Thursday, December 22, 2011

Meraas to introduce movie-based theme park in Dubai

Meraas, a Dubai-based real estate company, has launched a new Dh.2.2bn project to build Dubai Adventure Studios, a movie-based theme park, located in proximity to its master development close to the Arabian Ranches intersection.

The Dubai Adventure Studios, which occupies across two million square foot of space, forms phase-one of the three-phase project, spread across eight million square feet of space. The work on the project is scheduled to begin early next year and will be ready by end of 2014.

The Chief Business Development Officer at Meraas Holding, Sina Al Kazim, said that Meraas will complement the growing popularity of Dubai as a tourism hub. Further, the Dubai Adventure Studios will offer a truly unique experience that will set a distinctive benchmark in the theme park industry.

The movie-based theme park will include five zones featuring the best in technology games and new generation rides, apart from hospitality and F&B zones to shape an excellent entertainment destination that meets the requirements of the visitors.      

Dubai Adventure Studios will take centre-stage at Meraas stand in the 2012 Arabian Travel Market Exhibition, to be held from 30th April to 3rd May 2012 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DMC launches 6 new mixed-use Business Districts

The Dubai Maritime City (DMC) this week launched six new mixed-use Business Districts, further strengthening the position of Dubai as leading global maritime hub. The launch was held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai World.

The grand inaugural launch ceremony held at the 227-hectare man-made peninsula of DMC, located between the Drydocks World and Port Rashid, involved participation of Director General of HH the Ruler’s Court, Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman Drydocks and Maritime World, senior company executives, representatives of developers, government officials and special invitees.

Work will commence on six new projects in the Business District, following the launch. Among the new projects are Swiftships Towers by Swift Development, Sheth Developers with the Project ‘Iris Mist’ Hotel Apartments and Residences, Kensington Krystal by Kensington Global, Sanali Aquamarine Residential Apartments by Sanali Global, and Dubai Investments Real Estate with a six star hotel.   Project mobilization and commencement of construction will begin towards end of 2012.

The Dh.2.5bn worth Business District, spread across 121 hectares of land, is located at the heart of the visionary DMC project, and complements the Marine Industrial District Operation, unveiled earlier this year. It will serve as the main business growth engine of DMC, accounting for nearly 90percent of its projected total income in 2013. It comprises a maritime centre, a marina, an academic quarter, a hotel and harbour offices and residences.

Among the nineteen renowned developers being considered to handle the development and sale of commercial and residential units within the Business District are Al Burj Real Estate, Swift Development, Kensington, Global Investment Inc, Sanali Global Limited, Sheth Estate International Limited, Deyaar Development – PJSC, ETA Star Property Developers LLC, Omniyat Properties Eighteen Ltd., Al Faraa Investment, Mena Capital Investment, Vakson Freehold, Hemen R E D & General Trading Limited, Meyadeen, Dubai Investment Real Estate, Mohammed Shafar, Das Holding, Esam Janahi, Ismail Janahi, and DAMAC.

DMC is the first maritime group in the world, with an integrated development comprising residential, commercial, industrial, academic, and lifestyle components. It is specifically meant to improve the maritime industry and serve as a unique place for maritime community to work, live and play.

The first phase of DMC was completed in March this year. The 106-hectare Marine District, comprising 96 units of various sizes has been constructed and considered operationally fit. Majority of them have already been occupied by major maritime companies. The phase 2 involves additional infrastructure, while phase 3 will involve completion of all commercial aspects too, by 2014. On completion, there will be more offices, showrooms, shops, warehouses, and yacht building yards.

The shipyards in DMC will have the capacity to handle a range of vessels including handling tugs, medium size tankers, diving support vessels, bulk carriers, offshore supply vessels, landing crafts, navy vessels, tugs and barges and yachts.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New system to complete property title deed formalities in 45 minutes

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has now launched an online appointment system, wherein the registered brokers need not queue up at the department office for registering a property transfer.

This comes as good news to more than 2000 registered property brokers in Dubai. The registered brokers can now fill up details of the property such as name, address, value of the deal etc., pertaining to the buyer online, and can use it to complete the property transfer.

The Title deeds can now be issued within 45 minutes, a senior DLD official revealed.

About two to three transactions have been already registered using the new system. The department is now seeking all registered brokers to use this new system.

The Assistant Director-General of Land Department, Mohammed Sultan Thani, explained that when the agent registers on the system, and feeds in the details of the transactions, he will be given a set time. This will help save their time, and permit to complete the transaction process at a faster pace.

