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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF REAL ESTATE REGULATORY AGENCY

MANAGING EDITOR K Raveendran

ravi@sterlingp.ae

MANAGING DIRECTOR Sankaranarayanan

sankar@sterlingp.ae

EDITOR

Linda Benbow

linda@sterlingp.ae

Contributing Editors vanit@sterlingp.ae manju@sterlingp.ae

Message from the CEO

Creative Director

Harikumar PB

harikumarpb@gmail.com

Designer

Ujwala Ranade

ujjwalaranade@yahoo.com

Sales and Marketing General Manager (Sales & Marketing)

Radhika Natu

radhika@sterlingp.ae

Product Manager

Vijayan G

vijay@sterlingp.ae

Accounts & Administration

Biju Varghese

biju@sterlingp.ae

Office Co-ordinator

Daisy Cartagena Orfrecio Circulation Supervisors

Ibrahim A. Hameed Saleem K U

Printing Asiatic Printing Press L.L.C., PB 3522, Ajman, UAE. Tel. 06 743 4221, www.asiaticpress.com, email: asiatic@eim.ae Distribution: Tawseel PB No 500666 Dubai, UAE. Tel: (+971 4) 342 1512 Sultanate of Oman: Al-Atta’a Distribution Est., Kuwait: The Kuwaiti Group for Publishing & Distribution Co.Bahrain: Al Hilal Corporation, Qatar: Dar Al-Thaqafah, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Distribution Company RERA neither takes responsibility nor accredits any studies, research or statistics that are not issued by it.

daisy@sterlingp.ae

I

am so glad that the matter of residency visas for foreign homeowners is being solved, and issued, from a federal level. My opinion on this matter has been known from the beginning when stating on many occasions that real estate and visas are two different issues. This means two things to me: first – things are moving towards more federal real estate regulation and, second - investors finally have one thing in common about real estate all over the UAE, so on one can promise him something against the law – it is clear to all that a real estate visa is regulated by the Government of the UAE. Let us hope the next step, which is full integration between Real Estate departments towards a single Real Estate database, is fulfilled soon.

Eng. Marwan Bin Ghalita CEO, Real Estate Regulatory Agency

The CEO’s message refers to recent announcements: Foreigners buying a home in the UAE valued at more than 1 million dirhams will be eligible for a six-month renewable residency visa under a new federal law announced recently by the Ministry of the Interior who said the move underlines the government’s commitment to serving the interests of all people who view the country as ‘an oasis of stability and peace’. A new paragraph will be added to article 33 of the executive regulations of the law for entry and residency of foreigners. It will read: ‘Owners of built-in properties can stay for six months from the date of entry into the country. On the expiry of this period, the owner pledges to depart for his homeland or any of the GCC countries. He will only be allowed to enter the country again after meeting the required conditions.’.

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DUBAI REAL TIMES

Vanit Sethi Manju Ramanan

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4 COVER STORY

C O N T E N T S

Open Days, relationships and alliances

10 Statistics: March figures

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News

Online Index Calculator

Retail destination Budget hotels One project at a time Smart technology Neighbourhood changes Slowdown allows time for installation of utilities Flexible rental terms Money saving schemes

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Bridging the landlord-tenant divide

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25 Achievements ISO certification Strategy for success Progress reports on four hotels 31 Dubai Focus Keeping up with trends Multitude of activities Wellness in real estate

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Profile

Public transport system

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Infrastructure The work goes on

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Environment Energy consumption at home


RERA NEWS

Mohammed Bin Rashid recognizes Land Department

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is Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the 11th ceremony of the Dubai Government Excellence Programme, DGEP, which was held at the Madinat Jumeirah at the end of April. Addressing the audience, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler, highlighted that the key objective of the programme is to promote excellence in the government sector. He went on to pledge that the march towards excellence- inspired by Sheikh Mohammed’s thoughts and vision, would continue, and undertook to add new award categories in the future to drive economic development forward. On taking the stage next to Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed distributed awards and certificates of appreciation to the winners in the various award categories. Sheikh Mohammed congratulated the winners, and called on all aspiring contenders to work harder, so that they may stand alongside the winners in the future. He concluded by drawing attention to the vital role people play in development and innovative processes, and praised the national capacity to produce leaders capable of guiding government institutions and the country towards success. The awards ceremony was attended by Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, other sheikhs, ministers, dignitaries, heads of government departments and a large number of government department staff. DGEP was established in 1997 and aims at improving the performance of Dubai’s government sector. The programme recognises and rewards exceptional government employees, departments, projects and initiatives with a trophy and a certificate of appreciation, while exceptional individuals are eligible for cash prizes and promotions.

Land Department - Best Result in Customer Satisfaction - Result Achieved: 85% Land Department - Best Result in Employee Satisfaction – Result Achieved: 81% Land Department - Distinguished New Employee - Mohammed Ali Al Bedwawi Land Department - Government Creative Employee - Barraq Abdelrazaq Bin Nasif Land Deparment – Unknown soldiers - Mohammed Ibrahim (Records co-ordinator) Land Deparment – Unknown soldiers - Saleh Al Mulla (property registration)

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2008 winners all

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OPEN DAY

Opening up to people RERA’s new initiative of ‘Open Tuesday’ is a step for investors and developers to reach out directly to the government By Ambily Vijaykumar

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t is a new initiative that RERA believes will help bridge the communication gap between builders, developers, investors, banks and the government. Started just over two months ago, Open Tuesday has become a platform for people involved in the real estate sector to communicate with the government authorities and convey their problems and fears at a time when there of considerable uncertainty with regard to the status of various projects. “It is not possible to address the issues of all our clients in one day with fixed appointments. So we thought this open forum will be a great platform to interact with the parties concerned, and get a feedback from end-users as well, on what their apprehensions and problems are. Earlier, it would take me an hour at least to listen to individual complaints. Now all I need is five minutes,” says Essa Saeed Ahmed Al Mansoori, Head of Trust Accounts Section at RERA. This step is part of the larger initiatives the regulatory agency plans to implement in the coming months. The general complaint the agency has been getting through its ‘Open Tuesday’ initiative is with on the construction status of various projects. “Most complaints are on the lines that people have paid up to 40 per cent of the money for the project, but the construction has not begun.

Essa Saeed Ahmed Al Mansoori, Head of Trust Accounts Section at RERA

So they are keen to know what is going on,” says Essa Saeed Ahmed Al Mansoori. “This is something the developers need to clarify with their investors,” he adds. However, people want a direct interaction with the government. It is to address this issue that RERA is also planning to offer chat room facility on its website for clients in the future. But investor confidence is something RERA is working hard to rebuild and so they have mooted a plan to launch a project within the next three months that will enable investors to keep track of their payments. “The investor will be given a username and password and they can track on their payments. RERA has been working on this project since November last year and we are hoping to get it ready within

the next three months,” informed Al Mansoori. Despite all the concerns however, RERA says the market has stabilized. Both developers and investors are looking for information and RERA is ensuring that it is acting as a medium to dispatch the information. “They are satisfied that the information being given to them is keeping them on track and they are better able to understand what is going on with regard to their projects and investments.”


The market rebound has happened with ready properties, but the trend is yet to surface with off-plan properties. With regard to accountability, RERA’s initiative to have compulsory registration for all properties in Dubai was a much appreciated step. “The response to that has been overwhelming. We are running short of employees to complete the job for us. For the moment though, we are trying to clear the backlog,” he says. Since the registration drive began, a total of 757 projects have been registered, of which 43 per cent are under construction. There are, of course, projects that have been cancelled or delayed, but they are the ones for which construction has not begun.

opers have substantial reasons behind not sticking to their deadlines.” Such a situation also calls for evaluation of projects to determine whether they can go ahead or not. A five, member committee has already been established to evaluate each project in Dubai. “Whether a project should go ahead or not, what are the reasons behind the delay or cancellation of any project - all that needs to be studied. Many of the builders have a good reason for not beginning construction on projects that have already been given six months time to start work. But we cannot lose the faith of the investor. So we decided that establishing a committee to evaluate projects will be a step in the right direction,” says Al Man-

The regulator is also progressing steadily on the inspection front. That was part of RERA’s initiative to make the construction status of projects transparent so that investor confidence in Dubai is not eroded in the backdrop of the global financial crisis and the real estate slump that has followed. A total of 150 sites have already been inspected and the status report for each project is up on RERA’s official website. Developers have been categorised according to the number of projects they are involved in. Those with five and more projects, have been covered. This month, RERA will concentrate on developers with less than five projects. RERA frankly says that developers who might not be able to deliver on time “form the majority” of the lot, but they also add that “these devel-

soori. Launch of finance has been one of the key reasons behind the slowing pace of the real estate sector. Banks are yet to open up an lending to the real estate and construction sector. “We need the support from the banks. They should believe in Dubai. Banks established even before the UAE was formed are not supporting the construction sector now. But we also believe they are in the process of re-organising their in-house structure in terms of lending, after which they will be more cooperative,” he says. Underscoring the signs of recovery, Al Mansoori says, “The Dh6.5 billion Dubai Golf City project is an indicator that people still have faith in Dubai.” And that trust needs to be safeguarded.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

“The investor will be given a username and password and they can follow up on their payment and track where the money is going. RERA has been working on this project since November last year and we are hoping to get it ready within the next three months”

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RELATIONSHIPS

Forging new alliances RERA reaches out to real estate bodies to increase expertise exchange By Ambily Vijaykumar

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  he global economic crisis has driven home the need to evolve constantly. The real estate market in Dubai that has suffered in the aftermath of the crisis is now planning to leave its past behind and look at the future from a new perspective. The path that has been chosen is that of knowledge, acquisition and sharing. Dubai’s real estate regulator RERA has been working in the last few months to build relationships with international associations that work in the real estate sector. The step will enable RERA to not only be represented at an international level, but also to receive knowledge and expertise in the sector which can then be implemented in the Dubai market. “But it is not that we are ‘copying and pasting’ models. We will take the best from the world and add our expertise to it, to best suit the needs of our local market,” says Mahmoud Hesham Al Burai, Director of the Real Estate Sector Development Department. As part of RERA’s first initiatives, the regulator has signed an agreement with RICS, i.e. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of the UK, to improve and boost professionalism in the valuation industry in Dubai. RERA is working in tandem with RICS to come up with international standards for the real estate sector that suit Dubai. RERA also has the unique distinction of being the solitary Middle East member at Arello, the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials. Arello comprises the official

Mahmoud Hesham Al Burai

The Regulator has signed an agreement with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of the UK to improve and boost professionalism in the valuation industry in Dubai. RERA is working in tandem with RICS to come up with international standards for the real estate sector that suit Dubai government agencies and other organisations around the world that issue real estate licences or registrations in addition to regulating real estate prices and enforcing real estate laws. Last month RERA was represented at the ARELLO meet in the US, where the regulator made a presentation showcasing Dubai. “We want to build the best standards for us. We also want to build a mutually beneficiary relation with the

rest of the regulatory authorities across the world,” says Mahmoud Hesham Al Burai. Give and take apart, RERA aims to become a reference for real estate markets in the region. That can be achieved only when international standards are implemented in the market in Dubai. As a step in that direction, RERA has also joined hands with FIABCI which is the International Real Estate Federation headquartered in

Paris. Mahmoud Al Burai has been appointed one of the board members of its UK chapter. FIABCI works as a special consultant to the United Nations and they are also helping RERA with establishing their Middle East chapter. This apart, RERA is also a member of APREA which is The Asian Public Real Estate Association as well as WAVO which is The World Association of Valuation Organisations. RERA hopes to not only benefit from their knowledge but also take its experiences to the rest of the world. Initiatives are also under way for the establishment of a Middle East North Africa Real Estate Society as part of the International Real Estate Society. This is aimed at offering a platform for professionals in the Middle East and to boost real estate research and education in the region. RERA also hopes that this society will help in raising professionalism apart from assisting in organising important seminars and other important events in the real estate calendar since the long-term vision is on consolidating “real estate education” in the Middle East. RERA is already dealing with two academies, one being the Dubai Real Estate Institute and second MRE Academy in offering real estate courses to brokers. Soon the authority plans to introduce courses to train general managers, mortgage brokers and also evaluators. The authority also thinks the current crisis has offered a good opportunity to re-evaluate strategies and re-build human resources. So will that re-thinking of strat-


RERA also believes that most of what is going on in the market is driven by sentiment and that there is liquidity but people are waiting for a good time to invest

An attractive real estate market means one where the investors and developer, rights are protected. It is also a market that yields high returns. This is the positioning that RERA aims to do for the Dubai market. “We have been successful in doing that so far and we will continue to do that in the future. We will also market the business friendly environment of the city,” informs Mahmoud Al Burai. While RERA will continue to take Dubai to the world, there are a lot of things that they are also bringing from around the world to the city. Transparency in real estate operations is an aspect that the regulator will be focusing on and; it will want

to continue to see Dubai among the top cities in the world on that index. “We are doing what no one else has done so far. The technical audit of projects is the first of its kind in the world. People can go to the website and find out the status of any project in Dubai. Escrow accounts have been created to guarantee rights. This market is different from the rest of the world, so we can’t adopt everything from outside, but we are also open to ideas,” he adds. The confidence in the Dubai market comes from “increased transaction figures over the past few weeks” informs Al Burai. “The worst is behind us. We are now deal-

ing with a different stage. Our laws have proved to be effective. Dubai’s uniqueness will restore the market to its original form, but before that we want to make sure that all the laws are in place,” he says. RERA also believes that most of what is going on in the market is driven by sentiment and that there is liquidity but people are waiting for a good time to invest. however, as and when the market gets back on its feet, the regulator does not want it to be “a risky market”. Even if it rises, they want a smooth landing next time. Though there has been a decrease in transactions in the first quarter of this year by 30 per cent as compared to last year, that has mostly hit the off-plan sector while there has only been a “marginal” slump in under construction ones. As for the rents, they are expected to drop but would vary depending on the area in Dubai. With many ready projects not selling, they have crowded the rental markets and this is expected to contribute in bringing rents further down.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

egies reflect in the pace of the real estate development in Dubai? “We are not saying that the market is doing badly, but it needs more guidance, more supervision. We need to look deeply to find whether demand and supply is complementing each other or not. We have to see whether we are overbuilding. Our future development strategies should revolve around quality and not quantity and we also have to consider the number of people we are going to have in the emirate,” says Mahmoud Al Burai. RERA has also been in talks with real estate developers asking them to focus on re-thinking their approach. Developers are now being asked by the government to focus more on sustainable relationship with their customers instead of going in for a 100 per cent debt or excessive leveraging. “As a regulator we have the power of the law which we will be enforcing. The law has to be utilised in the direction to achieve an attractive and sustainable real estate market in Dubai,” he adds.

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RERA NEWS

RERA and ARRA sign cooperation pact RERA’s CEO, Marwan bin Ghalita, and ARRA’s Director General, Omar Al Barguthi, signing the cooperation agreement at RERA’s office

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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eal Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and Ajman Real Estate Regulatory Agency (ARRA) signed a cooperation agreement at RERA’s offices, said a statement released recently. The agreement, which underlines the importance of strengthening cooperation ties between the two organizations was signed by RERA’s Chief, Marwan bin Ghalita and ARRA’s Director General, Omar Al Barguthi in the presence of His Excellency, Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, Director General of the Land Department. The pact emphasises the need to create a unified strategy to develop, modernise and organise real estate –related activities including developers, real estate brokers and

property management companies as well as the workforce of such companies. Commenting on the deal, Marwan Bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA, described the agreement as a major step forward in the real estate sector: “It will focus in establishing a unified vision in developing, updating and regulating all real estate activities, real estate companies and people who work in brokerage offices and real estate management. In addition we will prepare necessary criteria and conditions to own broker ID and real estate management ID.” The agreement will regulate the work of brokers and real estate advertising between the two emirates to be along with laws and regulations in Dubai and Ajman by

The pact emphasises the need to create a unified strategy to develop, modernise and organise real estate –related activities including developers, real estate brokers and property management companies as well as the workforce of such companies

establishing unified data base with all information and data relevant to the brokerage business, real estate management or real estate development. On his part, the ARRA chief said that the extensive agreement corroborated the iron-clad relationship between ARRA and RERA. The pact covers common areas

of cooperation, including the need to exchange views, expertise and means to cope with the latest developments in the property sector. Both sides agree to appoint either an entity or a committee which will represent each party for follow up purposes; and to make sure that all terms of the agreement are well implemented.


ALLIANCES

RERA’s trip began in New York City where Al Burai and Waskiewicz met with the directors of New York University’s Schack Real Estate Institute, followed by a meeting with former US Presidential Candidate and Ex-Mayor of New York City, Mr. Rudy Giuliani

sions and brainstorming sessions took place between RERA and Mr. Rudy Giuliani, accompanied by his chief team of advisors, about the phenomenally rapid development of Dubai. A lawyer by education and expert in city planning by practice, having cleaned-up New York City during his time as Mayor, Giuliani spoke deeply and passionately about the opportunities available in Dubai for further strategic growth in the real estate and public transportation sectors. Based on his expertise and experience in the Middle East (having a law office based in Dubai), Giuliani was enthusiastic to continue communication with RERA to work together, noting that Dubai, "is always where westerners will feel most comfortable doing business in the Middle East". The focal point of this trip to the US was RERA's inaugural participation in the Association of Law License Officials (ARELLO)'s mid-year conference in Asheville, North Carolina. ARELLO is an international association of global real estate regulators.

