Thursday, December 12, 2013

Registrations open for new Vida Residence units

Emaar's Vida Residence units are all set to offer stylish cosmo-lifestyle in the heart of Dubai.

Vida Residence, The Hills, which draws on the design approach of Emaar’s newly launched hotel brand, features 136 serviced apartments. The homes will appeal to new generation entrepreneurs and professionals, while the Vida hotels will offer personalized service to the residents.

The Hills offers all modern comforts and amenities to suit the personality of its residents, in its inspiring single, double and triple bedroom Vida Residence units.

The Vida Residence, The Hills, is located centrally in proximity to Emirates Living, a fully-established neighbourhood with easy access to Dubai Metro, Dubai Media City, and the Dubai Internet City. Apart from offering stunning views of theneighbouring golf course from their rooms, some of these units also open to views of Dubai Marina, which forms a glittering skyline towards evening.

Dubai, being the ‘go-to’ city for a vast youthful demography, Vida Residence, The Hills is designed to serve as new lifestyle destination for the discerning youth and families, said Ahmad al Matrooshi, Managing Director of Emaar.

Residents at this new development can also access to amenities in the adjoining Vida Hotel, restaurant and business amenities, outdoor deck featuring barbecue station and yoga lawn, all in The Hills, a complex comprising low-rise apartments and one of Emaar’s latest projects.

Vida Residence, The Hills are located in two 12 to 15 storey buildings, featuring contemporary finishes, design and chic colour scheme units, with advanced telecom and entertainment features, 24-hour concierge and maintenance support.

All potential investors can register for units online at from 11th December 2013. The sale for units will be held on 14th December at Emaar Sales Centre, Emaar Square, Downtown Dubai, and also at the Sales Centre in Al Nahda tower in Abu Dhabi. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Residential prices in Dubai topmost in the world, once again

The price of housing in Dubai has once again reached topmost in the world, hitting 28.5 percent growth over the past 12-month period ended 30th September 2013, said the latest report from property research firm, Knight Frank.

Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index tracks mainstream residential prices in 53 countries, apart from Dubai and Hong Kong.

The report says that the average global house prices touched the new peak, mostly in the recent quarter, and has surpassed the previous peak recorded during second quarter of the year 2008, following which, there was a worldwide decline in real estate prices.

Five years thereafter, the prices have once again scaled to new heights, with Dubai’s meteoric rise of 28.5 percent year-on-year, followed by China’s 21.6 percent, and 16.1 percent by Hong Kong.
The strong performance of the index is not only due to surging prices in Dubai, China and Hong Kong but also in other emerging markets, said Kate Everett-Allen, the author of the Knight Frank report.

The Index showed that housing prices in Dubai have surged by 11.8percent over the past six months, and by 4.5 percent in the previous three months. In the preceding quarter too, Dubai saw a record growth rise when house prices grew by 21.7 percent year-on-year, which is also the topmost in the world.

Dubai has been followed by Hong Kong at 19.1 percent, Taiwan at 15.4 percent, Indonesia at 13.5 percent, Turkey at 12.5 percent and Brazil at 11.5 percent.

Last year, the house prices in Dubai had grown by just 2 percent according to Knight Frank Global Housing Price Index, and the emirate was ranked at No.23 in the world in terms of rising house prices. In fact, the emirate was the worst-performing market when surveyed in Q3 2009, with average housing prices having fallen 47 percent year-on-year, landing the emirate at the bottom of Global House Price Index.

Dubai’s surge to topmost position in this year’s report indicates that investors have once again returned to choose Dubai as their favourite property market in the region, and in the world.

According to analysts, the emirate winning the rights to host World Expo 2020 will see a new growth chapter for Dubai and the UAE economy and real estate prices may see a growth in near future.

As per reports by Standard Chartered Bank in September, the real estate price escalations this time are based on better fundamentals, with several factors including subdued mortgage growth, low off-plan sales and improved housing regulation having differentiated this price rally from the one in 2008.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

UAE continues to adhere to 85% home finance rule

Although, there is no clue on when the new mortgage rules will get effective, home buyers can still borrow up to 85percent of the property value in the UAE at present, say Bankers.

The bankers said that although implementation of new guidelines by Central Bank was likely to get effective from 1st December, no confirmation on the same has been available, and hence, it is not known when the new rule will get effective and that as of now, they are lending at the previous loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
The UAE Central Bank had issued new mortgage lending regulation in October, which permits banks to offer loans of up to 80 percent of the value of the property to nationals, and 75 percent to expatriates.

If UAE nationals seek loans for a second house / investment property, the loan eligibility may not exceed 65 percent of the value of the property, while expatriates purchasing second house will be eligible for a mortgage up to maximum of 60 percent of property value.

The maximum LTV for mortgage on property is set at 50 percent when buying off-plan, irrespective of purpose, or category of the purchaser. The new rule does not permit home buyers from using personal loans or credit cards to meet their down payment requirements.

Last month, the UAE Central Bank Governor, Sultan Nasser al Suwaidi said that the new limits on mortgage loans would help the banking sector.

The UAE Central Bank’s Financial Stability Review in September 2012 indicated the direct residential mortgage exposure by banks at Dh.37bn for nationals and Dh.37.6bn for expatriates as of 2011. The total constitutes less than 7 percent of the net loans and advances at the time in the UAE banks.

A report on the impact of the new mortgage regulation by Standard & Poor Rating Services, said that although such exposure is likely to have grown since then, in line with increased volume of property transactions in 2012 and 2013, residential mortgages constitute less than 10 percent of UAE banks’ lending books. The direct impact from the regulation on aggregate lending may be rather limited, he said.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Dubai property prices surge following successful Expo 2020 bid

Real estate prices in Dubai are likely to shoot up soon, but, the real estate sector as a whole will witness a stable and sustainable growth in the long-term, say experts.

Leading global real estate consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle said that the direct impact of Expo 2020 will depend on investor sentiment, leading to increased asking price for plots and ready villas / apartments for developments near the Expo site and Jebel Ali area.

The Chief Executive Officer of PropSquare Real Estate, Parvees Gafur, said that there could be an instant hike in prices and with gradual increase on actual demand. The TIER 2 communities would be most benefitted, with majority of them being on the corridors of the main Expo venue.

Meanwhile, rents are unlikely to increase immediately, as the real consumer takes time to enter markets based on their mobilisation of businesses, and proper rent controls set by Dubai’s RERA on existing properties too.

On the development front, JLL is of the opinion that supply levels in the corridor to the south of Dubai are likely to increase due to successful Expo bid. Several developers have major land holdings around Dubai World Central and plan to develop these following the improved sentiment after the successful World Expo dicision, said Alan Robertson, CEO of JLL, MENA.

Another leading real estate consultancy, Cluttons, said that the market will see a more stable and sustainable growth. The much talked about ‘Expo boost’ has already hit the property market to an extent. There has been a surge in property prices, and a trend of more stable and sustainable growth is likely to continue in the short term, said Steve Morgan, Head of Cluttons, Middle East.

The fast-tracking of projects meant to complement the 2020 vision of the city of hosting 25million tourists is inevitable and this involves resumption of work in Dubai’s stalled schemes.

Cluttons believe that majority of investment in the short-term will go towards delivery of the Expo site, accelerating transport infrastructure, leisure, retail and hospitality.

The CEO of Dubai Properties Group, Khaled Al Malek, said that there has been a strong demand across variety of sectors including tourism, retail and hospitality, and hotels and malls, apart from residential, commercial and logistics projects that cater to growing number of visitors.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Residents concerned over rent cap removal in Abu Dhabi

Latest decision by the Abu Dhabi government to remove the annual rent cap limit, wherein yearly increases were limited to five percent, has caused great concern to residents, as several of them have to look for alternative accommodation in less ideal locations.

The resolution announced by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, terminates the yearly rent increase and rent contract extensions from 10th November. Rents will now be determined by market forces, including the location and condition of the apartments.

However, residents are of the opinion that the decision will not benefit them and has caused concern. Residents are of the opinion that a five percent increase in rent annually can be affordable, but, if the rent increases more next year, they have no alternative, except look for cheaper accommodations, as salaries do not rise to keep pace with rent increases.

The problem sometimes gets doubled by the fact that people working in public firms are offered generous housing allowances.

Residents in the capital have been long worried about rentals, as the rates are too high, particularly in the city centre. Heavy traffic to and from suburbs during peak hours also deters several residents from relocating to external area such as Shaham and Musaffah.

The five percent rent cap was a mainstay of Abu Dhabi accommodation over the past few years, as it made it possible for residents to live near the city centre.

According to a Filipina store Manager, living near Al Wahda Mall, the decision would compel more people to share apartments and live in crowded conditions, as not all are paid enough to be able to drive or afford a whole apartment in the city.

MPs have urged landlords and Governments to take into consideration living conditions for ordinary people before deciding to increase rents.

The latest report by real estate service provider Jones Lang LaSalle revealed that the demand for residential rental units was higher during the third quarter of the year. The demand was due to the requirement for all Abu Dhabi Government employees to live in Abu Dhabi, which has caused several families to relocate from Dubai.

