Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bahrain Investment Wharf

One of the largest Bahrain Mega Projects is the $1.6Billion Bahrain Investment Wharf (BIW) being developed by Tameer. BIW will encourage businesses from all over the Middle East and all around the world to invest in Bahrain. Furthermore, BIW will create an influx of more capital to Bahrain, which in turn will be used for further expansion of this fast growing Gulf Kingdom. As I have said in many previous posts, Bahrain has almost limitless potential and some of the most fabulous Mega Projects I have ever seen. BIW is no exception.

According to Tameer:

'Bahrain Investment Wharf (BIW) is one of the largest development projects in Bahrain, and the only privately-owned, operated and managed industrial park in the Kingdom. Covering an area of 1.7 million square meters in the new Hidd Industrial Development Zone, this groundbreaking project is a mixed-use industrial, business, logistics, information technology, commercial and residential development estate.'

BIW will be divided into 3 major areas:

1. Industrial and Logistics Park. A 900,000 m2 area, which will feature state-of-the-art accommodations for a wide variety of industries. According to the developer, some of the industries being targeted for the Industrial and Logistics Park include:

- Warehouses for storage, cold storage, packaging and re-distribution,
- Fabricated Metal Products,
- Electrical Machinery and Apparatus,
- Paper and Paper Products,
- Chemical and Chemical Products,
- Furniture Manufacturing,
- Non-metallic Mineral Products,
- Textiles,
- Light Rubber and Plastic Products,
- Light Electronics Industries,
- Pharmaceuticals.

2. Business Park. This area will be made up mainly of low rise office blocks and will include:

- BIW Headquarters,
- Training Center,
- Conference Hall,
- Hotel,
- Large variety of Commercial Facilities.

3. Residential Park. This area will provide residences for middle management as well as other employees and workers.

Being located in the Hidd Industrial Development Zone, BIW is strategically located near major road, air and sea networks. This includes King Fahad Causeway, Bahrain International Airport and the Port Of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman. The modern Hidd Power Station is also nearby.

The Chairman of Bahrain Investment Wharf, Mr. Ahmed Al Qattan, had this to say about the project:

"Bahrain is set to make its mark internationally and Bahrain Investment Wharf (BIW) will be the catalyst. No other region can match what BIW and the Kingdom of Bahrain have to offer investors. BIW will possess the cutting edge in industrial investments, and we intend to continue in increasing the benchmark which we have set. The over all GDP of Bahrain will witness a significant increase due to BIW, positioning the Wharf as a major symbol for the future prosperity of the Kingdom of Bahrain and its people."

I think BIW is going to be another Big Winner for Bahrain. This Mega Project along with others like Bahrain Financial Harbor, will make The Kingdom Of Bahrain a business Mecca of the Middle East and a primary world business center!

Here is the link to the BIW website:


This link takes you to Tameer, developer of BIW:


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lebanon: Next Big Success For Middle East??

I have been watching Lebanon for a long time. So much potential. So many problems. The problems, as most of you probably know, include:

- A 15 year civil war that began in 1975 and did not end until 1990. This war destroyed much of Lebanon's global reputation as a major hub of the Middle East. The war also scared investors away,

- The assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005,

- The 2006 Lebanon War. Although this war was short, it began July 4th '06 and ended with a ceasefire on August 14th '06, a great deal of damage was done- and of course potential investors were once again scared off.

Even with all of the above, Lebanon is attracting many investors and many Mega Projects are being planned and built. Why? Lebanon offers many, many advantages for those willing to take a risk. I will now list some of these advantages as given by IDAL, the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon:

1. Strategic Geographical Location. At the center of the Eastern Mediterranean, Lebanon is uniquely situated at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe,

2. Free Market Economy. Lebanon’s free-market investment policies, liberal economic environment and active entrepreneurial private sector distinguish it from other countries in the region,

3. Investment Guarantees. A number of national and international organizations with local and international expertise protect investments against non-commercial risks,

4. Liberal Financial Environment. With a free foreign exchange market, full currency convertibility, complete repatriation of capital and a regulated banking secrecy law, Lebanon is the ideal country for business development,

5. Developed and Non-Discriminatory Legal Framework. Lebanon benefits from a sophisticated legal framework, which protects the rights and assets of both Lebanese and non-Lebanese investors alike,

6. Untapped Investment Opportunities. Lebanon offers a wide array of investment opportunities in all sectors of the economy, while its unique location provides access to a large and booming regional market,

7. Moderate Tax Rates. With a 15% corporate tax rate, Lebanon’s fiscal charges are among the lowest in the world,

8. Qualified Human Capital. Lebanon’s principal asset is the competence of its human resources. Lebanon offers a well-educated, multi-lingual and multi-skilled workforce, considered one of the most qualified in the Middle East,

9. Expanding Infrastructure. With a state-of-the-art telecommunications system, a fully operational electricity network, a new airport, enlarged and refurbished port facilities and an ambitious road rehabilitation program, Lebanon has one of the best infrastructures in the region.

