Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cayan Group Closes 2016 As ‘Year Of Excellence’ With Ongoing Projects Valued At SAR 5.5 Billion

++Saudi-based property developer and real estate investment group to surge ahead with strategic objectives and plans for 2017

Cayan Group, the leading property developer in the Middle East, has achieved its strategic business objectives and surpassed some of the tactical objectives for the year 2016, making it yet another excellent year for the group. The group has announced SAR 5.5 billion worth of ongoing projects in 2016.

Throughout 2016, Cayan Group surged ahead with planned projects and made steady progress in both construction and sales. In Riyadh, the CMC Tower’s enabling and structural packages were completed ahead of schedule in May within three and six months respectively. In addition, the group successfully launched Samaya project, a high-end mixed-use development located in a very primary area in Riyadh and the project is currently in the midst of the enabling stage.

In Dubai, the group launched the Cayan Arjaan Hotel Apartments in November at a press conference, during which it revealed that the residential tower of the Cayan Cantara project would also be managed and operated by renowned hospitality brand Rotana under their ‘Residences’ badge. Sales of units in both the Samaya project in Riyadh and Cayan Cantara in Dubai have been remarkable with each averaging 50% sold, which leaves a positive outlook for 2017.

Throughout the course of the year, Cayan Group was honored with numerous industry accolades and awards. The group was honored by Forbes Middle East as one of the ‘Top Real Estate Companies in The Arab World’ and as one of the ‘Top 50 GCC Developers in 2016’ by Construction Week magazine. Cayan Group was also bestowed the top spot in the 2015-2016 Arabian Property Awards in the ‘Office Development’ and ‘Mixed-use Development’ categories for the CMC Tower and Cayan Cantara respectively. Other accolades include the “Most Innovative Leading Property Developing Brand, KSA” by Global Brands Magazine Awards 2016. In addition, Cayan Group received “The Majestic Falcon Award for Quality & Excellence” by Otherways Management & Consulting.

“The general fluctuation in economic conditions in the Gulf region, and in particular in Saudi Arabia, has thrown some challenges our way too but these have not had a lasting or deep effect on our plans. Challenges are neither a phenomenon or a permanent setback; they can be rectified through planning and preparation,” noted Ahmed Alhatti, Chairman & President of Cayan Group. “However, the one area where we have experienced some difficulty in 2016 is in recruitment as attracting qualified personnel remains a challenge in the Kingdom,” surmised Alhatti.

“A source of inspiration for us all has been Saudi’s Vision 2030. The government’s plans have provided a road map to guide our decisions and directions. One of these is the development of local talent which we will pursue vigorously in 2017. This is true for most of the countries in the GCC that are following economic diversification and local talent-pool development plans—it is a great time to make an impact and a difference,” said Alhatti.

To address this concern, Cayan Group is formulating a new strategy to retain, attract, and train the best workers in 2017 by investing in employee skill development, creating alliances with relevant institutions, and offering internships to recent graduates.

Complementing the strategy on staffing, Cayan Group also intends to focus on developing new methods to improve customer care and to show loyalty and exceptional service for existing and potential clients alike. Cayan Homes, through it’s unique range of innovative, holistic real estate services, will continue to provide customers with the best brokerage services, as well as protecting their interests by giving them exclusive opportunities with preferential rates for the upcoming Cayan Group projects.

An area of strategic expansion in 2016 was Cayan Group’s foray into the GCC’s hospitality sector though Cayan Hospitality, and the development of projects such as Cayan Cantara. “The hospitality sector is brimming with opportunities. It would be a shame not to be involved as we have a lot to offer when it comes to developing high-quality, high-end, and fascinating projects. We envision being a point of interest for the tourists whether they stay in a Cayan-branded hotel, or visit any Cayan-branded building,’’ commented Alhatti. “The Group will continue to seek opportunities in this sector in 2017.”

Much like in 2016, the main focus for Cayan Group for 2017 remains its core business which is the development of iconic and awe-inspiring real estate. With three mega projects in the pipeline, Cayan Group continues to lead the way as the master-developer of choice in the Arab world as well as penetrating new market opportunities on an international scale.

