Monday, December 17, 2012

Dubai to release new Real Estate Investor Protection Law by early 2013


The Real Estate Investor Protection Law will be released during the first quarter of 2013 in Dubai, a senior Dubai Land Department (DLD) official has confirmed.

The Senior Consultant and Director of Planning & Organizational Development at DLD, Majida Ali Rashid, said that the department received several suggestions from the public and subsequent changes have been incorporated in the law. It will be released within next three months.

The draft was released in June, seeking suggestions from industry participants. The draft law permits investors to get complete refund if the developer fails to complete or handover the property within stipulated timeframe, or if the developer deliberately defrauds, or alters the specifications of the unit without obtaining the necessary permits.

The investors can also claim compensation in cases of breach of any warranty or undertaking contained in the contract for sale by broker and the seller, or for misrepresentation by the developer or investor or broker, and in cases of specifications in violations of the contract for sale, after obtaining an expert’s report to that effect.

Hadef & Partners in its 2012 report on the legal state of Dubai real estate market report, which was released last week, said that only 28 percent of the 8500 respondents are aware of the proposed law, and 56% are unfamiliar about its contents.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Signature villa on Dubai Palm Jumeirah, up for auction on 19th December


A six-bed Signature Villa along the Palm Jumeirah will be open to public auction, along with the 11 other freehold properties that are up for auction this year.

The base price of the villa, spanning 1243.78 square metre villa is Dh.19mn. The auction will be held on 19th December.

According to real estate agents, the prices for similar villas are in the range of Dh.22 to Dh.25 million at present. The property prices, particularly of the villas on the man-made island, have gone up considerably this year.

Leading global real estate consultancy, CB Richard Ellis, said that Garden Villas prices have grown by 22 percent in the past one year.

The other real estate properties being auctioned on the same day are 101.1 sqm apartment in Bahar 01 building at Dubai Marina (JBR) for Dh.850,000, 151.91 sqm apartment in Shams 04 at Dubai Marina (JBR) for Dh.1.3mn, 192.88 sqm apartment in The Zen Tower at Dubai Marina for Dh.1.76mn, 101.7 sqm apartment in Al Dhafrah 3 at Al Thannyah Third for Dh.1mn and 76.74 sqm apartment in Reehan 1 at Al Thannyah Third for Dh.700,000. On 26th December, five of these properties will go under the hammer.
The recovery in market sentiment has led to increased sales this year, with DLD having said that real estate sales have touched Dh.83bn over the first nine months of 2012.

The Section Head, Auctions Section at DLD, Humaid Omran Al Shamsi, said that the department plans to auction 80 properties in 2012. Already the department has auctioned 35 freehold and non-freehold properties in 2011, of which, nine were unsold, said Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in its latest report this year.

The Residential market in Dubai continues to see high levels of sales activity and the prime market is considered to have bottomed out. The rentals have begun to recover, with uplifts noticed in seven percent for villas, and five percent for apartments, year-on-year, the global consultancy said.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jumeirah Island villa plots sold out: Nakheel


Leading Dubai-based master developer, Nakheel, has announced that it sold all villa plots in Jumeirah Islands for more than Dh.55.4mn.

The plots were snapped up at a company auction for Dh.513 per square feet, marking a 46 percent premium over their bid price of Dh.350.

The sales indicate renewed investor confidence in Dubai real estate market. The developer already sold two land plots on Palm Jumeirah for a total of Dh.419mn and 122 residential villa plots in Jumeirah Village Circle for Dh.113mn earlier.

Nakheel will begin sales of 90 villas at Jumeirah Village Circle on 13th December.The four bedroom villas spanning 3,700 square feet have been priced for less than Dh.3mn.

Earlier this week CB Richard Ellis said that selling prices in Palm Jumeirah has grown 16 percent year-on-year, with highest increase of 22 percent, being noticed for Garden Villas on the Palm Jumeirah.

The prices of Signature and Garden Home Villas on the Palm Jumeirah have grown, registering average increase of 11 to 25 percent during first half of 2012, in comparison to same period last year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

First phase of Al Zorah project to be ready by 2014


Ajman is likely to launch a new five-star luxury resort theme park, pedestrian walkway and beach club by summer of 2015. These form the components of first phase of multi-billion-dirham Al Zorah project, which was re-launched in December 2011.

The five-star hotel will be designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, in collaboration with NORR Group, while Belgian architect, Jean Michel Gathy from Dennisston will design the 230 rooms in the resort, Al Zorah Development Company said.

Al Zorah is a joint-venture between Ajman government and DIFC-registered Solidere International.
About eight UAE construction companies will submit their bids on 17th January 2013, the company said.

Spanning an area of 100,000 square metres, the resort will have 154 individual rooms, private suites, and villas, apart from four restaurants and a spa. Contracts have already been awarded for infrastructure works.
Further, the road linking work, linking the project with Emirates Road has been completed. The project is only 15 minutes away from the Sharjah International Airport, and 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

The first phase of the project will include “Mangrove of the World Theme Park”, offering visitors an interactive experience with environment and marine nature and activities.

Further, there will be apartments and villas, Board Walk, pedestrian walkway stretching more than 300 metres surrounded by restaurants, cafes and shops all the way to waterfront tourist marina area and beach club. Among the other amenities will be the spa, swimming pools, golf course, clubhouse, amusement and entertainment centres.

Originally master-planned as “coastal city” in late 2007, the Al Zorah project was worth Dh.220bn, but, land size was reduced by half post re-launch in December 2011.

As per the new master plan released by the company, the project is said to have five districts – City Centre comprising hotels, retail centres, offices, marinas and public square; Parkland Resorts comprising six beachfront hotels, creek side residences, sandy beach, and lagoon frontage; Golf Course comprising 18-hole championship course; Gateway – the high-rise mixed-use community, and Corniche Village comprising townhouses and villas overlooking the sea.

The first phase of the project comprises four hotels with 700 rooms, with Dh.1.2bn contracts already issued. The first phase is likely to be completed by 2014, Al Zorah Development Company said.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Emaar launches maiden project in multi-billion dollar MBR City


Emaar Properties, leading Dubai developer, launched their first project in the recently planned multi-billion dollar flagship development yesterday, a complex comprising luxury residences and a golf course.

The Dubai Hills, form a part of Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) City, the mega-tourism and retail development project, announced by the emirate in last month.

The villas in the project will be built on plots ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, designed around a new 18-hole championship course, to be developed by world golf course experts.

Unveiled by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the new gated community will offer ultra-luxury residences, with a brand new lifestyle, that will set a new market in high-end lifestyles, following huge success of ‘Emirates Hills’ by Emaar.
The Dubai Hills villas in the new community will overlook the rolling greens and fairways, and will be the first project in the MBR City, to reflect the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed on future growth of the emirate, bringing about a new dimension to luxury living.’

Dubai Hills will be a remarkable addition to the residential property landscape in Dubai, mirroring the highest standards for MBR City, further energising the property sector.

Located between the Emirates Road and Al Khail Road, with easy access to all business and tourism landmarks in the city, the new development will also offer retail centres, parks, schools, and healthcare amenities. Residents will gain access to largest park in the heart of MBR City, as well as the Mall of the World development, which will be the world’s largest mall and largest family entertainment centre in the region, developed together with Universal Studios International.

MBR City, the brand new city that redefines the concept of urban development, will focus on family tourism concept, with the central park here, being 30 percent bigger than London’s Hyde Park.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Dubai most preferred for property investment in the region


Dubai is the most preferred property investment market in the region, as it includes the greatest number of investment-friendly demand drivers, said a recent report.

Dubai's stable political environment, developed infrastructure and market transparency, makes it competitive in the region, said the 2012 MENA Real Estate Investor Sentiment Survey, published by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a leading real estate investment and advisory firm.

Apart from better economic fundamentals and property prices / rental values, Dubai has the maximum number of investment grade properties in the region, the study said.

With real estate offering more risk/return ratio than alternative investments, several regional investors are disposing their non-core assets and are seeking assets that offer stable long term returns, the report said.

Although real estate is a popular asset class for Middle Eastern investors, they are looking at a strategic approach as they seek to re-balance their investment portfolios.

The survey indicates that investors are ready to pay more for well-located assets with good security of income, in comparison to last year. The real estate market in the MENA region is more dominated by private individuals and families rather than institutional investors, unlike in mature western markets, and this trend will continue over the coming years, the report said.

The residential assets are considered as most attractive, with interest rates going strong in this segment. But, there is uncertainty in the market, and investors are hesitant to invest large amounts of equity in single deals and are wary of incurring excessive debt.

Other risk factors such as security of income, political stability, also remain at the forefront of investment decisions. Investors are willing to pay more for sustainable buildings.

Craig Plumb, Head of MENA research at JLL, said that little money is flowing into real estate from players outside the region and investment market continues to be dominated by local players.  Middle Eastern investors continue to remain major players on the global real estate stage, accounting for total of $5.3bn of real estate transactions outside the region during the first nine months of the year.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Dubai on road for another property and construction boom


Dubai, aiming to further strengthen its position as Middle Eastern hub for transport and tourism, has embarked on several major construction projects that bear some of the hallmarks of the debt-laden boom years in Dubai.