These advantages have not escaped the watchful eye of many of the Great Mega Developers including Emaar, DAMAC, Kingdom Holding and many others who have projects being planned and/or developed in Lebanon. In fact there are many, many Mega Projects being planned and going up in Lebanon. Here is a partial list:

- 1330 Park Avenue
- Bank of Kuwait & The Arab World
- Bay Tower
- Beirut Cultural and Conference Center (BCCC)
- Beirut Gardens
- Beirut Gate
- Beirut Tower
- Beirut Trade Center (BTC)
- Burj Kronfol
- Capital Plaza
- Dalal Building
- Four Seasons Hotel
- Garden View
- Grand Hyatt Beirut
- Habtoor City
- Horizon Tower
- Joseph Aoun Offices
- La Residence
- Marina Towers
- Moukhtara Residential Building
- Nova Towers
- Park Palace
- Pavilion Elite
- Platinum Tower
- Qoreitem Gardens
- Ritz Carlton Hotel
- Royal Hill
- Saifi Square
- Shams Beirut
- Shayboub Tower
- Siran Towers
- Société Sémiramis
- Sodeco Mixed-Use Complex
- Solidere Rotana Suites
- The Capital Gardens
- The Pavilions
- Wadi Grand Residence
- Wadi Hills Residences
- Zeino Tower 1 & 2

It should become clear from the above list that to many investors the potential rewards outweigh the risks for investment in Lebanon. Even though the future of Lebanon is not entirely clear at this point, I do feel this country has great potential and could even rise to become the next big success of the Middle East. Therefore I am adding coverage of Lebanon to this blog.

In this post I have given you an overview of Lebanon. In future posts I will zero in on particular Lebanon Mega Projects.

This link takes you to the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) website:


Thursday, April 24, 2008

UAE/Gulf Is World Leader In Mega Aviation Projects!

The UAE/Gulf Region of the Middle East is growing so fast and in so many different areas that even I am amazed! As I have said in previous posts, I believe The UAE/Gulf will one day be both the entertainment and business capital of the world. Already this area is the fastest growing region on the planet for both tourist and business travel! This trend will continue to grow and keep getting bigger and bigger. Therefore it should come as no surprise to you that the UAE/Gulf is the world leader in airport/aviation Mega Projects. Consider this:

- The Dubai World International Airport at Jebel Ali is an $8.2Billion project,

- The Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion is at $6.8Billion,

- The new Doha International Airport in Qatar is a $5.5Billion project,

- Saudi Arabia is spending a whopping $11.3Billion to expand and improve their airports,

- Kuwait is spending $2.1Billion on their International Airport,

- Iraq is spending $2Billion on Baghdad International Airport,

- Bahrain International Airport is spending $815Million on airport improvements,

- Even outside of the Gulf, Jordan is spending $600Million on Queen Alia International Airport.

Furthermore, The Dubai Air Show has become wildly successful and just keeps getting bigger and bigger! The 2007 show was the biggest ever with over 45,000 industry visitors from 131 countries as well as 850 exhibitors from 50 countries! This was a 40% increase from the 2005 Dubai Air Show! According to Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and Chairman of Dubai Airports:

"The scale of growth in the show over the past two years- which amounts to some 40% in booked floor space, reflects the massive growth the Middle East's aviation industry is experiencing across all segments. Regional carriers are expanding fleets and networks, there is huge investment in the region's aviation infrastructure, the aviation service sector is attracting a considerable influx in FDI, and the training and development of the industry's regional talent pool is moving forward at pace."

History was made at the 2007 Dubai Air Show when Emirates Airline of Dubai placed the largest order ever in civil aviation history for:

> 120 Airbus 350s
> 11 A380s
> 12 Boeing 777-300ERs

The total cost for this massive order? $34.9Billion!! WOW!!! The entire world stood in amazement of this incredible order. And if that was not enough, do you know what the total amount of declared on-site orders was for the show? Over $100Billion!!

"Once again the Dubai Air Show is proving to be a barometer of Middle East aviation growth and with this year's event being the largest in the event's 18 year history there is a clear signal that the global aerospace industry is now prioritizing activities in this region," stated Sheikh Al Maktoum.

Virginia Kern, Chairman of Fairs & Exhibitions, organizers of the Dubai Air Show, had this to say:

"This really was a world-beating event in every way. The visitor breakdown shows a particularly high turnout of airline executives- which reflects the huge growth that has taken place in the Middle East's civil aviation profile in recent years. So with record numbers of exhibitors, aircraft displayed, on-site orders taken and visitors, there can be no doubt whatsoever that when it comes to aviation, this region now has a truly global standing."

As you can now see the UAE/Gulf is expanding at an incredible pace in the airport/aviation sector. This of course mimics the overall mega expansion of the region and there is much, much more to come!

Here are 2 YouTube videos of the 2007 Dubai Air Show:



This link takes you to the Dubai Air Show website:


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Mega Developers: Tamouh

You have to admire a major Abu Dhabi Mega Developer whose motto is: "Ambitions Unlimited." This is in fact the motto of Tamouh, one of Abu Dhabi's leading real estate developers. Tamouh - established in 2004 and run by Mubarak Matar Al Humairi, Chairman and Joesph C T Ong, CEO - is one of the fastest growing of the UAE Mega Developers. In their own words:

'Ambitions unlimited... that's what Tamouh stands for. Based in the heart of Abu Dhabi, our vision is to contribute towards making the capital an ideal place to live, work and grow. Tamouh will play a major role in shaping the future developments of UAE’s infrastructure and community lifestyle. We are committed to providing buyers and investors with properties of the finest quality and investments they can be proud of. Driven by a passion for excellence and commitment to quality, time and budgets, our team of experts have unlimited ambitions.

