Monday, July 7, 2014

Dubai property slowdown continues in Q2 2014

Dubai property slowdown continues in Q2 2014

Communities along Mohamed Bin Zayed Road corridor gain 10% as budget-conscious buyers shy away from higher-priced property locations says Asteco Q2 2014 report

  • Average apartment and villa rents increase 4% and 5% respectively in Q2
  • Average apartment and villa sales prices rise 6% and 3% respectively in Q2

The second quarter of this year saw a continuation of the slowdown in Q1 2014 residential sales performance for Dubai with the market witnessing marginal growth, up 6% and 3% respectively for apartments and villas in Q2 2014; but the latest market report from Asteco anticipates renewed interest and activity in Q3 2014.
H1 2014 activity was marked by sector stabilisation and consolidation as the market continued to absorb the rapid growth witnessed in 2013. According to the Asteco Dubai Q2 2014 report, interest shifted to peripheral communities such as Jumeirah Village, Dubai Sports City and Dubai Silicon Oasis, as many prospective purchasers remained priced out of the more popular areas of the city such as Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina.
“We recorded positive growth rates of around 10% in Q2 for these areas, but at the same time there was a decline in interest in the previously popular affordable communities of Discovery Gardens and International City, which only registered minimal growth, indicating that they are now topping out price-wise and any further growth will take them out of the affordable bracket,” said John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco.
Stevens also noted that sellers who raised their prices following the Expo 2020 announcement are intent on maintaining their position, which has resulted in a reduction in transaction levels, especially for higher priced properties within established communities.
A raft of recent new launches, including Dubai Properties Group projects such as Manazel Al Khor in Culture Village, Rahat Villas at Mudon, and 200 new units at Remraam, have joined a growing list of announcements with Damac also launching its NAIA Hotel and Hotel Apartments, 34 premium Fendi Villas at Akoya Drive, and two hotel apartments at Jumeirah Village.
Emaar also continued its string of new launches with Opera Grand, the first residential development in the Opera District at Downtown Dubai, and Danube’s inaugural UAE project, the 171-townhouse Dreamz community at Al Furjan.
In terms of apartment sales, the top performers in Q2 2014 were Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah Beach Residence, both up by 11% to AED 3,300 and AED 2,000 per square foot respectively while Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai led year-on-year growth at 62% and 52% respectively. Jumeirah Village also showed 46% year-on-year growth with an increase of AED 300 to touch AED 1,100 per square foot. In comparison properties in Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Sports City are currently changing hands for AED 800 per square foot.  
The communities leading villa sales were Victory Heights and Palm Jumeirah, with an impressive 8% and more moderate 3% increase, taking the per square foot sales price to a ceiling of AED 1,450 and AED 4,000 respectively. Palm Jumeirah recorded a laudable 55% increase over the last 12 months while the newer Al Furjan community jumped by 44% with properties now selling at AED 1,200 per square foot.
“We anticipate that post the summer months, there are likely to be several new project announcements that will test demand in the market, giving buyers new opportunities to invest,” he remarked.
The rental market was dominated largely by demand from new arrivals into Dubai, with apartment rates increasing by 4% in Q2 and villas by 5% with modest growth of up to 10% witnessed across Dubai.
“With rents increasing steadily since 2013, many existing tenants have elected to remain where they are and
absorb the rent increase, as indicated by the RERA rental index, rather than start from scratch and incur the cost of moving, agent commissions etc.,” said Stevens.
Apartment rental rates grew most during Q2 2014 in Jumeirah Beach Residence where the annual rental rate for a two-bedroom unit increased by 10% boosted by the release of the Al Bateen Residences.
International City recorded the highest annual growth at 66% with a two-bedroom apartment currently leasing for up to AED 70,000 while Jumeirah Lakes Towers rose by 54% year-on-year, to reach AED 150,000 for a two bedroom apartment.
Villa rental rates grew by 5%, on average, in Q2 with the popular Jumeirah location witnessing the highest growth of 12% (40% year-on-year). Jumeirah Village saw an 11% increase in Q2 (20% year-on-year) due to its affordable positioning, with a three-bedroom townhouse typically achieving rates from AED 155,000 to AED 185,000 per annum.
Compared with Q1 2014, office leasing in Dubai was relatively slow in Q2, with Dubai Investment Park and Dubai Internet City the areas most in demand, with an overall market average rental rate increase of just 2%.
Office sales flat-lined in Q2, however, a major transaction was concluded by Dubai’s first real estate investment trust, (REIT) with the AED 600 million-plus purchase of more than 15 vacant office floors in Index Tower, at DIFC.
Asteco predicts an increase in enquiries and transactions post summer, supported by ongoing economic improvements and activity on the part of companies budgeting for the year ahead, and those expanding or relocating and in the market.
“We expect the main beneficiaries of this increase in demand to be the quality single-owned office buildings in prime business locations such as DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Media & Internet City,” noted Stevens.
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A copy of the full Asteco Dubai Q2 2014 report can be downloaded from –

Asteco, a major regional and international real estate services firm and the largest property services company in the United Arab Emirates, was founded in Dubai in 1985.  Asteco offers independent market analysis, design development consultancy and valuation services, sales and leasing services, as well as asset and property management services.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flowcrete Middle East Team Up With Accor On New Sofitel Hotel Project

Flowcrete Middle East Team Up With Accor On New Sofitel Hotel Project

Flowcrete Middle East recently collaborated with Accor on the development of their new flagship Sofitel hotel situated in Downtown Dubai.

The plush five star French accommodation opened its doors on May 1st 2014 and is Accor’s third Sofitel hotel in the city to date.

The lavish interior is based on the works of Artist, Victor Vasarel and Accor intends to position the hotel as “an oasis of art” which will blend Vasarel-inspired Op Art with Sofitel’s French culture.

At the crux of the building is the luxurious Sofitel So SPA, which features a full range of equipment, treatment rooms, two hammams with private baths, scrub and deep relaxation rooms, as well as boasting both a dry sauna and steam room.

The project involved the installation of Flowcrete’s Mondéco Terrazzo flooring system within the spa’s corridors and reception area, where 700 square metres of Mondéco Earth, featuring Mother of Pearl aggregates, was applied in a custom-made off-white colour to design specifications.

Flowcrete Middle East worked closely with Flowcrete Asia to create the bespoke colour and finish that Accor requested.  This process lasted for seven weeks and required incredible dedication from the entire team to get it absolutely right.
Vik Vithlani, Sales Director for Flowcrete Middle East, said: “It has been a real pleasure working with Accor throughout this project.

“Everyone worked exceptionally hard to make sure that the bespoke colour and finish of the spa’s floor was absolutely perfect. It was a painstaking process but in the end the client was thrilled with what we produced.

“The hotel’s designers really bought into the versatility and creative potential of the  product and as a consequence came up with what is a truly stunning and unique surface.”

Anchored in the heart of the city, the hotel provides stunning views of the coast and Burj Khalifa. It is just a few hundred metres away from The Dubai Mall and all the major business and leisure destinations Dubai has to offer.

All of the rooms feature spacious marble bathrooms and deluxe French amenities designed by Lanvin and Hermès, along with Sofitel’s MyBed concept – which is an all-feather bed and extra-light duvet – free WiFi and a Nespresso coffee machine. The Mondéco system allowed the Sofitel hotel to ensure that its high-end image could be applied to the venue’s floor.

The premium decorative flooring solution Mondéco is available in an unlimited resin colour palette, with the scope to include a wide-range of different aggregate materials. The Sofitel hotel utilised this design flexibility to create a unique and eye-catching aesthetic throughout the spa’s corridors and reception area.

Mondéco Terrazzo, one of Flowcrete Middle East’s premium products, features a mixture of decorative aggregates which are mixed in a pigmented epoxy resin. This is then applied to the substrate, left to cure and then ground with a diamond grinder to reveal a smooth and decorative finished surface.