During this week-long conference of meetings, discussion groups, presentations and networking events with over 100 regulators from Washington D.C. to South Africa in attendance, RERA was officially welcomed as the newest ARELLO member, given the honour of hosting the District 6 (International) ARELLO Conference later this year, and asked to join multiple committees within ARELLO. Eng. Al Burai gave a 45 minutes presentation on the UAE, Dubai, RERA, and which was received with not only a standing ovation, but a slew of questions from extremely interested parties to learn more about the successes of RERA and our Emirate. Speaking about RERA's membership, ARELLO President Ms. Anne Woody commented, "ARELLO is the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials an international association of real estate regulators whose mission is promoting excellence in regulation and protecting the public. Therefore

we are excited that Dubai has joined the ranks to unite with us to further diversify and standardise real estate regulation around the world." On the sidelines of this conference, Al Burai and Waskiewicz were able to have several other meetings, all in the aim of further developing real estate education and training, legislation and regulation, as well as best practices in the Dubai market. RERA met with a number of real estate education experts, the CEO of Texas A&M University's Real Estate Research Center, the Community Associations Institute Chief Executive Officer, and help individual meetings with several jurisdiction regulators. This trip culminated in a visit to the International Real Estate Society's (IRES) President, CEO and Secretary in Clemson, South Carolina. IRES directors officially blessed RERA's efforts to establish the Middle East North Africa Real Estate Society (MENARES) in Dubai.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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ERA's Director of Real Estate Sector Development, Eng. Mahmoud Al Burai, accompanied by Colleen Waskiewicz, International Cooperation & Marketing, have recently returned from a two week trip to the US where they met with industry experts, attended global regulator conferences, and discussed research and educational issues with real estate professionals and academics. RERA's trip began in New York City where Al Burai and Waskiewicz met with the directors of New York University's Schack Real Estate Institute, followed by a meeting with former US Presidential Candidate and Ex-Mayor of New York City, Mr. Rudy Giuliani. Meeting with one of the oldest and most reputable university real estate research and education centres in the US, officials discussed NYU's research methodology, course offerings and requirements for real estate licensing and training, as well as the future potential for working together to further education in real estate. Highlighting the trip to New York, lengthy discus-

RERA visits the United States

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International cooperation By Ambily Vijaykumar

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pearheading RERA’s initiative to forge alliances with international organizations in the real estate sector is Colleen Waskiewicz, the head of the International Marketing and Co-operation Department. She is responsible for getting the regulator into strategic partnerships and agreements with these organisations that are working in real estate regulation and legislation. “My job is to enable RERA to track knowledge and expertise in the real

estate sector from all four corners of the globe,” says Coleen. Hence, the department has “done extremely well” she adds. But what is it that RERA intends to bring on board with these alliances? “We are working across all sectors and we intend to imbibe expertise from regulation and training and education of brokers and developers. Basically we are trying to add to every aspect of the sector that RERA works in,” says Coleen.

RERA’s approach also involves giving its staff in-depth knowledge of the field thereby taking the expertise they gain into the market. “Someone is going through the various training programmes that we are doing, someone is going through seminars, someone is going into the laws and regulations that we are putting through into the market and everything that we are learning is being localised into Dubai,” she explains. That however does not mean that Dubai is being modelled on any particular city. Dubai’s uniqueness is being preserved by getting the best from the world and taking those aspects that work best for the city. Expertise from various countries are being gained in regulation laws, training, best practices and broker ethics to name a few. But that does not mean that RERA is lagging in any of these fronts clarifies Coleen. “RERA is doing a great job, since its inception, of covering every aspect of real estate and regulation. But I do think that RERA is filling every aspect of its real estate regulation as well,” she states. So is there any particular model that Dubai is focusing on currently?

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Rental increase calculator

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ow that registrations of rental agreements are progressing more rapidly, RERA has used the information to place a rental increase calculator on its website, www. rpdubai.com, which allows tenants to negotiate significantly cheaper rents than before; landlords use the index to set rents in Dubai. The new prices are calculated by

inputting information into a specially set-up part of the website. • A three-bedroom villa in The Springs should cost between Dh140,000 and Dh160,000 a year, a maximum of a 50 per cent discount on the previous guideline rent of Dh250,000 to Dh280,000. • A two-bedroom apartment in the Marina has fallen by up to 36 per

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“We are working across all sectors and we intend to imbibe expertise from regulation and training and education of brokers and developers”

“What is most important is to see which countries have succeeded in every aspect that we are working on. We will then be collecting expertise from these countries and localising them to the Dubai market. It gets narrow minded to just take one country and focus on that one,” she clarifies. She adds that real estate brokers, developers and valuers in Dubai stand to gain hugely from this initiative.

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cent and now costs Dh 120,000 to Dh 160,000. According to RERA, a four- bedroom villa on the Palm Jumeirah should now be leased for Dh300,000 to Dh350,000, compared with the previously recommended rent of Dh400,000 to Dh500,000. Residents at The Greens should now pay Dh120,000 to Dh140,000

a year for a two-bed apartment, a drop of 36 per cent. In International City, rents are slashed by 22 per cent, from Dh 85,000 to Dh90,000, to between Dh70,000 and Dh80,000. The same percentage of cut applies to Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) which is now between Dh 40,000 and Dh160,000.


STATISTICS

Transactions and sales during

March 2009

Total transaction for the month was Dh7.33 billion Total value of land sales transaction (DhMillion) Top 10

Note: total transaction are represented by sales, mortgage, evaluation …list of services

Land Land Sales Transaction : Overview of land sales transaction for the districts in Dubai: • Total number of sales transactions in the districts was 257 with a total value of transactions Dh2.30 billion for 5.50 million sq.ft. • Jabal Ali had the highest number of sales transactions which was 78 sales. • The highest value of sales achieved by Trade Center First district with Dh600 Million. • The highest area size was in Palm Jumeirah district with Dh1,753 Million.

Total area of sales transaction (AED, Million) Top 10

Land mortgage transactions : • • • • •

Overview of land mortgage transactions for the districts in Dubai: Total number of land mortgage transactions of the districts was 209 with the total value of transactions Dh2.65 billion for 6.89 million sq.ft. Al Kwaneej First & Ranches districts had the highest number of mortgages which was 15. The highest value of mortgages achieved by Trade Center First district with Dh480 Million. The highest area size was in Jabal Ali Industrial district with Dh.2,230 million

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Total Number of Land Sales Transaction - Top 10

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Total number of land mortgage transactions Top 10 :

Total number of flat sales transaction

Total value of land mortgage transactions (AED, Million) Top 10 :

Total value of flat Sales transactions (DhMillion)

Total area of mortgage transaction (Million) Top 10

Total area of mortgage transactions (million)

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Land transaction summary

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Flat Flat sales transactions

Flat mortgage transactions

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Overview of flat sales transactions for the district in Dubai: Total number of sales transactions of the districts was 2016 with a total value of transactions Dh1.62 Billion for 1.97 million sq.ft. Warsan First had the highest number of sales which was 966. The highest value of sales was achieved by Palm Jumeirah district with Dh505 million. The highest area size was in Warsan First district with Dh593 million.

• • •

Overview of flat mortgage transactions for the districts in Dubai: Total number of mortgage transactions of the districts was 138 with a total value of transactions Dh177.62 million for 182,000Sq.ft. Sk. Zayed Road had the highest no. of mortgage which was 59 mortgage transactions. The highest value of mortgages achieved by Sk. Zayed Road district with Dh83 Million. The highest area size was in Sk. Zayed Road district with Dh75,000.


Total Number of Flat Mortgage Transaction

Villa Villa Sales Transactions • • • • •

Overview of villa sales transactions for the districts in Dubai: Total number of mortgage transactions of the districts was 124 with a total value of transactions 179 million AED for 235 thousand Sq.ft. Emirates hill 3rd had the highest No. of sales which was 84 sales transactions. The highest value of sales achieved by emirates hill 3rd district with 97 million AED. The highest area size was in emirates hill 3rd district with 152 thousand AED.

Total Number of villa sales transactions

Total Value of Flat Mortgages Transaction (Million, AED)

Total Value of villa sales transaction (Dh Million)

Flat Total Area of Mortgage Transaction (Million)

Flats Transactions Summary

Total value of mortgage transactions (Dh Million)

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Total area of sales transaction (thousand)

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PROFILE

Integrated public transport Last month, the American Business Council and the Canadian Business Council jointly organised a luncheon talk by Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim A. Younes, Member of Board of Directors and CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance, RTA, on the up-to-date position of construction of an integrated public transport network By Heena Awani

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e threw light on the challenges posed to the transport system in Dubai. One of the key solutions to most of these problems is changing the attitude of commuters, he said. “The car must no longer be looked on as a necessity, a status symbol, and a ‘must-have’ item.

travel.” The Roads and Transport Authority will celebrate its fourth birthday in November this year. It is a remarkable feat for any organisation to be so young and yet achieve so much. The RTA is a fully independent government entity and is responsible for designing, constructing, operating and managing all transport

centre, the RTA takes upon itself the responsibility to ensure a safe and smooth transportation system in the city. Traffic congestion was the first issue to be talked upon and is probably the biggest of the worries for almost everyone in Dubai. To reach the workplace from home is an enormous task on its own. “Ac-

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Traffic congestion was the first issue to be talked upon and is probably the biggest of the worries for almost everyone in Dubai

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W.J. (Bill) Ryan, President of American Business Council, thanked Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim A. Younes, Member of Board of Directors and CEO RTA for his informative talk

Many other countries in both the East and the West have citizens who happily use public transport to get from one place to another. Buses, trains, ferries and other modes are an accepted way of life, an inexpensive and efficient way to

and roads infrastructure in the emirate. This regulatory body has two aspects to its authority (1) Strategy, and (2) Corporate Support Service Sector -- which comprises six teams. Considering Dubai’s growing role as a commercial hub and business

Metro train for the Red Line

cording to a study, on an average, Dh5.9 billion a year is wasted in our movable boxes, thus affecting our economy,” he said The RTA is constantly trying to build a better road network. It has widened and added on to 80 per cent of the road’s capacity in the main city, and has increased the lanes on Creek Crossing from 19 to 48, which is an increase of 150 per cent in three years. It intends to construct 500km of new roads by 2020. It will add two ring roads into the system and will provide direct links to certain communities. With these changes, a commuter will have a direct passage from the BurJuman Centre to Marina. He will avoid traffic on roads like Sheikh Zayed Road. The authority is also working on 95 new interchanges. The end of April saw the opening of a new double-decker road -- a flyover built over Doha Street, near Downtown Dubai. It will ease the flow of traffic in the Burj Dubai area and give direct access to Burj Dubai and DIFC. It links Business Bay and Al Khail Road to various roads in Jumeirah. The much-awaited Metro will re-


typically the bellwether for modern retailing concepts in a country. It will be interesting to see what this year’s index, to be published in June, will reveal. Will the Middle East still show the promise of last year? And if yes, what are retailers and operators of local retail real estate doing to adjust to the new climate? The index certainly promises interesting and important information in view of the way the world has changed from last year. Dubai has the greatest agglomeration of retail space in the whole Middle East and North Africa region with some 1.3 million square metres of gross leasable area (GLA) already finished, according to Retail International statistics. With the size of 50 football pitches, Dubai Mall alone is overtaking the size of South China Mall, as it spans 1.11 square kilometres, covering 10 to 15 sub-malls with 840,000 square metres of retail space

for more than 1,000 stores. The global downturn has turned the focus of retail back to customers’ needs – and retailers should realign their strategies to concentrate on the resident UAE market, if we had a say in it. As retailers and traders have reported falls in revenue of close to 30 per cent, we at A.T. Kearney have outlined the way forward for the sector, believing that stability has begun to return, and the time is now ripe to provide shoppers with better in-store experiences, improved customer service and greater value products. Slashing prices is generally not the single nor best long-term solution A survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce indicated that Dubai’s trading sector was given an average score of 5.9 by surveyed traders for 2009, where 10 represents the most positive outlook, compared with 6.6 in 2008. The subsectors with the

worst outlook for 2009 were household goods and consumer goods, which were both rated at 5.5 out of 10, compared with 6.2 and 6.3 in 2008 respectively. As management consultants we believe that staying with the chosen strategy is in most cases appropriate. Measures that we do recommend focus on reviewing market changes, looking at cost and benefit ratios,

reviewing customer service models and aiming to get the basics right. As we have experienced over and over again, business goes through cycles and managing the peaks and troughs with outsourced knowledge is where we play a large part and can assist local retailers with the expertise we have gained in global markets

A

rabia continues to remain a favourite among investors and operators in the tourism and hospitality sector, in particular those in the budget segment, according to Jonathan Worsley, co-organiser of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference. He said that industry figures show that the region is still considered a hot-spot, although 10 and 20 per cent of the 500-plus planned hotel projects in GCC have been put on hold. "Recent numbers issued by Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that 680,000 new hotel rooms will enter the market next year in the greater Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) - compared to an original prediction of more than 800,000. It seems that many are jumping on the budget hotel bandwagon that is sweeping through the GCC. Indeed, the case for low-cost hotels and the buoyant entry of new brands into the region is high among the key topics under discussion during the three-day

Darroch Crawford, Managing Director Premier Inn, said: "The limitedservice hotel sector presents the best opportunity in these times as even more individuals, and certainly most businesses, look for value for money. We are offering guaranteed consistency at a low price that will be in big demand. Lower operating costs allow budget hotels to make excellent returns, even at modest

Darroch Crawford

event (May 2nd & 4th),” he said. Worsley suggested that budget hotels are set to revolutionise the scale of choice for the consumer and open up new market categories for business and leisure travel. He noted that Emirates and Whitbread Hotels have entered into a joint venture, with the Premier Inn brand and plan to operate three hotels in Dubai later this year.

Recent numbers issued by Jones Lang LaSalle estimate that 680,000 new hotel rooms will enter the market next year in the greater Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) compared to an original prediction of more than 800,000

occupancy levels. There are good investment opportunities, particularly as land and construction costs are returning to more realistic levels. The best opportunities lie in GCC capital cities where the limited-service sector currently has little or no representation." Crawford's view is echoed by Sami A Ansari, CEO of Ishraq Gulf Real Estate, the developer behind Holiday Inn Express. Ansari said that his hotels in Dubai have outperformed the market occupancy average in the city by as much as 15 per cent in the past four months. "Budget hotels have historically been shown to be recession resilient. The model continues to generate targeted profits for investors, as they operate on much lower margins than their full service rivals," he said. Other low cost brands announced easyHotels in Dubai and Rotana's Centro in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Arabia poised to welcome new hospitality flags

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COMMENTS

One at a time Linda Benbow talked to Manish Bhatia about Hircon’s ongoing project and its expansion plans for the future

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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ubai has lots going for it already. It was a successful trading town before, and it will continue to be successful in the future. It already has good infrastructure which is being expanded and improved upon in many places, for trade, commerce, tourism and suchlike. Dubai depends on outsiders such as traders, cruises, tourists, etc. Yes, it is a tough time now globally and people don’t want to travel much, but it is not a problem situation. Once things change Dubai stands to gain more than other places, for sure. There are financial problems just now, and different people are dealing with them in different ways. People are working at finding solutions, and coming up with many plans and suggestions. Some don’t know what to do, which direction to go, or where to start. Even the government is involved. There will be lots of changes, lots of new things. This crisis is new. It is a new situation for the government to deal with. Things will take a bit of time to sort out. At least they are working on it. Real Estate is looked on as a secure investment. Whenever there is an investment it is made by the ‘extra’ that you want to put aside. Nowdays people don’t want to use that extra money as they don’t know how

Manish Bhatia is the Director (Sales & Marketing) at Hircon International LLC. A self-proclaimed action man, he thrives on challenges and believes nothing is impossible. He has a passion towards cars and bikes, and his interests also include sky diving and travelling

23 Marina is a 90-storey (380 metres+) edifice launched during March 2005. The project is located in Dubai Marina quay

their business is going to perform, or whether they will need the money for something else in the next year or so. There is no credit because the banks are not lending. Luckily for us, Hircon International, we were happy to take on just one project, a substantial project. There were times when we felt we were being left behind in the race to build, but when you go back to basics and look at your books, we were glad to do one project very well. “Let’s get this done, and then see what we will do next” was our way of thinking, in the initial stages when this market was new to us. You can be an expert in a market,

but when you take that knowledge to another country you must learn some things anew. Local laws, local regulations – it takes time to get used to these things. Real estate legal requirements, in particular, differ and one must learn and get used to the nuances. Then we saw that the government itself was learning, putting in new regulations, so we thought we would take it one step at a time. The building of 23 Marina is now more than half way up. Most of the selling we did was to end users. We didn’t go for selling a floor, or half a building. We sold cautiously and were pleased to sell to end users mainly. It is now fully sold out. Regular payments have been collected for these spacious apartments and the owners are happy with the progress. There have been delays due to regulatory purposes (introduction of rta rules, new civil defence rules, etc) but these are minor delays (four months or so) and all owners know about them. For the past six months building progress has been quicker, to make up some of the lost time. Last year building material prices were extremely high and availability was

not always there, i.e. cement and steel. Now, due to there being less projects to work on, things are reversed and we have been able to make more progress. Customers can keep an eye on the progress by looking at the update photos that we take every 15 days and put on our website. We also give these update photos and information to RERA to put on their website. We are here to stay. The company has expansion plans. Obviously, our original plans have changed a little due to the banks not lending to businesses. We have moulded our plans accordingly. But, we have faith in the long term state of the Dubai market. We have plans to, maybe, enter the hotel real estate business. We are looking around within the market. Our plans will go a little slower now as we go forward under our own capacity, without the aid of the banks. Put our own equity into our own projects. Hircon International LLC was formed by India’s Hiranandani Developers Pvt. Ltd and ETA Star Property Developers a part of the ETA Ascon conglomerate.


