Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mega Project Launched To Regenerate Old Medina of Casablanca, Morocco

* Wessal Capital, the investment fund with a unique SWF shareholding structure supports second stage of Casablanca re-development

* Growing investor confidence in Moroccan tourism market helps Wessal Capital, the investment arm overseeing the Wessal Casa-Port project, to secure additional €28 million of funding to support development

* Old Medina project builds on rich cultural heritage to reclaim Casablanca’s status as premier cultural, business and tourism destination

* The regeneration of the Old Medina is a response to local residents’ desire to improve their neighborhood and boost local economy

Morocco has begun the €28 million regeneration of the historic Old Medina of Casablanca, a vital part of the city’s history and one of its most appealing tourist attractions. The project is part of Wessal Capital’s €530 million Casa-Port project, which will transform Casablanca’s harbor and port area and help restore the city once known as the jewel of Morocco.

The restoration of the Old Medina is the second phase of the Casa-Port project, with work on the port redevelopment starting last week. When completed, Wessal Casa-Port will offer world-class tourism infrastructure, including the development of the city’s first marina, an upgraded port and new commercial and cultural spaces. The public-private partnership is due for completion in five years.

The historic Old Medina is one of Morocco’s most important cultural sites and the country’s largest medina, dating to the sixth century. It has been a focus for Casablanca’s commercial and civic life for centuries, including currently hosting seven mosques, three synagogues and a church – a testament to Morocco’s religious openness and sense of tolerance. The regeneration works include creating a 3.7 km tourist pathway winding through the medina and connecting with the new cruise ship terminal, going through all the major heritage buildings combining tradition and modernity in a way that inspires visitors and the people of Morocco.

Tourism is the second largest contributor to Morocco's GDP and is also the second biggest job creator, playing a vital role in the country’s overall economy. In 2013, tourist arrivals exceeded 10 million for the first time. However, Casablanca is often overlooked as a tourist attraction by visitors who instead prioritize travel to other parts of the country, such as Marrakech and Fes. Enhancing the appeal of the medina, which has long been the heart of the city, together with the coastline district, will help reposition Casablanca as a major destination for cultural, business and cruise tourism.

Morocco projects the investment in Wessal Casa-Port will help revitalize the economy, generating employment in a thriving tourism sector. The project is anticipated to double employment in the area and triple employment in areas indirectly linked to the project. Already 2000 jobs have been created in the construction phase alone, with 6000 more planned.

The project reflects His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s personal interest in the social and economic development of Casablanca, as well as the improvement of the standard of living of the city’s inhabitants.

The rehabilitation aligns with Morocco’s wider cultural, socio-economic and urban development strategy, which is improving living conditions, creating job opportunities, upgrading the city’s buildings and preserving Casablanca’s historical and cultural legacy.

This project in particular will support the aspirations of Casablanca’s youth. It has been designed to help them access new economic, social and cultural opportunities which support their own well-being and Morocco’s continued growth. Part of the rehabilitation program launched by the King includes setting up “work re-insertion centers”, especially focused on women and youth, to help some of the inhabitants acquire working skills and take advantage of the local job opportunities created by the vast infrastructure developments underway nearby. Another initiative is working to improve the marketing of handicraft products produced by the artisans of the medina.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Kuwait's Tamdeen Group To Go Ahead With US$700 Million Al Khiran Development

> 75,000-sqm high end ‘Outlet Mall’ with state-of-the-art entertainment and F&B components to showcase the project

> Resort style apartment living adjacent to a 5-star hotel with an international spa

Tamdeen Group – Kuwait’s leading mixed-use property developer that is reshaping the urban and social landscape of the country through innovative projects – has announced the multi-million dollar Al Khiran development which will be at the heart of the Sabah Al Ahmed Sea City.

Valued at US$700 million, the resort-style project which will be spread across 350,000-sqm of water-front, will eventually create significant opportunities for Kuwait’s tourism and business growth. A one-of-a-kind development, the project will include Kuwait’s first high-end Outlet Mall, two high-rise residential towers, one furnished apartments tower, a marina to house over 900 boats – the biggest in Kuwait - and a 5-star resort style hotel with an international spa component.

Launching the project, Mohammed Jassim Khalid Al Marzouq, Chairman of Tamdeen Group said: “We believe in Kuwait, in its economic future and its excellent legal systems. The new found cooperation between the Government and Parliament has given us even more confidence to invest further in Kuwait. Today we have projects worth US$2 billion in the pipeline.

“Kuwait is recognized as a country that has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes estimated at US$48,260, which means the country is well-placed to drive growth across different retail segments. It also remains one of the most underserviced markets in the GCC in terms of quality retail space.

“Kuwait’s economy is among the strongest in the region and in a country where 45 percent of the population is in the 20-39 years age range, household spending on international brands within the retail sector is on the rise. This is where Al Khiran will offer value not just in terms of shopping but an overall customer experience.”

The Tamdeen Group has been developing significant shopping center and mixed-use properties over the last two decades. The Group has built the iconic 360 MALL and the Al Kout waterfront project, both of which have become important symbols of Kuwait. Their unique architecture makes them one-of-a-kind destinations offering an unmatched shopping experience for their discerning customers. Al Khiran will add to that offering in its own unique way.

“We also believe that Kuwait has huge untapped potential for ‘conservative tourism’ and this project will attract people from our three large neighbors creating a new destination,” added Al Marzouq.

The 75,000-sqm luxury Outlet Mall within Al Khiran will have the finest mix of luxury and premium brands. The entire mall will have an outdoor ambiance with indoor streets covered by continuous skylights to provide natural light.

Designed by leading international architects RTKL, the mall will have a unique resort-style architecture which will incorporate traditional Arabic motifs. The mall’s fa├žade will add to its identity providing a highly sustainable solution which filters light and provides shade. A continuous covered arcade will showcase the retail elements and provide comfortable seating for various restaurants.

A lot of thought and input has gone into landscaping design for the entire project which in itself will be an attraction for tourists and residents alike. A massive promenade covered with palms will create the pedestrian space between the mall and the marina. Celebrated landscape architects PWP from the USA have worked hard to create the landscape link for the entire project while providing terraced seating options for customers’ dining pleasure.

The most iconic landform will be at the center of the development. The Al Khiran Park with its rich and varied vegetation will include a variety of open air attractions for children as well as huge performance spaces. This in itself will create a powerful magnet for all of Kuwait.

Al Khiran will become the entertainment and commercial cornerstone of the new community at Sabah Al Ahmed Sea City and surrounding areas of over 200,000 people. The residences will provide a resort-style home-away-from-home for the discerning Kuwaiti with access to some of the finest leisure facilities, private swimming pools and a ‘beach front’. A 5-star hotel with an international spa will attract both Kuwaiti residents and tourists alike.