Further, with rents on the rise, it is reducing price difference between Dubai and Abu Dhabi residential units, causing more people to stay in Abu Dhabi than before, the report said. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dubai Municipality issues ultimatum to seven abandoned properties

The Dubai Municipality, as part of its efforts to keep the city clean and safe, has issued ultimate to owners of seven abandoned properties / buildings in Dubai. The civic body has warned the owners’ that if corrective action is not undertaken, the buildings will be demolished and owners’ will have to pay.

The owners’ have been asked to undertake necessary repair works immediately to demolish the structures, within two weeks from the issuance of notice.

The new order will be applicable to seven abandoned or neglected buildings in Al Satwa, Al Naif, Al Rashidiya, Abu Hail, Al Khubaisi, and Muhaisina.

Officials stressed that if the parties failed to respond to the order within stipulated time, then the structures would be demolished by civil bodies. The owners will have to bear the cost of work, and the additional 20 percent administration charges.

Dubai is the meeting point of East and West, and is a global destination for business and tourism. Given the prime position of the city, the aesthetic view of the streets and roads cannot be compromised, said Khalid Mohammed Saleh, Director of Building Department of Dubai Municipality.

Also, such buildings have been often found under use by illegal persons to do their unlicensed business, and as a safe haven to further increase anti-social elements.

The Building owners can contact the municipality at 800900 for additional information. Frequent and systematic inspections, timely notifications and fines have been used by the municipality to keep tab on abandoned and neglected buildings.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dubai Land Department auctions 17 key properties on its smart portal eMart

The smart real estate portal eMart of the Dubai Land Department has placed 17 major properties, including residential and commercial projects, across the emirate for an online auction on 4th December.

Being the first portal of its kind in the region, eMart contributes to advancement of real estate sector, which is lifeblood of Dubai’s economy and better customer services in the sector.

The properties auctioned are both residential and commercial, and the listings offer detailed list of attributes including detailed maps, so that the trader can discover various aspects of the property, within the vision of the department to simplify and facilitate all procedures for real estate operators and stakeholders.

The Director General of Dubai Land Department, Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, said the new policies and plans are entirely focused on pushing real estate sector forward. The eMart represents latest initiatives of Dubai Land Department, and includes several unique advantages, channels and features that facilitate all real estate processes for stakeholders in this sector.

eMart is play a vital role in improving the size of property transactions in the emirat. The initial offering of 17 properties indicates the transparency and security of eMart, pointing to increased real estate operations and transactions in the future, bin Mejren said.

He emphasized that the department aims to develop initiatives that enhance the performance of the site as per the current requirement.

Among the real estate services offered by eMart are auction, purchase, sale and rental of properties through Ejari with option to immediately hold on the property, while viewing the details.

It provides the ability to complete the purchase of property easily through Dubai Land Department, and facilitates payment through Noqodi.

The government’s decision to move towards smart governance by offering maximum use of information technology to provide government services to nationals, visitors, residents, businesses and government departments across multiple electronic channels is a modern outlook well appreciated, said bin Mejren.
The online property auction system is a clear example of transparency and competitiveness, as bids are placed over mobile phones or other internet-enabled devices and therefore, the launch of eMart is an embodiment of going smart, inline with requirements of Dubai Government’s strategy.

The website aims to serve as a unified portal, and an umbrella for all major operations of selling, buying and renting in real estate market of Dubai, taking into consideration the protection of dealer interests across the board, while also assuring rights of all parties.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

UAE to be home to more than 192 hi-rises by 2015

The UAE has been ranked as one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the world, which is expected to house 192 skyscrapers or more than 150 metres in height towards the year 2015, say latest report.

The Dubai skyline will be home to 149 hi-rises, while Abu Dhabi will have 32 hi-rises, Sharjah will have 8 towers, Fujairah two and Ajman one tower, said the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The first skyscraper of more than 150m height in Dubai was the Burj Al Arab, in 1999. Dubai, however, has only two towers with more than 100 storeys, namely, the Burj Khalifa (160 storeys) and the Princess Tower (101). It has been reported that Dubai is likely to get two new 100 storey towers on Sheikh Zayed Road. Currently there are only 21 towers in the world that are more than 100 storeys in height.

The Middle East will have 289 towers overall of more than 150 metres in height by the year 2015.  Qatar follows UAE on the list, with Doha having 28 tall towers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 10 tall towers.
UAE currently also remains topmost in the world in housing seven tallest residential towers with four in Dubai Marina district.

According to Emporis, the organisation collating information on building and construction projects, the desire for recognition and prestige and demonstration of economic growth are most vital factors leading to construction boom, particularly of gigantic apartment palaces.

A globally built asset consultancy based in UK, EC Harris, said that within the next decade the trend of building ‘megatall’ towers of more than 600m height is likely to catch-up, particularly in Middle East.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Rosa Villas launched in Arabian Ranches lifestyle community

Emaar Properties has launched spacious “Rosa” Villas, the latest addition to the well-established lifestyle community, Arabian Ranches.

Following the strong investor response received for the “Palma” villas in Arabian Ranches, the developer has now launched the “Rosa” community which offer larger plot sizes and liveable space, which makes it an ideal choice for the families. The 144 villas draw inspiration from Spanish-style architecture.

Emaar has called potential customers to register for the villas from 10am (UAE) and 11:30am (India) on 11th November 2013 at The sale events will be held on 16th November from 10am at the Emaar Sales Centre, Downtown Dubai and at Al Nahda Tower, Abu Dhabi. 

The showcase event will be from 11:30am at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai, India.

The Emaar Managing Director, Ahmed Al Matrooshi said that the demand for villas has gained huge strength with Dubai further emphasizing its credentials as region’s business and tourism hub. 

The Arabian Ranches is well-known as world-class villa development, and the ‘Rosa’ is a stylish new addition to the community. The registration is being simultaneously launched in India and UAE for investors who seek distinctive residential choices in Dubai, he said.

The heart of the park has a central park, which features picturesque walkways, luscious green spaces, offering easy access to the health and fitness facilities, vibrant community centre, day care centres, Mosques and education institutions.

The residents will get to be a part of the luxurious golfing lifestyle, due to accessibility to Arabian Ranches Golf Club, and Dubai Polo and Equestrian club, which opens doors to wide choice of equestrian activities such as polo and a range of fine restaurants.

The other popular flagship residential developments in Emaar’s Dubai portfolio are the iconic Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, Emirates Living, The Views, The Springs, The Lakes, Emirates Hills, the Meadows, The Greens and Hattan Villas. 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

New real estate portal launched to improve market transparency

Launch of new real estate portal eMart will help in offering updated information to landlords and tenants. The markets set fair prices most efficiently when they are transparent with both buyers and sellers having clear idea of what the supply and demand are for goods and services.

The transparent markets help in reducing opportunities for speculation by those who wish to make unreasonable profits. The new portal is the result of continued efforts by the Dubai Land Department to use the latest technology to ensure that the public has access to more information about real estate market.
The department has launched eMart, an online real estate portal, for auction, sale and rent of properties, which will make up-to-date market information available to landlords and tenants, apart from buyers and sellers.

The new website will be integrated into Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s Ejari system so that rental deals will be more easily available to owners and companies. The new integrated portal will strengthen Dubai’s smart government initiative meant to make access to services for residents easier and faster, and increase the ease of doing business in the emirate. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Sustainable City residential project Phase 3 to be unveiled soon in Dubailand

The Dubai-based Diamond Developers is getting ready to launch the third and final phase of its ‘Sustainable City’ residential project in Dubailand, following successful sale of all villas in its first and second phase of the project.

The Sustainable City includes 500 modern residential villas, housing units, resort, commercial areas, gardens, playgrounds, service centres, organic farms, schools, training centres, water canal, planetarium and sports track.

The total area of the project is 46 hectares and is due for completion by 2016. In the coming days, investors will begin receiving title deeds from Land Department, the company said.

According to Diamond Developers, the quick sale of the two phases and the increasing interest shown by investors is a clear indication of the confidence that people have and the positive impacts of the sustainable criteria on people, environment and economy.

The Diamond Developers is concluding contractual procedures with 250 investors in the project, with half of these being from UAE and GCC nations.

The project exempts investors from service and maintenance fee, which also makes it one of the most attractive freehold projects in the city. The project, which gained wide recognition at Cityscape Global Expo, is considered as milestone in the new property boom of Dubai.

The Chairman of Diamond Developers, Faris Saeed, said that the service and maintenance fee is a major challenge facing the growth of property market in Dubai and exemption from certain fee will help reshape the property market and will help bring in best practices to the property market.

Each owner at the Sustainable City will be given a share of commercial area returns, which  would include stores, trade centre, restaurants and cafes, and this share can help cover all maintenance and service fee in the city, without having to pay anything during ownership, he pointed out.

The residents in the project are not considered as property owners, but, they are partners in financial returns of commercial businesses in the city, and are partners in forming a new phase of property development, which offer quality living conditions without endangering environment, while also reducing unnecessary financial burdens, he added.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Emaar's latest Sky Collection homes launched in Downtown Dubai

Leading Dubai developer, Emaar, has launched its latest ‘Sky Collection’ apartments in Downtown Dubai.

