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The region’s premier monthly for lifestyle, real estate and construction

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VOL. 10, NO. 3 DECEMBER, 2017

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08

Deciphering new Property Law

Indian realty attracts IRs1.25 trn

Dr Rashid Alleem:

COVER STORY Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority

VAT-free Property!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Talal Gaddah, MAG PD

Powering the economy of Sharjah

!


Megaa Property Sale 9 - 11 April 2018 Dub bai World Trrade Centre

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9 - 11 April p 2018 DWTC, UAE

Achieving Sustain nability through In nnovation: Showcasing th he Cities of the Futur u e

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EDITORIAL

An eventful year ends with mixed feelings

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The year 2017 saw a flurry of property announcements as well as new construction projects coming online while prices and rents remained under pressure s the eventful 2017 comes to a close this month, one might wonder, how will the year be remembered by the stakeholders – developers, brokers, landlords, property buyers and tenants? We have sought opinions of a number of experts at an eround table. We found, most experts and officials did not want to comment and those who commented, were very diplomatic and cautious in their expression.

Obviously, they did not want to share their real view of what was happening. We see the year 2017 as a time of stabilisation of the market, with real estate sector becoming more matured and more ‘real’.

Property prices and rents are coming to more realistic levels and as and when it happens, the developers are seeing the direct result in the form of a complete sell-off. One such great example is Aldar Properties’ affordable product at Water’s Edge – that is being sold like hot cakes – due to realistic pricing! The year has seen some of the major developers continuing launching their projects and focussing on sale, construction and delivery. A number of handful developers have continued announcing new projects as well as handovers with attractive payment plan.

In the middle of all of this, some developers have undertaken large projects – such as Azizi Developments, Danube Properties, MAG Property Developments, Damac Properties, in addition to the Big Five – Emaar Properties, Dubai Properties, Nakheel, Deyaar and Union Properties.

As we look back, the year 2017 has been a buyers’ and tenants’ market – where the consumers are calling the shots! And that’s the new ground reality.

As Gulf Property continues its difficult journey in its tenth year of uninterrupted publication in what could be best described as the most challenging times in the history of real estate in Dubai, we remain committed to our future and will continue to support the real estate sector with objective coverage.

– T. Akhtar

46

CONTENTS

COVERSTORY

ROUNDTABLE

How the real estate market will go down in history 42

COVERSTORY

SEWA to power economy of Sharjah emirate 46

INTERVIEWS EXECUTIVEOPINION

Christine Lagarde/IMF Sailesh Jatania/Gemini Property Developers Shahram Safai/Afridi and Angell Monzer Tohme/Epicor Dhiren Gupta/Mortgage 4C

FOCALPOINT

Talal Al Gaddah gives a lowdown of Dh15 billion worth of projects in Dubai 54 30

31

62

NEWSUPDATE

33 34 35

Office Rents to come under 5% VAT in January 36 New Property Law to push buyers to pay up 38 Rent calculator to fix rents 40

54

INTERVIEW

PROJECTNEWS

GCC project worth Dh8.9 trn 62 UAE project worth Dh3 trn 64

GOGREEN

UAE invests Dh600bn in renewable energy

INTERNATIONAL

66

India realty lures Rs1.25 trn 70

REGULARFEATURES GULF PROPERTY

The region’s premier monthly for lifestyle, real estate, construction and building materials

EDITORIAL

EDITOR T. Akhtar editor@panasian1.com

EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Zeba Malik z.malik@panasian1.com

PUBLISHER

T. Akhtar Pan Asian Media MFZ LLC

Realty Bytes Spotlight

LICENCE

10 76

Licenced by RAK Media City, authorised by the National Media Council. Gulf Property is a publication of Pan Asian Media MFZ-LLC

EDITORIAL AND COMMERCIAL ADDRESS

Pan Asian Media MFZ-LLC P.O. Box No.: 39865. Dubai, UAE Tel : (9714) 2281021 Fax : (9714) 2281051 E-mail editor@panasian1.com Web www.gulfpropertyme.com

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Gulf Property

09


REALTYBYTES

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Emirates REIT to issue $300m sukuk

mirates REIT said, its shareholders approved a sukuk programme to raise US$300 million, at an extraordinary meeting held recently. The sukuk issuance is expected to take place between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. Standard Chartered Bank has been appointed as Global Coordinator, alongside Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD Capital and Warba Bank as Joint Lead Managers. A fixed income investor roadshow in the UAE, Asia and Europe will commence on 28 November 2017. The certificates will be issued under a standalone regulation offering and will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange. The five-year tenor sukuk will extend the REIT’s debt maturity profile and replace amortising loans with bullet funding, resulting in an increase of free cash flows by approximately US$30 million per year. The sukuk will also allow the REIT to establish an international profile in the fixed income market and access a more diversified investor base. Fitch Ratings has assigned a LongTerm Issuer Default Rating of 'BB+ (EXP)' with a Stable outlook to Emirates REIT and a senior unsecured debt rating of ‘BB+ (EXP)’ to the upcoming sukuk issuance. Emirates REIT invested in education, commercial mix and retail sectors. g

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Gulf Property

$2.4 trn projects to boost wood sector

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ood and woodbased furniture and household accessories products is expected to get a solid boost from US2.4 trillion (Dh8.8 trillion) worth of construction activities at a time hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world showcase the latest products and innovation at the Dubai WoodShow at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 12-14, 2018. Research shows that 70 per cent of the timber and wood products are used in construction industry while the rest are used in real estate, interiors, furniture and other industrial applications. The statistics reflect a growing demand for wood products in the region, primarily driven by the overall economic growth as well as the growth in the region’s Dh8.8 trillion worth of construction activities. Dubai WoodShow is the largest such exhibition in the Middle East, showcas-

ing a wide-ranging woodbased products. The wood and wood-based products sector will get a further boost with the delivery of more than 25,000 homes in Dubai this year, especially when new home-owners start purchasing their furniture and home décor products. With an average spent of Dh4,000 on wooden products per home, this translates to a Dh100 million spent in this year in Dubai alone. However, with more than 30,000 residential units slated for delivery in 2018, spend on wooden products is expected to jump 40 per cent to Dh120 million. In order to capture the market, more than 300 exhibitors from 100 countries are all set to showcase their innovative solutions at the next edition of Dubai WoodShow, which will showcase new designs, style and product innovation on managing home space. “The growth in the housing market will drive the wood,

wood-related and timber business across the region and this creates a great opportunity for the industry,” Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions, organiser of the Dubai WoodShow says. “As families move to their new freehold homes, they will require fresh supply of furniture and due to the tastes and trend, most families look out for authentic wooden furniture and products – wherein lies the new demand.” Demand for wood products is expected to be driven also by the new hotel projects. Dubai will add 40,000 hotel rooms and service apartments to meet the growing demand of tourists as part of the build-up to the Expo 2020. Dubai WoodShow is one of the biggest events of the industry across the world. Last year’s edition is witnessing the largest participation, in terms of visitors, exhibitors and the exhibition space. g


REALTYBYTES

RSA Global goes live with 1.1 MW solar power project

55,000 homes to push $17.7 b interiors sector A total of 25,000 residential units are expected to be delivered in Dubai this year and a further 30,000 in 2018, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate advisory

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he addition of 55,000 new housing units in Dubai in 2017-18 will boost the region’s US$17.7 billion fit-out sector as thousands of families move into their freehold homes that require furniture, household items as well as interior décor products. A total of 25,000 residential units are expected to be delivered in Dubai this year and a further 30,000 in 2018, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate advisory. Dubai will see a further 163,840 properties being built over the next five years from 387 projects. The year after could see 19,850 units and 17,754 further homes in 2020. So far in 2017, Dubai has seen the launch of 90 projects consisting of 36,556 units According to Ventures Middle East research, interiorbased design and fit-out spend in the GCC has risen from $15.5 billion in 2016 to $17.7 billion this year. The sector will also benefit

25,000 homes in 2017

from a larger construction project pipeline to the tune of US$2.4 trillion (Dh8.8 trillion) at a time hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world showcase the latest products and innovation at the Dubai International Furniture Accessories Components, Semi-Furnished Products (DIFAC) exhibition at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 12-14, 2018. The exhibition showcases innovative furniture technologies, products and brands. At display by the global players of the furniture industry, it gives the visitors a chance to educate themselves about the latest products in surfaces and fittings, elements and systems, semifinished products and materi-

als, furniture fabrics and upholstery materials. Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions, organiser of the DIFAC, says, “As the economic growth accelerates with an increase in oil price, we see a strong growth in the region’s furnishing, accessories, components, interior fit-out, home furnishing, home textile sectors, especially when home buyers move into their new homes, they are expected to spend more on decorating their homes to suite their tastes.” In addition to the residential sector, Dubai will add 40,000 hotel rooms and service apartments to meet the growing demand of tourists as part of the build-up to the Expo 2020, which is less than three years away. Dubai currently has 100,000 hotel rooms and service apartments. By October 2020, the emirate will host 140,000 hotel rooms and service apartments. g

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SA Global, one of the leading Dubai-based logistics providers, today announced the official launch and implementation of the first solar rooftop on its flagship facility. The project developed by SirajPower, the Dubaibased joint venture devoted to net metering and providing comprehensive turnkey solutions on solar rooftops in the UAE, is the first of its kind in Dubai South. Abhishek Shah, Co-founder and Group CEO of RSA Global, David Auriau and Laurent Longuet, Directors at Siraj Power, hosted a ceremony at RSA Global’s headquarters to showcase the project to customers and VIPs including Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South. The power plant, developed and installed by SirajPower will generate 1.1 MW from RSA Global’s rooftop, in Dubai Logistics City, Dubai South. It will provide an alternative source of electricity for the next 15 years and generate 90 per cent of the energy required for the facility. The lease agreement between RSA Global and SirajPower signed earlier this year is aligned with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Shams Dubai initiative. g Gulf Property

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REALTYBYTES

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ARACO fasttracks villa project

bdul Rahim Architectural Consultants (ARACO), a leading engineering consultant in design and engineering services in the UAE, announces 35 per cent construction completion in project of 18 homes within The Villa project, a residential development master-planned by Dubai Properties. Part of The Villa Project in Dubailand, ARACO was appointed by Tadhamon Capital to design and supervise construction of 18 villas on plots within the development of the project. Divided into four neighbourhoods, the entire development of The Villa will feature hundreds of homes once completed, many of which are already sold or occupied. To meet the needs of families in the emirate, the villas are available in a variety of sizes each feature five bedrooms. The 18 villas have elegant designs and finishes along with spacious areas to accommodate a practical and high-end lifestyle. In addition, the villa community features an international supermarket, cafes, restaurants, jogging and bicycle tracks, children’s nursery and play areas, in addition to being a wellestablished gated familyoriented community. ARACO’s scope of work comprised all engineering designs, including architectural, structural and MEP. g

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Gulf Property

Dubai starts works on Dh12.5 b tunnel project

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ubai Municipality has begun exploratory work for a major new sewage treatment system as part of the broader development of a modern city infrastructure to accommodate continued population growth. The Dubai Strategic Sewer Tunnel Project (DSST), has engaged Parsons Overseas Limited as engineering consultant, will involve construction of more than 70 kilometres of tunnels supported by approximately 140 kilometres of link sewers and key pumping stations. Cost of the DSST project, when announced earlier this year, was estimated at Dh12.5 billion. When completed in 2022, the project will eliminate over 100 pump stations around the city that currently transfer sewage to treatment plants in Al Warsan and Jebel Ali. Dubai Municipality, which

has commenced a Geotechnical Investigation for the project, says the key objectives are to reduce the cost of treating sewage, reduce carbon emissions through the use of gravity systems and reduction in power demand. “The sewerage infrastructure is part of the essential infrastructure of a modern city,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality. “To fulfil the city’s needs, Dubai has approved an integrated plan proposal to expand the existing sewerage system and improve the arrangements for sewage disposal by combining land based sewage treatment and a deep tunnel sewerage conveyance system. “Since 2003, Dubai has experienced rapid population growth. In addition to a rapid change in population, there is an increase in residential communities where mixed

use is gaining ground and residential areas are increasingly accommodating commercial, public and mixed-use facilities. “Thus, residential areas are affected greatly in terms of increasing density and overloading of existing infrastructure. The new sewerage system will serve the city for at least the next 50 years. We want to reassure the local communities that they will not experience any disturbances during the initial exploration work.” A key part of the design process is to determine the existing ground parameters used to design the structural integrity of the tunnels. The Drainage and Irrigation Department of Dubai Municipality is proceeding with the site investigation programme, of which Parsons has engaged a company to drill 250 boreholes. The DID expects this to take up to nine months. g


Spending recovery in Middle East looms

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everal economies in the Middle East, particularly those in the GCC, are transitioning towards a “new normal” in 2018, allowing spending to start gradually recovering. Overall, GCC GDP is expected to grow from just 0.3% in 2017 to 2.8% next year, and an acceleration from 1.4% in 2017 to 3.2% next year in the wider Middle East. However, the accountancy and finance body says several risks remain to growth in the region, including those from politics and security. The report, Economic Insight: Middle East Q4 2017, produced by Oxford Economics, says public finances now look to be on a more sustainable path in most economies in the GCC thanks to three main factors: the upcoming Value-Added Tax; the important social change in Saudi Arabia with the lifting of the ban on

women driving; and as a result of a period of emergency austerity which saw public spending cut by almost 20 per cent from 2015-2017 at the GCC level. The year 2018 will be a key year of transition for Saudi Arabia in several contexts. For the first time, Saudi citizens will pay VAT on the goods and services they buy, Saudi women will be permitted to drive, and private (and foreign) investors may be able to take a stake in Saudi Aramco. The Kingdom is at the start of a long process of economic diversification. With OPEC-plus oil production cuts likely to be maintained through 2018, and reversed in 2019, GDP growth is expected to pick up to around 4 per cent in both the GCC and wider Middle East in 2019. Within this, GCC oil GDP is forecast to rebound from a 2.3 per cent contraction in 2017 to growth of 1.7 per cent in 2018 and around 1 percentage point stronger in

2019. Growth in the GCC non-oil sector is forecast to pick up from 2.4 per cent in 2017 to 3.7 per cent in 2018 and 4.7 per cent the year after. Tom Rogers, ICAEW Economic Advisor and Associate Director of Oxford Economics, said: “Economic growth prospects of the Middle East countries, particularly the GCC, are projected to improve in 2018 and the years after. But the political and security risks remain high and could limit or delay the recovery in the region.” The Saudi economy is expected to pick up from a 0.3 per cent contraction in 2017 (a result of lower oil output) to record growth of 2.3 per cent in 2018. As oil output is restored to pre-cut levels in 2019, GDP is expected to grow 3.8 per cent. But in the absence of more ambitious reform efforts in the coming couple of years, this is likely to be the speed limit for growth. g

REALTYBYTES

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Future arrives with Future Cities Show

he second edition of the Future Cities Show, that will take place in Dubai, UAE, from April 911, 2018, will set the tone for smart cities through the three pillars – innovation, sustainability, happiness and showcase the future of urban life. With a theme of achieving sustainability through innovations, the show will showcase the cities of the future by highlighting the latest and the most innovative technologies that will change the future. As the worldwide smart cities movement gains momentum, Future Cities Show reflects and also presents the transformation of urban societies, infrastructure and environment that currently hosts more than 54 per cent of the 7.5 billion people and uses 75 per cent of the power generated. A recent white paper, Evolution of Smart Cities and Connected Communities, co-sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association and the United Parcel Service (UPS), says, market value of smart cities is expected to jump from $14.85 billion in 2015 to $34.35 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of over 18 per cent. “With 70 per cent of the World’s population forecast to live in cities by 2050, the need for sustainable, liveable world cities is essential for a prosperous future,” said the report. g Gulf Property

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REALTYBYTES Emaar is UAE’s most appreciated brand

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ome-grown property developer Emaar is the most recommended brand among consumers in the UAE according to the latest brand rankings from YouGov BrandIndex. The Advocacy Rankings, produced by YouGov’s daily brand tracking tool BrandIndex, considered how much UAE consumers endorsed brands over the past year. Having developed some of the country’s most iconic entertainment attractions, hot spots, hotels, malls and residential and commercial communities, Emaar has produced consumer experiences that have helped to shape the UAE’s popularity as one of the leading destinations of the world. The rankings demonstrate in the past 12 months the Emaar experience has made the biggest impression on consumers, enough to make them endorse the brand the most. Behind Emaar, the UAE’s top 10 most recommended brands include three other home-grown brands Emirates, following closely in second place, and Etihad Airways in sixth, while Emirates NBD comes in seventh. iPhone and Apple score highly in third and fourth place respectively, leading the most endorsed tech and mobile brands and unchallenged by their competitors in the top 10. g

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Gulf Property

Emaar 9 mts profit up 20% to Dh4.34 bn

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maar Properties, developer of the world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa, said it has recorded a 20 per cent growth in net profit to Dh4.34 billion (US$1.18 billion) during the first nine months of 2017, over the net profit of Dh3.62 billion (US$986 million) during the same period in 2016. It reported a 21 per cent jump in revenue for the first nine months to Dh13.45 billion (US$4.18 billion), higher than the revenue of Dh11.1 billion (US$3.02 billion) during the same period last year. Emaar’s build-to-sale real estate businesses in UAE, Emaar Development LLC, recorded revenues of Dh6.50 billion, accounting for 48 per cent of the total revenue, and an increase of 27 per cent compared to first nine months of 2016. Emaar Development LLC’s nine months 2017 net profit of Dh2.10 billion marks an in-

crease of 32 per cent over the same period last year. Emaar’s shopping malls, hospitality and leisure businesses recorded revenues of Dh4.44 billion (US$1.21 billion), similar to the first nine months of 2016. Emaar’s international property development operations contributed Dh2.55 billion (US$697 million) to the total revenue, an increase of 51 per cent compared to Dh1.69 billion during the first nine months of 2016. International property development revenue now represents 19 per cent of the total revenue. Reporting quarter-on-quarter growth, Emaar’s net profit for the third quarter (July to September) 2017 was Dh1.51 billion, a growth of 32 per cent over the net profit of Dh1.14 billion (US$312 million) during Q3 2016. Revenue for Q3 2017 was Dh5.58 billion, 45 per cent higher than the Q3 2016 revenue of Dh3.84 billion.