The Dubai Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, last month, ordered construction of a new city, named Mohammed bin Rashid City, worth more than $10bn. It comprises 100 hotels, world’s largest shopping mall, art galleries, exhibition centers and parks.

Soon after, there were announcement plans for $2.7bn leisure complex comprising five theme parks. Dubai is also bidding to host the World Expo 2020, the first-ever time a city in the Middle East would host the event, which requires construction of an exhibition centre on the outskirts of the emirate.

Although Dubai is enjoying economic recovery due to improvement in major areas such as trade, transport and tourism, it still has to repay $100bn debt from previous property boom in 2008. Hence, the current plan leads one to think about how these ambitious construction projects would be financed, and if it will lead to over-supply in a still-fragile property market.

Sheikh Mohammed says that the projects will help boost Dubai’s economy and infrastructure. However, questions remain if Dubai can resume constructions on the scale of last property boom.

During the boom years (2004-07), various Dubai-based entities expanded quickly on cheap debt provided by local and regional lenders. When the global crisis set in, property prices in the emirate plunged by 60%, leaving banks with debt hangover, which they are still struggling with.

Some analysts have expressed concerns about whether Dubai is repeating its mistakes of the past by paving way for another property boom. For instance, details on how the Mohammad Bin Rashid City will be financed still remains a question mark. The project, whose exact cost is yet to be revealed, will be developed by Dubai Holding.

According to estimates by analysts at Shuaa Capital, the Dubai government and some of its affiliates have raised $8bn this year, to restructure old debts, signalling re-opening of debt market for the emirate. With the European banks retreating from the bonds and loans in the region, the spotlight turns back on local lenders such as Dubai Islamic Bank or Emirates NBD, which are eager to boost their lending after several years.
All this has led to concerns that a new lending bubble may be on the anvil, and Dubai should be careful not to repeat its mistakes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fire gutted Tamweel Tower units to be restored to original handover state


The apartments of Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lake Towers that were gutted by the fire early this month, may most likely be restored to its original state of handover, and the building will be equipped with latest safety standards, as per the outcome of the first Tamweel tower Owners Association (OA) meeting since the fire.

The Tamweel Tower will be restored and the apartments refurbished to their original state of handover, said Nasr Habashy, Head of Legal Commission of OA.

Explaining further, he said that the insurance company aligned with Tamweel concluded its investigation, and is now finalising the loss assessment of the building. There is a limited exclusion policy that could cover under exceptional conditions such a terrorist attack, but, now, the apartments will be mostly restored to their original condition and new safety measures will be taken into account.

Although, the news was received with much appreciation by the residents, there were also concerns about how long the overhaul procedure will take.

During the OA meeting, Tamweel announced that the mortgage instalments would be frozen until the apartments were available for use. The move gives owners the financial opportunity to look out for an alternative accommodation.

However, it is believed that the restoration process may take more than seven months, and the owners have been advised to inform tenants to find another accommodation.

As for cases of damage of vehicle, including damage done to the apartments, the damage should be reported at the Jebel Ali Police Station, with proper documentation. The report should be filed by the apartment occupant.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dubai to house world’s tallest serviced hotel apartment building in 2013


Dubai will be home to world's tallest serviced hotel apartment building before end of 2013, the developer of the 432-metre tall, Marina 101 development, revealed.

The Chairman of Sheffield Real Estate, Abu Ali Malik Shroff, confirmed that the funds are in place already, and construction work is under progress. The building is likely to be completed for handover prior to end of next year.

Early, in 2010, Shroff had mentioned that despite more than 60% default rates by bulk investors, the company did not terminate a single contract.

The priority of the company is to complete the tower, and it is in constant talks with investors to arrive at a solution, he emphasized.

Launched in June 2006, Marina 101 at Dubai Marina, comprises 101 floors, standing at 432 metres in height, covering a total built-up area of 1.68mn square feet. The first 32 storeys will be dedicated to a five-star hotel, while the rest of storeys will be furnished apartments, with retail space being allowed only on the ground floor.

Apart from five restaurants in the hotel tower, there will be 252 single, 204 double, and 42 triple bedroom apartments, with eight penthouses from 97th to 100th floor.

Sheffield has a land bank of two million square feet, but has no plans to sell any, Shroff said.
Shroff admitted that the company plans to hold on the project, until the market gets ready to accept new project.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Emaar unveils new Moroccan-style villas


Leading developer, Emaar Properties has announced further expansion of its established master-planned community, Arabian Ranches, following the launch of Casa, a stunning Moroccan-style villa community, offering an exclusive lifestyle within an integrated neighbourhood.

Casa will include six types of Moroccan style triple and four bedroom villas, an extension of Arabian Ranches gated community. The expansion of Arabian Ranches and the launch of Casa, is sufficient proof to the positive growth of Dubai real estate sector, emphasized Emaar, which saw excellent customer response to its three real estate launches this year.

Emaar said that it emphasizes the strong market demand for homes in well-established prime communities in Dubai.  

The Managing Director of Emaar, Ahmad Al Matrooshi, said that the enhancement of Arabian Ranches reflects the growth strategy of the company to develop residential projects that add value to stakeholders, and lend further impetus to realty sector in Dubai.

The villas will be developed to meet the best world-class standards that define Emaar’s master planned communities, he added.

Some key highlights of the new development are the advanced health club, modern recreation centre with a range of leisure amenities, and an unprecedented choice of F&B outlets that appeal to all tastes.

The Arabian Ranches master plan also includes a large landscaped park, children recreation areas and play areas all envisaged in extended Arabian Ranches master plan. Further, plans are on to include a new retail and community village Centre that include health and fitness club, schools, Mosque, day care centre, grocery store and range of dining options.  

The sale of Arabian Ranches Casa villas will be held on launch of 24th November, the official said.

Early this week, Arabtec announced that it has been appointed by Emaar to design and construct 33 villas and 62 townhouses at its Arabian Ranches development. The project, worth Dh.107mn, will take more than 18 months to complete.

Monday, November 19, 2012

ETA to begin handover of Centrium units by 2013


Leading Dubai-based real estate developer, ETA Star has announced that it will begin handover of 550 units in the Centrium project in International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) from early 2013, it has been announced.

The Centrium project comprises four towers of single, double, and triple bedroom units, with the towers being inter-linked by bridges. The project aims to cater to demand for mid-income housing.

The General Manager of ETA Star Properties, Mohammed Ali, said that various construction issues pertaining to the project has been resolved. The work has been in progress, and the handover of units will begin by first quarter of next year, he said.

According to investors, the Centrium project was due for completion by mid-2009, but later due to dispute with the contractor and the legal battle that followed, there was delay in progress of the project. The delay has been financially exhausting for many.

However, the ETA said that the company has not cancelled any sales or purchase deals, as majority of investors have agreed to go ahead with the project.

The IMPZ, the first free zone in the world, dedicated to media activities, is located on the Emirates Road, spread along 43million square feet of area.

During a recent report, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) mentioned that nearly 6000 new units were completed in the first nine months of this year, while another 17,000 units are likely to enter the market by the year-end.
The major completions during the period 2012-2014 are likely to be in Jumeirah Village, Dubailand, Dubai Sports City, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Al Furjan.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Office rentals in Abu Dhabi to drop further in next six months


The office rents in Abu Dhabi are likely to drop further over the next six months, with increase in numbers of fresh commercial developments, a new report said.

The demand for offices in Abu Dhabi is likely to improve over the next one year, with private sectors witnessing improved conditions due to government investments. However, supply will continue to surpass demand, the Q3 report by Abu Dhabi Office and Residential Marketview said.

However, despite the continued drop in rental rates, the rate of decline is narrowing down and is now at its lowest level since the start of property slump, the report pointed out.

Average rents in the capital dropped two percent in third quarter this year, in comparison to previous quarter, while the prime office rents in Abu Dhabi were flat at Dh.1600 to Dh.1900 per square metre.

As for the residential market, average rentals have dropped 6 percent, in comparison to the third quarter. Further, some properties are seeing static rents, while others have a decline of 3 to 9 percent, the report showed.    

As of now, in the development cycle, there is no immediate end to this trend, with better quality inventory entering the market, thereby adding pressure to inferior units.

Monday, November 12, 2012

UAE commercial realty sector demand on a four-year high


The UAE commercial sector has stabilized now, with demand from occupiers having touched a four-year high, a new report revealed.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in its third quarter ‘UAE commercial survey’, said that the UAE real estate sentiment showed gradual recovery during the third quarter, with occupier and investment indicators having improved owing to positive response during the second quarter.

The strong demand for both office and retail space has resulted in increased net balance since the year 2008.
The UK-based institute expects increase in availability of space, despite the surplus office space rental levels that are likely to remain unchanged.

On the investment front, there have been increased purchaser enquiries across all sectors, and future transactions are expected to grow well. There are evidences indicating that the country has benefited from its safe haven status in the region, and subsequent influx of capital into the real estate sector.

Further, the sale of distressed properties has dwindled, and this was one of the main reasons for optimism of future values. There has been stability in the third quarter on supply of foreclosed properties, following the growth for the past three years.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in its Fourth Quarter 2012 report based on Global Market Perspective, said that the Dubai office market will become neutral in 2014 and 2015, although, 2013 still remains tenant-favourable.

