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Located in Dubai Maritime City, Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah, a number of ambitious developments touted to become new landmarks in their respective locales have been launched by real estate developer Omniyat. Pulling in architects and interior designers from all over the world, design is a big selling point of the newly launched projects, although Mahdi Amjad, Executive Chairman of Omniyat and CEO of Omniyat Group, says it takes a lot more than good design to guarantee success.
“We like to believe that Omniyat manages to achieve the highest values for each of its buildings is because of its integral approach,” Amjad says. “It’s not just one block such as the design, it’s the integration of the right blocks to create a bespoke lifestyle.”
Amjad explains the Omniyat philosophy starts with finding the right location, followed by getting a suitable design, selecting quality construction partners and optimally operating the property.
One at Palm Jumeirah
“That end-to-end integration gives you a bespoke experience that is appreciated,” Amjad says. “We try to push the boundary to the next level every time we bring a new product to the market. Yes, it takes a bit longer to develop — it took us two years for One at Palm Jumeirah than normal buildings—but we are very proud of them.”
Amjad says One at Palm Jumeirah is set to be one of the most exclusive residential addresses in the emirate because of its location and striking design, which was the result of a collaboration between famous designers such as Soma from New York and Japan’s Super Potato.
“One At Palm Jumeirah is going to be quite a flagship for Omniyat. Its prime location and being the second-highest tower on the island at 24 storeys allow for an unobstructed 360-degree view of the Palm and Dubai’s skyline.”
The 500,000-sq-ft building will house only 90 apartments, the smallest being two- and three-bedroom residences measuring 2,500 sq ft. Three-and four-bedroom units measure around 5,000 sq ft, while a penthouse offers 20,000 sq ft of space. Add to that huge terraces, many boasting a private pool, including a 10m infinity pool, and it won’t be hard for residents to feel very special indeed.
“The unique amenities have been designed by the phenomenal landscape designer from Lebanon Vladimir Djurovic, adding a unique touch to what I would call a mix of resort and urban living.”
It doesn’t hurt either that the immediate neighbourhood consists of five-star hotels, including the Viceroy and Fairmont.
“We have access to all food and beverage outlets and everything else, as we don’t have a serviced apartment concept. Our building is right at the end, which also gives us privacy, with a fence and access-controlled security entrance.”
Developed under a 50-50 joint venture with Drake and Scull, Amjad says the partnership with the well-known contractor guarantees the good quality of the structure. “We are the project development manager, but their construction expertise adds immense value to the team.”
Bringing on board the right partners and construction contractors for a project is of utmost importance to the developer. The same goes to choosing the design consultants.
“To make our vision come to life, we handpick the best in the industry, such as Fosters and Partners and Zaha Hadid.”
The developer has also opened the door to Dubai for some of these architects. “The Opus was the first mixed-use building for Zaha. We like to be as original as possible by bringing new designers to the region.”
The Opus’ unusual concept has remained the same since it was first conceived as an office tower with retail components in 2007. However, the project now has new components, including the region’s first ME by Meliá Hotel, as well as 95 residential freehold apartments serviced by the brand. Owners can choose to put the residences under the hotel’s rental pool.
“The mixed-use concept reflects the present needs of the market and environment.”
Although the majority of units at The Opus had been sold out, adding the hotel made a big difference to its value, according to Amjad. “It creates a superior experience,” he says. “When we announced the hotel, the value of the offices went up, which was very encouraging. Now we have only a few select apartments left to sell. I think we have broken the record with one of the most valuable prices per square foot in the area with this project.”
While The Opus’ design presented an engineering challenge, Amjad says it was worth the effort of contractor Brookfield Multiplex.
“They really pushed the boundaries. For example, we will be one of the few to have a double-curved façade in the city engineered meticulously by the Zaha Hadid team. It’s been quite a challenge. We’ve been around the world sourcing this façade over the past three to four years. The outside of the façade will have a very special mirror effect, with a pattern of different panels.”
The Opus and the developer’s two other projects in Business Bay — The Binary office tower and The Pad, a branded residential project that tilts slightly — are together worth more than $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) and should be ready for handover within the next 12 months, according to Amjad.
Sterling and Anwa
Meanwhile, the developer is now working on two new purely residential freehold projects, The Sterling and Anwa. The Sterling will be an upscale urban residential address close to Dubai Mall, boasting views of Burj Khalifa. In another first in Dubai, award-winning, Hong Kong-based interior design firm Steve Leung is on the job. Work is underway to prepare the ground for the twin towers to start rising early next year.
“The residences sit on a beautifully landscaped podium, in a luxury urban living setting just behind a garden, within walking distance from Dubai Mall. We will offer studios and a penthouse on the 30th floor.”
The new residences will be ready by 2017.
In Dubai Maritime City, the 43-storey Anwa tower will be designed to adapt to a maritime environment and will feature an art deco look, emulating the design flavour of the 1920s.
The tower is expected to be completed in 2017 and will feature a slim cylindrical design, making the floor plate no larger than 6,000 sq ft. It will have a light feature at the top of the building.
“The small floor plan limits the number of apartments we can put on one floor. We will have one- to three-bedroom apartments and a penthouse. These will again be unfurnished residential freehold apartments, all with sea views, some to both sides towards Deira Islands and Jumeirah.”
The developer is also very enthusiastic about the project’s location.
“It is an extension of Jumeirah, overlooking Port Rashid and adding an active feature to its destination. Deira Islands is also super active and there will be a bridge connecting it to Al Shindagha Tunnel. We think it is going to be one of the very successful locations of Dubai and people will have the opportunity to have a freehold property there.”
Meanwhile, Omniyat is eyeing more locations, in addition to its existing land bank in Downtown Dubai. “We are also looking very closely at new prime locations. For us developers, land is our raw material.”
Omniyat’s next three projects, also said to be worth $1 billion, are already in the design stage and will include another five-star hotel in the Downtown area. They will also feature a retail complex and another residential building, the developer revealed without giving further details.
“Omniyat always has a pipeline, with something at the delivery, launch and design stages. We will bring more famous names in design to Dubai.”
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Source: Nicole Walter, Special to Property Weekly