“As 2016 draws to a close, we have a strong pipeline of projects that are custom-made to meet the needs of the real estate investors in the region and that stand out due to their individuality and exceptional quality. We are proud of what we have achieved and we are unified in our vision to extend these values to all our businesses. The success of our business is very much a team effort and together we will continue to play an important role in setting the pace of real estate development in the region to match market needs,” said Alhatti.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New AED 300 Million Project In Abu Dhabi - My City Centre Masdar

+Convenience-focused neighborhood retail concept tailored to the daily shopping needs of world’s ‘most sustainable’ low carbon city

+My City Centre Masdar will feature 60 retail outlets including a Carrefour Hypermarket and a City Centre Clinic across more than 18,000 sqm of gross leasable area (GLA)

+Easily accessible new mall will serve an estimated population of more than 75,000 residents and professionals

Set to open by the end of 2018, My City Centre Masdar will deliver a convenient, neighborhood retail experience which meets the daily shopping needs of more than 75,000 estimated consumers in surrounding areas. It will include 60 outlets across 18,000 sqm of gross leasable area (GLA), including a Magic Planet family entertainment center, a 5,760 sqm Carrefour Hypermarket, a City Centre Clinic to provide community-focused healthcare services, and convenient dining options for both residents and professionals within Masdar City.

Today around 2,000 people work at Masdar City and its residential population is expected to exceed 3,500 people within the next two to three years. Around 35% of the City’s planned built-up area will be completed over the next five years and nearly 30% has already been committed to, including private homes, schools, hotels and additional office space. Up to 40,000 residents and 50,000 workers and students will be based at Masdar City by 2030.

The one-level mall, to be constructed using Majid Al Futtaim’s international sustainability standards, will have shaded parking for 430 vehicles on its rooftop through the use of photovoltaic panels, with My City Centre Masdar’s energy and water consumption targeted to be 40% lower than comparable buildings, in line with Masdar City’s eco-friendly strategy.  The mall will aim to achieve an Estidama 3 Pearl rating, which is the equivalent of LEED gold building status for sustainability.

Located next to Abu Dhabi International Airport, Masdar City is the flagship sustainable urban development of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. A ‘greenprint’ for the future development of our cities, Masdar City applies real-world solutions in clean energy supply, water and energy efficiency, and the reduction of waste.

Ease of accessibility is vitally important for My City Centre Masdar, which will be served by integrated transport links, including an Abu Dhabi Metro line running along the main boulevard with a station situated next to the mall, within easy walking distance.

Masdar City is an innovation ecosystem, connecting education with research & development and business with investment opportunities. The City is home to the first clean-tech cluster in the Middle East to be integrated with a world-class research institute, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

Majid Al Futtaim continues its expansion and enters Abu Dhabi’s shopping mall landscape, as part of the company’s strategy to increase its total investment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by AED 30 billion by 2026, taking its total investment in the country to AED 48 billion.  In addition to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the company is currently building new malls in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, while redeveloping and expanding a number of its 20 existing retail and leisure destinations.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Schon's Massive New Dh3.2Billion Mega Project

>The development of 2,700 hotel apartments at a single-site development near Dubai South – home to the 140-square kilometer future city that hosts Al Maktoum International Airport and Expo 2020 site

>With a development value exceeding Dh3.2 billion, this is the largest single-site hotel apartment project in the Middle East and North Africa region

>Investors are guaranteed a 12 percent average annual return – the highest for property investors

Schon Properties, recipient of the Top Private Developer award for 2016 by Forbes Middle East, announces the development of iSuites – a massive Dh3.2 billion (US$870 million) home-grown hospitality portfolio that will see the development of 2,700 hotel apartments at a single site within Dubai Investment Park – close to the World Expo 2020 site.

The entire complex includes 21 mid-rise buildings – each having 9 floors including two basement floors – and will be delivered by 2020, just before the historic Expo 2020 begins in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The branded hotel apartments will be managed by international hotel operators to offer greater comfort to visitors. Part of the iSuites inventories will be offered to investors that guarantees a high return on investment.

Sales of the iSuites are currently on as investors and buyers could now purchase a hotel suite or a service apartment that will be managed by international branded chain hotel operators and offer buyers a higher income of 12-15 percent.