Al Marzouq further explained: “Tamdeen Group companies have been known to deliver high-end, world-class quality projects that rival the very best in the world. Kuwait has been witnessing a 6.6 percent average rise in tourism and increasing demand for luxury products and services. Projects like Al Khiran fulfil that national expectation and Tamdeen Group is honored to be a catalyst to the country’s overall economic, retail and tourism growth.”

Today, the Tamdeen Group of Companies has a combined paid up capital of US$1.35 billion with close to US$4 billion in assets, making the group one of Kuwait’s most significant private-sector players.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Completed GCC Construction Projects For 2014 Come In At Total Value $67.6 Billion

* Residential (US$28bn), Commercial (US$11.46bn) and Education (US$7.13bn) were the leading sectors

* Initial market indicators suggest sustained growth in 2015 with an estimated 21% increase in construction projects awarded across the GCC

* GCC interiors and fit-out market to remain buoyant with a forecasted 9% increase in value in 2015

DMG Events has announced the results of a commissioned study conducted by Ventures ME which revealed that construction projects across all building sectors worth US$67.6bn were completed in the GCC in 2014. The research also looked into 2015 and estimates projects for US$72bn (+6.5%) to be completed and US$103bn (+21.2%) to be awarded across the year. This is the fourth consecutive year that DMG Events, the company behind INDEX - the leading MENA Design Exhibition - has invested in the study, contributing to the global industry with useful regional market insights.

Overview of 2014 GCC Building Construction Projects:

2014 was another strong year for the construction market with residential (41.5%), commercial (16.97%) and educational (10.6%) segments representing the highest market shares. US$67.56bn worth of projects were completed with a further US$85bn worth of projects awarded. Hospitality, medical and retail buildings were also completed – with total values of US$4.4bn, US$3.72bn and US$854mn respectively. The top markets across all sectors bar retail were KSA and the UAE, with Qatar ranking top with completed retail projects worth US$362mn.

Overview of 2014 GCC Interior Contracting and Fit-out Market:

The value of the GCC Interior Contracting and Fit-out Market in 2014 was US$7.35bn – with KSA and the UAE showing the highest market share within the industry. KSA was the highest ranking market with a 43 percent share (US$3.4bn) followed by the UAE valued at US$2.3bn and representing a 31 percent market share.

For the second year running the residential sector accounted for almost half of the overall 2014 market with a market share of 41.95 percent (US$3.09bn). The commercial sector followed with a 17.15 percent share corresponding to a value of US$1.26bn and the hospitality sector with 13.51 percent share and a value of US$993mn – largely unchanged when compared to 2013.

2015 Forecast:

Looking ahead to 2015 projects, the Ventures ME Report highlighted that figures across both the building construction and interiors markets are both set to increase further.

US$72bn worth of completed projects and US$103bn worth of awarded projects are forecasted over the next 12 months; the interiors market is also likely to grow by 9 percent.

The Healthcare Sector is expected to grow by 91.12 percent from a value of US$3.72bn registered in 2014, to an estimated value of US$7.11bn for 2015. Qatar in particular will be the country with the majority of healthcare buildings completed worth a total value of US$2.43bn -followed by KSA with US$2.15bn and the UAE US$1.82bn.

Despite the huge increase in the Healthcare Sector, the building construction market will still be led by the residential and commercial sectors that together will account for over half of the market share concentrated particularly in KSA, the UAE and Qatar.

Interior Fit-out Market:

Out of an overall estimated market value of US$7.35bn, the Residential Sector will account for 41.95 percent and US$3.09bn in value, followed by the Commercial Sector at 17.15 percent and US$1.26bn of value and the Hospitality Sector with 13.51 percent and US$99mn in value.

When compared to 2014 figures, the Healthcare Sector will see the biggest growth with a huge 91.6 percent increase and reaching a value of US$569m. The Education Sector is expected to see the biggest drop in value by -13.72 percent from US$571m to US$492m.

Commenting on the figures released by Ventures ME, Frederique Maurell, Group Event Director for INDEX and workspace at INDEX, said: “2013 was a strong year for the GCC Building Construction market with almost all sectors showing significant growth. For 2014 we’ve seen continued growth with KSA, the UAE and Qatar doing particularly well. Looking ahead to 2015 the forecast for both awarded and completed projects shows further increases again with particularly exciting times ahead for the Residential and Commercial Sectors.” 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gigantic Dubai Mall Beats All Records!

The Dubai Mall is ‘the Center of World Retail’ welcoming a record 80 million visitors in 2014

* Surpassing visitor arrivals at global airports and major tourist destinations, The Dubai Mall is the world’s most visited retail and lifestyle destination for fourth consecutive year

* One of the world’s Top 10 geo-tagged locations by Instagram, The Dubai Mall also leads in social media engagement globally

* Retailers record 14% growth in sales in 2014 compared to previous year; total tenant sales accounts for about 5% of Dubai’s GDP

Surpassing annual footfall figures achieved by the world’s most popular tourist destinations and key international airports, The Dubai Mall is once again the ‘world’s most-visited lifestyle destination’ welcoming over 80 million visitors in 2014.

For the fourth consecutive year, the flagship mall asset of Emaar Malls continues to appeal to global visitors and retail enthusiasts as a must-visit destination with its world class lifestyle, retail and entertainment offering.

Mohamad Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Malls, said: “This is another historic milestone for Dubai, with a record 80 million visitors to The Dubai Mall in 2014. No other global tourist destination or even airports, which traditionally have the highest footfall, have achieved the significant visitor arrivals The Dubai Mall recorded.

“With wholesale and retail accounting for nearly 30 percent of Dubai’s real GDP, The Dubai Mall continues to make a sterling contribution to our city’s diversified economic growth, as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.”

The visitor numbers recorded in the mall were higher than footfall figures provided in 2014 by Business Insider for Times Square, New York City at 39.2 million; Niagara Falls at 22.5 million; Central Park New York at 37.5 million; Union Station, Washington DC at 32.85 million; Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom Orlando at 17.5 million and Eiffel Tower in Paris at 7 million, among others.

The contribution of The Dubai Mall to the city’s retail sector is significant, and is estimated to account for about 5 percent of Dubai’s GDP. Tenant sales recorded across the mall’s 1,200 plus retail stores and 200 F&B outlets at the mall, cumulatively grew by 14 percent in 2014, with growth seen across categories including fashion, luxury jewelry, footwear, sports and recreation, health and beauty, entertainment and food.