COMMENTS

Getting smart with technology in a buyers’ market

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one are the days when you could sell a property with just an SPA and a dog-eared, coffee stained floor plan, or run your customer database from A4 paper or an Excel sheet (if you were one of the more sophisticated ones). This is a new era for the Dubai real estate sector and about time too! Customers and agents alike will be all too familiar with the poorly designed, ill-thought out mass email exposing everyone's name and email in the CC line. And you'll definitely know about the agents that never get back to you after registering your property requirements. Nowdays agents cannot afford a single lead to slip through the net. It's time to get smart with email. The easiest way to increase your sales and stop annoying your potential customers is by sending targeted emails, which means segmenting your data. Do you think prospects that have enquired about a Dh300,000 studio really want to know about Signature Villas on the Palm Jumeriah? The problem with email is that it is easy to send, which usually means little or no thought goes into it. Used correctly it can be your most efficient marketing medium. Your goal is to get click-throughs to your website or landing page - not to sell, so please remove the clichĂŠ sales speak. It was reported that 97 per cent of emails sent in 2008 were

Richard Hayes

spam - so stop adding to this and start sending emails people want to read. If you're still running your CRM from Excel or Outlook, it's time to upgrade. You need a system that supports total sales efficiency and accountability. Moreover, you want your data to be centralised and secure - leads aren't cheap! In addition to the huge audience of excellent prospective clients, the internet offers both convenience and cost-effectiveness that traditional media cannot. Websites are more engaging and informative than even the best brochures. However, Dubai's real estate sector has more than its fair share of inaccurate and poorly de-

signed websites. The internet is the first place more and more homebuyers are beginning their search for a home. According to a study done by the National Association of Realtors, 71 per cent of homebuyers take their search online. Seeing how pivotal this supporting sales medium is and the global appeal of the Dubai property market, it's time to shape up! Real estate sales are now all about real property, so only real photos will do. Surveys indicate that customers are more likely to be interested in and visit homes on the market that have professional photography associated with the listing. And please, stop copying and pasting generic property descriptions from developer's websites and start writing bespoke copy to give the customer a real feel for the place. It's the least you can do if you want someone to part with a few million dirhams. Now that fast internet connections are becoming the norm it's safe to stream online video which is a brilliant way to offer customers a virtual viewing, saving time for everyone and pre-qualifying prospects. Additionally the perceived property value is believed to increase with the use of online video compared to similar homes without video. This may sound obvious but design your website for your custom-

ers (website visitors); usability testing should not be an alien concept. Your search form and entire website should be simple to use; complexity adds friction and hurts your bottomline. Make design changes based on testing not feeling. You might think musical web pages are 'really cool' but unless there is data to support how this will increase your conversion rate, forget it. Even though a relatively new technology it's worth giving a mention to RSS (Really Simple Syndication). It's a great alternative an unobtrusive communication option, and a brilliant way to instantly update your customers with property listings without bombarding them with email it is quickly becoming the B2C communication option of choice. Produce engaging content for your website visitors. A real estate blog is a great way to provide useful information for your customers, and a great public forum for questions to be asked and answered. Taking photos, planning emails, writing descriptions, adding blog posts and filming online video will undoubtedly take more time, but this is the real world now. The current challenges ahead can only add maturity and stability to the Dubai real estate sector as companies are forced to act more professionally, provide better customer service and innovate.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

By Richard Hayes, Head of Technology, Cirrus Real Estate Brokerage

17


COMMENTS

Who moved my house? The UAE property market still moves as fast as lightning. If a homeowner stays in the same place for a couple of years, they may find themselves one day wondering: “Who moved my house?” Their home may be exactly the same; however, life around it has changed. Cecilia Reinaldo, Managing Director of Fine & Country, explains why a long-term view on the master community is important.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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he increasing level of transformation in the UAE across business and infrastructure has had substantial impacts on society. Real estate has consistently been the subject leading news headlines, and never before was the word 'property' packaged in so many formats, nor had it competed so powerfully on the catwalk of investments. What's more, just to make sure that the sector really has made its mark on today's younger generation, it is, combined with factors such as interest rates and oil prices, about to teach UAE’s 'techno-generation' a few old golden rules. The validity of those golden rules is remarkable if one analyses the success of certain master communities against others. The key rule to remember is that when everyone in an off-plan development buys units as a short-term investment, all the units will come on the market again –usually at the same time. This makes it difficult to make a profit. Furthermore, it is not the type of investment which you can sell quickly if you need to use your money for something else. Property owners who bought off -plan units during the past few years need to listen to the experts that tell them that property is a long-term investment. That is most often the case in off-plan deals. Of course, experts who keep saying that all off-plan property is a long-term investment are not al-

The key rule to remember is that when everyone in an off-plan development buys units as a shortterm investment, all the units will come on the market again usually at the same time. This makes it difficult to make a profit Cecilia Reinaldo

ways correct. Factors, such as location can have a significant effect on a community and the property values, along with hidden maintenance fees, or the possibilities of a skyscraper appearing right in front of your building as soon as your property is ready. In such cases, home owners need to recognise the signs and get out sooner rather than later. The same certainly cannot be said of properties in a number of prime locations across Dubai, where getting in early would have seen you multiply your investment many times over. Locations like Palm Jumeirah and The Springs are just two 'pockets' where although the market is slower, property val-

ues have been sustained. The moral of the story is to understand the 'move' in property pricing and desirability. Either a per-

son should move before the value of the property shifts up or down, or the value of the property will in any case be determined by factors outside the owner's control. The latest security lockdown question in the media due to job cuts and consequently visa issues is "Do I stay or do I go?" which has prompted 'the move action' again. While many have made the decision to go, it seems that the one penny that refuses to drop is the fact that the value of the property they want to sell is now not fitting in with the price that was compiled late last year. Many who are of the view that if the community has long-term benefits of investment they will take the position of simply not to move; and some, who are actually looking at the short-term might find themselves asking a year or more from now, "Who moved my house?"


COMMENTS

Cementing relationships in a real estate slump La Fontana under construction despite slowdown aged passionately and efficiently and soon became the No. 1 supplier of packaging machines and materials in the entire Middle East. We provided a niche service and our customers and bankers were happy and satisfied. Our cash flow was always positive and we delivered goods and services with a smile.” Then in 2003, Triveni ventured into manufacturing. “People said ‘what are you doing in manufacturing? You’re not a manufacturer.’ We Ashok Galgotia

Ironically, the unforeseen delay in construction benefitted prospective owners and investors as well as the developer once the local economy began to slow. “There are three types of constructions speed: fast mode, medium mode and slow mode,” says Galgotia. “We had to drop down to slow mode. Even now, our 80 investors want their payments to be phased out a little more.” Triveni estimates it will take another 15 months to complete the development and two more months for the utilities to be completed. “We will be ready when the economy starts booming again.” Galgotia is candid about the fact that trading company Triveni had no concrete experience in regional real estate prior to launching La Fontana. “Whatever we do, we do well and we do it with passion. I am an avid golfer and when you learn golf, you take several lessons, but it is not over. You go away and practise, then take some more lessons. When I started Triveni way back in 1993, I was not from a business family. Unlike any other trading company, it was man-

corporate office to see two tigers and the models of planned Dubai projects such as Universal Studios, Six Flags, the Tiger Woods Academy and Mall of Arabia. Impressed with the vision of Dubai land, I ended up buying a plot in Arjan. La Fontana has been my passion since then.” When Triveni Builders launched La Fontana, it was sold out within two weeks. “People said ‘we trust you’,” waxes Galgotia. “We said ‘don’t trust us but trust escrow, we have no

Triveni Trading Group

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 riveni Trading Group was established in 1993 in the UAE as a trading company. In 1997, the company transformed into a Limited Liability Company registered with the Economic Department and the Chamber of Commerce, Sharjah. The company is involved in electrical and mechanical engineering products, particularly plastics and packaging. It exclusively represents various multinational companies from the US, the UK, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Most of these companies are leader in their respective fields, and Triveni has been a pioneer in promoting them in the Middle East. It also owns industrial and trading enterprises in construction, packaging, and the health and beauty sectors.

were not. But we were going stepby-step and now the manufacturing company employs 80 labourers, is doing well and is a success story.” The decision to enter the burgeoning local real estate scene was sheer luck. Galgotia explains: “During December 2006, I went to Tatweer’s

experience and we will learn as we move ahead step-by-step.’” Despite all the ups and downs of 2008 and challenges ahead, the developer is excited at being involved in the La Fontana project. “It is a small development, but it is beautiful. It is challenging, but it is fun,” he adds.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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hen a crisis confronted Ashok Galgotia during his first foray into real estate, did not panic. Indeed, the dapper CEO of Triveni Builders, a Dubai-based property developer behind La Fontana, the Dh80 million, middle-income residential building, appeared unflappable. Triveni’s six-storey, low-rise development in the Arjan Master Community in Dubailand was strategically put on hold for four months last year due to no fault on the part of the developer. Galgotia explains: “We received a letter eight weeks after our launch from master developer Mizin, which revealed their delays to put in permanent power facilities. We launched La Fontana in February last year and, by August, we needed to start construction. We went to the Land Department and said ‘Here is a letter from our master developer - saying we will have no permanent power or electricity - or water until 2010.” He explains that these were the only reasons behind the slight postponement of the project. “We had an adequate sum of money – in fact too much money in our escrow account – at the time. Our enabling works contractor had been signed and was ready to start.” Ideally located within close driving distance of the Mall of the Emirates, the Gold and Diamond Park and the Global Village, La Fontana offers units ranging from Dh 498,600 for studios to Dh1,315,900 for twobedroom apartments. For any real estate project to succeed, the three most important factors are – location, location and location.

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COMMENTS

Flexible rental terms Improved consumer and investor confidence justifies efforts to reinforce regulations and create more flexible rental terms

Iseeb Rehman

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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hile new trends in the property rental market have emerged in the wake of the global economic crunch, analysts point out that long-term outlook has remained remarkably vibrant because of the proactive measures that have been adopted by both government-appointed regulators and market players. Initiatives such as the rental index by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) in Dubai has been described as an important positive step even as practical decisions by real estate agents to offer flexible rental options have greatly helped ease tension and improve consumer and investor confidence in the market.

“ … tenants now have a bigger say as far as the rental market is concerned and I believe that this is an important step that will keep speculators at bay…” Iseeb Rehman

“To safeguard a relatively volatile market amid the global economic upheaval, the government and the private sector must move towards the same direction and act proactively to restore market stability. Considering that the recent economic slowdown was highly unexpected and unprecedented, I would say that the government and the key players in the property sector have responded satisfactorily and have made justified efforts to protect the market. As a result, tenants now have a bigger say as far as the rental market is concerned and I believe that this is an important step that will keep speculators at bay and ultimately help maintain rental values within reasonable levels,” said Iseeb Rehman, Managing Director, Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants. “The rental index, in particular, must be used as an instrument that will lead to a regulatory framework of standardisation of rental plans. In addition, while the index is certainly a very encouraging sign of the government’s active involvement in addressing key issues within the property sector, it must be noted that the rental index needs to be revisited once every quarter, most especially in this period of transition,” added Rehman. With the supply and demand situation gradually weighing in on the equation, Rehman believes that the impending arrival of new freehold stocks over the next few months will see a slew of creative options in terms of rental values and payment plans being offered to tenants. The

tenant market will particularly benefit from better payment structure, which could range from four to 12 cheques a year, subsequently facilitating the creation of new niche markets and helping address the housing requirements of a wider segment of society. Rehman revealed that the effects of the improving rental values have been felt through a gradual increase in demand in areas categorised as ‘New Dubai.’ He further noted that with fresh supply being introduced in stages, prices could become even more attractive and help in energising the property sector. Rehman said: “Currently we are seeing a lot more demand in areas such as Barsha, Tecom, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Discovery Gardens and Dubai Marina, which are categorised as the New Dubai areas. We have already seen a significant decrease in rental values, which could well go down further given the supply situation in these areas.”


Total price at auction to include fees Sherwoods to organise auction for competitively priced properties in UAE to stimulate market activity

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options, including some where up to 90 per cent finance is available. Property viewing sessions will also be conducted prior to auction to generate greater sales interest. The company has pointed out that one of the main advantages of holding an auction is that it eliminates the need for time-consuming offer and counter offer negotiations, consequently speeding up the sales process and ensuring prompt payment and quick handover of the property. Furthermore, sale by auction ensures greater marketing exposure and wider advertising coverage compared to traditional routes. Jeremy Mayhew-Sanders

Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants are based in Dubai and currently have three offices throughout the UAE. They also have offices in the UK. Their portfolio includes a full range of client services tailored to meet the needs of either the one-off individual purchaser as a residential home or for investment purposes high-intensity sales environment of willing sellers and willing buyers, which ensures high sales rates. We believe that investors are now taking a serious look at new investment opportunities in the local real estate market; creating an en-

try-level platform that ensures bestvalue prices for properties is surely an excellent way to further cultivate investor interest,” he concluded. Sherwoods has revealed that a number of the properties to be auctioned off also offer financing

DUBAI REAL TIMES

herwoods Independent Property Consultants will soon organise an auction for the public sale of a range of competitively priced properties as part of efforts to stimulate market activity and open new gateways for real estate investors to channel fresh investments into the UAE’s property sector. Sherwoods further revealed that it has coordinated with concerned authorities such as Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and has assembled a dedicated auction team to assist all prospective purchasers. The auction will gather genuine sellers who are looking for an effective platform that can generate the best possible deal from genuine property buyers and investors. Furthermore, Sherwoods has also assured prospective buyers that the selling price during the auction will be the total amount they will pay for the property, inclusive of all transfer fees and sales commission charges. Jeremy Mayhew-Sanders, Head of Investments & Developments, Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants said: “Sherwoods continues to innovate and create new opportunities to generate sales revenue for property sellers, while providing an excellent opportunity for buyers from across the region to get optimum value for their investments. Auctions act as a good barometer of the market, serving as an indicator of where true open market value lies. It also provides a

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COMMENTS

Money saving schemes for clients * This index and prices are the suggestion of landmark. This is not RERA developed approved or endorsed.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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hanging market dynamics in the UAE’s real estate sector are enabling Dubai’s residential renters to upgrade their accommodation or find larger homes at more attractive price points, said Landmark Properties, one of the leading real estate companies in the Middle East. “What we are seeing now in Dubai is a shift benefitting and protecting the rights of the tenant community. Tenants are having an easier time finding larger units for the same rate they currently pay, or choosing to move to more affluent areas. We’re also seeing many pay their same rent, but with an increased number of cheques,” explained Charles Neil, CEO, Landmark Advisory. “Landmark Properties’ consultants are now advising tenants on how to maximise their rental budgets through a variety of ways –from advising on areas where rent is softening to helping reduce tenants commutes by finding properties closer to work. The consultants are suggesting many ways to get more value for their clients’ given budget” he added. Rental property continues to come down in price, as landlords look to find stable, securely-employed tenants for their properties. According to Landmark Advisory, the research and analysis division of Landmark Properties, forecasts for leasing rates are expected to fall 25 per cent on an average for both villas and apartments from a peak in 2008. Landmark Advisory published leasing price maps in March to guide tenant’s on approximately what they should be paying for rent in certain areas. These maps are accessible both on their website, www. landmark-advisory.com, as well as Landmark Properties website, www.

clear money saving opportunities in the market and clients should leverage this chance to take advantage of the time.” Building owners can also benefit from this rental flexibility, says Landmark Properties. Landlords can secure long-term rentals with guaranteed income if both parties are mutually satisfied. The company has also just recently announced their Property Management division, offering landlords direct services to maximise freehold returns. The Views

Leasing rates, March 2009 Apartments Project

Studio

1 Bed

2 Bed

3 Bed

4 Bed

Palm Jumeirah

x

100 - 150

140 - 260

185 - 350

300 - 380

Dubai Marina

52 - 90

75 - 100

85 - 150

140 - 250

190 - 250

The Greens

55 - 75

80 - 90

120 - 140

170 - 190

200 - 230

The Views

70 - 85

80 - 125

150 - 160

175 - 210

x

JLT

50 - 75

65 - 120

80 - 150

130 - 200

x

JBR

75 - 90

100 - 120

130 - 160

170 - 200

210 - 280

Source: Landmark Advisory

landmark-dubai.com. A studio in Jumeirah Lake Towers that was going for Dh90,000 in the market last year, is now approximately Dh50-55,000 in today’s market. Looking at a Grade A one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina last year was about Dh150, 000, while today that same unit is going for around Dh100, 000. “We urge our clients to reference these maps as we have rates for both apartments and villas on our site,” added Neil. “Tenants have greater freedom of choice and negotiating power than previously experienced in this market over the last three to four years. There are

The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR)


Sales price index, drawn up by Landmark Advisory last month, shows the average cost of an apartment in some locations has dropped by up to 32 per cent in the past year. It shows that for a medium-range quality one-bedroom Marina apart-

A new guide will be issued monthly so that accurately portrays the market, Landmark has said. “Prices in our sales map are taken from actual transactional data sampled at the end of Q109 transactions,” said Charles Neil, CEO of

ment prices have fallen 32 per cent from Dh1,696 per square feet to Dh1,172 per square feet in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the cost of a townhouse at The Springs has fallen 23 per cent from Dh1,100 per square feet to Dh851 per square feet.

the firm. “There has been a high demand for this information from our clients and investors, and we’re on track to frequently produce these maps to empower clients with the knowledge to make sound property decisions in this market.

