Dubai: Developers move up a gear with off-plan launches

Developers move up a gear with off-plan launchesImage Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche, Archives,

Developers are shortening the gap between off-plan project launches in Dubai — the Select Group has confirmed it will shortly unveil a three-tower development at Dubai Marina after the launch of the previous one in January.

The latest, named Marina Gate, is projected to have ''gross development value'' of Dh3 billion and should take around four years to complete. This is also the developer's 10th project at Dubai Marina. Incidentally, Select Group has to date not gone beyond this location.

The frequency of new project launches has gone up markedly in the first quarter of the year. Damac Properties has maintained a steady release of new units at its Akoya development. Recently, G & Co. did so with its villa project at Meydan City. Deyaar made a statement of its own with The Atria, a premium high-rise in Business Bay.

On whether it wouldn't have been better to hold back the latest launch as property values in Dubai were still tracking higher, Rahail Aslam, CEO of Select Group, said: ''We had to find the balance between the cost associated with the launch and start of construction now and trying to get a better unit price if we decided to launch later. We had been planning the launches of the ninth and tenth projects for the last 12 months, and with more than 95 per cent of sales completed at the ninth, we decided it was best to do so now.''

Even then, for Marina Gate, the developer intends to release a few floors at a time, which would give it the required flexibility on the pricing. The base price was not disclosed, and the plan is to launch sales by next month. The three-tower cluster will be adjacent to the Marina Walkway and near enough to the original set of high-rises at Dubai Marina.

Currently, a mid-tier apartment there is averaging around Dh1,500 a square foot, while those in the premium towers would be Dh2,000 a square foot, according to Niraj Masand, partner at the real estate firm of Banke M. E. ''This is one master-development that is an end-users' favourite, and explains why units there in such consistently high demand in the secondary market as well,'' said Masand.

There is also enough going on to keep the pull factor going — ''With the recent opening of The Beach complex in JBR, which offers a mix of fine dining and luxury retail, and expected opening of the Dubai Tram project, we could see continued investor activity in this location,'' said Mohammad Faheem, senior research analyst at CBRE Middle East.

''Although the rising cost of living and high rentals have led new entrants moving to secondary locations, Dubai Marina will, however, continue to garner sustained interest from investors.''

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor,


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