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DUBAI: The promoters of Sparkle Towers, which has just launched sales of select floors, is not unduly concerned about the general slowdown that has afflicted high-end off-plan projects in Dubai. They believe there are sound reasons for an upbeat appraisal of prospects.
“It’s one of the last plots that is being developed in Dubai Marina and that too surrounded by water on three sides,” said Tariq Ramadan, Chairman of Tharaa Holding and President of RichVille Real Estate, which is handling the sales programme for Sparkle on behalf of the developer, Tebyan. “And because there’s limited new supply at Dubai Marina — unlike in, say, Business Bay, with a significant number of plots — many high net investors remain interested in what is being offered.”
And then there is the additional spark created by Sparkle’s tie-in with Swarovski, the prestige crystal brand which is bringing in quite a lot of its design concepts both to the exterior and the interiors. The result, Ramadan says, is to literally light up the Dubai skyline once the project gets completed by late 2016. The plot was acquired by Tebyan, which was set up by Saudi investors, in 2007.
“The Swarovski imprint is clearly not limited to the interiors, the lobby and the lobby; in fact they recommended the lighting consultants for the project,” said Ramadan. “Swarovski was very much involved right at the design stage itself and everyone involved is working towards the same goal — create a genuine masterpiece.”
The promoters are also playing a waiting game on the sales programme. Only a handful of developers are being released at the project, so that buyer interest gets the space to build up gradually. Since it is an off-plan launch, the pricing has been kept “20-30 per cent off from what a completed luxury property is fetching in Dubai Marina currently,” said Ramadan. Based on market feedback, transactions are averaging around Dh1,800-Dh2,000 for the posh properties.
“Construction is making progress and we have just confirmed Sun as the main contractor,” said Ramadan. “Once we develop sufficient buyer interest, we will be launching further sales phases and look to close the gap in pricing with completed properties in Dubai Marina. It’s also an incentive for buyers to get in now rather than at a higher mark-up later.”
Expected to entail a development cost of under Dh1 billion, Sparkle features three structures — one of 29 storeys, another of 14 levels and a third with four. The promoter confirmed that the smallest of the three will be sold to a single investor.
According to Knight Frank, the consultancy, in the first nine months of this year, 460 transactions were conducted in Dubai Marina at an average value of Dh1,590 a square foot, compared with 892 for the same period in 2013 at Dh1,355 a square foot.
“In regard to price gains, it has not grown when you look at the second and third quarters of 2014 — Dh1,630 per square foot against Dh1,590,” said a Knight Frank spokesperson. “On a quarter-to-quarter basis it dropped by 2.5 per cent, but when looking at it year-to-year, it has gone up by 17.3 per cent.”
The firm is currently advising on an apartment unit within the Emirates Crown high-rise, and with a listed price of Dh28.5 million.
Learn about more developments on waterfront properties.
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor