Tuesday, August 19, 2014

European property developer Preatoni sets up UAE sales & operations division

European property developer Preatoni sets up UAE sales & operations division

Builder of 2.5 billion worth of tourism and leisure projects in MENA region adopts non-exclusivity policy with UAE sales brokers

Dubai, UAE,  August 2014: Preatoni, the leading European property developer which recently opened Preatoni Real Estate in Dubai, has launched a dedicated sales division to handle the UAE realty market.

The company, which has built tourism and residential complexes, hotels and leisure centers worth 2.5 billion euros in the MENA region, has adopted a non-exclusivity policy with UAE sales brokers, thus opening the doors for all sales agents.

“We are fully geared to unlock the potential of the UAE real estate market in residential, office, retail and hospitality sectors. Our newly established dedicated sales division will work in coordination with other units to drive sales and generate further demand in our projects,” said Edoardo Preatoni, CEO of Preatoni Real Estate.  

“We decided not to appoint any exclusive sales agents for any of our UAE projects with the goal of replicating our success stories in Europe, Baltic and the Middle East. So far, this model is paying off in the UAE market as we work with all brokers and agents to maintain open channels with key players in the market.”

He added: “Property management is our bread and butter. By leveraging our track record with hotels, resorts and other projects, we believe we do a good job of selling a product. Further, long-term investor care figures on top of our priority list, and our financial capability and experience in hospitality make it easier for the sales unit to successfully market our projects to end users as well as investors.”

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.

The company aims to expand its portfolio of residential and commercial complexes through this dedicated arm, which will play an instrumental role in generating further demand for Preatoni’s current and future projects.

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

Preatoni has recently invested in Dubai Star Tower which is taking shape as a prominent landmark on the Dubai skyline and the company is slated to announce other major projects in the short term.

Preatoni concluded: “This sales unit will work in harmony with other concerned sections at our company. We are confident this move will take Preatoni ahead of competition, driven by the factors like strong track record, investor and client confidence and international profile.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Runway refurbishment to take Dubai airport’s growth notches up

Runway refurbishment to take Dubai airport’s growth notches up 

 Spotless execution of complicated project on schedule
Effective planning and coordination among stakeholders
High Speed Turnoff (HST) taxiway capacity enhanced

Dubai, 16 August 2014: The refurbishment of two runways at the Dubai International Airport has been carried out with minimal disruptions in flight operations due to a “well-planned” execution of the “complicated” project within the 80-day schedule with all the stakeholders working together with a one-team spirit.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS) had formed a committee comprising of all concerned departments and companies. This committee, under his supervision, laid a ‘perfect’ programme which lead to the successful completion of the project in record time, avoiding any obstacles that could have been caused during the work whilst, documenting the workflow in daily reports.
Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS), said the project involved the up gradation and maintenance of the two runways in the most innovative and effective manner without entailing the complete closure of the flight operations.

“We were told that no other project of this kind has occurred in the history of civil aviation in which the runway refurbishments were made with the least possible impact on normal flight operations,” he remarked. DANS provides Air Traffic Control (ATC), electronic engineering and meteorology services at both Dubai International and Al Maktoum International in Dubai World Central (DWC).
The independently-managed ANSP asserts that the “inspirational” cooperation among the aviation stakeholders about the need for equipping the world’s fastest-growing aviation hub with cutting-edge bigger facilities would go a long way in handling the air traffic which has been consistently growing between five to seven per cent annually, higher than the global average of 3.5 per cent.
Dubai International recorded 6.2 per cent surge in the number of passengers which stood at 34.67 million in first half of 2014 despite over 26 per cent cut in flights during May and June for the refurbishment. Despite the refurbishment project, the airport was able to record its 18th consecutive month of more than five million passengers. 
DANS contributed a significantly big part in the planning of the refurbishment programme by looking at the various flight operation scenarios with the prime aim being the minimal disruption and delays. The project was carried out by the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) with the other key players being Dubai Airports, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.
He said: “As Dubai International offers airlines a 24/7 operation, the runway closures were more complex and required meticulously planning. Our inputs were crucial in the planning of the whole project. The average delay was less than five minutes. The northern runway required resurfacing and other modifications to accommodate future traffic. There was a requirement to construct new rapid exit taxiways on the southern runway to boost capacity.”    

