UAE Property

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. bought a property investment company based in Dubai to beef up its presence in the booming Middle East and North Africa region. RSP Group employs 30 people, Chicago-based Jones Lang said, without giving the price. The company said demand for its services will come from developers and investors.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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UMM AL QUWAIN – His Highness Shaikh Rashid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, has issued a law, regulating property ownership in the emirate.

The 13-article of Law No. 3 for 2006, states that property ownership in the emirate shall be restricted to UAE and GCC nationals or corporate bodies owned by them.
According to law, expatriates and non-GCC nationals can own property in the emirate but not the land in designated investment areas. They are also entitled to benefit from their ownership of surface property on the basis of 99-year lease contract.

Related Links: Dubai City Guide to Umm Al Quwain

Dubai: Dubai Land Department has started registration of freehold properties for non-GCC residents, a source told Gulf News.

A decree identifying Dubai’s freehold zones has been officially approved and could be accepted as law by the end of the month. But according to the source, the process of issuing title deeds in individual names is in fact under way with many residents bearing official documents declaring the land in their name.

More than 13,000 families have already moved to their “freehold” homes since Dubai opened its property to expatriate ownership in 2002.

In March, Dubai issued Property Registration Law (No 7) that legalised freehold ownership of land and property to UAE and GCC nationals. According to Article (4) of the law, non-GCC citizens are able to purchase freehold property in areas determined and specified by the Ruler of Dubai.

Mohammad Sultan Thani, director of development and marketing administration at Dubai Land Department, said a decree identifying Dubai’s freehold zones has been officially agreed by the Ruler’s Office and is awaiting official publication.

He said developments built by major real estate companies such as Nakheel, Dubai Holding and Emaar will be included, and added, “We are not expecting any major omissions”.

Although he could not confirm the exact date of publication, Thani said the decree was weeks, rather than months, away.

According to a leading Dubai developer, a discrepancy among buyers over the legal rights they expect and what is in fact the current reality is damaging the real estate sector.

“Every week and month that the law remains unclear it shakes the credibility of the market, said Mohammad Nimer, director of MAG Group.

Nadeem A Shaikh, manager of Better Homes’ legal division, added: “Hopefully [the decree will be passed] very soon. The announcement would alleviate uncertainty for all those buyers who bought property in popular areas such as Emirates Hills and Dubai Marina on the reliance that these “zones” would eventually become freehold.

“Buyers currently believe they can register their property immediately and that the transfer fee they have already paid will cover this cost.”

The Land Department is planning to set up a temporary office near Dubai’s main residential developments to cope with the rush to register when the decree is passed, while a new premises is being built in Bur Dubai. The process is subject to charges from the Land Department.

Source: Gulf News

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According to AME Info (as at the 23rd of May 2006)

Land sales worth more than $38.4m were concluded in Dubai on Monday, according to figures from the Lands and Property Department. The biggest deal was for a plot in Al Safouh-2 that changed hands for $25.9m. Mortgages worth $77.4m were also registered.

Source: AME Info

Dubai Lagoon, the 3 billion AED high watermark of living, announced their launch of the second phase of the contemporary property development based in the heart of new Dubai. Targeted at middle income, the Lagoon development is well located for the new airport and minutes from two main highways, Dubailand, Dubai Sports City and Dubai Knowledge Village.

The second phase boasts studios to two bedroom properties and all include fully furnished kitchens as standard. All Buildings of Dubai Lagoon’s second phase will be based around a stunning sapphire coloured lagoon. The second phase is expected to be ready for occupation by June 2008. It is expected the second phase will be as popular as the first phase, which sold out within 54 days, due to the flexible and extended payment terms. Sonia Husain, Executive Director of Dubai Lagoon said:

‘It is expected that the launch of phase two will be met with the same positive response as phase one. We have a unique proposition at Dubai Lagoon that caters for the middle management demographic, a previously ignored demographic by property developers. In addition to well appointed and good value investment opportunities we are offering flexible payment terms and fantastic options’.