According to global office market conditions matrix (2013-15), Brussels, Frankfurt, Washington DC, Stockholm, Madrid will all join Dubai as tenant-favourable markets next year. Meanwhile, New York, Toronto, San Fransisco, London, West End, Beijing and Mosco are considered landlord favourable markets.

Other like Chicago, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Paris, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Tokyo all hold a neutral status.

The JLL report said that although the overall office market in Dubai continues to be tenant-favourable, the demand is still focused on just few buildings and locations.

According to report by global property consultants, nearly 460,000 square meters of office space have been delivered over the first nine months of 2012, while an additional 335,000 square metres are likely to enter the market by the year-end. The current office stock in Dubai is 6.9 square metres.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Abu Dhabi majors Aldar and Sorouh confirm advanced merger talks


Two major Abu Dhabi developers, namely, Sorouh and Aldar Properties, agreed that the merger talks of the two firms is being supported by the government, and is now at an advanced stage.

The companies are said to have reported higher quarterly profit, despite the impairments and asset write-downs, highlighting glum conditions.

The merger talks of the companies began against the backdrop of continued oversupply, coupled with falling house prices. The prices are expected to fall 5 percent this year in Abu Dhabi.

The companies began merger talks in March 2012. Aldar, the larger company, the developer of the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit, and home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, said that a valuation review had prompted the company to write down Dh.737mn mainly related to hotel assets. Sorouh took a fair value loss of Dh.126.5mn on investments.

Abu Dhabi has spent more than $10bn on Aldar, which equals to the amount required to rescue Dubai from bond default in 2009. In return, land on Al Raha beach, Ferrai World Theme Park and other major assets were sold to the government.

Meanwhile, Aldar posted 43percent growth in third-quarter net profit, touching Dh.206mn, while Sorouh reported a net consolidated profit of Dh.129mn, marking 55 percent growth.

According to the developer, the results were further strengthened by revenue from national housing projects, government-awarded schemes to build homes for UAE nationals, which grew to Dh.607mn from 68 million.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Dubai considered safe haven by buyers in MENA region


The real estate prices of luxury villas in Dubai have recorded their second biggest jump, only next to Jakarta, based on statistics from Knight-Frank, leading UK-based real estate consultant.

The prices of luxury villas in Dubai have grown 20% in September 2012, since September 2011, and have recorded 3% increase over the past quarter.

According to Knight Frank, cities such as Dubai are increasingly considered as investment hubs for high net-worth individuals in their wider regions, turning them into investment magnets. Dubai, in the wake of Arab Spring, is being considered as a relatively safe haven for buyers in MENA region.

This news is aptly timed, as the property sector in Dubai has now bounced back, although analysts suggest that there is still reason to worry, as the ambitious private developers of the emirate may enter into another debt-fuelled building spree.

For now, the emirate is enjoying the return of economic confidence, with the Dubai economy expected to grow 4.5% in real GDP this year, as the retail, transportation and tourism makes headway.

Meanwhile, the real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) seconds Knight Frank's findings. JLL agrees that the overall residential market has seen another positive quarter, with villa sector continuing to outperform the apartments in third quarter this year.

Prime residential buildings in established locations are continuing to witness improved performance, although secondary locations are still facing the brunt of rental and pricing declines, as tenants relocate to new high quality projects.

Pointing out to REIDIN residential sale indices, JLL states that overall residential market has seen average increase in prices by 14% year-on-year in August 2012.

The JLL analysts are confident that the residential market in Dubai is on a clear recovery path with both sale indices and rental indices improving in Q3. However, major improvements are largely in prime locations, while lower quality buildings in secondary locations continue to suffer, with tenants moving on to better quality projects.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings have also reported that Dubai’s prime retail and hospitality has been vigorous in 2012, and the sector is expected to do well in 2013.

Further, Dubai has benefitted from being the preferred investment home for "refugee capital". Analysts suggest that expats from other troubled neighbouring emirates such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and CIS states are contributing to improvement in Dubai realty market.

Although it is heartening to see the rebound of Dubai property market, there is still a long way to go before confirming recovery. The residential real estate sector has dropped 60% from its peak 2008 levels, and several real estate companies are yet to regain their composure.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Tameer delivers Regal Tower at Business Bay


Leading real estate developer in the Middle East, Tameer, has completed the delivery of the 33-storey Regal Tower in Business Bay, a much sought-after business address in Dubai.

Located within walking distance of Business Bay metro station, and with direct access to Sheikh Zayed Road, the Regal Tower is ideally positioned to establish and improve business interests, and to offer panoramic views of Dubai skyline, lake and inland waterways.

The President of Tameer, Federico Tauber, expressing his pleasure over the completion of the company’s second project in Burj Khalifa, said that the Regal Tower is now ready to be occupied, and the customers can begin their fit-out works at their convenience.

The Regal Tower comprises a mix of 258 spacious shell and core offices located across the 33 floors with ample parking spaces. The offices include a spacious reception, dedicated meeting rooms, multi-functional spaces, eight hi-speed elevators, a range of retailers, a cafeteria, in addition to gymnasium, prayer rooms, well-designed podium, with prominent water fountains.

The sophisticated sky-blue exterior of the project represents an ultra-modern aesthetic appearance, while the interiors have been designed to make optimal use of space and light.

The Regal Tower incorporates a vibrant area of retail and leisure amenities and is a much desirable location to work and is also a relaxing place for after-hours networking and socializing.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Tanmia initiative revives stalled projects in Dubai


Nearly three stalled projects – two in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, and one in Business Bay, will be revived under the Tanmia initiative of Dubai Land Department (DLD).

The DLD Director-General, Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, mentioned that under Tanmia, the two projects – Wind Tower I and Wind Tower II have been approved.

He revealed that the department is working with other investors and more projects are underway.
The Chairman of Pacific Ventures, Parvez Khan, said that they have taken over a project in Business Bay under the Tanmia initiative.

The project taken over in Business Bay has been re-named as Burj Pacific, and will be re-launched in November. Several of the original investors have agreed to continue with the project. Fresh contractors have been appointed and the work has begun, Khan revealed.

Burj Pacific is a 21-storey residential tower, comprising 150 apartments and penthouses. The project will be ready by 2015, Khan said.

Khan further said that plans are on to spend Dh.50mn over a two-year period, to take over projects listed in the Tanmia scheme. Already two projects have been acquired in Jumeirah Village Triangle, having renamed them as Pacific Residencia and Pacific Edmonton Elm.

The Tanmia scheme by DLD was launched in September 2011, aimed at getting semi-government/private investors on board to get projects completed. The department is now auditing more than 100 projects. The Tanmia initiative will continue for next three to four years.

The scheme targets government and private sectors who can help them benefit from the projects. Property owners and investors in stalled projects are allowed to approach the DLD to include their projects under Tanmia.

As per the information last year, the Dubai Sovereign bond prospectus, DLD said that a total of 291 projects were on hold as of 31st March 2012, and majority of these projects were likely to qualify under the Tayseer or Tanmia initiative.

Launched in July 2010, the Tayseer scheme is aimed at facilitating finance for purchasers in certain pre-qualified projects. Till date, only two projects have been financed under the scheme, out of which, Lakeside Residence in  Jumeirah Lakes Towers has already been completed and handed over.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

25 to 30 percent growth in prices for Springs Community villas


The villas in Springs Community of Dubai have registered an increase of 25 to 30 percent a year.

According to data by PropSquare Real Estate, a Dubai-based real estate agency, prices of double bedroom villas grew to Dh.1.60mn in October this year, in comparison to Dh.1.25mn during the same month last year, while the three bedroom villas were priced at Dh.2.4mn in comparison to Dh.1.75 million.

During the third quarter of the year, the prices jumped 10 percent, touching Dh.1.60mn from Dh.1.45mn in the second quarter, while three bedroom villas grew nine percent touching Dh.2.4mn from Dh.2.2mn.

The Director of PropSquare, Faisal Baig, said that there is huge demand for Springs villas, and people are willing to pay a premium for them. However, the growing demand for villas are creating problem for real estate brokers, with owners cancelling agreements in the last minute hoping to land on better offers. This tendency is largely noticed among owners in the Meadows, Springs, Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Islands.

According to Properfinder .ae, the average listed price for a double bedroom unit is Dh.1.6mn, in place of average price of Dh.1.2mn to Dh.1.25mn last year.

The property agents said that banks are comfortable to lend for these villas, as Springs villas are huge liquid assets. The Springs comprises townhouses built around man-made lakes. Majority of the properties here are double to four bedroom townhouses and are located in proximity to The Greens and The Meadows.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Business Bay, Culture Village, freehold land plots sold in public auction


Two freehold land plots, located in Business Bay area and Culture Village, in Dubai have been sold in a public auction for the first time ever, with a reserve price of Dh.53.44mn and Dh.32.10mn respectively.

The Dubai Land Department, after a five-month break, has announced its new auction list of these two land plots, and seven apartments in November.