APARTMENTS (AED/sq.ft) Areas

Studio

One B/R

Two B/R

Three B/R

Four B/R

Discovery Gardens

650-850

600-850

-

-

-

Downtown Burj Dubai

1200-2800

1100-2800

1050-2800

1500-2800

4300-600

Dubai International Financial Centre

1400-1800

1400-1800

1400-1800

1400-1800

1400-1800

Dubai Marina

850-1450

850-1400

850-1450

850-1450

850-1500

Dubai Silicon Oasis

700-950

650-900

665-950

700-950

-

Dubai Sports City

750-900

750-900

750-900

750-900

750-900

Emirates Living*

1100-1300

950-1300

950-1300

900-1300

900-1300

Green Community

900-1000

850-1000

850-950

600-850

-

International City

550-770

500-750

500-750

-

-

Jumeirah Beach Residence

1175-1300

950-1300

850-1300

850-1300

850-1300

Jumeirah Lakes Towers

750-1100

730-1100

700-1000

800-1000

-

Motor City

650-850

650-850

625-800

575-800

-

Palm Jumeirah

-

750-1450

750-1450

750-1450

850-1450

TECOM 900-1300

900-1300

850-1100

850-1100

850-1100

850-1100

* Emirates Living includes The Meadows, Emirates Hills, The Lakes, The Springs, The Greens and The Views

Villas (AED/sq.ft) Areas

Three B/R

Four B/R

Five B/R

Six B/R

Arabian Ranches

775-1500

775-1500

775-1500

-

Downtown Burj Dubai

-

960-3700

960-3700

960-3700

Dubai Marina

-

900-1300

900-1300

900-1300

Dubai Sports City

750-1000

750-1000

750-1000

-

Emirates Living*

-

660-1500

660-1500

660-1500

Green Community

560-700

550-700

475-600

575-650

Jumeirah Islands -

700-1100

700-1100

700-1100

-

Motor City

750-850

750-900

750-900

-

Palm Jumeirah

-

1100-1500

1100-1800

1100-1800

* Emirates Living includes The Meadows, Emirates Hills, The Lakes, The Springs, The Greens and The Views

Areas

Average

Downtown Burj Dubai

1800-3000

Dubai International Financial Centre

1800-2200

Dubai Marina

1600-2000

Dubai Silicon Oasis

700-1450

Dubai Sports City

800-850

International City

450-950

Jumeirah Lakes Towers

650-850

Motor City

690-850

TECOM

1100-2100

DUBAI REAL TIMES

COMMERCIAL (AED/sq.ft)

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COMMENTS

Bridging the landlord-tenant divide

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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he infamous mortgage crisis has influenced a greater strain in landlord-tenant relations. While landlords have to constantly contend with logistics, legalities, viability and upkeep, tenants tenaciously clamour for more value from their hard-earned rent money. It has become increasingly difficult to create a middle ground that can diffuse the tensions that often arise between these two sides of the fence. Property management services are emerging as the perfect balm for conflicts between landlords and tenants amidst today’s challenging market conditions. A property management service is the operation of commercial, industrial or residential real estate on behalf of the property owner or manager. One of its key functions is to provide a liaison between the landlord and/or the management firm operating the property on the landlord’s behalf and the tenant. “The nature of today’s real estate market has changed immensely. Landlords are more pressured to maintain the attractiveness of their properties, while tenants want maximum value for their payments. Property management services have become increasingly attractive since they offer various mechanisms for attending to the needs of both parties,” said Dr. Sobhi Agha, GM, The Real Estate Specialists. By acquiring property management services, landlords avoid the hassles of constantly and personally addressing tenant issues, especially those that are minor and easily resolvable. These services also help enhance tenant confidence, since the response time for problems such as maintenance becomes minimal. Ultimately, the perceived value of the property increases due to the

Dr. Sobhi Agha, GM, The Real Estate Specialists

Landlords are more pressured to maintain the attractiveness of their properties, while tenants want maximum value for their payments professional dimension added by a property management service firm. Complete real estate solutions providers such as this company offer a comprehensive range of property management services that meet the varied needs of landlords and property managers while considering the changing needs of the market. Assistance on areas such as contract preparation, cheque collection, inspections, tenant liaison, contact with maintenance personnel, reporting, and banking ensure that

both the property and its tenants receive the professional attention that only experienced and competent firms can provide. Given today’s evolving property landscape, property management services have indeed emerged as mutually respected bridges between the contrasting interests of landlords and tenants. The Specialists, which has more than 20 years experience in the Gulf region, has been appointed by Alserkal Properties and Manazel to provide sales, leasing and property management services for buildings within the Dh400 million Dunes Village development located in Dubai Investments Park (DIP). Dr. Sobhi Suleiman Agha said: “Our appointment is the perfect opportunity to launch our latest marketing strategy leveraging the prevailing competitive prices of selling and renting both commercial and residential real estate. Taking advantage of improving commercial and housing rates, we have devised flexible propositions to suit all our client requirements, offering them both affordable and profitable real estate solutions. For example, existing businesses in Dubai Investments Park can buy or rent from individual apartments to whole buildings on-site to accommodate their middle management housing needs at best-value prices. For small

or emerging companies wishing to set up a business in Dubai, we can offer a selection of serviced offices in nearby Jebel Ali Free Zone with affordable long term and short-term rental packages in furnished apartments in Dunes Village.” Scheduled for handover between April and June 2009, the Dunes Village development is a modern, gated apartment complex comprising 19 uniquely designed residential buildings complete with a full range of value-added facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, landscaped gardens, mosque, shops, cafes and restaurants, clinic and pharmacy. It will house 1,000 spacious studio, one and two-bedroom apartments with balconies, which are all competitively priced and offer more affordable service charges compared to other developments in and around the area. Mohamed El Sabbagh, Managing Director, The Specialists, said: “Our aim is to consistently provide our clients with the best-value property packages, whether they are renting, buying or looking for secure property management. We are fully committed to protecting the interest of all owners and tenants by delivering maintenance and management services that focus on enhancing the long-term sustainability of the Dunes Village development.” The Dunes Village development benefits from its close proximity to key destinations in Dubai, including major road networks such as Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road. It also sits right next to the popular Green Community & Green Community West developments and nearby Jebel Ali. Dunes Village is also ideally located within easy access of the UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi, which is less than 45 minutes away.


ACHIEVEMENTS

Ginco sets construction benchmark with ISO certification

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inco General Contracting LLC, one of the country’s largest construction companies, has been awarded ISO9001:2008 certification, an internationally accepted quality management certification system, following a lengthy and rigorous assessment process by IMS Certification FZE (IMS). The in-depth ISO assessment probed the Dubai-based company’s key processes including customer relationship, supplier and project management, and business development. The scope of Ginco’s certification covers general contracting, construction and civil engineering. Ginco General Manager, Jamal Abdul Fatah, added: “We are also committed to bringing the safety standards of all our sites in line with international regulations and are in the process of upgrading all sites to comply with the OHSAS18001 international standard.” ISO 9001 is the most widely recognised quality benchmarks across the world; it is globally recognised as a powerful tool for businesses to improve organisational efficiency

and productivity while remaining cost-effective. In all instances where activities are critical to meeting customer requirements and enhancing customer satisfaction, ISO certification commits the organisation to ensure fulfilment. In its assessment of Ginco, IMS found that the company met and exceeded expectations in all ISO certification requirements. The results showed that the company’s Quality Management System   (QMS), which comprises its

policies, processes and procedures, is in accordance with key principles of IMS Certification, some of which include customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, process approach and ongoing quality improvement. Ashwin Varma, Regional Manager of IMS Certification FZE representing the ISO certifying body, said that during its analysis IMS looked into the policies, processes and procedures of Ginco and found that the company was implement-

ing its QMS in each department, across every project. “We found that the company is setting a benchmark for its peers in the region’s construction industry. With its practical procedures and QMS, we found the company to be in line with international standards and advised on ways to ensure its ability to constantly apply quality standards on future projects.” Ginco is a Limited Liability Company incorporated in 1976, which has built itself to become a major presence in the United Arab Emirates’ construction sector by working for top property developers in the region. The company, operating out of three branches – Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and its headquarters in Dubai – employs over 3,400 people. It was awarded the ‘Unlimited Category’ within construction, allowing it to take on projects that could have any number of floors. Its customer base includes some of the best known names in Dubai including Dubai Properties, Dubai Municipality and Emaar; it also caters to individual investors and property developers.

DEWA: A strategy for Success

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alladium Group, Inc., a professional services firm, has recently named Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy. This is for achieving an execution premium using the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), the first organisation from the Middle East to be inducted into the BSC Hall of Fame. Launched in 2000, the BSC Hall of Fame Programme publicly honours

organisations that successfully use BSC to achieve and sustain performance results. The 106 organisations inducted to date represent a broad cross-section of private- and publicsector industries from more than 19 countries across the globe. DEWA, which provides electricity and water to nearly 800,000 customer accounts in the emirate, is one of the largest government agencies in Dubai, with an annual operating

budget of US$3 billion and a 2008 capital budget of nearly $10 billion. Considered, one of the best-run agencies in Dubai, DEWA is ranked number one in customer e-service by the government. Faced with unrelenting pressure to keep pace with Dubai’s impressive expansion, DEWA started using the Balanced Scorecard in 2001 to create a focus on their strategy in addition to monitoring and controling the per-

formance. In this, four perspectives are identified-Financial, Customer, Internal Processes and Learning and Growth. “Our top management team were in a continuous search for a holistic approach that could reduce the channels of communications and ensure that areas for improvement are well identified,” said H.E. Saeed Mohamed Ahmad Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Balanced Scorecard helps DEWA move from a relatively short-term planning framework to a more focused long-term strategic framework

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“We have implemented more than five approaches for performance management all of which were successful. Yet we needed a set of goals that would be meaningful to all employees, improve customerfacing performance and decrease the time needed to take decisions.” The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and non-profit organisations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organisation, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organisation performance against strategic goals. It was started by Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard

Business School) and Dr David Norton as a performance measurement framework that added strategic nonfinancial performance measures to traditional financial metrics to give managers and executives a more ‘balanced’ view of organisational performance.  DEWA has been using the Balanced Scorecard for eight years now and the benefits are apparent to top management as well as employees. “The Balanced Scorecard has moved DEWA from the relatively short-term planning framework to a more focused long-term strategic framework,” added Al Tayer. “Now there is a widespread alignment and focus on our strategic objectives. It has also led to more improved trans-

parency and accountability than before.” In the current global financial turmoil, the big question is: can a good strategy combat the current global slump? H.E. Saeed Mohamed Ahmad Al Tayer believes so. “We believe that a good strategy can help organisations in handling and absorbing the ripples in the economy by re-visiting and re-strategising objectives at the right time and therefore, keeping the challenges in foresight.” According to Al Tayer, the current global financial crisis presents an opportunity as well as a challenge for many organisations in the region. “The current crisis should allow top organisations to pause and re-

think about their operational efficiencies and translate them into longterm strategic initiatives. In DEWA, we focus on achieving greater process efficiencies by picking the right lead indicators and bolstering them with right strategic initiatives.” Asked if he thinks strategy is more important than leadership in driving business success, Al Tayer said that business success should be a combination of the two. “Leadership and strategy must go hand in hand. Leaders challenge the status quo and use creativity and immense experience to anticipate the challenges by defining good strategies. A successful strategy means having a great leadership model already embedded,” he explained.

Development milestones for four Kempinski projects • Kempinski Palm Residence on schedule for 2009 delivery of first phase • Kempinksi Business Bay and Kempinski Palm Jebel Ali to start construction in 2009 • Kempinksi Plaza Kiev designs completed Kempinski Residences, Palm Jumeirah

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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oznyakizhilstroy Corporation, the developer behind hotel, residential and mixed use projects in Eastern Europe and Dubai, has announced a series of important milestones for its four Kempinski hotel development projects. Poznyakizhilstroy, Ukraine’s leading real estate development and investment company, made a series of progress announcements regarding the prestigious projects during its first appearance at the MIPIM real estate exhibition in Cannes (March 10t,13th) and the Ukraine Investment Summit in London (March 9,12th). The company operates in Dubai as Emerald Palace Group, which owns and develops its projects in the UAE. The Kempinski Palm Residence and Hotel, on Palm Jumeirah in

Dubai, is currently under construction and the company confirmed it is on track for completion of the Residences by the end of 2009 and of the Hotel during 2010. The Residences have been one of the most successful projects in the UAE, with the some of the highest prices achieved for property on The Palm Jumeirah.  The 202 properties sold to date included 190 apartments sold at an average price of $2.3 million, with penthouse apartments selling for an average of $6 million and the grand villas reaching an average of $10 million. The Emerald Palace Corporation confirmed that despite the global financial situation, no Residences buyers have cancelled and all buyers have paid all instalments. The company also said that its other two projects in Dubai, the

Kempinski Business Bay and the Kempinski Jebel Ali, will start construction in early 2010, as planned.  Poznyakizhilstroy also announced that the designs have been completed for its new Kempinski Plaza Kiev development, and this will be complete in time for the 2012 UEFA European Championships. Artur Mkhitaryan, President of Poznyakizhilstroy Corporation, said: “As the leading private developers in Ukraine, with strong cash reserves and no gearing, we have been well-placed to insulate our projects from the effects of the global liquidity crisis and are in a very strong position to conclude them. That means we are able to press ahead in 2009, at a time when many developers are

slowing work on their major projects.  I think this will see us strongly positioned in 2010 and beyond, as the market picks up again. A key factor in pushing ahead has been our exclusive agreements with Kempinski Hotels, to develop these four projects.  The Kempinski brand is incredibly strong and will be a real attraction on the Palm Islands, on Business Bay, and in Kiev. Having completed and handed over more than one million square metres, our company provides for a fully integrated development cycle - from land purchase, market assessment, feasibility study, project management, construction and  sales, and various services, including financial support from our own construction and development bank.”


