The lure of RAK

All residences at Bayti are designed and built according to LEED criteria, incorporating cutting-edge sustainable technology such as LED lighting, solar water heaters and district coolingImage Credit: Supplied

Al Hamra Real Estate Development (AHRED) has a track record of sustained growth. Ras Al Khaimah’s largest real estate developer announced the completion of the Bayti community of upmarket town houses and properties a few months back. Offering buyers an  opportunity to invest in one of the northern emirates’ most exclusive developments, Bayti is seeing strong interests from end users, both Emiratis and expats. PW spoke to Barry Ebrahimy, AHRED’s head of commercial, to find out what sets this community apart from other developments in the UAE and about the company’s other projects.

What are the key selling points of Bayti?

Surrounded by three recreational parks, Bayti has been designed with families in mind. Meaning “my home” in Arabic, Bayti features massive swimming pools, children’s play areas and plenty of green spaces, offering residents all the benefits of a family-centric community, as well as the best of the northern emirate’s relaxed lifestyle. Here, mothers can see their children play on the play areas from the kitchen or the living room. The design focus for the project has also been on bringing families and neighbours together. Located within the prestigious Al Hamra Village — which is already a very close-knit community — Bayti is a natural step towards strengthening community bonds.

Here, we are also offering exceptional quality at affordable prices. We are not compromising on the quality or the size of the units to reduce the prices of our properties. For Dh1.7 million, an investor will perhaps get a 1,000-sq-ft town house in one of the affordable communities in Dubai or a one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai or Palm Jumeirah. At Al Hamra, you could get a 3,000-sq-fthome with a garage, maid’s room and other amenities.

Exceptional value for money, fantastic standard of living, good  connectivity, quality construction and fittings are the biggest selling points of Al Hamra’s offering. Bayti has recently picked up the Best UAE  residential Property of the Year award at the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, the first awards programme in the GCC to recognise completed schemes with an independent judging panel.

What is the price range at Bayti?

Prices for a spacious three-bedroom town house starts from Dh1.55 million (Dh556 per square foot) and Dh3.5 million for six-bedroom detached villas.

What makes Al Hamra Village unique in Ras Al Khaimah?

Al Hamra Village is the flagship master plan development of AHRED. With just 8 per cent of the total land presently left for development, Al Hamra Village is already home to 64 nationalities.

Covering an area of 77 million sq ft, the development includes 1.5km of white sand beach, over 1,000 villas and town homes, nearly 2,500 residential apartments with views of the Arabian Gulf, as well as an array of world-class amenities that combine five hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, an 18-hole championship golf course, a 200-berth marina and two shopping malls.

Who are investing at Al Hamra and Bayti?

Five years back, nearly 70 per cent of our buyers were investors, who either bought for rental income or as a holiday home. Today over 80 per cent of buyers are fulltime residents at Al Hamra. Two years ago, when prices skyrocketed in Dubai, many people moved to Ras Al Khaimah to enjoy a relaxed, healthier lifestyle at an affordable price. While many of our residents work in Ras Al Khaimah, many work in various companies  in Dubai and Sharjah and commute between the emirates daily.

Nearly 35 per cent of units at Bayti are purchased by the UAE nationals, while 35-37 per cent are bought by Europeans, particularly British, and the rest by Arab expats, Indians and investors from other nationalities.

Can you talk about the rental returns at Al Hamra Village?

While renting has not yet started at Bayti, we anticipate a three-bedroom home, bought at a price of Dh1.7 million, to be rented out for Dh120,000 annually, while a four-bedroom home will be available for Dh180,000.

Talking about other properties at Al Hamra, our studios on the beachfront, which can be purchased for Dh340,000, are available for rent for Dh30,000. Spacious one-bedroom apartments are available for Dh45,000, twobedders for Dh60,000 and three-bedders for Dh80,000.

What sustainable measures have you undertaken at Bayti?

All residences at Bayti are designed and built according to LEED criteria, incorporating cutting-edge sustainable technology such as LED lighting, solar water heaters and district cooling. In order to obtain the LEED  certification, sustainability and efficiency have been integrated into the design from the initial planning phase. Every element of the development is taken into consideration, including the building site, the shape of the structures through to the use of resources.

Tell us about the expansion of Manar Mall.

An impressive Dh230- million investment at Manal Mall will see the space expand to 60,000 sq m and work is expected to be completed by the second quarter next year. As well as boasting a modern design, the larger mall will welcome a number of new brands, building on the already impressive collection of shops and entertainment venues, including Carrefour, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Paris Gallery and Novo Cinemas.

What kind of occupancy do you have in your hotels?

We have around 70-75 per cent occupancy at our hotels throughout the year, which is very healthy in this market. In terms of occupancy, we currently occupy the third position in the UAE after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while in terms of room rates, we are at number two after Dubai. In many bigger cities in the world, hotel operators often reduce rates to increase occupancy levels. Our rates have, however, always remained stable.

Source: Chiranti Sengupta, Special to PW


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