The popularity of the mall as the must-visit destination was further highlighted by the strong social media engagement of The Dubai Mall from people around the world. One of the Top 10 geo-tagged locations globally on Instagram (@thedubaimall), the mall also has over 1.5 million fans on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheDubaiMall), the highest for any shopping mall destination in the world.

The Dubai Mall also leads in social engagement over Twitter (@TheDubaiMall) with over 250,000 followers. The Twitter feed of the mall has the most audience in the UAE, which is 80 percent more than the second most popular Twitter handle from the UAE. It is also the fastest growing profile in the country.

Nasser Rafi, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Malls, said: “We are proud to have welcomed 80 million visitors to The Dubai Mall, who enjoy our best in class retail, entertainment and leisure offers. We are committed to creating memorable experiences for our customers not only within the mall environment, but also to be engaging and connecting with people around the world on our social platforms.

“While we set records in visitor arrivals and social media engagement in 2014, we are now looking to take the mall experience to beyond the extraordinary with the expansion of our Fashion Avenue by adding another 1 million sqft (built up area) and a further 150 high-end and luxury international brands. Our vision is to deliver an unmatched experience for our visitors.”

As a world leader in family-leisure and entertainment, The Dubai Mall’s attractions also include SEGA Republic, the largest indoor theme park of its kind; KidZania®, the dedicated children’s city; Dubai Ice Rink, an Olympic sized ice rink; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas that can seat over 2,800 people. The mall also serves as the gateway to At The Top, Burj Khalifa SKY, the world’s tallest observatory deck.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nakheel Unveils Al Khail Avenue

Nakheel is set to launch 1.5 million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment space at Al Khail Avenue, the latest project in the company’s growing retail portfolio.

Located at Nakheel’s Jumeirah Village Triangle community, alongside Dubai’s Al Khail Road, the mall will have 350 shops including a supermarket, department stores and specialty outlets, a multi-screen cinema, entertainment zone and a diverse range of cafes and restaurants including al fresco dining.

Al Khail Avenue, first announced during design stage in August 2014, will be a new destination for visitors and residents across Dubai, and a convenient, on-the-doorstep shopping and leisure hub for the tens of thousands of people living at Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Park and other nearby areas.  Nakheel expects to issue a construction tender in Q1 2015, with project completion anticipated in 2018.

Al Khail Avenue – named after its strategic location by one of Dubai’s busiest highways, Al Khail Road – will feature a modern geometric design and a central glass atrium letting in plenty of natural light.  The mall’s diverse range of shops will be complemented by a wide selection of dining options, including a number of outdoor restaurants on a first floor promenade.  There will also be a five-level car park for more than 4,400 vehicles.

Al Khail Avenue is the latest project in Nakheel’s growing portfolio of retail developments.  The company has almost seven million square feet of leasable area in the pipeline, with malls underway at Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Jumeirah Village Circle and Triangle; souks at Deira Islands and Warsan Village; major extensions to Dragon Mart and Ibn Battuta; and neighborhood retail centers – the first two of which opened last year – at several communities across Dubai.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Richest Arabs 2014

Every year ArabianBusiness.com publishes their list of the World's Richest Arabs. They do a great job of finding the Arab Billionaires. Most of the Billionaires on the list are involved either directly or indirectly with the Mega Projects of the Middle East. For example, number one on the list, Prince Alwaleed, is building Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia which will be the tallest tower in the world when completed. And number twenty two on the list, Hussain Sajwani, is the Chairman of Damac Properties of Dubai.

Here is the complete World's Richest Arabs 2014 List followed by a link to ArabianBusiness.com where you can find a more detailed version of the list.

1. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia, 28.1bn

2. Olayan family, Saudi Arabia, 12.5bn

3. Joseph Safra, Brazil/Lebanon, 11.9bn

4. Sawiris family, Egypt, 11.3bn

5. Issam Al Zahid, Saudi Arabia, 11.2bn

6. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Saudi Arabia, 9.2bn

7. Mohammed Al Amoudi, Saudi Arabia, 9bn

8. Binladin family, Saudi Arabia, 8.4bn

9. Kharafi family, Kuwait, 8.3bn

10. Majid Al Futtaim, UAE, 7.9bn

11. Al Ghurair family, UAE, 7bn

12. Bukhamseen family, Kuwait, 6.4bn

13. Tareq Al Qahtani, Saudi Arabia, 6.2bn

14. Kanoo family, Bahrain, 6bn

15. Toufic Aboukhater, Monaco/Palestine, 5.6bn

16. Bugshan family, Kuwait, 5.5bn

17. Mansour family, Egypt, 5.4bn

18. Mohammed Jameel, Saudi Arabia, 5.3bn

19. Abdullah Al Rushaid, Saudi Arabia, 5.1bn

20. Al Rajhi family, Saudi Arabia, 4.3bn

21. Mubarak Al Suweiket, Saudi Arabia, 4.3bn

22. Hussain Sajwani, UAE, 4bn

23. Al Muhaidib Family, Saudi Arabia, 3.5bn

24. Gargash family, UAE, 3.5bn

25. Alghanim family, Kuwait, 3.4bn

26. Adel Aujan, Saudi Arabia, 3.3bn

27. Taha Mikati, Lebanon, 3.2bn

28. Najib Mikati, Lebanon, 3.2bn

29. Mohammed Al Issa, Saudi Arabia, 3.15bn

30. Mohammed Jamjoom, Saudi Arabia, 3.1bn

31. Abdulatif Al Fozan, Saudi Arabia, 3.05bn

32. Issad Rebrab, Algeria, 3bn

33. Hayek Family, Switzerland/Lebanon, 2.9bn

34. Bahaa Hariri, Switzerland/Saudi Arabia, 2.8bn

35. Saad Hariri, Lebanon, 2.7bn

36. Ziad Manasir, Russia/Jordan, 2.6bn

37. Mohammed Elkhereiji, Switzerland/Saudi Arabia, 2.55bn

38. Osama Abudawood, Saudi Arabia, 2.51bn

39. Abdullah Al Futtaim, UAE, 2.5bn

40. Mansour Ojjeh, France/SaudiArabia, 2.45bn

41. Othman Benjelloun, Morocco, 2.4bn

42. Ayman Asfari, UK/Syria, 2.35bn

43. Mohammed Ibrahim, UK/Sudan, 2.2bn

44. Mohammed Al Barwani, Oman, 2bn

45. Nadhmi Auchi, UK/Iraq, 1.9bn

46. Saleh Kamel, Saudi Arabia, 1.85bn

47. Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, UAE/Jordan, 1.8bn

48. Mohammed Al Fayed, UK/Egypt, 1.7bn

49. Abdullah Al Rabiah, Saudi Arabia, 1.65bn

50. Anas Sefrioui, Morocco, 1.5bn 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

GCC's Top Mega Projects Will Be?

