Friday, May 30, 2008

New Island Mega Project For Fujairah??!!

A friend of mine who lives in Dubai, but does business throughout the UAE, made 2 photos that he took available to me which appear to be advertising some new Island Mega Project for.....FUJAIRAH!!

I don't know anything more about this project right now but I wanted you to see the two photos here:



WOW!! An Island Mega Project in Fujairah!! This will be fantastic for Fujairah! If any of you know more about this project you can post it in the comments section or contact me directly....and I will try to find out more as well.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Boulevard, Ajman

Ajman is booming right along! New fabulous Mega Projects being announced all the time...many great investment opportunities. As a matter of fact, the way Ajman is growing, I am going to start calling this Emirate "Dubai Jr." The Boulevard is a new mixed-use Ajman Mega Project being developed by aaproperty.ae, a member of Ajman Holding:

'Currently we are focusing on Ajman where we see significant opportunities both for buyers of residential and commercial units as well as real estate investors. Using our experience, financial strengths and partnerships with leading designers & consultants, we plan to move beyond the boundaries of Ajman into the neighboring Emirates and countries where we fulfill our mission and where we provide value to our shareholders,' according to aaproperty.ae.

The Boulevard, a fully freehold development, is made up of 14 state-of-the-art residential and commercial towers, a mall containing all the very best retail brands from around the world, a 5-Star Hotel, restaurants & cafes, boutiques, grocery stores, conference facilities and a huge 5000 sq ft children's playing area. The Boulevard is BOTH a family oriented development with a large choice of functional and elegant living spaces, AND a modern retail and office development. Therefore this project has a very broad appeal to a wide variety of investors.

"This is a first rate opportunity for the discerning investor or home buyer looking to establish themselves in an up and coming Emirate. Above and beyond the huge attraction of this development being highly affordable, The Boulevard, Ajman is another premium development with distinguishing features that we are privileged to market and sell in line with our objective of partnering with visionary developers," commented Peter Penhall, CEO of Gowealthy.com, one of the marketers of The Boulevard.

Here are some of the amenities of The Boulevard:

- Roof top swimming pools and health clubs,
- Nursery, nanny and day-care facilities,
- Walk to the shopping mall,
- Walk to the hotel and fine dining facilities,
- Fitness Centre,
- Built-in closets for smaller and larger apartments,
- 24-hour security staff to provide peace of mind,
- High speed internet and cable tv.

...and here are some more features you should be aware of:

- Dynamic business environment,
- Contemporary & productive work environment,
- High-tech office spaces,
- Modern living spaces,
- Both the mall and hotel will be managed by world class management groups,
- The entire project is freehold and provides residence visas,
- Functional spaces with practical amenities and futuristic designs,
- Strategically located on Emirates Road Highway; a mere 25 minutes drive from Dubai International Airport, and 10 minutes drive from Sharjah Airport,
- Over 2000 basement and podium parking spaces,
- The first phase of The Boulevard towers is slated for completion in the 2nd quarter of 2009.

According to the CEO of Ajman Holding, Dr Yahya Haddad:

"We have a very clear vision for The Boulevard, Ajman in line with our ambition for the Emirate in Ajman not only in offering the ideal freehold development opportunity but also in its enviable location- on Emirates Road and close to the untouched, pristine beaches."

The Boulevard is a top of the line master-planned Mega Project that I think will have a great deal of appeal to investors. This is because it is a very well rounded development with broad appeal to families wanting a beautiful place to live at an affordable price, and businesses wanting to locate in one of the fastest growing regions in the world!

This link takes you to the aaproperty.ae website:


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Donald Trump And Family Come To Abu Dhabi!!

Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka and his two sons Don Jr. and Eric visited Abu Dhabi to talk over potential projects with Hydra Properties!! This is great news for the UAE! Donald Trump is one of the most well known brands in the entire world. "The Donald" represents the highest and best in luxury real estate developments... already he and Nakheel are developing the Trump Dubai at Palm Jumeirah.

Here is a quote from Ivanka Trump:

"It is quite a thrill to be here in Abu Dhabi and see all the developments in full swing. We are witnessing outstanding progress that is taking on a full speed like no other in the world, and entering the active real estate scenario in this Emirate is definitely something that we are looking into. We recognize the efforts being taken by Hydra Properties in building unique and high quality projects, and a partnership with an influential developer such as them is an attractive option for us."

The Trump family met with Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim - CEO of Hydra - who outlined the tremendous real estate opportunities in Abu Dhabi. How could the Trumps not be interested? Abu Dhabi is one of the wealthiest locations in the world and exploding with limitless growth. This is exactly what a Mega Developer like Trump looks for.

As some of you may know, Dr. Al Fahim will be hosting a tv show in Abu Dhabi called 'The Hydra Executives' which is basically the UAE version of Donald Trump's wildly popular show 'The Apprentice.' It was announced that both Ivanka Trump and Don Jr. will be making an appearance on 'The Hydra Executives.' The Executive producer of 'The Hydra Executives,' Ziad Batal, had this to say:

"As a major player in the real estate market in Abu Dhabi, it is also part of our business strategy to venture into partnerships with leading global developers. Donald Jr., Ivanka and Erik Trump's visit to the Emirate is a positive indication of the Trump Organisation's interest in entering the Abu Dhabi real estate market. We also expect the appearance of Donald and Ivanka in 'Hydra Executives' to be an inspiration for the contenders to motivate them in their pursuit for success at the show."

All of this is extremely positive for the UAE. The whole world follows Donald Trump and where he goes people go...lots of people. Trump's expansion in The Gulf will be great for attracting more and more investors as well as a huge amount of high net worth tourists. And I would bet that we will be seeing Trump expand to Ajman, Qatar and Bahrain as well!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

35 Reasons To Invest In Dubai

Currently I am living in the United States until I get the best offer to come to the UAE and I am amazed at how little Americans know about the massive real estate expansion going on in Dubai, the rest of the UAE, and all over The Gulf. There is very little in the media about the Gulf Expansion except for 'Business Arabia' on for 1/2 hour once a week and 'Gateway To The Middle East' on for 1/2 hour once a month. Other than that, except for the occasional report on one of the business channels, there is almost nothing!