Located in the highest level of the 76-storey tower, the ‘Sky Collection’ apartments open to majestic views of The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain, and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

The limited collection of spacious, elegant furnished apartments will be serviced by The Address Hotels and Resorts.  The ‘Sky Collection’ homes located in The Address Residence Fountain Views III is the latest masterpiece by Emaar in Downtown Dubai.

The Address Residence Fountain Views III forms part of the three-tower dedicated serviced apartment development, and is the only one of its kind in Downtown Dubai. The discerning customers get to choose four and five bedrooms, furnished duplexes and apartments from the Sky Collection, which range in area from 2000 sq ft to more than 17,000 sq. ft., and includes expansive suites and balcony areas.

The residents form part of thriving lifestyle with scenic vistas from their homes spanning the city and the Gulf, remarked Ahmad Matrooshi, the Emaar Managing Director.

The Sky Collection of The Address Residence Fountain Views III offers good value preposition, particularly for families, with its spectacular location, the luxurious range of amenities, elegant finishings, and superb service offered by The Address Hotels and Resorts, he said.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jumeirah Corniche development to be longest in the emirate

The Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai has sanctioned the Jumeirah Corniche Development project to be built along the beach, adjoining six residential districts, beginning from the area behind Dubai Marina Beach Resort, down to Burj Arab Hotel, stretching 14 kilometres in length, thereby constituting longest corniche in the emirate.

Sheikh Mohammad has instructed to link both the walkway and the jogging track with Dubai Canal project and for Corniche project to be completed in a year's time.  Sheikh Mohammed said that the project aims to offer improved quality of life to nationals and expats, and these developmental projects are integrating to attain this ultimate goal.

Shaikh Mohammed asserted that the walking and jogging tracks are necessary to have healthy and productive individual.  More such amenities will be created and developed to serve various residential areas in Dubai, so that residents of Dubai can make use of these to practice sports and to keep their bodies and minds fit, Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammad made this statement during his tour to project site, accompanied by HH Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and His Excellency Mohammad Ibrahim Al Shaibani, the Director-General of HH the Ruler's Court of Dubai.

On completion of development, the Jumeirah Corniche will be the longest in the emirate, giving the public a bigger area to enjoy several activities. The project serves big sectors of the community, especially families and also offers public utility services, particularly beaches, parks and outstanding touristic attractions.
Apart from the value of project as a recreational and entertainment addition to the emirate, Jumeirah Corniche represents a major contribution to the public’s health and in developing social infrastructure in Dubai. On completion, the project facilitates variety of sports including walking, jogging, swimming, rowing and other activities aimed at contributing to family fitness.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Solar Park goes live, creates historical milestone

Dubai has made history this week by making its new Dh.120million worth Solar Power Station go live, to feed electricity harnessed from the sun into Dubai power grid, in the presence of leaders and energy officials as witness.

This is a major milestone achieved on way to sustainable development, strengthening Dubai’s power generating capacity, which will help the emirate on its journey to diversify energy sources.

The 13 megawatt solar project, with phase one of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park spanning 280,000 square metre was unveiled by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai at Seih Al Dahal, located 50kms south of Dubai.

The project is undertaken by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), and operated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and is expected to generate 24mn kilowatts of power per year.

Announced in January 2012, the Solar Park is likely to generate 100 megawatts of power by the year 2030, and will be completed in several phases.

The Phase Two of the project was also launched this week, which is a 100 megawatt installation to be done under public-private partnership. The work on this phase will begin in six months and will be completed in three years time.

The Solar Park in Dubai forms part of Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which aims to have an energy mix comprising five percent solar, 12 percent nuclear, 12 percent clean coal and 71 percent natural gas by 2030.  

This is the first milestone on way to achieve energy strategy. The plant will go a long way in establishing the trend for non-conventional energy resources in the region, and towards the year 2020, more than 1 percent of electricity will be generated through solar energy, said Saeed Mohammad al Tayer, Vice Chairman of DSCE and Managing Director of DEWA.

The sustainability programme includes constructing a self-sustaining solar-powered landmark tower at the park. Apart from building the infrastructure, the project aims to instil values of sustainability among local population, while also building local capacity.

In the next phase, DEWA and DSCE are jointly considering options to have rooftop solar installations that can help in further reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

Solar energy is the most abundant resource in UAE, and it is the best and most sustainable way to generate electricity in the region, and Mohammad bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai has established new trend and landmark for the region.

The solar plant makes use of a combination of photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technologies. The phase one has 152000 photocells linked to 13 step-up transformers in inverter buildings. The plant enables carbon-dioxide emissions by 15,000 tonnes annually. On completion, the solar park will be one of the largest solar installations in the region.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meydan, Meraas sign deals to develop Dubai Water Canal projects

The Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has entered into project deals with leading real estate groups, Meydan and Meraas Holding, to develop projects around the Dubai Water Canal, offering 14million sq ft of unique retail, hospitality, dining and residential lifestyle.

According to the deal, the companies will take up construction of real estate developments around the two banks of Dubai Water Canal, stretching from the Business Bay District, across the Sheikh Zayed Road and up to the Jumeirah Park, with extension to the existing park.

The canal moves along the Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2 District, Al Safa Park, and Jumeirah Road, before stopping at the Arabian Gulf near Jumeirah Beach Park.

The real estate developments likely to come up on 14million sq ft of land include shopping malls, hotels, and other retail and dining outlets and residential units, said Mattar Al Tayer, the RTA Chairman and Executive Director.

The RTA will take care of the drilling works of the canal, and construction of cross-roads and pedestrian paths, Al Tayer said.

He further said that project works have been divided into three contracts. The first and second pertain to the construction of crossings over the Canal that links with major roads that intersect at the canal course, which are the Sheikh Zayed Road, comprising eight lanes in each direction, apart from Jumeirah Road, and Al Wasl Road with three lanes in each directions apiece.

The bridges will be 8.5mts above water level to permit free navigation at all times. The third contract will pertain to drilling and landscaping works in addition to the construction of pedestrian crossings and 4-minute transport stations to ease the movement of the public and promote the mass transport and tourist business.
The marine transit modes are likely to ferry more than six million passengers per annum as per the plan mapped out in Dubai, he said.

The RTA will implement several improvements in the main roads, including construction of roads along the banks of the canal to ease the mobility in these areas.  As for pedestrians, a safe traffic movement will be provided through construction of four pedestrian crossings over the canal, with one of them housing retail and dining outlets.

There will be dedicated lanes for practicing light sports such as jogging and cycling, along either sides of the canal. Landscaping works will also be undertaken on either sides of the canal offering greens, sitting areas and various types of relaxation and tourist facilities, Al Tayer said.

According to the Chief of Meydan Group, under partnership with Meraas, the group will be the prime developer to create a distinctive development that embrace the unique canal and waterfront lifestyle.
The Jumeirah Beach Park will increase by 25percent with additional length of public beach.

The canal project is another example of Dubai leadership’s vision and zeal to use infrastructure as catalyst for growth and development of the economy. The project will help to increase further investor interest in real estate market of Dubai and offer growth in job opportunities, the UAE developer said.

The Dubai Water Canal project is likely to attract 30 to 36 million visitors per annum, and comprises recreational and sport facilities that are capable of constituting an important addition to the Dubai tourist map, creating an attraction for the entire community comprising nationals, residents and tourists.

The Canal Gate Tower located at the intersection of Sheikh Zayed Road and the canal, unifies either sides of the canal and the shopping mall with an enclosed multi-level retail bridge that comprises retail, F&B and entertainment venues.

The tower is a mixed-use development comprising more than 3.5mn square feet of area which includes 468 apartments, 617 hotel rooms, and more than 400,000 sq ft of retail and 735,000 sq ft of commercial office space.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Dubai property market still way behind the 2008 peak

The real estate sales and prices in Dubai registered solid growth over the past one year and is set for further increase, while the prices are still unlikely to touch the 2008 peak in the short to mid-term, a report said.

The rentals are lagging 38 percent for apartments and 31 percent for villas, over the same period, revealed a leading property expert, Asteco.

Although prices will increase further, it is unlikely that they will hit their 2008 peaks in the short to mid-term, the Asteco mentioned in its third quarter report for Dubai this year.

Asteco reported that the villa and apartment sale prices in the emirate soared year-on-year by 26 percent and 42 percent respectively, although, they still remain 42 percent lower than third quarter of 2008.
The Asteco report highlights that political stability, trade links and a buoyant and diversified economy, regulatory infrastructure and attractive tax environment have all led to resurgence in transactional activity over the past year, which has led to considerable increase in sales and rental prices.

The Asteco Managing Director, John Stevens, agreed that despite several project launches and increased interest among buyers to purchase off-plan properties, projects with favourable payment plans in good locations saw the bulk of demand.

The best performing areas for apartment sales prices were Discovery Gardens, and Jumeirah Lakes Tower, over the past one year.

When taking into account the 2008-13 performance, Jumeirah Beach Residences and The Greens are below their 2008 peaks. Downtown Dubai is the most expensive area to purchase an apartment at Dh.1700 per square feet on an average.

The outstanding performance in terms of villas over the past one year is the Jumeirah Village, followed by Jumeirah Islands and Springs, Stevens said. But, the most exclusive locations for villa owners is Palm Jumeirah, which commands Dh.2000 per sq ft, with Dh.700 per sq ft more than Jumeirah Islands, and almost double of that in any freehold area in Dubai.