The hunt is on to find the Gulf’s Project Of The Year. Currently some $2.7 Trillion worth of projects are planned or underway in the GCC, laying the foundations for the long-term, sustainable development of the region that will support the ambitions of the Gulf’s future generations. MEED(Middle East Economic Digest) aims to support these ambitions by recognizing and celebrating the best achievements of the region’s projects industry through its annual MEED Quality Awards for Projects, run in association with Mashreq.

Now in its fifth year, the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, in association with Mashreq, has established itself as the leading stamp of quality and achievement for companies operating in the GCC projects sector.

Previous winners of the coveted MEED Quality Project of the Year include the Burj Khalifa (UAE, 2011), Pearl GTL project (Qatar, 2012), Concourse A – Dubai International Airport (UAE, 2013), and Bahrain Petroleum Company’s (BAPCO) Install Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant Project (Bahrain, 2014).

“The awards not only recognize the construction element of project delivery but also consider the value and quality of a project throughout its entire life cycle, from the design concept through to engineering and construction and its wider contribution to society and to the environment,” said Richard Thompson, Editorial Director, MEED.

Central to the success of the awards has been the authority provided by the core values of integrity, trust and transparency associated with MEED.

The judging process evaluates and recognizes the key organizations behind successful project completion across the GCC – including contractors, engineers, architects, consultants, developers and project owners. “We are delighted to partner with MEED for the third year to recognize the highest quality projects in the region,” said Julio Armando de Quesada, Group Head – Corporate Banking, Mashreq.

Last year, UAE-based projects won the most number of regional awards with four, including the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) Integrated Gas Development Project, nominated by Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (GASCO), winning Industrial Project of the Year; and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park Phase 1 Project, nominated by First Solar, taking home the Power Project of the Year trophy.

This trend of success for UAE projects is expected to continue as the amount of work in the Emirates increases. In the first 10 months of the year, 961 projects totaling $46.7bn, have been awarded in the UAE, making it the largest projects market in the Middle East, according to MEED Projects.

Notable projects completed this year and eligible for entry into the awards include: Takreer’s new $10bn 400,000 b/d refinery at Ruwais; Mubadala’s $1.5bn Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi; the $550m Yas Mall by Aldar on Yas Island; and the $460m JW Marriott Marquis hotel in Dubai.

Saudi Arabia emerged triumphant with three regional awards, including the King Fahad National Library Project, nominated by Saudi Binladin Group & Gerber Architekten, which scooped the 2014 Social Project of the Year award; while the National Water Company’s Riyadh Water Supply Project won in the 2014 Water & Water Reuse Project of the Year category. MARS Inc.’s MARS Chocolate Factory Project, nominated by Hyder Consulting Middle East Ltd, won the 2014 Small Project of the Year award.

In 2014, the Kingdom is expected to award nearly $44bn worth of projects, owing in large part to the Riyadh Metro project. That project, valued at about $22.5bn, accounted for one quarter of the GCC’s total projects contract awards and about one half of Saudi Arabia’s total.

Qatar’s Baytna - Qatar's First Passivhaus Project, jointly owned by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), Barwa Real Estate Group (BRE) and Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), and nominated by ETA Star Engineering & Contracting, received the 2014 Award for Innovation.

For Qatar’s project market, the outlook from now to 2020 is extremely strong. Although much of this has been attributed to its successful bid to stage the FIFA 2022 football World Cup, the reality is that the projects planned and underway are more about meeting the country’s National Vision 2030 than hosting the international sporting event. The combination of these two drivers leads to an active projects market estimated by regional projects tracker MEED Projects to be worth $285bn.

Significant investments have gone into Qatar’s transportation and shipping infrastructure, including the construction of the New Doha International Airport [now Hamad International], the New Doha Port and several Megacities such as Lusail and Msheireb. Additionally, the railway network project, estimated at $35bn, entails plans to extend shipping railways by 325 kilometers, and to connect Qatar’s rail networks to those of the other GCC countries.

While this year is set to be the most active for oil and gas contractors in Oman, 2015 will see several large schemes move ahead. With an estimated $2.4bn of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals awarded in the year to date, 2014 has been the most active year for projects in Oman since 2006. The most important project in Oman is the $16bn Khazzan tight gas project being carried out by UK oil major BP. The government is planning to develop infrastructure across the Sultanate and also bolster Oman’s status as a luxury destination with several five-star hotel projects underway. The number of hotels rose from 224 to 282 in the five years to 2013, increasing the number of rooms by 37 percent. In 2013 the value added to the economy by the tourism sector increased by 45 percent to RO709m ($1.8bn) and the government is aiming to increase this further and welcome 4 million tourists by 2015.

In Bahrain, the government is embarking on a major capital spending program that includes transport projects, investment in utilities, the construction of low-cost housing, and a series of energy schemes intended to generate income for the country. GDP growth is forecast to be a healthy 3.5-4 percent this year, led by expansion in the non-oil sector.

The Avenues Project owned by the Mabanee Company, was awarded the 2013 GCC Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year. This year, the country is expected to compete strongly as the projects market has $3.7bn-worth of new orders placed so far in 2014, mostly in the transport and social infrastructure sectors. It has been a steady 2014 for contractors as work continues on existing projects and new work is awarded on major schemes. For existing work, there are currently $19bn of contracts in the execution phase, with just over $3bn set for completion this year.

The awards program will recognize projects completed between January 2013 and December 2014 across several categories, including Oil and Gas Project of the Year, Industrial Project of the Year, Power and Water Project of the Year, Leisure and Tourism Project of the Year, Transport Project of the Year, Social Infrastructure Project of the Year, Building Project of the Year, Sustainable Project of the Year, Award for Innovation and Small Project of the Year.

The deadline for submission of projects has been set for December 17, 2014. Winners will be announced at the MEED Construction Leadership Summit taking place in May 26-27, 2015. The Summit is a high-end meeting place for the Gulf’s construction leaders and provides a much needed platform to promote open dialog between the leading contractors, consultants and clients that examines the strategic direction of the region’s construction industry, the challenges threatening it’s performance and those leading it’s change.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Indigo Properties 10 Tips For Buying A Villa In Dubai

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, offering a comfortable living experience of a high quality. Constantly soaring to new heights and offering a plethora of options in all aspects from housing and education, to recreation and dining, Dubai is undoubtedly the finest place to make home. There is plenty of choice of accommodation in Dubai but villa community living is definitely a preference, offering space, privacy and comfort. Although, once you make up your mind to buy a villa, it is easy to get lost in the multitude of factors that must be considered. One of UAE’s premier property developers, Indigo Properties, helps make this process much easier by outlining 10 important features to consider when buying a villa in Dubai.

