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.