Emaar has announced its intention to proceed with the sale of 20 per cent of the existing shares of Emaar Development, its build-to-sell property development business in the UAE via an initial public offering on the Dubai Financial Market. A highlight of Emaar’s growth this year has been the surge in sales of residential property in Dubai, which increased by 32 per cent over the same period last year to Dh15.36 billion (US$418 billion). Emaar now has a domestic sales backlog of Dh40.80 billion with an expected net cash flow to Emaar of about Dh18 billion. Having delivered over 34,500 residential units in Dubai since 2002, Emaar has over 24,000 new developments under construction across eight master-planned projects in prime locations with over 80 per cent of these units already sold. g


Rove is one of the few hotel brands being promoted by Emaar Properties

Emaar hotel portfolio to hit 10,000 rooms

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maar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties, has achieved an impressive milestone of 10,000 hotel rooms across its 11 operational hotels and 30 upcoming projects. Of the 10,000 rooms, over 2,500 are already operational at Emaar Hospitality Group’s 11 hotels in Dubai while more than 7,500 rooms are under development in hotel projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey and the Maldives. The hotel rooms are spread over three hotel brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, the premium lifestyle hotel and serviced residences brand; Vida Hotels and Resorts, the upscale lifestyle hotel and serviced residences brand; and Rove Hotels, a contemporary midscale hotel brand developed as a joint venture by Meraas and Emaar Properties PJSC,

and managed by Emaar Hospitality Group. Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “With over 10,000 rooms and counting, Emaar Hospitality Group has underlined its credentials as the region’s fastest growing hospitality provider, delivering three distinctive lifestyle experiences that meet the diverse and shifting preferences of today’s travellers. While we have a strong footprint in the UAE, reflecting the nation’s commitment to promoting tourism and hospitality, we are also expanding our presence in international markets, delivering our homegrown competencies to high-growth markets. Over 2,500 hotel rooms in Dubai are in: Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Mall, Address Dubai Marina, Address Montgomerie, and Palace Downtown – all under Address Hotels + Resorts, as

well as at Vida Downtown and Manzil Downtown, both under Vida Hotels and Resorts. The four operational Rove Hotels properties are: Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City and Rove Trade Centre. The upcoming rooms are in the UAE under Address Hotels + Resorts include: Address Downtown, Address Sky View, Address Fountain Views, Address Jumeirah Resort + Spa, Address Fashion Avenue, Address Fujairah Resort + Spa, Address Harbour Point and Palace Fujairah Beach. The international portfolio under Address Hotels + Resorts includes: Jabal Omar Address Makkah in Saudi Arabia; Address Madivaru Maldives Resort + Spa in the Maldives; Address Marassi Golf Resort + Spa and Address Marassi Beach Resort in Egypt; Address Istanbul in Turkey; and Address Marassi Al Bahrain. g

REALTYBYTES

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Empower settles Dh147m loan

mirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), the world’s largest district cooling services provider, has settled its semi-annual loan instalment two months before its maturity on December 31, 2017. The pre-settled loan instalment amounting to Dh147 million (US$40 million) forms part of Empower’s syndicated loan facility from a consortium of international and local banks and financial institutions. Ahmed Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said: “Empower has always been prudent and strategic when investing in plants and network infrastructure based on the actual demand. Presently, we have significant capital expenditures needed to expand our capacity in various projects such as Jumeirah Village South, International Media Production Zone (IMPZ), Business Bay, and Dubai Land, amongst others. The new projects will be funded through a mix of debt and internal accruals.” Out of the total loan portfolio of Dh2.6 billion, Empower has already settled Dh1.7 billion which demonstrates the robustness and sustainability of its business model. Banks and financial institutions have appreciated Empower’s business strategy and value their investments in our business.” g Gulf Property

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REALTYBYTES

Khalifa Al Mubarak is the new Aldar Chairman

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ldar Properties announced the appointment of Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak as its new chairman, who has been the chief executive officer of the developer for a number of years, while its board appointed its chief development officer Talal Al Dhiyebi as the new chief executive officer. The appointments mark a new begining for the developer and comes at a time when it witnessed a surge in its off-plan homes. “The appointment of Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak to the Board is consistent with the company’s efforts to implement high standards of corporate governance. In making this appointment, the Board also took into account his unique expertise and experience, which will be crucial as Aldar enters the next phase of its growth,” Aldar said in a statement. The Board also appointed Abubaker Seddiq Al Khoori as Vice-Chairman along with Waleed Ahmed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi. Talal Al Dhiyebi, who was in charge of the property development business of Aldar Properties, has served with distinction as the company’s Chief Development Officer since February 2015 and has been instrumental in the company’s successful growth. g

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Gulf Property

Aldar’s 9 months profit hit Dh1.86 bn

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ldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's leading listed property developer, said its gross profit grew 38 per cent to Dh588 million in the third quarter of 2017, excluding one-off transaction that happened in the third quarter of 2016, on a 27 per cent growth in revenues to Dh1.38 billion. The developer reported a Dh601 million net profit for the third quarter when its sales team booked Dh604 million sales during the same quarter. It’s underlying property development revenue up 192 per cent to Dh493 million driven by revenue recognition of off-plan properties under development. Aldar’s net profits for the first 9 months of 2017 reached Dh1.86 billion while it booked sales worth Dh2.4 billion in the first nine months of 2017. The developer said, its steady performance of asset management portfolio with Dh360 million net operating income for the third

quarter of 2017 and Dh1.12 billion year to date. During the quarter, Aldar launched its Dh2.4 billion, 2,255 home master-planned development, Water’s Edge, on the waterfront of Yas Island. The first phase was launched at Cityscape Global in September and fully sold in a matter of days. Sales of homes at Water’s Edge, West Yas, as well a land plot sale, took the total value of development sales during the quarter to Dh 604million. This brings the value of total development sales for the first nine months of 2017 to Dh2.4 billion. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, of Aldar Properties, said: “Aldar has delivered another set of solid results. The exceptional response to our new development, Water’s Edge, launched at Cityscape Global, cements our reputation for delivering desirable destinations in Abu Dhabi. Our asset management busi-

ness delivered a resilient performance during the quarter and we are pleased to be acquiring International Tower, a high-quality office building, further strengthening the portfolio. Aldar continues to assess the market for other attractive acquisition opportunities in line with our commitment to drive growth of long-term recurring revenues.” Aside from off-plan launches, construction is ongoing at Aldar’s eight remaining developments, which are at different stages of completion. Ansam and Al Hadeel are on schedule to be handed over to customers at the end of the year while Nareel, West Yas and Al Merief are entering final stages of construction and are on track to be handed over in early 2018. Following the construction contract award for The Bridges, Aldar has awarded Dh3 billion worth of construction contracts in the year to date. g


REALTYBYTES

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Aldar sells out Dh800 m homes

Union Properties reports Dh45 m loss in Q3, 2017

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nion Properties reported Dh45 million net loss in the third quarter ending September 30, 2017, compared to Dh32 million profits in the corresponding period last year. The Dubai-based developer, which went through a boardroom shake-up in May this year, delivered revenues of Dh116 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared with Dh253 million for the same period of last year. Operating expenses in the same period fell to Dh161million, compared with Dh221 million in Q3 2016. The decrease in both revenues and operating expenses was primarily in relation to the managed wind down of Thermo LLC, a subsidiary of Union Properties that undertakes contracting work. Nasser Butti Omair bin Yousef, Chairman, Union Properties, said: “The third quarter of 2017 has seen Union Properties continue to

Dh32 m

profit of Union Properties in Q3, 2016

take the steps required to achieve sustained growth over the long-term. With our operations now refocused around the company’s new strategic direction, we are moving forward as a stronger and more efficient company with the capabilities to seize new opportunities both in the UAE and internationally.” The third quarter of 2017 saw Union Properties unveil a new masterplan for its flagship MotorCity development in Dubai with a completed value of more than Dh8 billion. It will comprise of 44 new high and low rise buildings, more than 150 villas, and a wide range of residen-

tial, commercial, entertainment and hospitality facilities. In line with its strategy to further diversify its operations and revenue sources, the quarter also saw Union Properties launch two new fully-owned subsidiary companies: Union Malls and Al Etihad Hotel Management. Union Malls provides retail and leisure options in Union Properties developments. Its inaugural mall will be The Central, a 100,000 square metres complex located in MotorCity spread over four floors. Al Etihad Hotel Management will develop and manage luxury hotels and furnished residences in Dubai. It is expected to provide hospitality and facilities management for 3,000 serviced apartments and 3,500 hotel rooms at MotorCity, before expanding its business to the rest of Dubai. It has three hotels in MotorCity under development. g

dar Properties, the largest developer in Abu Dhabi, says it has sold out the second phase of Water’s Edge, its waterfront development on Yas Island, bringing the total sales value of all units launched to over Dh800 million ($218m). A sales launch of three apartment buildings took place on Saturday, 18 November and reflects a strong buyer and investor appetite in the affordable and mid-market segment of the real estate sector. Talal Al Dhiyebi, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer at Aldar Properties, said: “We are delighted to have sold out these two phases of Water’s Edge in such a short space of time. The exceptional response demonstrates customer confidence in Aldar’s developments and our ability to create communities in which people want to live. The continued demand for homes on Yas Island further solidifies the destination’s reputation as one of Abu Dhabi’s most desirable locations.” Water’s Edge includes a waterfront promenade, 13 apartment buildings, landscaped areas, pools and a mosque. The location of Water’s Edge is adjacent to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, which is set to open in 2022, and only a five-minute walk from Yas Mall, Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit. g Gulf Property

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Al Hamra targets new buyers

l Hamra Group is offering two new payment plans to attract potential buyers for ready to move-in luxury properties within the award-winning Bayti development; Al Hamra Village among most popular places to live in Northern Emirates Ras Al Khaimah’s largest real estate developer, Al Hamra Group, has launched two new payment plans for its awardwinning, ready-to-move in Bayti Homes community. The first focuses on a rentto-own scheme while the second targets potential home owners with a manageable payment plan, ideal for first time buyers. The rent-to-own plan provides the chance to ‘try and buy’. The tenant can lease the property for up to three years, if at the end of that period, or any time during the three years the tenant decides to buy the property, 100 per cent of the rent paid is considered as down payment. The second payment plan has been designed for those wanting to buy a Bayti property. Homeowners can move into their property after a down payment of just 5 per cent, starting from Dh85,000. The buyer then pays the remainder of the balance over the next five years while living in the luxury villa with no additional interest. Bayti, is a collection of 118 homes designed around the requirements and needs of families. g

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Saudi economy to grow 65% by 2030

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Saudi economy to grow fast due to new economic reforms

audi Arabia, the largest Arab economy, aims to increase the percentage of private sector investment from 40 per cent of GDP in 2016 to 65 per cent by 2030. Private Partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly being used as a platform for attracting more private investment into various sectors of Saudi Arabia’s economy, including real estate, according to a report released by Jones Lang LaSalle, a global property advisory, and DLA Piper, an international law firm. The current interest in PPPs in Saudi Arabia has been predominantly driven in the wake of lower oil prices and a dip in government revenue, highlights the report titled ‘Public Private Partnerships: A new approach to Financing Real Estate Development in KSA.’ “PPPs are a key component of the Kingdom’s Na-

tional Transformation Program, which aims to increase the percentage of private sector investment from 40 per cent of GDP in 2016 to 65 per cent by 2030. The partnerships prove to be an instrumental part in the NTP’s plan to increase the contribution of real estate from its current level of 5 per cent of GDP to 10 per cent by 2020,” said a joint statement. With less government funding now available, PPPs provide a real opportunity for private sector investors to access areas of the Saudi real estate market that were previously only available to the public sector. The situation, however, is expected to shift with an increased use of PPPs in the aviation, housing, education and healthcare sectors over the next five years. “There is an increased demand for reforming infrastructure across Saudi

Arabia, which then provides a great incentive to attract more private sector involvement and in turn investment,” said Ibrahim Albuloushi, National Director and Country Head, JLL, KSA. Saudi Arabia has the highest value of PPPs in the region amounting to 18 projects announced to date totaling an investment of US$42.9 billion. The current pipeline of projects reflects the willingness of the private sector to enter PPPs despite the lack of a structured legal environment. However, in order for PPPs to become successful, the regulatory framework needs to evolve and undergo development. "The regulatory frameworks in Saudi Arabia continue to evolve and undergo development to provide an environment that will encourage and facilitate the use of the PPP model," said Basma Khashoggi, Senior Legal Consultant, DLA Piper. g


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Nakheel opens Al Furjan Club

Dh21bn Royal Pearl starts construction

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onstruction of the Dh21 billion (US$5.72 billion) Royal Pearls, being developed by Oriental Pearls Real Estate Developers, is making steady progress with 10 per cent of phase One already complete, a company statement said. Royal Pearls is a 4.6 million square-feet masterplanned development that will host 8,000 freehold apartments is being developed in Meydan City. When complete, the community will offer resident a full suite of home automation, smart security, and networked facilities management services. Tariq Jarrar, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oriental Pearls, remarked: “Royal Pearls is designed to harness the power of innova-

tion to provide superior premier lifestyle options, set in refined, elegant and environmentally-friendly surroundings of Nad Al Sheba. Networked buildings with smart security and automated services are part of our value addition, which will be de riguer in similar developments going forward.” The project is well on its way to completion by 2022, with 10 per cent of PhaseOne complete. To-date, the enabling work for the first 12 towers is finished and the anticipated completion for all units is scheduled for November 2019. Royal Pearls will be connected to four major highways, including Dubai-Al Ain Road (E66), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (E311), Al Khail Road (E44) and Emirates Road (E611). “The Royal Pearls commu-

nity has been designed to offer residents a multitude of well-planned facilities set out across key locations of the master plan. Royal Pearls has carefully curated all its amenities throughout the smart community in keeping with the needs of contemporary living of global standards,” a company spokesperson said. At the heart of Royal Pearls, will be a unique and ultra-modern community centre, surrounded by water features, and a beautifully landscaped park. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy a wide assortment of state-of-the-art attractions and leisure offerings including cafes, restaurants, a 55seater private theatre, day care centre, multifunctional hall, spa, salon, bowling alley, squash courts and a massive fitness centre. g

l Furjan Club – the latest dining and leisure complex in Nakheel’s Dh5 billion hospitality expansion – is now open for business, bringing a host of dining, sports and fitness facilities to the growing Al Furjan community. Al Furjan Club features The Glasshouse restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating for 150 people, a 25 metre lap pool, children’s pool, sports court and fullyequipped gym with four fitness studios. The club is the 10th to open in Nakheel’s rapidly-expanding portfolio of community clubs and restaurants across Dubai. Dozens more are in the pipeline. Located at the southern end of the Al Furjan community, the club is next to Al Furjan Pavilion, Nakheel’s retail and dining hub which opened last December. The complex has parking for 300 cars. The Al Furjan community is already home to more than 5,000 people, with a projected population of over 65,000 when complete. Al Furjan Club complements already-operational Nakheel Clubs at Jebel Ali, Jumeirah Islands and Masakin Al Furjan. Clubs at Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village, Warsan Village and Nad Al Sheba are also on the way. Nakheel also has an array of standalone restaurants at Palm Jumeirah and Jebel Ali, with more in the pipeline. g Gulf Property

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Apple Pay enters realty

llsopp and Allsopp, a brokerage, claimed to be the first real estate agency in the UAE to accept Apple Pay, the mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc., that lets users make payments using an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or Apple Mac computer. Apple Pay offers safe, secure and instant payment options. Allsopp and Allsopp welcomes clients who wish to take advantage of the latest technologies, but also prides itself on old-fashioned values of trust, integrity and a strong service ethic. Lewis Allsopp, CEO, says: “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this new wave of payment technology. While we like to base a lot of what we do on the best available technology, this payment system is a no-brainer for us, as it offers another easy method of payment for our customers – whether buyers, tenants or those taking advantage of our managed property services.” “As Dubai rapidly moves towards becoming a ‘Smart City’, with initiatives like the Blockchain strategy, it’s our duty as a successful, and growing, Dubai-based organisation to keep up with everevolving technology. I firmly believe we are moving towards a cashless society, and look forward to the imminent day when tenants can swiftly pay landlords using Apple Pay and other electronic payment systems.” g

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Sharjah to develop 6.5km beach project New tourism projects will help Sharjah to attract more tourists to the emirate

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harjah Government will develop a 6.5 kilometre long beach project that will have a 1.5 kilometre long seating wall aimed at boosting its tourism sector. His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah approved a landmark Sharjah Beach Development Project on Saturday. The project, which is part of the strategic plan of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), aims to develop world-class public amenities, enhance tourism infrastructure and improve the standard of living in the emirate. It is expected to attract more tourists and boost economic development. “The Sharjah Beach Development Project will create a popular tourism and leisure destination by transforming the 3.3-kilometre area along

the Sharjah Beach Road from the border of Ajman to the Sharjah Ladies Club into a world class public space. Its contemporary design, premium services, and a wide range of amenities will attract a large number of tourists as well as UAE residents,” a statement said. SUPC is putting all its efforts into creating strategies for the development of the Emirate's public assets in a way they give benefits to citizens, residents, and visitors. Sheikh Khalid Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council, said that the Council has made an extra effort to develop a unique design to meet the ambitions of the Ruler of Sharjah and also to enhance the quality of life of the emirate's residents. Sheikh Khalid added, "We are working in cooperation with the numerous government departments, involved

in the project, to play our pivotal role and further improve the standard of living Sharjah." Khalid Mohammed Al Ali, Secretary General of the SUPC, said: "The Council is keen to give priority to the implementation of specific projects that will form the nucleus of the transformation being implemented by the Council to improve and develop infrastructure, utility and public services in Sharjah, especially its waterfront areas." Al Ali said, the unique design of the Sharjah Beach will make it one of the most popular leisure destinations in the emirate where the whole family can relax and participate in various recreational activities along the beach. The project consists of a number of public squares, cycling routes, walking areas, dining zones, shaded areas, along with 1,100 vehicles parking space. g


Ellington unveils Wilton Terraces II

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llington, a Dubai-born boutique developer, has launched the second tower of its Wilton Terraces project in Mohammed bin Rashid City (MBR City). After the successful launch of Wilton Terraces I which saw an overwhelming demand from home-buyers, Ellington decided to bring Wilton Terraces II to the market in less than two months. The second tower will be built within the same complex. Robert Booth, Managing Director of Ellington, said: “As we draw close to the end of 2017, the year has seen the property market remain buoyant. The market has also seen an increasing demand for design-led homes that will contribute to a quality lifestyle for residents and bring long-term value for investors.

“Since Wilton Terraces I generated extraordinary interest due to Ellington’s drive for high-quality and well-designed residential homes, we decided to fast-forward the launch of our second tower in one of Dubai’s newest and most sought-after residential districts - MBR City.” Wilton Terraces I, the first of two towers, was designed for both young urban professionals and families, and offered one and two-bedroom units in the dynamic neighbourhood that is set to play a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of Dubai. Wilton Terraces II homes will appeal to investors and homeowners who value an unbeatable location and the highly aesthetic design ethos that Ellington brings. The new project will also boast a luxurious recreational area, a swimming pool, children’s

pool and greenery with BBQ area. Just three kilometres away from the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, and Downtown Dubai, the development gives easy mobility and connectivity to all residents and visitors is what Wilton Terraces II provides being centrally located off Al Khail Road. Founded in 2014, Ellington endeavours to craft beautiful environments for exceptionally high-quality lifestyles. Ellington residences are classic in feel but contemporary of vision. Ellington’s current projects include high-rise luxury residences and multi-family communities in Dubai, located in the Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Emirates Hills, Palm Jumeirah or the upcoming Jumeirah Village Circle. g

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The Gardens project takes off at JVC

ootah Real Estate Development, one of the region’s prominent modern real estate developers, broke ground on its upcoming residential project The Gardens, making it the latest addition to the properties owned and developed by the company in the Jumeirah Village Circle area following the success of Shamal Terraces, Shamal Residences and The Waves. The ground-breaking ceremony was held at the project site in Jumeriah Village Circle, and was attended by Lootah Real Estate Development’s top management officials and key stakeholders. Set for delivery in the third quarter of 2019, the project will feature two G+4 storey residential buildings comprising of 217 units ranging from studios to one bedroom and loft apartments. The Gardens buildings will feature grand lobbies, firstclass swimming pools, state-of-the-art gymnasiums with steam room and sauna, modular kitchen designs, covered parking spaces etc. Beautifully proportioned and finished to the very highest of standards, the new residential property will have a built-up area of 244,000 square feet and will celebrate the spirit of elegant living through high-end finishes and plush amenities while giving each resident a feeling of space and freedom. g Gulf Property

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Solar panels to power four Majid Al Futtaim malls

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nova – the regional leader in integrated energy and multitechnical services – will supply solar power to four Majid Al Futtaim malls, delivering expected savings of Dh80 million. Enova’s first solar power deal with Majid Al Futtaim Properties was signed on World Environment Day, the United Nations’ annual initiative to promote sustainability. The deal is set to cut the four malls’ carbon dioxide emissions by 3,200 tons per year – the equivalent of taking 700 cars off the roads – and will see the technology installed in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif and City Centre Fujairah, followed by City Centre Me’aisem and My City Centre Al Barsha. These solar panels contain photovoltaic cells, which absorb energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. The power generated is then fed directly into the malls’ electrical network. As part of this deal, about 12,500 panels will be installed across the buildings, covering an area of 25,000 square metres, including 1,020 car ports. Feasibility studies are underway with a view to rolling the project out across other assets. The scheme will help Al Futtaim generate 6,000 MWh of energy annually. g

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Art of Living Mall to open in 2018

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MS Group, developer of the Art of Living Mall in Dubai said the facility will open in September 2018. The Art of Living Mall is the first and biggest specialised mall in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which is dedicated to furniture (home, kitchen, office), lighting, accessories, gifts, flowers, curtains, textiles and more, in addition to home appliances and other accessories. The mall is the brainchild of MMS Global, a UAE-based company specialising in the large-scale development and top-notch designs. Since its establishment in 2013, the company is committed to redefining the development landscapes in the region and creating a positive legacy for communities to live well and thrive. The Art of Living Mall is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. MMS Global plans a soft opening

on July 1, 2018, with a grand opening in the first week of September 2018 with funfairs and entertainment. The UAE has the second largest pipeline of shopping centres under construction in Europe, the Middle East and Africa region as 2 million square metres of mall space is under development in the country, according to real estate consultancy CBRE. “The Art of Living Mall is not a typical mall as we designed and created it with the consultation of retail specialists to offer a creative ecosystem, which does not exist at the moment in the entire MENA region. It’s designed to enhance every shopper’s experience as they will enjoy the best brands to meet their specific requirements of home and office decors,” said Dr. Samer Al Omari, CEO of MMS Global. The mall will host around 100 stores of different sizes. Constructed on 162,000 square feet of land with the

built-up area of 508,985 square feet and comprising 239,628 square feet of gross leasable area, the Art of Living Mall will have the capacity of 3,000 visitors. The Art of Living Mall is located in the heart of new Dubai on Umm Suqiem Road, with two main entrances, each opens to a big circular-shape activity area at the basement level and will lead to all three floors above, which will host special activities throughout the year from special promotion campaigns to fashion shows, to art galleries, and will be available to those who want to promote their exclusive offers or new arrivals. There will be more than 500 parking spaces including over 200 outside the mall by the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai. Additionally, visitors will enjoy a host of choices within a sophisticated environment. The mall will also feature art exhibitions, restaurants, cafes, cigar lounge. g


