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A number real estate developments have been announced in Dubai recently. The wide scope of these projects underlines the diversity of real estate offerings in the emirate. Furthermore, the recent launches included projects by new players such as Vincitore Real Estate, signifying strong investor confidence in the market despite the slowdown in prices.
Vincitore Real Estate Development is building its first project Dubai, Vincitore Palacio, with residential units starting from Dh475,000 for a studio. The company says it targets “long-term investors and end users”. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), on the other hand, launched Gate Avenue at DIFC last week, aiming to add new retail, leisure and entertainment components to its mix of offerings.
PW takes a sneak peek at these projects, and also gathers the latest updates on the groundbreaking affordable housing development, Town Square by Nshama.
With 175 residential units — comprising studio, one and two-bedroom apartments — Vincitore Palacio is a mid-rise apartment building that marks the developer’s entry into Dubai’s real estate development landscape. The developer says the project, located close to Miracle Gardens and a new City Centre mall development in Dubailand, is the first in a series of residential schemes in Dubai.
“This is our first project in Dubai, but we have seven in India, with three already completed and three under construction, under a different company,” Vijay C. Doshi, Founder and Managing Director of Vincitore, tells PW.
The company had been buying and selling property in bulk for over a decade in Dubai, until it started acquiring plots in 2012-14, and now has nine plots mainly in Arjan and two in Majan.
“After 2010 we realised that [real estate] development was a better option, as a lot of international investors are looking for rental income,” says Doshi. “As a developer, we are in a position to offer investor-driven property. Buying and selling restricted us. The land was well-priced and has now appreciated.
“We identified a gap and created our own niche. We noted that in this market you either have affordable or luxury housing. We’re trying to do a blend of both.”
Doshi says the Vincitore brand is based on three pillars: stylish design and architecture, functionality and quality. The developer has employed German firm TÜV Nord to inspect every stage of construction and the interior fittings.
The developer says the prices will range from Dh900-Dh1,100 per square foot, which is about the standard price of properties in Dubai. “We’ll have around Dh475,000 as a starting price for a studio,” says Doshi. “When we studied the market, we noted that 77 per cent of all real estate transactions in Dubai last year were for properties under Dh2 million — these are the long-term investors and end users we are targeting.
“The payment plan is 20 per cent during construction and 80 per cent on handover. We believe in a property as an investment, not selling a payment plan.”
The project will feature a gym with sauna, landscaped gardens, a 60-foot temperature-controlled swimming pool and concierge services. Construction started in October last year, with MZOON as main contractor. Completion is expected by August next year. “The construction value is Dh58 million, and we already completed around 20 per cent,” says Doshi.
Up next is Vincitore Boulevard, which will feature the local wind-tower architecture, and Vincitore Heights, although the developer has not set a construction date for these projects.
“As a boutique developer, we’ll craft one project after the other and deliver it as a landmark, launching as we go along,” says Doshi.
DIFC has announced the Gate Avenue at DIFC as a premium lifestyle destination, with a mix of retail, entertainment and dining offerings for visitors and residents of the district. Gate Avenue will also provide connectivity to all building podiums within the district.
The project covers a total built-up area of 660,000 sq ft, and will have more than 150 dining, shopping and cultural experiences.
“The Gate Avenue brings a lot of new components to DIFC,” said Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, during the launch of the project. “What we have here is something that everybody will get to enjoy.”
From around 25,000 people, Amiri expects the DIFC population to grow to around 50,000. “So we’re really excited about that. It’s really nice to see a complete master plan of connectivity across the district coming to life very soon.”
The project will feature three integrated zones, with each zone offering distinctive elements and connected by an open-air promenade level.
The North Zone will offer access from DIFC’s popular Marble Walk at the Gate Building, and serve as a meeting point for professionals within the district with a range of retail offerings, high-end stores and luxury outlets.
From the North Zone, the Central Zone will feature high-street brands and a variety of indoor restaurants and al fresco eateries. With its direct connection to the Financial Centre Metro station, the Central Zone will also offer amenities catering to Metro commuters.
The South Zone will mainly cater to DIFC residents with edutainment and leisure activities for kids as well as family-oriented dining areas. In line with this, DIFC said it will also create a platform to showcase Dubai’s art and culture scene, hosting more art and design installations, live music performances and festivals.
Work is under way on the grading and deep services works of the 750-acre Town Square development, as well as construction of 1,050 town houses, the Zahra and Hayat communities, and 1,100 apartments. Nashama said it will soon start construction of 600 residential units. The project will have a total of 3,000 houses and 18,000 apartments.
“By October next year, we should have our cooling plant ready, as well as the first batch of town houses,” says Fred Durie, CEO of Nshama, during a site visit. “So we can commence handover in late 2017 and Q1 2018, when the first batch of apartments should also be ready.”
Most of the homes under construction have been sold, except for a few town houses the developer kept to sell at a later point.
“It’s a 10-year plan. We want to launch 2,000 units and start building them yearly, to keep it running. We expect to launch more units for sale soon, towards the end of the year and next year, and the year after,” Durie says. “We make sure that we have the design completed. Each community has slightly different floor plans and elevations to not all look the same.”
Every nook and corner has been utilised in the quality interiors of the fresh and cosy Zahra homes. “The town houses have an efficient usage of space,” explains Abubakr Sidahmed, COO of Nshama. “The kitchen is smaller as most don’t use it that much anymore.
“We have plenty of food and beverage outlets for people to mingle.”
The three-bedroom town houses launched for just under Dh1 million, but were being sold for Dh1.2 million on average, while the four-bedders went for around Dh1.35 million. The studios went for under Dh350,000 to Dh400,000, one-bedroom apartments for around Dh600,000, and three-bedroom apartments from Dh1 million. Agents today offer a one-bedroom apartment for under Dh600,000 and two-bedders for around Dh777,000.
Durie expects prices to go up a little, as construction prices were up slightly, but adds that Nshama wouldn’t go as far as hiking prices 10-20 per cent.
“We’re still targeting the middle-income [segment],” says Durie. “The market is okay, we’re still selling. Dubai is traditionally up and down and the World Expo 2020 is around the corner. There’s a lot of construction work going on.”
The bright, open-plan town homes have become a favourite among end users, who are also the main buyers of apartments.
“Initially [most of the buyers were] end users [and not investors], now it’s a bit of both, but predominantly end users,” says Durie. “I Am sure investors will get a good yield from renting units out.” Secondary sales won’t be found in the market until June this year, when the first buyers will have paid up 50 per cent and are then allowed to resell.
The developer hasn’t set the service charges, but said it would be lower than the rates at similar communities.
“This is an affordable product so the master development service and maintenance charges have to be affordable as well. On signing the contract we estimated non-binding costs for town houses would be the same as Arabian Ranches, and for apartments around Dh15, but expect that they will be less,” says Durie.
Source: Nicole Walter, Special to Property Weekly