The size of the plot in Culture Village is 11,037 square metres, which can be for mixed-use or a residential ground-plus 29-floor tower. The plot will be auctioned on 12th November.
The commercial plot in Business Bay to be auctioned on 14th November spans 4,970 square meters, with a ground plus 19-storey.

A 1,355 square meter apartment in Le Reve, a luxury tower in Dubai Marina, will also be auctioned on the same day, with reserve price of Dh.9.5mn.

Among the other properties are a leased apartment in South Ridge 1, Downtown Dubai, for Dh.1.4mn; a 138 square meter apartment in Al Arta 2, Al Thannyah Third for Dh.1.15mn, and a villa in Al Thannyah Fourth, spanning 1,387 square meters for Dh.7mn.

On 19th November, a non-leased 150 square meter apartment in Marina View Tower A will go under the hammer, with base price of Dh.1.14mn, and bids for a 89 square meter apartment in the tower starting from Dh.800,000.

A 121 square metre apartment in Madison Residency, Al Thannyah First, will be auctioned with a base price of Dh.1mn, with the unit being leased for Dh.62,000 a year. Bidding for non-leased 145 square metre apartment in Al Fairooz Building in Dubai Marina Will start from Dh.1.3mn.

The Section Head at DLD, Humaid Omran Al Shamsi, said that nearly 80 properties will be placed on auction this year. Last year, DLD auctioned nearly 35 freehold and non-freehold properties, out of which, only 9 properties have not been sold.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dubai real estate market indicates gradual recovery

The real estate sector in Dubai is showing signs of gradual recovery, with residential demand picking up in prime established communities, and banks beginning to lend again. Moreover, the increased tourism stimulates demand for hotel properties, said developers, when speaking during the just concluded Cityscape Global 2012, the region’s biggest property event.

The 11th edition of Cityscape Global was unveiled in Dubai on Tuesday by Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Nearly 26,700 residential units are likely to be ready from 2012 to 2014 outside Central Dubai in areas such as Jumeirah Village, Dubailand, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Sports City and Al Furjan, said the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) report titled ‘Dubai Real Estate: Market overview Q3 2012.’

Real estate developers at the event said that they are hoping for the market to climb up over the next 12 months. The CEO of Dubai Properties Group, Khalid Al Malek, said that there is already a growth in demand and supply over the past 12 months, with highest demand being for residential units, and particular demand being for villas, followed by single and double bedroom apartments. Areas with good transportation and infrastructure will perform better.

According to Damac Properties, the company will have atleast 4000 serviced hotel apartments that are under construction, by end of next year. The Senior Vice President of Damac, Niall McLoughlin, said that there is an upturn noticed in the Dubai realty sector.

The prices for properties in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and Sheikh Zayed road has seen price appreciation, while secondary areas such as Dubailand and Emirates Road too, will see good value for money, and make potentially good property investments.

Further, there has been considerable increase in demand for holiday homes in Dubai from India and Lebanon, and for purchase of apartments for foreign students studying in Dubai.

The Cityscape Global 2012 edition has been highly successful having received good response. It has grown by 50% from last year, with more than 20,000 participants. The show also included investor round table sessions, four dedicated industry conferences, including the Global Real Estate Summit, the World Architecture Congress, the Retail City Conference and Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Business Bay, Downtown master communities to be interlinked


Two major master communities in Dubai, the Business Bay and Downtown Dubai, will finally be interlinked by the year-end.

These districts will be linked by a road and tunnel that will reduce travel time and offer better accessibility to residents and visitors alike.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Properties Group (DPG), Khalid Al Malik, said that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will be working to link Business Bay with Downtown Dubai, together by roads and tunnels by the year-end.

He further said that the developers will have to take care of their own infrastructure development, while the authorities will be responsible for taking care of the infrastructure components that belong to them.

While the RTA is working on the roads and bridges, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is working on two new substations and Empower is developing the second cooling station in Business Bay.

DPG has confirmed that sewerage system and portable water system have been installed throughout the district, apart from new irrigation system, traffic lights and street lighting.

The Dubai Executive Council’s Infrastructure and Environmental Committee has last month discussed the infrastructure issue of Business Bay.  It was then decided to establish a work team comprising Finance department, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Land Department, DPG, DEWA, RTA and other bodies, who would look into various aspects of the project such as water channel, transport, infrastructure, sewage and drainage system, telecommunication, road lighting and cooling. The committee will also extend support for development.

Business Bay is buzzing with construction activity at present, with people having purchased plots lately in the area. They are either in design phases or under construction. Al Malik said that the company has no remaining land plots to sell in the master development.

Business Bay covers 5.9mn square meters of area, and is likely to serve 200,000 people on completion.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Housing units in International City records 40% growth in prices


The prices for apartments in the International City have grown by more than 40 percent over the past one year. The prices had earlier dropped below their 2002 launch rates.

The prices for studios are in the range between Dh.250,000 to Dh.270,000 in October 2012, marking an increase from Dh.150,000 to Dh.170,000 during same period last year, reveals latest data.

While studios were sold for Dh.220,000, single bedrooms were sold for Dh.320,000 during the launch, with property owners offering 10 to 15 percent discount to lure buyers.

The studios and single bedrooms in Spain and England cluster are now on the highest asking rate of Dh.265,000 to Dh.270,000 and Dh.365,000 to Dh.370,000 respectively.

On the other hand, few units are still being sold at lower prices. According to property agents, these units require renovation, and hence prices are low. Moreover, the apartments at International City are mostly being purchased for staff accommodation than for individual use.

According to data by Dubai Land Department, nearly 1730 transactions worth Dh.523mn have been registered in the International City. While International City recorded Dh.2.5bn worth registrations in 2009, the value fell to Dh.500mn in 2011.

Launched in July 2002, the International City project comprises a residential district, and a central district. The residential district spans an area of 300 hectares and comprises 387 buildings (including residential and retail units). The Central District covers 21 hectares with 34 plots.

The DLD Director General, Sultan bin Mijren, expressed an improvement in overall market sentiment in Dubai property market, thereby indicating revival of Dubai real estate market, with prices having gone up in certain locations.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

An overview of Cityscape Global 2012


Cityscape Global 2012 was unveiled on 2nd October 2012, with huge crowds thronging into the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre at Dubai World Trade Centre. This 11th edition of Cityscape Global, the region’s largest international real estate events, was officially unveiled by Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

The official opening ceremony began with welcome address by H.E. Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, and the ceremony involved participation of several VIPs. H.H. Shaikh Maktoum toured the exhibition visiting the stands of all major developers from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Iraq, Turkey and Russia.

This year, the Cityscape Global Exhibition has been 50% larger, featuring major developers from 31 countries across the globe. This year too, the event involved participation of major developers such as Meydan Group, Sobha Group, Dubai Properties Group, Barwa, UDC, Emaar, Al Futtaim Group and Agaoglu (Turkey).

Among the other major international developers are Ministry of Construction and Housing in Iraq (Iraq pavilion), Tata Housing Development Company (India pavilion) and United Development Company (Qatar pavilion).

The three-day event which concludes on 4th October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre focuses on exhibitor announcements from UAE and international developers, hosting investor roundtables, conferences, and extravagant dinner awards ceremony.

Major UAE projects

Leading the charge in the UAE, is the Meydan Group, which announced the launch of brand new tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, which includes residential, commercial and leisure options at the heart of Dubai. It offers office and retail spaces, serviced hotel apartments and hotel, private sky gardens, restaurant, nightclub, indoor running track, infinity pools and tennis court.

Meanwhile, Damac Properties showcased its serviced hotel apartment and brand new Suites & Spa service at Cityscape Global. Damac offered five-star management and concierge services across the hotel apartment offering, promising 4000 hotel apartments under development by end of 2013.

Other major UAE developers that participated in this year's Cityscape Global are Foundation sponsors Emaar Properties, Dubai Properties Group and Nakheel, apart from Meraas, Falconcity of Wonders, and Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

Meraas Holding pavilion explained visitors about various projects of the company in Dubai, including Jumeirah Island project, and Meraas Beach development stretching 600 metres in length.

Meanwhile, Nakheel briefed visitors about Jumeirah Park project Phase II comprising 377 luxury villas near Sheikh Zayed Road, while the Falconcity of Wonders (FCW) showcased the company’s multipurpose mega project comprising various residential and commercial buildings, including huge retail hub by the company.

The TDIC pavilion displayed the Saadiyat Island development project. Thereafter, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens project, which is a collection of neighbourhoods centred on ‘garden living’, with infrastructure resembling modern residential locales. The various elements of the project will be linked by canals and lagoons, apart from walking and jogging paths, bicycle track, and sports amenities.

Projects in GCC and international markets:
Barwa Real Estate from Qatar was another headline exhibitor at the Cityscape Global, which is expecting a big year this year, delivering a portfolio of mega developments including Barwa Commercial Avenue, Barwa Al Sadd, Barwa City and other iconic developments.

UDC, the master developer of ‘The Pearl Qatar’ focused on showcasing the development, apart from displayed select residential properties for sale including Porto Arabia units in the island’s Porto Arabia district, and Medina Centrale, offering unique advantage for trade and investment.

Real estate giants such as Emaar and Al Futtaim Group announced plans to enter into a Dh.3bn joint venture to develop ‘Cairo Gate’, the lifestyle and entertainment development on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway. Emaar also announced $2.1bn ‘Emaar Square’ in Cairo, a city within city development, in its flagship Uptown Cairo project.

