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.