The apartment and villa rentals too, are still below the 2008 Q3 levels by 38 and 31 percent respectively. But, recovery is well underway with 23 percent average rental growth for apartments and 19 percent for villas year-on-year, he said.

The International City outperformed the market over the past 12 months with 35 percent increase.  Downtown Dubai is just 25 percent below its 2008 peak levels, while Palm Jumeirah remains most expensive of the areas surveyed in terms of rents.

In terms of villa rentals, The Springs fared best over the past year, recording 34 percent increase to Dh.165,000 per annum for a triple bedroom house, while villas of same size in Mirdiff grew 31 percent to Dh.120,000 per annum. However, the Pam Jumeirah remains the most expensive places to rent a triple bedroom villa at Dh.350,000, which is below 10 percent of its 2008 peak.

As for the office sector, Stevens said that sales prices have seen little improvement in the past five years, and is still 63 percent lower than the Q3 2008, while the last 12 months saw only minimal increase of 8 percent on average.

Despite the office rental rates being 66 percent lower than during third quarter 2008, the office sector has outperformed residential sector over the past year, rising 43 percent from a low base, the report said.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dubai to introduce new regulations to ‘safeguard’ its property market

Dubai is working on introducing new regulations to safeguard its real estate market from excessive price surge, a senior government official said.

According to the Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, high property prices are not a good thing, and Dubai should not be an ‘expensive’ city. No details of proposed regulations were however, given.

The Law No.7 for 2013 regarding the Dubai Land Department’s objectives as government entity, responsible for registration, organization and promotion of real estate investment in Dubai, was issued early this week.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July, said that Dubai may have to intervene in its real estate market to prevent another boom and bust cycle. Later in August, Standard Chartered said that despite hike in prices, the soaring property market of Dubai will not head towards another crash, as the market is now more sustainable, influenced by better economy, rather than speculation, and hence will not repeat the crisis of 2008.

The UAE Central Bank has introduced caps on home finance to regulate the market last year, but postponed it. The new caps are expected to be announced by the year-end.

The Dubai Land Department Director General, Sultan bin Mijrin, said that they paln to introduce three main legislations during first quarter of 2014, and a unified rent contract before next year-end.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nakheel's new Warsan Village homes on sale

Nakheel has announced sales of townhouses at Warsan Village, a new community in Dubai, constituting 1200 homes, on 29th September.

Warsan Village, spans across 47.5 hectares of land along the south-western side of International City. It is an affordable gated community offering 942 townhouses, 250 apartments, a recreation centre and retail plaza with 365 outlets.

The prices of triple bedroom townhouses start with Dh.1.7mn. They span 2,013 square feet in area, and include a three bathrooms, maid’s room, powder room, two balconies, private garden and parking space for two cars.

The Nakheel Chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, said that townhouses are a natural progression for the area and will introduce new lifestyles to this popular community.

Apart from the townhouses, Nakheel plans to build about 250 courtyard apartments for lease within the new community. The three bedroom units each cover 2098 sq ft and feature their own glass-panelled courtyard, offering space for outdoor dining and entertainment. It will include recreation centre with swimming pool, sports court, gymnasium, Mosque with car parking, shaded green space and a large park with 1.7km jogging track.

Nakheel is also building a neighbourhood mall covering 18000 sq ft next to Warsan Village, which will house a supermarket, convenience stores and a lot of cafes and restaurants.

The construction of Warsan Village will begin early next year and will be ready in 20 months.
To know more about this project, call +971 390 3333 or log on to or visit the Nakheel stand at Cityscape Global between 8th and 10th October 2013.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Emaar launches Spanish-style villas at Arabian Ranches

Arabian Ranches, one of the most vibrant communities in Dubai, has unveiled the Spanish-inspired villas ‘Palma’, as part of their ambitious expansions plans, of being one of the most sought-after lifestyle communities by Emaar.

Palma, which forms part of extension of Arabian Ranches, draws inspiration from rich Spanish architecture and will feature 121 villas, available in four designs. The homes will be linked with walkways and green spaces.

The ‘Palma’s’, set to be another iconic development by Emaar, will include aesthetic design and lifestyle amenities, which would further improve the appeal of Arabian Ranches to residents and visitors looking for an ideal home in Dubai.

Arabian Ranches is one of the most popular communities in Dubai, which has re-defined the villa lifestyle concept in the City. With the launch of the Palma, another opportunity opens for home-owners and investors to be part of this world-class community, said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar.

Being the latest addition to the extended masterplan of Arabian Ranches, Palma features a new retail and community centre, health and fitness amenities, cycle trails, Mosque, schools, day care centres and dining options for entire community.

Arabian Ranches offers a unique lifestyle, wherein the residents get to revel in one of the most elite golf courses in the UAE, indulge in equestrian activities at Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, or just enjoy dinner with friends at residents’ club.

Online registrations will open at 10am on 25th September 2013 at Simultaneously, sates will be held at the Emaar Sales Centre in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in Emaar Square in Downtown Dubai, and at Al Nahda Tower in Abu Dhabi from 9am on 28th September.

Emaar’s portfolio in Dubai includes iconic developments such as the Downtown Dubai featuring Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, apart from several established residential and commercial properties including Dubai Marina, Emirates Living, The Views, The Springs, The Lakes, Emirates Hills, The Meadows, Hattan villas and The Greens, to name a few. Several other districts planned by Emaar are in pipeline, including The Opera District in Downtown Dubai.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Damac launches new luxury project in Burj area

Damac, the leading private luxury developer in the Middle East, is launching a new concept of luxury hotel living, with the launch of the new ‘Prive by Damac’ in the Burj area of Dubai.

Open for sale from 21st September, this stylish twin tower development is one of the last remaining plots located directly on the Burj waterfront, with all hotel apartments getting direct views over water.

The Dh.1.35bn twin project comprises 30 storeys and is located over 100m of direct waterside frontage, featuring luxurious studios, and single, double bedroom serviced hotel apartments, each offering wonderful views of the waterfront.

The ‘Prive by Damac’, is due for completion by Q3 2016, offering a real estate choice and access to heart of new Dubai, to buyers seeking a good investment.

Managed by Damac Maison, the Prive by Damac, offers all luxury services offered in a five-star hotel, including luxurious spa, high-end restaurants, stunning lobby areas with meeting space, kids club, baby-sitting service with dedicated staff, fully-fitted kitchens throughout.

The ‘Prive by Damac’ are iconic towers with fully serviced amenities. It is one of the last prime property spots left in the Burj area, and the concept was specifically developed to create an exclusive, private space, said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, Damac.

Damac has so far completed 8,887 units till date, spanning 9.1mn sq ft. It also has another 23,788 units in various stages of progress and planning across the Middle East region, covering 28.6mn sq ft of land.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wasl90 villas to be ready by November

The Dubai-based Wasl Properties has announced plans to complete construction of all 90 four bedroom villas at ‘Wasl 90’, the latest residential development in the area, by November.

The latest addition to the properties being added to Wasl properties portfolio is the one located off Al Wasl Road, a major artery running through the heart of Jumeirah. The new project is in response to the high demand for villas in Al Badaa district of Jumeirah, one of the oldest and most prestigious locations in Dubai.  
Al Badaa forms part of an affluent community in the locale, and is home to a network of schools, restaurants, services and boutique-style shopping outlets. The villas are located near two major parks, the Jumeirah Beach Park and Al Safa Park, which further add to the area’s appeal. The villa project is due for completion in November.

The 90 villas include eight upgraded properties which comprise private swimming pools and large landscaped gardens, with stepping stone pathways and wooden gazebos.

Each villa features several balconies, laundry, maid’s quarters, storage facility, private roofed garage. The development employs 24-hour concierge and several other amenities including club house for recreational and sports amenities and two separate gents and ladies gymnasia and common swimming pool. There is also the children play area and communal landscaped gardens.

Wasl90 addresses the strong demand for modern family homes in Jumeirah, said Mohammed Al Hashimi, the Project Manager, Wasl Properties.

The construction work will be taken up by the Dubai-based Al Arif Contracting, while the architecture and design work will be carried out by Arif and Bintoak, also from Dubai.

Wasl Properties owns and leases 388 villas in Al Badaa area, which has 100 percent occupancy rate.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Burj Pacific records more than Dh 100mn sales during pre-launch

One of the latest high-end developments in Downtown Dubai, Burj Pacific, has drawn considerable interest from real estate investors, recording more than Dh.100mn in the form of sales, during a recent pre-launch session.

Real estate experts, Sherwoods and real estate development company, Pacific Ventures, said that more than 140 apartments in the development have already been sold.

Located less than 500 meters from Burj Khalifa, the 20-storey tower, it comprises 140 single double and triple bedroom apartments and triple bedroom duplexes. About more than 60 percent of these, offer view of Burj Khalifa, given their distinctive “L” shaped design.

The CEO, Iseeb Rehman, when commenting on the launch, said that the development units are priced at more than Dh.1 million to begin with, for a single bedroom apartment. Given its location in one of the most sought after business districts in the region,  Burj Pacific offers high value for money.