'Where others see endless distances, we see endless potential. This is because we know that when we dream it, we can do it. It’s precisely this thinking that drives us to take the road less traveled to give you better value, on time delivery and investment opportunities. Welcome to Tamouh.'

This wonderful "Ambitions Unlimited" attitude seems to be a hallmark for the entire UAE. Here are the major Tamouh Mega Projects:

> Reem Island. Largest of all the Tamouh Mega Projects. Tamouh owns a whopping 60% of this premier Abu Dhabi island development! Currently on Reem Island, Tamouh is building the two huge mixed-use residential/commercial developments, Marina Square and City of Lights. In addition, along with Movenpick Hotels, Tamouh is developing Movenpick Hotel Al Reem. I have little doubt that more developments will follow.

> Royal Group Headquarters. This 15 storey tower will be one of the most prestigious business addresses in all of Abu Dhabi. The tower will be home to the Royal Group, one of Abu Dhabi's largest business groups as well as many other businesses.

> Danet Gateway. A mixed-use project located in the Danet Abu Dhabi Development. Danet Gateway will boast 8 state-of-the-art towers. Some towers will be purely for business while others will be residential.

> Meena Plaza. Located in the heart of Mina Zayed, Meena Plaza is a mixed-use commercial/retail/residential development. Meena Plaza will contain 4 towers, one tower on each of 4 blocks. There will be shopping centers, cinemas, landscaped greenery, a medical center and much more at Meena Plaza. Each tower will offer a sun deck, swimming pools, and other luxury features.

> UNI Cyber City (UNICITY). UNICITY will be a hub for higher learning in Abu Dhabi. What is very unique about UNICITY is that the entire city and all its commerce will be centered around the activities of higher education. UNICITY will contain a variety of different educational institutions, student dorms, commercial and retail developments, entertainment venues, residential areas with villas, town homes and apartments. UNICITY is set to become the finest educational center in all of the UAE.

> Thu Thiem Phu My Housing Project, Vietnam. A major housing project for Vietnam valued between $600 and $800Million and consisting primarily of residential towers. Tamouh will have a 70% stake in this development.

As you can see by the size and scope of these Mega Projects, Tamouh is certainly delivering on their "Ambitions Unlimited" motto! I look forward to seeing what other incredible Mega Projects Tamouh will bring us in the future!


Abu Dhabi Mall
East Wing Tower
6th Floor
P.O. Box 105507
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel: +971 2-644-2218
Fax: +971 2-645-9979
Email: info@tamouh.com
Website: http://www.tamouh.com/

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Atlantis The Palm: New Mega Entertainment Resort On Palm Jumeirah!

Atlantis The Palm is the new Mega Entertainment Resort that will be officially opening on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai this coming September '08. This opening will be a truly GREAT EVENT for Dubai, The UAE and all of The Gulf. Why? Beacause Atlantis is far, far more than just another luxury 5-Star hotel opening in Dubai. Atlantis is an entirely new Mega Themed Entertainment Destination and the first in a long line of spectacular themed Mega Resorts for Dubai. The opening of Atlantis The Palm represents the beginning of a New Era for Dubai. An Era, in my opinion, that will lead to Dubai and all of The UAE becoming the number one tourist destination in the world!

Atlantis The Palm is the creation of Kerzner International Holdings Ltd. These are the same people who created the wildly popular Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas. Atlantis The Palm is almost an exact duplicate of the magnificent Atlantis Bahamas Resort, however Atlantis The Palm will of course have no casino gaming. According to Sol Kerzner, Chairman of Kerzner International:

'This is an exciting time for the Middle East and for Kerzner International. With the introduction of a new world icon in The Palm Jumeirah and our position as the flagship resort of this icon, Atlantis The Palm is situated as the new gateway to this incredible region. Out of a vision that married the wonders of marine life with stunning elegance and sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf alongside the most exciting water playground in this part of the world, we have developed an experience within Atlantis that is truly different than the existing pleasures of Dubai. We're very proud of the final product and cannot wait to share it in September when we open our doors.'

The theme of Atlantis The Palm is based on the legend of the ancient Lost Continent of Atlantis. The entire resort has an almost magical aquatic look to it that will captivate and dazzle all who visit! I am very impressed with Atlantis The Palm and I feel it is the perfect vehicle to launch the New Era of Dubai Mega Entertainment Projects.

Atlantis The Palm will feature:

> The Royal Towers Hotel. A gigantic 1539 room hotel whose guestrooms and suites will each have private balconies that will overlook the Arabian Gulf or different areas of the beautiful Palm Jumeirah. Some of the magnificent accommodations at this hotel will include:

- The Imperial Club. A resort within a resort offering 150 rooms and suites with exclusive services and even a private club lounge.

- Lost Chambers Suites. These are some of the largest suites you will find anywhere. Each is a full 3 storeys high with grand views of the Ambassador Lagoon! This is where I want to stay when I visit!