Chestertons buys Downtown Int’l

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hestertons MENA, a leading property agency with its regional hub in Dubai, has finalised its acquisition of Downtown International, the multinational real estate agency and broker for residential developments in major cities across the globe. The acquisition adds value to Chestertons existing international real estate offering, meeting increased demand for London property in particular. However, the company did not divulge the cost of acquisition. “Downtown International has forged a market-leading reputation for international real estate brokerage having developed an impressive network of 150,000 property investors. Its clients include prominent industry players such as The Berkeley Group, Ronson Capital Partners, Taylor Wimpey Central London, Barratt London and Regal London. The firm has

also represented developers of branded residential developments such as; Banyan Tree, Four Seasons, JW Marriott, Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton,” said Salah Mussa, Chairman of Chestertons MENA. “Through this acquisition, we look forward to leveraging the expertise and reach of Downtown International, to bring all of our clients the best opportunities in the most sought-after locations. Our combined experience and commercial expertise in identifying and developing new opportunities, will undoubtedly provide us with a competitive edge,” he added. Martin Ashkuri, former CEO of Downtown International, will become the new Managing Director of International Residential Developments (IRD) for Chestertons MENA and will head up sales worldwide. Martin Ashkuri brings more than 20 years’ experience to the role having built an exten-

sive network and knowledge of international and domestic property sales having previously worked for Dubai Lifestyle City, a subsidiary of ETA Ascon Star Group; Cirrus Real Estate; First Gulf Banks’s Freehold Property Division; and MiNC Property Enterprises. “The acquisition affords Chestertons significantly improved access to high-value, high-yield markets at a time of heightened demand. This new and exciting chapter for Chestertons is great news for all of our stakeholders,” said Nick Witty, Managing Director of Chestertons MENA. London was the most attractive market for Chestertons’ MENA investors in 2015, when the firm facilitated investments of Dh265 million in the UK capital’s real estate market, representing more than 70 per cent of total sales of nearly Dh379 million (US$103.26 million). g

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Abu Dhabi to create 30-km waterfront community

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he government of Abu Dhabi, through its Urban Planning Council (UPC), is planning to transform Hudayriat Island and create a 30-kilometre waterfront community on the 3,000hectare island southwest of Abu Dhabi Island. In line with the Abu Dhabi Plan, the Hudayriat Island Master Plan will comprise a completely sustainable community with a diverse range of facilities. This will include allocating several plots for UAE nationals, who will benefit from the Emirati Housing Programme. An accessible waterfront spanning an impressive 30 kilometres will be at the heart of the mixed-use development. It will take up to 10 minutes to walk from the waterfront to any point on the island. Other key features of the project include recreational activities, a public shoreline, a green mobility network and a rich natural environment. Abdulla Al Sahi, Planning and Infrastructure Executive Director of the UPC said: “This Master Plan is one of many that demonstrate our commitment to benefit the community. By utilising and enhancing the environmental features in this area of Abu Dhabi, this development will raise the standard of living and enhance Emirati culture.” g Gulf Property

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Allsop gets ownership of in-house mortgage

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llsopp and Allsopp, one of the largest residential real estate firms in Dubai, has acquired full ownership of InHouse Mortgage Services. This acquisition means that Allsopp & Allsopp will now offer a full range of carefully controlled property services that clients are looking for. The service will be available from their website. Allsopp and Allsopp is working with over 20 of the market's main mortgage lenders in the UAE. These include Mashreq Bank, FGB, and RAK Bank. The team at Allsopp and Allsopp who are CeMAPcertified, qualifications recognised by the UK financial conduct authority, will guide cutomers through the mortgage process in a stress-free manner. Allsopp & Allsopp CEO Lewis Allsopp, said “A number of local and international banks that include Standard Chartered, ADCB and ADIB have offered us exciting discounts to pass on to our clients, so that there is a huge advantage in using Allsopp & Allsopp for mortgage financing.” “We feel that any advantage needs to be met with open arms, so that our clients can receive a tangible benefit. Our goal is to offer clients a real sense of the market. It's our aim to give Dubai mortgage buyers the best available knowledge,” he added. g

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Drake and Scull International is the region’s largest Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) contractor, currently focussing on its core business

Drake and Scull Q3 losses hit Dh359m

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rake and Scull reported net losses of Dh359 million despite achieving Dh590 million revenue in the third quarter of 2017, prior to the Dh500 million cash injection by Tabarak Investment and the board shake-up. “The lack of liquidity prior to the completion of the Recapitalization Program and to the Equity injection by Tabarak Investment impacted the overall productivity of ongoing projects. Consequently, additional provisions, revenue, and margin adjustments were recorded across several markets resulting in a Net Loss of Dh359 million in Q3 2017,” the company said in a statement. “The ongoing projects portfolio in the UAE remains robust and continues to be the main revenue driver, with the debt restructuring positively

progressing in the local market. The debt restructuring effort is expected to be concluded across key markets in the fourth quarter of 2017 enabling the Group to secure its funding requirements and to move forward with its turnaround plan.” Furthermore, the company revealed that the UAE project tenders in advance stages of negotiations are expected to materialize in Q4 2017. The company’s quarterly financial results were released as the new leadership team continues to review projects and identify pertinent risks to mitigate its exposure on the operating and financial performance of the Group. The move represents another essential step in DSI’s operational restructuring, which will set the stage for improved and consistent performance in the coming quarters. Rabih Abou Diwan, In-

vestor Relations Director of Drake and Scull International said: “We expect our financial performance to normalize in the fiscal year 2018 in line with our continued pursuit of restructuring and reinforcing our operations. Our primary objective is to strengthen our financial position, to accelerate projects delivery and to improve the operational performance across all sectors.” “For the fourth quarter of 2017, we are confident that our performance will improve as we steam ahead with our restructuring program. We reassure our shareholders that we are on the right track to restore our leadership position in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) sector as the new board of directors remains fully committed to stabilizing the business and reinstating our trajectory for profitability and growth,” Abou Diwan concluded. g


Sweid & Sweid builds Dh600 m Banyan Tree

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AE-based developer Sweid and Sweid has partnered with global hospitality brand Banyan Tree to develop the first Banyan Tree Residences in the Middle East, with an estimated development value to the tune of Dh600 million. Located on a large island site where DMCC, the Montgomerie Golf Course, The Emirates Golf Course and Emirates Hills intersect on Al Telal Street, the elegant new residential tower will boast tremendous views in all directions. Its 244 residences will stretch over 32 storeys and include one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, duplex apartments with private outdoor gardens, and three full-floor penthouses crowning the building. The penthouses offer large terraces featuring cantilevered swimming pools overlooking the spectacular

views. Banyan Tree Residences, Hillside Dubai, is unique as a single tower set within a gated community stretching over 110,000 square feet. The residentsonly Clubhouse and Spa includes a state-of-the-art fitness centre, an authentic Banyan Tree spa experience, saunas, a squash court, and an expansive indoor children’s play area. Outdoors, the residents will enjoy a 31-meter resort-style swimming pool, a children’s pool, a children’s play area, and a poolside café, all set along the extensive outdoor green spaces with lush landscaping. Concierge and 24hour security will be provided, with Banyan Tree’s management ensuring their internationally-renowned levels of service and hospitality are offered to the residents. Interior finishes include 3.2 metres high ceilings, Grohe fixtures and Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware. Custom

kitchens feature quartz and Zebrano wood detailing with Siemens and Smeg stainless steel appliances. The project, set to become one of Dubai’s most desirable addresses, has already garnered considerable commitments from notable private investors. The official launch of sales is planned for Q1 of 2018, in conjunction with the completion of the on-site sales center and show apartment. Completion of the project is scheduled for Q3 of 2019, with construction having commenced at the start of 2017. Buyers will also receive membership to the Banyan Tree Sanctuary Club, which entitles them to privileged access to over 40 resorts and hotels, more than 60 spas, 70 retail galleries and 3 golf courses worldwide. Owners can choose their preferred global escape while enjoying an array of discounts and priority benefits. g

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Reem Mall appoints contractor for Dh4.4 bn mall

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he Reem Mall consortium said, it has appointed Itinera Ghantoot, a UAEItaly joint venture, as lead contractor on the $1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) shopping, leisure and entertainment project. Itinera Ghantoot is a joint venture between Itinera, one of Italy’s largest construction companies, and Ghantoot, one of the UAE’s leading builders, which has extensive experience in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. The group backing Reem Mall announced that it had signed a $457 million senior credit facility to complete financing on the project, a mega-mall of 450 stores and food and beverage outlets spread over 2.9 million square feet in the Najmat District of Reem Island. The mall will offer education attractions and family-focused entertainment such as Snow Park Abu Dhabi. The project is being developed by Al Farwaniya Property Developments, a partnership between three Kuwait-based companies: Agility, United Projects for Aviation Services Company, and National Real Estate Company. Ghantoot is one of the Middle East’s leading construction, development and service groups, specialising in civil engineering, electrical projects, road construction and transport and marine services. g Gulf Property

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Dh350m Azizi Aliyah ready

zizi Developments, a fast growing real estate developer operating in the UAE for over a decade, has announced that Azizi Aliyah Residences, one of its first major projects in Dubai Healthcare City, is on track to be completed in the third quarter of 2018. Once completed, the Dh350 million project will offer a total of 346 serviced residences with 191 studios, 135 one-bedroom apartments and 20 twobedroom apartments along with upscale retail space of 16,000 square feet Azizi Aliyah Residences is a tastefully-planned community, located near major attractions in Dubai, including Dubai Creek Harbour, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City and Zabeel Park. Residents will enjoy panoramic views of the city, leisure activities, family amenities and the finest healthcare facilities. In addition to easy access to a number of key Dubai landmarks, Azizi Aliyah Residences will be surrounded by green spaces and some of the best healthcare facilities in the world, making it a very convenient location for families and working professionals. Azizi Developments has been witnessing growing demand for serviced residences in key locations across Dubai – which is why the company continues to expand its portfolio to meet existing and expected demand. g

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Dh780m Azizi Mina to be ready in 2018

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zizi Developments, a fast growing real estate developer operating in the UAE for over a decade, is on track with the construction of one of its most iconic projects on the Palm Jumeirah – Mina by Azizi – with the project expected to be ready by the last quarter of 2018. Architecturally inspired by the traditional Arabic Dhow and the waves, Mina by Azizi features panoramic views of the sea and provides private beach access. The Dh780 million project will be the new lifestyle destination on the Palm covering a total area of 11,244 square metres, encompassing 178 fully-furnished and serviced residences, divided into one and two-bedroom apartments, and three and fourbedroom apartments and penthouses. The project’s proximity to

Dh12bn value of Azizi Riviera, being developed at Meydan One

Dubai Marina, the Jumeirah Beach, and flourishing business hubs like Dubai Media City and Internet City, will help it provide a lucrative return on investment once completed. Mina by Azizi will set new standards in planning, design, natural environment and lifestyle. Farhad Azizi, CEO - Azizi Developments said: “Investor confidence in the UAE is increasing and is reflected in the registration of 68 projects

during the first half of 2017 valued at Dh21 billion. Mina by Azizi was established to meet the growing demand for serviced residences specifically on Palm Jumeirah. Azizi Developments is focused on driving growth and capturing this niche segment by delivering unrivalled living spaces for the residential market in Dubai.” Azizi Developments previously announced the handover of its Dh350 million Royal Bay, a luxury residential property project on the Palm Jumeirah in August this year, which is also supplementing the growing demand for luxury serviced residences in Dubai. These developments are in addition to its Dh12 billion Azizi Riviera project in Meydan One, as well as other projects in Dubai Healthcare City, Studio City, Sports City and Jebel Ali. g


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Azizi launches Dh25bn Victoria

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zizi Developments, a Dubai-based developer, has commenced construction of the Dh25 billion Azizi Victoria in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District Seven. Spread over a construction area of 33 million square feet, Azizi Victoria comprises 105 mid and high-rise residential buildings of 30,000 units of studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, a retail district and two hotels. The buildings will be mixed-use constructions of G+8 G+15, and G+30 floors housing apartments, retail establishments, restaurants and hotels. Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of Meydan Group, said: “The success of Azizi Riviera has reinforced the need for urban community living spaces in Dubai. The Azizi Victoria is

30,000

units will be developed at Azizi Victoria at Meydan City the latest offering resulting from the strategic partnership of Meydan Group and Azizi Developments to cater to this demand. We are confident of a positive response to Azizi Victoria, reflecting the strength and dynamism of the Dubai property market”. The development will include enhanced community

facilities such as educational institutions, high-street retail establishments, hospitality, and outdoor recreation spaces. Construction of the project is expected to be completed in four phases with Phase 1 scheduled for May 2019 and Phase 2 in July 2019. “Azizi Victoria is our newest offering to those who wish to invest in a unique lifestyle equipped with state-of-theart community facilities. Situated in the heart of Dubai, Azizi Victoria will further our vision of creating urban living spaces which will revolutionise the meaning of community living in Dubai,” said Mirwais Azizi, Chairman of Azizi Developments. The project is twice the size of the Azizi Riviera canal-development in Meydan One. While Azizi Riviera draws inspiration from the French Riviera, Azizi Victoria

will have a distinctly British feel, with themes and elements influenced by contemporary British culture and way of living. The architectural style is Contemporary Freestyle, with occasional touches of Postmodern. However the design has inherited stylistic influences from the Southern European clustered-town configuration and a number of certain high-street features, specific to British Georgian downtowns. The new mega community project is situated south of Meydan One and west of The Meydan Hotel. Apart from The Meydan Hotel, it is in close proximity to the upcoming Meydan One Mall and Azizi Riviera, the developer’s flagship project. The latest announcement comes on the back of the developer’s success at this year’s Cityscape Global and the sellout of Azizi Riviera Phase one and two canalfacing projects in Meydan One. Azizi Developments is the real estate investment arm of Azizi Group. Established in 2007, the company’s diverse experience in the property market has led the value of its current portfolio in the emirate to Dh20 billion and more than 100 projects at various stages of development. g Gulf Property

27


REALTYBYTES

Shapoorji Pallonji wins contract for Palm Gateway

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hapoorji Pallonji Mideast LLC, a regional subsidiary of India’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group has secured a US$410 million (Dh1.5 billion) contract to build Palm Gateway towers consisting of 1,265 apartments, to be constructed at the entrance of Dubai’s iconic Palm Jumeirah master development, developer Nakheel said in a company statement. The Palm Gateway is a new, three-tower residential, retail and beach club complex at the foot of the world-famous Palm Jumeirah. Work will begin in the second quarter of 2017 and take two-and-a half years to complete. The Palm Gateway includes 1,265 luxury apartments across three high-rise buildings – the tallest topping 285 metres – to be constructed on top of the existing Palm Monorail terminal, which includes 14 levels of parking spaces. Units range from one to three bedrooms and will be available on lease. Ali Rashid Lootah, Nakheel Chairman said, “We look forward to delivering another iconic, landmark project at the entrance to Palm Jumeirah through this firsttime collaboration with Shapoorji Pallonji.” Shapoorji has been active in the region for over 45 years, delivering many prestigious projects. g

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Gulf Property

Damac awards Dh350m contract for 448 villas

P

Damac Properties awards Dh350 million contract to Towers Contracting for 448 villas

roperty developer Damac Properties said, it has awarded a construction contract worth Dh350 million to build 448 villas to Towers Technology Contracting Co. LLC at its largest residential community development, Akoya Oxygen in October. Nael Construction and Contracting LLC is responsible for building the roads and infrastructure network linking various clusters in Phase 6 within the community together and to the main road network around the community. This new infrastructure award supplements the previous contracts awarded for infrastructure works to industry majors such as China State Construction Engineering and Ghantoot Road Contracting for the earlier phases of the development. This follows its recent Dh628 million contract awarded to Arabtec Construction in August 2017, to develop 1,296 villas at Akoya

Oxygen, which offers a tranquil environment with lush, green surroundings in a secluded, family-friendly community, with energy-efficient homes surrounded by beautiful landscaping and cascading water features. “Damac continues to initiate major construction projects at Akoya Oxygen to accelerate development to ready its 55-million squarefoot green development in Dubailand to welcome its first residents as early as possible,” said Mohammed Tahaineh, Senior Vice President of Commercial at Damac Properties. “With the help of our esteemed contractors and partners who have worked with us for many developments, we are confident with the progress being made.” Located off the Umm Suqeim Road extension and approximately 15 minutes from Damac Hills, Akoya Oxygen will include contemporary residential properties of various sizes surrounding

an 18-hole golf course, along with an organic produce market, hydroponic café, luxury wellness centre, outdoor yoga enclave and retail outlets featuring well-known brands. Community Precincts at Akoya Oxygen will contain facilities arranged around local plazas that house a variety of functions such as mosques, clinics, schools, nurseries, gyms, post offices, restaurants and local grocery shops. The 18-hole golf course will comprise of two loops of nine holes starting and finishing at the centrally located clubhouse, hotel, driving range and putting green. Golf course landscaped to achieve variation between holes with scenic waterways linked to overall site. The southern quarter will include a signature highrise tower cluster, mid-rise residential apartments and local community precinct. The towers provide a landmark at this entry point for the development. g


REALTYBYTES

DIP gets 280 sub-tenants in first four months of ‘17

Damac sells out 85% of Vera Residences Damac selles out 85% of Vera

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amac Properties has announced an unprecedented response to units in Vera Residences, located in Business Bay. The luxury apartments, which boast breathtaking views of Dubai Canal, went on sale on November 4 and more than 85 percent of units released were sold on its first day of sales. Priced from Dh499,000, investors snapped up apartment units in the 30-storey tower, which features elegantly appointed interiors and access to world-class amenities in an attractive and central location in Dubai. Due to the high demand, only a limited number of units remain. Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President of Damac Properties said: “The overwhelming demand we witnessed for our latest project

Dh4,990 monthly installment of Vera flats

Vera Residences reaffirms the success of our strategy to provide investors with the right product at the right price. By listening to what our existing and potential customers want, and by focusing on product innovation, we are able to present apartment units across a spectrum of prices based on design, amenities and, most importantly, location.” “Our customers recognise good value and Vera Residences represents an ideal investment opportunity in

one of the most desirable locations in the city, with high rental yields that can potentially reach ten percent per annum. Thanks to our attractive payment plans, owning a home or investment property is now more attainable,” continued McLoughlin. Vera Residences’ easy payment plan includes an initial deposit of 20 per cent plus Dubai Land Department registration fees, followed by monthly payments for a 35month duration, as low as Dh4,990. Furthermore, in the special payment scheme, 40 percent is due upon completion of the project. Vera’s close proximity to the prestigious Downtown Dubai district will provide the ultimate lifestyle for residents and the ability to live in a thriving community with connectivity to the city, by car, water, or metro. g

D

ubai Investments Park (DIP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Investments PJSC, said that as many as 280 new sub-tenants leased its premises between January and April 2017, reinforcing its reputation as the preferred and most sought-after business destination in the region. New leases during the period under review included 219 warehouses, 38 offices and 23 commercial units, bringing the total number of operational companies within DIP to over 4,880. These cover a wide range of industries from medium to light industrial units in aluminium, steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, plastics, oil & gas, construction, building materials and contracting sectors. The leases included new and old tenants, who expanded their warehousing space within DIP. These also included the likes of Transguard Group LLC, Azadea Group, ETA Melco Elevators Co LLC, Hilti Emirates, Chef Middle East, among others. Over 95 per cent of DIP land is leased and 98 per cent of its industrial zone is occupied. The surge in tenants reflects the growing prominence of DIP, driven by its strategic location, state-ofthe-art facilities, businessfriendly environment and world-class logistics. g Gulf Property

29


OPINION

CHRISTINE LAGARDE

Managing Director International Monetary Fund

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tronger economic growth is the essential foundation for a more resilient Caribbean. It is also a foundation for building defences. Unfortunately, economic growth in the Caribbean has been low for several decades. This has led to rising social and economic challenges — including poverty, inequality, unemployment, and crime. While many authorities in the Caribbean were successful in their efforts to create a stable macroeconomic environment, growth still remains elusive. There is no one explanation for this disappointing growth performance. Caribbean economies have been hit by external shocks, such as natural disasters which affected agriculture in particular and loss of international trade preferences. At the same time, they have not been able to fully in-

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The Caribbean: Unleashing growth sulate themselves from such shocks because of large macroeconomic imbalances. Growth has also been affected by structural impediments. A few come to mind: The region’s high cost of electricity, limited access to credit for households and medium and small enterprises, high rates of violent crime, and a persistent outflow of highly-skilled workers, the brain drain. So what can we do moving forward? That is what brings us together this morning. This conference has been organized to discuss these issues. The IMF is not a specialist on these topics, and this conference will afford us an opportunity to learn. Politics and electoral cycles can have a strong impact on fiscal policies and economic outcomes — a phenomenon that has been observed around the world, and has also played a major role in shaping economic developments in the Caribbean. Too often, promising reforms have been cut short by policy reversals driven by political pressures — not in all cases, but in many instances. We need strong institutions and fiscal frameworks that can help safeguard and sustain prudent fiscal policy over time. For example, well-designed fiscal rules can help guide consolidation efforts. Indeed, such a rule targeting a reduction in public debt to 60 percent of GDP over the medium term has been introduced in several countries in the region — the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

Economic growth in the Caribbean has been low for several decades. This has led to rising social and economic challenges — including poverty, inequality, unemployment, and crime

– Christine Lagarde

— and has had success in putting public debt on a clear downward path in St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and Jamaica. The experience of these countries,which in the main has been very successful, provides a good example for other countries in the region. Fiscal councils are also increasingly recognised as tools to promote sound fiscal policies — by providing independent information and analysis, and by monitoring compliance with fiscal rules. Well-designed institutions can play a key role in securing broad political consensus around important reforms. Here we need to consider the connection between financial stability and growth. We know that a well-functioning and healthy financial sector should strike a balance between risk-taking, growth, and stability. But we also know that the

financial sectors in the Caribbean have historically either taken on too much or too little risk. In countries with high public debt, banks have grown dependent on government paper, and have crowded out private sector credit. In other countries, at times, banks have engaged in excessively risky lending, leading to struggles with nonperforming loans. When it comes to banking, there is another challenge we need to look at. Both Caribbean and other economies around the world have had to contend with the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs), also known as de-risking. Following the recent discussions on this issue at a closed-door event in Barbados, which included key stakeholders, several correspondent banks are providing technical support to respondent banks in the region — so that they can better address information gaps and regulatory expectations. This includes upgrading of systems and processes to better, and more cost-effectively, meet the requirements of home regulators. Moreover, a global bank that had left the region has re-engaged with some respondent banks. Notwithstanding important progress, the issue continues to be a challenge, and let me assure you that we are not giving up on this, and we will work together to find a solution, not only on the loss of CBR but also on the high costs of international payments. g