Now, the runways are the best in the world to land and take off on with an increased capacity for High Speed Turnoff (HST). HST is a long radius taxiway designed and provided with lighting or marking to define the path of an aircraft, traveling at high speed.
Busy airports typically construct high-speed or rapid-exit taxiways in order to allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds. This allows the aircraft to vacate the runway quicker, permitting another to land or depart in a shorter space of time. The ICAO rapid exit taxiway design speed is 50 knots (93 kmph) for Code 3 and 4 aircraft for exit speeds under wet conditions.  The aircraft usually travels slower when it exits – the nominal turnoff speed is 30 knots for Code 3 and 4.
For flight operations, authorities have four peak hours 24/7 at the Dubai International Airport and an average of 33 arrivals are handled in an hour. DANS aims to increase it to 45 by the year 2016 as part its 10-year strategy plan that has been in the works.
A slew of projects are on the anvil that would enable DANS to handle the anticipated growth in air traffic in Dubai and to decongest and restructure the airspace that has been labeled as one of the most congested in the world.  The UAE airspace system currently handles approximately 600,000 movements a year. By 2025 it needs to accommodate the range of 1.2 million movements.  

Seven Tides launches deferred payment plan for limited number of Anantara Residences

Seven Tides launches deferred payment plan for limited number of Anantara Residences

Attractive buy now, pay later scheme launched as UAE luxury developer targets GCC investors with final payment hiatus proposition

Investors interested in buying units within the luxury Anantara Residences Palm Jumeirah community from Seven Tides will have the opportunity to take advantage of a new nine month deferred payment plan.

A limited number of one and two-bedroom apartments have been made available in the North and South Residences following the successful sales performance of an earlier release of South Residences in May 2014.

The 20/80 payment plan requires a minimum 20% deposit of the total unit price with the balance deferred for nine months from date of purchase, allowing buyers to take immediate possession of their new home with developer Seven Tides covering all service charges for the period covered.

“Investors will be able to see an immediate return on their investment, especially with the benefit of up to nine months’ deferred payments, on the remaining balance. This targets the smaller independent investor who may have the capital to secure a property, but need more time to fund an outright purchase,” said
Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides.

An investor-led product with a positive outlook in terms of capital appreciation, buyers have several options when looking at maximising the return on their investment including the ability to resell the property once it is fully paid for, or alternatively enter the hotel’s rental programme after the nine month period.

The hotel-managed rental yield is certainly an additional benefit to be considered for investors, given the comparative rental prices with a normal residential unit. A one-bedroom apartment is AED 2.7 million and a Palm Jumeirah Shoreline apartment of similar size (1,184 square feet), in the Jash Falqa building is on the market for approximately the same amount. According to property experts Asteco, Shoreline apartments command an annual rental rate of approximately AED 150,000.

“In comparison, the Middle East Cities Hotel Forecast 2014-15 report from PwC expects a 4.7% increase in the average daily rate for a hotel room in Dubai this year, with a figure of AED 936.10,” added Bin Sulayem.

Investors will be drawn to the appeal of a hotel room, or indeed a residence with access to five-star resort hotel facilities, which could generate a maximum annual rental income of as much as AED 273,341 if hotel occupancies mirror the 2013 average of 80%. This is just under double the AED 150,000 a comparative apartment realises on an annual basis, this rental yield will then be put towards the balance of the unit price,” he remarked.

Residence home-owners will also have exclusive access to the Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Resort & Spa. The hotel facilities available include a gym, 107,600-square feet of temperature controlled lagoon pools, a signature spa plus six dining and entertainment venues.

Anantara Residences is a collection of 442 luxury apartments and 14 penthouses are fronted by a private stretch of white sand beach with all residences enjoying spectacular panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, Atlantis hotel, Burj Al Arab and the Dubai Marina skyline.

About Seven Tides

Based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, privately owned Seven Tides is an internationally oriented holding company established in 2004. Currently focusing on hospitality and real estate sectors, Seven Tides thinks progressively, works creatively, partners strategically and acts quickly. The result is a current portfolio of offerings from landmark hospitality acquisitions and commercial buildings to residential towers and multi-use complexes in the gateway cities of London and Dubai.

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.
For more details, please visit www.asteco.com

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.

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