Weekly Dubai real estate news digest. Issue 61

Gearing up for the future 
Welcome to the sixty-first issue of Market Insight, your weekly guide to what's happening in the Dubai real estate market.
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MARKET INSIGHT. Weekly guide to Dubai's property scene
Issue 61 |  August 31, 2014

Gearing up for the future 

Development has been moving full steam ahead in the UAE, despite a slowing down of property prices. Dubai's developers don't plan on slowing down, keeping their eyes focused on the Expo 2020 and market demand. 

Investor interest remains high. In fact, developers of villa projects in Dubailand say their units sold out in a matter of weeks. Damac Properties said the first release of houses in Akoya Oxygen, a master development in Dubailand have been sold out. The five-bedroom houses were priced at AED2.5 million. Meanwhile, Dubai Properties also said its newly-launched Naseem townhouses have moved off the shelf.

The emirate's progress over the last year hasn't gone unnoticed. Gulf News said, "Dubai’s economic recovery has been so marked that Nakheel, the government-owned property developer, has announced that it will repay its entire outstanding AED7.9 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule."

With the property market's success, many new players have jumped on the bandwagon. Tecom Investments, which runs 11 business parks in Dubai including Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village, is the latest of companies to get involved in real estate. The company announced that it would be developing 440 new off-plan homes close to its DuBiotech business park in the Al Barsha South area. 

Market Insight is aimed at examining the emirate's dynamic market and forecasting industry trends. Ever since Dubai won the bid to host Expo 2020, developers have been pushing forward with new developments to cater to the needs of all those who will visit the emirate during the exhibition. Spurred by the demand created by the event, Dubai has pulled itself out of its recession and seen its real estate sector booming once again. With the innovative approaches to new development, there's little doubt that the Emirates is set to stay on top for a long time to come. 


Pashma Manglani


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'Dubai back in business'

The emirate of Dubai has made its way out of the financial downturn despite the many obstacles it faced, according to a local newspaper's editorial piece.
Gulf News said, "Dubai’s economic recovery has been so marked that Nakheel, the government-owned property developer, has announced that it will repay its entire outstanding AED7.9 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule."

The developer's CEO Ali Rashid Lootah was quoted as saying, "“Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We will keep looking at ways to cut costs" a few months ago and has clearly stuck to this message, finding a way to push forward. 

The editorial continued: " It is almost certain that this good news from Dubai will not make the massive headlines that all the bad news did a few years ago, but this lack of coverage does not change the reality that Dubai is back in business and ready to continue."


Read more on Gulf News

Tecom jumps into freehold market

One of Dubai’s biggest commercial developers is turning its attention to building freehold villas around some of its office schemes, The National reported. 

Tecom Investments, which runs 11 business parks in Dubai including Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village, is developing 440 new off-plan homes close to its DuBiotech business park in the Al Barsha South area. Tecom said that it would start to sell the Villa Lantana development of three, four and five-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes early next month with prices starting at AED2.375 million.

It said that construction of the project, which is designed as two gated communities close to the Umm Sequim Road, was under way with completion expected at the end of next year.
“Currently, the demand is there for quality family villas in a good location. The project was designed to meet the demand for family homes located in the centre of new Dubai,” said Badr Al Gargawi, the chief executive for Tecom’s development and planning division.


Read more on The National

'UAE, a safe haven'

Dubai's property market has flourished as a result of the safe haven status the country offers within the region, says the CEO of the emirate's biggest bank, Emirates NBD. 

Speaking to Gulf Business, Shayne Nelson stressed that while conflicts across the Middle East should be resolved, they haven’t had a negative impact on countries such as the UAE.
“The UAE is seen as a very stable economy, well governed, well managed, and secure and we have attracted investments from Syria and Iraq because of it,” he said.
“Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as places of flight to safety, have done extremely well out of that conflict with people buying apartments and coming here as tourists rather than places they might otherwise have gone to. An unfortunate positive [of the conflict] is that the UAE as a safe haven will continue to attract investments while these conflicts are going on,” he added.

“Our outlook is strong for the rest of the year and very positive for 2015,” he added.


Read more on Gulf Business

Jumeirah Islands ramps up development

Jumeirah Islands will see 84 new town houses and eight retail blocks by 2016, as part of a Nakheel project valued at AED146 million, according to The National.

Abu-Dhabi based Metac General Contracting has been awarded the contract to build the new development that will be a part of the 608,000 square feet waterfront park and recreational hub. The developer has sold at least 40% of the town houses. It is yet to start leasing the retail space.
Work on the town houses and the eight retail units is expected to begin in two months. The construction was initially due to start last year.

Jumeirah Islands comprises 736 villas on 50 islands. Prices of the new town houses now start at AEDh4.2m.Each of the new four-bedroom town houses at Jumeirah Islands will be spread over 3,630 sq ft. The units will be built in two phases of 53 and 31 homes.


Read more on The National

Expo site starts to take shape

While not much may be visible from the road, work is underway for the Dubai's 2020 Expo, The National reported. The 438-hectare site close to Dubai’s new Al Maktoum airport is in the final stages of site clearance as architects and designers put the finishing touches to a detailed master plan.

This week Dubai’s Expo Preparatory Committee, which is overseeing the construction of the high- profile project, announced it had reappointed a consortium of HOK and Arup architects and urban planners to complete detailed master planning work for the project on a contract which will run until November 2015.

Construction on the site, which at its peak will welcome up to 300,000 visitors, is expected to be completed in October 2019, allowing a year for snagging and fine-tuning before the show finally opens on October 20, 2020.

Read more on The National

Pushing forward as a smart city

Part of the UAE's vision is creating smart cities across the nation, especially with the Expo 2020 on the horizon. 

Ahmad El Soufy, technical sales manager, UAE at Aruba Networks says that as the UAE ushers in this new era of advancement, much has been predicted and promised about the integration of ICT in every aspect of the completed city developments.

There is, however, no reason why the benefits of technology cannot be leveraged much sooner than that - at the construction phase itself. In Dubai alone, the property and construction sector contributed 21% of the city's GDP growth in the first half of 2013, so clearly, employing technology to increase efficiency during construction could go a long way in streamlining operations and cutting costs.

The UAE has an array of options to explore in order to create the smart cities that will help put the nation on the map forever. 


Read more on Abu Dhabi City Guide

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