I have created this list - '35 Reasons To Invest In Dubai' - for two main reasons: 1.) as a tool to stimulate interest in Dubai in regions where little interest exists, and 2.) as an excellent tool in areas where great interest already exists, such as The Gulf itself. In both cases the list can be given to perspective investors to give them a quick point-by-point rundown of the many benefits of investing in Dubai. I think this list is the most complete available anywhere and I hope you find it useful.


1. Dubai has become a leading regional, commercial, financial and tourist hub with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and a world class business environment.

2. Dubai has successfully positioned itself as a diversified international business center attracting 100's of new international companies every year who come to take advantage of the TAX-FREE Free Trade Zones for businesses.

3. Dubai has the most PRO-BUSINESS ATTITUDE of any region on the planet and believes that "if it’s good for business, it’s good for Dubai." Dubai is often referred to as "Dubai Inc."

4. Due to the incredible expansion of the region as a financial and tourism powerhouse, prime locations in Dubai should always be in demand and are likely to provide excellent investment opportunities both short and long term.

5. Dubai is ideally positioned as a business gateway between Europe and Asia.

6. Future Demand: Population is destined to increase from 1m to 3m while tourism will also greatly expand from 6m to 15m, by 2010.

7. Future Supply: All master-planning is Government controlled to carefully manage the demand-supply ratio thus maintaining strong growth & returns.

8. No Income Tax.

9. No Corporate Tax (the only exception to this is oil producing companies and branches of foreign banks).

10. No Capital Gains Tax.

11. No Rental Income Tax.

12. 100% ownership in Free Zones.

13. Strong investor incentives and protections.

14. No restrictions on capital repatriation.

15. No foreign exchange controls, trade barriers or quotas.

16. Buying Process: Simple. No company formation or national registration is required.

17. Legal & Notary Fees: None required, although legal advice is recommended.

18. Payment Structure: Following an initial reservation deposit, a deferred payment structure is usually provided by the developer with payments spread over the construction period.

19. Capital Appreciation: Recent years have provided huge returns...100% Tax Free.

20. Rental Returns: Recent years have provided huge returns...100% Tax Free.

21. Most property available for purchase by non-nationals.

22. There are 15 huge Free Zones where developers can build freehold properties.

23. A buyer has the option to transfer a property purchase (i.e. flip it) during payment terms - at low fees - usually between 1% and 7%.

24. RERA. Real Estate Regulatory Agency oversees entire real estate market in Dubai to satisfy and guarantee all investors rights and expectations.

25. Residency: Resident visas are supplied with non-UAE purchase on property.

26. Over 200 nationalities and cultures are represented in Dubai.

27. Progressive, tolerant and multicultural society.

28. Continuous political stability since its inception in 1971.

29. SAFETY. Voted the safest city in the world by Interpol.

30. Worldwide Recognition and Press Attention due to iconic developments such as Palm Jumeirah, The World, Burj Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Dubailand, etc.

31. Internationally renowned sports facilities including golf, tennis, water sports, horse racing, indoor skiing, dune driving and sand skiing. Dubai plays host to the Dubai Tennis Open, Dubai PGA Desert Classic, Dubai Rugby Sevens, Dubai Grand Prix of Nations, Dubai World Cup, etc.

32. Ultra modern airport facilities.

33. Unparalleled luxury for visiting tourists - Dubai has more leading hotels of the world than any other country.

34. World-class international schools.

35. Superb climate, with more than 350 days of sun annually.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Mega Developers: DAMAC Properties

By far one of the most successful developers in The Gulf is DAMAC Properties of Dubai. DAMAC was founded in 2002 by its parent company, DAMAC Holding. DAMAC is the largest private Master Developer in the Middle East and the company is run by Hussein Ali Habib Sajwani, Chairman and Peter Riddoch, CEO. DAMAC is a true international company with offices around the world including: UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, United Kingdom, Russia, Ireland and Italy. In DAMAC's own words:

'The company’s portfolio includes properties spread across 450 million square feet and is worth in excess of US$30 Billion. By partnering with world renowned architects and designers, DAMAC Properties aims to develop schemes that include residential, commercial and leisure facilities that will create an integrated community. Driven by a passion for excellence, DAMAC Properties manage all their projects from start to finish. The company's diverse range of expertise allows them to control land purchase activity, appointment of architects and designers, construction and sales and after sales service.'

What really impresses me about DAMAC is the huge number of Mega Projects they are developing. Currently DAMAC has over 80 projects in development with more on the way. DAMAC divides their projects into five categories: residential, office, retail, leisure and signature series. What follows is a complete list of the DAMAC projects. **The projects are listed according to category and some projects fit into MORE THAN ONE category (i.e. some have BOTH residential AND retail areas, some offer residential AND office space, etc.) therefore you will sometimes see the same project listed under more than one category.


- Central Square
- Тuscan Residence
- Palm Terrace
- Green Park
- The Heights
- Palm Springs
- The Terrace
- Harbour Heights
- Lake Terrace
- Garden Heights
- Centre Ville
- Lakeview
- Fairway Heights
- Suburbia
- Оceanscape
- Marina Bay
- Tuscan 2
- Lagovista
- Lagovista 2
- Amber Residence
- Flamingo Heights
- Central Avenue
- Lakeside
- Ocean Heights
- Madison Residences
- The Courtyard
- The Crescent
- Westside at Lincoln Park
- Marina Terrace
- The Waves
- Damac Heights
- Теrrа Del Sol 1 and 2
- Park Towers
- Burjside Boulevard
- Lofts at the Heights
- Emirates Gardens
- Al Jawharah
- La Residence
- Emirates Gardens 2
- Lincoln Park
- La Residence 2 at Lotus
- The Piazza
- La Residence at Lotus
- Hyde Park


- Capital Square
- Business Heights
- Fairway Heights
- Executive Heights
- Park Avenue
- XL Tower
- Haz Tower
- Smart Heights
- Water's Edge
- Business Tower
- Capital Bay
- Park Towers
- Lincoln Park
- Executive Bay
- The Corner
- Business Central
- Business Gate
- Park Central


- Green Park
- Central Square
- Fairway Heights
- Flamingo Heights
- Suburbia
- La Residence At Lotus
- Park Avenue at New Cairo
- Park Towers
- Amber Residence
- Lakeview
- Central Avenue
- Lake Terrace
- Haz Tower
- Park Avenue at Cairo Alex Desert Road
- Lincoln Park
- Marina Terrace
- The Courtyard
- XL Tower
- Emirates Gardens
- Business Tower
- The Piazza
- The Heights
- Lofts at the Heights
- Smart Heights


- Gamsha Bay


- Ocean Heights
- Lotus Heights

WOW! Considering DAMAC Properties was formed only 6 years ago this list of Mega Projects is beyond impressive...it is phenomenal! DAMAC certainly has embraced the "No Limits" attitude of Dubai and this great Mega Developer will make the UAE, all of the Middle East, and the entire world proud with its wide variety of spectacular Mega Projects!

