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.