The Exhibition Director for Cityscape Global, Wouter Molman, said that there has been significant increase in real estate companies and developers in Cityscape Global, who are seeking a new breed of international investors.

The growth of the event is largely due to overseas participation from countries such as Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, and further afield including Poland, UK, Russia, Chile, Brazil, India, USA and Turkey, he added.

The real estate sector in Dubai is all set for double digit growth over the next three years, due to constant stream of fresh project deliveries, with a new series of projects having hit the market during the first quarter of 2012.

Along the sidelines of Cityscape Global, are the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets on 3rd October. The awards programme attracts several architects and developers behind real estate developments across emerging markets globally.

Also co-located with the expo are the three dedicated conference programmes, which include the Global Real Estate Summit, World Architecture Congress and Retail City Conference.

Taking into account the considerable growth of Cityscape Global 2012 edition over that of last year’s, coupled with increased display area by 50%, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction, and said that the year 2012 marks a vigorous and healthy comeback for the real estate sector in Dubai.

Monday, October 01, 2012

New Jumeirah Park Legacy Villas on launch by Nakheel


The Dubai-based master developer, Nakheel, yesterday announced the launch of Jumeirah Park Legacy Villas, forming a part of 350-hectare master community that comprises total of 2000 villas.

The Nakheel Chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, mentioned that Nakheel is transforming a major part of desert into a vibrant group of communities, offering quality living in premier location.

Nakheel, early this year, launched the Palm Residence and Palm Views East and West on the Palm Jumeirah.  Located adjacent to the Jumeirah Islands community, the Jumeirah Park offers three distinct styles of villas – Legacy, Regional and Heritage.

The Legacy type villa offers a large open hall overlooking the back garden and a closed kitchen, while the ground level includes a guest room, while the first floor has four bedrooms each with its own terrace. Every villa will have closed garage for two cars and a large backyard garden.

Residents can also have access to a range of shops and other services within the development, including the community shopping centre, Mosques, restaurants, school, police and fire stations and landscaped gardens.
Nakheel is yet to reveal the prices of the villas. There are four-bed legacy villas that are listed for sale in the secondary market that are in the range Dh.4.2mn and Dh.5mn.

The developer is expecting a sell-out of 360 four and five bedroom villas during the public launch. Nakheel is offering 15% down payment and rest of the amount to be paid in easy instalments over the next three years.

During the month of July, Nakheel signed a Dh.27.5mn contract for construction of new Jumeirah Park Community Centre, spread across 10,600 sq. mts.

The Parkway International Contracting has been appointed the main contractor for the community centre, which will primarily serve 4200 homes in Jumeirah Village Triangle, Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Park. The construction of the park will be completed within a year.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dubai records 21% increase in land transactions in H1 2012


A total of Dh.63bn worth land transactions have been recorded in Dubai during first half of this year, marking a 21 percent growth, the Dubai Land Department revealed.

The total number of property transactions in the first six months of the year increased by 24.5 percent, touching 12,521 in number, said statement from Hamptons MENA.

As per reports by Real Estate Investment Promotion & Management Centre at the Dubai Land Department, the foreign direct investment in real estate sector of Dubai was more than Dh.22bn during first half of the year, with investors from across the world purchasing more than 12,875 properties.

The number of property transactions in Dubai grew by 69 percent during the first half of 2012, in comparison to same period last year, which indicates the strong growth trends in the realty sector.

The increase in buyer numbers, than seller numbers, all through the year, reflects the strong demand, which in turn, will leave a positive impact on prices, and benefit the investors, said Niraj Masand, Head of Operations at Hamptons MENA.

Highest demand is seen in established communities such as Dubai Marina, Emirates Living, and Downtown Dubai. There is also considerable drop in distress sales, and a positive growth outlook for property sector.

Masand also said that increase in market prices for properties in well-established communities is expected over the coming months, led by continued demand. Prime developments have recorded moderate gains in price, and rental appreciation, and this trend is likely to continue through the year.

Hamptons MENA offers a range of property services including residential, commercial property sales, property management, including at the international level.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Emaar's residential offering in Downtown Dubai sold out on first day of launch


The Address The BVLD serviced residences, the latest residential offering by Emaar Properties in Downtown Dubai, has been sold out on the first day of launch.

Customers have been waiting days before the public launch to purchase the residences released for sale at the Emaar Sales Centre, a statement by the company said.

The overwhelming response to the launch of new five-star Address hotel by Emaar and luxurious serviced residences is sufficient evidence about the robust growth of the city’s hospitality and property sectors, which builds on the success of Emaar's project launches early this year.

The Address The BLVD has 200 hotel rooms, 542 serviced residences including studios, single, double, triple and four bedroom units.  Emaar launched several studios, single, double and triple bedroom serviced residence at the launch.

According to Managing Director of Emaar Properties, Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the strong response to the launch of ‘The Address The BLVD’ is an indication of the strong demand for premium developments in established lifestyle communities. Downtown Dubai, is described as ‘The Centre of Now’, and offers investors to be a part of the most sought-after locations in Dubai.

The sell-out of the serviced residences that were put up for sale, indicates strong investor confidence in the development credentials of Emaar, while also emphasizing the positive growth trends seen in Dubai real estate sector.

Due for handover in 2015, The Address The BVLD is located on the Emaar Boulevard at the gateway to Downtown Dubai. Apart from the highest service standards offered by The Address Hotel and Resorts brand, investors also have the option of staying or renting out homes, and the investors also get to benefit from Emaar's rental programme.

The serviced residences offer wonderful views of Burj Khalifa, The Arabian Gulf, The Dubai Fountain, and are in easy access to major business centres in the city. The Address The BLVD will also be directly linked to The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, through a new air-conditioned bridge link, apart from easy access to The Burj Khalifa metro station.

The Address The BLVD serviced residences by Emaar is a 340 metre tower, the second tallest in Downtown Dubai, after the iconic Burj Khalifa. The 63-storey tower is expected to be ready by 2015, and work on the project is likely to begin soon, the statement said.

Friday, September 21, 2012

RERA amends licensing regulations to protect tenants, landlords


The 117 licensed property management and leasing companies will henceforth have to abide by the new licensing regulations, following the recent rental scams that were reported.

RERA has sought amendments to the 2003 licensing regulations, to ensure protection of landlords and tenants.

Among the measures discussed are doubling the bank guarantee from Dh.5 to Dh.10mn for property management and leasing companies, else, the licensed company should have assets worth Dh.10mn to Dh.1mn bank guarantee, or restrict them to manage properties that are equal to the value of bank guarantee.

The Head Section – License, RERA, Ali Abdullah, said that these are certain measures proposed, and that they are already in talks with concerned authorities to implement changes to the Licensing Law 2003.
He said that the licensing regulations were framed even before RERA was established, and pointed out that there is need to amend Article 2 in wake of rental scams.

Abdullah advised tenants to deal with only licensed brokers and avoid freelancers. Further, tenants should ask the landlord or management company to register the rental contract on Ejari.

Nearly 60,000 properties have already been registered on Ejari in the past three months, RERA said.  However, as per the latest poll, majority of the respondents have not registered their contracts on Ejari.
RERA issued Dh.50,000 in the form of fines against brokers who have been dealing with freelancers. RERA said that it plans to improve understanding and reconciliation practices, rather than referring disputes to judicial authorities.

There have been few cases of rentals scams in Dubai recently, and RERA said that it will continue to keep tenants and landlords updated about their rights and duties.  The concerned parties need to check the real estate company’s license and activities before proceeding. Such information can be checked by visiting the official website of the Land Department.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Emaar to unveil new properties in Downtown Burj


The Downtown Burj Dubai area is growing to be one of the most popular addresses in the world, said Damac Properties, the leading private luxury developer.

Damac hailed Emaar’s recent announcement to develop a new hotel in the area, contributing another 200 hotel rooms and 542 serviced apartments by mid-2015.

The Burj area is one of the most desirable locations on earth, and the announcement by Emaar to begin work on a new five-star hotel and serviced apartments in the area will add to the exquisite ambience and style of the location, said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, Damac Properties.

Emaar, further also announced that the construction will shortly begin on a 63-storey, 340 metre tall ‘The Address The BLVD’ serviced residences and hotel rooms.

The development of a new project further confirms the statement made by the company that Dubai property market is doing well and is back to its original form. The service apartments are likely to have a good market in the coming years. Further, the Damac Suites & Spa managed hotel apartments in the Burj area will be ready for handover early next year, and it is showing a huge uptake, McLoughlin said.

Majority of the developers consider the serviced apartment sector as a major driver of tourism growth in Dubai over the coming years, with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch report predicting that there will be more than 15mn visitor numbers towards the year 2020, from the current eight million.

Damac has numerous projects in the Burj area. The Burjside Boulevard will be completed in the first quarter of 2013.

Further, the clients can handover their property to Damac Suites & Spa, who can manage it on their behalf and generate rental returns. The Burjside Terrace will add to the project list that Damac already owns in the Burj Area, towards completion of 2014.