When thegoinggets tough, the tough get going

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he UAE’s real estate market has become more ‘real’ in its true sense – full of real buyers, real brokers, real developers and real money. Gone are the days of speculation, hot money, exchanging ‘artist’s impressions’ with high premium and overnight profits and building castles in the air! Now the real buyers and investors ask all the real questions to the genuine developers and tick all the boxes before making their decision. It’s a buyers’ market and the customer is king! Continued vigilance by Dubai Land Department and sound regulatory environment steered by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) helped Dubai’s real estate market to become more mature and stable over the last few years. That’s why, like any other matured market, the emirate’s real estate market will go through the normal economic cycles of ups and downs – with slight variation from time to time. However, the current Dubai real estate market scenario is marked with challenges and opportunities. The market situation continues to be tough due to ongoing political climate in the region, ample supply and soft prices. The current downward cycle that started in the second half of 2017 appears to have either approached the bottom of the cycle or bottomed out – depending which research report one trusts more. The decline in prices seems to have been arrested somehow with ei-

OPINION

The current situation is marked by contrasting realities. Although there is a sense of an oversupply in the market which could be felt by the declining prices, a surge in off-plan sale offers a different situation...

ther no or marginal reduction. Most research reports are indicating a market recovery in the next few months – as early as the first quarter of 2018, due to the anticipated surge in demand in preparation to the World Expo 2020. Some reports suggest that off-plan sales have picked up – while at the same time the market might face a supply glut. So, the current situation is marked by contrasting realities. Although there is a sense of an oversupply in the market which could be felt by the declining prices, a surge in off-plan sale offers a different situation. There are more than 55,000 homes getting delivered in 2017 and 2018, including more than 25,000 in 2017 alone – that is putting pressure on price. One could see property prices – studio apartments – starting at Dh280,000 at the

Pulse at Dubai South – which was unheard of in the last ten years. Off-plan continues to attract investors due to attractive returns. There has been also a rise in end-user buying since many believe that prices have bottomed out. According to Dubai Land Department, 52,170 land and property transactions worth Dh204 billion were concluded in the first nine months of the year. At this rate, the full-year transaction value would exceed Dh272 billion – higher than the total value of land and property transactions worth Dh259 billion recorded in 2016, and Dh267 billion recorded in 2015. Some of the top developers continue to make major announcements on new projects that are being absorbed in the market. Buyers are seen lining up to buy properties in some of the project launches. This reflects a growing investor and buyer appetite for new properties – while the ready-to-move-in properties might take time to get absorbed. This also reflects the ground reality that the properties could be snapped up by buyers if they find it at the right location, right quality, built by the right developer and the right payment plan. Along with growth in offplan sales, the most significant development has been a plethora of back-ended payment options being offered by developers to woo customers. The rise of Dubai South as a favourite destination for investment was another major development.

SAILESH JATANIA

Chief Executive Officer, Gemini Property Developers

Despite challenges, there are opportunities due to upcoming Expo-2020, rise of affordable housing and rising demand from neighbouring Asian countries, such as India, Pakistan and off-late China. When it comes to real estate, historically it has been emphasised that property is about location, location and location. I see real estate as more about trust, trust and trust. For property buyers and investors in Dubai, it is also about developer’s credibility, credibility and credibility. However, sustainable business model with healthy cash-flow, backed up with credibility and commitment to customer happiness, will be the key differentiator between real estate developers in the coming years. Developers will be required to be more agile and customer-focussed to be able to gain public trust in future. g Gulf Property

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Exiting a property sale contract

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n 16 November 2017, Law No. 19 of 2017 was gazetted which amends the procedures contained in Law No. 13 of 2008 on Interim Property Registration in Dubai. This law stipulates the procedures which developers must follow if a buyer breaches an off-plan sales contract. The new law is an important development in Dubai and will assist developers who are facing a difficult real estate market and increasing buyer default. The new law has not drastically changed the existing procedures contained in Law No. 13 of 2008, but has rather built on them and provided timeframes within which a developer must return excess money to buyers who have defaulted. Under the new law, if a buyer breaches its obligations under an off-plan sales contract: A. The developer must notify the Land Department and the Land Department will serve a notice on the buyer giving it 30 days to fulfill its contractual obligations; B. If the buyer fails to fulfill its contractual obligations or reach an amicable settlement with the developer within the 30-day notice period, the Land Department may issue an official document stating that the developer has fulfilled his legal obligations and specifying the percentage of completion of the property; and; C. After the developer receives this document from the Land Department, the

Where the development project is cancelled by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, the real estate developer must refund all payments received from the purchaser, pursuant to the procedures and provisions stipulated in the said Law No. 8 of 2007...

– Shahram Safai

developer may take any of the following actions, without approaching the court or pursuing arbitration: i. if the percentage of completion of the real estate unit exceeds 80 per cent, the developer may: 1. Continue with the performance of the contract concluded between the developer and the purchaser, retain the whole amounts paid and request the purchaser to pay the outstanding amount of the contract price; 2. Request the Land Department to sell the real estate unit by public auction so that the developer may collect the outstanding balance

payable to the developer by the purchaser; or 3. Terminate the contract unilaterally, retain up to 40 per cent of the price of the real estate unit specified in the off-plan sales contract and return any excess amount to the purchaser within one year of the date of termination of the contract or within (60) sixty days of the date of reselling the real estate unit to another purchaser, whichever is earlier; ii. If the percentage of completion of the real estate unit is between 60 per cent and 80 per cent, the developer may terminate the sale contract unilaterally, deduct not more than 40 per cent of the price of the real estate unit specified in the off-plan sales contract and return any excess amount to the purchaser within one year of the date of termination of the contract or within (60) sixty days of the date of re-selling the real estate unit to another purchaser, whichever is earlier; iii. If the developer has commenced construction work on the project as per the designs approved by the competent authorities and the percentage of completion of the real estate unit is less than 60 per cent, the developer may terminate the contract unilaterally, retain up to 25 per cent of the price of the real estate unit specified in the off-plan sales contract and return any excess amount to the purchaser within one year of the date of termination of the contract or within (60) sixty days of the date of re-selling the real es-

OPINION

SHAHRAM SAFAI

Partner, Afridi and Angell

tate unit to another purchaser, whichever is earlier; and iv. If the developer has not commenced the execution of the real estate development project for reasons beyond his control and without negligence on his part, the developer may terminate the contract unilaterally, deduct not more than 30 per cent of the amounts paid by the purchaser and return any excess amount to the purchaser within (60) days of the date of terminating the contract. Additionally, where the development project is cancelled by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, the real estate developer must refund all payments received from the purchaser, pursuant to the procedures and provisions stipulated in the said Law No. 8 of 2007. Developers must follow the procedure set out in Law No. 19 of 2017 if they wish to recover from a buyer who has breached an off-plan sales contract. g Gulf Property

33


OPINION

T

MONZER TOHME

Regional Vice-President for Middle East and Africa, Epicor Software

he clock is ticking. In January 2018, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will adopt a Value Added Tax (VAT) at a standard rate of 5 per cent, with the rest of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) to follow soon after. The UAE’s Ministry of Finance has explained in clear terms what is required of businesses — that they “will be responsible for carefully documenting their business income and costs, and associated VAT charges”. For those familiar with VAT compliance in other countries, there are no surprises here. For business, compliance is relatively straightforward and the tax is neutral to economic hiccups and changes in trading and distribution patterns. Governments benefit from VAT being a proven inflation-neutral system, and Gulf governments in particular can be assured of steady funding for public spending, to cover any possible shortfall in non-oil GDP. Being prepared for VAT compliance can be a daunting prospect. If you manufacture, distribute or sell goods you need to under-

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VATs in it? stand its impact, and have a working knowledge of input and output tax. You need to understand the difference between Standard, Zero and Exempt rates. How will you manage VAT as it pertains to your cash flow? What deferredpayment schemes are available and how can you optimise the timing of recovery of VAT on costs? If your business crosses national boundaries, you need to consider the requirements of customs authorities — VAT will add an additional layer to import-export regulations, and full compliance will demand deft handling. In addition to all of these considerations, it is expected that there may be many exemptions and exceptions when it comes to intra-GCC transactions. And there will remain the significant grey area of government suppliers, where a public agency may have its exempt status suspended for the purposes of maintaining a competitive market. Different industries will need to address these complexities in different ways, in addition to keeping on top of their own sector specific issues. The finance sector traditionally enjoys many exemptions when it comes to VAT. In the case of GCC VAT, it is expected that these exemptions will extend to Shariah-compliant banking and insurance (takaful), but industry players will have to wrestle with a certain amount of complexity to make proper use of these benefits. Organisations need to ensure that services are identified correctly as exempt or

taxable, and that VAT on reverse-charges is properly managed. Banks and other financial institutions may need to reassess the design of products to comply, not only with VAT, but with fundamental changes in consumer needs.

Manufacturing

Organisations within the manufacturing supply-chain will feel acutely exposed to the impact of VAT. Smooth implementation is crucial, to ensure sustained cash flow and optimal operating efficiency. Manufacturers must keep price fluctuations firmly in mind, just as their customers will, and pay due attention to new invoicing requirements. Those that are involved in trade with other countries inside and outside the GCC, should be prepared to comply with the strict auditing requirements of customs officials.

Tourism Sector

Airlines, hotels, travel agents, and other industry specialists will have very different VAT stories to tell. The reason for this complexity lies not only in the vast operational differences between, say, an air carrier and a hotel, but also in the differentiation between a principal and an agent. Other complexities will arise for the sector in its dealing with inbound and outbound business. Depending on an end-customer’s itinerary, multiple different rates of VAT may apply, depending on which country is deemed to be the origin of

the business transaction — the so-called “place of supply”.

Technology

Whether you run a fully fledged, integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a standalone finance package, you will likely have access to basic VAT functionality. But compliance with new country-specific regulations within the GCC may require anything from mild configuration to extensive procurement. Whatever your scenario, aim for extensible functionality and flexible options that minimise the likelihood of financial penalties. With a series of interlocking global engines, you can easily configure the rules that determine how transactions are posted, where they are posted, how tax is calculated, how currency is handled, and how data is stored. Demand flexibility, so you can add the functionality that makes sense for your business. The best solutions are designed around core functions that worldwide tax systems have in common, with national variations as configuration options. In particular, ensure your chosen ERP system is capable of producing the required level of documentation. A comprehensive set of electronic-compliance features is advisable, as is a structured reporting framework that can produce VAT submissions in a wide variety of formats. Remember that non-compliance can have a detrimental effect not only on the corporate purse, but on brand credibility. g


Off-Plan Purchase

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ower priced, attractive payment plans and guaranteed good yields driving up Dubai’s off-plan sales. Undeniably, off-plan purchases are giving worthy substitute options to investors and the end-users. Off-plan developments have been gradually up-andcoming and are open to lesser values. These days all most every developer proposing a lucrative payment plan, either 50:50, 60:40 or 30:70 ratio or even some are offering a post-handover installment plan to induce the buyer, and so, it’s proposing an ideal solution for all those who have the constricting financial plan to get into the property market with low payments. Investing in a home, which persists only on a piece of papers sometimes sounds crazy and appears unsafe. But like ready it has its own pros and cons and definitely, a proper due diligence should be well-thought-out by the buyer before signing off a deal. Buying an off-plan requires a planned methodology that works for many investors. The buyer must do regular research to ensure that at the end, the numbers work. One should look into the finance options, return on investment, potential growth on investment over the period of time, the depreciation effect on asset before getting into the investment. Project location is something very important aspect to consider when investing in an off-plan property, as it will remain persistent until the end of time. Look at landmarks, public transportation such as Metro, Tram station, nearby schools, closest su-

These days all most every developer proposing a lucrative payment plan, either 50:50, 60:40 or 30:70 ratio or even some are offering a posthandover installment plan to induce the buyer...

permarket, pharmacy, shopping malls, petrol station and all other amenities that you will require in general. Since the home is a permanent and a long-term investment, therefore these factors should be well taken into consideration. When buying off-plan everything revolves around the best payment plan and the value for money, buyer’s getting while investing in the project. Therefore, consider computing some cost and make a comparison to study the resale value and capital appreciation. Payment plan certainly has a knock-on effect on the property sale price and therefore, it’s vital to make sure you meet overall the objective in line with the personal liquidity estimate while selecting the payment plan. Indeed, capital gain on Dubai property is higher than any other prime city across the world. So when you buy off-the-plan at today’s price after construction, you can likely notice that the property worth more than you paid

with the market growth. So, definitely, look for price gratitude factor while selecting the project as it gives the greatest reasons that one should buy off-plan property. Construction quality is another crucial aspect to be reviewed, before finalising the property. Study developer credentials and look at company’s previous project delivery quality, standard, and the track record. Although, the stern government rules and regulations now in place make buying off-plan properties more secure. The developer can be of any statue, what matters at the end are how well the project/house is built and serviced in the longterm. If you are buying for the first time in Dubai then its worthwhile spending for a trustworthy developer’s project that will promise the confidence in your investment. If at the later stage, you are planning to finance the purchase, it’s crucial to understand mortgage support and the choice of the mortgage options for that particular project. In Dubai, indeed, the banks do finance off-plan projects, but the facility is restricted to few lenders. As per the Central Bank guidelines, the maximum Loan to Value for mortgages on an off-plan is 50 per cent regardless of purpose, value or category of the purchaser. If the project is listed with the bank, then only the funding process is possible during the construction else one can only obtain the mortgage at the handover stage. To elude potential risks in an off-plan mortgage, the lender performs rigorous due diligence and get the mortgage approval for listed developer’s project only.

OPINION

DHIREN GUPTA

Managing Director 4C Mortgage Consultancy

Moreover, once the initial 50 per cent is covered by the purchaser and the developer achieves the defined construction milestones, thereafter the bank fund the balance amount. To comprehend the buyer’s eligibility the lender reviews the income and property documents and carry out strict affordability to make sure he/she can pay off the home loan before giving the preapproval. An alternative factor which needs to study is that once the amount is disbursed from the lender to the developer’s escrow account, the lender charges the interest or profit on that amount, which is a bit higher during the construction period and later gets adjustable to a variable rate after the project completion. Definitely, there is always an added risk when buying off-plan project but then the buyer needs to weigh it up. No doubts payment plans allow you to pay as you go. And if you can manage and have the financial capability to complete the purchase, honestly, think about buying an off-plan property to get the most out of your investment. g Gulf Property

35


FOCUS

Office rents to come under 5% VAT in 2018

A

Gulf Property Exclusive

ll non-residential properties, including office rents will be subject to 5 per cent value-added tax (VAT) from January, Federal Tax Authority of the UAE said urging commercial property owners to register for VAT for properties that exceed the value of Dh375,000 a year. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, signed the Executive Regulation for the Federal Decree-Law No. 8 of 2017 on VAT. The Regulation defines VAT as the 5 per cent tax imposed on the import and supply of goods and services at

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each stage of production and distribution, including what is a deemed supply, with the exception of specific supplies subject to the zero rate and what is exempted as specified in the Decree-Law. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, said: “The release of the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on VAT is a new stage in the implementation of an effective tax system in the UAE – one that measures up to the highest international standards. We extend our hand in partnership to all concerned parties, inviting them to work together for the advancement, progress and prosperity of the UAE.” Residential properties have been exempted from VAT. Which means residential rents will not be included in

VAT scheme for the first few years, as announced before. “The supply of commercial real estate (selling or leasing) will be subject to the basic 5 per cent tax rate, while residential units will remain generally exempt, except for the first supply of a new residential building within the first three years of it being constructed which will be 0% rated,” Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said in a statement. The FTA defines the supply of real estate as activities that include, among other things, the sale, lease or giving of the right to any real estate. “This will ensure that VAT would not constitute an irrecoverable cost to persons who buy their own properties. In order to ensure that real estate developers can recover VAT on construction

of residential properties, the first supply of residential properties within 3 years from their completion will be zero-rated,” an FTA spokesperson said. A residential building is a building or part thereof that is intended and designed for occupation by individuals, and mainly includes buildings that can be occupied by any person as main place of residence. This does not include any place that is not a building fixed to the ground and that can be moved without being damaged; any building that is used as a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast establishment, hospital or the like; a serviced apartment for which services in addition to the supply of accommodation are provided; and any building constructed or converted without lawful authority.


FOCUS

Key facts on Real Estate VVAAT What is a supply pp y in relation to real estate?

What is a residential buildingg for VVAAT purposes?

What is a commercial building for VVAAT purposes?

g or A residential building is a building part thereof that is intended and designed for occupation by individuals, viduals, and mainly includes buildings which hich can be occupied by any person as main place of residence. It does not include: clude:

A supply of real estate may include the sale, lease or giving the right in any real estate.

• Any place that is not a building fix xed to the ground and can be moved withoutt being damaged.

A commercial building is any b building or part thereof that is not a residential build ding. Examples would ffices, warehouses, be offi hotells, shops, etc.

• Any building that is used as a hotel, e motel, bed and breakfast establishment, or hospital or the lik ke. • A serviced apartment for which se ervices in addition to the supply of accommodation are provided. v • Any building constructed or convert e ed without lawful authority.

Is a residential building subject to VVAATT? The first supply of a new residential building within the first three years of it being constructed shall be zero-rated. d All subsequent b t supplies shall be exempt, even if within the first three years.

First supply in 3 years ZERO rated

Is commercial real estate subject to VA VATT? All supplies of commercial properties are subject to VAT at 5%, and this includes all buildings or parts thereof that are not residential buildings.

5%

Does the owner of real estate have to register for VVAATT? The owners of residential buildings do not ot have to register for VAT if they d do not have any other business activities. Where owners have other ness activities, they should busin consider their obligations further.

AAEED ED

33775 00000 375,000

The owner of any building that is not re esidential, will have to register if the e value of the supplies over the preceding e 12 months exceeds AED 375,0 000 or it is expected that they will exceed AED 375,000 over coming 30 days.

Can a real estate owner recover VAT paid in relation to real estate?

How is a mixed-use building (residential and commercial) treated for VA VAT?

Will VA VAT be charged on the he property I am renting?

An owner of residential building will not be able to recover VAT in respect of expenses related the exempt supply of the residential buildings. An owner of a commercial building will generally be able to recover V VA AT in respect of expenses related to the supply of the building.

The rent or sale of a residential part of the building shall be treated as o-rrated or exempt, empt depending on zero whether this is a first supply or a subsequent supply. The rent or sale of a commercial part of the building shall be treated as subject to V VA AT at 5%. The tax incurred by the owner on the building needs to be apportioned where there is an exemptt supply y, and the portion related to the taxable supply (at 0% and 5%) may be recovered.

The rent of residential building will generally be exem empt mpt from V VA AT. The rent of commercial build ding will be subject to VA AT at 5%.

Meanwhile, a commercial building is any building or part thereof that is not a residential building. Examples include offices, warehouses, hotels, shops, etc. The first supply of a new residential building within the first three years of it being constructed shall be zerorated. All subsequent supplies shall be exempt, even if within the first three years. All supplies of commercial properties are subject to VAT at 5 per cent, including all buildings or parts thereof that are not residential buildings. The owners of residential buildings do not register for VAT if they do not have any other business activities. However, owners who do have other business activities must check to see whether or not they are required to register. The owner of any building

1 12

monnthhs months

0% 5%

The release of the Executive Regulation of Federal Law No. 8 of 2017 on VAT is a new stage in the implementation of an effective tax system in the UAE – one that measures up to the highest international standards...

– Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance

that is not residential, will have to register if the value of the supplies over the preceding 12 months exceed Dh375,000 in value, or if it is expected that they will exceed Dh375,000 over the

coming 30 days. An owner of a residential building will not be able to recover VAT on expenses related to the supply of the exempt residential building. Meanwhile, an owner of a

commercial building will generally be able to recover VAT on expenses related to the supply of the building. The rent or sale of a residential part of a mixed-use building shall be treated as zero-rated or exempt, depending on whether this is a first supply or a subsequent supply. The rent or sale of a commercial part of the building, however, shall be treated as subject to VAT at 5 per cent. The tax incurred by the owner on the building needs to be apportioned where there is an exempt supply, and the portion related to the taxable supply (at 0% and 5%) may be recovered. VAT might add to the inflationary pressure on consumers, while the general cost of living is going up. “The cost of living is likely to increase slightly, but this will vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle and spending behaviour. If your spending is mainly on those things which are relieved from VAT, you are unlikely to see any significant increase,” a FTA spokesperson said in its website. g Gulf Property

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New Property Law to push buyers to pay up

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he new Property Law issued in November 2017, will help tighten the grip of the developers on the payment of homes by buyers and will allow them to put the home on auction and recover money in case of a payment default by the buyers. The law allows developers to retain 25-40 per cent of the value of the property after auction and pay the balance to the buyer. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has is-

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sued a new Law No. 19 of 2017 partially amending Law No. 13 of 2008 on Interim Property Registration in Dubai and deals with cases of breaches of sale contracts by the buyer. “The amendments aim to protect real estate investors and developers,” said a report published by Emirates News Agency (WAM). “The law specifies that in such an event, the developer must notify the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Once the notification is received, the DLD must give a 30-day notice to the purchaser. The notice must be dated and given

in writing, and delivered to the purchaser directly by registered mail, electronic mail or any other method specified by the Department. If the developer and buyer reach an amicable settlement, it must be added to the sale contract and signed by both parties,” the report says. If the buyer fails to fulfil contractual obligations or accept an amicable settlement, the DLD may issue an official document stating that the developer has fulfilled his legal obligations, specifying the percentage of completion of the property. “After the developer re-

ceives this document from the DLD, the developer is free to take any of the following actions: If the percentage of completion is over 80 per cent, the developer can ask the purchaser to abide by the terms of the sale contract, confiscate the paid amounts and obligate the buyer to make the remainder of the payment specified in the contract or otherwise request the DLD to auction the property to collect the remaining amount,” it says. The buyer is also obligated to pay any expenses arising from the auction. The developer may also void the sale


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contract solely, retain upto 40 per cent of the sale contract’s value and return the remaining amount to the buyer within a year of the date of contract cancellation or within 60 days of the date of re-selling the property, whichever is earlier. If the percentage of completion is between 60 per cent and 80 per cent, the developer may void the sale contract solely, retain not more than 40 per cent of the sale contract’s value and return the remaining amount to the purchaser within a year of the date of contract cancellation or within 60 days of

the date of re-selling the property, whichever is earlier. If the percentage of completion is less than 60 per cent, the developer may void the sale contract solely, retain upto 25 per cent of the sale contract’s value and return the remaining amount to the buyer within one year of the date of contract cancellation or within 60 days of the date of re-selling the property, whichever is earlier. If the developer did not initiate the work in the property for reasons beyond his control and without negligence, the developer may void the sale contract solely, deduct

not more than 30 per cent of the paid money and return the remaining amount to the purchaser within 60 days of the date of re-selling the property, whichever is earlier. According to the new law, if the project is cancelled by a resolution from Real Estate Regulatory Authority, the developer must refund all payments made by the buyer, pursuant to the law concerning Escrow Accounts for Real Estate Development in Dubai. “The procedures prescribed in the new law are not applicable to land sale contracts. Such a sale re-

mains subject to provisions stated in the sale contract. This law annuls any other legislation that contradicts or challenges its articles and is valid from the date of its publication in the official gazette,” the report says. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, said, “The new law reflects our continuous efforts to complete the legal system that regulates our real estate sector. “This allows all parties to take the necessary steps while also understanding their true dimensions, and outlines the pillars of the sector so that we can maintain our leading position, especially when it comes to the protection of rights. “By issuing this law, His Highness has reassured all concerned parties in the real estate sector that Dubai will remain an oasis of security and stability. We are required to recognise these initiatives and work to implement them, thus contributing to enhancing transparency and consolidating the foundations of the sustainable renaissance in our emirate, which accepts no substitute for first place,” he concluded. g Gulf Property

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Rent Calculator to fix rent disputes

D

ubai Land Department (DLD) urges landlords and tenants to use Rent Calculator to fix rents as most landlords would sent out rent renewal contracts within a few weeks for the tenancy agreements for 2018. Rent Calculator is an online application that helps landlords and tenants to calculate their rents – including increases and rent decreases on different types of properties, based on location, size, facilities and amenities – against a set benchmark reference rent

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guideline. Rent Calculator was launched a few years ago that was based on a real estate index created by the Real Eastate Regulatory Agency, Dubai property regulator to reduce the friction between real estate buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords and also, to create a reference point for all stakeholders on valuation, pricing and rents. “DLD allows all parties to access information about their rights and obligations via a range of electronic and regulatory systems. The Rental Increase Calculator is

one of the systems that is most commonly used by landlords and tenants,” it said in a statement. However, the Rent Calculator does not give any indications on the declining situation, when demand is low. The Rent Calculator is an electronic service that was created by DLD to calculate rent increase percentages in accordance with Decree No. (2) for 2011. The service determines the increase based on the average decline in the region’s rental value, depending on the specifications of the unit in question, includ-

ing its use, location, number of rooms, and a variety of other parameters. The increase is set at a maximum of 20 per cent, from 21st December 2013 to date, and the increase is divided as follows: If the rent is 10 per cent less than the market value, there is no increase; if the rent is 11-20 per cent lower than the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 5 per cent; if the rent is 21-30 per cent lower than the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 10 per cent; if the rent is 31-40 per cent lower than the market


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value, the maximum increase may be up to 15 per cent and if the rent is lower than 40 per cent or more of the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 20 per cent, it said. The Rent Calculator is a guide for customers who would like to rent or lease any property in Dubai, providing them with a better understanding of rental fees for various properties in different areas of the Emirate. The service may also be referred to if disputes arise between landlords and tenants over rental increases. In this case, the beneficiary must visit the

Mohamed Yehya, Deputy Executive Director of the Rental Affairs Sector at Dubai Land Department

official DLD website or download the ‘Ejari’ smart application to access the Rental Increase Calculator and make an inquiry by entering the required data. The Rent Calculator can be accessed through DLD’s website (dubailand.gov.ae) via the services option on the main menu. From there, customers must select the eServices option to access the rental calculator page. They must then choose the type of property (residential, commercial, industrial or labour accommodation) and then specify the area (Deira, Bur Dubai or freehold). By

submitting the lease expiry date, type of property, area, number of rooms and current annual rent, users will be provided with the average value of the rental increase. The ‘Ejari’ smart application was launched by DLD in 2016. It provides tenants and landlords with rental services including the Rental Increase Calculator and a variety of other lease management processes. Customers can download the ‘Ejari’ smart application on Android and IOS smartphones to access the Rent Calculator. Mohamed Yehya, Deputy Executive Director of the Rental Affairs Sector at DLD, commented: “The ‘Ejari’ smart application provides landlords, tenants and property management companies with many services including lease registrations and renewals. These services can be accessed at any time and from anywhere in the world, which offers customers a new level of flexibility and ease when handling lease management processes. The application is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our customers’ satisfaction and happiness.” “This application also protects the rights of all landlords, tenants and property management companies; contributes to increasing the efficiency of lease management processes; and reduces the cost and time required to complete lease registrations. In addition, the application provides realtime information on the details of leasing operations.”g Gulf Property

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D

Gulf Property Exclusive

ubai’s real estate market will be remembered for 2017 by all stakeholders with mixed feelings. While the developers, brokers and landlords might remember it for being a tough year, the property buyers and tenants would remember it for lower price and lower rents. While some reports paint a very positive and rosy picture, others might reflect on the underlying tensions. However, the issuance of a new Law No. 19 of 2017 partially amending Law No. 13 of 2008 on Interim Property Registration in Dubai that deals with cases of breaches of sale contracts by the buyer, will be felt by many property buyers, especially those who have difficulty in paying installments on time. If the buyer fails to fulfil contractual obligations or accept an amicable settlement, the Dubai Land Department may issue an official document stating that the developer has fulfilled his legal obligations, specifying the percentage of completion of the property. The developer may also void the sale contract solely, retain upto 40 per cent of the sale contract’s value and return the remaining amount to the buyer within a year of the date of contract cancellation or within 60 days of the date of re-selling the property, whichever is earlier. In the first three quarters of the year 10,200 apartments were delivered and a further 3,500 units are due for completion before the end of 2017, according to property

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How the real estate performed in 2017

Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of Dubai Land Department

Sailesh Jatania, Chief Executive Officer, Gemini Property Developers

John Stevens, Managing Director of Asteco

We expect the market to remain on this upward trajectory of sustained growth, and to see demand continuing to diversify across various real estate categories...

The current downward cycle that started in H2 of 2014 appears to have either approached the bottom of the cycle or bottomed out, depending on which report one trusts...

The rise in new finance options for off-plan residential projects, including increased postcompletion payment plans, has opened the market for buyers with more limited equity.

brokerage Asteco. In 2016, the total supply was only 8,750 apartments. The total value of real estate transactions for the first nine months of 2017 reached Dh204 billion through 52,170 transactions, Dubai Land Department (DLD) said in a statement. According to the report, there were a total of 37,633 transactions for land, residential units and buildings, generating a value of over

Dh88 billion. There were also 11,699 mortgage transactions worth Dh102 billion and 2,838 other transactions worth Dh14 billion. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, commented: "The data clearly shows an increasing demand across all property categories, including land plots for various forms of real estate development, as well as buildings and residential units, which

means that we are attracting a wide variety of investors. “We expect the market to remain on this upward trajectory of sustained growth, and to see demand continuing to diversify across various real estate categories. The momentum of the market is being driven and sustained by several factors but particularly the upcoming launch of Expo 2020 Dubai.” The latest DLD report shows that the land category


O

A Global Real Estate Haven

ver the span of more than two decades, Dubai has built a reputation as a global real estate haven and emerged as one of the most preferred investment hubs in the Middle East, attracting both local and international buyers. Investing in property remains an asset class of choice for many, resulting in the buoyant demand and positive market outlook for this sector. The UAE’s non-oil economy has witnessed a 3.1 per cent growth, and it’s hard not to acknowledge that the property market is a critical part of this equation drawing a total transaction value of Dh37.6 billion in the first nine months of 2017. Jones Lang LaSalle, the world’s leading real estate investment and advisory firm, in its report titled Dubai Real Estate Market Overview 2017 assessed the state of supply in the local real estate sector throughout the year. One of the key trends the report identified is the spike in demand for completed residential projects as well as other forms of infrastructure such as retail and commercial spaces. The report also noted the addition attracted Dh143.40 billion worth of investment, achieved from 11,169 transactions across sales, mortgages and other transaction categories. Building sales generated 5,014 transactions with a total value of Dh12.72 billion, while 36,000 transactions for residential units of all types crossed the Dh48.77 billion mark. Developers in Dubai have been particularly active in the residential sector with data

of 3,600 units to the market and stated that over 78,000 units are currently under construction and will be handed over by 2020, indicating a 15 percent growth over current supply levels. However, with the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from January 2018 – which is set to be applied on the first sale of properties- investment experts estimate that some or all of the additional expenses incurred by real estate firms will be passed on to investors. As a natural reaction to this legislation and its impact on the real-estate sector, buyers will show more caution - this restraint may result in a change in the existing buying trend. However, equally importantly, the approach will present an opportunity for

real estate developers to reexamine the costs of construction and become more sustainable in the long-run. At KEF Holdings, through our work in the Indian market, where the demand-supply dynamic is much more complex, we have experienced first-hand that interventions such as end-to-end offsite construction, and using software like BIM can bring about the muchneeded efficiencies to the sector. The extremely fast and efficient installation process reduces on-site construction time by as much as 70 percent over traditional methods, while significantly improving the quality of the building, enhancing its thermal and sound insulation and offering construction flexibility that can ensure limitless interior design possibilities and complete customization to accommodate investor demands. Even from an infrastructure development perspective, structures such as schools, hospitals and affordable housing can significantly benefit from adopting offsite construction technology. Contractors can assemble upgraded components of the existing building in a remote location and transfer the finished products to the site. In this manner, the work will cause minimal disturbance

compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) suggesting that up to 80,000 units could be delivered before the end of 2019, although actual deliveries are likely to be below this level. While more of these projects are being marketed as ‘middle-income’, the majority remain above the price range that deems affordable (below Dh800,000 for 2BHK). “Sale prices for both villas and apartments remained

stable over Q3, while rents continued their low singledigit declines. Anecdotal evidence suggests that numerous residential buildings (even within prime areas) are seeing increased vacancies, thus, tenants have been able to renegotiate their rents downwards by 5 to 7 per cent on average,” JLL said in a recent report. Sailesh Jatania, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Property Developers, says,

Faizal E. Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman of KEF Holdings

ROUNDTABLE

or disruption in congested areas, such as across Dubai’s high-footfall neighbourhoods. Governments worldwide have actively promoted offsite construction for years. A prime example is Japan, the world’s largest adopter of this method that delivers over 70,000 homes a year using modular construction technology. Acknowledging the unique value proposition and enhanced cost efficiency, productivity and timeliness of infrastructure development as well as the sustainability offered by offsite construction, the UK government announced in its annual budget that several of the ministries will commence opting for offsite construction from 2019. The year 2017 has highlighted the growing role of technology across industries. The UAE appointed the first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, while Saudi Arabia conferred citizenship rights on a humanoid robot named Sophia. Such decisions set the tone for the future of the region and demonstrate its readiness to leverage technology across industries, especially in the lucrative construction and real-estate sectors, for the greater good of all stakeholders. g “The current Dubai real estate market scenario is marked with challenges and opportunities. The market situation continues to be tough due to ongoing political climate in the region, ample supply and soft prices. “The current downward cycle that started in the second half of 2014 appears to have either approached the bottom of the cycle or bottomed out – depending which research report one Gulf Property

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trusts more. The decline in prices seems to have been arrested somehow with either no or marginal reduction.” Most research reports are indicating a market recovery in the next few months – as early as the first quarter of 2018, due to the anticipated surge in demand in preparation to the World Expo 2020. Some reports suggest that off-plan sales have picked up – while at the same time the market might face a supply

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glut, he says. “So, the current situation is marked with contrasting realities. Although there is a sense of an oversupply in the market which could be felt by the declining prices, a surge in off-plan sale offers a different situation. There are more than 55,000 homes getting delivered in 2017 and 2018, including more than 25,000 in 2017 alone – that is putting pressure on price. “One could see property prices – studio apartments –

starting at Dh280,000 at the Pulse at Dubai South – which was unheard of in the last ten years.” However, according to Dubai Economy the real estate sector within the emirates is projected to grow by 4.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent in 2017 and 2018. Talal Al Gaddah, Chief Executive Officer of MAG Property Development, says, “While many sectors faced challenges in 2017, the real estate sector steadily contin-

ued its upward growth trajectory. At MAG, we had a successful year and announced several major projects.” On the other hand, Asteco has highlighted no movement in apartment sales prices quarter-on-quarter, the year-on-year figures however showed a more pronounced decline, averaging 4 per cent, with Business Bay and Dubai Marina both posting an 8 per cent drop.. “There has been a steady rise in new projects reaching


Gulf Property: What is your view of the current state of the real estate market in terms of challenges and opportunities? Hussain Alladin: A look into 2017 reveals a significant improvement in the Dubai property market compared to the previous year in terms of transactional activity. In the first 10 months of 2017, total activity has already surpassed the full year of 2015 and 2016. On an annualised basis, we can expect there to be a 32 per cent rise in terms of volume and 27 per cent in terms of value of real estate transaction in Dubai. The main contribution for the increase is attributed towards the sales from the offplan market. From a near equilibrium market share in 2015, off plan transactions are now nearly twice those in the ready space. This is not surprising given the number of new developments that have been on offer in newer communities. What is encouraging is that investment flows representing the demand curve of the equation remains strong, despite analyst concerns. There have been fears within the analyst community that off-plan activity is replacing demand in the ready space; these do not completion. However, a significant amount of the supply previously forecasted for handover in the fourth quarter of 2017 will spill over into 2018. These delays are likely to result from both intentional phasing considerations and unplanned construction delays/financial issues,” said John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco. “The rise in new finance options for off-plan residential projects, including increased incentives and

Hussain Alladin, Global Capital Partners

appear to make sense because it represents investments in the sector; it is natural in a sector where the supply of ready stock is expected to double in the next 10 years. Investments in the off-plan space may be distorted due to generous payment plans; however still represents a substantial increase in investments; a trend that we expect will continue for the next few years. Real estate price indices that do not factor in off plan activity therefore are fundamentally flawed. Another concern that has captured the zeitgeist of the post-completion payment plans, has opened the market for buyers with more limited equity. These developments now demand a larger share of the sales volumes compared to completed units, with rates continuing to decline as a result.” “Compounding the issue, despite increased government spending on infrastructure, hospitality and retail in the run-up to the Expo 2020, is that market sentiment remains low. This is largely due

investor base is the effect of VAT from the new year. However, long term evidence suggests that this has very little impact on buying behavior. Undoubtedly, there will be a short-term blip; however, in the min of the long-term investor, it is likely that it will just be that. Markets adjust to these transaction levies and the reality is that even after VAT, UAE levies on real estate are very competitive when compared to the developed world. As the year comes to an end the focal question on everyone’s mind is whether prices have bottomed-out or not? As this is always impossible to determine, what we have witnessed is a stabilization of prices in the last 18 months, with a marginal decrease of 3 per cent on a city-wide basis. However, since the beginning to the year we have begun to see green shoots appears in various communities such as Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Village Circle, implying that a turnaround is on the horizon. Given the supply and demand dynamics at play, investors should not expect double digit returns this time around, but a slow and steady recovery as fundamentals take control. g to weak employment growth and the bearish outlook in terms of oil prices and global economic outlook,” he continued. The price disparity emerged despite supply in the villa market remaining lower than that of the apartment market, with a total of 2,325 villas delivered in the first three quarters and an additional 1,300 units expected for completion in 2017. That compared to the 5,000 delivered in 2016. g

ROUNDTABLE

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chief Executive of MAG Property Development

Gulf Property: What is your view of the current state of the real estate market – challenges and opportunities Talal Al Gaddah: Today’s real estate market is highly competitive as supply has never been higher and the consumer has never been savvier, which has raised the stakes among the region’s developers. We also face challenges such as declining oil prices, which naturally have a knock-on effect across all sectors and the wider economy. Our approach is to support Dubai and its real estate market by giving the city and our customers exactly what they need. We are fortunate to have a strategic location, a modern infrastructure, a pioneering government and a secure environment on our side, which have all made Dubai one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. It is our responsibility to enhance this ideal situation with developments that fill gaps in the market and cater directly to consumer demands. g Gulf Property

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SEWA to add 1.5 GW power capacity COVERSTORY

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Gulf Property Exclusive

harjah Electricity and Water Authority will increase its power supply by 55.55 per cent from the existing 2,700 Megawatt (MW), by adding 1,500 MW (1.5 Gigawatt) that will raise the power output of the UAE’s third largest emirate to 4,200 MW that will power the growth of Sharjah, a top official said. Peak power demand in Sharjah is around 2,400 MW and power consumption is expected to rise by about 10 per cent per annum. Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) plans to address rising power demands via an innovative strategy to optimise its existing assets, plus energy conservation measures, with no new power stations planned before 2020. “The new power plant will be set up in the existing facilities at Hamriyah Station and will be developed in three phases, each with a capacity to generate 500MW electricity,” Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of SEWA, told Gulf Property in an exclusive interview. “It will be developed on a build-operate-own-transfer (BOOT) model where we want the bidding parties to

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submit their financial package as well. We expect construction of the first phase to start next year and the threephased project to be completed by 2021.” SEWA currently buys 700 MW power from Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority (ADWEA), Dr Rashid Alleem said. The gas-fired power plant will be co-generation power project from which SEWA will purchase electricity to transmit and distribute to its 500,000 clients, 60 per cent of which are residential customers.Combined-cycle power plants use both a gas and a steam turbines together to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same fuel, compared with traditional plants. The waste heat from gas turbines is routed to steam turbines, which generate additional power. The Hamriyah facility is Sharjah’s largest power generation and water desalination plant, planned to have a future capacity of 2500 MW of electricity and 140 million gallons of water per day, when complete. The new power plant wil not only make the emirate self-sufficient in power and desalinated water production, but also help SEWA meet future demand as the emirate has seen a major shift in real estate project de-

“The new power plant will be set up in Hamriyah and will be developed in three phases, each with a capacity to generate 500MW electricity. We expect construction of the three-phased project to be completed by 2021. It will serve our economy for the next 20 years...”