1. Location and Neighborhood

Location is key, as it will remain constant until the end of time. Consider the proximity of public transportation such as the Dubai Metro. Perhaps a Tram station is in walking distance? If you have children, research the closest nursery’s and schools. If you’re a newly married couple do the same, as a home is permanent and long-term factors should be taken into consideration. Locate the closest supermarket, pharmacy, clinic, shopping center, petrol station and all other amenities that you will require. Ideally a villa community should have its own retail center having a large spectrum of outlets. Self-contained living communities make for an ideal home. Study the neighborhood: income levels and age distribution. If it’s an off-plan development, the reputation of the developer, property prices and the quality of construction should give you a considerable idea.

2. Credentials of Developer

What is the quality of the developers’ previous projects? Do they deliver excellence? Do they meet or surpass what they have promised? Based on personal or friends’ past experiences, are they trustworthy? What is their track record for after-sale care and maintenance? A genuine property developer won’t just sell you a property and end the relationship there; they’ll cater to your needs and ensure that your decision is best for you. Do some first-hand research; attain referrals for passionate, sincere developers with quality projects.

3. Quality of Property/Construction

What sets apart a genuine property developer from others is the quality of the property offered. While some properties come as shell and core units, others, for the same price per square foot, offer wall fittings, marble flooring, state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, smart home systems and more, with the developers absorbing extra costs for your benefit. These developers work with the very best partners at every stage, from engineers to architects, from master developers to contractors, ensuring the best quality of design and construction, and develop to deliver outstanding properties, reducing any potential problems that may exist such as structural issues and damage. A high quality, well-structured property will surely prevent you from facing major expenses.

4. Size

Most people when looking for a house do not factor in the long term and how demands might change. You might be a young couple and hence you need little space, however, in a few years you might have a couple of little ones to take care of, relatives visiting often or parents living with you. Factor these possibilities in and look for a place with a minimum of three or four bedrooms. Always look for a property with all ensuite bedrooms. Large, spacious townhouses or villas contribute to a more comfortable living. Enormous windows allowing bright sunlight to flood in would accentuate the spaciousness of the rooms.

5. View

It would be hard to enjoy your morning coffee on a weekend, gazing through the window at power lines or at the fish market. Imagine instead looking out at a fresh stream of flowing water while listening to birds chirping perched on nearby trees. Imagine gazing out your window at the twinkling lights and magnificent skyline of this remarkably beautiful city as you savor your candlelit dinner. Although the view may not seem as most important, a view of water and greenery adds some sparks and wonder to one’s daily routine and melts the stress away.

6. Service Charges

Recurring monthly or yearly costs must be taken into consideration, including electricity and service charges. Keep in mind that certain reoccurring expenses will take place post-purchase for maintaining the community. Set some cash aside for these minor expenses. Contrary to popular belief, villas’ service charges are usually much lower on a per square foot basis than apartments.

7. Maintenance Standards

When contemplating buying the right house, ensure that the villa complex uses a reputable maintenance agency. Imagine how tedious it would be trying to find a suitable maintenance person to come fix a faucet that decided to burst at 5am. Find out about their availability and clean services provided; how often and well are community areas cleaned? More importantly, ensure that your safety is a priority – find out if smart home technology is offered in villas and townhouses, and what security systems are in place in apartment buildings. How much is being done to keep your community living safe and clean?

8. Amenities Available

Is the community self-contained? Does the building offer basic amenities? Having to drive 20 minutes to go to the gym each day would be quite a demotivating factor. How much easier would it be if all gym facilities, perhaps even group classes and personal trainers, were available just a street away? Get a thorough understanding of all amenities available. Is it a safely guarded gated community for children to play in? Are children’s playgrounds available? Is there a shared gym and swimming pool? These are just some amenities to consider, your list of desired amenities depends on what factors are important to you.

9. Garden Space

If you have young kids, you do not want them cooped up in a room. Lush landscaping or garden spaces allow children to run about in the fresh air and be close to nature. As for you, what is a better way to spend a weekend than to be lazing in the tranquility of your garden, reading a good book?

10. Re-sale Value

While buying a new home is a lifestyle change and usually more permanent, you may make different decisions in the future such as taking on a new job in another country or shifting elsewhere – a home with more bedrooms, a newer location. You may not wish to keep your property due to requiring finances to make the change, so upon purchase of a property it is helpful to consider what the re-sale value would be after a specific time period.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Khayyat Contracting And Trading Sees Qatar Infrastructure Spending Reaching $200 Billion Over Next Decade

A leading contractor based in Doha sees total infrastructure investments in Qatar breaching the $200bn mark in the next 10 years.

Mohamad Moataz Al Khayyat, CEO, Al Khayyat Contracting and Trading, a leading international design and build company with its main headquarters in Doha, says state spending alone has been estimated to reach $160bn. He believes, however, that additional investments will pour in from the private sector to complement what the government is doing to boost infrastructure development in the country.

"Preparations for the World Cup, though a government driven activity, will also see external investments being made outside state funding to cash in on the windfall expected from staging the world's biggest sporting event. The retail industry will open up, as will the F&B sector. Tourism and hospitality will see further activity, beyond what the government is planning," said Al Khayyat.

The infrastructure spending is expected to boost Qatar’s non-oil economy, which EFG-Hermes predicts will expand by as much as 16 percent a year from next year until 2018.

The latest Arcadis Global Infrastructure Investment Spending Index already ranks Qatar as the second most attractive infrastructure investment destination in the world, behind only Singapore. "In the Gulf region, it leads all other nations and has maintained this ranking for the past two years - an affirmation of investor confidence in the country's potential to attract investments over and above what the state will spend," added Al Khayyat.

While the future prospects for Qatar's infrastructure projects market look promising, supply and construction costs issues will eventually surface and have to be addressed. Al Khayyat is currently developing many projects, and is feeling the burden of rising construction costs. By Al Khayyat’s estimates, prices of construction materials have increased by as much as 5-10% in the last twelve months.

Qatar has set its sights beyond the staging of the World Cup, ensuring the assets it has built over the next decade will have productive use beyond the event. "The infrastructure that will be put in place over the next few years, will accommodate the expected influx of tourists and new expatriate workers as Qatar’s economy continues to grow. The stadiums are already being earmarked for use by local clubs and tournaments as well as regional sporting events,” explained Al Khayyat.

Doha certainly has the liquidity and financial might to make its ambitions happen. And the private sector will also have a role to play in contributing to the future growth of Qatar.