The guests at any of the properties can avail various concierge services, including booking a private jet, arranging tables at best restaurants and booking nanny services or spa.

International investors are seeking medium to long term investments that are due for construction and can deliver wonderful returns immediately, he added.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Property owners in Dubai eligible for two-year real estate investor visa


It has been reported that property owners with properties worth over Dh.1million, having no mortgage on it, can approach the Dubai Land Department and produce the title deed along with a copy of their passport and passport-size photograph.

Following payment of fees, the Land Department will issue an approval certificate, which permits the property owner to approach the Department of Economic Development, which will then issue a trade license for a fee of Dh.2000 a year.

Following receipt of trade license, the property owner can contact the immigration counters in the Land Department, and collect a two-year real estate investor visa.

Back in June 2011, the UAE Federal Government had announced that it is likely to extend the real estate investors visa duration from six months to three years. Such visa holders can avail several other services such as personal loans, applying for local driving license, school admissions and more.

At present a six-month residence visa costs Dh.2000, with an equal amount being charged for renewal.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New housing allowance rules for public sector employees in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council has passed a law that mandates public employees to reside in the capital, and this may be a boost to local economy, while the rents are likely to surge in the capital, experts said.

There are more than 10,000 employees in local departments, government-owned companies and public authorities, who will be affected by the new rule. These employees currently draw a salary of Dh.1.5bn to Dh.2bn in the form of annual housing allowances, and they are not eligible to claim this, if they do not reside in Abu Dhabi.

In fact, the decision may also affect prices in other related sectors, apart from rentals, said Dr. Mohammed Amerah, an Abu Dhabi-based economist.

The General Manager at the Abu Dhabi office of Asteco Property Management, Paul Maisfield, mentioned that after a year, rental prices are likely to grow based on the number of people who decide to move to Abu Dhabi. 

Real estate officials have estimated that nearly 11000 new units will be completed towards second half of this year, with majority of these being high-end apartment buildings, which would serve high-income residents and increase vacancies in low-grade assets.

The move received mixed response from public in the capital. While some said that it is a violation of principle of equality among nationals in the UAE Constitution, others said this may help to reduce traffic snarls and improve workplace productivity and ensure a balanced property market.

The decision was issued last week, with approval of Dr. Ahmad Mubarak Al Mazroui, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to change human resources policies pertaining to accommodation of Emirati and foreign employees, and take necessary measure to ensure that they reside in Abu Dhabi.

The decision states that employees living outside Abu Dhabi for any reason will be deprived of their housing allowances, and they cannot avail the allowances directly or indirectly for any reason. The decision grants a grace period of one year for employees to adjust their legal status.

The decision, however, states that workers of offices of Abu Dhabi local departments with offices located outside Abu Dhabi will be exempted from the rule.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prices of properties accelerating in prime locations in Dubai


According to leading developer, Tameer, which has begun handing over units in the Elite Residences and Princess Tower, the property market in Dubai is on the recovery path and prices are accelerating.

The market is entering into a new positive phase, wherein there has been increased growth since the start of the year, with prices having accelerated with improved demand for properties in prime locations, said Federico Tauber, the Tameer President.

Tameer has handed over 150 apartments out of the total 763 in the 414-meter Princess Tower, and plans to complete the process by December this year. Tauber said that the company has no plans to launch villa developments and is focusing only on residential hi-rises at the moment.

Tauber said that prices in the Princess Tower have shot up by 20 percent, with average prices in the range Dh.1200 to Dh.1400 per square feet, as the building nears completion. The Dubai Marina is the most popular area with highest number of transactions being reported, followed by Palm Jumeirah and Downtown Burj.

The real estate consultancy, Asteco, said that apartments in Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, remained the most popular among buyers, with price increases of 9 percent (Dh.12,900 per square metre), 8 percent (Dh.10,750 per square metre), and 9 percent (Dh.14,000 per square metre), respectively, during second quarter, in comparison to first quarter 2012.

Tauber revealed that the company appointed new contractor for its Imperial Residence in Jumeirah Village South, and will soon have a new contractor on board for Tameer Towers on Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, as well. The Imperial Residence is expected to have 510 unit, while the Tameer Towers will offer 1050 units.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New villas, townhouses to be delivered in Dubailand in 18 months


A member of Dubai Holding, the Dubai Properties Group (DPG), has initiated work on the Mudon project in Dubailand, aiming to deliver 348 villas and townhouses over the next 18 months.

According to the developer, the decision is based on increased demand for quality villas in prime locations across the emirate.

The Chief Executive Officer of DPG Group, Khalid Al Malik, in a statement, confirmed his decision to restart work on flagship Mudon development in Dubai.

The immediate priority of the group will be to deliver the first phase to retail investors, and Mudon is hoped to be as successful as Layan, Al Waha and The Villa and other residential communities in Dubai. Nearly one-third of units and infrastructure in the first phase of Mudon are partially complete.

DPG had announced sale of nearly 348 Mudon Cairo Townhouses back in the year 2008. These units included 1.4mn square foot cluster of two-storey, four bedroom villas, all within the Cairo section of the project, with a garage for two cars, patio and garden and a first-floor terrace in each cluster.

The word Mudon, translates to cities in Arabic, and incorporates five historic cities – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Marrakech, and Cairo, within a single large city, housing nearly 50,000 people. The project, as planned earlier will house 3200 villas and townhouses and 8500 apartments.

As of now, there is a huge demand in the villa market, with prices constantly on the rise, said the latest Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) report about Dubai residential real estate market.

The Head of Research at JLL, Craig Plumb, said that the demand for Mudon houses would be driven by quality and service rather than mere prices, competing with other established communities on Emirates Road.
Emaar Properties had launched 62 units in the Alma 2 cluster of Arabian Ranches, in the price range Dh.1.4mn and Dh.2.2mn in the month of June.

Diversified economy, constant population growth and best infrastructure investment, will bring about positive impact on Dubai’s hospitality, retail and residential market, said Bank of America Merril Lynch, in its medium-term outlook report.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Top residential communities in Dubai in H1 2012


New Dubai is one of the most sought-after residential communities in Dubai this year, the real estate agencies have revealed.

According to Better Homes, Dubai Marina tops the list as the most popular residential area in leasing, during the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, Rushiraj Mehta of Legacy Real Estate said that in the villa category, Springs and Meadows, recorded increase in rental transactions during first quarter of the year, making these communities a popular choice.

As for the apartment category, Mehta says that Executive Towers in Business Bay tops all other communities and buildings. Executive Towers recorded minimum 10 percent growth over the previous year, while Emaar's Greens recorded 5 to 8 percent jump in rental transactions over the same period last year.

According to Asteco estimates, there were 6 percent rental rates in established communities during H1 2012. Apartments in Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina were the most in demand, marking 10 percent growth with a double bedroom apartment fetching Dh.90,000 to Dh.120,000 per annum.

In the villa category, Asteco figures indicate that rental increase with increased demand was mostly noticed in Mirdiff area, while double digit growth was also recorded in Arabian ranches.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dubai working on new law to protect investors, and care for developers


The Dubai Land Department has asked the real estate developers to review the draft code of Corporate Governance for Developers, after seeking opinion from public on Real Estate Investor Protection Law last month.

The department has asked all real estate developers to review and share their opinion on the draft code.
The Land Department had last year announced that it is likely to mandate all developers (master and sub-developers) to follow the Code for Corporate Governance from 2013.  

The code, developed by Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, together with the department, outlines the responsibility of the developer to ensure that they disclose alternatives available for prospective investors in cases of delay in completion or handover.

The draft also suggests that all developers will have to appoint a dedicated investor relations officer, who deals with enquiries of individual and institutional property investors.

Further, developers will have to ensure that sales and purchase deal for built-up and off-plan properties reveal complete information about the property, including parking space, common areas and service charges.

The draft code also proposes that buyers be provided with comprehensive document containing complete information about purchased property, resident etiquette, the person to be approached in case of maintenance issues, information on the owners association and association manager, developer’s warrantee, information on community, where the property is located.

In cases of off-plan properties, developers will have to provide complete information about the property to registered brokers or selling agents or prospective buyers, which include project description, infrastructure information and utilities, with complete details of the property.

Another suggestion in the draft code is that the developer selling off-plan property should try obtaining a “credit rating” agency to improve investor confidence levels

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ajman working on fresh projects to woo tourists and investors


The Ajman municipality has undertaken several projects to improve infrastructure in the emirate and draw investors and tourists into the emirate.

There has been increased demand in Ajman for licenses to begin industrial, commercial and entertainment businesses, revealed Shaikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the Chairman of Ajman Department of Municipality and Planning.

The civic body is speeding up work on various road projects to improve traffic movement. The roads would be made up to the best international standards. The Municipality has completed construction of Shaikh Jaber Al Sabah Road, Al Nuaimia Main Road and College Street, and several internal streets have been paved and made two-way. Several other parking lots have been constructed, and street lighting and drainage worth Dh.29mn have been installed.

The Municipality is now working on the possibility of road improvements in Al Muwyhat and Al Zahra localities, wherein the streets would be paved for two-way traffic.