Property buyers can take advantage of the payment terms which allow the purchaser to pay 60% over the initial two years with the balance to be paid over the next five years, like monthly rent. Dubai Lagoon is launching the second phase with a celebratory options scheme which will offer the buyer a variety of incentives dependent upon the property purchase. The incentive allows the buyer the option of a new Chevrolet motor vehicle (Spark, Aveo or Lumina), a PAN Emirates Furnishing voucher or a 5% discount upon booking.

Unlike other real estate incentives that wait until completion, with Dubai Lagoon as soon as one book an apartment the owner can drive away the vehicle or take away their vouchers to furnish their new home. In addition to these incentives the apartments are all ownership sub-lease hold title which means that all owners are eligible for family residence visas, subject to UAE immigration rules and regulations. The first phase of Dubai Lagoon proved very attractive to both investors and residents, largely due to the charming, tranquil and luxurious surroundings, resulting in sales of an equal split between the two groups.

Source: AME Info

Related links: Official Dubai Lagoon Website

Donald J. Trump, Jr., son of Donald J. Trump, and Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions, The Trump Organization, is in Dubai this week to reveal details about the new design and discuss The Trump Organization’s increased involvement in the UAE. Speaking at the Arabian Hotel and Investment Conference (29th April to 1st May), he will discuss mixed use developments & condo hotels and feature in a round table discussion on private equity in the Middle East. On the 2nd May, he will be present on the Nakheel stand at the Arabian Travel Market.

Trump International Hotel & Tower, The Palm Jumeirah is the initial development in Nakheel and The Trump Organization’s joint-venture in the Middle East, which includes exclusive rights for 19 countries in the Middle East region and 17 major brands. It is also the first UAE property in the portfolio of Nakheel Hotels & Resorts, Nakheel’s hotel and resort investment company, which was launched in February this year.

On announcing the partnership in October 2005, Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, who is known throughout the world for his luxurious real estate developments, stated that the organization’s architects and designers would engage closely with Nakheel Hotels & Resorts on the design. The results of the partnership have now been released.

The US$600 million Trump International Hotel & Tower, The Palm Jumeirah is a stunning 48 storey mixed-use hotel and residential building, anchoring the trunk of the 5 by 5km man made palm tree shaped island which lies off the coast of Dubai. The first of three such islands to be built in Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah will be one of the world’s premier resorts, offering a wealth of beachfront hotels, residences, retail and leisure.

The new ultra-modern design, features a split linked tower – an innovative open core design that minimizes shadows – constructed with stainless steel, glass and stone. Regarding the new design, Donald J. Trump, Jr. said:

In redesigning the property, we focused on creating a magnet for tourists and residents and a landmark icon on the Dubai skyline. Trump International Hotel & Tower, The Palm Jumeirah will soar into the sky, its twin sets of glazed diamond shaped structures at the top of each tower creating a sense of infinity as the glazed elements blur building and sky

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Nakheel stated: ‘The new design ensures that the property will be a striking landmark – a bold monument at the heart of the island. The property’s taller, more slender design allows for a linear view through the building to the top of the island and provides spectacular panoramas of the island, Dubai and the Arabian Gulf, with all rooms benefiting from a sea view.’

‘In building the vision of Dubai, Nakheel is committed to creating genuinely unique projects which are at the forefront of innovation”, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem continued. “The new design of the Trump International Hotel and Tower lives up to this commitment and will provide a fitting landmark centerpiece for The Palm Jumeirah, our flagship development.

Old design of Trump International Hotel & Tower The Palm Jumeirah

‘As the world’s fastest growing city, it is important that Dubai forms progressive partnerships with prominent international organizations. Our alliance with The Trump Organization is a fantastic example of how such partnerships can operate successfully. The Trump International Hotel and Tower is the first example of this success’

New Design of Trump International Hotel & Tower The Palm Jumeirah

Source: AME Info

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According to available statistics, the United Arab Emirate’s real estate market is expected to jump to 230 billion dirhams ($63 billion) in the next seven years which is an unparalleled achievement given the size of the country.