++ About Khayyat Contracting and Trading (KCT) - KCT is a general construction company which has prominently emerged as a key construction contractor in Qatar with visionary leadership and highly experienced management. Its primary mission is to translate its vast professional expertise into construction landmarks within the potential of Qatari emerging markets by providing the highest level of integrity, innovative solutions, and continuous client support.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tilal City, Sharjah

Tilal Properties, the new joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate Development, launched Tilal City, a mixed-use community with a total cost of Dhs 2 billion and an area of 25 million square feet.

Attended by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Tilal Properties, as well as more than 300 VIP guests, the exclusive launch event in Sharjah’s Al Jawaher Convention Center offered attendees the opportunity to view the plans for the new sustainable, mixed-use community and register their interest in purchasing land plots for development.

Speaking at the event, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said that Tilal Properties, through the launch of its new city, seeks “to keep pace with the intellectual and urban development witnessed by Sharjah.”

He clarified that “Tilal City is one of a series of projects that will be implemented by Tilal Properties” and it will allow UAE residents to buy properties on a 100-year leasehold basis, according to the laws regulating Sharjah’s property market.

The Sharjah Executive Council has recently issued Resolution No. 26 of 2014, which, for the first time, allows foreign investors the right to own properties in Sharjah for up to 100 years. This resolution is expected to stimulate investment in the Emirate.

Pointing to the remarkable development witnessed by Sharjah in the real estate market, the Chairman of Tilal Properties said: “We all realize the importance of the real estate sector, which greatly contributes to the GDP and economic growth in general.”

He added: “Through Tilal City, we aspire to serve the real estate requirements of the Emirate and benefit all segments of the society. We also aspire to add this integrated model city to Sharjah’s tourist destinations.”

For his part, Khalifa Al Shaibani, Director General of Tilal Properties, said: “This development really sets Sharjah up as a destination for investors and prospective residents. We are building a new community that is of high-quality and of a modern design.”

He indicated that Tilal City would occupy a total area of 25 million square feet, including 13 million square feet for sale and 12 million square feet for public facilities, roads and parks.

The project, according to Al Shaibani, will comprise 1800 land plots. Split into five zones, it will provide high-quality, affordable housing for 65,000 residents in apartments, villas and townhouses. The construction of the infrastructure is well under way and will be complete in the first three zones by December 2016. Tilal City will also include commercial, office and retail space as well as multi-use community facilities, schools, mosques and landscaped open areas.

The brand new city is strategically located on Emirates Road, close to the Al Dhaid interchange, just 10 kilometers from Sharjah’s International Airport and within convenient commuting distance to nearby Emirates.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Select Group's Marina Gate II Achieves Record Sales

Following the grand success of the residences at the Marina Gate Tower I earlier this year, Select Group’s launch of Marina Gate II reflected the Dubai property market’s positive sentiment following a sellout within the first four hours of its sales launch.

The first phase of the Marina Gate II sales roll-out consisted of 180 units. The remaining units are scheduled for release during a series of planned roadshows across the GCC, North Africa, Europe and the Far East.

Located in the city’s most prized master development, Dubai Marina, Marina Gate II is one of three luxury residence towers within the master project. Offering breathtaking views of the Dubai Marina from across its 64 floors, Marina Gate II features 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments along with a signature collection of Marina Villas and Penthouses.

“Following the phenomenal reception of Tower I, we did have an extensive waiting list of pre-registered buyers anticipating this launch. However the on ground response that we experienced exceeded our projections. A very large percentage of our Tower I client base comes from across the GCC, North Africa, Europe and the Far East, which is where we intend to hold our international sales events for the remaining units from Marina Gate II to cater to their respective interests,” said Rahail Aslam, CEO of Select Group

“This is an interesting time for the Dubai real estate market wherein customers are more discerning about quality, location and developer reputation. And the launch response to Marina Gate II demonstrates how there is always a strong market demand for quality and reliability.” He added.

++ Select Group is one of the largest private developers in the UAE that has lived up to a reputation of quality, reliability and consistency since 2002. The group has delivered eight projects with an additional four underway within  Dubai Marina and boasts an impeccable track record of delivery across all its developments. The Group has recently completed an award winning development in the United Kingdom and holds an unwavering reputation across the region for successful projects like 'No.9', 'West Avenue' and 'Marina Gate.'

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ventures Middle East Report Forecasts $45 Billion GCC Infrastructure Contracts In 2014

A new report forecasts that a more than USD 45 billion of infrastructure contracts will be awarded by the end of 2014 - double the USD 22.6 billion awarded in 2012.

The report 'GCC Infrastructure Market 2014,' prepared by Ventures Middle East, gives a snapshot of the billions of dollars being spent across the region with a focus on five areas: rail, roads, airports, ports and free trade zones.

The report also calculates that USD 97 billion of rail contracts are already underway as all six countries work towards the planned 2,117km GCC-wide rail network by 2018.

The Ventures report says almost USD 300 billion will be spent on airports in the Middle East over the next five years with passenger numbers in the GCC expected to reach almost 4 billion by 2017. And every GCC country is involved in expanding its seaports with an estimated USD 25 billion of ports expansion and investment planned.

Qatar has invested USD 8.2 billion on a state-of-the-art industrial port, Doha’s New Port Project, which is set to be completed ten years ahead of schedule in 2020.

Alongside its analysis of the current infrastructure market, the report prepared by Ventures Middle East in association with The Big 5 construction exhibition taking place in Dubai in November, gives guidance on licensing and registering your product or service in the region.

A vital part of a country’s infrastructure development is free trade zones and all countries in the GCC except Saudi Arabia offer them, though the UAE has the vast majority with 38.

The report says: “Free Trade Zones, or Special Economic Zones, are designated areas where governments allow businesses to set up. The UAE has the highest number of Free Zones in the GCC at 38, 20 of which are in the Emirate of Dubai.”

The report explains how they benefit foreign companies and suppliers and offers a checklist for any company looking to do business in the lucrative infrastructure sector.

To encourage international manufacturers and suppliers to set up their business in the UAE, The Big 5 organizes a free seminar on 'How to Trade in the UAE,' providing detailed information about free zones, legal framework and a step by step guide on how to do business in the country.

Adil Al Zarooni, senior vice president of sales at the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and Economic Zone will be one of the keynote speakers at the How to Trade Seminar.

He will offer an insight into the way free zones operate across the GCC. Mr. Al Zarooni states: “I will be speaking about the types of businesses and industries that will be attracted and I will highlight some of the success stories from Jafza.”

The Big 5 runs from 17 – 20 November at the Dubai World Trade Center and will be open from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DAMAC Sees Most Successful Cityscape Ever

Senior executives at DAMAC Properties, one of Dubai's leading luxury real estate developers, has hailed this year's Cityscape Global as its most productive to date.