– Dr Rashid Alleem Chairman, SEWA

velopment. “The additional 1,500 MW power and about 100 Million Imperial Gallons per Day (MIGD) desalinated water supply will serve the economy for the next 20 years’ growth,” he says. Sharjah saw an overall 46 percent increase in the number of real estate sales transactions, according to

the Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department. Commercial and residential buyers led Sharjah property sales during the first half of 2017, supported by the availability of new units as developers completed real estate projects in and around Sharjah city. Overall, Sharjah saw Dh11.7 billion (US$3.2 billion) worth of real estate investments over the first six months of 2017, about 3 percent lower than the total for the same period last year. Sharjah emirate registered a 23 per cent growth in the number of residential sales transactions, reaching a total of 1,289 transactions and a 109 per cent increase in the number of commercial sector sales transactions, reaching a total of 846 transactions. The emirate is expected to see an unprecedented boom in real estate due to a land and property sector reform that has seen new master developers – Tilal City and Arada announcing major mixed-use communities – that will require additional power and water supplies in the coming years. Arada in September this year, launched a Dh24 billion mixed-use master-planned community – Aljada – that will also require additional power and water capacity to meet the growing demand of


COVERSTORY

Dr Rashid Alleem Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) Gulf Property

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Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance

the additional population. The emirate of Sharjah is spread across an area of 2,590 square kilometre. Last year, its economy recorded 3.5 per cent growth. Sharjah's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4 per cent last year to reach US$41.41 billion (Dh152 billion), according to Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD). The emirate’s per capita GDP was about $31,000 in 2016. The government of Sharjah’s revenue remains at about 6 per cent of the emirate’s GDP. The govern-

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ment's budget outlines the major contributors to government revenues as 17 per cent from customs and excise and 15 per cent from company registration fees. It is predicted that the planned VAT, which will be introduced in 2018, will also help to increase the stability of Sharjah’s government’s revenue. “However, VAT could make the emirate of Sharjah less attractive to foreign companies,” a statement by Moody’s said. In order to diversify its revenue sources the government backs various initiatives to encourage start-

ups establishing themselves in Sharjah. Sharjah hosts more than 16 per cent of all SMEs in the UAE, which exceed 45,000 in number. Currently, Sharjah has three free zones: Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, and Sharjah Media City. The free zones in Sharjah, which allow for full foreign ownership of companies with no tax or restrictions on invested capital, host around 13,500 companies from 157 countries across multiple industrial sectors. The emirate’s economy is driven by the growth of

nearly 72,000 registered companies that employ bulk of the emirate’s population. It contributes 7.4 per cent to the UAE’s GDP. The volume of fixed capital formation in 2016 exceeded Dh24.6 billion, with public investment increased by 5 per cent, increase in the payment of wages by 4 per cent in 2016, and a great growth in the number of micro enterprises by 22.6 per cent, SEDD said in a report. In addition, the industrial output rose to 17 per cent of its GDP whereby the number of industrial licenses increased by 2.3 per cent in


COVERSTORY Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), being honoured by HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah

2016 when compared to 2015. The Government of Sharjah earlier announced a Dh22 billion (US$5.9 billion) budget for the year 2017, increasing government spending by some 3 per cent and expected government revenue growth by 7 per cent compared with 2016. The lion’s share of the 2017 budget has been allocated to infrastructure development and economic development activities, which are expected to account for 30 percent and 41 per cent of spending, respectively. The new budget will help

create 1,800 new government jobs for emiratis. Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has affirmed the Emirate of Sharjah’s BBB+/A-2 sovereign credit ratings long- and shortterm, foreign and local currency, with a stable outlook earlier this year. The agency also projected a gradual increase in economic growth from 2017 to 2020, supported by growth in the emirate’s construction, tourism and manufacturing sectors. S&P expects Sharjah’s fiscal deficit to narrow to 1.9 percent of GDP in 2017, compared with a deficit

closer to 3 per cent of GDP in 2016. The agency also projects government consolidated fiscal revenue to increase to 9.6 per cent of GDP or Dh8.8 billion from 8.4 per cent of GDP in 2016, and for revenues to then average 10 per cent of GDP over 2018 to 2020. The agency noted that economic activity in Sharjah is supported by a relatively diverse production base with the real estate and business services sector accounting for 22 per cent of GDP, manufacturing for 16 per cent, and wholesale and retail trade for 12 per cent. S&P

now expects real GDP growth to average to 2.0-2.5 per cent in 2017-2020 (about 4 per cent on average in nominal terms). Sharjah has one of the largest industrial clusters in the UAE. “Industrial clients represent 25 per cent of our customer base of 500,000 connections while commercial clients represents 15 per cent, leaving 60 per cent residential clients,” Dr Rashid Alleem says. Sharjah, where frequent power cuts were the order of the day, especially during hot summer months, has come out of the chronic problem, since the appointment of Dr Rashid Alleem as the Chairman of SEWA. Dr. Rashid Alleem, a UAE national from Sharjah, holds a PhD from University of Salford, Manchester, UK, and multiple honorary doctorates from Somalia University for Humanitarian Services and American University in the United States. With his vast experience of more than fifteen years in the field of management and development, Dr. Alleem was the key leader of change at Sharjah Department of Seaports and Customs and Hamriyah Free Zone Authority when he was heading their management. He sucGulf Property

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ceeded in transforming them to a strategic commerce hub empowering thousands of businesses in the region, contributing to the development of the UAE economy. He has successfully turned around SEWA and transformed it into a major contributor to Sharjah’s economic growth. Following SEWA’s turnaround, he has prepared it for a massive expansion that will raise power and water production to a new high level, that will serve the economy for the next 20 years. The new power and water plants will help Sharjah be-

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come self-sufficient in the utility sector and help power the economy of the third largest emirate of the country. In an exclusive interview with Gulf Property, Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of SEWA, elaborated his thoughts. Excerpts:

Gulf Property: How is the economy of Sharjah doing and how do you see the growth of Sharjah economy in the next few years? Dr Rashid Alleem: Our economy is doing great. We expect the economy of Sharjah to grow at more than 5 per cent this year and we

have made our own growth plan accordingly. The recent land and property sector reforms that has helped the increased investment in real estate, will help us to record a higher than expected growth. Besides, a recent rebound of oil price is a good indicator that investment will continue in infrastructure and large projects, that will help create employment and thus we need to develop more homes and provide more household utility connections. Could you kindly give us the current status of elec-

tricity and water production by Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) in terms of MW and MIGD? At SEWA, our power generation capacity is about 2,700 MW and our peak-hour consumption is 2,400 MW. So, our production capacity is higher than the peak-hour demand. We also have arrangements with ADWEA to buy additional supplies of water and electricity – as and when needed. Currently, we have 500,000 customers, including 60 per cent residential, 25 per cent


COVERSTORY Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), celebrating the UAE National Day with the people and young emiratis

Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi in April 2014 to take over SEWA as its Chairman and help it turn it around. At that point of time, it was on the brink of bankruptcy. When I looked at the organisation as its Chairman, I felt this challenge was 100 times bigger than that of the SAIF Zone and had less than 1 per cent chance of survival. Self-confidence, positivity are some of the 15 principles that helped me and my team to steer SEWA out of the crisis and transform it into a world-class utility. How I did it – is a huge matter and one has to read the book in full. It can’t be described in an interview.

industrial and 15 per cent commercial. We have based our demand growth projection around 5 per cent year-onyear. As it stands, we are well positioned to support the growth of the Sharjah economy. However, our current power and water desalination project is planned to support the long-term economic vision of the emirate and we are preparing for that.

What is the energy mix that is used to power the SEWA utility plants? Where do

you source oil and gas from? We mostly use fossil fuel especially gas to power our utilities. Sharjah has plenty of gas reserves and we buy gas from the government-owned suppliers, including Dolphin Energy. Going forward, there are plans to support the growth of renewable energy – but at a smaller level.

You have successfully turned around SEWA into a more agile and efficient public utility through your management expertise. How did you do that?

Well, it’s about people and process and motivating the team to deliver their best. I have narrated my experience in my book – The SEWA Way – which elaborates our journey towards excellence. As a manager or a leader, I believe in a few simple principles. The SEWA Way basically captures that. Prior to that, I had the honour to turnaround another organisation – Sharjah Airport International Free (SAIF) Zone, which at that time was reeling from a US$2 billion debt and I had to rescue it. I was asked by HH Sheikh

What was the key to this transformation – is it the people, assets, or your leadership? Everything. Most importantly, infusing confidence, self-believe, positivity and develop a ‘can-do’ attitude that drives the team towards excellence. In this journey, I not only created and polished some leaders, but also role models for others to work and deliver. One of the first thing I developed is the culture of smile – that reflects positivity. Then teaching others and learning from others, learning from experience and making tough decisions are part of the package. So, it was more to do with people. Gulf Property

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COVERSTORY

Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), talking to exhibitors at the Big5 Solar exhibition

How much did the government invest in this transformation over the last three years? As a public utility, we do not disclose the investment. However, our biggest investment was in people, infusing self confidence, positive attitude and rationalise the processes to make the organisation more efficient and deliver intended results.

Are you happy with your and your team’s achievement so far? Of course. As you can see that now we are coming up with new ideas, thinking,

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processes and systems and we are also investing in our future. The fact that SEWA is planning to expand its power generation and water desalination capacity is an indication that we are ready for the future. Our people are our biggest assets.

Are you a power surplus utility – or are you buying power from outside? A bit of both. As I mentioned, our current installed power generation capacity is about 2,700 MW whereas our peak demand is 2,400 MW. However, we have

arrangement with ADWEA to buy additional power and water, when needed.

When do you plan to become self-sufficient in power and water supply? We are self-sufficient, currently. However, the new power plant at Hamriyah will take us ahead of the game and help us manage the demand growth. As I said, the 1,500 MW additional capacity will serve us for the next 20 years, based on the current economic growth projections. In order to optimum use of

power and utility, what is your goal and how do you want to achieve that? Optimisation of power and water use is a consumer issue and we have been creating a public awareness on reducing the use of power under a campaign, called Peak Hour that helps the consumers to think on ways to saving energy. SEWA has already started implementing a number of projects to raise the efficiency of plants by 50 per cent and reduce network wastage. There are a number of things consumers could do.


COVERSTORY the new power plant? We are open to ideas and all depends on how the consortium in the race propose their bids.

What are your plans to diversify the energy sources for SEWA power output? Are you planning to introduce solar, wind and other renewable energy to expand power capacity? Right now we want to continue with fossil fuel as the prime source of energy for our power plants. We might look at other sources in future and we have already installed solar lighting panels on 30 kilometres of road in Sharjah. We are also encouraging home-owners to install solar panels on their roof-tops to add solar power to homes and reduce their utility bills.

Dr Rashid Alleem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), a successful government leader

For example, change the old airconditioners that consume more power and replace them with modern ecofriendly airconditioners that save 25-30 per cent power. Our Peak Hour campaign has helped save 30 per cent energy – a huge cost saving for consumers as well as us.

As the economy of Sharjah opens up for new investment, more jobs are expected to be created and new residents are going to move in to their homes with the new masterplanned communities that have been announced by a

number of developers, what is SEWA doing to power the future economic growth of the emirate? Our year-on-year power demand growth projection is based on 5 per cent. We are well ahead of that curve. However, the new additional capacity by 2021 will be enough for us to serve the economy for a long time to come.

How much are you planning to invest in new power plants or expanding the production capacity of the existing power plants? The capital expenditure re-

quirements for large power plants is huge. However, we want the next 1,500 MW power plant to be developed on a build-own-operatetransfer (BOOT) model. This also means that the companies or consortia arrange the finance by themselves. Under this model, we could agree on power and water purchase price for consumption. However, as a public utility, we are open to ideas and want to hear from our development partners. Will you partner with the, and put your own equity in

Would you allow the private players to play a role in the power production and water desalination – in future? Privatisation is not on the cards at the moment. We are currently content with our own power development, transmission and distribution plans. However things could change in distant future.

With Value-Added Tax (VAT) being introduced across the UAE, are you seeking an exemption on utility bills, when residential property sale and rents have been exempted? Well, we have been talking to the authorities. However, I don’t think the utilities would be exempted from VAT. We have internally finalised the VAT collection process through utility bills. g Gulf Property

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MAG invests Dh15bn in properties in Dubai INTERVIEW

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Gulf Property Exclusive

ubai-based real estate developer Moafaq Al Gaddah (MAG) Property Development, has invested nearly Dh10 billion of its Dh15 billion investment programme in real estate development announced in 2014, a top official said. It is currently developing MAG 5 Boulevard – a cluster of seven buildings offering 924 apartments, as well as MAG Creek Wellbeing – a Dh2.2 billion wellness project on the banks of Dubai Creek and MAG Eye – a Dh4 billion cluster of 3,952 apartments within a gated community at Mohammed Bin Rashid City in Dubai. “MAG PD has a real estate portfolio worth in excess of Dh10 billion,” Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chief Executive Officer of MAG Property Development, told Gulf Property in an exclusive interview. “The company’s ongoing investment strategy, which was launched in 2014, will continue until 2020. A total of Dh15 billion has been allocated to the strategy and the company's UAE investments reached Dh9.8 billion by the end of the first half of this year.” Moafaq Al Gaddah (MAG) Group is a multinational well diversified conglomerate based in Dubai, UAE. The

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Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chief Executive Officer of MAG Property Development, part of MAG Group

group was founded by Moafaq Al Gaddah, a Syrian businessman, who at the age of 15 went to Kuwait to earn a living. After working in shops selling goods, he earned enough to start a small auto spare parts shop in Abu Dhabi in1978 - the year of the group’s establishment. The next 39 years, Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chairman of the Group that bears his name, kept on expanding his business in auto spare parts and accessories – the main source of his company’s income. When Dubai Government

opened the real estate sector to foreigners, Moafaq Al Gaddah invested in real estate – currently a major portfolio within the group. His son, Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chief Executive Officer of MAG Property Development looks after the real estate division. The group’s portfolio currently includes real estate, contracting and engineering, industrial and commercial trading, freight services, and hospitality. Founded in 1978, it is one of the largest corporations in the 3, maintaining a prominent position of lead-

ership and pioneering among its peers. The MAG Group is a powerful and vibrant company that employs over 2,000 personnel working in more than fifty companies and branches throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In 2014, the MAG Group made an announcement to invest Dh15 billion in Dubai’s real estate – which was still recovering from the global financial crisis of 2008. In 2013, MAG Group division Invest Group Overseas (IGO) launched the Polo


MAG 230 project currently under development

INTERVIEW

“The company’s ongoing investment strategy, which was launched in 2014, will continue until 2020. A total of Dh15 billion has been allocated to the strategy and the company’s UAE investments reached Dh9.8 billion by the end of the first half of this year...”

– Talal Al Gaddah CEO, MAG PD

Townhouses in the Meydan masterplanned community, which has 106 homes. In 2014 it followed that up with the launch of the Polo Residences, a community featuring 29 four-storey apartment buildings. Altogether, both projects are worth an estimated $545 million (Dh2.1 billion) — and both of them are completely sold out Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Chief Executive Officer of MAG Property Development, elaborated his thoughts on a number of issues in an exclusive interview with Gulf Property. Excerpts:

Gulf Property: What is your view of the overall real estate market in the UAE and GCC? Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah: MAG PD has an innate understanding of Dubai and its needs. It is an iconic city that is incomparable with any other place in the MENA region, especially due to its strategic location and pioneering initiatives across many sectors including tourism, aviation and real estate. With its modern infrastructure and secure environment, Dubai has become a

leading investment destination that can attract investors from around the world, which is evident from the sustained growth of the Emirate’s real estate sector. Dubai inspires us to develop innovative concepts that enhance the city’s attractive real estate environment and keep abreast of its rapid development.

Do you think the market is suffering from oversupply – especially the way developers are trying to appeal to the same pool of property buyers and investors with extended payment

plans? According to a recent report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), there are currently around 480,000 homes in Dubai. There are a further 80,000 due to be built over the next two years, which would result in a 16.67 per cent increase in the supply of homes. Some developers believe there is the potential for this to develop into an oversupply. However, since we conduct extensive market and customer research to identify exactly what the market will Gulf Property

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INTERVIEW

MAG 5 Boulevard at Dubai South

require, our plans are carefully designed to cater to the market’s future. This means that we are filling vital gaps in the market rather than oversupplying it with projects that are not in demand. Moreover, with growth forecasts for the UAE’s population increasing to more than 10 million by 2020, we believe that the supply of new homes will

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match population growth.

With oil price remaining low – how do you think the market will perform, without large-scale public sector investment in infrastructure? The UAE is aiming to reduce its dependence on oil to 20 per cent by 2021 and oil is already of lessening impor-

tance for Dubai’s overall economy, which has successfully diversified to incorporate many other crucial sectors including aviation, tourism and of course, real estate. The real estate market will continue to grow sustainably, thereby stimulating growth in other sectors and minimising the impact of low oil prices.

What will drive the UAE’s real estate market in the coming years? We believe that a gradual pick up in non-oil private sector economic activity in the UAE will be a key driver of economic growth over the coming years. We are also pleased to see the real estate industry moving towards a more holistic,


INTERVIEW MAG 318 project currently under development

thing to show to the world. In an economy that keeps growing and in a city like Dubai that is considered to be one of the most vibrant in the world, we believe that the real estate market after 2020 will showcase new trends and become increasingly customer-oriented.

strategic and 360-degree approach in which every single detail matters. This encompasses not only engineering and architecture, but also indepth analysis, psychology, environmental considerations and much more. Success in the real estate industry is becoming more of a science than ever before, which is encapsulated at our

MAG Creek Wellbeing Resort project, where our MAG of Life division is working in close partnership with Delos – a leading New York-based wellness real estate and technology consultancy – to deliver wellness-inspired homes that are based on comprehensive research and studies. We also believe there will be a growing de-

mand for value homes that target mid-income earners, which we are well positioned to answer with our MAG of Life division.

What do you think will drive Dubai’s real estate market post Expo 2020? Post Expo 2020, the market will continue to thrive as Dubai has always had some-

Do you think the developers are ‘over-building’ properties that might result in a property glut? Successful developers build projects based on their customers’ needs and not to increase their own real estate portfolios. The market has changed and the way developers approach their customers has transformed dramatically over the years. The real estate market in Dubai is amongst the most sophisticated in the world. Having said that, extensive research is always being conducted to shed light on the market and where it’s heading. As mentioned previously, we at MAG are always prepared for the growth because we also conduct extensive market and customer research to identify exactly what the market and Gulf Property

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INTERVIEW

customers need. In a world of abundant options, consumers are looking for the whole package and I believe they are more discerning than they have ever been.

Have prices of your own properties come under pressure due to the current challenging situation? Our prices are well-studied and were not affected. We have always offered our customers attractive payment plans to make it possible for almost everyone to purchase a MAG unit, which has maintained high demand

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for our properties.

What would be the combined development value of the properties/projects delivered by MAG PD so far? MAG PD has a real estate portfolio worth in excess of Dh10 billion. The company’s ongoing investment strategy, which was launched in 2014, will continue until 2020. A total of Dh15 billion has been allocated to the strategy and the company's UAE investments reached Dh9.8 billion by the end of the first half of this year.

How many projects are currently under development by MAG PD? MAG is keen to meet the needs of various sectors in the city, and is developing a wide range of buildings and complexes that offer varying unit sizes and budgets to cater to all segments of the population. For example, we are currently developing our MAG 5 Boulevard project in Dubai South, which is the first community project to have been completed as part of the wider Dubai World Central urban master plan. It is a fully gated commu-

nity situated next to the Expo 2020 venue and Dubai’s ‘Green Belt’, the largest park in the UAE, and in close proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport. Our aim here is to support the Government's vision of providing housing options for all segments of society by providing mid-income owners with strategically located homes. MAG 5 Dubai South falls within the MAG 5 Boulevard residential community, consisting of 924 units spread across seven buildings, which will offer tenants the benefits of a 24-hour, walkable community that covers


INTERVIEW MAG 230 project currently under development

over 800,000 square feet of land in the Dubai Greenbelt. The project is also situated in close proximity to schools, offices and hospitals, offering convenience alongside elegantly designed landscaping, as well as a swimming pool, jogging tracks and gardens, retail, dining and leisure outlets, outdoor leisure spaces, children’s areas, and a community centre. MAG 5 Dubai South will be completed by Q2 2019. MAG Eye is an Dh4 billion exclusive private gated community in the heart of Mohammed bin Rashid City in Meydan Dubai, which pro-

vides tenants with 3,952 apartments and 537 townhouses. Given its full privacy, allday security, open green spaces and wide range of leisure amenities, the project will offer residents an ideal environment for relaxation and tranquility, as well as a sound investment opportunity thanks to high-end features that guarantee long-term value. The project is due for completion in the first quarter of 2022. MAG Creek Wellbeing Resort is a unique gated community spanning over 898,786 square feet and

covering 550 metres of the highly sought after Dubai Creek waterfront. The Dh2.2 billion project is the first wellness inspired real estate in the region, reflecting MAG’s ability to achieve industry excellence and exceed its customers’ expectations in the freehold sector by introducing innovative and unprecedented real estate concepts. MAG Creek includes a WorldCare Wellness Centre that spans over 120,000 square feet, making it the largest wellness centre in the world. It will offer health-conscientious residents and

guests full access to a stateof-the art medical check-up clinic that guides, informs and supports healthy living choices. It also includes a 96-room WorldCare Wellness Hotel, 17 unique waterfront mansions overlooking Dubai Creek, 75 luxury apartments and 172 serviced wellness holiday homes that will all be fully furnished and available for freehold ownership. MAG 230 is a prestigious residential landmark to be developed in the heart of Dubailand and completed by the fourth quarter of 2019. In addition to being part of the master plan for ‘City of Arabia’, it is designed to be an independent complex and will have access to the new metro system, providing prospective tenants with 595 luxury apartments. The project ensures that residents have easy access to the city as it is located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, just a 15minute drive from Dubai International Airport and 12 minutes from Downtown Dubai. Gulf Property

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INTERVIEW

Moafaq Al Gaddah, Founder and Chairman of MAG Group, meets His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah

MAG 318 is a new mixeduse luxury residential tower in the Business Bay Downtown Dubai area that features 439 residential units including studios and one and two-bedroom apartments with private balconies that overlook Dubai Water Canal and Downtown Dubai. To ensure an integrated living environment for residents, the project has been strengthened with modern facilities including a swimming pool, outdoor leisure facilities, a children's area, a social activities centre and a coffee shop – all of which will be completed by the fourth

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quarter of 2019. MBL Residence tower is a 40-level residential tower located in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. The 758,875 square foot development features 472 high-end one, two and three bedroom apartments of different sizes, and will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019. Residents will enjoy premium amenities including private parking, a fully equipped gym and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as restaurants and cafés. We also have additional upcoming projects in Jumeirah Village Circle and

in Sharjah, which we will announce at a later stage.