- Bridge Suites. These suites are located 22 storeys above Atlantis and accessed by a private elevator. Nothing but the best!

> Aquaventure. An aquatic playground of over 18 million litres of water, consisting of extraordinary rides with cascades, tidal waves and rapids, and the Mesopotamian-styled Ziggurat temple reaching over 30 metres into the sky and featuring seven different water slides- two of which catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons!

> The Lost Chambers. This ride brings the myth of Atlantis to life through a maze of underground tunnels offering underwater views into the boulevards of the ruins of Atlantis.

> Dolphin Bay. A 4.5 hectare state-of-the-art dolphin education and conservation center allowing guests the opportunity to meet and interact with dolphins in an unparalleled facility.

> The Ambassador Lagoon. An 11 million litre marine habitat and underwater exhibit that is home to several hundred species of marine life, with a viewing panel looking right into the mystical ruins of Atlantis.

> Fine Dining. Some of the best restaurants in the world will be located at Atlantis The Palm including; Michel Rostang's French Brasserie, Giorgio Locatelli's Ronda Locatelli, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and actor Robert DeNiro's sushi restaurant Nobu, Santi Santamaria's Ossiano and many more.

> The Avenues. This is the promenade where the restaurants will be located along with a nightclub and a variety of upscale retail shops.

> Destination Discovery. A special facility for young childern through teenagers where they can have fun on various water themed rides. There will also be a no adults private club called Club Rush as well as the latest SEGA gaming equipment to try out.

Atlantis The Palm will be BIG. Real BIG! Big for Dubai! Big for The UAE! Big for The Gulf! And as truly magnificent as Atlantis The Palm is.....this is only the beginning of what is to come!

Here are 2 YouTube videos of Atlantis The Palm:



This link takes you to the Atlantis The Palm website:


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Al Bateen Wharf, Abu Dhabi

Al Bateen Wharf is a huge waterfront Mega Redevelopment Project taking place in the Al Bateen district of Abu Dhabi. Al Bateen is the oldest occupied area of Abu Dhabi and this wharf project will be 54,000 square meters and will come in at a total cost of approximately $427Million. The project is being developed by Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and Belbadi Enterprises of Abu Dhabi. Al Bateen Wharf is being designed to have the look and feel of a San Francisco style wharf development.

The Chairman of TDIC, Sheikh Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan had this to say:

"This project signals the rejuvenation of Al Bateen with the development characterized by sensitivity to the long-standing fishing and boat building traditions of the area. We have also taken into account public access to the new wharf maintaining the heritage of Al Bateen as a prime waterfront destination for all."

According to TDIC, once finished, Al Bateen Wharf will offer:

> 15-storey Hotel Tower with 400 rooms,
> Serviced residential wing with 200 apartments,
> Waterfront boardwalk, restaurants and cafes,
> Rooftop dining restaurant,
> Business and meeting facilities,
> Banqueting facilities,
> State-of-the-art business and conference centers,
> Boardwalk and street level shopping,
> Rooftop plaza,
> Eco-roof garden,
> Health club and spa,
> 14-storey apartment tower with deluxe poolside town homes,
> Deluxe executive town homes with private entry and private swimming pool access,
> Berths for 285 fishing boats and 38 racing dhows,
> Dry-stack facility for 200 boats,
> Shipyard showcasing the ancient skills of Arabian dhow building,
> Maintenance building.

The Hotel at Al Bateen Wharf will be eco-friendly and will feature energy-efficient solar screening, eco-friendly landscaping, passive cooling through shading and airflow, fritted glass with integrated solar cells and a transparent 'sail like' veil which will transform the shape of the building at night. Otak of the USA is the appointed architect for the hotel.

"This will be a luxurious property that takes advantage of the marina setting and will reflect the strong sea-faring heritage of Al Bateen. The hotel is being designed with a nautical theme offering spectacular Arabian Gulf views," said Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Badi, Chairman of Belbadi Enterprises.

....and George Papagrigorakis, Executive Director of Belbadi had this to say:

"It is our obligation now to excel and perform, delivering elegant renascence to a precious inheritance of Abu Dhabi's culture and tradition. Our goal: the on time and unparalleled quality embrace of fishermen tradition with modern - environmentally sustainable - comfortable living."

Al Bateen Wharf will be a world-class waterfront Mega Project. Al Bateen is another of the spectacular Abu Dhabi Mega Developments....and we can look forward to many, many more on the way!

This link takes you to TDIC:


...and this link takes you to Belbadi Enterprises:


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hyde Park, New Cairo: Egypt's Most Exclusive Address!

I am very bullish on the future of Mega Project development in Egypt! Already I have done posts on two premier Egypt Mega Projects, CITYSTARS and Gamsha Bay. Today I will cover Hyde Park, a gigantic new luxury residential community being developed by DAMAC Properties in New Cairo, Egypt. The project is located on a huge lot of 4.7 million square meters and will be made up of the most exclusive villa developments in Egypt with over 3,000 detached and attached villas. Hyde Park will be surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and contain the biggest park in all of Egypt, coming in at over 1,000,000 square meters!