The DAMAC Properties stand was packed throughout the three day event, with investors from all over the world looking to learn more about the company's latest luxury master development, AKOYA Oxygen.

The 55 million sqft project in Dubailand was the highlight of a high quality show which reaffirmed the global belief in the Dubai real estate market.

“The last three days has shown investors belief in Dubai's fundamentals; this year's Cityscape Global has been the busiest ever for DAMAC Properties,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. “Dubai is set on a stable growth pattern and the response to AKOYA Oxygen and our full luxury portfolio is testament to that.”

DAMAC Properties had a number of important announcements at the show: revealing that The Trump Organization will manage its 18-hole, championship-standard golf course in AKOYA Oxygen and that it has broken ground on a 1,250 key hotel in Business Bay, in collaboration with Paramount Hotels & Resorts - a project which will create the third largest hotel in Dubai.

‘The Paramount Hotel Dubai, Downtown’ will showcase timeless Hollywood elegance with contemporary styling and a polished integration of elements of Paramount Pictures movies through high tech media mapping and digital signage. As a complement, the property will honor its own identity influenced by the local creative communities, becoming a living showcase of contemporary arts reflected in every facet of the hotel.

“Dubai remains the strongest real estate market in the world. The right product at the right time with the right luxury developer is still a huge draw to savvy investors looking to capitalize on the emirate's safe-haven status,” added El Chaar. “We remain steadfast in our belief in Dubai and the core fundamentals that support its strong growth.”

Established in 2002, DAMAC has delivered almost 11,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 26,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of June 30th 2014, which includes over 10,000 hotel rooms and serviced hotel apartments.

Monday, September 22, 2014

TECOM Investments Outlines Expansion At Cityscape Global

TECOM Investments, the master developer of Dubai’s leading industry-focused business parks, today invited investors to explore the many exciting opportunities across the retail, residential and hospitality sectors within its portfolio. TECOM Investments also outlined the enhancements planned for its existing business parks, provided a progress update on the key developments scheduled for release in 2015, and reaffirmed its commitment to support Dubai’s ongoing economic growth and development.

Badr Al Gargawi, CEO Development & Planning at TECOM Investments, said: “TECOM Investments was born from the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to turn the Emirate into a knowledge economy with the announcement of Dubai Internet City in 1999. 15 years and 11 thriving business parks later, we remain fully committed to this vision and focused on developing it further by continuing to master plan and deliver a portfolio of successful business parks.”

To support the drive for investment across retail, residential and hospitality, new land plots will be released within and adjacent to TECOM Investments’ business parks in 2015, offering opportunities for local, regional and global investors in prime locations.

The strategic focus for TECOM Investments’ business parks in 2015 is to both enhance the existing offering for its business partners, and to release more office space onto the market, particularly in well connected, growth locations. Overall, TECOM Investments is developing 1 million sqft of additional office space, spread out across its business parks. These initiatives represent an overall investment of AED 1.5 billion.

TECOM Investments has pioneered the concept of community development to support its thriving free zone business parks. The company’s prime locations of Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village are examples of this, with a 37,000 strong workforce benefiting from a mix of hospitality, retail, and commercial products. TECOM Investments plans to replicate this approach across its other business parks.

In addition, Dubai Industrial City, which is a strategic location for TECOM Investments due to its close proximity to Dubai World Central and the planned Expo 2020 site, will see additional infrastructure development and the diversification of its product offering within the site.

Mr Al Gargawi also provided an update on the recent launch of Villa Lantana, a freehold community of 440 contemporary family villas in Dubai’s new growth corridor of Al Barsha South. He commented:

“The construction of Villa Lantana, due for completion in the last quarter of 2015, is on track. Sales since the launch have been robust and exceeded our expectations. They have largely been driven by local and regional investors, with a key driver being TECOM Investments’ reputation for robust planning, quality construction, timely project delivery, and most importantly, knowing the needs of the end user.”

TECOM Investments also confirmed that construction of Dubai Design District, D3, the region’s first master planned hub for design and fashion excellence, which covers a total area of 21 million sqft in the heart of Dubai, is on track and set to be delivered on schedule. D3’s first project of 11 buildings of innovative office and retail space, located just minutes from Dubai’s Downtown area, will be released in the first quarter of 2015. TECOM Investments reported that the development cost of this first phase is AED 4 billion. 

Mr Al Gargawi, in discussing delivery of D3’s master plan, which was revealed ahead of Cityscape, said: “Key to the design of D3’s master plan was accommodating a broad spectrum of end users. We have achieved this by providing a real mix of land uses with a range of plot sizes. Another essential component was to optimize the utilization of existing and planned infrastructure, to ensure full integration with the surrounding areas, and to create a low-rise, pedestrian friendly scaled environment, which is unusual for Dubai, and adds another point of differentiation to the project. We have also included an abundance of public facilities and open spaces, to ensure a positive experience and a high quality of life for all those who will live, work and play there, including visitors and tourists.”

D3 will include a 1.8km Waterfront featuring design-led, luxury and boutique hotels, unique retail outlets, and stylish dining and entertainment venues. The site will provide capacity for 10,000 office workers, a creative community for up to 4,000 designers and innovators, as well as over 4,000 luxury and boutique hotel rooms. D3 has been designed to offer an environment built for creative people, by creative people.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nakheel Announces Palm Gateway Mega Project At Cityscape Global

Dubai developer Nakheel kicked off Cityscape Global  2014 with the launch today (Sunday) of The Palm Gateway – a three-tower waterfront living and leisure complex with more than 1,300 homes, a beach club, retail, dining and health and fitness facilities.

Located at the entrance to Palm Jumeirah with convenient transport links to other parts of the island and the rest of Dubai, The Palm Gateway comprises three individually designed high-rise residential buildings the tallest topping 260 meters – with one, two and three bedroom apartments available for lease.

The trio of towers will be constructed on the existing Palm Monorail Gateway terminal, the roof of which will be transformed into a 15th floor podium with infinity pool, shops and sports facilities set in extensively landscaped grounds. The Monorail is linked to the Dubai Tram and the Dubai Metro, offering convenient travel for residents and visitors at The Palm Gateway.

The Palm Gateway will also have its own beach club and park – a shaded, landscaped complex with a diverse range of waterfront dining and shopping options, pool, barbecue areas and fitness facilities, including a jogging track.

Unveiling the project at the Nakheel stand at Cityscape Global, Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah, said: “The Palm Gateway brings yet another iconic, landmark project to our flagship, world-famous development of Palm Jumeirah, and adds hundreds more residential and retail units to our leasing portfolio.