Here are 2 YouTube DAMAC videos:




DAMAC Properties
Al Moosa Tower ll
5th Floor
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4-345-5522
Fax: +971 4-332-5335
Email: difc@damacgroup.com
Website: http://www.damacproperties.com/

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sukoon Tower: A Great Place To Live In Bahrain!

With the "UAE-like" growth the Kingdom of Bahrain is experiencing, some of the finest upscale residential Mega Projects are being built there. One of my favorites is Sukoon Tower, a stunning 45-floor, 592 apartment tower being developed by Tashyeed Properties of Bahrain. What I like most about Sukoon Tower is its uniqueness. Sukoon means "inner peace" and this magnificent tower has been designed to give residents a feeling of well being and harmony amidst the bustling fast paced Bahrain lifestyle.

One of the major themes used in developing Sukoon Tower is to bring the outdoors in. To this end Sukoon Tower will have vast areas of gardens and water features giving residents an overall feeling of being part of the great outdoors. The idea here is to create a feeling of unity and harmony with nature thus creating an overall feeling of well being. According to Dr. Kadhem Rajab, Chairman of Tashyeed:

"At Tashyeed Properties we want to enhance people's lives through the development of new homes and commercial buildings. With Sukoon Tower we plan to develop a landmark project close to the waters edge in Juffair that residents can make their own urban haven. We have worked in partnership with internationally acclaimed architects and interior designers to ensure Sukoon Tower will stand out on Juffair's skyline."

What a great idea. An urban haven! This gives residents the best of both worlds...urban living...with rural charm! Tashyeed calls this "Sukoon Living" and in fact a complete floor in Sukoon Tower is designed specifically to bring a feeling of the outdoors to an indoor environment. This floor will have swimming pools, outdoor and indoor cafes, greenery throughout, and even walkways:

"The Tower will have a meticulously designed dedicated recreation floor with vast landscaped greenery, water features and a dedicated health club floor to provide its residents with a signature lifestyle. Great care and attention have been made to create unique apartment combination options and offering investors multiple options in their choice of apartment type and area. We are proud to create this tower in Bahrain and invite Bahrainis and other international investors to invest in this unique opportunity," said Mr. Rajab.

The health club will take up the entire 7th floor and will contain exercise equipment of all kinds, sauna and Jacuzzi, steam rooms, a lap pool and a full size indoor pool, a kitchen and even a business center. The health and well being of residents was primary in the design of Sukoon Tower as you can see.

All of the 592 apartments at Sukoon Tower will offer state-of-the-art features. These apartments have become so popular that the entire phase one has already been sold out. No wonder. Sukoon Tower will be one of the best places to live in all of Bahrain and offer a great lifestyle to its residents:

"The feedback we have received from the initial investors in Sukoon Tower has been extremely positive. Investors have been delighted with the design, the location, the extensive range of luxury facilities as well as the high quality fixtures and fittings. Those people buying apartments in which to live are also excited by the tranquility and peaceful surroundings Sukoon Tower will offer," said Mr. Rajab of Tashyeed.

I think Sukoon Tower represents one of the finest and most well thought out Mega Residential Projects in The Gulf. Sukoon Tower delivers a unique living experience and will no doubt be an inspiration to future residential developments throughout the Middle East!

This link takes you to the Sukoon Tower website:


This link takes you to Tashyeed Properties, developers of Sukoon Tower:


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Gulf's Most Powerful Families

A very interesting list has been prepared by the privately owned Gulf investment and merchant banking group, The National Investor (TNI). TNI operates out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. TNI, in a report they prepared called: 'Power Matter: A Survey Of GCC Boards,' analyzed who was on the Board Of Directors of 582 Gulf companies and found that certain Gulf families held up to 30% of company board seats giving these families great power over all business done in the Gulf.

Here are the Gulf families TNI found to be the most powerful.



> Maktoum, > Ghurair, > Mulla, > Futtaim, > Sari, > Jallaf, > Kazim, > Lootah, > Mazrouei, > Shamsi, > Shaibani, > Ba'alawy, > Alabbar, > Matrooshi, > Belhoul, > Jawa, > Mohannadi.


> Nahyan, > Qassimi, > Dhaheri, > Mazroei, > Qubaisi, > Suwaidi, > Khoury, > Rumaithi, > Muhairi, > Shamsi, > Hosani, > Hajeri, > Otaiba, > Mazrouei, > Omran, > Rostomani, > Sayegh.


> Thani, > Mana, > Attiya, > Saad, > Ali, > Naimi, > Mannai, > Mohannadi, > Ansari, > Sulaiti, > Suwaidi, > Kamal, > Ibrahim, > Salat, > Hitmi, > Fardan.


> Khalifa, > Fakhro, > Kanoo, > Moayyed, > Amin, > Buhindi, > Jalal, > Murad, > Nass, > Sabah, > Mashani, > Mazrouq, > Meer, > Faivre, > Harthy, > Khalili, > Murshidi, > Razak, > Yahyai.


> Saud, > Rajhi, > Issa, > Zamil, > Rashid, > Saleh, > Babtain, > Subaei, > Turki, > Agil, > Drees, > Rajdhi, > Mady, > Abanumay, > Faris, > Hakami, > Husseini, > Omran.


> Sabah, > Ghanim, > Kharafi, > Wazzan, > Sultan, > Behbahani, > Bahar, > Mazrouk, > Shaya, > Mutawa, > Rashed, > Fulaij, > Ghanim, > Marafi, > Nafisi.