What is the total development value of the projects currently under planning, development, construction and delivery? As mentioned earlier, MAG has invested Dh9.8 billion in the projects so far and we expect to invest more than Dh5 billion in projects under construction over the next few years. How many units are you delivering this year? We have already handed over the Polo Townhouses

and the Polo Residences in Meydan this year, which contain 106 townhouses and more than 870 units respectively. The first phase of MAG 5 Boulevard will be handed over before the end of next year which will see us introduce 528 units to the market in one of Dubai’s most strategic locations – Dubai South.

How big is your commercial, hospitality portfolio? Do you plan to develop hotels in future to make your company’s business more sustainable? At present, and based on our


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Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah

alal Al Gaddah is CEO of MAG Property Development, responsible for overseeing the company’s overall direction and its organisational strategy. Heading the organisation’s six departments – finance, project management, sales, marketing, administration and legal – Talal’s leadership and management skills are driving MAG Property Development to new heights. Talal’s aim is to cement MAG Property Development’s position as one of the top five real estate developers in the UAE, with the ultimate goal of expanding the company’s already considerable footprint to the Far East, Europe and further afield the USA.Talal’s drive and enthusiasm is underpinned by his extensive background of industry success, much of it attained market research, we are focused on developing residential projects. This is not to say that we will never explore the potential of expanding our offering into other sectors.

You have announced a cluster of affordable homes at Dubai South in 2015. Could you tell us what is the status of the project? Construction at MAG 5 Boulevard is on track and we are pleased that 50 per cent of the project is now complete. Work is progressing and

the first phase of the project, which consists of 528 units, will be handed over in the third quarter of 2018.

What is your view on the affordable homes segment? Do you plan to develop more affordable homes? Our plan for 2017 and 2018 is to deliver real estate developments that are accessible for each socio-economic segment of Dubai. With that in mind, we are busy with our MAG of Value division which is aimed at developing what we call ‘Value Homes’. MAG of Value

blends quality real estate, planned community living and honest return on investment (RoI). One exciting upcoming project in the MAG of Value portfolio is MAG EYE – an exclusive gated community of 3,952 apartments and 537 townhouses located in Meydan. The project will allow residents to unwind and rejuvenate in a safe and tranquil environment with extensive open green spaces. Landscaping plays a central role at MAG EYE by uniting the buildings and open spaces while also forming a central hub with a pedestrian com-

INTERVIEW

within the MAG Group. Prior to being appointed to his current role, he was Director of Sales and Marketing at Invest Group Overseas, the property development arm of MAG Group and the sister company for MAG Property Development. During his tenure, Talal achieved sales of Dh1.5 billion in 12 months through the company’s Polo Townhouses and The Polo Residences in Dubai, UAE. He was also instrumental in opening up new markets including successfully launching The Gate in Frisco City, Texas, USA. The entire Texas development was initiated by Talal and he was responsible for overseeing its every aspect from conception to completion. Talal’s dynamism in his role was enhanced by a year spent learning Leadership in Communication Strategy skills at the renowned UCLA in California, USA, where he was a student from 2011 to 2012. His studies enhanced the Bachelors’ degree in Business he was awarded in the Netherlands in 2007. g munity area. Amenities will include large retail spaces, a mosque, a kindergarten, and the largest community clubhouse in the city.

Do you have plans to invest in other markets in the GCC and beyond? First and foremost, we are of and from the UAE. This is where we began and this is the real estate market to which we are rooted. We also successfully launched The Gate in Frisco City, Texas, USA. Our long term ultimate goal is to expand internationally to the Far East, USA and Europe. g Gulf Property

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CONTRACTING

GCC construction projects hit Dh8.9 trn

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Gulf Property Exclusive

he combined value of the 22,680 active construction projects in the GCC has exceeded US$2.43 trillion (Dh8.91 trillion) in November 2017, according to latest GCC Construction Analytics report issued by BNC Network, the largest and most comprehensive project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

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Of these the urban construction sector has the highest number of projects, touching 17,912, worth US$1.21 trillion (Dh4.44 trillion), followed by utilities sector with 1,701, transport sector having 1,423, followed by 1,289 industrial and 355 oil and gas projects. However, combined value of 1,423 transport projects reached US$387.6 billion (Dh1.42 trillion), followed by oil and gas projects valued at US$337 billion, utilities worth US$313 billion and industrial project value reaching US$178.6 billion. The GCC region, which in-

cludes the six hydrocarbonrich six countries, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$1.4 trillion (Dh5.1 trillion) – have undertaken massive development and construction activities to diversify their economies. “Clearly, the governments of these countries are investing their current oil wealth and resources to build a better future that will serve the future generations well even when oil runs out or the use of oil reduces to the minimum,” Avin Gidwani, Chief

Executive Officer of BNC Network, says. “The re-modelling of Dubai economy and the UAE economy to a certain extent has inspired the rest of the countries to catch up fast.” In 2016, the GCC countries pumped an average of 18.3 million barrel per day. According to the GCC Secretariat, the Gulf countries’ non-oil exports reached US$113.1 billion while oil exports fetched US$357.8 billion in 2015. “Much of these are being invested in large infrastructure, housing and commercial projects that will have a


CONTRACTING At A Glance

$2.43 trillion value of construction projects in the Gulf

$82.85 billion value of construction projects announced in the third quarter of 2017

$387 billion

value of transport projects in the Gulf region

$313 billion

value of the total utilities projects in the GCC region

$1.4 trillion

value of the combined GDP of GCC countries

far-reaching impact on the region’s economies,” Gidwani says. “According to the GCC Secretariat, the total budget deficit of US$152 billion reflects the simple fact that the governments are spending fast and higher to build the economies. “In terms of number of projects, these represent 85 per cent of all active projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and 68 per cent in terms of estimated value in US dollar terms. “This also shows that most of the Middle East’s construction and development

activities are concentrated in the Gulf region as the governments of the six oil-rich countries are spending their resources in time to diversify the economy by developing the infrastructure, housing and commercial real estate to build strong national economies and preparing the economies for the post-oil era.” In the third quarter of 2017, as many as 269 projects with a combined estimated value of US$82.85 billion were announced in the GCC. Notable projects announced in the third quarter of 2017 include Al Faisaliya City lo-

cated in Makkah worth US$25 billion; Aljada Residential City located near Sharjah's University City worth US$6.5 billion and Oman to India Multi-Purpose Pipeline located in Muscat worth US$5.6 billion, according to the latest GCC Construction Analytics issued by BNC Network. These, of course do not include the US$500 billion new coastal city of Neom announced earlier this month by Saudi Arabia – that will change the economic landscape of the Kingdom which is developing the world’s tallest tower – a kilometer-

long Jeddah Tower. In October, the number of active projects in the GCC increased by 2 per cent as compared to September 2017 and the total estimated value of these projects increased by 1 per cent. A total of 142 active projects with a combined estimated value of US$10.4 billion moved to construction from other stages during the month. A total of 670 active projects with a combined estimated value of US$15.2 billion were completed during the month. BNC, the largest project intelligence provider in the MENA region, tracks 25,324 live construction projects with a value exceeding US$7.7 trillion (Dh28.3 trillion). It publishes more than 250 project updates that are distributed amongst 73,000 executives and professionals every day. g Gulf Property

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CONTRACTING

UAE project value exceeds Dh3 trn

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he combined value of the 11,755 active construction projects in the UAE has exceeded US$818.2 billion (Dh3 trillion) in November 2017, according to latest UAE Construction Analytics report issued by BNC Network, the largest and most comprehensive project research and intelligence provider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This makes the UAE, the second largest Arab economy, the largest construction market in the Arab World and the Middle East and North

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Africa (MENA) region. “The UAE’s 11,755 construction projects constitutes 52 per cent of 22,680 active construction projects in the GCC and in terms of value, these projects account for 33.6 per cent of the total estimated value of the GCC construction projects, worth US$2.43 trillion (Dh8.91 trillion),” Avin Gidwani, Chief Executive Officer of BNC Network, says. “The UAE’s futuristic and visionary leadership is determined to utilise the current resources in their best abilities to build a much better and more sustainable econ-

omy that will serve the country’s future generations well. These projects are in line with the country’s Vision 2021 – when it celebrates the 50th National Day and 2071 – when the country celebrates its 100th National Day. Of the 11,755 active construction projects, 9,972 are urban construction projects with a combined value of US$537 billion (Dh1.97 trillion). The number of 9,972 urban construction projects represents nearly 85 per cent of the 11,755 construction projects. However, it terms of

value, Dh1.97 trillion worth of urban construction projects represent 65.66 per cent of the Dh3 billion worth of construction projects in the UAE. The value of the 533 utilities projects reached US$93.6 billion (Dh343.51 billion), according to the BNC UAE Construction Overview Analytics Report. BNC Network report also shows that the total value of 493 transport projects reached US$87.4 billion (Dh320.75 billion), while the value of 92 oil and gas projects reached US$68.2 billion (Dh250.29 billion) and the total value of 665 industrial


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BNC Network

Expo 2020 projects are driving the growth of the UAE’s construction industry

projects reached US$32 billion (Dh117 billion). “In the third quarter of 2017, a total of 138 projects with a combined estimated value of US$20.7 billion (Dh75.9 billion) were announced in the UAE. Once completed, all these projects will change the face of the UAE’s urban infrastructure and overall economic landscape,” Avin Gidwani says. “More than 1,000 active projects with a combined estimated value of US$14.2 billion (Dh52 billion) were completed during the third quarter of 2017.” In October, the number of

Avin Gidwani CEO of BNC Network

active projects in the UAE increased by 1 per cent as compared to September 2017 and the total estimated value of these projects increased by 2 per cent. A total of 96 active projects with a combined estimated value of US$5.3 billion moved to construction from other stages during the month. The largest active project in dollar terms to be awarded recently was Reem Mall worth US$1 billion located at Najmat Abu Dhabi. Notable projects announced in the third quarter of 2017 include Aljada Resi-

NC, the largest project intelligence provider in the MENA region, tracks 25,324 live construction projects with a value exceeding US$7.7 trillion (Dh28.3 trillion). It publishes more than 250 project updates that are distributed amongst 73,000 executives and professionals every day. It is used by thousands of business leaders and construction industry professionals around the world to track developments, gain insight on projects and do business in the construction industry. BNC covers construction projects, across all sectors including urban construction, mega developments, transportation, utilities, industrial developments and oil and gas and publishes over 2,000 construction analytics annually based on extensive research and analysis. g

dential City located near Sharjah's University City worth US$6.5 billion; Expansion of Borouge Petrochemicals Complex located in Abu Dhabi worth US$2.5 billion and Emirates Towers Business Park located in Dubai worth US$1.3 billion. BNC, the largest project intelligence provider in the MENA region, tracks 25,324 live construction projects with a value exceeding US$7.7 trillion (Dh28.3 trillion). BNC publishes more than 250 project updates that are distributed amongst 73,000 executives and professionals every day. g Gulf Property

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GOGREEN

UAE invests Dh600bn in renewable energy

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Gulf Property Exclusive

he UAE intends to invest $163 billion (Dh600 billion) in projects to generate half of the nation's power needs from renewables. The UAE has considerable solar power potential and is eager to reduce its use of fossil fuels. Renewable energy has become economically attractive in the oil-rich UAE, said a recent report by the International Renewable Energy

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Agency (IRENA). “Ramping up renewables to 10 per cent of the country’s total energy mix, and 25 per cent of total power generation, could generate annual savings of US$1.9 billion by 2030 through avoidance of fossil-fuel consumption and lower energy costs,” IRENA said in a recent report. “With health and environmental benefits factored in, the transition to renewables could generate additional net annual savings of US$1 billion to as much as US$3.7 billion by 2030. “Since 2010, rising natural

gas prices in the UAE have combined with rapidly falling technology costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, in particular. This has made renewables a competitive option for power generation in the UAE – an oil exporter, but increasingly an importer of natural gas. “Wind power and waste-toenergy conversion have also become economic with natural gas prices above US$8 per million British thermal units (mBtu). These recent developments create financial reasons for the country to accelerate its renewable energy deployment beyond

the existing targets in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other emirates.” His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had earlier said, 44 per cent of the country's energy needs will be provided by renewables, with 38 per cent from gas, 12 per cent from cleaner fossil fuel and 6 per cent from nuclear energy. The UAE Energy Strategy 2050, announced earlier this year, is aimed at boosting the country’s ambitions to raise the share of clean energy in


“Masdar has been leading the country’s efforts in the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions since its inception in 2006, and has invested about $8.5 billion in local and global projects, contributing to the increase of renewable energy capacity by about 2.7 million GW...”

– Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment

the national energy mix to 27 per cent by 2021 and 50 per cent by 2050, in addition to laying the foundation stone of the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi Plant’ featuring cutting-edge photovoltaic technology with a potential to generate 1,177 MW of solar energy. This is in addition to the 100 MW Shams Abu Dhabi solar power plant commissioned a few years ago. Besides, the fourth phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was launched with a production capacity of 700 MW as part of a plan to produce 5,000 MW of energy by 2030.

Funding for renewable energy projects

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he International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), is inviting applications for renewable energy projects in developing countries. Within the framework of the ADFD-funded $350 million (Dh1.28 billion) IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the current funding round of $50 million in concessional loans marks the sixth of seven annual cycles. “In just the last few years, renewable energy has emerged as one of the most economical choices for new power generation in countries around the globe. Accelerated renewable energy deployment in developing countries expands access to energy, improves health and welfare, creates jobs and drives economic growth,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “This new funding cycle

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, recently that the UAE has made significant progress in combating the climate change impacts through its renewable energy projects and several initiatives and programs that will contribute to achieving the goals of the National Climate Change Plan 2050 and the National Climate Adaptation Programme (NCAP), which aim to strengthen the country’s national capacities to withstand the climate challenges and transform them into opportunities that ensure

provides greater opportunity for developing countries to access low cost capital for renewable energy projects to drive the energy transformation and achieve sustainable development.” Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Since the announcement of the first funding cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility back in 2014, this unique partnership has continued to support replicable, scalable and economically feasible renewable energy projects in developing countries.” He added: “The five previous cycles have attracted a host of impressive, innovative and sustainable projects that go a long way in enhancing energy security worldwide. “Following their contibution in advancing the global sustainability mandate, we are delighted to open funding for the sixth cycle and continue our journey of socio-economic growth.” Funding from ADFD, provided through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, offers sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people with limited or no aclong-term economic growth for current and future generations. At a keynote speech at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held from November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE has also laid the foundation for the first waste-to-energy project and implemented the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in the Middle East and North Africa region. “Abu Dhabi Future Energy

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cess to electricity. In the first four cycles, the facility allocated $189 million to 19 renewable energy ventures across the globe, covering up to 50 per cent of the project costs. The loan approval process saw ADFD and IRENA conduct a thorough assessment of entries in close collaboration to select projects that best fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The ventures funded in the first four cycles will bring online more than 100 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and improve the livelihoods of over a million people through providing better access to energy. Spanning Asia, Africa, Latin America and Small Island Developing States, the projects span the complete spectrum of alternative energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass – and utilise a wide range of systems, such as hybrid, off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid including backup storage of energy. The projects selected for the fifth funding cycle will be announced sometime in January 2018. g Company (Masdar), has been leading the country’s efforts in the development of renewable energy technologies and solutions since its inception in 2006, and has invested about $8.5 billion in local and global projects, contributing to the increase of renewable energy capacity by about 2.7 million GW,” he said. The minister stressed that this global event is taking place at a time when the global climate has been worsening, and extreme weather events have been occurring at a faster and more severe pace than ever Gulf Property

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before. This year witnessed devastating hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, ice melting and impacts on agriculture that could hugely threaten food security, he said. “Considering the current alarming situations, we need to act more swiftly to maintain the momentum created by the historic Paris Agreement if we are to translate its objectives into practical measures. Today, let us together send a positive message from Bonn to the entire world through reaffirming our determination to move forward in shaping the future we aspire to achieve,” Dr. Al

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Zeyoudi said. He also reaffirmed UAE’s commitment to the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Paris Agreement and all relevant international resolutions, as well as the country’s determination to continue its voluntary participation in international efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. He called on developed countries to shoulder their responsibilities in addressing the climate change impacts and reducing the consequences of climate change, urged them to fulfil their com-

mitments towards developing countries in order to enable these countries to contribute in achieving the shared common objectives. Various public and private entities in the UAE are also working closely to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel.for energy and power. Dr. Rashid Alleem, Chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), said, “We have a clear strategy to increase the amount of renewable resources for energy generation in Sharjah. “SEWA signed a 5-year

plan with the Sharjah University’s research and development centre, to develop and share the most innovative, breakthrough ideas related to power, especially in the renewable sector.” Although Sharjah did not develop large-scale solar energy production plants, SEWA is increasingly investing in solar technology. “In one and a half year, we lighted with solar energy 27 km of roads in commercial, residential and industrial areas of the Emirate. The project is proving successful and is still progressing,” comments Dr. Alleem.


Zero Energy Building Market to hit $78bn in 2025

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Solar Power for DEWA Water Reservoirs

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded a contract to Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO) for the development, and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be installed at water reservoirs. The installation of solar PV systems on DEWA’s water reservoirs will reduce the Emirate’s carbon footprint and increase the proportion of solar power in Dubai's en-

he global net-zero energy buildings (NZEB) market will have climbed to approximately $78.8 billion by 2025, up from $8 billion in 2016. As of October 2017, some 65,427 projects with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification were registered in the United States. There are four levels of LEED certification, each one requiring a certain number of credits in the core categories, including materials and resources, water efficiency, sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, innovation in design, indoor environmental quality and regional priority. The United States’ green building market is worth US$81 billion, according to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Accounting for more than 40 per cent of energy use ergy mix. “The installation of solar PV systems at DEWA water reservoirs comes under the implementation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to transform Dubai into one of the most sustainable cities in the world. The solar PV systems will promote sustainable development, which will reinforce the UAE’s position as one of the most advanced countries for alternative energy,“ said Ali Al Jassim, CEO of Etihad ESCO.

At A Glance

Dh600 billion

UAE’s planned investment in renewable energy by 2050

$78.8 billion

value of net-zero energy building market expected to be in 2025

$8 billion

value of net-zero energy building market in 2016

$8.5 billion

investment in renewable energy projects by Masdar

$81 billion

value of the green building market in the United States

and responsible for an estimated 30 per cent of citywide emissions, buildings make up the largest energyconsuming sector worldwide. As much as 68 per cent of buildings in London are green buildings, which can be linked to the fact that the United Kingdom was the Etihad ESCO will design the solar PV systems and install them on DEWA’s water reservoirs. “The installation of solar PV systems on DEWA’s water reservoirs is another breakthrough, which drives us closer to achieving the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, that aims to provide 7 per cent of Dubai's total power output from clean energy by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050,” said Christos Mimikopoulos, Executive Director of Solar, Etihad ESCO. The company stated that

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first country to introduce a green building certification system. A NZEB is a building that generates enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy at the property, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The residential sector has contributed to the NZEB market, but it’s the commercial real estate sector that accounts for the bulk of these properties, at more than 75 per cent of the global NZEB market in 2016. Dubai is ranked third in the list of global cities with the highest number of green buildings, according to a new report. The emirate has over 550 projects under LEED certification with London and New York leading the race with 2,600 and 900 buildings, respectively. Dubai has the highest ratio of projects being certified with 81 per cent of inprogress projects across global cities, which indicates a “burgeoning interest in sustainability”. g the total installed capacity of solar PV systems on water reservoirs could reach up to 60 MWp. According to a report by Frost and Sullivan, the GCC’s installed solar capacity is expected to reach 76 GW by 2020. Egypt is hoping to interconnect 2,650 MW of PV capacity by 2020, Morocco is aiming for 600 MW, while Jordan has 540 MW of PV projects under construction with more expected before the end of 2017. With a wave of solar projects already underway across Dubai, the Emirate is set for a green revolution with alternative energy. g Gulf Property

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India attracts Rs1.25 trn in real estate in 3 years

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Gulf Property Exclusive

nvestment inflows in India’s residential real estate sector since 2014 have reached Irs590 billion, or approximately 47 per cent of the total invested money in real estate over the same period, according to a latest report by Jones Lang LaSalle. Total investment in Indian real estate flows stood at IRs1.25 trillion from 2014 till date with 42 per cent have been in the form of equity,

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data shows. Tier I cities have accounted for 83 per cent of total investment inflows since 2014. Interestingly, equity inflows worth IRs200 billion have been deployed in Tier II cities, largely for well-performing retail assets in these urban centres. Pure equity investments comprise just 5 per cent of total investment flows in the residential sector. “The participation of equity investments in residential projects has been slow on account of the general sluggishness in the residential markets and investors unwill-

ing to take the downside risk. With increased transparency and regulations we expect a return of equity to residential markets,” the report says. In recent years, the slowdown in India’s residential sector has accentuated the liquidity problems while compounding the debt positions of many developers. “The Indian real estate industry is reaping the benefits of a reform-driven environment that is improving investor confidence while preparing the template for a more organised and transparent sector,” the report says.

The improved regulatory environment will throw up the right development partners who will be able to inspire confidence in their business, corporate governance and capital structure, to enable pure equity play to return to the sector. “The regulatory environment demands greater accountability from developers and only those who adapt and change shall be able to sustain their business while also improving their chances for attracting private investments. India’s share of global capital flows still remains around just 1 per cent, while


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the number of developers who havemanaged to attract private equity has been limited. The change that is afoot is likely to improve the investment scenario considerably.”