The villas of Hyde Park will be offered in a wide variety of styles including Neo-Classical, Italian-Country and California-Spanish. All of the villas will be set among beautiful greenery and water features. DAMAC is sparing no expense here! Furthermore, the entire community will be gated with 24 hour security. The villas will feature:

- Buildings Guarantee
- Double Glazing
- Fitted Kitchen
- Ensuite Bathrooms
- Fitted Wardrobes
- Security Locks
- Alarm Systems
- Satellite / Cable TV
- Air Conditioning
- Garden
- Balcony
- Swimming Pool
- Patio / Terrace

Here are some of the features residents of Hyde Park will get:

> Country Club and Spa for 'Members Only', with lounges, specialty restaurants, cafes, beauty salons, indoor swimming pools, a spa and fitness center, kids play area as well as a banquet area.

> A 'Members Only' Sports Center offering sporting facilities like football, volleyball, tennis, basketball, squash as well as multi-purpose activity halls to host aerobics and martial arts classes.

> A pedestrian friendly neighbourhood with up to 7 kilometers of walking and jogging trails that wind throughout the park.

> A garden setting with lush greenery, the main park is exclusively for the residents of Hyde Park and has garden pavilions, gazebos, comfortable benches, an amphitheatre and multi-purpose open grass fields.

> Separate pocket parks for the exclusive use of residents living in the detached and attached villas equipped with shaded trees, benches, swing sets and gazebos.

> Great Location. Hyde Park is located near downtown New Cairo which offers a mix of residential, commercial and retail zones. Giving easy access to piazzas with shaded trees, fountains, cafes, restaurants, international and local shopping outlets as well as entertainment venues.

Here is a detailed list of the facilities of Hyde Park. All are either finished or are being developed:

- Parks / Gardens / Water Features
- Car Parking
- Gyms / Health Clubs
- Tennis Courts
- Children's Playgrounds
- Airport
- Golf Driving-Range
- Golf Course
- Spa
- Swimming Pools
- Adventure Park
- Nature Reserves
- Outdoor Activities
- Beach / Coast
- Nightclubs
- Restaurants
- Cafes
- Hotel
- Shopping Center

Hyde Park represents a truly fabulous Egypt Mega Project! This development is part of an overall real estate boom in Egypt that I feel is just getting started with much, much more to come. Like the UAE, Egypt has almost limitless potential which is rapidly being realized.

"We are very excited about the launch of this intelligently planned project which we have designed for our valued clients, those who prefer to live the lifestyle of their dreams, in an exclusive, luxurious compound," said Mr. Peter Riddoch, CEO of DAMAC Properties....and that says it all!

Here is a YouTube video of Hyde Park:


This link takes you to the Hyde Park section of the DAMAC Properties website:


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Meydan: Dubai's Landmark Mega Horse Racing Project

Meydan will become the horse racing capital of the world! This Dubai Mega Project will in fact be an ENTIRE CITY built around The Sport Of Kings! Meydan is a gigantic mixed use development that will center around the largest racecourse in the world, Meydan Racecourse. This 76 million square foot racecourse will accommodate 60,000 and will be the new home of the Dubai Racing Club and the Dubai World Cup:

"We wanted to develop a world class facility and I cannot think of any other racecourse in the world that will rival it. It is going to be home to the business community, owners, trainers, riders. You name it - it will encompass everything. I believe Meydan is not just for Dubai, but it’s for the whole world," commented Mr Saeed Al Tayer, Chairman of Dubai Racing Club.

Meydan Racecourse is expected to be finished by 2010 in time for the opening of the Dubai World cup:

"As we are setting the benchmark in terms of world-class facilities, we want to complement that with increased prize-money of US$10 million, to continue to entice the best horses in the world for the opening of Meydan for the 2010 Dubai World Cup," said Mr. Al Tayer.

Meydan Racecourse will also include: a 5-Star Hotel, Championship 18 Hole Golf Course, Racing Museum, Godolphin Gallery, The Dubai Racing Club, many restaurants, parking for over 10,000 and much more.

All of this, however, is no enough! Dubai is building an entire city, Meydan City, as part of this Mega Project! According to Meydan LLC, developer of the project:

'Meydan City is located in the heart of Dubai’s burgeoning new urban frontier and within close proximity of Meydan Racecourse. Conceived as a phased development, Meydan City covers approximately 43 million sq ft GFA on a land size of approx 15 million sq ft. Consisting of commercial and residential plots, retail outlets and arcades with canal, waterfront and promenade views, Meydan City will support a thriving community.

'Meydan Marina is to be located in the core of the development allowing for berthing facilities for approximately 80 leisure yachts and boats. Pedestrian movement within Meydan City will be enhanced with bicycle lanes and tram lines along roads and parks, encouraging alternative means of clean and healthy transport.'

Who else but Dubai would have the vision to build a complete horse racing city?! Already the first phase of Meydan City has been completely sold out!

And still there is more...

Meydan Business Park is also being constructed as part of this Mega Development. The business park will offer 17 blocks of office space, over 2.9million square feet! The offices will be environmentally friendly and surrounded by beautiful landscaping. It will truly be a pleasure to work here.