> Busaidi, > Shanfari, > Rawas, > Sultan, > Lawati, > Mashani, > Harthy, > Saleh, > Zawawi, > Hassan, > Zadjali, > Razak, > Yahyai, > Khalili, > Faivre, > Murshidi, > Abduwani, > Nahari.

This link takes you to the website of The National Investor, who came up with the above list:


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Emirates Palace: 7 Stars For Abu Dhabi!

In my last post I covered the magnificent Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, the world's first 7-Star hotel and Dubai's first Iconic Mega Project. The Burj Al Arab is not the only 7-Star hotel however....there is one more....the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. I guess Abu Dhabi saw how popular the Burj Al Arab had become and decided they needed their own 7-Star Wonder. At a cost of $3.8Billion the Emirates Palace was designed to become a landmark for the Middle East and the entire world. Mission Accomplished! Emirates Palace is a breathtaking Arabian Palace redefining the concept of a luxury hotel....and giving the Burj Al Arab some real competition for world's most luxurious hotel!

Emirates Palace is located on a 1.3 km stretch of Abu Dhabi's beautiful sandy beach and was formerly known as Bani Yas Palace but the Government of Abu Dhabi has renamed it Emirates Palace to reflect the significance of the project for the UAE in general and in particular for Abu Dhabi, which has become a world-class financial and conference destination. Emirates Palace opened in November 2005 and has been a primary hotel choice for Royalty, Presidents, Billionaire Businessmen, Celebrities and GCC Summits!

Emirates Palace has the most luxurious rooms and suites you will find anywhere in the world, and according to them:

'Each of the exceptional rooms and suites provide guests with uncompromising indulgence. These include 302 Grand rooms, 40 splendid Khaleej & Khaleej Deluxe suites, 4 Royal Khaleej suites, 16 three-bedroom Palace suites divisible into a total of 48 one-bedroom individual suites.

'Inside every room & suite, the decor is a masterful blend of Arabian regal splendor and the latest technology. Decoration includes acres of gold leaf and the finest marble. The guest is given command of all room & suite appliances including lights, air conditioning & in room entertainment systems via a touch screen hand held control.'

The architecture and design of Emirates Palace is unequalled anywhere in the world in my opinion and includes:

- 114 domes, of which the Grand Atrium dome is higher than the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,

- 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers, including some of the world's largest,

- 6,000 square meters of interior covered in 22-carat gold leaf,

- Over one million square feet of the world's finest marble imported from Italy, Spain, China, and India,

- 200 fountains spread throughout 600 acres of exotic grounds,

- 1.3 km long private beach,

- The Emirates Palace Archway, covered in Italian stone, and bigger than the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and containing a museum,

- 128 kitchens and pantries,

- 140 elevators,

- 2 helipads.

Emirates Palace is also the official Guest Palace for the Government of Abu Dhabi, with 22 three-bedroom suites capable of hosting as many heads of state and their entourages. The highest floor has six Rulers' Suites, which are off-limits to all except members of the Royal Families of the UAE.

The Conference and Banqueting Center at Emirates Palace is the most opulent and technologically advanced meeting facility in all of the Middle East and offers:

> State of the art auditorium accommodating 1100 guests,

> A luxurious Grand Ballroom divisible into three sections: total seating capacity of 2,400 guests,

> A range of over 40 meeting rooms with different setups & capacity,

> High-tech Media Center and Business Center,

> Outdoor function space of over 10,000 sqm providing a magnificent al fresco setting for cocktail receptions and dinners.

Emirates Palace offers a wide variety of leisure and recreational facilities including: Anantara Spa which offers rejuventating treatments of all kinds, Fitness Suites offering personal training and aerobics classes, an "extreme sports" Energy Zone area, Blue Dolphin Diving Center offering scuba diving lessons, tennis courts and private tennis lessons, a private beach and two swimming pools, boutiques of all kinds, etc.

Naturally you will experience some of the finest dining in the world at the restaurants of Emirates Palace: Le Vendôme Brasserie, Sayad, Mezzaluna, Al Majlis & Caviar Bar, Cascades, Diwan L'Auberge, Anar Restaurant and Las Brisas. You can also dine in your room and experience what Emirates Palace calls "The Palace Ceremony." This is one ceremony I would like to experience! The hotel even offers genuine Albino Caviar...at about $30,000 a pound!

All of this luxury does not come cheap. Today, May 20, 2008, hotel rates for a Pearl Room are about $1,100/night - a Khaleej one bedroom Suite is about $2,700/night - Palace Grand Suite $7,000/night - Two Bedroom Palace Suite about $10,000/night - 3 Bedroom Palace Grand Suite about $14,000/night. These rates are from the Emirates Palace website and I am converting AED rate which they list to US dollar rate.

What we have with the Emirates Palace is much more than an ultra luxurious Mega Hotel Project. Emirates Palace is a Crown Jewel for Abu Dhabi and a Shining Star for the entire Middle East!

Here is a YouTube Emirates Palace video:


This link takes you to the Emirates Palace website:


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Burj Al Arab: Dubai's First Iconic Mega Project!

I remember the first time I saw the Burj Al Arab back in 1999 when it first opened. I was AMAZED! The incredible architecture! The location- on its own private island! The height- tallest hotel in the world, and almost as tall as New York City's Empire State Building! And the LUXURY! Never had anyone seen anything like the luxury offered by this hotel. So grand was the Burj Al Arab that a brand new hotel rating had to be given to it....7-Stars! The first 7-Star hotel in all the world!

The Burj Al Arab was Dubai's first Iconic Mega Project. Remember, this hotel was completed all the way back in 1999...way before the Mega Project Boom we are experiencing today even began. Let's take a closer look at what this Iconic Hotel Mega Project has to offer those lucky enough to stay there:

** First, you do not arrive at the Burj Al Arab like you do to most hotels. Since the Burj Al Arab is located on its own private island, you must drive over a private bridge just to get there. Most guests are picked up at the airport by one of the Burj Al Arab's Rolls-Royce limousines, or - if they prefer - guests can fly to the Burj Al Arab on a private helicopter and land on the Burj Al Arab's private helipad! Wow!