However, the system is not yet open to individuals. They will have to make personal appearance after fixing an appointment, for their transactions.

2011 ends on a positive note for Dubai property market

The commercial property sector in Dubai is picking up, with increased occupier interest, owing to various cost savings now available in what is considered to be a buyers’ market.

Leading real estate services company, Cluttons, in its review of property activity in Dubai last year, mentioned that high-end residential sector seems to be benefitting from the current capital shifts in the region, due to Arab Spring.

The year 2011 seems to end on a positive note for Dubai property market, than during the past three years, despite the negativity arising from the current economic turmoil in Europe and US, the report said.

Although the prices have continued to fall in certain places, the rate of decrease seems to have slowed down throughout the year, indicating that they are close to bottoming out. A general maturing of the marketplace has been noticed in 2011, with demand now originating from variables that one would expect in any established city, Cluttons point out.

The landlords are also getting more flexible in their terms which seem to be another feature of a maturing property market, it said.

Further, a major announcement that came over the past 12 months, that of three-year residency visas to owners holding Dh.1mn or more worth of properties in all freehold areas, lured investors back to the market, Cluttons said.

The Head of Cluttons, UAE, Steven Morgan, said that it seems encouraging to note the stabilization seen in certain areas of the UAE residential and commercial real estate market.

Cluttons has expanded its team so that their combined skills and expertise can help the company in retaining the international best practices and professionalism, while also continuing to adapt the ever-evolving Middle Eastern marketplace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dubai realty market to see steady apartment, villa rentals in 2012

The villas and apartments in Dubai are likely to see marginal decline in prices during the forthcoming year, with nearly 10,700 new apartments and 1300 villas entering the market during the first six months, says Asteco Property Management, the leading Dubai-based real estate consultancy.

The real estate market in Dubai will be strengthened further, by buyers from other Arab countries, owing to regional unrest and economic uncertainty in other parts of the region, thereby boosting Dubai’s safe haven status.

During the year 2012, villa and apartment rentals in Dubai will remain steady, with only minor declines seen for low quality and poorly managed buildings in certain localities.

The H2 2011 report by Asteco shows that there will be increased number of transactions, with further supply entering the market, leading to increased price competition for owners, while the tenants are offered better choice. However, the report notes that the demand is likely to continue in 2012.

The fourth quarter of 2011 shows that Dubai realty market continues to remain steady for the fourth successive quarter, and with increased transactions, indicating that the Dubai property market is actually recovering, the consultancy points out.

Asteco reports that apartment rentals in prime and mid-market locations stabilized over the fourth quarter, with Nakheel’s International City, being the only project to see a small slide in lease rates. Asteco also reports that there are increased numbers of people re-locating to the emirate, owing to general growth in business performance.

The rental rates for apartments stabilized over the end of 2011, which dropped marginally in the first six months, with International City being the only development to have witnessed minor declines in the fourth quarter.

The average annual rental for a single bedroom unit in Dubai Marina during fourth quarter was Dh.62,500 with double bedroom apartments being sold for Dh.80,000. Rentals for single and double bedroom units on Palm Jumeirah were Dh.90,000 and Dh.120,000 respectively.

The villa rentals were comparatively stable throughout the year. According to Asteco, transactions in the rental market for both categories picked up, as tenants took advantage of lower rates and moved into better quality accommodations, while people relocated to Dubai from other emirates.

Locations such as Discovery Gardens, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Living and Arabian Ranches, continued to have huge demand.
The selling prices of apartments also maintained their levels in the fourth quarter, following slight declines in the first nine months of the year, although new areas or unfinished developments witnessed further falls.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Surge in prices of luxury properties in Abu Dhabi, Dubai

The prices of luxury properties in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets have shot up by 4.3 percent over the first three quarters of this year, says the latest report by Knight Frank, the leading global property consultancy.

The Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank, Liam Bailey, said that luxury homes in prime global cities will retain their reputation of being a safe haven, and will hardly draw any speculative investors seeking short-term gain.

Abu Dhabi will witness growing demand for newly-built properties in future, the report said. Abu Dhabi has topped the list of 10 future locations tipped for growth in prime locations across the globe, and is likely to see increased demand for newly built properties, as per the report by Knight Frank.

The savvy-minded investors across the globe have tagged prime properties as a safe haven investment over the past three years. Wealthy investors are looking forward to stability of luxury properties in major cities, as against the sovereign debt concerns and geo-political uncertainty of other nations.

