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The wave of new off-plan launches may be occupying centre stage in Dubai, but stalled projects that are now in revival mode are managing to get a bit of attention too. Rufi Properties, which during the downturn had as many as 14 projects on hold, has plugged into the ongoing momentum to make progress with five of them and another three on the way. All of these are in Dubai Sports City, and the developer’s plan is to complete them starting next year and extending into 2017.
“The downturn taught all developers some lessons and paramount was the need to have a bullet-proof model in place that can withstand most cyclical turn,” said Mehroz Rufi, CEO. “We have adopted an investment model to tap funds from third-party investors as a prelude to get the projects off the ground and then move them to their completion phase.
“The first five projects we put into revival mode had already gone through an extensive construction programme before the crisis hot. It was thus easier to pick up the pieces.”
The outside funding too came in handy. For instance, Orion Holding is pumping in Dh280 million in lieu of properties in the projects once complete. According to Rufi, the total investment outlay for its current round of development is around Dh700 million.
“We have a single contractor handling the projects and that’s helped give us cost benefits, and have also signed up Redefine to handle the management and development side of things,” said Rufi. “The big plus is we don’t have any payments outstanding on the plots and all our energies can be expended on getting things done on the ground.”
The three additional projects could be ready for relaunch by October or November. Rufi has not decided on when to launch the sale programme.
According to Samir Munshi, who heads Orion Holding, “It would be best if the sales phase coincided with the projects reaching an advanced stage, that would give us greater leverage in getting a lock on the ideal pricing.”
From a construction perspective, the Dubai Sports City master-development is one of the most active in the city. Occupancy levels at the completed buildings are on the higher side and it is also generating a lot of interest on the rental side. Being seen as one of the still affordable residential locations has also helped build up its status.
Other stalled projects there are being put back together. There is no shortage of funds to make that happen.
For Rufi Properties, having a headstart with those five projects — and more to follow — translates into a definite advantage.
Click Dubai Sports City to get more related information.
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor