RAK Properties to invest $381m

RAK Properties to invest $381m

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The UAE’s RAK Properties is planning to invest Dh1.4 billion ($381.2 million) this year in new luxury developments in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and is looking for joint ventures in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, the company’s chief executive, also said he thought the firm’s shares, traded on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, had fallen too low.

‘It should be better…It has been as high at Dh4.8 (dirhams)…with a company like ours with over 70 million square feet (6.503 million square metres) given free by the government we have large assets,’ Al Qadi said.

In November, Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates in the UAE, issued a decree allowing foreigners to own real estate in RAK Properties projects, following Dubai which kicked off a property boom by allowing limited foreign ownership in 2002.

Al Qadi said he did not expect profits to surge as a result of the law as RAK Properties was facing competition from four other real estate firms in Ras Al Khaimah, although he expected the overall property market to grow 20 to 30 per cent this year.

‘The supply and competition is high and we don’t think the margins will be very high but they will be reasonable.’

Al Qadi said the company was planning to invest Dh1.4 billion in new luxury developments in Ras Al Khaimah this year.

The firm has already started work on a project worth over Dh20 billion in Ras Al Khaimah which will include 10 five-star hotels and almost 4,000 residential units set to be completed by the end of 2008.

Other projects include a residential complex centred around a golf course, two residential towers, and a Dh5-billion residential and commercial development modelled on Dubai Marina, a complex of luxury residential towers outside downtown Dubai.

Al Qadi said he was setting up a financing company with a capital of around Dh1 billion to fund projects for RAK Properties, which he says has capital of Dh2 billion.

‘We have sufficient funds at our disposal for the next few years,’ he said.

Al Qadi said RAK Properties was looking to form a joint venture with one or two firms in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and would seek to enter the medium to lower end of the market.

‘We’ve been talking but it hasn’t taken (on) seriousness yet,’ Al Qadi said. ‘It will likely be with one or two companies… If a good opportunity comes I may move tomorrow.’

Al Qadi said he saw strong demand continuing in the next five to 10 years in the Dubai property market but much of the growth would come in the medium-to-low cost sectors because of an oversupply of luxury projects.

‘In Ras Al Khaimah, we want to show something unique, but if we go somewhere else they may not need deluxe or super-deluxe, they may need middle or lower, and we’ll need to meet that demand,’ he said.

Source: Trade Arabia