Following an initial booking deposit of 15 percent, an additional 35 percent can be paid over the period of construction and rest 50 percent can be paid on completion of the project, due to be delivered in  second quarter 2016, which seems to be an attractive payment plan, he said.

The eight storeys that constitute the ‘Signature Residences’ feature fully-furnished contemporary interiors, by California-based award-winning Architect, Tony Ashai. Ashai has already worked on other innovative projects such as Dubai Lifestyle City, Santori resorts and Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard in Ras Al Khaimah.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Are alarm bells ringing for Dubai property market?

The real estate market in Dubai is back to its boom days, with plenty of fresh projects, mega-developments, investors and liquidity, all of which are true indicators of a booming real estate sector in the emirate.

The developer, Emaar, launched at least six new projects in Dubai this year, marking a 10 percent growth in second quarter net profit, while Nakheel posted 57 percent rise in profits during first half of the year.

Deyaar, announced 47 percent increase in profit during second quarter. The private developer, Damac has unveiled a series of fresh projects in the city, including a major golf course community, in partnership with Trump International.

As developers announce fresh projects, prices and rentals are shooting up, even touching peak values in certain areas, as was the case during 2008, before the property slowdown in Dubai.

Despite the increase in selling price of properties, there is increased demand, and the property market is drawing investments worth Dh.53billion during first half of the year, marking a 49 percent year-on-year growth, says report by Dubai Land Department.

The Director General of Land Department, Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, said that real estate market in Dubai seems lucrative due to its stability, diversity and promise of high return on investors. But, such factors continue to inspire confidence in local, regional and international investors alike, which signify complete recovery from global financial crisis.

Back during the years 2009 and 2010, the Dubai property bubble led to crash in real estate prices by around 60 percent and scarred the entire emirate. Dozens of projects were cancelled or suspended, and dubious developers disappeared and investors lost millions.

With better regulations, increased transparency and improving economy mainly boosted by tourism, Dubai put this shine back into its property market over the past two years.

The Dubai Ruler, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, in July this year, issued a decree stating that the emirate will liquidate cancelled property projects and use the funds to repay investors. The Land Department too, is putting in place new legislation, to be ready by 2015, to better regulate the real estate sector in Dubai.

Despite the positives, the steady acceleration of the market to pre-crisis conditions have set the alarm bells ringing. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), warned that Dubai may need to intervene in its property market to prevent another real estate crisis.

Although it is too early to speak of a bubble, the price increases continue to happen in Dubai, and action need to be taken to prevent another bubble, said Harald Finger, IMF Mission Chief to the UAE.

A senior Research Analyst at CBRE Middle East, Mohammed Faheem, said that with increased confidence among developers and buyers, there are increased indications that the residential sectors is beginning to overheat. This situation need to be monitored closely over the next one year to ensure that another price bubble is avoided, which demonstrates that one have to learn lessons from 2008 happenings.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Series of new project launches lined up for buoyant Dubai market

Several property developers in Dubai, the hottest global property market, according to Knight Frank report, are likely to launch several new projects over the coming months.

ETA Star Property Developers, one of the major private players, which form part of ETA-Ascon Group, will re-enter Dubai’s buoyant real estate market, with series of new launches across various master communities.

ETA Star Executive Director, Abid Junaid, revealed that the company has huge land bank in Dubai, and are planning to launch several projects. The company is hoped to make announcement on new projects soon, as the market at present is buoyant, and this is the right time to enter the market, as it is in recovery mode.

The developer plans to launch projects in master communities such as Jumeirah Village, Dubai Maritime City and Business Bay. The developer had not launched any fresh projects since economic slowdown hit the market.

Another private developer, Pacific Ventures, has acquired projects under the Dubai Land Department’s Tayseer initiative, and plans to launch a villa project. The project will be announced when the plans are finalized, said Parvez Khan, Chairman, Pacific Ventures.

Meanwhile, a new residential project, comprising 22-storey tower, is likely to come up next to Southridge, with average selling price maintained at Dh.1550 per square foot.

Deyaar Development CEO, Saeed Al Qatami, announced plans to launch two new projects in Business Bay master community by year-end. One project that is completely funded is worth Dh.500mn, while the cost of the other is in finalizing stage.

According to Global Property Guide, an organization that collates real estate data from across the world, has said that housing prices in Dubai grew at fastest pace in the world during the year to Q1 2013, in the list of 42 global cities surveyed by it.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Dubai realty market now thrives on strong fundamentals, rather than speculation

Residential real estate prices in Dubai are amidst another boom, but, this time there are strong fundaments at play, and the rally will continue, as long as the fundamentals are in its place, a leading global bank revealed in its report.

The primary factors that have contributed to the remarkable recovery in residential prices in Dubai, after its bottoming out in 2009, are economic growth, improving demographics, return of investor confidence and better regulations.

The report titled ‘Dubai housing: Fundamentals not speculation’, published by Standard Chartered bank said that housing market in Dubai is growing due to improved fundamentals, and several factors, including subdued mortgage growth, low off-plan sales and increased housing regulation, makes this price rally different from the boom in 2008.

The author of the Standard Chartered report, Carla Slim, writes that confidence has returned to Dubai market, slowly, but steadily.  The pace of recovery has gathered considerable momentum now, as villa prices are climbing almost by a quarter, while apartment prices are surging by two-fifths in the past year, even as rental growths have been trailing these price-rises.

The second quarter of 2013 shows fourth consecutive quarterly growth in residential prices.  Over the past one year, residential prices have grown by 38 percent for apartments and 24 percent for villas, while rentals increase by 20 percent and 17 percent respectively, Slim said.

According to analysis by the Bank, unlike in the past, the current rally is not driven by speculative excesses. The report noted that price hikes this time has been steady rather than sudden, which adds credence to the rally.

The sharp increase in real estate prices in 2008 have been driven by excessive short-term speculative activity, particularly on off-plan properties. Further, the buyers had to invest 10 percent deposits for these properties, and so the market became highly leveraged. Several buyers had no intention to pay future instalments, back then, as they planned to flip the property before payments were due, and this turned housing market into an unsustainable, highly-leveraged derivatives market.

However, the price declines of 2009, 2010 are well documented, with prices having declined by up to 50 percent in some cases.  The year 2011 marked the beginning of housing market recovery with villa rent and sale prices beginning to show positive changes in signs, outperforming the apartment market, which experienced the same in 2012.

Last year, there has been a positive uptrend in sale and rental prices, with selling prices having grown faster than rentals. The villa prices outperformed apartment prices with 24 percent and 12 percent growth respectively during fourth quarter of 2011-12.

Some of the strong factors that have been the driving force in Dubai housing market are:
Economy: The report highlights that housing market has been influenced by broad economic trends. The Dubai economy has seen solid and sustainable rates of growth over the past three years, the major drivers being logistics, hospitality, and retail. Trade is likely to increase in the years to come, given, the huge spending plans of most governments in the region, including Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.  Tourism is also likely to grow at an average of 6.5 percent per annum between 2011 and 2021, further increasing employment growth for the sector by 4.1 percent annually.

Demographics:  With the improving economy, the population of the emirate is also likely to grow, and so does the demand for housing, and simultaneously the sale and rental prices.  The statistics by Dubai Statistics Centre shows that the population in the emirate stands at 2.17mn, marking an increase from 1.97mn couple of years ago. Dubai is strengthening its status as safe haven in the region of political and economic turmoil, thereby attracting population from unstable countries in the MENA region, and hence real estate agencies are reporting increased interest from buyers from countries in political turmoil. Further, school registrations reflect increase in influx of families as end-users in the housing market.

Return of confidence: Improving fundamentals and price growths have led to improved confidence in Dubai market, which could drive up prices and investments further, with both feeding off each other, the report said.

According to Business Confidence Survey conducted during first quarter this year by the Department of Economic Development (DED), more than 55 percent of businesses surveyed are seeing improve sale revenues during second half of this year, and 30 percent are seeing stable sales, owing to growing activity and volume.

Improving regulations: Last year, there has been a major shift in the real estate market with release of two new laws aimed at improving transparency and better regulation. The Investor Protection Law, and the Code of Corporate Governance for Developers drafted by Dubai Land Department were announced. These protected property investors from delayed completion and handover, and from unilateral changes comprising of violations of terms and conditions by developers. It also allows investors to cancel their contracts in these situations and have their money refunded. Further, the laws require developers to disclose to investors information about their properties, including alternatives in case of delays.  Therefore, home-owners and tenants have regained confidence in the property sector, resulting in recovery of market prices.

Expo 2020: Dubai has been a frontrunner in the bid to host the Expo 2020, and successful bids are expected to result in massive shot in the arm for overall economy, as well as property prices in the emirate and across the UAE. Hosting the event would lead to creation of more than 300,000 jobs, while more than 25 million people would visit Dubai. 90 percent of the job opportunities would occur from 2018-2021, with most of the jobs created in travel and tourism sector. Majority of these would be converted into permanent jobs, which will help the expanded economy in the post-Expo period.

On the whole, the report maintains that the current rally is based on strong fundamentals, which will continue for the foreseeable period. The recovery of Dubai housing market began in 2011, and the there has been a slow, strong and persistent growth in housing prices, coupled with real demand for housing from end-users and steady supply of fresh developments to match it.