The project may cost Dh.16mn, including street lighting for safety of residents. The Municipality has also finalized designs for development of Al Rameelah, Al Nakheel and Al Bustan areas. Work is underway to revive heritage tourism by constructing Salih Souq, by reviving old city areas and improving Ajman Museum.

The Municipality is also working on a proper drainage system in areas like Al Nuaimia. The project includes drains to take rainwater to sea. It covers an area of 303 hectares, including a section of Al Ittihad Road in Al Nuaimia area.

The most important achievement during first quarter of the year was the completion of development of Ajman Corniche and the beach, Shaikh Rashid said.

The Municipality has re-organized the city areas by implementing a new system of numbering all roads and streets in the emirate.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Major developers to remain focused on income-generating assets


Emaar Properties and Nakheel are likely to continue focussing on their income generating assets, as the real estate market in Dubai matures, and deliveries continue at slow pace, CBRE said.

During first half of the year, Emaar enjoyed sales from higher apartments, owing to launch of their Panorama at the Views project.

But, overall, major developers are seen focusing on income generating assets, and in developing their communities further, so as to derive fresh revenue streams, said Matthew Green, Head of Research CBRE.
Emaar and Nakheel have announced expansion plans, recently, for all major retail centres, including Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta, and Dragon Mart, which indicates current market confidence, he said.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nakheel resumes construction activities in Palm Jumeirah, Dragon Mart


Nakheel, after its restructuring process to manage debt, has resumed construction activities in the Palm Jumeirah and Dragon Mart at Dubai International City.

Recently, it sold a Dh.40mn plot on the Palm Jumeirah Island.

The developer also revealed that it recorded a strong profit of 36 percent during the first half of 2012, surpassing that of the previous year.

The Managing Director of Harbour Real Estate, Mohanad Al Wadiya, speaking about the market, said that confidence is returning to the market, with major developers reporting healthy profits and renewed activities. The industry is certainly more vibrant now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dubai realty market on strong recovery path, albeit at slow pace


After four years of having faced the impact of worst ever global economic crisis in September 2008, which led to halting of most of the development activities, the real estate market in the UAE is now showing signs of recovery.

With support of structured cash injection, careful re-engineering of major development companies, and re-scheduling of projects and debts, the sector is likely to rebound, although at a slow pace, experts said.
According to the latest report by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), leading real estate consultant, the overall residential market indicates a positive trend, with villa market continuing to outperform the apartment sector during the second quarter of 2012.

The real estate sector has begun to show signs of improved investor confidence with increase in demand for quality properties in ideal locations, and income producing assets. Such prime residential buildings in established locations are seeing improved performance, although secondary locations are suffering from rental and pricing declines.

Except RAK properties, all publicly listed real estate developers have shown strong growth in the second quarter of the year. Emaar Properties recorded 45 percent increase in net profits, Aldar Properties recorded 228 percent jump in net profits during second quarter of the year, while Sorouh Real Estate recorded 29 percent increase than during the same period a year earlier.

According to Emirates NBD Research, the real estate recovery in Dubai appears to have continued in Q2. The prices for almost all sectors of housing also increased during the period April to June this year.

The data by Cluttons reveal that mid-range villa prices grew 18.5 percent year-on-year last month, surpassing the previous 14.6 percent year-on-year growth. The prices of apartments also grew modestly, while price declines in the low-end apartment sector have slowed down.

The Dubai Land Department showed that total value of land transactions in Dubai grew 21 percent, touching Dh.63bn during first half of 2012. The Director-General of Land Department, Sultan Bin Mejrin said that these figures indicate the strong growth and performance of the market.

The Head of Research and Consultancy at CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Middle East, Matthew Green, said that UAE property sector is quite fragmented and Dubai is already seeing improved stability and growth, and this trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year.

The Senior Vice-President of Damac Properties, Niall McLoughlin, said that confidence is returning to Dubai market, with investors seeking to capitalize on great offers. An increase in valuations are likely although this year and in 2013.

However, for Abu Dhabi, the development cycle is considerably behind Dubai, and the market is only now reaching the peak of its development cycle, CBRE said in its report.

A recent report said that Dubai continues to be one of the top performing 15 cities in global real estate sector, and number one in the Middle East, all through the second quarter, while the Asian markets and European capitals also indicate resurgence and growth stimulus.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Construction sector gaining pace in Dubai, yet again


Despite the slow recovery of construction sector in Dubai, following the global financial crisis, with new developments almost coming to a standstill, now there are increased signs of the industry gaining pace once again, reports Oxford Business Group.

The International food corporation, Nestle, during end of June, announced plans to construct a factory in Dubai, with initial investment of $136mn. The facility will be built on a 175,000 sq meter plot at the Dubai World Central site, and will be used to manufacture food and coffee products.

Soon after, the Dubai-based developer Nakheel, announced the signing of a $7.5mn deal, towards construction of a new mall in the neighbourhood. The Jumeirah Park Community Centre, which spreads across 10,600 square metres, includes retail and food outlets. The construction contract has been awarded to Parkway International Contracting.

Although these projects do not match the scale of those during mid-2000s, it is a clear indication that construction works have begun to gather momentum, once again in Dubai.

It is said that a revision of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 is being planned for development of the emirate. The plan, which is in its final stages of drafting, lays emphasis on tourism-based development in Dubai, while also taking into consideration the current global economic conditions.

However, on the other end, the Dubai construction sector is still not completely out of the impact of the 2008 economic downturn. It may take some time before all the disputes that arose from global financial crisis are resolved. But, majority of developers in Dubai, have restructured and worked on their debt burdens, which implies that they are now in a better position to move ahead and work towards building the future again.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

21% growth in land transactions during 1H 2012


Land transactions in Dubai has increased by 21% year-on-year, making a total of Dh.63bn during first half of the year, with investors seeking to capitalize on the priced properties in the emirate, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) said.

The Director General at the Land Department, Sultan Butti bin Mejrin, mentioned that real estate market in Dubai has shown high levels of flexibility in meeting investor requirements and trends during first half of the year, particularly with new investors seeking to take advantage of price correction that happened over the past two years.

The results indicate strong performance and growth in the real estate sector of the emirate, with prices having grown over the past couple of months, owing to high demand for villas, flats and land.

During first half of the year, a total of 14,652 sales transactions worth Dh.30.8bn were registered in Dubai, constituting 49% of total transactions. The mortgage transactions were a total of 3363, worth Dh.29.6bn, constituting 47% of total transactions. Majority of increased transactions were due to Burj Khalifa, generating Dh.2.04bn revenue from sale of apartments.

Dubai real estate sector is now showing signs of recovery in prime locations, following the fallout of global financial crisis in 2008.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Dubai realty market records highest unit sales in July 2012


The real estate sector in Dubai has recorded the highest ever unit sales and total unit value this July, in comparison to any other months so far, as per the latest data by Dubai Land Department.

A total of 1,767 transactions were recorded during the month, with a total of 193,629 sq m or more property units sold.

In-line with latest trends, the top performing areas have been Downtown, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers, with combined value of transactions from these accounting to 67percent of total value of unit transactions during the month.

According to Managing Director of Harbour Real Estate in Dubai, Mohanad Alwadiya, the market is certainly recovering, and there is increased confidence. The latest reports are showing healthy profits and renewed activity with several lead developers active in the market and industry seems more vibrant now.
Emaar had announced an 82 percent surge in its first half profit for the year 2012, apart from expressing renewed interest in developing a townhouse project in Dubailand.

Nakheel also reported a strong profit growth, marking 36 percent increase in its first half profit in 2012, in comparison to that of 2011. The company also plans new developments based on resurgence in demand for Dubai property.

On the whole, there is increased optimism and confidence in the market and the growth trend seems very exciting, Alwadiya said.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Major property developers in Dubai post profits this year


Major real estate developers in Dubai, who were facing financial losses during the times of global financial crisis, have now delivered strong profits, indicating that the property crisis in the emirate is easing out.
Although the market still seems oversupplied, with half-empty buildings noticed along the skyline, the recent house price data and earnings show a picture leading to growth.

Four years, after the property market hit its peak, following the construction freeze, the developers are now seen completing their projects, and buyers have returned to the market. Dubai has been further benefited by the Arab Spring that boosted demand for regional havens and the vibrant tourism sector that improved confidence in the emirate.

The government-owned real estate developer, Nakheel, shook global markets back in 2009, when it nearly defaulted on its debt, reporting 36 percent increase in net profit during the first six months. Handover of completed properties improved the outlook of the company, too.

Meanwhile, the Emaar Properties, developer of world’s tallest tower, received a boost with income from malls and hotels. The company's second-quarter profit doubled, thereby beating estimates of analysts.
Following the financial crisis, real estate prices in Dubai have more than halved. Cheap credit dried up and owners defaulted on payments. Although confidence has returned, several projects continued to remain stalled, including those in Dubai Waterfront, Palm Jebel Ali, and numerous other tower blocks. However, the latest report from Knight Frank and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), the property consultants, indicate that there are incremental increases in real estate prices in Dubai.

The prices grew 5.6 percent in the past six months, while prices of apartments in the emirate grew by 2 percent in the second quarter of the year, revealed the latest Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index.
The latest report by JLL states that villa prices have grown by 21 percent year-on-year, while apartment prices are up 1 percent. According to real estate agents, prime locations are most benefitted from the Arab Spring effect.

