Dubai developers seed market with projects

Shaikh Mohammad, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad and other officials take a tour at the Cityscape Global at Dubai World Trade Centre and Exhibition halls, on Tuesday.Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The UAE’s construction sector will have no reason to talk about a lack of work. The last four weeks have seen a flood of new projects and tenders on earlier announced ones from developers. The pace has only picked up in the latest edition of Cityscape Global that opened in Dubai on Tuesday.

There was Nakheel with the launch of a residential twin-tower — at its Ibn Battuta development — and barely hours after it came out with the super-premium Palm 360, featuring a hotel and residences at its flagship island development.

Dubai South showcased The Villages and The Pulse, communities that are in tune with the developer’s aim to create living and work spaces at close quarters. They form part of the 87 million square feet being developed — at a cost of Dh25 billion — in the Residential District. (Dubai South also has a joint venture with Emaar to build another residential community with 15,000 homes, which was announced on Monday.)

Between the Big Four — Dubai Holding, Nakheel, Emaar and Dubai South — they now have enough new projects on their books and that should see them through the better part of the next five to 10 years. And even longer.

Another Dubai Government-owned entity, Meydan, is gearing up for its hugely ambitious, multiphase mall development where, according to a senior board member, the focus will be on creating something that will be as far removed from what is available today.

Private developers are putting together strategies that should serve them well over the long term. Omniyat is giving hospitality a big push, by adding a further 500-plus rooms and 495 serviced apartments over three developments by 2020.

“We are thrilled to be introducing some of the world’s finest hospitality brands to the city, including the Langham and the ME by Melia, which will be housed in the Opus development designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid,” said Mark Phoenix, managing director of Omniyat. (The developer currently has Dh16.2 billion worth of projects in progress.)

Meanwhile, another developer, Deyaar, announced a deal with Millennium & Copthorne to operate three hospitality developments in the city, offering up a total of 953 units.

And UAE developer-investors were not just active domestically. A consortium of very high net worth investors under the banner of Eagle Hills now has ambitious mixed-use projects going on in Bahrain, Jordan, Fujairah and Morocco.

The three-day event was inaugurated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He was joined by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

Cityscape Global 2016 witnessed the sales launch of its Fairmont Residences La Marina Rabat-Salé, part of a $700-million project. Construction on the property — the first Fairmont hotel in Morocco — commenced earlier this year and is scheduled to open in 2019.

“The current softness in the property markets — locally and regionally — has not stopped investors to go in for some of the most ambitious projects since the peak of the first boom in 2005-07,” said an analyst. “But these projects are backed by sizeable cash flow at their disposal and all of them have got the track records of substantial delivery.

“Though everyone keeps talking about 2009, 2016 and 2017 represents a major difference — UAE developers now have the maturity to match their ambitions.”

Dubai Realty Inc. is running on ample fuel reserves.

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor,


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