Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Hazaa Bin Zayed Mega Project For Al Ain

Major details of the massive mixed use Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium project in Al Ain have been announced today including a hotel, residential and commercial buildings, a sports center, and food and retail outlets. Once complete, the project will be the main attraction for hundreds of community, entertainment and business events.

The new development covers an area of 500,000 square meters which, in addition to the main stadium, includes a community with 700 residential units in a complex of apartments and green spaces, two office buildings of 20,000 square meters, and a chain of 50 restaurants and retail outlets plus a 172 room international hotel.

The project, which will be constructed in phases, will have a public courtyard for both visitors and residents, stylish promenades linked together by a network of pedestrian walkways and a family entertainment area synonymous with a healthy and modern lifestyle. The multi-use project is part of a vision of building a touristic, social and sports destination that includes Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium and the area surrounding it, to foster ongoing growth and development in Al Ain and the UAE.

The Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium, which will be launched mid-January 2014, is considered an architectural marvel and one of the most impressive and technologically advanced sports constructions in the UAE. It can accommodate 25,000 spectators and was built in only 17 months, measuring up to the best international standards.

The development is located in the strategic Tawya area of Al Ain, which is easily accessible for visitors coming from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and with close proximity from the city’s main roads. It is only 15 minutes from Al Ain Airport, and is situated near other main attractions in Al Ain which makes it one of the most sought after destinations by families in Al Ain and the UAE in general.

The Plaza area will stand as the main part of the project and the head point for all sports and social gatherings, with the Hazaa Bin Zayed Stadium in the background adding even more atmosphere to the open spaces and surrounded by a number of restaurants and retail outlets.

The project will also include a healthy lifestyle area with a number of sports zones and a dedicated pool and gymnasium considered to be the biggest of its kind in Abu Dhabi. The whole project has been planned to reflect the principles of health and well-being and encourage a more sporting life. The Plaza and the area surrounding the stadium are designed to help walking as no cars are allowed inside. The outer area of the project includes cycling, jogging and walking tracks.

The family entertainment area provides its visitors with a wide selection of entertainment facilities that suit different age groups and several sports activities to help residents and tourists enjoy their time in a healthy and stylish atmosphere throughout the year.

The restaurant and café area is located near the hotel, linked together with a pedestrian design that provides access to as many of the development’s destinations as possible and provides a location for a variety of high-end restaurants and coffee shops.

The new stadium will be officially opened in January 2014. The celebrations will include a 3 day family festival from January 16-18, plus other events for launching the stadium. The 25,000 capacity Hazza Bin Zayed stadium will officially be the new home for Al Ain Football Club’s first team, and is intended to boost the sports activities in the UAE. The stadium covers an area of 45,000 square meters and it is 50 meters high which makes it one of the highest buildings in Al Ain City. It hosts more than 3,000 premium seats, one of the highest ratios of premium seating in the world for football stadiums. The mobile roof can move to cover the whole play field during the hotter months. The marvelous design of the outer façade of the stadium is inspired by the trunk of the palm tree which is an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and legacy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Billionaires - World's Richest Arabs 2013

Here is a list compiled by ArabianBusiness.com of the World's Richest Arabs for 2013. I think you will enjoy reading it. These are the wealthiest Arabs in the world and most of them are involved in one way or another with the Mega Projects going up in the MENA Region. As you will see Saudi Arabia is by far the leader in Arab Billionaires. For some reason, aside from Prince Alwaleed of KSA, the list does not include any other Arab Royals. Perhaps this is because their net worth is harder to estimate.


1. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, KSA, $31.2 Bil

2. Mohamed Al Jaber, KSA, $12.66 Bil

3. Olayan Family, KSA, $12.5 Bil

4. Mohammed Al Amoudi, KSA, $12 Bil

5. Issam Al Zahid, KSA, $11.6 Bil

6. Sawiris Family, Egypt, $11.2 Bil

7. Kharafi Family, Kuwait, $8.6 Bil

8. Binladin Family, KSA, $8.1 Bil

9. Joesph Safra, Brazil/Lebanon, $7.5 Bil

10. Said Khoury, Palestine, $7.2 Bil

11. Bukhamseen Family, Kuwait, $6.8 Bil

12. Al Ghurair Family, UAE, $6.3 Bil

13. Kanoo Family, Bahrain, $6.1 Bil

14. Majid Al Futtaim, UAE, $6.1 Bil

15. Tareq Al Qahtani, KSA, $6 Bil

16. Bugshan Family, KSA, $6 Bil

17. Toufic Aboukhater, Palestine, $5.8 Bil

18. Mansour Family, Egypt, $5.1 Bil

19. Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel, KSA, $5 Bil

20. Abdullah Al Rushaid, KSA, $4.6 Bil

21. Mubarak Al Suweiket, KSA, $4.5 Bil

22. Al Rajhi Family, KSA, $4.3 Bil

23. Gargash Family, UAE, $3.7 Bil

24. Adel Aujan, KSA, $3.56 Bil

25. Taha Mikati, Lebanon, $3.5 Bil

26. Mohammad Jamjoom, KSA, $3.4 Bil

27. Najib Mikati, Lebanon, $3.4 Bil

28. Alghanim Family, Kuwait, $3.4 Bil

29. Saad Hariri, Lebanon, $3.3 Bil

30. Sulaiman Al Muhaidib, KSA, $3.3 Bil

31. Abdulatif Al Fozan, KSA, $3.25 Bil

32. Hayek Family, Lebanon/Switzerland, $3.2 Bil

33. Bahaa Hariri, KSA, $3.1 Bil

34. Munib Masri, Palestine, $3 Bil

35. Zamil Family, KSA, $2.9 Bil

36. Mansour Ojjeh, KSA, $2.8 Bil

37. Mohammed Elkhereiji, KSA, $2.73 Bil

38. Ayman Asfari, UK/Syria, $2.7 Bil

39. Mohammed Sharbatly, KSA, $2.69 Bil

40. Osama Abu Dawood, KSA, $2.68 Bil

41. Wafic Said, UK/Syria, $2.6 Bil

42. Mohammed Al Barwani, Oman, $2.6 Bil

43. Ziad Manasir, Joedan, $2.58 Bil

44. Mohammed Al Issa, KSA, $2.38 Bil

45. Nadhmi Auchi, UK/Iraq, $2.2 Bil

46. Mohammed Ibrahim, Sudan, $2.15 Bil

47. Miloud Chaabi, Morocco, $2.1 Bil

48. Saleh Kamel, KSA, $2 Bil

49. Fawaz Al Hokair, KSA, $1.98 Bil

50. Ayman Hariri, KSA, $1.95 Bil


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Abu Dhabi To Spend $100 Billion On Projects!

Abu Dhabi’s project spending could balloon to over $100 billion in the next seven years as the government ramps up efforts to sustain economic gains built over the last few years.

The 8th Abu Dhabi Conference 2013, which began yesterday, highlighted the key sectors that will receive the bulk of investments until 2020.

According to MEED, which tracks projects activity throughout the Middle East, construction projects remain the most active with $30 billion worth of projects to be awarded in the next seven years, followed by the Oil & Gas sector with a project pipeline valued at $25 billion.

Transport and chemical-related projects will also see a surge in investments with a total of $20 billion contracts to be awarded during the same period. The industrial as well as power & water sectors will likewise be busy with contracts valued at $6 billion and $5 billion to be awarded until 2020.

H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy delivered the opening address this morning, and said that the UAE economy is growing strongly and will benefit from new government measures designed to promote the private sector and foreign investment. “The UAE economy is on solid ground. It has been attracting visitors and investors looking for a safe haven in the Middle East. Growth was 4.4 percent in 2012, its fastest pace since 2006. In view of improved activities, we expect UAE GDP to have expanded by 4.5 percent this year.”

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) Undersecretary H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdullah then spoke to the conference delegates about creating a business hub critical to the global economy, highlighting the initiatives and upcoming projects aimed at driving long term investments into Abu Dhabi.

And for the first time at a conference – H.E. Dr. Abdullah Hassan Ghareeb Al Bloushi, Executive Director, Land and Property Management Sector, Department of Municipal Affairs presented details of the Onwani project – the unified addressing and wayfinding project for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, saying “This is the largest project the municipal system in Abu Dhabi has ever undertaken, and it is also one of the Emirate’s most important. The vital infrastructure provided by the new addressing system will take us forward to meet future economic and social challenges and bring real benefits to residents, businesses and visitors alike. It is not only a street map for the Emirate, but a road for development.”

This year alone, based on an article 'Gulf projects market hits new peak' recently released by MEED, the construction sector in Abu Dhabi picked up pace when the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) awarded the long-awaited $653m contract to build the Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island to a consortium comprising the local Arabtec Construction, Spain’s San Jose and Oger Abu Dhabi – the local affiliate of Saudi Oger.

TDIC has also tendered the contract to build the Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island, although an award is not expected this year. In July, Abu Dhabi-based Saadiyat Investment & Development Company awarded a $482m contract to local Al-Jaber Building for the construction of 462 villas at the Hidd al-Saadiyat Villas Development on the island.

As a result, along with new projects awarded in Dubai, the UAE has seen the largest rise in project activity in the GCC this year. MEED’s Gulf Projects Index is now at its highest level ever, having reached $3.19 trillion this month.

“The return to growth is the latest chapter in what has been a roller coaster ride for the index over the past seven years. The index remained relatively flat until about 12 months ago, when it began to move upwards as stalled projects were revived and new schemes launched, which has seen it grow more than 30 percent to its current level of $3.19 trillion. The major driver of this growth has been the UAE, with Abu Dhabi contributing a significant chunk of investments,” said Richard Thompson, Editor, MEED.

By 2014, the IMF has forecasted real GDP growth for the UAE of 3.6 percent (up from 3.1 percent last year) owing to the government’s continued push to boost the economy led by a spate of new infrastructure investments.

“Abu Dhabi has targeted knowledge-intensive sectors, such as aviation, petrochemicals, renewable energy and health care. The developments across these strategic sectors are aimed to make the capital an attractive proposition for domestic and international investors,” said Abraham Akkawi, MENA Infrastructure Advisory Services Leader, Ernst & Young.

Yesterday’s highlights included a special VIP Plenary Session that provided a snapshot of project opportunities, achievements and challenges faced in delivering Abu Dhabi’s economic vision 2030 across key sectors. The session was led by a panel of authorities from Abu Dhabi’s key agencies such as the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD), Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Industrial Development Bureau as well as the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

The Abu Dhabi Conference is an annual gathering of government and private sector leaders which enables discussions and updates on upcoming project and investment opportunities in Abu Dhabi’s diverse economy. It is a heavily Government supported event, with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group, Western Region Development Council and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority as supporting partners; The Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority as Strategic Partner, Zones Corp as Industrial Partner and the Abu Dhabi Chamber as silver sponsor. Other conference partners include Al Khalij Bank Hill International, E&Y, Bentley Systems and Mashreq. For more information on the conference: http://www.theabudhabiconference.com/

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dubai Wins Bid For World Expo 2020 - New Boom For Dubai!

Dubai is on the cusp of yet another development boom as it seeks to strengthen its position as the leading business and tourism hub in the region.

Detailing the latest investment and development opportunities in Dubai, MEED(Middle East Economic Digest) has organized Destination Dubai 2020 to dissect, along with local and international experts, the various factors that will shape Dubai’s development trajectory in the next six years.

Among the highlights of the conference presentations and panel discussions include the impact of Dubai winning its World Expo 2020 bid, with leading stakeholders from across Dubai’s key government agencies outlining their future plans in detail for the first time after securing the rights to host the expo.

The total value to the economy of staging the event has been estimated at AED143.22bn. More than 277,000 jobs would be created between 2013 and 2021 as a result, with about 40 per cent in the travel and tourism sector. For every Expo employee, about 60 additional jobs would be sustained in the wider economy.

“MEED has organized Destination Dubai to track the exciting new developments happening in Dubai until 2020, a critical case especially in light of its winning expo bid and just a decade before the governments 2030 vision for the country. We wholeheartedly support Dubai’s Expo 2020 bid and look forward to working with our friends and partners in Dubai and the UAE to ensure the 2020 Expo will be the best ever," Ben Greenish, Managing Director, MEED.

Dubai’s bid dossier estimates hosting the expo will cost $8.7bn in total – $7bn in investments and operating expenses of $1.7bn. Capital expenditure will mainly cover the development of the expo’s planned 4.4 square-kilometer plot in Jebel Ali and connecting infrastructure such as extending the Dubai Metro’s Red Line.

However, investors surveyed by the local chapter of CFA Institute, a global organization of investment professionals, are concerned that a successful bid by Dubai to host the expo could lead to another economic bubble. The study measured the opinions of 216 investment professionals in the UAE, and found out that more than half of the survey’s respondents (55 per cent) were concerned that a successful bid for the Expo 2020 will create another economic bubble, and only a quarter believed the UAE has done enough to make its economy immune since 2008.

Meanwhile, Egypt-headquartered investment bank EFG Hermes says the expo will make the country’s debt situation more pressing than it is now. “If the next phase of the investment cycle, accelerated by the Expo, is not met by revenue-building measures and asset sales, this could result in total Dubai debt rising to 110-115 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, up from 102 per cent of GDP currently,” the lender said in a report.

Without a doubt, the winning expo bid will provide a massive tourism boost. It is estimated that over the six months of the event 25 million people would visit Dubai Expo 2020, with more than 70 per cent coming from outside the UAE.

Destination Dubai will track the road map to Dubai’s continuing economic recovery, providing investors and stakeholders insights on what is driving confidence in the Emirate’s equity market, which this year has seen a 60 percent rise in growing confidence in Dubai’s long-term prospects.

Of primary importance to the readers of this blog will be a dedicated session on the real estate sector that will provide attendees key insights on one of Dubai’s most critical growth drivers. “Real estate prices in the Emirate have risen more than 30 per cent since the start of the year on growing demand from local, regional and international investors. In addition, major private and government-related real estate projects involving billions of dollars of new investment in Dubai have been announced, opening a possible new boom phase in Dubai’s property market,” says MEED’s editorial director Richard Thompson.

Other initiatives that are transforming Dubai into an unrivaled global hub and the gateway to the high-growth emerging markets (CIS, Africa, China and India) will be comprehensively discussed at Destination Dubai, detailing the road map for the build up and creation of a genuine and holistic “destination” involving travel, industry, real estate, tourism, retail and hospitality infrastructure and support systems.

++ In my opinion Dubai's winning bid for World Expo 2020 is extremely POSITIVE for the real estate market in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. The best is yet to come!

Scheduled to take place on January 28-29, 2014 at the JW Marriott Marquis, Destination Dubai is sponsored by Hill International.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dream-Marina 101 Moving Right Along!

Dream-Marina 101 is set to open by the end of 2014. This super-tall development in Dubai Marina is a comprehensive lifestyle project conceptualized by Sheffield Holdings Ltd.

Dream-Marina 101 seeks to promote a unique concept of haute living that encompasses nearly everything in terms of luxuries with world-class restaurants, roof top nightclub and recreational facilities. "We are proud to announce that nearly 80% of our hotel apartments are sold." said Abu Ali Malik Shroff, Chairman of Sheffield Holdings LTD.

The hotel will house 300 guest rooms and 420 branded hotel apartments featuring one and two bedroom units. The construction on the exterior of the tower is close to completion with the elevator going up to all 101 floors.

The interior finishing touches have been carefully chosen, with energy efficient light fixtures and Spanish ceramic tiles in every apartment. All internal doors are fire resistant, meeting international standards and ratings for the building. Nearly sixty million dirhams have been additionally spent on the interiors since the appointment of the hotel operator.

Dream-Marina 101 has confirmed partnerships with world’s leading restaurants such as Bombay Palace, which currently has branches in England, North America, Canada and India. Another highlight of Dream-Marina 101 is its roof-top bar which will be occupied by Ph-D, known for being the nightlife state-of-the-art in Manhattan, New York.

