Earlier this month Omniyat Properties previewed their planned 230 apartment development, “The Pad“. Models of the building, to be designed to look like an iPod MP3 player, were on display at Dubai’s International Property Show 0n 3-5 April.
As an intelligent building the Pad will demonstrate prime specialisms of Omniyat Properties ultimate parent, Almasa Holdings, namely IT and real estate. Also known as â€˜iPadâ€™ the building will include lofts, studios and one and two-bedroom apartments. According to Bloomberg (25th April), apartments will cost up to AED 9m ($2.5m). The smallest units start at 581 sq. feet.
Starting prices according to Dubai based realtors GoWealthy.com are as follows:
1 Bedroom US$362,372
2 Bedroom US$901,158
Currently two-bedroom apartments in the more conventional West Wharf development (also in the Business Bay area) are being sold for around US$550,000. This is a development by Corporate Finance House scheduled for completion about a year ahead of the Pad.
Futuristic intelligent features of the Pad will include the following:
Rotating living and dinning rooms so as to enjoy views on either side of the waterfront building
Virtual panoramas from other parts of the world projecting on windows (iReality)
Video-conferencing in the dinning room
Reactive lighting able to respond to your mood or even to telephone calls (iAmbiance)
Bathroom health monitoring equipment
The purpose of room rotation is aesthetic rather than the space-saving device developed by Luigi Colani in Germany in recent years. The 360 degree views referred to in the Omniyat Property press release are not clearly reflected in all of the floor plans but the feature will certainly allow for the flexible use of the accommodation. Some apartments appear from floor plans to also include rotating double beds.
At the time of its launch Omniyat made clear that it hopes to incorporate robotic features into its developments such as robot vacuum cleaning but that seems to be some way in the future.
Facilities for residents will include a retail area, parking, the iClub, swimming deck, media Jacuzzi, underwater concert, media deck chairs, aerobics section, lap pool, half basketball court, running track, barbeque & gathering Area.
Almasa Holdings spun off its real estate division to form Omniyat Property Development Corporation in December 2005. Last year Almasa set up Omniyat Holdings as the holding company for Omniyat Property Development and other property concerns with a paid-up capital of $100m.
Tejoori, the AIM listed Sharia compliant investment company took a 25% stake in another Omniyat Holdings subsidiary, Omniyat Property Eleven Ltd., in January 2007. Omniyat has sold a stake in one of it’s office development to the Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain and has also signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank for mortgage facilities for investors in another of its commercial developments.
The first phase of Omniyat Properties’ first residential project, the Square, was sold out three days after launch.
As iPod owners pointed out when the project was first talked of, there is no indication if allowance has been made for Apple changing the look of their product by the time the Pad reaches completion in late 2009. Others pointed out that iPad suggested the iPod by its proportions rather than replicating the precise appearance of any specific model.