The market is driven by fundamentals now, rather than excess speculation, and the overall outlook of the market depends on how these fundamentals evolve over time. At present, there are no serious indications of a speculative bubble in the housing market, the report concludes. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

New Land Transport Act made effective in UAE

The new Land Transport Act in UAE has been made effective in co-ordination with all concerned Federal and local authorities.

The implementation of the law aims to keep pace with economic growth of the UAE. The law will be implemented in phases, with the first phase aimed at licensing and registering transport companies, while final phase will be about registering trucks at border entry points.

According to Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public works and Chairman of National Transport Authority (NTA), the NTA offices are ready to issue operating licenses for companies based on terms and conditions of the law.

The NTA hopes that an average of 2500 transactions will be carried out at border entry points, with time for each transaction to be reduced to 7 minutes from earlier 15 minutes with electronic linkage between NTA and some 25 federal and local departments involved in implementation of new law.

The new Law establishes certain rules for carrying passengers and goods between UAE and other countries. Some highlights of the law are:

  • It emphasizes that no land transport business be practiced without a licence from NTA.
  • The license applicant need to be a UAE national, while the transport vehicle should be equipped with safety gear and should meet all technical conditions stipulated by the authority. 
  • The licence applicant should be owner or hirer of land transport vehicle based on type of activity to be licensed pursuant to the conditions determined by Executive Regulations.
  • The new law will upgrade the land transport system by determining the requirements for practicing land transport business and international transport operations of goods and passengers.
  • It will regulate the establishment of companies involved in business of land transport and establishment of branches of these companies, guarantor and auto clubs.
  • The law will regulate the procedures of granting and renewal of licences, apart from starting the application and approving the operation cards of transport vehicles, determining conditions of drivers of land transport vehicles and mechanisms of issuing customs transit cards as well.

NTA will also launch a hotline shortly, for responding to queries of mechanisms about compliance with new law.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Latest fund repatriation limits may hamper Dubai property market

With new limits being set for the extent of funds that high net-worth Indian investors can repatriate abroad per year, may hamper the real estate market in Dubai. It may prove to be particularly troublesome for developers with forthcoming installments due from Indian buyers in India.

This new regulatory limit permits a domestic Indian investor to invest only up to $75,000 (Dh.275,478) per annum, in comparison to $200,000 earlier. While this is likely to keep away prospective Indian investors from acquiring new properties abroad, it also implies that keeping up the instalments on completed transactions may prove to be a burden.

Damac and Emaar, the two leading developers in Dubai, were marketing their recently launched developments extensively in India. In particular, the sprawling upscale ‘Akoya’ by Damac, the golf-themed project, was extensively air-played on airports and media platforms in India.

Damac Properties has so far not commented on whether it would consider re-scheduling any payments due from India-based investors, in the wake of revised limits on fund outflows.

However, the Property Sales Manager at SPF Realty, which counts India-based investors among its client base, said that the developers in Dubai are re-working their installment programmes, as the current weakened state of Indian economy seems to be a temporary phase, and there are high prospects for the Indian government to pull back such temporary laws.

Although, the status of property market needs to be waited and watched, it is also said that Dubai property market is going through a steady up-growth as it is. Meanwhile, investment advisors too, are of the opinion that UAE property market can take the India move in its stride.

Speaking on this issue, Kalani Lal, CEO of KBC – Aldini Capital at DIFC, said that majority of the investors are either UAE or GCC residents or Middle East buyers. As for fund repatriation limits, Kalani said that the RBI has reduced remittance limit to overseas account to $75,000 (earlier $200,000) on annual basis, and this has been done to preserve forex reserves.

Such restrictions are unlikely to leave a major impact as historically the amount remitted by resident Indian individuals to overseas accounts have been very little.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Will weakening Indian Rupee affect Dubai real estate market?

According to experts, the weakening Indian rupee will affect several Indian investors in the Dubai realty market.

A UAE-based economist, Dr. Mohammad Al Asoomi, said that he does not expect investors to take their money back to India, at least in the short term. The Indian investment in Dubai realty market will see a decline, but, it may not impact an opportunity-rick market like Dubai in a major way.

He further said that Indian are the top investors in Dubai’s realty market and it is likely to continue that way. The Indian capital will not go back to India to take advantage of the currency’s depreciation.

In the short-term, investors will not take risk and direct their investments to India, as the rupee could regain its value soon, but, the long-term scenario cannot be predicted, he said.

However, Al Asoomi said that Dubai, being an international real estate market, new investors would fill the void created by Indians, if they take their money home.

Meanwhile, the Head of Business Materials Group in Dubai, Mahendra Patel, said that Rupee will affect Indian investment in Dubai real estate market. Indians will now be more hesitant to invest, as they will face lot of obstacles, with the Indian government having placed tough restrictions to control money transfer from India. Therefore, investment in Dubai or any other market for that matter, would prove too costly.

Although Dubai is the most favourable destination for Indian investments, there will be changes as return of this business will not cover rupee value depreciation in the short-term, he added.

The Vice-Chairman at Sobha Real Estate, Ajay Rajendran, on the other hand, said that any change in the Dubai market will be very limited. With some investors getting more cautious now, there will only be marginal drop in property buyers. But, not all investors are based in India. They come from various destinations.

On the whole, not all believe that rupee decline will slow-down Indian transactions in Dubai realty market. The Head of Dubai Property Society (DPS), Ahmad Thani Al Matroushi, said that Indians will invest more in Dubai real estate market, in any case, as they have lesser alternatives in the Gulf region.

Further, there is always the added advantage for Dubai, as it is a tax-free market, and the investors will be still compensated well from the currency’s depreciation. Dubai realty market is a lucrative one with stability, diversity and high-return on investment, he pointed out.

Foreign investors contributed to 32 percent of total investments in Dubai, with 73 percent growth in comparison to same period last year, as per statistics by Dubail Land Department. The real estate market in the emirate drew Dh.53bn worth investments during first half of 2013, marking 49 percent year-on-year increase.

As per estimates by Land Department, Indian investors contributed to bulk of foreign investments in Dubai real estate market, with Indian transactions being worth Dh.8bn during first half of 2013, followed by investors from UK and Pakistan.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Will Indians continue to be topmost real estate investors in Dubai in future?

Indians planning to purchase international real estate at attractive valuations are now facing the hitch, despite attractive valuations in Dubai, UAE and other Gulf cities.

The Wealth Report 2012 by the leading global property consultancy, Knight Frank, revealed that value of prime luxury properties in Mumbai are nearly double the prices in Dubai. Besides, cost of purchase in the case of a newly built residential property in Dubai, is much lower than in India, where the residents will have to shell out registration fee, VAT etc.

The Dubai Land Department revealed that Indians purchased more than Dh.8bn worth properties already during first half of this year, in comparison to Dh.9bn which they invested in the whole of 2012. Over the years, Indians have topped the list of expat real estate investors in Dubai.

However in an effort to support the falling Rupee value, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently cut the limit of remittances made by resident individuals from $200,000 to $75,000 per financial year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS). The notice also said that residents cannot use money from LRS to acquire immovable property outside India directly or indirectly.

These new restrictions by RBI pertaining to Indians investing in international real estate under the LRS have been introduced in an effort to stabilize the rupee. This move will have medium to long-term implications. Individuals, who were planning to purchase international real estate at attractive valuations and planning for their kids education and housing abroad, will have to change their plans now, said Om Ahuja, Chief Executive Officer – Residential Services, JLL.

Moreover, at present, there are several options in the international real estate market that offer attractive rental yield and valuations, making the proposition of investing in property abroad a potentially lucrative one.
Although cash transactions by Indians may dampen, a few local banks in UAE have begun giving mortgages to non-UAE residents although loan-to-asset values have been capped at 50 percent of property value. This may help boost sales to certain extent, but, it needs to be watched as to how many non-residents will resort to such home financing.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Discovery Garden units record 88 percent growth in sale transactions

Dubai's Discovery Gardens, which was among the most affordable communities in the emirate, has recorded 88 percent growth in sale transactions during the first six months of 2013, in comparison to same period last year.

There has been 18 percent rise in average prices, touching Dh.692.8 per square foot, in comparison to Dh.587 per square foot data, as shared by

During the first half of the year, 400 apartments have been sold as against just 213 units sold during the same period last year, marking 88 percent growth. These figures are as per data registered with the Dubai Land Department.

At present, the prices of studios are in the range Dh.430,000 to Dh.500,000, while single bedrooms are being sold for Dh.600,000 to Dh.750,000. Following the real estate crisis in 2008, studios and single bedroom apartments are being sold for Dh.250,000 and Dh.350,000 respectively.

Due to its proximity to Ibn Battuta Metro Station, rentals have grown considerably and investors are able to gain six to eight percent return on their investments in Discovery Garden units.

Further, Nakheel, the master developer, has also announced plans to build a retail community centre in Discovery Gardens. There are several swimming pools within the community now, and other features such as access control systems and CCTVs to offer safety to residents.