** When you enter the Burj Al Arab your breath will be taken away by the gigantic Atrium....the biggest Atrium in the world! But its not only that. Its all the GOLD. Everywhere! The Burj Al Arab's interior decorators used an astonishing 1500 square meters of gold leaf throughout the hotel!

** The Burj Al Arab contains a total of 202 duplex suites, the finest hotel suites offered anywhere. As you can imagine all of these suites are sumptuously decorated and offer the finest in-suite amenities including:

- A dining and living area and an office area complete with laptop, Internet access, private fax, printer and copier,

- Hidden network of advanced technology - lighting, curtains and air-conditioning at the touch of a button,

- 42-inch plasma screen, video on demand, DVD, 93 cable channels, and 2 hotel information channels,

- Walk-in shower and Jacuzzi / Spa bath, complimented by a decadent bath menu with music and Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, prepared by your butler,

- A private bar and in-suite mini-bar, and even a "Pillow Menu" with 13 types of pillows to choose from!

** Burj Al Arab guests have access to a wide variety of leisure activities:

- Assawan Spa & Health Club, located on the 18th floor offers hydrotherapy, oriental massage, steam rooms, Jacuzzi, two infinity pools, squash court, two fully equipped fitness studios and an aerobics floor,

- Unlimited access to Wild Wadi Water Park,

- Rolls-Royce chauffeur shopping experience,

- Helicopter tour over Dubai,

- Majles Al Bahar private beach, exclusive for Burj Al Arab guests,

- Golf at world class golf courses such as Montgomerie, Emirates Hills, Dubai Creek and Arabian Ranches,

- Yacht charter

- Easy access to Ski Dubai at Mall Of The Emirates...and just about anything else you can imagine - they can make happen!

** Meetings and Events. The Burj Al Arab has the most spectacular facilities available for conferences, meetings and events: Al Falak Ballroom, Suha and Athuraya Boardrooms, Suheil Boardroom, Al Areeka and Tameen Majlis, Assawan Amphitheatre and the Marina Garden.

** The Burj Al Arab has 8 of the finest restaurants and lounges in the world:

- Al Mahara. Probably the most famous restaurant in all of Dubai. Why? Because it is located completely underwater and is accessed by a submarine! Now this is fine dining!

- Al Muntaha, which means the ultimate or the highest, is located 200 metres above the Arabian Gulf offering Mediterranean cuisine and unmatched views of The Palm Jumeirah and The World Islands,

- Skyview Bar. Located adjacent to Al Muntaha, a wonderful location for pre and post dinner drinks with views of The World Islands, The Palm Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Beach shoreline,

- Sahn Eddar. Located at the base of the Burj Al Arab Atrium and offering light fine fare and afternoon tea,

- Al Iwan offers the finest Arabian hospitality with décor of dramatic gold, red and black,

- Majlis Al Bahar. A casual alfresco restaurant serving Mediterranean specialities with spectacular views of the Gulf and Burj Al Arab,

- Juna Lounge. A stylish and intimate lounge with a fine selection of cigars,

- Bab Al Yam. A cafe restaurant with a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.

The Burj Al Arab is home to some of the finest shops in the world: Chopard, Bvlgari, Rodeo Drive, Prima Gold, Bin Hendi, Dianoor, Paris Gallery and Les Exclusives. You can even buy a small Swarovski Crystal model of the Burj Al Arab for about $1400! I wouldn't mind having one of these on my desk!

There really are not enough superlatives to describe the Burj Al Arab and every time I think of this Iconic Hotel Mega Project it just makes me feel.....happy! The Burj Al Arab was the first Architectural Wonder to capture the True Spirit Of Dubai: THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WHEN YOU DARE TO HAVE LIMITLESS DREAMS!

Here is a great YouTube video that will give you a complete tour of Burj Al Arab:


This link takes you to the Burj Al Arab website:


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dubai World Central: World's Biggest Mega Transportation Project!

Dubai does everything in a BIG way! Dubai World Central (DWC) is no exception and is currently the largest and most spectacular Mega Transportation Project being developed anywhere in the world! DWC is an entire Mega Community built around what will be the largest airport in the world, Al Maktoum International Airport. This airport will be:

'The world’s largest passenger and cargo hub with a design capacity of over 12 million tonnes of cargo a year and in excess of 120 million passengers annually and capable of handling all new generation aircraft, including the A380 superjumbo. The airport, which will be 10 times the size of the current Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined, will have six parallel runways and as many concourses with a 91 metre high control tower that will be an aviation landmark and tallest freestanding ATC tower in the Middle East,' according to DWC.

This Mega Airport will also contain a wide variety of hotels and shopping malls as well as state-of-the-art maintenance facilities which will be used by the entire Gulf.

All of this however is just one part of this massive project. DWC will also be home to:

> Dubai Logistics City (DLC). 'DLC is designed as the region's unchallenged logistics hub catering to some two billion people throughout the Middle East, Indian Sub-continent, Africa and the CIS, all within three-to-four hours flying time from Dubai. The project encompasses all transportation modes, logistics and value added services, such as kitting and assembly, in a single bonded and free zone environment,' according to DWC. In addition, Logistics City will offer office buildings and industrial facilities for all the businesses wanting to locate there.

> DWC Aviation City. An entire city focused on the aviation industry designed to 'bring together at one place, the best of companies, businesses, consultancy majors, MRO organizations, professionals and skill sets from around the world to cater to the growing aviation demands of the region and the world at large,' according to DWC. Wow! An entire city built for the aviation industry! Dubai does it again!

> DWC Residential City. A city designed to eventually house 250,000 which will include a mix of 5 to 10 storey mid-cost apartment blocks. The city will also include 4-Star and 3-Star hotels, shopping malls, schools & hospitals.

> DWC Commercial City. This will be a major business hub of DWC and contain more than 850 Towers which will be home to a wide variety of businesses. DWC Commercial City is expected to eventually employ 130,000. Upscale homes and villas will also be offered at Commercial City.

> The Staff Village. This village is designed to house 40,000 blue collar workers employed at DWC. Staff Village will be a very nice and affordable place to live for workers and, in addition to quality housing, will feature: restaurants, shops, sports facilities, open recreational spaces and much more.