Shroff further added, "Dubai has and will always remain a fantastic destination for residents and tourists. We are offering a unique and hassle-free investment opportunity mirroring the growth of the Dubai real estate market. All our investors will enjoy 28 days of free stay in the hotel apartments per year, and will benefit from a guaranteed 75% return of the net profit".

++ Sheffield Holdings LTD is one of the leading Dubai-based private developers. Here is a link to their website:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

UAE's Hadara Teams Up With Egypt's Rooya Group

UAE based development company, Hadra, has signed an MOU with Rooya Group, one of Egypt’s premier real estate developers. Hadara, which is a member of Tharaa Holding Group, has announced its plans to co-develop an upscale hospitality and residential project within Rooya’s Stone Park Katameya master development in New Cairo.

This project comes with recent announcements of Egypt’s credit rating increase by S&P, making it an attractive option for investors. The Stone Park Compound, winner of Cityscape Egypt 2013 Best Future Residential Project Award, will offer a selection of luxury residential and hotel apartments and villas, providing a resort-living style to its residents. The project consists of a series of luxury low-rise buildings surrounded by resort-style recreational facilities as well as a prestigious villa community offering standalone villas as well as townhouses.

The project will be part of the award-winning Rich Village series, a global luxury living concept developed by Hadara.

In addition, the project will be surrounded by many attractions, including a world-class Golf Course, Cairo Festival City Mall, the prestigious “Down Town” shopping district and City Stars Mall. Furthermore, The Stone Park Compound will feature many lifestyle and recreational facilities including restaurants, cafeterias, shops, a private club with pools, a spa, a children’s fun zone with indoor and outdoor play areas, tennis and squash courts and a multi-purpose sports field.

Mr. Tariq Ramadan, Chairman of Hadara, expressed his excitement about the opportunity to expand outside the UAE and into a stable and growing market. He said, “This luxury project will be suitable for GCC customers and investors. It demonstrates a true smart and safe investment since it offers capital appreciation and attractive returns. At the same time, all sales revenues will be deposited into an Escrow account dedicated only to the construction of the project as well as other project related direct expenses. This means that investors’ money is 100% protected and guaranteed to be spent on the project”.

Commenting on signing the MOU Architect Hesham Shoukri, CEO & Executive President at Rooya Group, quoted, “This partnership adds a new dimension to our Stone Park master development by developing a luxury project that attracts buyers and investors from outside Egypt, especially those from GCC countries. The unit owners will have the option to live in their units, hand them over to the hotel management company to rent them out for tourists, or a combination of both. This means that owners, especially those who are living in other countries, can enjoy a free 5-star living while on vacation in Cairo, and make money on their units when they are away. On the other hand, investors who choose to hand over the property to the management company, will enjoy attractive returns on their properties”.

++ Hadara is a newly established UAE-based real estate development company operating worldwide through the development of real estate projects owned or co-developed by it. The company was founded by Mr. Tariq Ramadan who is considered one of the leading real estate industry figures in the Middle East. Hadara’s vision is to become the most successful and innovative development company in the world. Hadara is a member of Tharaa Holding.

++ Rooya Group is one of the fastest growing real estate development and tourism investment companies in Egypt with an outstanding track record of successful completed or under development projects in Egypt valued at over US$ 2 billion. These projects include Stone Park Katameya in New Cairo, Telal Al-Sokhna Resort, Canals Village in Port Ghalib – Marsa Alam, and Telal Al Alamein on the North Coast.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oman Mega Projects On The Rise!

Like the rest of the GCC Oman is moving ahead strongly with Mega Project development. Currently Oman has over $100 Billion allocated for a wide variety of Mega Projects. In fact the Mega Project industry of Oman is expanding so fast that MEED(Middle East Economic Digest) is holding a large event October 28-30 in Oman at the Grand Hyatt Muscat called MEED Oman Projects Forum 2013. What follows is more information from MEED about the Forum and the Mega Projects being developed in Oman. Additionally I have included a chart of the top 40 Oman Mega Projects along with the amount of money (in US dollars) budgeted for each project.

A total of 50 speakers will address the event which will be attended by 200 delegates from the Sultanate, the Middle East region and the world beyond. The conference is supported by Oman’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry and will hear an opening address from His Excellency Ahmed bin Hassan Al Dheeb, Undersecretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Figures compiled by MEED Projects show 40 major projects are being executed or planned in the Sultanate. Of these, almost 25 percent are for major projects in the construction sector, which is dominated by plans to build a new town in Duqm. A similar amount of capital investment is planned in the transport sector. This includes the $15bn national rail program. Oil and gas projects combined account for almost $40bn of major projects being executed or planned in Oman.

Oman is already pushing ahead with many major projects. Around $40bn worth of them are under execution, though some of the larger ones are at an early stage of development. But the largest portion of the Omani major project program is yet to come to the market. More than $50bn of major projects are under design or study.

The pace of execution of the major program is expected to be swift. Some $56bn of major projects under execution or planned are due for completion by the end of 2017. All $112bn of projects are due for completion by the end of 2022, MEED Projects figures show.

The forum will hear a progress update about the Duqm port and special economic zone, which is Oman’s largest single Mega Project with budgeted investment of $20bn. Duqm is to be the location of a 250m barrel oil storage facility and a range of new industries.