The non-porosity of the seamless terrazzo flooring not only has an outstanding record for durability and performance but also consists of up to 55% recycled content, making it an extremely sustainable product.

It is testament to the outstanding versatility of Flowcrete’s epoxy terrazzo flooring systems that they have been successfully installed at a number of landmark large-scale commercial developments across the world, including shopping malls and entertainment venues as well as airports, hospitals, colleges and other facilities.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Preatoni enters UAE property Market by acquiring 191-metre-tall ‘Dubai Star Tower’ at Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

Preatoni enters UAE property Market by acquiring 191-metre-tall ‘Dubai Star Tower’ at Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

Italian real estate pioneer Ernesto Preatoni says the acquisition reflects a rebound in investor appetite for JLT

Dubai, UAE, 14 June 2014: Preatoni, a leading European property developer which recently launched Preatoni Real Estate company in Dubai, has bought a 100 percent stake in Dubai Star Tower, which is under construction at Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT).

Ernesto Preatoni, Founder and Chairman of Preatoni Real Estate, said: “Reflecting a rebound in investor appetite for JLT, this strategic acquisition is extremely delighting news to purchasers of Dubai Star Tower as the equity of their homes is automatically raised remarkably given the fact that work was resumed instantly to complete the construction of the project.”

Offering spectacular views of deep blue waters and eternal sunshine, the 191-metre Dubai Star Tower will be a magnificent place to unwind. The tower boasts a futuristic design through a fusion of architectural elements, while commanding a distinctive style and aesthetic expression of its own.

The tower incorporates retail and office spaces and luxury residential units that come with contemporary furnishings, latest amenities and a cosmopolitan look.

Stunning views, ceramic floor tiles, solid core entry door, walk-in closets, insulated and double glazed windows, grand lobby area and tiled balconies are some of the amenities of the new tower.

The tower also incorporates recreational facilities such as a world-class spa and swimming pool services that are all provided to tenants in a 5-star service hotel ambience.

Preatoni added: “Offering breathtaking views of an expansive horizon that changes a million hues as the day goes by, every place in Dubai Star is thoughtfully laid out to create a sense of space and comfort.”

He added: “We anticipate huge demand for this tower from investors from all over the world because the Preatoni name spells financial safety, strong reputation and great credentials in Europe and in other many places in the world.”

Preatoni added: “We have invested in this iconic structure that is fast taking shape as a prominent landmark on the Dubai skyline. We are proud to say that Preatoni has a reputation for long-term investor care. We are adding value to the property, because of our financial capability and hospitality experience.”

Work is in full swing on the tower and the contractor, Al Rashad Contracting Company, is confident of completing the construction before 2015 ends.

Preatoni has built high-class tourism and residential complexes, hotels and leisure centers worth 2.5 billion Euros in the MENA region, including the Domina Coral Bay Resort in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt.

Preatoni concluded: “We have started expanding our portfolio of residential and commercial complexes in Dubai. This is just the beginning of our investments in the UAE market as we are scouting other projects for long-term investment and ownership.”

Preatoni has regional headquarters in Milano, Italy; Tallinn, Estonia; Villnius, Lithuania; Riga, Latvia; Moscow, Russia; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and Dubai, UAE.

Once completed, Dubai Star will rise to 48 floors with 600 units, divided between commercial storefronts, offices and apartments.

Monday, June 9, 2014

‘Living Legends’ project progressing at rapid pace; handover of villas by end of 2014: Tanmiyat Group new CEO

‘Living Legends’ project progressing at rapid pace; handover of villas by end of 2014: Tanmiyat Group new CEO

Appointment of Engineer Muhammad Bin Odah is part of company’s re-structuring aimed at boosting its real estate market share in Dubai

Dubai, UAE, 9 June 2014: Tanmiyat’s newly appointed CEO, Eng. Muhammad Bin Odah, says that ‘Living Legends’, its major project in Dubailand is progressing at a rapid pace, as the company’s management re-structuring process takes shape aiming at boosting its share of Dubai’s real-estate market.