Project scheduled for delivery between April and September 2009 as part of transformation of Ras Al Khor district

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asl, the asset management group owned by Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC), has announced that work is progressing as scheduled on the Dh645 million Ras Al Khor project that will bring on line 1,732 leasehold residential units to meet the anticipated market demand. This will mark the transition of the historically industrial nature of the Ras Al Khor area into a residential community in the long term. The project will have a total built up area of 2.4 million square feet featuring 1,288 two-bedroom apartments and 444 one-bedroom units. Handover is scheduled to take place in phases between April and September 2009. Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl and Dubai Real Estate Corporation, said: “Our primary objective is to improve the status of various districts around the emirate and give them a pivotal role to help sustain Dubai’s economic development.” wasl currently owns approxi-

Hesham Al Qassim

wasl, an asset management group, was established by Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) to manage its operations in property management, hospitality, investment and project management, covering Residential, commercial, retail, light-Industrial, public utilities, educational Institutions, leisure and Entertainment sectors. The company pursues a vision ‘to value and be valued by our stakeholders’. It aims to achieve this by creating a legacy of trust and respect by acting responsibly and as a platform for innovation in asset management

Amenities at Ras Al Khor development

mately 15,000 residential units in different localities around Dubai. Its Property Management division consistently monitors trends in the leasing sector, both in the commercial as well as in the residential space. Al Qassim added: “The leasing sector’s long-term outlook is set to turn positive in line with many government initiatives including the floatation of the $20-billion bond by the Dubai Government to stimulate the economy. We believe our track record over 30 years will allow us to take a leading role in targeting specific and specialised urban development and re-development projects.” Delivering community-focused, lifestyle facilities, the Ras Al Khor project will include a mosque, a supermarket and retail outlets, in addition to well-equipped recreation facilities. In the first phase of the residential development, six buildings are scheduled to be completed, with an additional thirteen buildings to be added in Phase-2 and Phase-3. The project is conveniently located in proximity to the DubaiHatta Highway, offering residents an easy link to the major arterial road network. The asset management company’s current sphere of operations includes the management of 5,000 industrial land plots and 20,000 leased commercial and residential units around Dubai. wasl’s portfolio includes property management, leisure and entertainment, hospitality, project management, and industrial land development.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Ras Al Khor development to realise 1,732 leasehold residential units

wasl to add 1,500-plus units to residential leasing portfolio

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IN FOCUS

Keeping up with trends

DUBAI REAL TIMES

When the going gets tough, the tough get going – by coming up with ideas to keep their businesses afloat. This is being proved by the innovative ideas and ‘I won’t be beaten’ attitude that is springing up within the property sector, from financing to revising construction plans to interior decoration, and more

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BurJuman has recently completed the construction of a 34,000 square foot of retail and restaurant space, which includes a redesigned exterior façade and direct main entrance from Khalid bin Al Walid Street (Bank Street). The new space currently has ten retailers, with Unicare Medical Centre scheduled to open in the next few months along with other tenants by the end of the year. The expansion is expected to fully complement the existing offer there through a combination of valueadded and quality stores in the new wing. The company has shifted many of its existing retailers to the expansion to diversify its offer throughout the mall to provide customers with a wider range of services. The new wing can also be accessed from inside Paris Gallery, one of BurJuman’s flagship retailers. Currently, the tenants in the new extension are digital and mobility service providers Cellucom, book store Al Jabre Al Elmiah, Little Things souvenirs shop, Aldo Accessories, Just Optic, Al Ghurair Exchange, coffee house Dome Café and fashion brands Hang Ten, Cerutti, and Manzari Furs. Scheduled to open later in the year are Lebanese restaurant Fairooziyat, men’s French fashion label Marco Serussi Camicia, and an expanded branch for Emirates National Bank of Dubai. The ground-level expansion will also allow for direct access to BurJu-

man from the Dubai Metro station, scheduled to open in September 2009. Additionally, the new dedicated entrance is aimed at encouraging

customers from the surrounding neighbourhoods to walk to BurJuman rather than drive, an initiative that earned BurJuman the second

place ranking for RTA’s Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport early this year. With the current expansion, the mall’s current 2.8 million square feet has increased to provide even more diverse shopping and dining choices, with more than 300 leading fashion outlets, including Saks 5th Avenue, plus a wide selection of restaurants, cafés and a food court. Nakheel, master developer and leader in sustainable development, has attracted the attention of local and international universities - in the first three months of 2009 alone, Nakheel hosted 27 university delegations from across the globe. This puts them on track to meet with staff and students at 100 edu-

Centre to right: Marwan Al Qamzi, Executive Managing Director, Nakheel Southern Projects and Lars Christensen, Associate Professor B.Sc Arch.Eng., Engineering College of Aarhus, Denmark


cational institutions over the course of the year.  This news follows a visit from 30 students from the Engineering College of Aarhus, Denmark recently.  The students received a presentation from senior management at Nakheel’s Waterfront and Palm Jebel Ali projects, including Marwan Al Qamzi, Executive Managing Director, Nakheel Southern Projects.  Topics ranging from engineering to urban planning and land reclamation to architecture were presented.     Marwan Al Qamzi comments: “It’s a great way to share our expertise with tomorrow’s developers and enhance our relationships with other international organisations. So many people want to witness the amazing development in Dubai and Nakheel’s iconic projects are part of what makes this emirate so unique. We have hosted 27 universities from USA, Asia and Europe, as well as local universities, in this year alone, with more than 2000 students coming through our doors since March 2008.”   Some of the world’s best universities, including UCLA, Harvard, London South Bank and New York University, have received VIP presentations and site visits from some of Nakheel’s senior management in the last three months.  Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) signed a number of contracts for major projects in different fields during the activities of the

Water Technologies, Energy and Environment Exhibition 2009 (WETEX 2009) in its 11th edition, which was held at the end of March. The exhibition focused on its commitment to adhere to the highest principles of preserving the environment, and introduced them to a large number of participants and visitors of the exhibition, while also giving them an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the power indus-

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

DEWA hosted the WETEX Conference to assist top management executives in the water, energy and environment sectors to meet experts of renewable industries to discuss the main issues, including green buildings and technologies that are friendly to the environment and energy try, with major regional and international companies participating in the conference held alongside WETEX 2009. H.E. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, in his speech at a press conference, stated that, “WETEX 2009 has proved to be a distinguished terminal in the series of major exhibitions hosted by Dubai, under the directions of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai,

vast contribution of ministries, government departments and organizations, municipalities, national and international establishments, and public benefit associations related to the issues of water, energy and environment preservation, has exceeded our expectations, as more than 400 participants from Arab and international companies and establishments belonging to 23 countries from various continents have contributed to the WETEX ’09. The exhibition also included six major stands from USA, EU, Italy, China, Korea and Taiwan.

ority in the Middle East, and it was necessary to seek sustainable and friendly solutions. In this context, DEWA hosted the WETEX Conference to assist top management executives in the water, energy and environment sectors in meeting experts of renewable industries for discussing the main issues, including green buildings and technologies that are friendly to the environment and energy. H.E. Al Tayer, added that “the

Mr. Al Tayer also stated that, “the huge participation in WETEX 2009, in the midst of the present international financial crisis, is an evidence that Dubai was, is and continues to be the best destination for economic and commercial activities, representing a distinguished business hub in the region.” On the occasion of the exhibition, DEWA announced its new logo which expresses the new strategy and identity adopted by DEWA since the beginning of this year. Mr. Al Tayer further added, “after 50 glorious years, DEWA is still full of youth, aspiring to continuously renovate and develop its strategies, and excell and shine in its endeavours. Our new logo represents a new era, representing high determination, confidence and belief.” Entrance to the exhibition was free, aimed at attracting and enhancing public awareness to its significance and theme.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Nakheel welcomed Sellapan Ramanathan, President of Singapore, for a VIP tour of Palm Jumeirah. (Left to right): Zainul Abdin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Singapore; Marwan Al Qamzi, Managing Director, Nakheel Southern Projects; Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman Dubai World; Sellapan Ramanathan, President of Singapore and the Singaporean First Lady

and the Defence Minister of UAE and the Chairman of DEWA, and under the instructions of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Minister of Finance & Industry – sponsor of this exhibition, as it is considered a new edition to the commercial and economic activities, organized and adopted by Dubai. It also assures the endless distinction of Dubai, being a constantly growing and modernisation centre in this benchmarking area of the globe.” The environmental impact of buildings has become a major pri-

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DUBAI FOCUS

A multitude of activities Whether it’s good times or bad times, life goes on. Some fail and have to adjust to doing something completely different; some make changes in an effort to carry on; and others keep their fingers crossed with every small successful business deal they do. Those that are carrying on in some form or the other are slowly working their way through the span of time. Some buildings are still being built and owners are receiving keys to their doors, innovative ways of buying and selling are being received with a smile, fun festivals are organised for societies to get to know each other. Life is going on ‌ Madison Residency

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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eyaar Development PJSC will hand over all residential units at Madison Residency to home owners on May 16, 2009. The company organised an orientation programme to advise all home owners on the handover process ahead of the scheduled delivery; it was aimed at updating customers with the final documentation procedure for their respective properties as well as presenting the 2009 building operating budget and facilities management contract. Additionally an explanation of the building systems, amenities and personnel was given. The customer orientation programme and scheduled handover of the 26-storey residential tower continues Deyaar's track record and strong commitment towards customer ser-

vice excellence. The project is the latest in the line of high-quality projects completed by the company in the past few years, and will be the first of seven buildings projected to be handed over in 2009. Located at the Technology, ECommerce and Media (TECOM) free zone, along Sheikh Zayed Road, Madison Residency comprises 161 luxurious studio apartments, 52 one-bedroom and 99 two-bedroom apartments. The tower is well-equipped with state-of-the-art amenities, including a health club, swimming pool, roof garden, underground parking, high-end security systems and access to extensive retail facilities, and an impressive stone entrance and lobby area. Celebrating the cultural diversity of the city, International Village, a Downturn Burj Dubai

two-week cultural and retail festival is taking place at Emaar Boulevard in Downtown Burj Dubai. Featuring 41 pavilions, the festival showcases a diverse array of products from close to 20 countries and will is being held until May 2, 2009 from 4pm to midnight on weekends. The festival has products, artifacts and

general paraphernalia from countries panning Africa, Europe, India, China, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tunisia, Vietnam, UAE and several countries in the Middle East as well as cultural programmes and entertainment. Indigenously hand-crafted or imported exclusively for the festival,


most products are unique in design, adding to their exclusivity. While there will be plenty of products to choose from, the boulevard will also be dotted with a mix of food and beverage tents and will be further enlivened with music and dance performances, all designed to create a family fun and carnival atmosphere. International Village follows the success of the first Burj Dubai Classic Car Show and the recent Renault F1 Roadshow both of which attracted thousands of visitors to Downtown Burj Dubai. This two-week festival is set in close proximity to The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destinations, and The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain that is currently being tested. Madania Real Estate has launched a property auction programme that aims to become a benchmark for

innovation follows the introduction of the increasingly popular deferred payment plan which helps its clients rent-to-buy properties in Dubai. Speaking at the launch of the new programme Raymond Kuceli, Chief executive officer, Madania Real Estate said: “As the downturn in the global economy impacts the real estate sector in Dubai we continue to see negative sentiment affecting the behaviour of vendors and buyers. As a consequence, the level of transaction activities is significantly reduced as both vendors and buyers struggle to determine a true value for a given property. Our new programme helps vendors and buyers find a true market price, acting as a catalyst for transaction activities, as well as an indicator for industry investors. As a company we aim to pioneer innovative solutions to market problems and believe that this programme will set the standard

Meydan

programme is a three phase process with a 60 day duration. The process begins with a vendor signing up exclusively with Madania in order to sell a property. Properties must meet with the Land Department’s requirements. Once all conditions have been settled, a four week aggressive marketing campaign begins during which the property is advertised to attract cash buyers ready to purchase. The buyers are free to bring

If the property is not sold, in the third phase all the information gathered during the first and second phase will be used to generate a buyer. However, Madania Real Estate is confident that most vendors will find a buyer for their property during the first two phases of the process. Meydan, the developer of the world’s largest equine development, participated for the second year at the recent Careers Fair by

Raymond Kuceli

the auctioneering sales method in the UAE. The programme facilitates real estate sales between vendors and buyers in a highly transparent manner that ensures the price paid is a true reflection of the property’s market value. The first event is due to take place on 19th May 2009 and its results will be a powerful and insightful indicator into how the Dubai real estate market is performing. The new programme reinforces Madania Real Estate’s reputation as a market innovator, able to bring tried and tested techniques and expertise from other markets around the world to the Emirate. The company’s latest

for this type of sales method as the market takes its next steps in the maturing process.” A subsidiary of Al Tamimi Investments, Madania Real Estate is led by Chief Executive Officer Raymond Kuceli, a real estate professional with over 20 years expertise and a licensed auctioneer. The auctioneering sales method is commonly used for a wide variety of items including race horses, livestock and automobiles, and has even become a huge success online with the creation of companies such as eBay. The Madania property auction

in consultants such as surveyors to inspect the property, in order to judge the property on its merits and decide if and at what price they wish to make an offer. If a buyer wishes to make a cash offer during phase one they will be considered. The second phase is the property auction event itself, managed by the auctioneer. Buyers gather at the event, there is no fee to attend, and bid competitively against each other for the property. If the vendor’s reserve price is met or exceeded the property will be sold. Representatives of the Land Department will also be present and buyers must pay a 20 per cent deposit upon the acceptance of a winning bid, with the balance paid two weeks later.

showcasing a model of its landmark racecourse. Thousands of students visited the Meydan booth at the Dubai World Trade Centre where they had a presentation on the new racecourse which will feature a five star trackside hotel, an Imax Theatre, Meydan Museum and Gallery, a car park with a capacity of 10,000 vehicles and a grandstand with a capacity of 60,000.  The ergonomically designed stand also had several other interactive facilities allowing students to post their curriculum vitae’s. The purpose of Meydan’s group participation was to furnish the students with in-depth information on its various business units including the Dubai Racing Club, Emirates

DUBAI REAL TIMES

“As a company we aim to pioneer innovative solutions to market problems and believe that this programme will set the standard for this type of sales method as the market takes its next steps in the maturing process”

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The Walk is gaining increasing footfall from residents of JBR, the surrounding hotels, the Marina precinct, as well as from Jumeirah

DUBAI REAL TIMES

The Walk

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Racing Authority, Zabeel  Feedmill and Meydan City.  The exhibition event also provided a platform for the students to be introduced to the New Meydan Landmark racecourse development which will host the 2010 Dubai World Cup.   Presentations were made by senior managers and executives of the group, explaining the workings and operations of the various departments and the opportunities available for new joiners. The officials and students attending the fair lauded Meydan for its participation, stating that it provided students the opportunity to know more about the corporate world and how they could contribute their quota to the development of the country. A total of 118 stores and restaurants are now up and running on the plaza level, above ground at The Walk, Dubai’s first and only outdoor retail avenue by the sea in Jumeirah Beach Residence. The plaza level currently hosts a spectrum of outlets in food and beverage, home furnishing, décor and art galleries, men, women and children’s apparel, fashion and accessories, health and cosmetics, jewellery, culture, leisure and sports, as well as supermarkets. Savile Row, Saks 5th Avenue- The men’s store, Zadig & Voltaire, Aiyanna of London, du, Ruby Tuesday, Haru, Mothercare , Emirates Islamic Bank, Feet First, Crossover Bollywood, and The Holiday Lounge are some of the names that have a presence at the first level plaza. The Walk, which was launched in August 2008, boasts a total of 200 fashion, furniture and lifestyle stores, with a further 105 to be opened in the next few months to serve JBR residents as well as the entire marina district. The Walk is gaining increasing

footfall from residents of JBR, the surrounding hotels, the Marina precinct, as well as from Jumeirah. Most customers go there seeking an avenue to spend leisurely afternoons or stroll around the shops discovering new things to do. More and more outlets have opened up on the plaza level adding to visitors’ experiences, especially those with an adventurous streak eager to explore the spectrum of options that are waiting to be discovered. The Walk is also set to unveil a series of spas and beach clubs, accentuating its round the year beach resort offering. Dubai Municipality held a meeting with Dubai Civil Defence Department recently on improving and simplifying the procedures between the two in order to provide excellent advanced services and facilitate the work procedures under one roof. During the discussion both sides addressed the issue of improving procedures regarding building permits and ways to develop procedures and opportunities for improvement in this area. Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Corporate Excellence Department said the meeting was organized following a directive of the Council of Ministers and the Dubai Executive Council to work towards giving more care in the development of work and procedures among government establishments and departments in a way that achieves the ideal environment for investment and customer service so as to provide services simply and clearly to the customers. She added that the meeting also comes in parallel with the directives of the government based on the report of the World Bank to improve the procedures and raising the status of the

UAE and the city of Dubai with other countries in the world. Al Hammadi pointed out that all departments and establishments in the country are trying to coordinate with others in developing procedures and this meeting will help in the efforts to streamline the building licensing procedures. The Umm Suqeim centre of Dubai Municipality has relocated to Al Barsha-3 area. Amina Arif, Head of Umm Suqeim centre said the new office will provide all the services previously provided by them such as the Survey Department services (renewal/ replacement of lost land maps, demarcation service, and the sale of books on tides). Arif said the Centre offers a range of services such as the Treasury service, receiving and registering applications for jobs, payment of drainage fees, applications for containers, the issuance of discharge letter from the traffic police, receiving customer complaints, issuing accounts of customers of Municipality e-services, and reports on trade licenses. The American University of Dubai (AUD) and GREAT Properties, a UAE-based real estate agency, have announced a long term partnership agreement. The official announcement was made during AUD’s Student Government Association’s International Night event on 2nd April 2009, which GREAT Properties also sponsored. The foundation of the

partnership will include an internship programme for AUD students for a period of 10 weeks every fall semester. The internship is open to both current AUD students as well as recent graduates specializing in Accounting and Marketing, and who are seeking to have some experience in the UAE’s work environment. “Each year AUD graduates a group of top students in a variety of fields,” said Sue Hunter, Career Services Manager at AUD. “We encourage our students to undertake internships as it gives them the opportunity to apply what they have learned in their academic studies to the real world. We are looking forward to applying the internship programme with GREAT Properties to drive our students to a successful career path.” The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Foreign Investment Office (FIO) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) to attract international investors to do business in Dubai. The MoU emphasizes collaboration, resource sharing and streamlining of specialist functions between the two Dubai government departments. As part of the MoU, the Foreign Investment Office will provide potential investors with business solutions and access to project information from the Dubai Real Estate Corporation. The Corporation, in


