Monday, February 25, 2013

Emaar launches its second branded tower in Downtown Dubai

Emaar Properties has announced the launch of its second The Address branded tower in Downtown Dubai this year.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the architects of Burj Khalifa, the Address Residence Sky View is a 50-storey hotel, residence and serviced apartment twin-tower complex, located atop a grand podium.
The 230m tall tower will have 532 serviced apartments fully furnished with floor-to-ceiling windows that will be linked directly to the Dubai Metro and the Dubai Mall via a new air-conditioned travelator.

The Sky View will serve as a business hotel with about 180 rooms.  A unique ‘Sky Bridge’ with a signature restaurant, ballroom, infinity pool and amenity deck that offers 360-degree visas of Downtown Dubai will span the tower complex, and will render panoramic views of the Gulf.

Emaar will hold the launch of the new tower simultaneously in Dubai and Riyadh, a move that aims to attract more Saudi investors. This new launch comes following the launch of Emaar’s The Address Residence Fountain Views I & II towers that were successfully launched last month.

The developer last year announced its plans to expand the Dubai Mall and will launch new residential projects.

The Chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar, said that the project builds on the growth of the real estate market and tourism sectors of Dubai, offering investors a prime choice of home in the most prestigious square kilometre on earth.

The Address Residence Sky View will grow to be the referral point for all future projects from design and architecture to host of services, while also focusing on creating prime real estate assets in Dubai, thereby contributing to the city economy, he said.

Potential buyers can pre-register at the company website, as the sale goes by first registered, first served basis on 2nd March. Emaar's Fountain Views project units were sold for Dh.2500 per square foot on average, and it is likely to be completed in 2016.

In September 2012, the developer had launched the 72-storey The Address The BLVD hotel and serviced apartment tower, which is due for completion in 2015.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Demand for JLT properties on the rise

There has been considerable growth in demand for commercial and retail properties in Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone (JLT) during the final quarter of 2012, as reported by leading real estate specialist, Cluttons.

Recently, the Jumeirah Business Centre 3 (JBC3), the 39-storey commercial tower was completed, which has been successful in attracting several international corporate tenants. This highlights the current trend which sets JLT Free Zone as the leading location for new businesses in Dubai, the report pointed out.

Moreover, Cluttons noticed increased demand for rented accommodations in the JLT Free Zone during the recent months, which has resulted in JLT developing to be the fastest growing free zone in the UAE.

As per reports, 55,000 people are living and working within the development. Last year was a successful year for JLT Free Zone, with 2033 new company registrations, marking 33 percent increase over the year 2011, with majority of the demand coming in from Australia, Asia and Europe, Cluttons said.

JLT offers quality freehold space for mixed-use living, including residential, commercial and retail, offering a wide range of prices. One of the major positive aspects of JLT is its strategic location along the Sheikh Zayed Road, linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Accessibility to Dubai’s Metro also provides short commutes to Dubai International Airport and other business hubs.

Cluttons has a long-standing relationship with Al Fajer Properties. It recently worked with the leading commercial real estate developer, which launched JBC3 and specializes in JLT commercial properties.

Al Fajer Property’s JBC also boasts of the best views in JLT Free Zone, which includes two world-class golf courses, The Emirates, The Montgomerie, the Marina and the City.

The Cluttons-Commercial Head in Abu Dhabi, Paula Walshe, said that he is pleased to see the revival of JLT Free Zone, which is attracting international-grade tenants, due to its ability to offer quality space in a strategic location.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Work kick-starts on Island 2 project at Jumeirah coast

Meraas Development has begun reclamation work on the Island 2 project, located off Jumeirah, aimed at housing high-end boutique resort, low-rise apartment buildings and a marina.

A Dutch contracting firm, Van Oord, which specializes in dredging and land reclamation, said that it has been awarded the contract to build an island, called “Jumana Island”.

Work on the project has begun, and is scheduled for completion by end of 2013. The contract is worth Dh.491mn.

According to Meraas, the “Island 2” project is a mixed-use development which will house an elite high-end boutique resort, along with low-rise apartment buildings and a marina.

The island will be located off Jumeirah, with direct accessibility from Jumeirah Road. The pristine site, spanning 6.3mn square feet, will be located in a much sought-after leisure spot, with rooted traditions along the Jumeirah Beach coastline.

The island will be linked to the main land through a bridge stretching 300-metres in length. The project will involve dredging of sand from the sea-bed, reclaiming the island and reclamation of the beaches.

Construction of groynes, soil compaction, revetments of the new island and reclamation of sand bodies to facilitate construction of a bridge, also form part of the project, the company said.

About 8mn cubic metres of sand will be dredged and deposited, while three million tonnes of stone will be placed for reclaiming the island.

Van Oord has been working with Meraas to develop Pearl Jumeirah Island. It is involved in projects such as construction of Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira, The World, the harbour development in Mina Seyahi, the land reclamation for Dubai Maritime City.

Meraas is already developing Pearl Jumeirah, adjacent to the Jumeirah shoreline. The reclaimed island, spanning 8.3mn square feet of land, will have more than 300 residential villa plots.

Last week, the developer launched Dh.6bn Bluewaters project, which will house the world’s largest Ferris wheel, the Dubai Eye. Construction work on the project, which will come up close to Jumeirah Beach Residence, will commence in April, while, construction for Dubai Eye is planned for second quarter of the year.

Monday, February 18, 2013

New luxury Palm project ready for handover

Seven Tides, leading Dubai-based real estate developer, said that it will move ahead with the handing over of its new luxury five-star Asian-inspired resort development, to the management company.

The Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort & Spa, occupies a prime beachfront position on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah, and features 293 hotel rooms, 456 condominium apartments, all of which is set to open in the third quarter.