Spanning more than 26 million square feet, Discovery Gardens offer 291 buildings comprising more than 26,000 residential units. The development comprises six themed communities drawing inspiration from garden living and includes Contemporary, Mediterranean, Cactus courtyard gardens, Mesoamerican and Mogul.

Leading Property Consultant, Knight Frank, in their latest report said that real estate prices in Dubai have grown 18.3 percent over the past one year, and the emirate has been maintaining its position among the top five best performing real estate markets in the world.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Dubai to re-fund investors in officially cancelled property projects

Dubai will liquidate several cancelled real estate projects and use the funds to repay investors who lost billions of dollars in the real estate market of the emirate, say latest reports.

As per the latest decree by the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, a special legal committee would be formed to settle disputes pertaining to projects that have been officially cancelled by RERA.

The crash of the property market in Dubai during 2009-10, had more than halved the real estate prices in the emirate, compelling developers to scrap off hundreds of projects. While few developers shut down, others left without keeping their customers informed.

Several individuals and corporations had purchased properties and handed over the money, while the projects were still in their initial design stages, and they never saw the light of those projects till date, and they were not able to recover their money too.

Nearly 217 property projects were cancelled in Dubai during 2009-11, as per the data compiled by RERA last year. These included a Tiger-Woods branded golf course and a kilometre tall tower to be built by Nakheel.

Dubai has now almost recovered from the crisis, and prices of properties have begun to rebound, but, the legacy of unpaid debts and unsettled contracts may come in the way of recovery. The new committee will examine the financial status of the developers and analyze deposits in the case of cancelled projects.  The committee will then take the necessary actions and issue decisions that guarantee the right of those who have purchased properties falling into this category.

The new committee will supersede all courts in Dubai, including those in Dubai International Financial Centre. Several state-funded mega projects such as the Palm Deira by Nakheel, Palm Jebel Ali and the World, were sold to investors and later stalled. They will not be however, handled by the new committee, as they have not been officially scrapped, and are merely delayed indefinitely.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

JBR to release 300 new housing units towards the year-end

Nearly 300 new residential apartments will be released in the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) of Dubai by fourth quarter of 2013.

Launched into the market in June, targeting VIPs and internal investors, the 50-storey residential tower of Al Bateen Residences comprises 304 apartments, with the 24-storey hotel tower comprising 110 rooms.

The Director – Agency Services at Asteco Property Management, Sean McCauley, and Colliers, the lead dual exclusive agents, said that the starting prices at this twin tower project, developed by Al Ain Properties, were Dh.16,146 per square feet, with an entry unit price of more than Dh.2mn.

The prices of apartments have surged since the beginning of the year. The second quarter report by Asteco reveals that the average sales price in JBR is Dh.13,450 per metre, marking a nine percent increase from the first quarter and 32 percent year-on-year growth. Therefore, the new apartments are priced at almost 20 percent higher than the existing stock.

Among the other new projects coming up in the JBR area are The Beach stretching 5000sqm, boutique mall with more than 40 food and beverage outlets, retail shops and entertainment opportunities to be completed by end of next year.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Properties Group has announced commencement of work on JBR beach club by year-end, and the Dh.6bn Bluewaters Island project – a retail, hospitality and entertainment opportunity is also underway.

However, the ongoing construction work in the area has been causing lot of traffic woes, which has dampened its popularity among buyers. The community witnessed a decline in its ranking by three places, touching the 10th position from the seventh position, it held during first quarter of 2013.

These findings were based on extensive analysis of data from more than 120mn property searches which involved about 1.8mn visitors. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Residential rents easing out in prime locations in Dubai

Residential rental prices in Dubai, particularly in prime locations are showing signs of easing, despite the landlords demanding more money this year. This trend has largely been attributed to the upbeat construction sector and the budget-conscious tenants.

Dubai rentals have gone up due to renewed confidence in the economy and the real estate sector. The cost of leasing an apartment and villa has increased by 3 percent and 4 percent respectively during the first quarter of this year, and the rents for apartments have gone up by 12 percent when compared year-on-year.

However, leading real estate consultancy, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said that rents are now growing at a slower pace, largely due to tenants’ migration to cheaper locations, coupled with fresh supply of villas and apartments.

Primary areas in particular, are now showing slower paces of growth, and areas such as Downtown, Business Bay, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Marina, are seeing housing units get more expensive in prime locations.

The growth in prices and rentals may be easing due to high levels of future supply, tenants relocating to cheaper locations, limited debt availability and due to more mature market regulations, said Alan Robertson, CEO of JLL Middle East and North Africa.

There are more villas and apartments to be occupied this year. About 3000 housing units were added to Dubai’s residential stock during second quarter of this year, and if completed as scheduled, about 38,000 more are likely to enter the market between 2013 and 2015, says the JLL report.

An Asteco report in April noted that rents jumped considerably in International City, where a double bedroom unit recorded 8percent increase, while in most other areas, there has been an increase of only about 3 percent. Increased demand for budget accommodation contributed to upward movement of rents in affordable and secondary areas, said the JLL report.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dubai International City gets costlier

The International City, which was considered to be an affordable community in Dubai, until last year, is now seeing increased demand with property transactions almost doubling during the first six months of 2013, in comparison to same period last year.

The data shared by revealed that 1272 apartments were sold during the first six months of this year, against 870 units sold during the same period last year, marking an increase of 46 percent.

The average prices grew by 27 percent, touching Dh.499 per square feet, in comparison to Dh.392 per square feet. These figures provided by are officially registered with Dubai Land Department.
At present, listed prices of studios are the in range of Dh.270,000 to Dh.370,000, wherein single bedrooms are being sold for Dh.380,000 to Dh.500,000. The launch prices for studios and single bedroom apartments were in the range Dh.220,000 and Dh.320,000 respectively.  

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, in June, said that Dubai’s International City, recorded the highest increase in real estate prices, wherein the prices grew by 62.4 percent. The average residential prices in June grew by 1.5 percent, while the annual increase was 34.6 percent. The average prices currently stand at Dh.1099 per square feet.

Spread over an area of 800 hectares, International City constitutes about 485 buildings, including residential districts of Central Business District, Greece, Persia, Morocco, Spain, England, France, Italy, Russia, China and Emirates.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hydra Village phase one construction complete

Abu Dhabi-based developer Hydra Properties, completed phase one of construction of Hydra Village, a major new residential development, located outside Abu Dhabi, and has begun handover of 448 properties.

The Hydra Village, located in Al Shahama Abu Dhabi, will grow to be the ‘new Abu Dhabi’ in-line with plan 2030. When the entire project is complete, it will house more than 10,000 residents.

The Chief Executive Officer of Hydra Properties, Ali Saeed bin Sulayem, said that each home is built to best levels of quality that customers expect, and the development is situated in a vibrant, family-friendly community.

There have been several challenges ever-since the launch of the project, owing to global economic crisis, which impacted real estate developers.

The completion of Phase one at Hydra Village is the first among several milestones, achieved by the capital, as it shapes up to become a comfortable residential community, he added.

Located within easy reach of Yas Island, Al Raha and future Capital District, the apt location of Hydra village enables easier access to Dubai and its capital, with ease of access and communication. The development is also in proximityto Delma Mall, Mussafah and Deerfield Town Square Mall.

The community development will offer residents shops, indoor and outdoor gyms, swimming pools, children play areas and landscaped areas, due to open over the next few months.

Currently, the company is focusing on other zones at Hydra Village, and on the Hydra Avenue development on Reem Island. On successful completion, these projects will surely support consumer confidence in the recovery of Abu Dhabi market, said Mohamad Al-Habech, Chief Commercial Officer at Hydra.
Zone 8 of Hydra Village is now 50% complete and Zone 6 is nearly 30 percent complete, he revealed.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Dubai Holding confirm plan to review Tiger Woods project

A global investment holding company, Dubai Holding, is once again planning to review Tiger Woods Dubai, after suspending the project in 2011. The multi-million dollar golf and property development project was put on the back burner in the year 2011, due to difficult market conditions.

The project was a partnership between Tatweer, part of Dubai Properties Group, the real estate arm of Dubai Holding, and Tiger Woods Design.

The project spanning 55mn square feet was likely to include 287 luxury villas and mansions, a boutique hotel and clubhouse, a 7800 yard course par 72 design. The villas were priced in the range Dh.44million and Dh.84mn during the launch phase.

Close on the heels of property market recovery, the developers in Dubai launched new golf communities.

A joint venture between Meraas Holding, a Dubai-based development company and Emaar Properties, the largest developer in Dubai, led to the development of Dubai Hills Estate, a master-planned community in the first phase of the mega Mohammed Bin Rashid Cit development, a premium lifestyle community, which would be home to several neighbourhoods established around an 18-hole championship golf course.

Early in May this year, Damac a private developer, tied up with the Trump organization to develop Trump International Golf Club, an 18-hole PGA Championship Golf Course in Dubailand.

With the revival of the property market, Dubai Holding has already confirmed its plan to revive The Lagoons project, worth Dh.64bn on Dubai Creek through a joint venture. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Nakheel establishes new hospitality division

Nakheel, the leading Dubai-based real estate company, has established a new division Nakheel Hospitality and Leisure to focus on the increasing number of hotels, beach clubs and community recreation centres.