Bin Odah confirmed that Tanmiyat will hand over the ‘Living Legends’ villas in December 2014. He added that there are also plans to release new apartments in the market shortly, with attractive pricing and payment plans.

According to the company, the dramatic progress on Living Legends project is a reflection of the current robustness of the real-estate market in Dubai.

“The Living Legends project today is at an advanced stage and I am working very closely with the team to maintain the schedule and upgrade the quality and maximize our supply to meet the market demands as part of Tanmiyat’s efforts to consolidate its leading position amongst real estate developers not only in Dubai but also in the region,” Bin Odah said.

Eng. Muhammad Bin Odah who has extensive construction experience took over the project recently, leveraging his wealth of expertise as an engineer to look after every little detail. In addition, Mr. Bin Odah has very dynamic management capabilities having held several leading positions prior to Tanmiyat.

Living Legends, the 7 billion AED project, is an independent residential community with a golf course, a mall, landscaped gardens as well as other facilities to add to the comfort of residents.

Living Legends is also an attractive project for investors as it is part of the larger iconic entertainment project “IMG Worlds Of Adventure” in Dubailand. Tanmiyat is one of the main players in the ‘Legends’ project and an integral part of it.

Tanmiyat Group was launched in 1992, and currently has operations in different countries. According to the management, the company's restructuring is aimed at consolidating its position as one of the leading companies in the real estate sector in the region and to explore new opportunities.

“Living Legends consists of 12 residential towers offering luxurious apartments, in addition to 500 luxury residential villas of various sizes,” Mr. Bin Odah said.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Teams from Zaha Hadid Architects and Omniyat hail onsite progress of ‘The Opus’ iconic project

Teams from Zaha Hadid Architects and Omniyat hail onsite progress of ‘The Opus’ iconic project

Construction activity at fast pace on the structure that is set to be an imposing landmark on Dubai's skyline

Dubai, UAE, 8 June 2014: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), the leading architectural firm headed by renowned Arab architect Dame Zaha Hadid, and Omniyat, Middle East’s leading developer, have hailed the remarkable progress made in the construction of ‘The Opus’ iconic project after a joint site visit.

The construction site has more than 1000 workers engaged in frenetic activity to complete the project on schedule. The mixed use development has a built-up area of almost 2 million sq. ft., including an area of 250,000 sq. ft. dedicated to entertainment and fine dining.

Mahdi Amjad, Omniyat's Executive Chairman and CEO said: “We are delighted with the construction work at The Opus, especially with the building façade starting to take its spectacular shape in Burj Khalifa district.”

Omniyat expects the construction to progress at a faster pace over the coming months, with Brookfield Multiplex, the contracting company, working to complete one floor per week. The structure of the Opus is due to be completed by October 2014.

Amjad pointed out: “The manufacturing of the complex curved glass façade mock-up is also underway. When completed, the façade promises to be the most outstanding and eye-catching among all buildings in Dubai.”

The Zaha Hadid designed interiors are being further mocked up within the building and fine-tuned to ensure the Opus delivers an exceptional experience.

The joint site visit comes on the heels of the unveiling of the interiors of the ME by Melia hotel, which forms part of The Opus. The artistic touches of Zaha Hadid in the interiors are said to be another feature in the cap of The Opus.

The Opus will be a one-of-its-kind destination, envisioned and brought to life through a strong collaboration between Omniyat, ZHA and ME by Melia. The 95-metre high structure will be a symbol of outstanding design marked by a futuristic look and unsurpassed originality.

Located in one of the most coveted locations in Dubai, The Opus unfolds an incomparable experience through stylish interiors and artistic touches in every corner. It embodies the ultimate urban lifestyle and in terms of luxury, service and privacy.

ZHA and Omniyat teams were pleased with the progress of The Opus. Both companies expressed satisfaction over the pace of construction on site.

Amjad added: “We are delighted with this site visit. The progress demonstrates that we are working with ‘best-in-class’ designers, consultants and builders, along with some of the world’s best known and most respected architects, specialty consultants and contractors.”
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