The resort has been awarded a Building Completion Certificate (BCC) by Trakhees, the Government of Dubai’s planning and development department said in its statement.

The BCC represents a major milestone in the development of the resort and spa complex, and signifies that the project is in the final detailed stages of completion, so that, the company can begin the process of applying for operating permits, said Abdulla Bin Sulayem, remarked CEO.

The resort will offer about 18 stilted ‘over water’ villas and 15 absolute beachfront suites, including three royal beach pool villas of 206 sqm, where 50 percent of the rooms in total, boast of direct water access from their balconies.

With the Asian-style pointed roofs, exposed vaulted ceilings and an al fresco ambience, the decor and layout are reminiscent of upmarket hideaway resorts found in Maldives and Thailand.

The 644 Oceana Residence apartments located on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, offer spacious single, double and triple bedroom units with panoramic views over the private gardens and beach.

The complex, being a luxury lifestyle development, includes a private infinity pool, a lazy river, a beach, a jogging track, landscape recreation areas and a gymnasium.

Monday, February 11, 2013

75% mortgage cap with 25 years loan tenure for expats proposed

A 75 percent loan to value (LTV) for expatriates and 80 percent for UAE nationals, seeking to purchase their first house, has been proposed by the Emirates Banks Association (EAB), the trade body representing banks in the UAE.

EAB has also proposed 60 percent LTV for expats and 65 percent for UAE nationals for purchase of their second and subsequent houses.

The EAB has proposed maximum home loan tenure of 25 years for expatriates with maximum funding of up to seven years salary, or total income. The proposal was submitted by the association, on behalf of all the banks.

The maximum financing amount proposed was eight years’ salary, or total income for UAE nationals up to seven years’ or total income for expatriates.

As for the source of payment, the association recommends payment from salary and/or any other verifiable regular source of income, including rental and business income, but, excluding end of service benefit, for both UAE nationals and expatriates.

The maximum repayment period suggested was 25 years, subject to 70 years of age for last instalment for UAE nationals, and 65 years of age as last instalment (70 years if self-employed).

Accepted collateral provided to be the first class mortgage on the financed property or second-degree mortgage in the case of properties financed under various government housing schemes.

In case, a borrower retires during the loan period, the amount of instalment need to be adjusted to his new income, or loan should be rescheduled to maintain a 50 percent debt service ratio, taking into account all regular income.

Further, the Central Bank will include other aspects into regulations such as transparency in publishing of all fees and interest rates, including calculation of interest/profit rate, with clear pre-payment guidelines clarified at initiation.

The EBA Chairman, Abdul Aziz Abdulla, said that the association is hopeful of closing the chapter once and for all with the apex bank, towards second half of the year.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dorra Bay unit is first property to be sold under private auction

One out of nine properties that went under the hammer during the first private auction held by Dubai Land Department (DLD) has been sold for Dh.1.6mn.

An apartment in Dorra Bay, Dubai Marina, purchased for Dh.1.6mn is the only property to have been sold, with only one bidder for the property, a property agent said.

Although it was a full house in terms of attendance, people did not bid, as the base prices were quite high. The other two residential units displayed for auction were priced at Dh.3million. Four other properties put up for auction were office units, and two others were land plots.

The office units were those located in Business Bay and Ontario Tower. Two office units were priced at Dh.1mn each, while the other two were with a base price of Dh.1.5mn each. The land plots were those located on Palm Jumeirah, listed for Dh.13.187 mn each.

Last week, the Dubai Land Department said that it will no longer hold auctions for foreclosed properties, but, will continue selling them for developers and unit owners through private auctions.

Dubai had auctioned over 80 foreclosed properties over the past two years. In 2011, about 35 properties were auctioned, while in 2012, more than 45 properties were being auctioned. Majority of the properties fetched an average of 15 to 40 percent over their base prices.

A local real estate consultancy, Asteco Property Management, in August 2012, said that it will re-introduce the concept of online property auction in the UAE, in partnership with LFC International Real Estate Brokerage, an international real estate auction-marketing company.

In 2008, several companies entered into the auction business. Although, some of them held auctions for a few properties, none were sold. Due to lack of interest by local investors, some closed shops, while others never dared to venture out again.

Monday, February 04, 2013

No more public auctions for foreclosed properties: DLD

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) will no longer hold public auctions for foreclosed properties, but, will sell properties for developers and unit owners through private auctions, a senior government official announced.

Explaining further, the Section Head – Auctions, DLD, Humaid Omran Al Shamsi, said that over the past two years, Dubai has auctioned over 80 foreclosed properties.

In 2011, 35 properties have been auctioned, while in 2012, more than 45 properties have gone under the hammer. Majority of these properties were sold at 15 to 40 percent more than their base prices.

A penthouse in ultra-luxury Le Reve tower in Dubai Marina, which was sold under auction last year, was the costliest property to be sold in Dubai. It was bought for Dh.34.7mn, which was more than four times the listed price.

The first freehold private auction this year, will be held on 4th February, and will include four offices, three apartments and two land plots.

The four offices are located in the Ontario Tower in Business Bay. Two offices have reserve price of Dh.1million each, while the other two have base price of Dh.1.5million each.

A three bedroom duplex in World Trade Centre Residence on Sheikh Zayed Road will go at a base price of Dh.3.57million. An apartment in Dorra Bay, Dubai Marina will be listed for Dh.1.6mn, while a three bedroom apartment unit in The Address, Dubai Marina, will be auctioned with a reserve price of Dh.3.5mn. Two plots on the Palm Jumeirah will also be auctioned and have a base price of Dh.13.187 mn each.