Meydan has been designed by the award winning Asian firm, TAK. According to Mr Teo A Khing, Managing Director of TAK:

"The racing facilities will be outstanding, but it’s not just for the season. We want to maximize entertainment all year around. It can stage conferences, concerts, functions, and carry on through the off-season. It will be a tourist attraction as well as a business community."

There is no other development that can rival Meydan anywhere on the planet. I have no doubt that Meydan will become world famous as the new horse racing capital of the entire world!

This link takes you to the Meydan website:


This link takes you to TAK, designers of Meydan:


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Mega Developers: ACI Real Estate

ACI Real Estate is a relatively new Gulf Mega Developer, having been founded in 2004. Unlike most of the Gulf developers, ACI's origin is not in the Middle East. ACI is a division of the German company Alternative Capital Investment Group, which is a leading "alternative investment provider." According to ACI:

'ACI Group perfectly complements the robust growth environment of Dubai's property sector by leveraging on its expertise in real estate asset management internationally. The Group recognizes that value generation is the key to maintaining its premier position as a real estate leader, and creates a win-win environment for clients through quality products and unparalleled service excellence.'

ACI is focused on developing what they refer to as "prestige projects." That is, high end luxury developments.
Here are the major ACI Mega Projects:

> M. Schumacher Business Ave, Business Bay, Dubai. This 29 storey development will provide high end office space to a discerning clientele. The location of this project is excellent being near: Burj Dubai, Dubai International Financial Center, World Trade Center and Conference Center. Furthermore, the location is only 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

> Boris Becker Business Tower, Business Bay, Dubai. A 19 storey futuristic looking tower that will house: ultra modern offices and business centers, meeting and conference rooms, state-of-the-art creation centers, retail plazas, restaurants, etc. According to ACI, the finest materials and technology have been used and world famous architects have been employed for this project.

> Niki Lauda Twin Towers, Business Bay, Dubai. Two towers, one 29 storeys and the other 26 storeys, make up this development. The towers will primarily be office and retail space. Businesses will have the choice between renting individual office space or a business suite for smaller companies.

> Victory Bay, Business Bay, Dubai. ACI says that 'Victory Bay is a state-of-the-art, 20-storey, x-shaped freehold office tower that creates unique office layouts with maximum efficiency. Offering 75,702 sq. metres of floor space, Victory Bay provides tenants an extensive range of services and facilities, to ensure that business runs smoothly and is an enjoyable experience. The Tower’s blue structural glazing that encases the floor to ceiling glass facade ensures the building offers an abundance of natural light across all office space, and magnificent views of Business Bay and as far as the Arabian Gulf.'

> Marine Legends, Dubai Waterfront. This is a luxury waterfront project being developed jointly between ACI and Ferretti Group. The Ferretti Group is a leader in the luxury motor yacht industry and has a unique portfolio of the most exclusive brands in the yachting world: Ferretti Yachts, Apreamare, Bertram, CRN, Custom Line, Itama, Mochi Craft, Pershing and Riva. Ferretti is currently present in 95 countries and has three representative branches in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Marine Legends will offer the high end yachting lifestyle and all that goes with it to residents.

> 5 Tower Development (currently not named), Capital Bay, Reem Island, Abu Dhabi. This project is a partnership between ACI and Al Odaid Real Estate. All 5 towers will be residential and all 5 are being built on one podium. The towers will be from 17 to 22 storeys and will offer studios as well as 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. The towers will offer a large number of recreational facilities to residents including: roof top pools, health clubs, jacuzzi-- and convenient underground parking is also part of the package.

With only 4 years in the Gulf I must say that ACI - run by Robin Lohmann, Managing Director - is doing quite an incredible job....especially when you consider they are not even from the Middle East! Currently ACI has an office in Dubai and will be opening other offices in Abu Dhabi and Qatar. I am sure we will be seeing many more premier Mega Projects being developed by ACI!


ACI Real Estate
P.O. Box 212049
Dubai, UAE
Tel. +971 -04-407 94 00
Fax. +971 -04-395 44 24
Email: info@aci-dubai.net
Website: http://www.aci-dubai.net/

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Durrat Al Bahrain: Spectacular Island Mega Project Of The Gulf!

The Kingdom of Bahrain never ceases to amaze me! They consistently come up with some of the most fantastic Mega Projects I have ever seen....and I have seen them all! With Durrat Al Bahrain, a man-made Island Mega Project, Bahrain has done it again! Durrat Al Bahrain is being developed as a world-class residential, leisure, commercial, business and tourist destination, offering an overall lifestyle that will be second to none in the Gulf. Durrat will house an estimated 45,000 residents and over 4000 visitors a day. Durrat is being developed by KFH-Bahrain: the Government of Bahrain and the Kuwait Finance House, at an estimated cost of $1.2Billion, and according to them:

'Durrat Al Bahrain is one of the world’s most distinctive island cities and one of the finest examples of contemporary urban planning in the world today. It is luxury living and a holiday destination at the same time and it will become one of the GCC region’s most outstanding places to live and work. We are creating a new city that will offer its residents, visitors and businesses a contemporary urban lifestyle set across the 15 inter-connected islands that make up Durrat Al Bahrain. The iconic architecture of the city will be set against the necklace shape of the islands, its waterways, pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear sea. It is a place like no other.'