> The Golf City. A city that will "enhance Dubai's status as an international golfing destination." Golf City will offer 2,500 homes which will surround the two 18 hole golf courses that will be built there. Driving ranges, putting greens, restaurants, a club house and pro-shop will also be part of Golf City.

> DWC Global Technologies. Created to act as a subsidiary of DWC that is entrusted with the responsibility to facilitate the development and deployment of the entire information technology and telecommunications infrastructure and services for the DWC area.

> Enterprise Park. Another business center of DWC, Enterprise Park will be home to research institutes, alternative technologies, office complexes, conference venues and pavilions; as well as a medium sized Science Park with its own specialized university. The university will have a student population of between 3000-4000 and will be focused on science and technology.

Dubai World Central is one of the most ambitious Mega Projects ever developed! It takes thinking big to a whole new level! Once complete, DWC will be a World Icon and the entire Middle East will benefit greatly from all this fabulous Mega Project will provide!

This link takes you to the Dubai World Central website:


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Mega Developers: Dar Al-Arkan

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a massive real estate development boom! Saudi even has the largest Mega Project in the world being developed with the $125Billion King Abdullah Economic City! The future for real estate development in Saudi Arabia looks very bright indeed. One of the largest Saudi Mega Developers is Dar Al-Arkan. Interestingly enough, the focus of Dar Al-Arkan is not on the ultra luxury projects that so many Mega Developers are building, but on more reasonably priced developments:

'The company had a strong start having one objective in mind: to be a first home provider for Saudi middle class families. Owing it to the rising real estate development in The Kingdom, the company worked hard to provide end products armed with international standards, at reasonable cost. The company offered a new and improved philosophy regarding the world of modern and futuristic civilization; offering several projects and residential plans tailored to fit society’s needs,' according to Dar Al-Arkan.

By 2009 Dar Al-Arkan will have an estimated 65,000 residential units built for all major regions of Saudi Arabia. All units are designed with both high quality and affordability in mind. Dar Al-Arkan has offices all over Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, Khobar, Makkah, Jeddah, Madinah, and Yanbu.

The Dar Al-Arkan Projects:

> Al Yarmouk. A 389 unit residential project located in the North Eastern part of Riyadh City,

> Al Munsiyah. This project consists of 259 housing units and is also located in North Eastern Riyadh,

> Al Mourjan. A 95 unit residential project located in Yanbu City next to the Radisson SAS Hotel,

> Al Abrar Towers. Located on a distinctive area in Makkah Al-Mukarama near the Holy Haram, Al Abar consists of 400 residential units distributed over 8 towers,

> Al Manar. A total of 28 residential units make up Al Manar which is located on the East of Jeddah City,

> Al Awali Villas. Considered one of Mecca's most modern residential areas, Al Awali consists of 55 residential villas,

> Al Tawoun. The project is located North of Riyadh City near Al-Rabie and consists of 4 blocks of residential units,

> Al Falah. A 139 unit project North of Riyadh City, Al Falah is considered to have some of the finest utilities in all of Riyadh,

> Al-Noor Villas. This 80 unit project located in Al-Madinah Al-Manwarah, consists of 6 distinct architectural designs. In the center of Al-Noor is a large mosque and a public garden,

> Shams Alriyadh. A huge 8000 residential unit project being built in the Al-Dareiyah province of Riyadh City,

> Al Qasr. This project contains 4000 unit villas and commercial utilities including offices plus four and five storey buildings. Eventually Al Qasr will be home to 13,000 residents,

> Ishbiliyah. This is a more upscale 420 villa project located in one of the best districts of Riyadh,

> Al Shati Al Zahabi. The project is located in one of the most beautiful locations of Sharm Abhor in Jeddah province and consists of 398 upscale residential villas,

> Al-Tilal. Located near The Prophet's Mosque in Al-Madinah Al-Munorah, Al-Tilal will offer 1437 units-- 433 of these will be villas,

> Al Mashaer Towers. 7 towers, each 14 storeys high, make up Al Mashaer which is located in Makkah City. There will be a total of 442 residential units as well as business centers, health clubs and special occasion halls.

It should now become clear that Dar Al-Arkan - run by Youssef Bin Abdullah Al Shelash, Chairman and Abdullatif Bin Abdullah Al Shelash, Managing Director - is on a mission to provide a wide variety of quality housing to the people of Saudi Arabia at an affordable price. I salute them for this and I know they will continue to prosper!


Dar Al-Arkan
Al Maather Road
P.O. Box 105633
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 11656
Tel: +966 1-206-9888
Fax: +966 1-206-9898
Email: info@alarkan.com
Website: http://www.alarkan.com/

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Barwa Financial District, Doha, Qatar

Qatar, like the UAE, is growing at a phenomenal pace with over $100Billion in construction projects already planned and more being announced all the time! The Mega Projects being developed by Qatar are some of the most impressive in the world and I have already covered The Pearl Qatar and Lusail in previous posts. Today I will cover a magnificent Business Mega Project called Barwa Financial District (BFD). The developer of BFD is Barwa Real Estate, one of Qatar's largest Mega Developers. According to Barwa:

'The Barwa Financial District is a giant project conceptualized to serve the global, regional and local financial sector. The Financial District will house facilities attracting regional and international banks seeking specialized infrastructure to benefit from. But that is not all the Financial District is to be. In keeping with the philosophy of the parent company Barwa, the Financial District will serve as a 360 degree real estate solution.'

BFD will be a mixed use "ensemble complex" made up of 10 super modern buildings designed to blend harmoniously with each other and create a primary business destination for Qatar. The tallest and grandest of the 10 buildings will be a 45 storey tower destined to become a Qatar Icon. BFD will be located in the West Bay area of Doha. West Bay is the new business center of Qatar and will become a primary business location for the entire Gulf.

'Cosmopolitan West Bay holds government and ministerial offices, an up-market residential area, major shopping malls. In choosing a suitable site for the Financial District, Barwa handpicked a location that is a mere 20 minutes away from the Doha International Airport. This decision for instance, was led by Barwa’s keen awareness of how precious a commodity time is, to global and regional business players,' according to the developer.