Better fundamentals are now prompting developers to begin new projects. JLL revealed that 24,000 new residential units are likely to be ready by second half of this year, adding to current stock of 344,000 units at the end of first half.

Majority of the forthcoming residential units are being handed over by Nakheel, which has received a $9bn funding from the government, as part of its $25bn restructuring of its former parent, Dubai World.

Meanwhile, Emaar is moving ahead with fresh launches, including new towers in Burj Khalifa. The developer has also announced purchase of land adjoining its Arabian Ranches community to meet further expansion plans. Half of Emaar’s revenues are now from rentail, retail and hospitality, as the company has diversified from home deliveries alone.

Nakheel has also announced plans to diversify into retail with launch of new shopping centres on Palm Jumeirah and expansion of its Chinese wholesale mall on the outskirts of Dubai.

Another leading Dubai developer, Union Properties, has reported a net profit of Dh.106mn, thereby reversing its Dh.439mn loss for the first half of last year. Speaking on Dubai property market, the Chairman of Union Properties, Khalid bin Kalban, said that a positive trend has been noted in revival of the market, with better value in rentals. Union Properties is also on its way for more retail development.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Al Badia Townhomes handed over in Dubai Festival City


The mega project by Al Futtaim Real Estate Group, namely, the Dubai Festival City, has completed handover of its new Al Badia Townhome to its owner, thereby marking its first sale post project launch.

The freehold sales of 24 townhomes in the third phase of Al Badia Residences, overlooking the championship Al Badia Golf Course, were announced in June this year. The starting price for Al Badia Residences, Phase 3, is Dh.4.8mn.

It was the Dubai-based businessman, Saeed Naderi, who first received keys to his 3,800 sq. Ft. four bedroom townhome, during a ceremony, held to mark the conclusion of a transaction that was completed within three weeks.

According to the General Manager, property sales at Dubai Festival City, Ian Plumley, this first handover of homes, following launch of freehold properties of Al Badia phase 3 townhomes, indicates the upswing in consumer sentiment for top quality homes in Dubai.

A strong customer response was received following launch of townhomes, not only from UAE, but from Middle East and Asian regions, Plumley pointed out.

Naderi, who now owns a spacious Mediterranean-style townhome comprising a private landscaped garden, garaging, and access to swimming pool and health club in the community, expressed happiness over being part of Al Badia community and the fact that Dubai Festival City is now a permanent home for him.

Al Badia Residences Phase 3 comprises three types of Mediterranean-style Townhomes ranging 4 and 5 five bedrooms. These townhomes are in the range 3800 sq ft to 5100 sq ft and includes a dedicated landscaped garden, two apartment buildings, a community pool, children playground, all of which makes the community popular within Al Badia Residences.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dubai realty sector on growth track: Emaar


Despite the downward pressure from constant supplies in the Dubai real estate market, the Dubai-based master developer, Emaar Properties, is of the opinion that Dubai realty market is now on the 'growth track'.
Speaking to the media, a spokesperson of Emaar, said that the overwhelming investor response received following the launch of 'Panorama' at 'The Views', wherein the entire units were sold on the first day of the launch, it seems that the Dubai property market is on the growth track.

Emaar also saw a good customer response for launch of their townhouses at Arabian Ranches too, which indicates the growing customer confidence in Dubai real estate market.

The once thriving real estate sector had witnessed decline in prices and rentals since late 2008, when the global economic downturn hit the emirate. Analysts are of the opinion that real estate prices will soften further this year, with more supply coming on stream.

Leading real estate consultancy firm, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), in its latest market report, said that nearly 24,000 additional residential units are due for delivery during second half of the year 2012. This is after nearly 3000 housing units were added to Dubai market during second quarter of the year, making the total residential stock to 344,000 units.

According to an analyst at JLL, Craig Plumb, Dubai is on growth track, with some parts growing like in prime areas, but, may be too early to say that the whole market is growing, but, some parts in prime localities are growing. To what extent this growth is sustainable, will depend on the ongoing supply, he said.

While Emaar is established in building high-profile communities like the Downtown Dubai, the not so established communities such as the Dubai Sports City are still witnessing decline in sales and rentals, and this trend will continue during the year, the CBRE analyst, Mathew Green, pointed out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ejadah to unveil range of solutions to realty developments, communities


Ejadah Asset Management Group will unveil a range of services to offer total solutions to real estate developments and communities in the region, including commercial, residential, hospitality, retail and mixed-use.

Among Ejadah’s customers are flagship communities such as TECOM, DIFC, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Business Bay. Ejadah has been working to boost the value of real estate assets and developments, apart from offering sustainable living conditions for residents within the communities it manages.

The solutions of the company are tailored to offer a consistent environment and lifestyle to its customers throughout the 24 hour cycle, from their residence in JBR to their offices in TECOM or DIFC, and even ensuring their safety while shopping at Dubai Mall.

With long-term and integrated asset management getting more important for real estate owners seeking to safeguard their investments and assets, and reducing their operational costs, Ejadah, through its total solutions, offer maximization of client's asset values and yields, quality of services by way of amenities and infrastructure management, asset protection through total security solutions, and maintaining robust supply chain and cost efficiency and utility management.

The CEO of Ejadah, Billy Daly, said that developers, owners and investors, are seeking a comprehensive range of real estate management and community solutions that are tailored to suit their individual needs, and maximize the value of their assets and improve lifestyle of their customers and residents.

Ejadah, through its entities, serves some landmark developments in the region, and world, thereby contributing to the brand value of the communities and the brand of Dubai as a whole.

Ejadah Asset Management Group has improved its services and business offerings through three main subsidiaries – facilities management solutions provided by Idama, property management solutions by Taziz, and security management solutions by Arkan. Further, Ejadah has also launched a community portal in JBR, aimed at offering community services, improving communication and lifestyle of customers by providing wonderful packages and offers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Villa rentals in prime buildings of Dubai, up by 10%


Rentals for villas and established communities in prime buildings across Dubai have grown 10 percent and 9 percent respectively, during second quarter of the year, in comparison to same period last year.

As for property prices, the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) report said that villas have registered 21 percent growth, while apartments continued to remain stable, year-on-year.

JLL, in its report, quoting the Reidin Residential Sale Indices, said that the residential market seems to have bottomed out, while the villa market has begun to see some upward movement towards end of 2011, and this trend has continued into 2012.

In fact, during the month of May, the villa sale indices have growth by 21 percent year-on-year, and now stand 9 percent higher than 2008 levels, the report said.                          

Meanwhile, the apartment sale indices remained stable, although they were 18 percent lower in comparison to January 2008.                      

Quoting Reidin’s rent indices, JLL report said rentals for villas and apartments have grown by 10 percent year-on-year. According to JLL, rents and prices will continue their upward trend for rest of the year. Nearly 3000 new housing units have been added to the market in the second quarter, making a total of 344,000 units.           

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dubai realty market protects investor confidence with new impending law


The real estate sector in Dubai, currently ranked as the most transparent market in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, is in for a further boost, with the enforcement of an impending law, aimed at protecting investors, said a global financial and professional services company, specializing in real estate.


The new law permits investors to cancel their contracts and get back their money, if the developers violate the terms and conditions. This is likely to boost investor confidence, says Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) in its review on the real estate market in Dubai. This will further, pressurize the developers to complete their projects.

As per the new law, there will be increased transparency in the market, and with better regulation of real estate market, investors can cancel their contract if the real estate handover is delayed for more than a year. In fact, the new law permits investors to have the option to demand compensation in the event of defects in the property when it is delivered.

With constant demand for quality, there is improved investor confidence, given, the well-located, income producing assets, said JLL in its report. Majority of transactions have been recorded during first half of the year.

Residential

The overall residential market too, is witnessing a positive trend, with villa market outperforming the apartment sector in second quarter of 2012, the report said.

Prime residential buildings in prime locations have shown better performance, while the secondary locations are continuing to suffer decline in rental and pricing, it said.  Nearly 3000 additional residential units have been added to the Dubai market, making a total of 344,000 units of total residential stock.

Among the notable projects handed over this quarter are The Villa Phase 3 in Dubailand, two towers in Dubai Marina, three buildings in Dubai Silicon Oasis, and a complex comprising 26 buildings in International City, the report said.

Office sector

As for the office sector, there has been limited office supply during the first half of the year. The asking rents for prime office space remain flat during the second quarter, while secondary rentals have softened. Occupier consolidation is the main focus in line with global trends. Larger companies have continued to show interest in upgrading premises, with improved flexibility in their leases.

Retail

There is sustained demand for retail space in the best performing super-regional malls, including the Mall of Emirates and Dubai Mall, which has resulted in increased rentals, JLL said. With the retail market getting increasingly two-tier and older, the less popular malls are witnessing weakened demand from retailers and consumers, with mall owners having to consider new marketing techniques and product positioning.

Hotel

The hotel sector has seen recovery in 2011, which continued further over the first half of 2012, with occupancy levels improving to 83 percent from 79 percent during the same period last year. The growth has been mainly supported by a strong tourism sector, with increased number of visitors, said the JLL report.