Durrat will have 5 distinct districts:

1.) The Crescent. This is the heart of Durrat Al Bahrain, it will offer 6,000 residences, a huge shopping mall, restaurants and cafes, a piazza, craft shops, public beaches and a number of community facilities including a mosque, medical center and schools. There will also be a port here and a large conference and exhibition center.

2.) The Atoll and Petal Islands. Durrat will contain 6 Atoll Islands and 5 Petal Islands. The Atoll Islands are shaped like gigantic crescents, while the Petal Islands look like five huge petals. Together these 11 islands create a stunning visual effect and are being called the "Crown Jewel" of Durrat Al Bahrain. The islands will offer a total of 2000 lavish villas that will bring the apex of luxury to their residents.

3.) The Durrat Marina. According to the developer, The Marina will be: 'Set in a separate magnificent lagoon, and be a full service marina providing berthing space for some 400 boats and yachts complete with waterfront villas, town houses, apartments, commercial space and recreational facilities. Restaurants and cafes will line its winding paths and waterways to cater to some 4000 households. The design of the development will provide residents with splendid views of the open sea and the adjacent golf course.'

4.) The Golf Course. An 18 hole championship golf course designed by Ernie Els. Magnificent villas will be lined around the course's greens and fairways. The course will also offer a 6-Star Hotel, a club house and a variety of sports facilities.

5.) The Hotel Island. An ultra luxurious hotel which will be one of the most spectacular in all of the world...built on its very own island! Wow! This is where I want to stay!

"Our vision, with Durrat Al Bahrain, is to establish a world-class concept in living. Working with W.S. Atkins - the renowned engineering design and consultancy - we have successfully developed and introduced a master plan that builds on Bahrain's rich natural beauty and traditional affinity with the land and sea combined with every conceivable modern amenity to make the lives of residents as enjoyable and harmonious as possible," said Mr. Abdulhakeem Alkhayyat, General Manager, KFH-Bahrain.

Durrat Al Bahrain is one of the most Iconic and spectacular Mega Projects being developed anywhere in the world. This Island Mega Project will be a tribute to Bahrain and the entire Middle East!

This link takes you to the Durrat Al Bahrain website where you will be able to see and explore this Mega Project:


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dubai Silicon Oasis: High Tech Mecca For The UAE!

America has Silicon Valley....Saudi Arabia has Entaj Industrial Valley....and the UAE has Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)! DSO is a 7.2 million square meter Mega Project that will be the UAE's answer to Silicon Valley and other high tech locations around the world. According to DSO the mission of this development is:

'To create a state-of-the-art “Technology Oasis” universally recognized as a global technology hub by facilitating and promoting modern technology based industries, including those that depend on the design, development and manufacturing of precision electronics, optoelectronic technology, nanotechnology, photovoltaic, and supporting equipment and materials industries. Specifically included are industries built around the production of information and communications technologies using semiconductors.'

DSO is going many steps further and turning itself into an entire high tech community. DSO offers: 'state-of-the art office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments and villas, hotels, healthcare and an extensive range of lifestyle facilities. DSO provides a dynamic commercial and social environment, leading to many calling DSO ‘a city within a city’.'

Here are some of the projects being developed at DSO:

- Atrium Gold Residency Tower
- Atrium Gold Business Tower
- Atrium Gold Executive
- The Apricot
- Axis Residence
- Al Futtiam Towers
- Cambridge Business Centre
- Coral, Jade & Ruby Residences
- Cordoba
- The Dunes
- Donna Towers
- Emivest 5 Towers
- German Business Park
- German Technology Tower I
- IT Plaza
- The Lynx
- La Vista
- Le Solarium
- Oasis High Park
- Oasis Star
- Palace Towers
- Park Terrace and Park Avenue
- Sapphire Residence & Towers
- Serenity Heights
- Silicon Gate 1, 2 & 3
- Smart Towers
- Silicon Arch
- Silicon Technology Tower
- The Springs At The Oasis
- Silicon Star
- Silicon Heights
- SP Oasis
- Tebyan Towers 1 & 2
- University View
- Villas - 1042

Impressive! As DSO points out, this Mega Project places all your needs in one central hub designed as an integrated community, allowing your personal life to flourish alongside your professional life. What a great idea! An entire community devoted to high tech! Commenting on the residential areas of DSO, Adel Ghafan, Director, Technical Department of Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) and DSO said:

"To truly develop into an advanced integrated electronic technology park, DSO has to offer a full service proposition to its host companies. The residential district within DSO is a strategic initiative aimed at creating convenient living spaces for technologists and other employees working in DSO as well as surrounding areas, complete with all modern amenities to cater to their needs and help them lead a well-balanced lifestyle."

DSO represents yet another great move by the UAE to become a fully integrated world business center. DSO is rapidly attracting major high tech companies as well as high tech entrepreneurs from all over the world. This Mega Project will become one of the most successful high tech developments on the planet. The UAE will have it no other way!