Interest from NRIs in GCC

Interest in buying Indian properties has jumped 59 per cent now, compared to June this year, a survey amongst NRIs, shows. “With the implementation of RERA and GST that promotes further transparency, NRIs seem to be putting

more trust in Indian property with a potential surge in investments. A survey conducted by Indian Property Show reveals an increased urgency among UAE Indian expats to purchase a property back home, showing a rise of 59 per cent compared to June this year,” organisers of Indian Property Show said in a statement. “As many as 13 per cent want to buy immediately as opposed to only 8.15 per cent in June; whereas 35 per cent are keen on buying within next 3 months, compared to 16.23 per cent earlier – indicating a steep rise

of 115 per cent. In all, 70 per cent NRIs have shown interest in buying their dream home in India within next 6 months, up by a mere 44 per cent a few months ago.” The study also reflects a sharp increase in the number of NRI buyers looking to finance their property purchase at 67 per cent compared to 53 per cent last time around; this indicates a leap of almost 26 per cent. Moreover, it was intriguing to note that a large number of young Indian expats, mainly the millennials are eager to buy their dream home in India.

The survey aims to reveal many facets of NRI buying and purchase patterns pertaining to properties in India. The report gives insights into the kind of properties they prefer, to the purpose of buying, budget considerations to if they are actually looking to finance the purchase, etc. “Interestingly so many fascinating and positive trends have emerged through this survey and I think we can easily attribute all this to the renewed NRI confidence in Indian properties. The implementation of RERA has surely given a boost to the mood as the sector is transformed and more transparent now with only credible players. Buyers are feeling more secure and assured and want to park their money in their favourite asset class,” said R. Srividya, General Manager, Indian Property Show. Key findings from the survey shows, the organisers say, “A 10.87 per cent increase was noted in people’s preferences to buy apartments from 46.9 per cent six months ago to 52 per cent now. Whereas homes, villas and commercial properties have shown a slight decline in the intent. “More number of expat Gulf Property

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buyers are eager to buy property for their own use at 65 per cent compared to 45 per cent few months back. Whereas the number of people looking to buy for investment purposes have reduced considerably within the additional investment group and marginally in first investment category. As many as 41 per cent Indian expats are looking to buy within the budget range of 5 – 50 lakhs this time compare to 36.24 per cent last time – a clear 13.13 per cent jump in this budget category,” it says. Younger age group be-

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tween 18-35 years form a significant group of people willing to buy properties in India. This age group has seen a greater increase of 46.73 per cent from only a 24.77 per cent last time. Mumbai (21.71%), Bangalore (11.06%) and Chennai (9.39%) retain their top positions as the most popular property destinations, while Kolkata and Cochin enter the top ten.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing, mean-

while, has gained momentum, the report observed. Launches in the affordable homes (within the price range of INR 40 lakh) category has been the highest between the first and the third quarter of 2017 across the country. “Affordability has gained preference over all other factors and developers have tweaked their strategy accordingly,” the report says. “Around 52 per cent of the launches across the country were in the below IRs4 million category followed by the IRs 4.0-8.0 million category which recorded the next

highest at 32 per cent.” Bangalore, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), National Capital region (NCR) and Pune account for approx. 16-19 per cent of the total launches in the sub INR 40 lakh category across the country. With affordability likely to remain a key criterion for home buyers, investors would do good to look at this asset class, specially with reducing risk. Developers are keen to meet RERA timelines for completion, hence project delays will be minimised. Bangalore based afford-


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and popular in India but the integrated continuing care retirement communities offer opportunities. The estimated senior population in India currently is 98 million and expected to touch 240 million by 2050.

Commercial Real Estate

able housing firm VBHC Value Homes is backed by a number of investors including Japanese real estate conglomerate Daiwa House Industry Co, Caspian Investment Advisors, The Carlyle Group, International Finance Corp, Tano Capital and HDFC Bank. The PE funds and small investors own over 60 per cent stake in the company valued at over IRs8 billion. The developer which sells homes in INR 16-40 lakh price bracket is planning to launch one million square feet consisting of residential projects across Bangalore, Pune and

Mumbai over the next year. New asset classes like senior housing, student housing are newer asset categories to look at in the near future.

Student Housing

The student housing market in India is similar to the market of USA, where the demand comes from domestic migration. While the market is small and unorganised currently, it has considerable potential and cities like Hyderabad, In-

dore and Kota look attractive for this asset class as land prices are reasonable and unmet demand from students is high. With a growing number of women seeking higher education, there exists an opportunity in catering to their specific needs.

Senior Living

Families are no longer equipped to take care of their aged family members. In this changing social environment, concepts such as contemporary retirement resorts are becoming acceptable

The top 12 players combined hold a 52.6 per cent share of lease only stock (total 306 million square feet) and their respective market share is shown in the chart. JLL data shows that 306 million square feet of speculative Grade A office stock is held under single ownership/lease only model; this is more than 61 per cent of total Grade A office stock across the top seven cities. Blackstone is the biggest holder of physical commercial real estate in the country with more than 11.0 per cent share. Interesting to note that two pure private equity funds, Blackstone and Brookfield feature in the top five commercial asset owners in the country. All the top developers have already received investments from large private equity and sovereign funds. Approximately 192 million square feet of office space under construction and announced till 2022. g Gulf Property

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Omkar targets NRIs for Mumbai projects M umbai based Omkar Realtors and Developers said, it has obtained 150 plus expression of interest from the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) based out of GCC for its forthcoming 1,200-plus apartments residential project slated for end-November 2017 launch. The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) approved project, currently codenamed “Passcode Andheri Highway”, consists of 1/2/3 BHK units with the price ranging from Rs8.7 million to Rs 16 million onwards

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(355 square feet -710 square feet carpet area). The project located on the western express highway of Andheri–Jogeshwari east corridor comes with a record 30 plus amenities and an inventory of 1,200 plus apartments as part of Phase 1 launch. On completion, it will be the largest boutique residential gated community in Mumbai. Rahul Maroo, Senior VicePresident, Omkar Realtors, said, “The project with a fair share of inventory under sub-Rs10 million bracket holds strong attraction for GCC based NRI customers

and investors looking at buying in India’s primary realty market. Not only does this ticket sizing compare well with GCC markets; it holds attractive return on investment (RoI) proposition at the current pricing level.” Maroo added that NRI’s are keenly eyeing inventory in areas with upcoming infrastructure developments such as Metro, Mono rail, new link roads connecting the East– West Corridors etc., and Andheri-Jogeshwari east highway corridor is one such key location in Mumbai. The project strategically located on the Western Express

Highway enjoying easy access to domestic and international airports and is in walking distance of upcoming metro. It comes with flexible payment plans and minimal down payment options. The key target customer groups in this micro market spans SME’s, trading community, corporate professionals, media and entertainment industry. The location is one of the most sought after by Mumbai’s film and television fraternity including artistes and production houses. Omkar has a 4,000-strong customer base including pan


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“The project with a fair share of inventory under sub-Rs10 million bracket holds strong attraction for GCC based NRI customers and investors looking at buying in India’s primary realty market...”

Rahul Maroo, Senior VicePresident for Omkar Realtors

– Rahul Maroo Senior VicePresident Omkar Realtors

India locations and global NRI communities. In 2017, the customer and investors traction has been on the increase from GCC region, especially Dubai market, particularly from the business and corporate communities. Currently the brand enjoys a 200 plus customer base from GCC markets for its boutique and luxury inventory. For Omkar, the investment sentiment from the GCC region has significantly dominated brands overall product portfolio accounting for an overall volume of Rs 500 crore plus inventory in the

last five years. The rapidly growing investment sentiment for Brand Omkar includes a healthy mix of end users and investors. According to Umesh Jandiyal, heading Omkar’s brand facilitation team in Dubai, the marked investment interest level from GCC, especially Dubai investors is indicative of high trust quotient and transparency factor prevalent amongst customers for leading branded players in Mumbai’s residential market. “Omkar’s reach out focus directly and indirectly with this region has grown

steadily over the years and we are committed to engaging customers emerging from this region in terms of empowering them with in-depth product experience, advance product awareness, flexible payment solutions and dedicated CRM,” he said. Omkar Realtors and Developers Private Limited (ORDPL), commenced its operations in 2003. The company is promoted by second generation entrepreneurs backed by five decades of business heritage and strong financials. The company’s expertise is showcased through an array of residen-

tial and commercial projects with an estimated land-bank inventory of over 40 million square feet, spread across most premium locations in Mumbai. Over the last couple of years, the brand has been consistently amongst the top three selling realty brands in India’s premier realty market with its market leadership in Redevelopment, Luxury and Boutique offerings in the residential and commercial space. Today, Brand Omkar has successfully designed projects aimed at luxury gated communities. This includes its most anticipated ultra-luxury residential development Omkar 1973 Worli and the largest and tallest luxury gated community in Mumbai’s suburbs, Omkar Alta Monte. Other key projects include Omkar Meridia and VIVE (Near BKC), Vayu (Mahim), Veda (Parel) and Ananta (Goregaon East), Crescent Bay (Parel) – JV with L&T Realty, Dhobighat (Mahalaxmi) Majaswadi (Jogeshwari East) and Signet by Omkar (Malad East). It has already delivered 15 projects in Mumbai and is currently developing another 6 projects with major emphasis on boutique luxury and lifestyle housing space. The company plans to complete development of 20 million square feet, area by 2018 in Mumbai with an additional pipeline of 40 million square feet to follow. The company plans to house another 12,000 slum families across company’s newer sites in next 2-3 years which are in different stages of development. g Gulf Property

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IPS joins hands with MAG Group

he International Property Show (IPS), the Middle East’s biggest property sales platform for local and international real estate markets, has announced its strategic partnership with MAG Property Development (MAG PD) for the 14th edition of the event. IPS 2018 will run from 9th to 11th April next year at the Dubai World Trade Centre, where a 20,000-strong international audience will find an entirely revamped format that includes the ‘Mega Property Sale’ for the first time. IPS has grown rapidly in scale and ambition since its launch in 2001, and has secured the support of major local and regional real estate companies like MAG PD, which has a property portfolio worth in excess of Dh10 billion. Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO of IPS Organising Committee, commented: “MAG PD’s involvement and support is a testament to the growing ambition of IPS, which has gone from strength to strength with every passing year and still stands as the region’s only transactional property platform where real-time sales take place during the event. We are confident that IPS 2018 will be our biggest and best edition to date, as we have gone above and beyond to add value to the event for all participants, particularly by launching our new ‘Mega Property Sale’.” g

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Central Park Towers get more tenants

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entral Park Towers, one of Dubai’s top commercial office, retail and living spaces close to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Burj Khalifa, saidt it will welcome more key tenants throughout 2018. Despite market challenges with respect to commercial leasing in Dubai, positive leasing results at Central Park Towers has given a big boost to the development approaching the end of the year. Central Park Towers said, two key tenants moving in early 2018. Marriott International’s regional office for Middle East and Africa have secured space comprising of 84,831 square feet. They expect to take occupancy in the second quarter of 2018. This agreement represents one of the biggest office deals of 2017 in Dubai. Marriott International will also be the first company with a dual license in the free-zone, operating with both an on-shore and off-shore licenses. The second key tenant to lease at the property will occupy total space comprising 62,533 square feet. This brings the total take up of office space at Central Park Towers in 2017 to in excess of 250,000 square feet. Morgan Crowley, Director of Asset Management said: “We have had a very positive year at Central Park Towers defying some of the market trends with regards to office leasing. With the upcoming occupancy of our new tenant, Marriott International, to complement our existing international tenants such as Merck Serono and Bank of Singa-

Central Park Towers are ideally located at the new Dubai downtown on Sheikh Zayed Road pore, we move into 2018 ready to meet the requirements of other comparable companies. Our retail space is expanding quickly, forecasting 75 per cent occupancy by the end of the year. We have attracted a number of retail and F&B tenants, who have understood our vision to build a strong community at Central Park Towers and have chosen us over other locations in Dubai.” Central Park Towers is home to some well-known brands like Spinneys and Starbucks, as well as new-to-

Dubai brands such as Barry’s Boot Camp, a popular American fitness franchise; Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse brand; Café Frei, an international coffee house; Nina’s Boutique, a niche floral design company, Bombay Shirt Company, bespoke shirt tailoring and Poke and Co, a trendy healthy eatery. They will also welcome new and established concepts such as Krave, Gallus Rotisserie and Mama’esh to their retail community as well as one of the largest Starbucks outlets in Dubai. g


Sudhakar R Rao, Managing Director of Gemini Property Developers, honouring Bindu Suresh Chettur, President of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) – the largest business council and community in the UAE

Gemini supports women’s excellence

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emini Property Developers, a boutique real estate developer, was main sponsor of the second edition of Women Excellence Awards, recently held in Dubai, to honour Indian women who have achieved role-model successes in various fields in the UAE. Several Indian women were awarded in different categories at a ceremony held in Dubai. The award is inspired by the UAE’s initiatives about women empowerment when HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved three months of paid maternity leave for Dubai Government employees early this year. The UAE also has eight women ministers, one of the highest female representation in the cabinet. There are about 23,000 businesswomen running investments estimated at Dh50billion. Bindu Chettur, President of Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC), received the award for leadership and women empowerment in the UAE from

Sudhakar R Rao, Managing Director of Gemini Property Developers

Sudhakar Rao, Managing Director of Gemini Property Developers. “Encouraging women is part of our business philosophy. We are pleased to support the initiatives that recognise and appreciate human talent and inspire others to excel in their fields. Gemini Property Developers promotes honest and sincere initiatives and our business is backed by strong ethical and moral principles,” Sudhakar Rao, sponsor of the event, said. “Women represent

about 50 per cent of the GCC population. However, they make up only 25 per cent of the region’s workforce. They have a long way to go and we are there to support them in their race for excellence. We at Gemini Property Developers, give equal opportunity to women to excel and contribute to the society.” Dr. Yasmeen Ul Mulk, chairman of Mulk Healthcare, was awarded for her contributions in medical science. Gulf News Senior Reporter Sajila Saseendran won the award in the field of journalism. She received the award from Dr. Shafi Ul Mulk, co-owner of Kerala Kings cricket team along Neeraj Agrawal, head of Chancery and Consul at the Indian Consulate in Dubai and Sudhakar R. Rao also gave away the awards Actress and RJ Nyla Usha, wellness expert Smitha Prabhakar, young fashion designer Apeksha Binoj, gynaecologist Dr. Mini P.G., environmentalist Dr. Jaishinimol Bharghavan, architect Dina Murali and veteran teacher Lilamma are the other awardees. g

SPOTLIGHT

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DLD launches 2 roadshows

ith a mandate to promote Dubai around the world as a preferred real-estate investment destination, Dubai Land Department (DLD) has launched two roadshows and a number of workshops in Moscow, Russia on 24th and 25th November 2017, in addition to two scheduled launches in London, UK on 3rd and 4th December. The initiative aimed to familiarise residents of Russia and the UK with the Dubai property market and its real estate developers. Russian and British Nationals are amongst the top investors in Dubai, and DLD has launched this roadshow initiative to promote the Dubai real estate sector in different markets around the world starting in Moscow. Russian Nationals have traditionally been attracted to Dubai’s premium real estate offering, which features relatively lower prices compared with New York, Paris, Hong Kong or Singapore. Dubai’s sunny climate, good flight connections with larger Russian cities, strong health and transport infrastructure, and abundant leisure facilities all attract Russian buyers and investors. The UK is home to not only British investors, but also to a strong community of Arab and Asian investors, and London in particular has the world’s largest concentration of high net-worth individuals. Dubai is highly attractive to British investors. g Gulf Property

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Al Zorah promotes water sports

l Zorah, a lifestyle and leisure destination in Ajman, expands its portfolio of sporting activities to offer ultimate thrilling watersports experiences. Perfect for adventure enthusiasts and family retreats, the luxury destination will host several motorised and non-motorised sports including jet-skiing, wake boarding, flyboarding, kayaking, paddle boating, water skiing, kite-boarding and much more. Catering to all age groups and levels of ability, the new additions promises visitors an action-packed experience at Al Zorah. Unlike any other tourist destination, Al Zorah provides visitors and adventure seekers an extraordinary, spirit-uplifting natural setting for adrenaline-fuelled water activities, operated by Adventure Leisure Tourism (ALT), a destination management company. With friendly, safety-conscious instructors and equipment available on the peninsula, guests can take it at their own speed and wait for winds that suit them. Al Zorah Development Company marks the partnership between the Government of Ajman and Solidere International and registered as a free zone company under the laws of Ajman, UAE. The company’s aim is to develop Al Zorah as a distinctive tourist and lifestyle destination. g

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CREDAI brings 1,000 projects to Dubai Buyers at a property show in Dubai last year. Companies spend a large sum of their marketing budgets to suppor their sales

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he Indian Property Show has partnered with the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), the apex body of private real estate developers representing 11940 members spread across 23 State level chapters and 177 City level chapters in India. The 3-day exhibition will be held on 7th, 8th and 9th December at Dubai World Trade Center, Halls 7 and 8 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm on all three days. Entry is free to the exhibition with provision for free parking. With the aim to present the Best of India to over 2.6 million Indians living in the UAE, Indian Property Show intends to present the widest choice of properties comprising apartments, villas, row houses, plots, commercial and retail to suit every budget and requirement. The exhibition will have 14 state pavil-

ions presenting more than 60 major cities. Getamber Anand, Chairman of CREDAI said: “CREDAI with its steadfast commitment to housing for all, socially responsible business, and above all transparency and fairness in dealing with customers has earned for itself immense credibility and an unimpeachable reputation. I also believe that forward looking business ideas hold the key to unlocking values and ensuring growth.” Jaxay Shah, President of CREDAI National said: “CREDAI is the ambassador of the real estate industry to the NRI community. We intend to use our partnership with the Indian Property Show to help developers reach out more efficiently to NRIs in the UAE. CREDAI believes that the goodwill it has created amongst homebuyers and other influencers is ready to be harnessed for

the benefit of its members. Therefore we are working on creating platforms that have accessibility to global markets. Dubai is a perfect launch platform since it is home to highest number of Indian expats globally. Moreover, Dubai NRIs investing in India is significantly expected to reach a value of US$ 100 billion by 2020, which is a very positive sign for Indian developers.” The show is segregated into state and city wise pavilions and will have a special thrust to promote participation from Tier 2 & 3 cities thereby making it the first ever exhibition to promote all the cities of India in one place. The exhibition aims to display more than 1,000 projects where properties starting from 15 lakhs and above. Projects to suit every budget and requirement will be made available to fulfill the dreams of millions of NRIs in the UAE. g


Emaar has created a new space for the public to view the new year’s fireworks

Emaar to light up the new year’s eve

A

never-before spectacle awaits residents and visitors to the UAE this New Year’s Eve as Emaar prepares to host another edition of its gala celebration. Emaar is celebrating the dawn of the New Year with its all-new ‘Light Up 2018’ spectacle in Downtown Dubai with festivities spanning Burj Khalifa, the global icon, and scintillating water-music performances at The Dubai Fountain. The whole of Downtown Dubai will come alive to the celebrations that will have several surprises in store this year - unraveled only on New Year’s Eve to delight one and all! The façade of Downtown

Dubai’s iconic buildings will serve as the canvas for the spectacular show that is set to a specially choreographed music. The entire show is coordinated and produced by a team of world-class experts. Celebrating the pride of the nation and the spirit of positivity that marks Dubai, #MyDubaiNewYear at Downtown Dubai also marks the coming together of several government and private sector entities joining hands with Emaar to deliver an evening of resplendence. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Civil Defence and Dubai Health Authority, among other governmental

entities, are supporting the event to offer a seamless experience for visitors. Special viewing platforms will be set up across Burj Park, the primary venue of the event, as well as across Downtown Dubai. The public are invited to arrive early by 6pm and to use public transport; Dubai Metro will offer extended operating hours for their convenience. The event will be broadcast live on televisions globally and beamed on big screens in Downtown Dubai. Emaar is setting the stage for ushering in the New Year with a performance that will dazzle the world and put the global spotlight on the UAE and Dubai. g

SPOTLIGHT

R

RSA goes green with solar power

SA Global, one of the leading Dubai-based third-party logistics providers, launched the first solar rooftop on its flagship facility. The project developed by SirajPower, the Dubaibased joint venture devoted to net metering and providing comprehensive turnkey solutions on solar rooftops in the UAE, is the first of its kind in Dubai South. For the occasion, Abhishek Shah, Cofounder and Group CEO of RSA Global, David Auriau and Laurent Longuet, Directors at Siraj Power, hosted a ceremony at RSA Global’s headquarters The power plant, developed and installed by SirajPower will generate 1.1 MW from RSA Global’s rooftop, in Dubai Logistics City at Dubai South. It will provide an alternative source of electricity for the next 15 years and generate 90 per cent of the energy required for the facility. The lease agreement between RSA Global and SirajPower signed earlier this year is aligned with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Shams Dubai initiative. The UAE Energy Strategy 2050 has been announced to boost the country’s ambitions to increase the share of clean energy in the national energy mix to 27 per cent by 2021 and 50 per cent by 2050. g Gulf Property

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