Since early 2007, Emcredit has played an integral role in providing industry know-how in facilitating and managing information sharing to a Technical Advisory Committee tasked with creating a federal regulatory framework that regulates credit information

turn, will provide the Foreign Investment Office with data, analysis and forecasts to enhance its knowledge and outreach function. His Excellency Mr Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, DED said: “It is through lasting partnerships with our peers in the government and the private sector that we will ensure a return to robust economic growth.” “Dubai is easily accessible and has an efficient financial services industry and excellent internal and external logistics network. Diversification has been the keyword in Dubai’s success story and today, the Emirate has successfully positioned itself as the hub of trade, tourism, IT, media, finance and healthcare in the region,” Mr Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of the Foreign Investment Office. Emcredit, the country’s first government-backed credit information services company, hailed the Federal National Council’s (FNC) approval of a draft Credit Information Law as a significant step in fostering a conducive environment for datasharing. Ali Ibrahim, Managing Director of Emcredit, said that the new law will bring greater confidence to all stakeholders of the credit reporting industry, enhance the privacy of data of individuals and companies, and facilitate the sharing of credit information to support credit decision. He said that the law creates a framework of rights and obligations for data providers, information users and, most importantly, the public at

large. Since early 2007, Emcredit has played an integral role in providing industry know-how in facilitating and managing information sharing to a Technical Advisory Committee tasked with creating a federal regulatory framework that regulates credit information. The framework ensures that information needed for accurate decision-making is shared while guaranteeing that the privacy and confidentiality of personal information is maintained in line with international best practices. “The Credit Information Law reflects the maturing credit information sector in the UAE. Amidst a challenging financial environment globally, the timely promulgation of the law will immensely benefit lenders by giving them access to

Ali Ibrahim

comprehensive credit information. It will help them in accurately assessing the creditworthiness of potential borrowers and allow them to implement better risk management policies,” said Ibrahim. “The Credit Information Law will strengthen the UAE’s economic and regulatory framework and lead to greater transparency in the financial sector. The law is especially significant in a society such as the UAE, which has a large transient population, a strong credit market and is witnessing rapid economic growth.” Since its inception in 2006, Emcredit has signed several agreements with leading financial and non-financial institutions to enrich its database. These include Citibank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai Bank, Amlak Finance, Better Homes as well as

government departments such as Dubai e-Government, Dubai Police, Dubai Public Prosecution and an exclusive agreement with Dubai Land Department’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority and UAE Ministry of Interior. The Tiger Woods Dubai, a member of Tatweer Dubai, recently hosted members of a delegation comprising a number of journalists representing sport, business and lifestyle publications from France in association with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), offering a preview of the components that will shape the exclusive landmark golf development. The media members travelled to Dubai in order to gain a first-hand insight into the growth of the golfing industry and its impact on the economy and tourism in the region. During their visit, the delegation toured the sprawling 55 million square feet private residential golf community project site where work is progressing to create the world’s first golf course created by Tiger Woods Design, the 18-hole Al Ruwaya Golf Club, a professionally staffed, state-of-the-art golf academy, an iconic clubhouse, a boutique hotel including a well-being spa, and a fine dining restaurant by acclaimed chef Guy Savoy. Grassing on the fairways of Holes 4 and 5 is complete in addition to rough shaping on all 18 holes, of which 10 have been finely shaped. Construction is also complete for the main canal and one of the lakes that

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Mr Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Department of Economic Development, and Hesham Al Qassim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Real Estate Corporation, signing the MoU

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DUBAI REAL TIMES

Al Gurg delegation on site

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will eventually contribute to incorporating over 3.3 million square feet of water features into the golf course. Office furniture and solutions provider, Kinnarps Project Solutions (KPS), has opened a new furniture showroom in Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial area, as part of the company’s expansion in the Middle East. The new showroom, covering approximately 2,500 square feet over two floors, is the first to be opened by KPS in the UAE. The new facility is currently open via invitation and appointment only and it is hoped that it will inspire prospective clients with the latest office furniture and fit-out ideas, many of which were highlighted by the company when it took part in the Office Exhibition in early March. Office technology is fast becoming an essential consideration for architects and designers and is at the forefront of any office fit-out or redesigns. For the first time, the event had a dedicated technology sector to showcase the latest solutions and innovations. KPS has been operating in the Middle East for 16 years and since 1995, has established offices in Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Khobar and in Bahrain. The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres (MECSC), the Middle East’s trade body for the retail real estate industry organised a two day interactive workshop titled ‘The Changing Dynamics of Retail Leasing Management’ in April at the Burjuman Rotana Suites in Dubai, UAE.

Despite the global economic slowdown, the RNCOS report ‘Booming retail sector in the UAE’ projects total retail sales in the country to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 12 per

A wide range of complete office scenarios are on display at the new KPS showroom in Al Quoz, Dubai

cent from 2008 to 2011. But due to expected short-term oversupply of gross lease-able area (GLA) in some markets by the end of 2009, Mall and Leasing Managers need to develop new strategies to reduce the impact of sharp vacancy increases and downward pressure on rental rates. “There is going to be a clear slowdown in upcoming projects, however this could be of benefit for the retail market to look back, being able to focus more on existing shopping malls and taking the opportunity to develop these even more” comments Maher Al Shaer, President of the MECSC. “This is not a buyer’s (tenant’s) market; it is a

tough market for both the landlord and the tenant. Difficult times are the best time to grab market share and increase customer loyalty and support. It’s a good time for shopping malls to diversify their retail offering. A mall that is doing better than average will hence attract retailers that also want to take advantage of the difficult times to refine their offering.” Despite the global economic downturn, office developments worth US$15.693 billion are now underway across the GCC. According to a leading Dubai-based market research company, Proleads, there are currently 156 office developments underway across the region, with 74 due for completion in 2009 and 82 due for completion in 2010. The UAE is home to 103 new office developments, the largest number in the region, worth US$10.620 billion in total. Fifty of these developments are due for completion in 2009 and 53 in 2010. Some of the major office developments in the UAE include the 29-storey Michael Schumacher Business Avenue located at Dubai’s Business Bay and The Gate District, part of the Dubai International Financial Centre, comprising of ten commercial towers. In line with  a growing  demand for office space in the UAE  and many large office developments due to reach completion within the next two years, many international companies are looking to the Middle East to generate business. Over 365 exhibitors participated in last month’s Office Exhibition and many companies have reported strong sales and new business partnerships. Al Aqili Furnishings (AAF) has announced two contract

furnishing deals worth a total of Dh3.2million. UAE-based office furniture dealer, Delma Interiors, in association with Access International, signed a deal worth over Dh1 million to supply Nightingale chairs to a UK architectural design firm. They also signed a contract to distribute Mi Youl interactive and high technology screens within the UAE, perfectly suited for hotels, corporate reception areas, hospitals and other public display areas. Ufficio, a division of Ishtar Décor has signed several distribution agreements. The company will be the exclusive distributor in the UAE for FAMO, a Portugese commercial office furniture manufacturer, Davison Highley, a British manufacturer of commercial soft seating and Brunner, a German manufacturer of meeting and conference chairs.

The 2009 Office Exhibition, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre


DUBAI FOCUS

WELLNESS the new trend in real estate A

Technogym stretching couch, a Kinesis Vision or a comfortable exercise bike are becoming the choice drivers when it comes to buying the right apartment in the UAE. People’s awareness on the benefit of physical activity is constantly raising and more and more people are regularly exercising in wellness clubs, travellers are looking for gym equipped hotels and corporate wellness represents the new benefit companies offer to employees. Therefore, Wellness, one of the major consumer trends in the last years, is also becoming a very interesting issue for the more advanced real estate developers in the UAE following the trend of designing living spaces instead of building flats. Technogym, the Italian world leader company in the wellness sector, is the ideal business partner for real estate developers willing to integrate wellness areas into their projects in order to offer a unique training experience to the user, and at the same time, to increase the overall project value and prestige. Innovative Italian design, exceptional quality, and ease of use have enabled Technogym to create exclusive private gyms for many of the world’s most beautiful homes as well as the most prestigious hotels, clubs and corporate facilities. Christian Dietrich, Managing Director, Technogym Emirates, said “At Technogym we strongly believe wellness is a daily need for everybody and regular physical activity is the basic component of wellness. For this reason we are active in different market segments within the UAE in order to offer personalised

and total wellness solutions, catering to different needs and customer profiles: wellness clubs, hotels and spas, corporate wellness, rehabilitation centres, home wellness, etc. In the past few years, due to rising awareness on the benefits of living a wellness lifestyle, we are experiencing a growing demand in both private homes and real estate developments alongside the trend of having a private wellness space.” Technogym top references in the residential sector include Le Reve in Dubai developed by W.S. Atkins. All the sold out Le Reve apartments at Dubai Marina, are offered to customers in many options including the wellness configuration with Kinesis, the Technogym design solution to perform more than 200 exercises, or Technogym Excite treadmill fitted with personal TV screen and iPod connection. In Dubai, the company has also fully designed and equipped the Wellness Centre at the Millennium Tower, completed in 2006 and representing another icon of UAE’s real estate development. Furthermore, The Cube in Dubai

Sports City will be known to offer a complete value-added package both for its investors and its residents. Technogym offers The Cube investors and resident’s state-of-theart equipment in terms of style, ease of use, quality and reliability. The equipment it will provide - Kinesis Personal, CardioWave, Excite, FLEXability, etc – are also the favourite choices of many international celebrities such as Madonna, George Clooney, Giorgio Armani, Kakà (last golden ball) who train with this equipment on a daily basis in their residences around the globe. Pyamod, the biggest German property developers in Dubai presented their penthouse show home located in BurJuman Residences in Bur Dubai. It is a spectacle of luxury and furnishing perfection that houses Technogym’s Kinesis Personal Vision in it. Hence, Technogym is the number one choice for the concept of a home gym with luxury and high -end look. Promenade –Emaar Tower, Dubai Marina is a premium residential tower enclave that celebrates life in its entire radiant splendur. Nestled within

the panoramic confines of Dubai Marina, it overlooks the widest and most scenic spectacular views of the bay. This is a truly luxury distilled to its very finest. Technogym goes one step beyond just having a gym onsite but offers a state-of-theart prestigious gym with high end leisure activities for the residential tower. Neo Casa, situated on the 40th Floor of the Murjan 5 Tower at the recently completed JBR development, is nestled in between the magnificent coast line of Dubai and the Dubai Marina. These premises are the perfect canvas for the launch of the Neo Casa concept, to take place on April 29. Neo Casa serves as an art inspiration for top local interior and architect designers to create living spaces within a loft apartment that will exceed all expectations of clientele and onlookers. In the process these living spaces become showpieces for all brands involved. Well renowned for its state-of-the-art wellness design equipment, Technogym is the chosen brand to showcase its most prominent design piece – Kinesis Personal Vision, supplemented by the Wellness Rack and an Excite treadmill with integrated TV as a home gym within Neo Casa. In Italy Technogym is currently partnering with Dolce Vita Homes, an initiative aimed at creating quality residences able to transmit the essence of Italian style and creativity. The first project, designed by Antonio Citterio and Partners, is under development and it will integrate the company’s wellness design products with the most acclaimed Italian design furniture pieces.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Technogym is partnering with the world’s most prestigious real estate developments in the UAE

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PROFILE

Integrated public transport Last month, the American Business Council and the Canadian Business Council jointly organised a luncheon talk by Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim A. Younes, Member of Board of Directors and CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance, RTA, on the up-to-date position of construction of an integrated public transport network By Heena Awani

H

e threw light on the challenges posed to the transport system in Dubai. One of the key solutions to most of these problems is changing the attitude of commuters, he said. “The car must no longer be looked on as a necessity, a status symbol, and a ‘must-have’ item.

travel.” The Roads and Transport Authority will celebrate its fourth birthday in November this year. It is a remarkable feat for any organisation to be so young and yet achieve so much. The RTA is a fully independent government entity and is responsible for designing, constructing, operating and managing all transport

centre, the RTA takes upon itself the responsibility to ensure a safe and smooth transportation system in the city. Traffic congestion was the first issue to be talked upon and is probably the biggest of the worries for almost everyone in Dubai. To reach the workplace from home is an enormous task on its own. “Ac-

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Traffic congestion was the first issue to be talked upon and is probably the biggest of the worries for almost everyone in Dubai

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W.J. (Bill) Ryan, President of American Business Council, thanked Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim A. Younes, Member of Board of Directors and CEO RTA for his informative talk

Many other countries in both the East and the West have citizens who happily use public transport to get from one place to another. Buses, trains, ferries and other modes are an accepted way of life, an inexpensive and efficient way to

and roads infrastructure in the emirate. This regulatory body has two aspects to its authority (1) Strategy, and (2) Corporate Support Service Sector -- which comprises six teams. Considering Dubai’s growing role as a commercial hub and business

Metro train for the Red Line

cording to a study, on an average, Dh5.9 billion a year is wasted in our movable boxes, thus affecting our economy,” he said The RTA is constantly trying to build a better road network. It has widened and added on to 80 per cent of the road’s capacity in the main city, and has increased the lanes on Creek Crossing from 19 to 48, which is an increase of 150 per cent in three years. It intends to construct 500km of new roads by 2020. It will add two ring roads into the system and will provide direct links to certain communities. With these changes, a commuter will have a direct passage from the BurJuman Centre to Marina. He will avoid traffic on roads like Sheikh Zayed Road. The authority is also working on 95 new interchanges. The end of April saw the opening of a new double-decker road -- a flyover built over Doha Street, near Downtown Dubai. It will ease the flow of traffic in the Burj Dubai area and give direct access to Burj Dubai and DIFC. It links Business Bay and Al Khail Road to various roads in Jumeirah. The much-awaited Metro will re-


Advantages of PTS What to do with the time you save while on public transport: • Catch up with a friend • Plug in your iPod • Plan your day • Look for a new recipe for dinner • Read a novel or magazine

ing few years,” he said. Next, Abdul Mohsin dwelt on the problem of limited use of public transport. He understands that the reason why people prefer cars to buses is the insufficient capacity of the PTS (Public Transport System). Buses sometimes do not

Double-decker buses already ply the roads

VIP passengers on a trial run of the Metro

up to Al Jaddaf, running through Healthcare City. It covers a distance of 22.5km, with a one-way run-time of 30 minutes. “Hopefully, the drive which takes us an hour and a quarter today will take us just half the time in the com-

vious ones, adding to the seating capacity. “The number of buses on roads has risen considerably. In 2005, we had 500 buses and now we have 1,350 moving about in the city. Also, by the time the peak of summer hits Dubai, we will probably have

arrive on schedule and the time gap between two buses for the same route is often high. However, efforts have been taken to change the present scenario. Articulated as well as doubledecker buses are replacing the pre-

all open bus stops converted into air-conditioned, chair-provisioned waiting areas,” he added. Adding to its ventures, the RTA has now introduced the ‘Wojhati Service’ which is an Arabic word meaning ‘My Destination’. Commut-

there will no longer be the need to sweat in the heat, as one can have a planned journey. The third -- and one of the most important challenges -- is the socio-cultural factor, or simply put, people’s attitude.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

lieve at least 35 per cent of the current traffic congestion. The Red Line extends from Jebel Ali Free Zone to Rashidiya with 29 stations along the way. The one-way run-time on the Red Line is approximately one hour from beginning to end. The Green Line starts from Al Ghusais and goes

ers can now plan their journey with any medium of the public transport -- Metro, buses, or water taxi. They will be informed about the exact timing of their transport, taking into account the traffic situation. This web-based journey planner will require the user to log on to a particular site, after which he will have in hand places in transit, their indicative points, and other geographical information. With the increased number of buses and their capacity, they will not only be on time but

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“Initially, when buses were introduced, they mainly served the labourers. Unfortunately, the notion still remains. As reports indicate, in Hong Kong, 90 per cent of the population commutes by public transport services; in Singapore, it is 65 per cent; 40 per cent in London; and 35 per cent in Berlin; as

Children must be in the rear seats

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Street level tram for Sufouh area

38

opposed to the astonishingly low six per cent in Dubai. There is a stark difference between Hong Kong and Dubai of 84 per cent, while both are developed cities. In spite of the fact that there are ‘Gold Class Buses’ as well, some affluent sections of our society still consider it an act below their dignity to travel in a bus. Nothing much can be done about this. The solution lies only in our own mindset. We see cars as a symbol of prosperity and social status. The Metro and its stations -- which will have a five-star hotel feel and look -should be successful in wiping out these absurd ideas from the minds of people. We must work hand in hand with the RTA for the betterment of Dubai’s transport systems.” During the next round of his talk, Abdul Mohsin emphasised not only the transportation environment, but also the effect of transportation on the environment. “Many people have got their licence to drive, but not the correct ethics to go with it.” To curb this problem, the RTA, in conjunction with some driving institutes, has initiated certain campaigns. The first of its kind was ‘Kids are safer behind’, which stressed a simple fact often forgotten. A ‘Road Safety Campaign’ is underway with Dubai Police patrolling the streets. Drivers are being given tickets for reckless driving and over-speeding. This campaign is to

Water ferry

Save petrol • • • • •

Use the Public Transport System Go for car pooling Avoid driving for small distances Walk to areas in the same locality Ride a bicycle

counter the high number of deaths due to road accidents. As a part of the ‘Be Safe’ campaign, the public was informed about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. Not only does it result in collision or driving off-track, but also fetches a ‘ticket’. ‘Seat Belt--Your Chance for Survival’ and ‘Road Peace’ are two of the few campaigns yet to be launched. The government is also encouraging cyclists and pedestrians. ‘Pedestrian-Only Zones’ and Hybrid taxi

‘Air-Conditioned Cyclists Path’ are already under construction. Since Dubai, being an automobile-oriented city, must be contributing towards air pollution, it must also do its share in conserving the environment. ‘Car-pooling’ is highly encouraged by the authorities, thus reducing the emission of carbon monoxide (Co2) particles into the atmosphere. Yet again, for the sake of Mother Earth, the use of Metro and water taxi was highly stressed upon by

Abdul Mohsin. To reach the nearest Metro stations, second-level transport systems are going to be provided for. We can expect the trams to start operating from April 2011. They will connect the Marina and Sufouh area to the Metro, thus dissuading people from taking out their cars. August 2008 saw a remarkable development when RTA’s Dubai Taxi agency and Al-Futtaim Motors deployed 10 Toyota Camry hybrid sedans for passenger trials. These taxis have a reduced level of emission, causing less pollution and creating a healthier environment. During his talk, Abdul Mohsin made the statement: “UAE will invest highly in transport infrastructure as this will ease the financial crunch and help in jobs creation”, and concluded his talk with an informative presentation video, which was followed by a brief Questionand-Answer session.