This link takes you to the DSO website:


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2008: Premier Mega Project Expo

Even though this is only year two for Cityscape Abu Dhabi, it has already become a premier real estate event in the Middle East and one of the most important real estate expos in the world! This is because the Gulf is undergoing a multi TRILLION dollar real estate development boom...and the whole world wants to participate! In Cityscape's own words this event is:

'...an annual networking exhibition focusing on all aspects of the property development cycle with two parallel conferences running alongside the exhibition. It attracts regional and international investors, property developers, leading architects and designers to an annual forum that celebrates the very best in real estate, architecture, urban planning and design.'

All the great Mega Developers including Emaar, Nakheel, Aldar, Sorouh, Hydra, Reem Investments, Saraya, Tamouh...and many, many more will have booths at Cityscape Abu Dhabi displaying models of their magnificent Mega Projects.

At Cityscape Abu Dhabi you can network and interact with:

- Institutional Investors
- Banks and Financial Institutions
- Commercial Property Developers
- Residential Property Developers
- Property Owners
- Property Investors
- High Net Worth Individuals
- Property Advisors
- Investment Promotion Agencies
- Architects
- Designers
- Real Estate Portfolio Managers
- Real Estate Solution Providers
- Project Managers and Directors
- Municipal & Regional Gov. Authorities
- Construction Companies
- Senior Executives

According to Cityscape, those who visit this event are looking to network for:

- Investment Opportunities
- Development Financing
- The Latest Market Trends
- Architectural Design
- Energy Management
- Consulting
- Integrated Building Systems
- Contracting
- External Works
- Financial Structuring
- IT Solutions
- Architectural Lighting
- Spatial Design
- Project Management
- Landscape Architecture

Of last year's Cityscape Abu Dhabi, Ahmad Humaid Al Mazrouie, Director General, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) had this to say:

"Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2007 is yet another milestone in Abu Dhabi’s property development plans. Currently Abu Dhabi attracts US$ 4 billion annually in foreign direct investment (FDI) and showcasing major construction projects from around the region through events such as this will significantly increase the flow of FDI, not only to Abu Dhabi but throughout the Middle East."

What a fantastic event Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2008 will be! It takes place May 13-15 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. If you can attend this event- DO IT!

This link takes you to the Cityscape Abu Dhabi website:


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Al Ghadeer: Unique Two-For-One Abu Dhabi / Dubai Mega Project

I must admit I am very impressed with Sorouh's new Mega Residential development, Al Ghadeer. I became interested in Al Ghadeer while reviewing all the Mega Projects on exhibition at last year's Cityscape Dubai Expo. Al Ghadeer stuck out for one reason: UNIQUENESS! According to Sorouh, Al Ghadeer will bring "easy living of life through a complete self sustaining community hosting a variety of educational, recreational, social and commercial amenities." I feel the following factors, when looked at as one complete whole, make Al Ghadeer a unique offering:

> Fantastic and Unique Location. While Al Ghadeer is technically located in Abu Dhabi, it is in fact right on the Abu Dhabi/Dubai border. It is close to important business, industrial and transportation hubs in BOTH Abu Dhabi AND Dubai. This is a HUGE plus for the development, as it allows residents the ability to work and do business EASILY in BOTH Abu Dhabi AND Dubai! Looking at Al Ghadeer on a map I am VERY impressed with the location.

> Great Pricing. Unlike many of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Mega Projects, Al Ghadeer will be AFFORDABLE. We all know that a great number of Mega Developments being built in the UAE are high end luxury and very upscale. Many people, however, are unable to afford these expensive developments. Al Ghadeer will be both affordable AND upscale. This aspect has already created huge interest in the project, and in fact over 3000 registrations were taken after the announcement of the launch of Al Ghadeer at Cityscape Dubai.

> The Builders. The company building Al Ghadeer is Sorouh, and as I noted in my previous post, Sorouh is one of the finest Mega Developers in the UAE. Sorouh builds only high quality developments and Al Ghadeer will be no exception.

> Finest Facilities. Al Ghadeer will offer only top of the line technological features including WiFi that will cover the whole community. Al Ghadeer will contain 3 schools, two international and one local, as well as four junior schools, all reachable by the pedestrian pathways and walkways-- making the project ideal for entire famalies. Recreational facilities such as retail shops, hotels and movie theatres provide entertainment in the Al Ghadeer community while a host of outdoor sporting facilities will be offered for those who prefer outdoor recreation. Reaching the hotels, cinemas, restaurants and shops is easily achieved through a network of pathways which wind their way through landscaped parks and water features including a lake.

> The "Two-For-One" Abu Dhabi / Dubai Feature. Beacause of its unique location, buying a residence in Al Ghadeer is like owning a property in BOTH Abu Dhabi AND Dubai!

This is what Sorouh CEO, Mounir D. Haidar, had to say about Al Ghadeer at Cityscape Dubai:

"This is a prominent site with tremendous potential due to its accessibility to major highways linking all the commercial centers in the UAE. The site's location at the Abu Dhabi / Dubai border places it in a unique position to meet residential and commercial demand from a broad area including many new industrial developments. While housing and living costs in Dubai continue to rise, Al Ghadeer offers a solution due to its proximity, extensive onsite facilities and competitive pricing."

It should now become clear to you why I like Al Ghadeer so much. It is, in a word, unique. In my opinion, Al Ghadeer represents both a great place to live and a unique investment opportunity.

This link takes you to the Al Ghadeer section of the Sorouh website:


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