“We’re delighted with the response to this year’s forum,” says MEED Events Chairman Edmund O’Sullivan. “The speakers are first-class and we are very grateful to the Minister of Economy HE Dr Ali Al Sunaidy and his colleagues for their wonderful support. This conference will set a new benchmark for everyone doing business in and with Oman.”

Oman Projects Forum 2013 is supported by the National Bank of Oman as strategic partner; Oman Development Bank as SME Financial Partner; Ernst &Young as Knowledge Partner and Hill International as conference sponsor.


Project and Project Budget (in $Millions)

1.  Duqm new town 20,000

2.  Oman national railway 15,600

3.  Duqm refinery & petrochemical complex 15,000

4.  Khazzan & Makarem fields 15,000

5.  Muscat & Salalah international airport expansion 5,200

6.  Gas-based steel plant 3,000

7.  The Wave development 3,000

8.  Batinah expressway 2,600

9.  Sohar Aluminium smelter expansion 2,400

10. Sohar refinery expansion project 2,300

11. Duqm IWPP 2,000

12. Haima Solar thermal hybrid power plant 2,000

13. Oman convention and exhibition centre 1,800

14. Masirah island causeway 1,500

15. Sur IPP 1,500

16. Sultan Qaboos medical city complex 1,480

17. Batinah coastal road project 1,312

18. Bidbid to Sur dual carriageway 1,156

19. Yibal Khuff sour development project 1,050

20. Development of Block 60 (Abu Butabul) 1,000

21. International medical city 1,000

22. Rabab-Harweel integrated project 1,000

23. Saraya Bandar Jissah Resort 1,000

24. Sohar iron ore pelletising plant expansion phase 2 1,000

25. Sohar PTA & PET plant 850

26. Dualization of Adam to Thumrait road 800

27. Sur steel plant phase 1 665

28. Nahayda-Ras Markaz terminal-Duqm refinery pipeline 600

29. Solar power plant (CSP) 600

30. Bodour NE Integratedsour oil and gas development project 500

31. Condensate recovery maximization 500

32. Main oil line true vapour pressure control project 500

33. Marmul enhanced oil recovery facilities phase 2 500

34. Marmul enhanced oil recovery facilities phase 3 500

35. Ras Markaz crude storage terminal 500

36. Rima fields Cluster 500

37. Salalah EDC and caustic soda facility 500

38. Sohar iron ore pelletising plant 500

39. Suwaiq IWP 500

40. Water Discus hotel Oman 500

For more information visit:

Friday, August 30, 2013

23 Marina, Dubai - World's Most Luxurious Residence?

23 Marina, located in Dubai Marina and developed by Hircon International, may well be the most luxurious residential tower in the entire world. Although my main focus is on the real estate developments of the Middle East I also closely follow real estate projects all over the world and I must say I have not seen any other residential tower anywhere in the world that rivals 23 Marina in over the top luxury.

23 Marina is huge. In fact it is one of the tallest residential towers in the world, the third tallest tower in Dubai and the seventeenth tallest tower overall worldwide. The luxury amenities in 23 Marina are beyond anything I have seen anywhere in the world and they include an astounding FIFTY SEVEN swimming pools, a private elevator and private pool for EACH duplex in the tower, a lobby entrance hall 6 storeys high and a total of 62 elevators in the building!


> Official Name - 23 Marina
> Type - Residential Tower
> Status - Completed
> Country - United Arab Emirates
> City - Dubai
> Street Address - A-23-D, Plot No.392-568, Al Marsa, Dubai Marina
> Building Function - Residential
> Height - 392.8 meters / 1289 feet
> Floors Above Ground - 90
> Floors Below Ground - 4
> Number of Elevators - 62
> Top Elevator Speed - 8 m/s
> Structural Material - Concrete
> Start of Construction - 2006
> Completion - 2012
> Global Ranking - 17th Tallest Tower In The World
> Regional Ranking - 5th Tallest Tower In Middle East
> National Ranking - 3rd Tallest Tower In UAE
> City Ranking - 3rd Tallest Tower In Dubai
> Owner - Hircon International
> Developer - Hircon International
> Design Architects - Hafeez Contractor; KEO International Consultants
> Structural Engineer - KEO International Consultants
> MEP Engineer - KEO International Consultants
> Main Contractor - Dubai Civil Engineering
> Other Consultants - Mitsubishi Elevator and Escalator;  RWDI;  Dow Corning Corporation


23 Marina is a standing tribute of one country to another land. An ovation of recognition and respect. To the far-sighted vision that has transformed Dubai from a city of sand to a city of skyrises, making it a name that the world aspires to live in.


~ 57 Swimming Pools
~ 62 Elevators
~ 6 Storey Entrance Hall
~ Private Indoor Pool In Each Duplex Unit
~ Private Elevator For Each Duplex Unit
~ Indoor And Outdoor Swimming Pools
~ Children's Swimming Pool
~ 3 Levels of Spa & Health Club Facilities Including:
-- Men's And Women's Spas
-- Gym
-- Aerobics Rooms
-- Steam
-- Sauna
-- Indoor Swimming Pool
~ Landscaped Garden And Jogging Track
~ Business Center And Conference Room
~ 24 Hour Concierge
~ 24 Hour Convenience Store
~ Private Housekeeping Staff, Dry Cleaning And Laundry Services
~ Covered 8 Storey Car Parking With Private Access And Elevators
~ Valet Parking
~ Round-The-Clock Security System

++ With all of these features, if you lived at 23 Marina you might never want to leave! I think 23 Marina is destined to become an icon for Dubai living at its best. Dubai always strives to embody the pinnacle of excellence in all its Mega Projects and 23 Marina is the pinnacle of Dubai luxury living!