“We are launching iSuites – a home-grown urban hospitality concept from the UAE targeting millennials as the country moves forward to realize the government’s Vision 2020,” Noorul Asif, Chief Operating Officer of Schon Properties, says.

“Dubai, which has 100,000 hotel rooms and hotel apartments, will need 40,000 new hotel rooms and hotel apartments within less than 46 months, as the clock is ticking for Expo 2020 – the largest exposition to take place in the history of the Middle East – that the city of Dubai will proudly host.

“In order to help align with the Dubai Government’s Vision 2020, Schon Properties has stepped up its efforts to support the government’s tourism vision that will prepare the city to host 20 million hotel guests per year by 2020 and support the 25 million visitor traffic to the Expo 2020 site.

“iSuites is our own development plan that further strengthens the Government of Dubai’s vision. We have gathered all our resources to realign our development game plan to ensure the timely delivery of the project that will be connected to the Expo 2020 site with the new metro line.

“So, visitors to Dubai could check into iSuites within ten minutes of arriving at the Al Maktoum International Airport, as the project is located just two stations from the world’s largest greenfield airport development project within Dubai South.”

iSuites – a lucrative investment product – will help contribute to the economic growth of the UAE and help realize the country’s vision 2020 and 2030. Schon Properties, which will retain a third of the 2,700 units in iSuites, will offer a limited number of units to the public to purchase and benefit from a higher return on investment.

iSuites envisages smart modern living of functional and futuristic facilities. The full-serviced hotel apartments are targeting millennials interested in urban lifestyle hotel stays, small families coming to Dubai on a short- term corporate assignment or a pure family vacation.

“Our study shows that an investor could get an average net income yield of 12 percent return on investment from our latest offering – iSuites – that will help investors make more money with less pain,” Noorul Asif says.

“The yield is backed by strong numbers of tourists coming in the proximity of the iSuites site which will lead to strong occupancy levels and high average daily rates (ADR’s). The movement of 160 million passengers through Al Maktoum International Airport, 25 million tourists to the EXPO 2020 site and 5 million annual tourists at Dubai Parks and Resorts – are the three mega demand drivers for iSuites. All these projects are what most of us in Dubai are banking on, and with our location next to them, we are very confident in the long-term prospect of the venture.

“Dubai’s hospitality market is segregated and spread throughout the city, but there are niche tourism hot spots which are expecting massive gains in the next 3 years. Jumeirah Village, Business Bay, and Dubai Marina and other master communities are not niche hot spots as they are far from the main attractions.  Dubai Investment Park, being located directly next to EXPO 2020 is a major niche tourism hot spot and will give high returns to investors.

“In all probability, the annual income yield could exceed 15 percent, in which case, the investor could get back the entire value of the investment in less than seven years. Our views on this are clear by retaining over one-third of the development going forward. On top of this, I expect 50 percent capital appreciation on the asset over the next three years, due to the site’s prospects.”

iSuites strategic location being next to the world’s largest airport – Al Maktoum International Airport – assures high occupancy rates and secure income for investors. The iSuites features over 52 restaurants and cafes boasting outdoor areas overlooking the Crystal Lagoon as part of a master-planned development. iSuites includes a 125,000 square foot retail promenade called the Laguna Centrale Mall. This includes urban themed cafes dedicated for entrepreneurs, kids play areas and nanny services available for all guests. Bank, retail, spas, supermarkets, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and shopping are available at the Laguna Centrale Mall to give full service to all guests for the hotel development.

“iSuites is the commencement of Schon’s restructuring plan and change of development direction, fully focusing on hospitality ventures going forward.  The future of Dubai is hospitality, and with HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid’s vision for 20 million tourists, the city has a bright future with unparalleled infrastructure and the best tourist attractions in the world. We offer everything form ski slopes, to the dessert, to culture, to arts, to beaches, to year round sunshine, all with 100 percent security, hence, we believe tourism is the best investment in Dubai.”

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the emirate’s tourism industry regulator, said, Investment in Dubai’s hotel industry is expected to pick up in the next four years with additional 40,000 serviced hotel rooms and hotel apartments to be added to the existing inventory of 100,000 – to serve the anticipated 20 million hotel annual guests by 2020, in addition to the 25 million visiting the World Expo 2020.

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