MOVING IN

C

hallenging global financial conditions mean buyers remain reluctant to enter the property market. As such, the demand for rental property in Dubai continues to surge. The changes in the economic climate have also increased the importance of the tenant, and investors are now carefully considering location as a major factor in ensuring success in the buy-to-let market as accessibility to work, schools and amenities top most tenants’ wish-lists. One area that is attracting interest is Lake City Tower at Jumeirah Lake Towers. The tower, which offers luxury living overlooking a picturesque man-made lake, has upmarket residential units with artistic finishes and interiors, as well as recreational facilities such as on-site restaurants, retail outlets, a crèche, gymnasium and health facilities. According to Taha M. Al Zouby, Tiger Properties CEO, the main reason for the high demand for units within Lake City Tower, however, is its location. “The building is situated directly in front of the metro station which will provide easy access to all major points in the emirate. It is just a few minutes away from the Almas Tower, which houses the region’s only diamond exchange and the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).” Key to Lake City Tower’s success, says Taha, is the fact that Tiger Properties partnered with Go Wealthy, offering them exclusive rental rights for a limited number of units in the development, all of which have successfully been let. “At Tiger Properties we particularly value the way in which our business has been managed – after all, a professionally managed development is a far more attractive option when looking to rent, as it ensures a streamlined and efficient service.” Tiger Properties, also acknowledges the support of the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC), a strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, for its efficient running of Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Leasing offices in free zone commercial complex

L

eading international household names, including Ericsson, Kraft and L’Oreal, have set up operations in Limitless’ Downtown Jebel Ali development, where almost 350,000 square feet of free zone, A-grade office space is now taken up. The leased accommodation – around half of the total available in the development’s first four office towers – is the new workplace for more than 700 people whose employers have chosen Downtown Jebel Ali as their regional hub. More global and local firms are due to move in over the next few months. The premises offer modern, tailor-made accommodation, with onsite facilities management services. Businesses can lease areas from 3,500 to 15,000 square feet, and can lease multiple floors. The completed office blocks will soon be joined by four more towers with apartments, retail, recreational and further commercial facilities. The eight-building complex – The Gal-

The leased accommodation is the new workplace for more than 700 people … leries – is under construction in zone one of the 200-hectare project. The Galleries is due for completion by late 2009. Salah Ameen, Project Director at Downtown Jebel Ali, said: “Our growing list of globally-renowned tenants proves that the commercial towers in The Galleries meet both local and international business expectations. But a good working environment is not just about A-grade offices. Easy access, convenient commuting, and pleasant outdoor surroundings play a major part, too. Our offices will soon have living accommodation right on the doorstep. Downtown Jebel Ali will be served by the Dubai Metro and an environmentally-friendly people mover system, reducing car dependency and cutting road congestion. There will also be ample shaded, outdoor space – a vital component of any large-scale development.”

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Location key to rental success

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MARKET TRENDS & ANALYSIS // PROPERTY PRICES INFRASTRUCTURE

The work goes on

DUBAI REAL TIMES

W

40

hile newspapers have been discussing the negative aspects of the financial downturn others have just got on with their jobs, to the best of their abilities, with the result that life has been going on – at a slightly slower pace, that’s true – but progress on constructing, installing, decorating, and other related jobs have been carrying on, regardless. Infrastructure is being provided to current projects, while established ones are being improved. Developers who invested in Downtown Jebel Ali can now take possession of their land and begin work, global master developer Limitless has announced. Two hundred and fifty plots are ready for handover to all 122 developers who bought land in the 200 hectare project, where infrastructure work is on track and will continue while developers construct their individual buildings. Salah Ameen, Project Director, Downtown Jebel Ali, said: “This important milestone underlines our commitment to our clients and to the project. Developers are now free to break ground while we press

on with infrastructure work to ensure that buildings are connected to utilities when they are complete.” Cirrus Developments has already begun construction of Celestial Heights, a three-tower complex in Zone One of Downtown Jebel Ali, while Limitless itself is developing The Galleries – an eight-building complex of offices, apartments, retail and leisure facilities set in extensive, landscaped grounds – also in Zone

One. The Galleries includes four newly-completed commercial towers, where A-grade offices are available for lease and four mixed use towers where more than 600 apartments will be ready for lease by the end of 2009. Salah Ameen said: “Downtown Jebel Ali combines quality living, working, recreation and shopping, within easy reach of Dubai and just 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi. It will

be served by the Dubai Metro and have its own environmentallyfriendly people mover system, reducing road congestion and underpinning Limitless’ commitment to moving people and not just cars. There will also be ample shaded, outdoor space – a hallmark of all our projects.” iCrete, a clean technology leader and a premier concrete technology company, announced recently the


iCrete, a clean technology leader and a premier concrete technology company, announced recently the availability in North America, the Middle East, and the Far East of customized and patented high-strength concrete mixes designed for use by providers of precast and pre-stressed concrete

and New Lusaily Area 132/33 kV. The commencement date for Al Wasel, New Hatta, and Consulate & New Lisaily S/S is 20 months plus 60 days reliability run, and the commencement date for Barsha residential & Al Jadaf 2 S/S is 21 months plus 60 days reliability run. He explained that the Second contract CE/448E/2007 comprising two 132/11kV Substation viz. Knowledge - International Media Production Zone Area and Najma 2 Area has been awarded to M/s Bahwan for the amount of Dh224 million. The commencement date for Knowledge S/S is 22 month plus 60days reliability run, and the commencement date for Najma2 S/S is 21-month plus 60 days reliability run. The third contract CE/448D/2007 comprising of two 132/11kV substation viz. Earth Station - Gardens Discovery Projects Area and International City-4 has been awarded to M/s Danway for the amount of Dh194 million. The commencement date for Earth Station S/S is 21-month plus 60days reliability run, and the commencement date for International City-4 S/S is 21 month plus 60 days

reliability run. Finally, the fourth contract CE/448C/07 comprising three 132/11kV substations namely New Garhoud, JAFZA South-2, and Industrial City-4 has been awarded to M/s. Emirates Electrical Establishment (EEE) for the amount of Dh330 million. Palm Utilities (PU), a leading water and district cooling utility service provider established by government-owned investment firm Istithmar, a major investment holding and part of the Dubai World group of companies, has announced that Palm District Cooling (PDC) has recently completed the installation work for the Dolphin System on its Gardens plant, becoming the first company in the region to take advantage of the revolutionary water treatment technology. PDC has implemented the Dolphin System as a part of several initiatives launched this year to ensure consistently high-quality utility services, optimise water consumption and contribute in safeguarding the environment. The Dolphin System is an en-

vironmentally friendly water treatment system that eliminates scale and the need for chemicals in water treatment and helps minimise water usage. The technology has been embraced by reputed utility firms from around the world and is widely recognised for its water-saving features and for eliminating hazardous chemicals used in cooling towers water treatment. PDC currently provides district cooling services to several prestigious mega developments in the UAE, including the Gardens Residential Complex, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Discovery Gardens and Palm Jumeirah. Being the first in the region to implement the environmentally friendly water treatment system, PDC is expected to realise powerful green advantages and expand their opportunities to earn LEED Green Building rating system certification. His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad will be the Patron of the Garden and Landscaping Middle East exhibition, scheduled 17–19 May, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Dr Rashid Ahmad is the UAE Minister of Environment and Water. His Excellency will also inaugurate the exhibition, and address the visitors and exhibitors during the event with his opening speech. H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmad said, “By accepting to be a patron of this exhibition, I wish to encourage cooperation between the government and private sector in helping to conserve the environment, by bringing the latest technologies in this part of the world.” He added, “The Garden and Landscaping Middle East exhibition boosts the government efforts in protecting the environment since gardens serve as a favourite place for individuals and families. Gardens increase greennery and play a leading role in reducing side effects of climate change. This exhibition along with several other large scale developments that are progressing, mark the UAE’s leadership in advancing its beautification drive. In the presence of an economic downturn, it becomes even more necessary to build a clean and beautiful environment

DUBAI REAL TIMES

availability in North America, the Middle East, and the Far East of customised and patented high-strength concrete mixes designed for use by providers of pre-cast and prestressed concrete. iCrete’s new product family for the precast industry features: • Speed in application and setting – optimising faster, more efficient turnarounds for pre-cast moulds. • Exceptional reliablity and workability – reducing surface defects and repairs. • Less cement – improving the environmental profile and lowering the carbon footprint of each project. • Thinner, stronger sections – offering a much wider range of engineering and architectural options. • Lower costs – leveraging reductions in cement content and work hours. Said Juan Carlos Terroba, iCrete’s Chief Executive Officer: “We are now bringing to the precast market a proven technical breakthrough already in use for highly trafficked pavement and high rise structures. iCrete mixes and quality systems will revolutionise the pre-cast methods used for construction of pre-fabricated buildings and industrial parks, as well as the building of major pipelines, sewers, bridges, roads, tunnels, and railways. “ H.E Saeed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, signed various contracts recently for 13 substations for the construction of important projects at a total amount of Dh1.534 billion. This is a part of the extensive developments initiated by DEWA, these projects are awarded to provide and supply installation, testing and commissioning of substations and associated works. H. E Saeed Al Tayer explained that the First contract CE/448A/2007 comprising five 132/11 kV Substations and one 132/33 kV Substation, has been awarded to M/s Emirates Trading Agency (ETA) for the amount of Dh786 million. The substations will be constructed at Al Wasel (Bada Area), New Hatta Area, Barsha Residential Area, Consulates Al Hamrya Area, Al Jadaf Area,

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DUBAI REAL TIMES

for owners. The company is already working with Jumeirah Golf Estates for the developer’s luxury villas and golf clubhouses in Dubai, and with the residential real estate development at The Wave in Muscat, Oman.  Outdoor Concepts Managing Director, Rob Renton, explains: “Residential real estate developers are increasingly looking for points of differentiation for their premium properties in a competitive market. Villa owners naturally want to maximise the use of their outdoor living space and make the most of the great climate we enjoy in the region. The kitchen is the heart of any home

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for all residents of the UAE.” Ms Elisabeth Brehl, Managing Director of Epoc Messe Frankfurt GmbH added “The hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on building and construction would require hundreds of square kilometres of landscaping and thousands of gardens. Recent estimates suggest the spend on landscaping and gardening to be worth Dh28.5 billion (US $7.77 billion). This presents a significant opportunity for international and local companies dealing in agricultural supplies, landscaping and gardening equipment, plus outdoor furniture to bid and try to get a piece of this massive project.” “Dubai Municipality has been a long standing supporter of Garden and Landscaping Middle East in 2009. According to a recent announcement by Dubai Municipality, a million trees will be planted all over the emirates in a bid to protect the environment,” said Ms Brehl. In other announcements, the Dubai Municipality announced that it will complete several landscaping projects of over 283.6 hectares in the city. The projects will beautify the city through cultivation of parks, roads, intersections and woods, as well as rural areas. The largest project carried out by the department will be at the Arabian Ranches, covering an area of 32 hectares. In June the municipality will complete many projects such as the Kuwaiti Street Project, Al Barsha Road Project; Rabat Street, Tripoli Street, Al Garhoud Inter-section, Al Mina Street, Za’abeel 2 Street; and

Outdoor Concepts, the Dubai-based company with a focus on stylish outdoor living, is rolling out its unique range of luxury outdoor kitchens to real estate developers across the Middle East the second phase of Bal Al Shams Street. Outdoor Concepts, the Dubaibased company with a focus on stylish outdoor living, is rolling out its unique range of luxury outdoor kitchens to real estate developers across the Middle East. The luxury outdoor kitchen enhances the value of premium properties and creates a selling point – as well as creating a real outdoor living experience

and our modular systems can fit into any outdoor area, adding distinctive character and turning the outdoors into a stylish and functional entertaining and living area. We offer a choice of modular systems, and can help select these for clients to meet their own preferences, along with a wide choice of kitchen units and appliances,” he adds.    HP is focussing on the future of city developments following an

IDC study answering key questions about the main ingredients of Smart Cities, their main business challenges and the role of the information and telecommunications industry in reducing cost especially in tough economic times. IDC conducted some highly specific research around Middle East Smart Cities and shared the main findings in the form of a Smart Cities whitepaper during an HP customer event for key real estate developers from across the region which was held at Atlantis hotel at the end of April. By definition, a Smart City provides connectivity, future-proof broadband capacity and total wireless fidelity, with IP-enabled devices communicating and being managed through a control centre, allowing tenants, residents and visitors realtime access to key information about their environment from anywhere— connectivity is considered a fourth utility and remote management is paramount. Smart Cities can help lower operating expenses, improve energy efficiency, increase security and safety within the city, heighten tenant satisfaction, enable countries to compete in an increasingly globalised and connected economic world and allow communities to recognise the benefits provided in terms of quality of life as they become increasingly technology savvy. The company offers products, solutions and services that enable Smart Cities to address the short-term cost reductions required by today’s challenging economy, while laying the groundwork to exit the downturn stronger and more competitive Technology infrastructure and particularly services formed the framework of what IDC listed as essential components of Smart Cities, with ongoing revenue generation streams also being one of the major drivers behind the adoption of Smart City technology which, ideally, should be included in construction and interior design plans. Moreover, Smart Grids and tighter control system integration will deliver greater energy control and cost savings beyond that of existing, traditional systems. Photo by Joe Woolhead


ENVIRONMENT

Improving energy consumption at home

DEWA honours winners of

‘Best Consumer Awards’

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Some of the tips recommended by EMS include: Unplugging of appliances such as televisions and computers which consume energy even when not in use. Dim or turn off lights in empty rooms as lighting usually makes up about 15 per cent of electricity bills. Increase the temperature settings for air conditioners and thermostats by two degrees centigrade. Replace incandescent light bulbs withcompact fluorescent bulbs which use four times less energy and last an average eight times longer (up to 20,000 hours). Remembering to correctly turn off all taps to eliminate dripping which can waste 13 litres of water a day. Taking a shower instead of a bath can save up to 25 litres of water. Ensure correct air pressure in tyres of vehicles which can save up to five per cent on the fuel bill. Opt for car pooling can cut down nearly a third of all car mileage clocked. Avoid using plastic bottles or bags as it takes around 450 years for a plastic to biodegrade.

EMS is renowned for auditing homes and businesses and determining ways in which individuals or companies can reduce their energy usage. EMS experts visit facilities to identify sources of energy use and uncover inefficiencies. The audits comprise qualitative and quantitative analyses that usually start with a comprehensive study of energy bills, consumption trends, and tariffs, and is followed by a site survey and actual measurements to review the physical energy use and distribution.

Engineer Amal Koshak, Senior Manager – Demand & Tariff Management, DEWA (third from right) with the winners of the ‘Best Consumer Awards.’

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he Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that 13 environmentally-conscious residential customers have won cash prizes totalling Dh22,000 for significantly reducing the use of water and electricity. The three top cash prizes were awarded to Khushal Puri who won Dh5,000, while Ali Maarouf Kesserwan and Ramandeep Kaur won Dh4,000 and Dh3,000 respectively. Winners of Dh1,000 each included Muab Issa Mahmoud AlKhatib; Bhaskar Balasubramaniam; Mouvses Balouzian; Parpia Raju; Chunilal Vasa Chandreshkumar; Jayprakash Trikamdas Ashar; Rubin Pathrose; Sabah Ali Salem and Abdul Nazar Kunhi Mallaveettil. Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, said: “With residents constituting 80 per cent of water and 70 per cent of our electricity consumer base, there is an urgent need to encourage all consumers to be prudent in their electricity and water consumption, especially during the summer season. In the current difficult economic situation, it is crucial for every consumer to be more cautious and implement all means available to reduce their energy consumption. We are confident the Best Consumer Award will increase awareness of the need to help protect the environment by the conservation of vital resources.” The sixth round of the ‘Best Consumer Award’ will run until 31 August. The awards are part of DEWA’s wider energy conservation programme that includes schools, hotels and Dubai Government departments, in addition to the commercial and industrial sectors. Engineer Amal Koshak, Senior Manager – Demand & Tariff Management, DEWA, expects a high number of participation this year, given the achievements of the award in the previous years. She affirmed that the awards will also support the conservation programme that DEWA intends to integrate into the daily life of Dubai’s population. “Every single person participating in these awards will be a winner. Even those who do not win cash rewards will benefit from substantial savings in their water and electricity bills.” To participate in the awards, contestants must fill in a special form, with their name, address, and DEWA subscription number. With this information, DEWA’s conservation team will track the household consumption and benchmark it to last year’s usage for determining the winners. Forms are available online at www.dewa.gov.ae

DUBAI REAL TIMES

nergy Management Services (EMS), the first company in the Middle East to provide energy management solutions, released a series of recommendations for improving energy consumption at homes to coincide with Earth Hour 2009, which took place on 28 March between 8.30pm and 9.30pm. A global initiative to raise awareness on the impact of climate change, Earth Hour 2009 was spearheaded by the World Wildlife Fund and was the world’s largest ‘power down’ initiative. It drew the participation of more than 1,500 cities and towns in over 80 countries in a collective call to switch off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances. Khaled Bushnaq The energy saving tips recommended by EMS includes simple and cost-effective ways for individuals to make a start towards reducing energy consumption and contribute to mitigating the country’s carbon footprint. Khaled Bushnaq, Chief Executive Officer of EMS, said: “Individuals must use Earth Hour as a motivating factor to continue their focus on reducing individual energy consumption rates throughout the year. There are countless ways in which every single individual can significantly save energy and, by extension, lower their carbon footprint. We believe our check-list will help them follow the green path.”