“The project combines luxury beachfront living, exciting shopping, dining and entertainment and some of the best water and city views in the Middle East, and promotes sustainability, with its extensive health, wellbeing and fitness facilities and convenient transport links for travel within the surrounding areas and across Dubai.”

The Palm Gateway at a glance:

> Three towers comprising 1,313 apartments and duplexes for lease

> 5.5 million sq ft gross floor area

> Tubular Tower (261 meters, 61 floors including 46 above podium level, 520 apartments), Central Tower (211 meters, 49 floors including 32 above podium, 429 apartments); Beach Tower (205 meters, 48 floors including 34 above podium, 313 apartments)

> Additional 57 terrace apartments and duplexes within existing 14 storey Gateway building

> 4,000 parking spaces

> 15th floor landscaped podium deck with pool, sports courts and 8,600 sq ft of retail space

> Beach club with kiosks and restaurants

> Gym, spa, pools, sports courts and jogging track

> Supermarket and food court within podium building

> Onsite Palm Monorail, linked to the Dubai Tram and Dubai Metro

> Extensive views of Palm Jumeirah, the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline

The Palm Gateway will join a range of other communities in Nakheel’s leasing portfolio, which now comprises around 18,500 units at developments such as The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, International City, Nad Al Sheba and Palm Jumeirah.  Nakheel’s current retail leasing offering spans more than 2.4 million sq ft, with another 6.1 million sq ft under development.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

35,000 Participants Expected At Cityscape Global

Cityscape Global, the Middle East’s largest and most influential property show, opens tomorrow (21 September) with 35,000 participants expected from around the world and exhibitor numbers climbing above 280 for the first time in five years.

According to the Dubai Land Department (DLD), supporters of the show, 6,636 properties were registered across the Emirate for the first half of the year, further underlining the sustained investor confidence in the real estate market.

Omniyat, Nikken Sekkei, Seven Tides, Sun & Sand Developers and TDIC will be among the leading developers and architects launching new projects at the three-day event, which takes place from 21-23 September at the Dubai World Trade Center

With AED113 billion worth of transactions pumped into the Dubai property industry in the last six months, DLD believes Dubai has now established itself as a prime global destination for real estate, following the implementation of new laws and regulations which safeguard investors.

HE Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department said: “Dubai’s real estate market is unique and offers a diverse range of products and services, meaning that there are opportunities for large and small investors.

“The renewed confidence in the market is a sign of Dubai’s resilience. It has proved that it can weather adverse conditions and can immediately respond by capitalizing on an improving outlook.

“Our aim is to facilitate the market’s expansion, we enact laws and regulations to find proactive solutions to problems, whilst at the same time maintaining the rights of all investors.”

The Middle East’s largest and most influential property show is co-located with three dedicated and expert-led conferences, the Global Real Estate Summit, Future Cities and the Real Estate Brokers Summit, which are expected to bring together more than 1000 senior real estate professionals.

Also running in tandem with the exhibition is the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets. Consisting of 13 categories, winners will be announced at an elaborate ceremony taking place at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, on 22 September in Dubai.

Cityscape Global 2014 is supported by the Foundation Sponsors Emaar, Dubai Properties and Nakheel; International Strategic Partner Property Solutions; Gold Sponsor Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC); Project Marketing Sponsor Aqua Properties; Official Architect Architecture & Planning Group (APG); Official Broker Trisl Real Estate; Official Mortgage Provider Abu Dhabi Finance; Silver Sponsors Apex Real Estate Development L.L.C. and Tecom Investments; and Property Registration Trustee Partner Tamleek Property Transfer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anantara Residences Dubai Takes On New York And London

Release of exclusive Anantara Residences penthouses at upcoming Cityscape Global 2014 will offer international investors a high value, high yield alternative to the London and New York property markets together with full access to five-star hotel facilities.

Dubai-based developer Seven Tides has announced the release of 12 ultra-exclusive penthouse apartments at its Anantara Residences Dubai on Palm Jumeirah, the two to four-bedroom ‘blank canvas’ units, starting from US $5.5 million.

Occupying prime positions in both the South and North Towers of the five-star residential community, the penthouses will be presented to investors at this year’s Cityscape Global exhibition, which takes place in Dubai from 21-23 September 2014.

To date, two penthouses have been sold with the remaining available units offered between 7,468 and 13,478 -square feet of shell and core space. All come with spectacular panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, Atlantis Hotel, Burj Al Arab and Dubai Marina skyline, as well as private pools and extensive terraces for private entertaining.

“The Anantara Residences penthouses rank right up there with comparable investment opportunities in other global gateway destinations such as Paris, Rome or Vancouver, but still offer remarkable value in terms of price and square footage compared to properties in London or New York,” said Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides.

“In addition to lifestyle considerations, international HNWIs are looking at location appeal and investment potential, and this is where Dubai – and Palm Jumeirah especially – with its unparalleled standard of living, global connectivity and business environment are ticking all the right boxes,” he added.

Priced from AED 20.5 million (US $5.5 million) up to AED 40 million (US $10.9 million) for shell and core space, comparable units in other high profile international cities would get you a 2,691-square foot five-bedroom furnished penthouse overlooking the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris’ 19th arrondissement (US $4.9 million); the top floor of a former palace in Rome with 4,575-square feet of space and Tiber river views (US $4.95 million); or, for a little extra, a three-level, seven terrace and two elevator penthouse in Vancouver’s Grace Tower (US $7.9 million).

However, New York and London remain a different story with US $26 million the asking price for a mere 5,000-square foot five-bedroom penthouse within The Park Laurel on West 63rd Street in Manhattan, and a four-bedroom, 4,100-square foot Chelsea Harbor area penthouse in London costing upwards of US $15 million.

“Space really does come at a premium and this is where the Anantara Residences offers investors an added advantage with an incredible amount of both indoor and al fresco space, plus exclusive access to the five-star facilities and services at the adjacent Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort & Spa.

“However, besides the current value aspect, the Palm is also in a league of its own when capital appreciation is considered. The price per square foot for villas has increased by 55% over the last year and 31% for apartments all contributing towards significant yield figures – performance levels other destinations will find difficult to compete with,” added Bin Sulayem.

Residents can enjoy the benefits of usage of the hotel’s 4,000-square foot gym, 110,000-square feet of temperature controlled lagoon pools, six world-class dining and entertainment venues, signature Anantara Spa and private stretch of white sand beach.

Bin Sulayem also confirmed that 70% of the one and two-bedroom units in the South Tower have already been sold, with the recently released North Tower also performing well.

“Our clients are true global citizens, with buyers from around the world including GCC nationals, Russians, Asians and Europeans; and so Cityscape Global offers us another great platform through which we can reach out to prospective investors,” he remarked.

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