This link takes you to Hircon International, the developers of 23 Marina:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cayan Tower - A New Dubai Masterpiece

Dubai has just completed another architectural masterpiece to add to its ever expanding portfolio of amazing Mega Projects. Cayan Tower, located in Dubai Marina and developed by Cayan Real Estate Investment and Development Company, is the worlds tallest twisted tower. It stands 307 meters high and cost Dh1 billion to build. It is one of the most amazing towers I have ever seen!

President and Chairman of the Board of Cayan Group Ahmed M. Al Hatti described the project's quality standards saying: "Cayan Tower(formerly known as Infinity Tower) has been built according to the highest international standards for towers and that won it several international awards. The Tower has received 'Best Architecture' award in London's International Property Awards as well as four Arab Real Estate Awards in Dubai."

"The Tower was designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, otherwise known for projects such as Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Trump Tower in Chicago and Jin Mao in Shanghai. It is a 75-storey tower, rising at approximately 307 meters which makes it the highest twisted tower in the entire world," he added.

The project is characterized by its magnificent architecture, giving residents stunning panoramic views of the Palm Dubai  or Dubai Marina thanks to its 90 degree curve from top to bottom. In addition  construction and architectural plans have been put in place specifically for the development of the internal design which complements the exterior design of the tower.

> From Skidmore Owings Merrill:

'The Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)—designed Cayan (formerly Infinity) Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was inaugurated by its developer, Saudi Arabia-based Cayan Investment & Development. The dramatically rising helix of the 75-storey building provides a distinctive landmark on the city’s storied skyline. The 1,010-feet (307-meters) tall reinforced concrete structure rotates a hexagonal floor plate around a circular core—with the top offset 90 degrees from the base. The shift maximizes views for each of the 495 apartments. “The lower portion of the tower is oriented toward the exciting waterfront promenade of Dubai Marina, while the upper floors are rotated to face the Gulf,” SOM Design Director Ross Wimer says.

'“Cayan Tower adds to SOM's significant impact on Dubai's 21st century skyline,” SOM Consulting Partner George Efstathiou says. “Its elegance, technological innovation and sustainability are hallmarks of our storied 75 year history. It takes its place with our finest designs, including the nearby Rolex Tower and Burj Khalifa.”

'Deep concrete exterior columns clad in a metal skin with perforated screens help shield the building’s interior from the intense desert sun. The tower’s innovative shape required equally innovative engineering. The corner and interior columns twist as they ascend, but most of the perimeter columns have an identical shape and tilted relationship to the floor plate. They are simply shifted, a bit more than a single degree, from floor to floor—resulting in a standardized construction method typical to most concrete structures.

'Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are located in the core or within a zone between the central circulation corridor and the residential units, allowing straight vertical paths for these systems as the relationship between the apartments served varies between floors.

'The shape of the tower is not only aesthetically unique but it serves a structural function as well. Its twisted shape greatly reduces wind forces on the tower and “confuses the wind” in a way that wind forces cannot organize themselves.'

> Design and Amenities:

Each unit enjoys contemporary internationally styled interiors, marble and wood finishes, and premium fixtures and fittings. Every unit has fully fitted kitchens with appliances from such leading brands such as Bosch or Siemens, bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, as well as high-speed Internet facility and access to digital/satellite TV, state-of-the-art air conditioning, and a comprehensive automation system to control lights, air-conditioning and other functions from a central handset. The building has 7 elevators, for convenient access to each floor.

The building’s residential amenities include a fully landscaped podium with a rooftop park, outdoor infinity pool, whirlpool and children’s pool, located on the 7th floor. Other amenities include a health spa with treatment rooms, a gymnasium, conference rooms, a fully-equipped nursery, an outdoor tennis court and a fully enclosed parking garage with state-of-the-art security. At street level, there will be designated shopping and retail outlets for both residents and visitors.

Cayan Tower also provides 5-storey secure parking behind the building, as well as a 24-hour concierge and security.

++ Cayan Tower is a true Mega Project masterpiece. I think it will become a world landmark for incredible architecture!

Cayan Real Estate Investment and Development:

Skidmore Owings Merrill:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Libya Could Be Next Mega Project Hub - Libya Projects 2013

Libya is expected to invest $140 billion in projects over the next decade as the country embarks on building a sustainable future. Among these projects include Gecol’s capacity building programme in the power sector which will see installed capacity rise from about 13,000MW in 2012 to 19,000-20,000MW by 2020.

In aviation, the newly-installed government has planned a $2.5 billion upgrade of the state’s busiest airports aimed at expanding capacity to about 28 million passengers a year from an estimated 5 million.

The housing sector is another critical investment focus. The government estimates that the country will face a housing shortfall of 500,000 units by 2020. The Housing & Infrastructure Board (HIB) has been tasked to deliver 200,000 new homes, with supporting infrastructure in the next seven years.

A major business conference, Libya Projects 2013, is being organised in Tripoli to provide local and international stakeholders an essential guide to the developments and projects across critical infrastructure, energy, utilities and industry sectors that will accelerate rebuilding efforts in Libya.

“There is currently a dearth of accurate and reliable information on the opportunities in the projects market in Libya which the conference hopes to address. Attended by leading authorities and key stakeholders, Libya Projects 2013 offers the best opportunity for companies to correctly access Libya’s projects market,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events, organisers of Libya Projects 2013 in cooperation with Business Mirror (BM) Libya, and supported by the General National Congress.