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Shape of things to come “After a fall comes the rise,” said a wise man many years ago. If he was here, right now, he would be talking about the fall of projects and buildings during these haywire economic times; which is rapidly being replaced with news of a rise in projects that are being re-structured, built and, in some cases, started from scratch.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

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ew images of City of Arabia highlight the spectacular nature of the $5 billion retail, residential, commercial and entertainment development taking shape in Dubai. With round-the-clock construction work entering a new phase, owners, the Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group, commissioned a new range of artist’s impressions that put the project and each of its four main elements perfectly into perspective. City of Arabia will have a phased opening starting towards the end of 2010, beginning with Mall of Arabia, one of the world’s largest shopping destinations, which will have a gross leasable area (GLA) of 10 million square feet over two phases. With workers on site casting approximately 60 pile caps per week on the 20 million square feet site beside the Emirates Road, the mall is rapidly taking shape. Construction work is also moving quickly ahead on Wadi Walk, the waterfront community characterised by stylish apartments, outdoor cafes and attractive retail outlets set beside a meandering eight kilometre canal. Construction work has now commenced on I&M Tower, Metro Tower and Wadi Tower, the first three highrise commercial and residential buildings which will create a dramatic skyline. Mall of Arabia will offer more than 1,400 diverse retail outlets, and the first phase is already 89 per cent contracted and reserved. It will also feature a rooftop hotel, waterfront alfresco dining and entertain-

Going full steam ahead, City of Arabia will be home to 40,000 people

ment for all the family, as well as the remarkable Restless Planet theme park and earth science museum. Housing the world’s largest and most lifelike collection of animatronic dinosaurs, Restless Planet will make visitors think they’ve wandered onto the set of a Stephen Spielberg Jurassic Park blockbuster. One design team member, Dr. Jack Horner, served as a scientific consultant to Spielberg on three Jurassic Park movies, and Restless Planet will take visitors 100 million years back in time on a dramatic theme-ride into the prehistoric world. “With each of the four main elements of City of Arabia now reaching important stages, we wanted to give all our stakeholders a detailed picture of what they can expect

when the project is completed, and the new images do that perfectly,” said Ilyas Galadari, Chairman of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group. Mustafa Galadari, the group’s

Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, added: “Construction work is continuing to go full steam ahead, and major visible progress is now particularly evident at Mall of Ara-

Housing the world’s largest and most lifelike collection of animatronic dinosaurs, Restless Planet will make visitors think they’ve wandered onto the set of a Stephen Spielberg Jurassic Park blockbuster. One design team member, Dr Jack Horner, served as scientific consultant to Spielberg on three Jurassic Park movies, and Restless Planet will take visitors 100 million years back in time on a dramatic theme ride into the prehistoric world


bia, which is a very exciting development in its own right.” The Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group also has interests in real estate, agencies for overseas companies, gems and jewellery, automobiles and transport and food distribution, as well as an expanding luxury yacht division, Sunseeker Middle East, which enjoyed a highly successful appearance at the recent Dubai International Boat Show. City of Arabia, which will become

The Restless Planet theme park and earth science museum will house the world’s largest and most lifelike collection of animatronic dinosaurs

home for 40,000 people, will be a vibrant, self-contained urban community, with business and administrative offices, schools and clinics, supported by luxury apartments, shops, galleries, restaurants and unique attractions.

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), venue operator and events organiser, has broken ground on its new, state-of-the-art extension. The ceremony, which took place last month, followed a recent announcement by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Finance Minister, to create additional exhibition space that will significantly increase facilities at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), currently the largest venue in the Middle East region. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2009, the additional halls, adjacent to existing Halls 1 through 4 of DICEC, will provide a total of one million square feet of covered exhibition space and will continue to attract more people to participate in exhibitions and events hosted by DWTC. In the heart of Dubai’s Commercial Business District (CBD), DICEC and the new extension will provide easy access for business and leisure travellers as the new metro Red Line opens its ‘Dubai World Trade Centre’ station this year, adjacent to the venue. DWTC, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will work with

The ceremony, which took place last month, followed a recent announcement by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Finance Minister, to create additional exhibition space that will significantly increase facilities at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC), currently the largest venue in the Middle East region Construction begins on Dubai World Trade Centre’s new state-of-the-art extension

with a leadership position in a sector worth Dh12 billion a year. This new extension will enable DWTC to work towards sustaining and increasing their target of 1-1.5 per cent contribution to Dubai’s GDP. Memon Investments, a Dubaibased property developer and part of the international business conglomerate, the Memon Group of Companies, has kicked off the initial construction works on the Dh150 million ‘Gardenia I & II’ project, located in Jumeirah Village. The groundbreaking ceremony follows the developer’s decision to award a Dh2.4 million shoring and excavation contract to the International Foundation Group (IFG). The developer also announced that it has

Construction work is moving quickly on Wadi Walk, a vibrant waterfront community characterised by stylish apartments, outdoor cafes and attractive retail outlets set beside a meandering eight kilometre canal

management and economics. DWTC’s 2008 year-end results demonstrated continuous growth for the region’s events industry, with many leading shows across a range of sectors. According to UFI (the global association of the events industry), Dubai has become the most important exhibition hub in the Middle Eastern and African region,

awarded a Dh520,000 elevator contract to Shanghai & Arabian Electromechanical LLC (SAE). Under the terms of the contract, IFG will commence foundation works involving shoring and piling excavation using their high rated piling systems, concrete diaphragm walls, excavation support and earth retention systems. The company has

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Mall of Arabia will be one of the world’s largest shopping destinations with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 10 million sq ft over two phases and more than 1,400 diverse retail outlets

contractor Khansaheb Civil Engineering LLC and design agency Dar Al-Handasah to make this extension a reality. The first contractor in the UAE, Khansaheb operates a Quality Management System certified to ISO 9001:2000, a safety management system certified to OHSAS 18001:1999 and provides high quality services in construction, joinery and interiors, ceilings and partitions, metal fabrication, building services, building products and facilities management. Dar Al-Handasah is a renowned pioneering force in the planning, design and development of projects in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, specialising in planning, engineering, architecture, environment, project

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Construction progress on the ‘Gardenia I & II’ project

DUBAI REAL TIMES

An integrated master community spread across 811 hectares, Jumeirah Village is a mixed-use development that when complete will comprise residential and business units, retail outlets, international schools, hospitals, shopping malls, connected parks and boulevards, sports fields, mosques, cafes and restaurants

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appointed a team of industry professionals comprising site managers, project engineers and supervisors to ensure that the completion of the first phase will proceed in accordance with the schedule set by the developer. The success of the project’s recent unveiling and the positive response it generated from potential clients has influenced the decision to proceed with construction. “The property sector is undergoing a tentative period due to uncertainties in regional and global economies. We are thus pleased with the warm response this project has received, which provides us with the motivation to fast-track development. The uniqueness and quality that we have designed into ‘Gardenia I & II’ will add to Jumeirah Village’s growing reputation as a highly desirable mixed-use destination. Our strategic partnership with International Foundation Group also affirms our commitment to maintaining the highest development standards for this project,” said Rizwan Shaikhani, Joint Managing Director of Memon

Investments. Located centrally within Jumeirah Village, near the Cultural Centre and Central Park, ‘Gardenia I & II’ is splendidly designed and meticulously crafted to offer residents a charming yet authentic Mediterranean experience. Incorporating a mixture of residential, commercial and retail spaces, the project features residential apartments including studios, one-bedroom and twobedroom units and loft apartments, with retail units on the ground floor. The five-storey residential development has been designed by Dimensions Engineering Consultants (DEC) and incorporates stuccoed walls, tiled roofs, rustic arches, solid wrought iron balcony grills, carved doors, ornamental spiral columns, marble flooring and thematic and floral designs to create a Mediterranean ambience. “It is critical that the proper foundations are put in place during the initial phases of property construction, which is why we have been chosen to perform shoring and excavation for this major project. Our

Elite Residence project in the Dubai Marina, under development by Tameer

Artistic impression of ‘Gardenia I & II’ project

extensive technical expertise ensures the creation of an understructure that meets Memon’s strict quality and scheduling standards,” said Dr. Khalil Charif, Managing Partner, International Foundation Group. An integrated master community spread across 811 hectares, Jumeirah Village is a mixed-use development that when complete will comprise residential and business units, retail outlets, international schools, hospitals, shopping malls, connected parks and boulevards, sports fields, mosques, cafes and restaurants. Construction on the ultra-luxurious Elite Residence project in the Dubai Marina, under development by Tameer, has now reached Level 15. Situated in the heart of Dubai Marina the 91-storey, 380-metre tall Elite Residence is aptly named, offering residents the last word in luxury,

elegance and service. Tameer’s Development Director, Darren Ingram, expressed the company’s satisfaction with the rate at which construction is advancing on the tower. “We are pleased to report that construction on the Elite Residence continues to progress according to our schedule. It is exciting to see the transformation of this project from a concept on paper to a tangible structure that has now reached 15 storeys. We are confident that construction will continue to progress at a good rate for the remaining floors.” The Elite Residence offers investors a selection of stunning one- and two-bedroom apartments, threeand four-bedroom penthouses, and villas on the 82nd and 83rd floors – all featuring the most chic and stylish fixtures and cuttingedge technology.


FACILITIES & SERVICES

Reduced service charges at JBR Salwan LLC has revised downwards the service charge at Jumeirah Beach Residence

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he charge is reduced to Dh15.32 per square feet with retrospective effect from September 2008. The revised service charge includes the payment for community utilities at Dh7 and other expenses at Dh8.32. Salwan's announcement follows a successful negotiation with service suppliers after receiving an approval from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). The company aims to ensure delivering high quality services in maintaining the common areas across the projects, as well as the indoor carpark for 12,000 automobiles, landscaped areas, district cooling plant, bridges and infrastructure works within the development. As an environmentally-conscious entity, Salwan has also implemented numerous initiatives to use limited

energy, water and other resources for reducing operational costs at the development. Saeed Bushalat, CEO of Salwan, said: 'We will continue to provide our clients with world-class services. JBR is a very special community combining great amenities, including a beachfront shopping promenade, making it one of the most exciting developments in Dubai. As part of our sincere efforts to provide timely, quality and cost-effective property management solutions to our clients, Salwan has renegotiated the service charges with our suppliers at JBR. We want to assure all clients that our efforts to raise the bar on our services while maintaining a 'lifestyle of a lifetime' at the development will continue to remain our core prior-

ity.” Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of Real Estate Regulatory Agency, said: 'The proactive stance undertaken by Salwan to minimise property management costs at Jumeirah Beach Residence is commendable. We have begun assessing facilities management charges in freehold properties to further strengthen the relationship between real estate developers, property management companies and the home-owners. We are putting a system in place that will monitor and control service charges and keep the rates at reasonable levels for both owners and developers in order to maintain a successful management of the properties and facilities.” RERA mandates a skeletal structure for property management that

includes facilities management, administration charges, building security, utility charges (inclusive of electricity, water, A/C sewage and common area charges), as well as area service charges and sinking funds. Each property management company is directed by RERA to provide a detailed break up for each of these elements to their clients and homeowners. Salwan's current sphere of operations include residential and commercial units such as Mirdiff Villas, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Cordoba Villas, Al-Khail Gate Community, Central Towers, Al Razi Residence, and Office Park at Dubai Internet City. The company will soon add to its portfolio top-rated properties at Executive Towers in Business Bay, The 558 Community, Al Waha villas, and The Villa.

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he onset of summer temperatures have prompted companies to offer residents in the UAE a means to significantly reduce energy costs by increasing the efficiency of air-conditioning. GreenWave Capital has tied up with integrated facilities and energy management provider, Emrill, to install its PermaFrost solution in villas and apartment buildings across the UAE. With residents increasing concern about air-conditioning performance and corresponding energy cost, this is a significant value-added service for residents. With a one-time application that lasts the lifetime of an A/C system, Permafrost offers an environmentally-sound solution that enhances the overall performance of

a villa or apartment’s air conditioning equipment, while reducing energy consumption. Even better for both tenants and property owners, PermaFrost requires no mechanical modifications or alterations to the system and minimal downtime to install. Emrill’s Divisional Manager, Nev Patterson explained: “Over time, residents find that the performance of their AC units drops off. This is due to small leaks in gas, worn compressors and oil fouling of refrigerant pipes,” continued Patterson. Oil fouling is the inevitable instance when the compressor’s lubricating oil mixes with refrigerant altering the chemical composition of both, ultimately leading to system inefficiency. Oil fouling

Diagram showing Perma Frost replacing the non-conductive layer of oil with highly charged thermo-conductive compounds, preventing oil build-up, increasing heat transfer, reducing energy consumption and increasing the air conditioner’s efficiency.

can cause a loss of about seven per cent efficiency in the first year and degradation will peak at 20 percent – 30 percent. “While regular servicing can prevent leaks and wear and tear, PermaFrost is the only solution to clear oil fouling and increase the flow of refrigerant gas, resulting in a cooler

and more cost-effective home.” “Residents will see a return on their investment in only one year, compared to other energy saving investments where the returns are evident after almost 3-5 years,” said Connor McCaffery, Chief Executive Officer, GreenWave Capital.

DUBAI REAL TIMES

F&M energy-saving solutions

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MARKET TRENDS UPDATES REGULATIONS // // LAWS&&ANALYSIS

DUBAI REAL TIMES

Q&A

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Your questions answered by Jacqueline Latham, DLA Piper Middle East LLP

Q. I work in a managerial position for a non-UAE finance company and upon following several leads, we are interested in providing our lending services to companies in Dubai. Can we provide mortgage services?

in purchasing is an off-plan unit, it must be registered on the Interim Register in accordance with Law No. 13 of 2008 regulating the interim real estate register, in order to act as security for the advance.

A. Law No. 14 of 2008 concerning mortgages introduced procedures in relation to borrowing, including stipulating what entities can provide financing. Only banks, companies and financial institutions that are registered and licenced to provide property finance in the UAE by the UAE Central Bank in accordance with the law, can provide mortgage services. Accordingly your company must comply with the Law before undertaking any mortgage activities.

Q. I purchased an apartment offplan in June 2008. I understand that the developer was required to register my sale in the Interim Register before October 31 2008. I discovered that the developer registered the sale in December 2008. Is the sale therefore void?

Q) I invested in an off-plan property some time ago but understand that no construction works have commenced yet. On signing the deposit slip, I provided a couple of post-dated cheques to cover the initial two instalments. The first cheque has been cashed and the second cheque is due to be cashed by the developer at the end of May. Given the lack of progress, I am tempted to cancel the second cheque. What are the implications if I do this? A. Dishonouring cheques is a criminal offence under the Commercial Code and the Penal Code. If you do dishonour the cheque, this would likely result in imprisonment for

a term ranging from one month to three years. Further, a fine between Dh100 and Dh30,000 can be imposed. You may also be in breach of your contractual obligations and could be exposed to civil penalties. It is never advisable to

dishonour a cheque. Q. I am looking to buy a property in Dubai and am currently in the financing stages. I have been advised that I will have to register any mortgage taken over the property and I am concerned about the additional costs that will be incurred upon registration. Will I have to register the mortgage and if so, what are the standard fees? A. Yes, you must register the mortgage, as under Law No. 14 of 2008 concerning mortgages, a mortgage is not valid unless it is registered. The fee to register a mortgage is a percentage based against the value of the loan and is currently set at 0.25 per cent, capped at Dh1,500,000. You should also note that if the property which you are interested

A. Under Law No. 13 of 2008, Article 3(2) provides that the developer should approach the Land Department to get the sale registered within 60 days after the law came into effect (i.e. before 31 October 2008). However, the obligation on the developer under this Article is to "approach" the Land Department before October 31 2008 and not to "register" the sale before October 31 2008. If the developer did not approach the Land Department within 60 days, it may have contravened the law, but it does not necessarily follow that the sale is void as that penalty is not specifically provided for in Article 3(2). However, the developer may be liable for other penalties specified under Article 13 of the law. Jacqueline Latham is a legal consultant (England and Wales qualified), Real Estate at DLA Piper Middle East LLP, Dubai



Dubai Real Times May 09