Headed by Managing Director, Thorsten Ries, the division is responsible for monitoring development and operation of hotels and clubs, á key element of company’s business strategy.

As part of further expansion, Nakheel is building a 240-room hotel at Dragon Mart, a five-star, 40-storey hotel forming part of Nakheel Mall and Hotel complex on Palm Jumeirah and an economy hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall. More hotels by Nakheel are in pipeline. The developer also owns and operates several recreation and leisure clubs such as the Jebel Ali club, Jumeirah Islands club and the Shoreline Beach Clubs on Palm Jumeirah.

The newly appointed German-born Thorsten has an extensive hoteliers’ background with more than 20 years of rich experience in the industry. He has worked in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and began his career with Kempinski before moving to Marriott, Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton among others. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Growing property prices, rentals in Dubai reflect broader market recovery

Rentals and prices of apartments in Dubai continue to strengthen, reflecting a broader recovery in the market with data from, which shows apartment rentals and prices outperforming the villa segment on month-on-month basis.

Apartment sale prices grew to touch 2.13 percent month-on-month and 17.3 percent year-on-year, while villa sale prices touched 1.56 percent month-on-month and 12.2 percent year-on-year.

Overall, the Dubai Residential Property Sales Index for all residential grew 4.2 points, touching 212.5 from 208.3 representing an increase of 2.01 percent month-on-month and 16 percent year-on-year.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate consultancy, has said that property sales prices were 18 percent higher in the first quarter of 2013, in comparison to same period last year.

Latest report by Deutsche Bank revealed property prices in Dubai saw a 6.2 percent growth during the first three months of the year, although apartment prices remain between 43 and 61 percent below peak prices.
Global property consultant, Knight Frank, said real estate prices in Dubai saw 18.3 percent growth over the past one year in the emirate, thereby maintaining its position among the top five best performing real estate markets in the world. said rentals for apartments climbed 2.02 percent month-on-month and 11.6 percent year-on-year, while villa rates grew marginally by 0.85 percent month-on-month and 13.4 percent year-on-year.

Although JLL has said that rentals have grown in areas such as Dubai Marina, Burj Downtown and Palm Jumeirah, the new May figures reveal a broader recovery taking place in the market.

Well-established residential communities in Central Dubai are likely to see further growth in prices and rentals over the rest of 2013, while the less completed projects in remote areas will require more time before seeing increased demand and performance.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dar Wasl project to be ready by 2014

New mixed-use project, Dar Wasl, with 278 residential units, which is under development in Jumeirah, a prime locality in Dubai, is due for completion by end of 2014.

According to Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC), Dar Wasl, is a leasehold project, which draws inspiration from Moroccan architecture.  It is located near to Safa Park along Al Wasl Road, and will have 166 three, four and five bed townhouses, 112 double and triple bedroom apartments.

Dar Wasl will also feature a clubhouse, gymnasium, play area and swimming pool, in addition to green spaces, distributed throughout the site. There will be ample parking space in the basement for retail customers, while apartments will have an assigned parking space. Each townhouse will have covered parking space for two cars.

The project, with total retail space of 60,000 square feet, will be managed by Wasl Properties. The project has been conceived as a tribute to Dubai, and is a fusion of modern and traditional, depicting historical Andalusian architecture and modern conveniences, DREC website said.

Last year, DREC released Wasl Square, the jewel of Jumeirah, for leasing, which comprised 26 single bedroom apartments, 114 double bedrooms, 14 triple bedroom townhouses and 116 four bedrooms.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Phase 3 Cedre Villas project to add 160 luxury villas in Dubai Silicon Oasis

The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body of Dubai Silicon Oasis, the integrated free zone technology park, today announced the launch of Phase 3 of its Cedre Villas project.

The Dh.285mn extension to the Cedre Villas will offer an additional 160 luxury villas, taking the count to total of 1207. The Phase 3 will be delivered in three stages during March, July and September 2014.

The project features modern architectural designs, wherein each villa in the latest phase of development will offer total built-up area of 3800 sq ft. The ground level of the villas will include living room, dining room, study room, kitchen, maid’s room and breakfast area. The upper floor will house three bedrooms in suite and family room, apart from three parking spots and expansive front and back yards.

Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri, the Executive Vice President – Engineering Management of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said that the launch of third phase of Cedre Villas marks another major milestone in our growth journey. The new phase reflects the continued commitment by DSO in offering a safe and comfortable living space.

The development promises world-class infrastructure and holistic facilities, offering enhanced villa layout and design, while also prioritizing the use of premium quality material.

The new phase will include two new parks, covering an area of 31,068 square meters and 30,392 square metres. The entire community in DSO will include parks that feature children’s playground, jogging/cycling tracks, park plaza, water pond, swimming pool, security building, utility areas, open air theatre and prayer areas.

Residents in the new phase will also get to benefit from the existing facilities at the Cedre Villas development such as the community centre, which hosts a shopping complex, health and leisure amenities, apart from a swimming pool, schools and academies, play areas and clinics.

Cedre Villas form part of a comprehensive urban community at DSO that combine office towers, research and development and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare facilities and wide range of lifestyle options to form a dynamic commercial and social environment.
The Dubai Silicon Oasis is a wholly-owned entity of the Government of Dubai, and operates as a free zone technology park for the semiconductor, microelectronic and other high technology-based companies, planning to establish their regional headquarters and R&D facilities in the Middle East and Africa region.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Damac launches first phase of sale for Akoya project

Leading developer of luxury real estate in Middle East, Damac Properties, has launched its first phase of sale for luxury villas within the Akoya project, the 28mn sq ft master development located off Umm Suqeim Road.

Akoya by Damac will be the most luxurious golf community in Asia, with premium-branded mansions providing a luxury living experience within a fully integrated community.

During the first phase of sales, 205 units are made available. Prices of the luxury villas will start at Dh.2.4mn.
The project will be the ideal one for elite customers, seeking a modern lifestyle in Dubai. Funding has been allocated and RERA has signed off on bank guarantees, said Zial El Chaar, the Managing Director of Damac.

Damac has completed the requisite formalities such as sale of plots, including complete payment for plots in Phase One. An Escrow account has been opened and RERA has received bank guarantees for infrastructure and construction.

The Al Naboodah Contracting Company has begun enabling works on the site.

The ‘Trump International Golf Club’ is at the heart of the project, and is the most recognized brand, developer, owner and manager of world-class properties.

Akoya by Damac will also include a boutique hotel and international schools, apart from fully-integrated community that will be home to globally-recognized retail and leisure brands, entertainment offerings, a sports complex, all characterised by beautiful manicured landscaping.

The project takes its name from one of the most exclusive pearls in the world, and is the largest in the history of Damac, reflecting the recent immense growth of real estate sector in Dubai.

According to El Chaar, this is the first time Damac has developed a full-fledged residential complex comprising villas and mansions to provide customers with new level of luxury, which further builds effectively on Damac’s huge experience of developing luxury apartments throughout the Middle East.

The Oberoi, Dubai to be unveiled for first time in UAE

The Oberoi Group has announced the opening of The Oberoi, Dubai, which will be the first property by the group in the UAE.

Located at The Oberoi Centre, the Oberoi is a contemporary luxury hotel which embodies light, height and space. The hotel overlooks the iconic Burj Khalifa, with 252 rooms and suites that have floor to ceiling windows, is just a few minute drive from Downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall.

Several Oberoi Hotels have been recognized to be among the world’s best, and Oberoi, Dubai is likely to continue this tradition, said P.R.S. Oberoi, the Executive Chairman of The Oberoi group.

The Oberoi Dubai, keeps up with the pioneering tradition of the group, and brings in an ethos of service without compromise in the UAE. The Oberoi, Dubai, will have seamless in-room check in, 24 hour butler and Les Clefs dÓr concierge services. Among the culinary highlights are UMAL, a contemporary Pan Asian restaurant, NINEZONE, an all-day dining restaurant, and ANANTA, and Indian specialty restaurant, all of which offers the best of world cuisine.

With attractive and caring team members to do the legendary service, The Oberoi, Dubai, is expected to be the preferred choice for discerning business and leisure travellers to the UAE.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Emaar, Meraas joint venture to develop MBR City

Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding will jointly develop the first phase of the multi-billion-dollar Mohammed Bin Rashid City (MBR City) in Dubai, which is hoped to revitalize the property market in Dubai.

The Dubai Hills Estate, a mixed-use development with an 18-hole golf course will be established on prime land, spanning more than 2700 acres located in Downtown Dubai.  

The MBR City is a mega-tourism and retail complex, which grew with the support of stronger trade and tourism amidst signs of recovery in the real estate market.

The Meraas Group Chairman, Abdulla Al Habbai, said that Dubai Hills Estate will add incredible value to real estate sector and economy of Dubai. 

Meraas is linked to the ruler of Dubai, while the Investment Corportation of ly Dubai, is a government-owned investment vehicle with 31% stake in publicly traded Emaar.

Emaar, in its statement, said that the final stages of negotiation with Dubai Holding (another company owned by the Ruler of Dubai), is underway to jointly develop 6.5mn square meters Dubai Creek Harbour project in MBR City. More financial details of this project are yet to be revealed.