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 www.emaar.com. 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.