"BRETT SIEGEL IS ONE OF THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE IN MIDDLE EAST REAL ESTATE. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UAE MEGA PROJECTS." Khizer Schon Husain, VP, Schon Properties, Dubai

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Favorite Investments In The Gulf

With prices on many of the great Gulf Mega Projects coming way down due to the current world financial crisis I think it is time to look at some of the best opportunities for investment. This list is by no means complete. There are many great projects not mentioned here. What I am giving you are the projects I consider to be the "Best Of The Best."

Please understand that just because I like these projects does not mean that they will increase in value or that you should invest in them. Nobody can perfectly predict the future. Ultimately you must do your own research to decide which projects you feel are the best investments.

DUBAI:

> Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This is my number one pick for a great Dubai investment. Above all else Dubai is positioning itself to become the financial center of the Middle East and a top worldwide financial hub. And DIFC is Dubai's center of finance. This mega project, unlike Business Bay, is already successfully functioning and has been since '04. DIFC is a huge project that will continue to expand. I would concentrate on office space rather than the residential projects in DIFC since Dubai is overbuilt with residential units in my opinion.

-- Right now I would be avoiding any residential investing in Dubai because, as I said, I think they have overbuilt in this area. I would also stay away from Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira as I have serious doubts if they will ever be fully developed. I would also be cautious about Dubailand projects as there are strong doubts if Dubailand will ever get fully developed.

ABU DHABI:

> Reem Island. This massive island Mega Project is being developed to eventually become the centerpiece of Abu Dhabi. Over 100 towers will be built on Reem Island which will one day be home to 250,000 residents as well as numerous businesses and resorts. Huge amounts of capital have been pouring into Reem Island and the Abu Dhabi government will add any required funding where needed during the current financial slowdown.

AJMAN:

> Ajman Marina. I think this is going to be the "Crown Jewel" project of this rapidly growing Emirate. Ajman Marina has been designed to become a mixed-use project focused on business, tourism, residential and commercial components. It covers everything. Advantages of the project include: --Strategic one-of-a-kind location in Ajman Waterfront Marina, --Investment opportunity to all nationalities with desirable Free Hold status, --All businesses given Free Zone regulations in which to operate, --Located near both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, --Yacht Clubs, malls, gardens, many high-end themed caf├ęs and restaurants, --Educational areas, etc. I think Ajman Marina will be Ajman's most desirable project.

BAHRAIN:

> Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH). Bahrain has many fine Mega Projects being built but my favorite by far is BFH. This is because BFH is the financial center of the very wealthy Kingdom of Bahrain as well as a leading Middle East business center. In fact, BFH could eventually become a leading world business hub just like DIFC. Think of BFH as Bahrain's version of DIFC. And as with DIFC, I would invest in office space here too.

QATAR:

> Pearl Qatar. The Pearl Qatar is Qatar's largest and most spectacular Mega Project. It is being designed to be the "Riviera of Arabia" and will be the most exclusive and desirable location in Qatar. It should be noted that Qatar's economy has not suffered at all throughout the world financial melt-down and in fact Qatar continues to grow. Investment in the Pearl Qatar is an excellent way to share in the prosperity of Qatar.

SAUDI ARABIA:

> Entaj Industrial Valley. Saudi Arabia is expanding rapidly and Entaj is set to become the Middle East's answer to America's Silicon Valley. Entaj will be part of King Abdullah Economic City, the largest real estate project ever developed. Entaj will focus on 7 different industry types: High Tech, Research and Development, General Industry, Logistics, Light Industrial Units, Construction, and Showroom / Retail Outlets. Office and industrial space could be a great investment at Entaj.

I have covered each of these projects in more detail in previous posts.

Two things to remember:

-- We are currently in one of the worst worldwide financial melt-downs in history and therefore prices of these projects will probably continue to fall. Thus you should wait for prices to come down even more before investing.

-- I think you will make more investing in office/commercial/industrial space rather than residential units.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crash! Part 2: The Effects

Today I will go into detail about the effect the real estate crash in the UAE has had on Mega Project development. I have created a list of UAE Project Cancellations and Put-On-Holds. By looking over this list you will see all of the great Mega Projects that have either been cancelled altogether or put on hold until things get better. Many of the put on hold projects will ultimately end up being cancelled.

A note on accuracy. I have tried to be as accurate as possible with this list. However sometimes a project(s) is announced as put-on-hold or cancelled and then another source will say something else to the effect that the project(s) is going ahead as planned. Therefore I cannot guarantee that this list is 100% accurate, but I do think it is the most accurate and complete list available. Therefore if you know for a fact that any of the listed projects are going ahead as planned send me an email to let me know and I will make the correction on the list. Also, if you know of any cancelled or put-on-hold projects that I have missed you can also email me and I will add them to the list.

UAE PROJECT CANCELLATIONS AND PUT-ON-HOLDS

-- Nakheel Harbour and Tower
-- Al Salam City
-- Dubai Towers
-- Palm Deira
-- Asia-Asia Hotel
-- Dolphin City
-- The Universe
-- Nad El Sheba Racecourse
-- Mina Rashid Redevelopment
-- Aqua Dunya Dubailand Phase 1 & 2
-- Investment Corporation of Dubai
-- High Rise Boulevard
-- Anara
-- London Crown Tower
-- Oqyana
-- Coral Island Resort
-- Remraam Dubailand
-- Maysan Towers Dubailand
-- Plaza Mayor Jumeirah Village
-- Falcon City of Wonders Dubailand
-- Arabian Legands Dubailand
-- Sunny Mountain Skidome Dubailand
-- Tijara Town Dubailand
-- Metro Tower Dubailand
-- Wadi Tower Dubailand
-- Women's World Dubailand
-- FreeJ Theme Park Dubailand
-- Sanali Tower Dubailand
-- Durar Residential Complex
-- Atrium Project
-- Busch Gardens Theme Parks Palm Jebel Ali
-- Palm Trump Hotel & Tower
-- The Vantage
-- Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower
-- Lam Tara Twin Towers
-- Dubai Waterfront Light Rail & Tramway
-- Rotating Tower
-- Tiara United Towers
-- Dubai Exhibition City
-- Jumeirah Hills
-- Esplanade
-- Musrif Heights
-- Botanica Tower
-- Marina Star
-- Cactus Theme
-- Lagoon Club Hotel & Residences
-- Signature Tower Business Bay
-- Emivest Towers
-- Desert Gate Hotels & Towers
-- X2 Towers
-- Ain Al-Fayda
-- Sharjah Sports City
-- Tatweer Towers
-- Dubai Healthcare City Phase 2
-- Forbidden City
-- Porsche Design Towers Business Bay
-- Sienna Square
-- Seagull Tower
-- Image Residences
-- Canal Point
-- Sea Scape Tower
-- Ice Tower Dubai Marina
-- Water's Edge Business Bay
-- Mina Rashid Mixed Use Tower
-- West End Towers 1 & 2 Jumeirah Village
-- Burjside Boulevard Business Bay
-- Dolphin Towers
-- West Bay Tower Business Bay
-- Al Odaid Palm Tower
-- Haz Tower Business Bay
-- Nadra Tower Business Bay
-- Platinum Towers Business Bay
-- Burj Al Alam Business Bay
-- B2B Tower Business Bay
-- The Court Business Bay
-- Bristol Towers Business Bay
-- Palm Island Hotel Resort
-- Goldcrest Dreams
-- Green Park Jumeirah Village

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