The sustained uptrend in global oil prices has contributed to this phenomenal growth leading to availability of surplus funds especially with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments. Development of property and real estate has given rise to a host of property developers, financial institutions and fund management companies spread throughout the UAE with the main concentration being in Dubai.

Emaar Properties of Dubai has started construction of Burj View East Tower, the third and final high rise building in a three-tower project. Burj View is the world’s tallest tower, providing panoramic view of Downtown Dubai.

The project is expected to be completed by early 2008. The project offers one and two bedroom Burj Views residences covering an area of 726 square feet to 1400 square feet and offering a unique combination of amenities and unprecedented value.

Since its inception a year ago, the Dubai-based home finance company, Tamweel financed property worth 1.7 billion dirhams ($463 million). Tamweel’s meteoric growth within less than one year is ascribed to the fact that it has addressed a core sector of property market by affording a range of innovative products and working on distinct service strategies.

Jumeirah Beach Residence is perhaps the world’s single largest residential-cum-commercial property development project stretching along 1.7 kms of Jumeirah Beach. Besides Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Properties has one more equally prestigious project, Business Bay. Both Jumeirah Beach Residence and Business Bay have been extensively exhibited at Home Owner Exhibition in Dubai which attracts visitors from the Gulf, the Middle East, United Kingdom, the whole of Europe, Russia, India, Americas and Australasia.

It is not only the residential or commercial towers/complexes which attract investors from the real estate market, even leisure and entertainment segment is making waves to leave a mark on Dubai’s property scene.

Tulip Business Developers’ flagship project, “Westside Marina” is worth 84 million dirhams and it offers the highest standard of designer, quality and luxury living to Dubai residents. It offers 67 luxury apartments of one to two bedrooms each with a price tag of 1.2 million to 1.8 million dirhams with 13 different layouts inclusive of six garden apartments with their own private gardens. Tulip is also investing more than $82 million (300 million dirhams) in Dubai Properties’ Business Bay and Palm Deira projects.

Another equally ambitious project is “Lakepoint” freehold tower at Jumeirah Lake Towers at a cost of 300 million dirhams. LAI General Trading (a 50-50 joint venture partnership between Al Yousuf Group and Gulf General Investment Co.) will develop the 45-storeyed Lakepoint Tower which consists of 414 apartments of one, two and three bedrooms each to be offered on freehold basis. The Tower, a purely self-financed project, is set to be completed by 2007.

Another relationship has come about between Damac Properties of Dubai and M.B. International Holdings, a leading private property company that owns and manages commercial and residential properties in the U.K., the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. In a landmark deal, Damac has sold out all retail space in its “Marina Terrace” project to M. B. International. Its senior executive praises the project as “Marina Terrace” sets new standards for opulence, exclusivity and luxury living. Its super-contemporary design and sensibility exudes grace and style…..”.

RAK Real Estate Company is slated to embark on a very ambitious project called “Mangrove” at a cost of 2.7 billion dirhams. Starting initially with large scale renovations in certain parts of Ras Al-Khaima, the company shall undertake the development of Mangrove project which covers 700,000 square meters. Created under the royal decree, the RAK Real Estate Company operates in vast and diversified spheres including construction, purchase and sale of real estate, property rental and renovation of existing buildings/properties.

Another financial institution hitting the headlines on the Gulf’s Real Estate scene is Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH). Euromoney magazine has, second time in a row, selected GFH as the best Islamic Real Estate Finance House for its cutting edge Shariah-compliant investment initiatives in the real estate sector. GFH’s Chief Executive Officer, Esam Janahi, confirmed, “Real Estate, as an asset class, yields higher returns when compared to other conventional options.

The finance house has made use of lucrative opportunities thrown up by the GCC as well as overseas property markets”. GFH has successfully positioned itself as a leading financial institution with a focus on raising investments in the Gulf and placing these as private investments in projects both internationally and in the Middle Eastern region. Across the globe, GFH has investments in blue-chip properties in Spain and France. Backed by a team of management professionals, GFH has, within a short span of time since its inception, increased its assets in excess of $1 billion.

Source: MENAFN