The entire BFD complex is being built to be eco-friendly, as are so many new projects being developed in The Gulf. The buildings will make best use of solar and wind potential by integrating their structures with the surrounding eco-system. BFD will also be beautifully landscaped and contain a number of natural recreation spaces where visitors and those working at BFD can come to relax. From Barwa:

'The engineer’s goal was to design and develop an ensemble of buildings that went beyond being a mega real estate project. Their commitment was to deliver a state of the art solution to a high rise, global financial community-- a community that was not just serving the requirements of today but anticipating the needs of tomorrow and excelling at providing for both.'

BFD will be home to all types of businesses:

- Banks: National and International,
- Securities Companies,
- Insurance,
- Local and International Consulting,
- Law Firms,
- Finance Companies of all kinds...

...and many, many other types of business entities. All of this in the sensational West Bay area where you can find the finest restaurants, top retail brands from all over the world, the best hotels, upscale residences, etc.

To sum it all up, what we have with Barwa Financial District is a true Financial Masterpiece! This Mega Project will greatly benefit Qatar, all of the Middle East, and the entire world!

Barwa uses 3 sentences to summarize the Barwa Financial District:

> A place where no effort has been spared.

> A place where no detail has been overlooked.

> A place where no service or luxury has been forgotten.

This link takes you to the Barwa Real Estate website:


Thursday, May 8, 2008

360 Kuwait: Spectacular Mega Mall Entertainment Project!

Kuwait, like so many of the Gulf Countries, is rapidly expanding with a large number of new Mega Projects. I have already done a post on the gigantic $87Billion City Of Silk project and today I will cover an exciting new project called 360 Kuwait. Being developed by Kuwait Mega Developer Tamdeen Group, 360 Kuwait is a huge new Mega Mall / Entertainment Center located in the rapidly growing South Surra area of Kuwait. The mall has a circular shape to it, hence the 360 which stands for 360 degrees-- a full circle.

360 Kuwait will be made up of 7 different levels as follows:

- Lower Level. Here you will find a huge Hypermarket,

- Ground Level. Made up of department stores, retail shops, restaurants and cafes,

- Level 1. This level will offer more retail shops, restaurants and cafes,

- Level 2. This level will feature a large variety of entertainment offerings, cinemas, food lounge and restaurants,

- Level 3. Another entertainment level featuring family entertainment, teenage entertainment, bowling and restaurants,

- Level 4. Offices, a spa, and what they call "Edutainment,"

- Level 5. This will be all offices.

Entertainment offerings in 360 Kuwait will be wide and varied, and according to Tamdeen Group:

'The sprawling entertainment area that dominates the uppermost levels of the mall will house a 15-screen cinema complex. The cinematic experiences are further heightened by an IMAX theatre and VIP theatres. A bowling alley and a choice of entertainment options for children, teenagers and families will complete Kuwait’s most comprehensive entertainment offering.'

In addition, 360 Kuwait will offer something quite unique, Edutainment:

'Another attraction for families will be the ‘edutainment’ features that the mall offers. As its name suggests, edutainment (educational entertainment or entertainment-education) is designed to educate as well as to entertain. Within the well designed confines of the mall, edutainment features will help instruct children and teens, by embedding lessons in some familiar form of entertainment: television programs, computer and video games, films, music, websites, multimedia software, etc.' according to Tamdeen Group.

Furthermore, the mall will contain 6 different Zones:

> Techno Hub. This zone is a high tech introduction to the mall designed to inform and direct new visitors about the many features of 360 Kuwait,

> Solar Garden. A large variety of dining areas located both inside and outside of the mall. The inside area has been designed to give the experience of traveling through time and space, while the outside area offers lush green landscaping, tall palm trees and terraced ponds,

> Day Journey. This area of 360 Kuwait is infused with changing colors and textures of materials and a flood of natural light from the sky above. It is designed to give visitors an almost magical daylight experience,

> Night Journey. This part of the mall gives visitors the feeling of taking a journey under a beautiful night sky. Night Journey even contains a Star Court to celebrate centuries of journeys guided by the stars,

> Central Street. This is an express path through 360 Kuwait designed with traditional Middle Eastern architecture to subtly reference the familiar old-world shopping experience prevalent in the Gulf Region,

> Main Atrium. An oasis-like destination in the mall, the Main Atrium is a place of rest and tranquility where visitors can come to relax.

360 Kuwait will be opening sometime in 2009, and as you can now see this Mega Mall Entertainment Project will be one of the most unique and fabulous malls in the entire world!

This link takes you to the 360 Kuwait website:


...and this link takes you to Tamdeen Group, developers of 360 Kuwait:


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Solidere Saifi Village ll, Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon has potential, even with all its problems. Many of the great Gulf Mega Developers including Emaar, DAMAC, Kingdom Holding and Deyaar are developing Mega Projects in Lebanon. Providing Lebanon can avoid any further wars and remain stable, this Middle East country has great potential for success! Two great Mega Developers - Solidere of Lebanon and Deyaar of Dubai - have come together to create Saifi Village ll. Located in Beirut City Center, Saifi Village ll is a magnificent residential Mega Project close to both the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and the Mountains of Lebanon-- all while being right in the cultural, social and financial center of Lebanon!

Saifi Village ll is made up of 16 completely new low rise buildings grouped into 4 different clusters and another 16 buildings which have been flawlessly restored to reflect their original glory. This development perfectly reflects what Lebanon is trying to do: restore and rebuild / as well as develop completely new projects. Solidere has been put in charge of the reconstruction and development of the entire Beirut Central District.

According to Deyaar, Saifi Village ll will be a center for lavish living and include:

- Four blocks of ultra-chic 2-BR, 3-BR, 4-BR, duplex and triplex apartments that share landscaped areas, gardens, and 5 floors of underground parking,

- The apartments are energy efficient, well balanced, well-lit and have balconies that take advantage of the excellent Mediterranean climate,

- The top two floors of each block boast penthouse apartments designed like independent villas with breathtaking views of the sea and mountains,

- Every apartment and penthouse enjoys storage facilities that are located at the basement level,

- To help create a quiet and peaceful ambience each apartment is equipped with thermal and sound insulation to ensure minimum noise levels,

- The interiors use the finest quality marble, granite and wood while bathrooms are fitted with the leading international brands,

- 24 hour security, CCTV and videophone in every apartment to help liaise with the main gate, the management office and drivers’ lounge.