Under the patronage of the General National Council, Libya Projects 2013 will gather key government officials and entities as well as leading private sector companies who will provide an expert overview of the wide-ranging political and economic reforms currently being implemented in Libya and the impact of these initiatives on the projects sector.

Confirmed speakers include Juma Attiga, Vice President, General National Congress; Awad Elbarasi, Deputy Prime Minister, Libya; Ali Hussein Al- Sharif, Minister of Housing and Utilities; and Dr. Khalil El-Arroudi, Chairman, GECOL.

The conference, scheduled to take place on June 3-5, 2013 at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, will also focus on the government’s programme to promote and attract foreign direct investments in Libya, as well as provide a critical update on existing and stalled projects.

At Libya Projects 2013, delegates can also expect to gain invaluable insights on the government’s anticipated spending plans in the infrastructure and energy sectors; as well as learn how to establish JVs with local firms to take advantage of massive opportunities in the projects market.

Libya Projects 2013 is being supported by such top tier companies as: Ernst & Young, Drake and Scull, Electrical Industries Co, Hill International, Keller, Jeddah Cables Company, Saint Gobain Glass, Libya Holdings, Shapoorji Pallonji , Dar Al Handash, Phillips, Corodex Industries, Parsons & Afriqiyah Airways.

Further information:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Headquarters Business Park, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is going through an incredible real estate boom! Mega Projects are being built all over The Kingdom. In fact Saudi Arabia has the largest Mega Project in the world under construction - King Abdullah Economic City, which I have written about in a previous post. Today I will cover The Headquarters Business Park.


The Headquarters Business Park is located on the north side of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Sitting directly on North Corniche Road it overlooks the Red Sea in all directions. On either side of it sits the Westin and Hilton Hotels, and it is also conveniently just 15 minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The building is made up of three main sections:

~ The West Tower

~ The Podium

~ The East Tower


Sky Villas:

The Headquarters Business Park contains 10 Sky Villas. Each has two floors and its own indoor garden. Each garden is about 8m high, and overlooks the Corniche.


The Business Park has 250 flexible office spaces with floor plans that range from 1,270 square feet to 3,229 square feet. Each office unit comes with amazing views in either direction.

The Business Center:

The business center is the ultimate business destination for client meetings. It includes all the latest technology and equipment to ensure total connectivity.

The Smart Building:

This building has the most advanced technologies because The Business Park is one of the newest buildings in the region. Not just lightning fast connectivity but it is host to a number of the most advanced features:

> Smart parking systems

> Smart elevators

> Smart restaurants

> State-of-the-art security

> Maintenance and support

> Unified building and services billing system

> Public areas and owners union systems


The East Tower serves as a high standard hotel that is designed as an independent building but linked to the West Tower through the Roof Garden. The hotel adds to the Business Park’s features by offering a health club, a business center, and a variety of upscale restaurants that are designed to meet the lavish taste of the business people and their visitors.


The Podium contains 9 stories above ground and 2 stories of underground parking with close to 2,000 total parking spaces. The Podium also contains a health and fitness center.


Health and Fitness Center:

The health and fitness center is located on both the 6th and 7th floor in the Podium section of The Business Park. At over 12,916 square feet it boasts all the latest fitness equipment.

Restaurants and Cafes:

The Headquarters Business Park has 43,055 square feet of restaurant and cafe space that caters to any taste. The crown at the top is Sky at 52, the fine dining establishment on the 52nd floor that faces the Red Sea.

VIP Lounge:

The VIP Lounge is the ultimate business area. Sitting on the 1st floor it hosts all the technology and plush surroundings to get work done in style. The VIP Lounge features:

> Private entrance

> Dedicated reception and lobby area

> Smart elevators with specialized floor selection

> Reserved parking spots

> Complementary coffee, tea, and seating lounges

++ The Headquarters Business Park stands as a shining example of the evolution of the booming Saudi Arabian real estate development market and the expanding Saudi economy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Middle East Real Estate Power Elite List 2013

In this post I am going to give you a list of the people I consider to be the most important in the Multi-Trillion dollar Middle East real estate industry. I have chosen 70 people to put on the list and all of them contribute greatly to the incredible expansion we are all seeing in Middle East real estate development. Middle East real estate is a truly gigantic industry and the people at the forefront are the movers and shakers, the leaders - The Power Elite!


1. Mohamed Ali Alabaar, Chairman and CEO, Emaar, UAE

2. Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman, Dar Al Arkan, Saudi Arabia

3. HH Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman, Royal Group & Tourism Development and Investment Company, UAE

4. Abdulrahman Abdulqader Al Faqih, Chairman, Jabal Omar Development & Makkah Construction & Development Company, Saudi Arabia

5. Khalaf Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor, UAE

6. Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Chairman, Arabtec Holding & Aabar Properties, UAE

7. Sami Asad, CEO, Aldar Properties, UAE

8. Mohammed Bin Ali Al Hedfa, Group CEO, Qatari Diar, Qatar

9. Bakr Bin Ladin, Chairman, Saudi BinLadin Group, Saudi Arabia

10. Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties, UAE

11. Sheikh Saad R. Hariri, Chairman, Saudi Oger, Saudi Arabia

12. Abubaker Seddiq Al Khouri, Managing Director, Sorouh Real Estate, UAE

13. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman, Kingdom Holding, Saudi Arabia

14. Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman, Nakheel, UAE

15. Said T. Khoury, Chairman, Consolidated Contractors Company, Greece & Middle East

16. Maher Merehbi, Chairman, Arabian Construction Company, Lebanon

17. Ahmad Suleiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi, CEO, Al Arrab Contracting Company, Saudi Arabia

18. Mishal Kanoo, Deputy Chairman, Kanoo Group, Bahrain

19. Fahd Al Rasheed, CEO, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

20. Khaled Musaed Al Seif, Chairman, El Seif Engineering & Contracting, Saudi Arabia

21. Mehdi Amjad, Executive Chairman & CEO, Omniyat Properties, UAE

22. HE Hitmi bin Ali Al-Hitmi, Chairman, Barwa Real Estate, Qatar

23. Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Bin Thani Al-Thani, Chairman, Ezdan Real Estate, Qatar

24. Ahmed Alhatti, Chairman, Cayan Real Estate Investment and Development, UAE

25. Saleh Mohammed Bin Nasrah, Chairman, Eshraq Properties, UAE

26. Abdullah Ali Obaid Al Hamli, Chairman, Deyaar, UAE

27. Saeed Ahmed Saeed, CEO, Limitless, UAE

28. Khalid Bin Kalban, Chairman, Union Properties, UAE

29. Abdulla Ahmed Al Ghurair, Chairman, ETA Ascon, UAE

30. Abdullah Al Habbai, Chairman, Meraas Holding Group, UAE

31. Mohammad Hassan Omran, Chairman, RAK Properties, UAE

32. Nasser Chammaa, Chairman, Solidere, Lebanon

33. Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi, Chairman, Enshaa Real Estate Development, UAE

34. Abdullah Mohammad Juma Al Naboodah, Chairman, Al Naboodah Construction, UAE

35. Issa M. Al Mohannadi, CEO, Msheireb Properties, Qatar

36. Rahail Aslam, CEO, Select Group, Dubai

37. Abdullah Mohammed Al Issa, Chairman, Saudi Construction Company, Saudi Arabia

38. Mohammed Abdulaziz Al-Shaya, Chairman & Managing Director, Mabanee, Kuwait

39. HRH Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman, Arriyadh Development, Saudi Arabia

40. Abdul Fatah M. R. Marafie, Chairman & Managing Director, Al Tijaria, Kuwait

41. Ghazi Fahad Al Nafisi, Chairman & Managing Director, Salhiah Real Estate, Kuwait

42. Abdullah Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Chairman, United Real Estate Company, Kuwait

43. Rashid Fahad Al Naimi, Chairman, Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development, Qatar

44. Jamil Sultan Al-Essa, Chairman, National Real Estate Company, Kuwait

45. Samir Barraj, General Director, First Saudi Contracting Company, Saudi Arabia

46. Athbi Salem Al Ali Al Sabah, Chairman, Al-Themar International Holding, Kuwait

47. Mohammed Jassim Al Marzouq, Chairman & CEO,Tamdeen Real Estate, Kuwait

48. Mohammed Abdullah Al Nassar, Founder & Managing Director, Kuwait Remal Real Estate, Kuwait

49. Khalifa Yousef Al-Roumi, Chairman, Kuwait Real Estate Company, Kuwait

50. Khaled Khudair Al-Mashaan, Chairman, Alargan International Real Estate, Kuwait

51. Rashid Yaqoub Al-Nafisi, Chairman, Al Mazaya Holding, Kuwait

52. Marzooq Rashed Al-Rashdan, Chairman, Abyaar Real Estate Development, Kuwait

53. Imad Abdullah Al-Thaqip, Chairman, Al Enmaa Real Estate, Kuwait

54. Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman, Seef Properties, Bahrain

55. Seraj S. Al-Baker, Chairman, First Dubai Real Estate Development, UAE

56. Mansour Hamad Al Mubarak, Chairman, Aayan Real Estate, Kuwait

57. Khalid Othman Abdul Wahab Al Othman, Chairman & Managing Director, Ajial Real Estate Entertainment, Kuwait

58. Adnan Yaqoub Bu Rahma, Chairman, Al Mudon International, Kuwait

59. Omar Bin Abdallah Al Kadi, Managing Director, Injaz, Saudi Arabia

60. Adnan Abdul Wahab Al Nusuf Nusuf, Chairman & Managing Director, Manazel Holding, Kuwait

61. Hamad Fawzy Aleisa, Chairman, Massaleh Real Estate, Kuwait

62. Samir Yaqoob Al Nafisi, Chairman, Inovest, Bahrain

63. Waleed Ahmad Al-Mannai, Chairman, Arkan Al-Kuwait Real Estate, Kuwait

64. Emad Jawad Bukhamseen, Chairman & Managing Director, Al Arabiya Real Estate, Kuwait

65. Sheikh Ali Abdullah Al Khalifah Al Sabah, Chairman, Tijara & Real Estate Investment, Kuwait

66. Yaser Abul Hasan, Chairman, Kuwait Business Town Real Estate, Kuwait

67. Mohammed A. Hayat, Chairman, Pearl Of Kuwait Real Estate, Kuwait

68. Sheikh Bader G. Al Zahrani, Chairman, Ishraqah, UAE

69. Hisham Ahmed Al Rayes, Chairman, Gulf Holding, Bahrain

70. Carlos Obeid, Chairman, Capitala, UAE

Blog Archive