming, hockey, and cricket, which are due to open by second half of 2010.

Monday, May 03, 2010

RERA initiates action against master developers for delay in projects

RERA has sought clarification from master developers, asking them the reason for delay in beginning work on master developments, and has ordered them to accept responsibility towards development of freehold areas.

The RERA Chief, Marwan bin Ghalita, when speaking to the media, revealed that RERA has been co-ordinating with master developers for completion of audited technical reports on all projects that belong to master developer's freehold area. Moreover, RERA has sought clarification as to why a developer is yet to commence a project, as they are aware of the happenings on-site. Also, RERA has given a time frame to sub-developers to explain the reason for not starting construction before any taking any action.

Ghalita explained that RERA is following the approved procedure of cancellation of projects. If any developer is yet to begin work on their project, within six months of receipt of approval from RERA, they will be served with a 10-day notice asking to furnish the Trust Account Department the reason for the delay.

In case the reason for delay is genuine, RERA takes more guarantees on its commitment to begin construction, by offering grace periods to begin construction within approved time frame, which will also be made known to the investors. Despite this, if there is no response to RERA's notice, the project will be issued cancellation notice.

"The developer, however, has the right to object to our letter within seven days of receiving the notice," Ghalita said.

In case the developer does not respond, the agency issues cancellation order for the project, and forwards the project file to the legal section of the Land Department to co-ordinate with the court and other parties to begin the claim process as per the law.

The Land Department mediates and tries to resolve the issue through mutual agreement between developer and investor. But, in case no agreement has been reached, the issue could be transferred to Property Court, Ghalita said.

RERA had formed a special committee in May 2009 to cancel projects, based on technical reports, and about 27 such projects were considered for cancellation, it has been reported.