....and according to Solidere:

'The residential ambience is enhanced by a quiet environment and a carefully designed and landscaped public realm. Brick paving and fountains, seasonal shrubs and flowers, wooden benches and children's playgrounds provide the tree-lined narrow streets, public squares and gardens with an appealing and communal character. The highly positive response to Saifi Village ll has given Solidere the impetus to create further residential clusters, both expanding the Village and applying the same principles in other neighborhoods.'

This is all great for Lebanon! The more spectacular residential and commercial Mega Developments being built the better! Hard as it will be, what Lebanon needs is to change its overall perception by the world from that of a war torn country to that of a beautiful country with limitless potential and growth. This is what will attract the investors. This is what will attract the tourists. This is what will make Lebanon great once again!

Here is the link to the Saifi Village ll section of the Solidere website:


This link takes you to the Saifi Village ll section of the Deyaar website:


Sunday, May 4, 2008

YAS Island, Abu Dhabi: Premier Mega Entertainment Destination For Gulf!

One of ALDAR Properties most spectacular Mega Projects is the $40Billion YAS Island. A large island located off the City of Abu Dhabi, YAS is being developed as a premier world class entertainment destination. YAS Island will be one of the world's most unique and complete entertainment Mega Developments. Here is a list of what will be offered to visitors:

> Ferrari Theme Park with 24 themed attractions,
> Warner Brothers Theme Park,
> Formula One Racetrack,
> Roller Coasters,
> Rally Driving,
> Drag Racing,
> Go-Carting,
> Dune Buggies,
> Signature Hotel overlooking the Race Track,
> Marina Hotel,
> Ferrari Theatre,
> Retail Center,
> Italian Piazza,
> Exhibition Hall,
> Restaurants/cafes,
> Food and beverage outlets,
> Beaches,
> Beach clubs,
> Water Sports,
> Marinas,
> Floating Harbor,
> Water Park,
> 4 Polo Fields,
> Equestrian Center,
> Links Golf Courses and Championship Golf Course,
> Clubhouses/Golf Centers,
> Driving Ranges,
> Golf Villas,
> Nature Reserve,
> Beach Resort Hotels,
> Lagoon Resort Hotels,
> Business Park,
> Business and Commercial Towers,
> Offices and Residential Units,
> Apartments,
> Waterfront Apartments.

WOW! YAS Island is going to be one of the most spectacular vacation destinations ever created! The two theme parks going up on YAS will really attract the crowds:

- FERRARI THEME PARK. According to ALDAR: 'The Ferrari Theme Park is a branded themed entertainment destination offering a range of 24 themed attractions for the entire family. The 70 meter high G Force Tower is one of the most exciting rides you can enjoy. For the first time a twin roller coaster ride allows you and a companion to race against each other. You can go-cart and enjoy rally driving and dune buggies in the theme park. It also offers an 18 screen theatre complex and a multitude of food and beverage outlets.'

This is the only theme park in the world centered around the Ferrari brand and therefore will be 100% unique to YAS Island! Good job ALDAR!

- WARNER BROTHERS THEME PARK. This theme park will be designed around the vast live action and animated movies that have been created by Warner Brothers. These movies will provide themes for the overall park as well as the individual rides. Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Media Company had this to say:

"I think it is crucial that Abu Dhabi has a position on the world stage, and that means mastering every field. Entertainment is a massive part of Abu Dhabi and its future, and through this agreement with Warner Brothers all parties have underlined how iconic the Emirate will be in this field. From theme parks to hotels and cinemas, this agreement will put Abu Dhabi at the center of the world's entertainment map."

The Formula One Racetrack will also be a feature addition to YAS Island and will be hosting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starting in 2009. NASCAR will also be coming to YAS Island! Furthermore, this racetrack will be home to the only Ferrari driving school in the world, outside of the original one in Italy. At this driving school Yas Island visitors can receive instruction from seasoned Ferrari instructors and test their skills on the racetrack!

As I have stated many times, I believe that The Gulf will eventually become the entertainment capital of the world. YAS Island is one of the many spectacular UAE Mega Entertainment Projects that will one day make The Gulf....Number One!

Here is a YouTube YAS Island video, you can also find another YAS Island video in the sidebar of this blog:


This link takes you to the YAS Island website:


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Al Ameera Village, Ajman: Affordable Luxury For UAE!

Thanks to Mega Developer Tameer, you can now have luxury at an affordable price in the UAE with Al Ameera Village! Located in the Emirate of Ajman, Al Ameera is going to be a fantastic place to live in the UAE by combining the feel of a small town community with all the luxury amenities you would expect from Dubai or Abu Dhabi!

Al Ameera will consist of:

> 41 traditionally designed Residential Buildings,
> 1 Commercial Tower,
> 1 5-Star Hotel,
> Hotel Apartments,
> 500 meter Boardwalk,
> Mosque,
> Public Parks,
> Gardens,
> Day care nursery,
> Sports Club,
> Gymnasiums,
> Tennis Courts,
> Swimming pools,
> Cafes and restaurants,
> Shopping Mall,
> Convenient access to parking,
> Strategically located on Emirates Road, only 15 minutes from Dubai.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $327Million. President of Tameer, Omar Ayesh, had this to say about Al Ameera:

"Being a freehold property, Al Ameera Village will be available to investors from all nationalities. The project will provide investors with excellent facilities in a superb location. Furthermore, the development will enhance the flow of foreign direct investment into the UAE real estate market.

"As with all our projects, Al Ameera Village too has been conceived as a dynamic infrastructure development that is strategically located and offers an attractive return on investment to investors. Reflecting the forward-looking and investor friendly outlook of the Government of Ajman, Al Ameera Village is located close to the bustling metropolis of Dubai, while retaining the languid charm of a seaside development."

What I really like about this Mega Project is that it will offer a high standard of living at affordable prices. In addition, Ajman is exploding with growth and many, many Mega Projects are being built there including: Emirates City, Ajman Marina, Ajman One and PKN Princess Resort, to name a few. Therefore Al Ameera Village offers the added benefit of highly probable investment appreciation for investors.

Here is a YouTube video of Al Ameera Village:


This link takes you to the Al Ameera Village website:


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