The global trend prediction turns out to be good for luxury properties in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of UAE, with savvy investors, continuing to seek differentiating factors, so that their properties can hold on to their values in the wake of global uncertainty.

The Knight Frank report has taken into account the properties that have managed to recover faster from their 2008-09 economic downturn despite the current economic gloom, by assessing their long-term values.
The report points out examples wherein cities have managed to hold on to the prices of luxury properties. The prime properties in London and New York are now 37 and 25 percent above their recessional lows, while in Asia, luxury homes in Hong Kong are now 72percent higher than their lowest in 2008, while Shanghai and Mumbai have recorded 115 and 220 percent growths respectively, from their market lows.

The evidence also suggests that prime luxury properties in the UAE have been able to hold on to their values in a better manner than other developers during their phase of property crash during 2008-09, and they have been the first to recover.

With the UAE realty market beginning to stabilize following global economic crisis, the luxury real estate sector has continued to throw strong indications of recovery, during the last quarter of 2011, wherein unique luxury developments such as Al Barari in Dubai, are continuing to draw local and international investors, the report pointed out.

Therefore, the prices of luxurious residential properties have remained close to their 2007 levels, despite the bad economic scenario, and the negative impact that it had on property prices throughout Dubai, the report said.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Select Group delivers over 1700 housing units at Dubai Marina

One of the private real estate companies and developer of world’s tallest residential towers, Select Group, announced plans to deliver 1700 residential units in Dubai Marina, from its projects worth Dh.1.85bn.

The Chairman of the Group, Rahail Aslam, who spoke about the realty market in Dubai, said that the market had undergone one of its challenging and toughest phases over the past two years, with developers having to face and adjust to market conditions. This requires patience and prudence, with real estate market in Dubai now showing signs of growing momentum, which will further gather strength in near future.

The real estate economy in Dubai has the potential to offer higher returns than the global average, and this can help kick start developmental activities during medium to long-term.

Three projects by Select, which are in their handover phase, are ‘The Torch’ with 684 units, ‘Botanica’ with 365 units, and ‘Bay Central’ with 735 units.

The handover of The Torch units is more than two-thirds complete, with at least 440 or more residents having moved in already. On the other hand, the Dh.393.5mn, 41-storey, Botanica project, which boasts of the only sky garden in Dubai realty sector, is 87 percent sold out, Aslam said.

Meanwhile, construction at the three tower podium Bay Central development is in full progress, at the Bay Central unit. The Dh.785.9mn project is 95percent complete. The first 43 storey residential tower and the second 51-storey residential towers were launched for sale in 2006. The third tower is a five-star hotel and serviced apartment, which will be managed and operated by a reputed international hotel operator.

The extremely positive response received by the projects shows that Dubai’s property market is regaining its confidence. Dubai is a global and regional destination for investments, and even during the current unrest in the region, Dubai continues to draw investors, due to its reputation of being a safe haven, Aslam said.

Dubai Marina tops realty transactions in Dubai this year

Dubai Marina has topped the list of freehold areas in Dubai, recording a total of 800 transactions worth Dh.903mn during the first nine months of this year.

As per the data provided by, a real estate information company, Emirates Living District has witnessed a total of 553 transactions worth Dh.673million, while Palm Jumeirah recorded a total of 307 transactions worth Dh.769million. The district comprises the Meadows, Views, Greens, Lakes, Ghadeer, Hattan, Springs, Montgomery and Emirates Hills.

The Jumeirah Beach Residence recorded a total of 295 transactions worth Dh.428mn during this period. The Business Bay and Downtown Dubai areas recorded a total of 494 transactions, jointly worth Dh.915mn.

The values by focused only on apartments and villas of emerging markets.

Meanwhile,, has reported that Dubai Marina is the topmost searched location on the website.
The average selling price of single and double bedroom apartments have dropped 8percent and 11percent year-on-year, the website reported.

The Senior Director of Real Estate Development at Dubai Land Department, Mahmoud Ei Buri, said that the department expects the total real estate sales to touch Dh.140bn towards end of the year, in comparison to Dh.123bn in 2010.

The Director General of Dubai Land Department, Sultan bin Butti bin Mijren, revealed that nearly 225 projects are currently in progress in Dubai, and will be delivered over the next three years.

Nearly 217 real estate projects have been cancelled as of 31st May 2011. During the year 2009, nearly 129 projects were cancelled in the emirate, while 237 out of 450 projects were completed thereafter.