Real Estate

Realty appeal

Aerial view ... Meydan Avenue.

DUBAI and the region’s real estate market appeal is back. This was loud and clear at Cityscape Global 2014, which was bursting at its seams with investors looking for attractive properties.

The event, which was held last month (September 21 to 23) at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE, was the largest since its record showing in 2008. With two additional halls, the total exhibition space increased up by 25 per cent to 31,000 sq m, showcasing the properties of almost 280 exhibitors from 28 countries.

Cityscape has become the most important real estate podium in the region and a platform for the announcement of all the new and remarkable real estate investment projects. Virtually all the mega and master developers in the region were present, showcasing projects worth billions of dirhams, including Dubai Holding, Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), Omniyat, Damac, Meydan, Meraas, DP World, Emaar, Deeyar, and Nakheel.

According to a report by market research agency Research Konnection (RK), the event saw 27 per cent more visitors on the opening day of the event compared to the year before, indicating the heightened interest among the investor fraternity about the real estate sector of Dubai.

The biggest attraction was the Mall of the World, a Dh25-billion ($6.85 billion) mall which is expected to be completed in different phases in 10 years. Other iconic attractions included Dubai Design District, Opera Districts and The Palm Gateway.

The event also saw many of the projects, stalled during the real estate crisis, coming back to the stage. Among them was the high-rise Sheffield Tower in Dubai Marina, work on which was stopped midway due the financial crisis, where sales of apartments are being resumed and almost 85 per cent work completed for the tower.

There was also seemingly higher interest towards off-plan properties, which was further aided by the availability of low down payments available in the range of 10 to 30 per cent, followed by other easy installment options, according to the report. “The heightened interest towards off-plan properties can also be attributed to a safer and well-regulated business environment where all the stakeholders such as government, developers and brokers are effectively contributing towards keeping speculative forces under check and offer a safe environment for investors,” it said.

RK’s market survey was complemented with a few one-to-one discussions with the sales teams from some leading real estate companies such as Emaar, Falcon City, Dubai Properties and Sobha Developers, which further reaffirmed the bullishness in the market.

Here’s a look at the key developers and projects featured at Cityscape Global:

• Meydan Group announced two new projects – Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District Eleven and Meydan Avenue.

The Sterling by Omniyat ... gleaming twin towers.

The Sterling by Omniyat ... gleaming twin towers.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District Eleven is a suburban mixed-use community development featuring parks, private schools and retail businesses. Located adjacent to the urban corridor of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311) and Al Ain Road (E66), the community will include two prime residential areas: 1,500 four-bedroom semi-detached villas for Emirates airline pilots and an additional 700 four-bedroom units constructed in the Meydan Villas plot.

One of the unique elements of District Eleven is the launch of Kent College Canterbury – Meydan, a strategic partnership between Meydan Group and one of the most respected educational institutes in the UK.

The newly branded Meydan Avenue – previously known as Diamond Business Park – will offer a blend of residential, commercial, retail and recreational facilities enhanced by the sports and leisure attractions featured at Meydan, as well as a comprehensive range of conference and exhibition services, and the new Meydan Arena.

Meydan said the construction work has started on the development which sits in the shadows of The Meydan Hotel, Racecourse and Grandstand.

Completing the range of developments at Meydan Avenue will be the new Meydan headquarters, a 17,500-sq-m facility with 11,600 sq m available as leasable office space to local and international businesses.

• Omniyat unveiled The Sterling By Omniyat, a gleaming twin-tower project in the prestigious Burj Khalifa district, alongside three mega projects worth billions.

The group’s prime showpiece at the event was One at Palm Jumeirah, in collaboration with Drake and Scull International, while the other two prestigious projects will be located on prime plots in Dubai Maritime City and Downtown Dubai.

The Sterling By Omniyat consists of two striking towers that feature intelligent architecture and crafted interiors.

“Expressively designed to impress, The East House and The West House of The Sterling by Omniyat will set a new benchmark in residential living in the region. The project also contains two separate retail areas spread over 10,147 sq ft,” says Mark Phoenix, managing director, Omniyat group.

The East House of The Sterling by Omniyat consists of 157 units, including 26 studios, 70 one-bedroom, 42 two-bedroom, 10 three-bedroom, two penthouses and seven townhouses. The West House consists of 155 units that include 26 studios, 72 one-bedroom, 38 two-bedroom, 10 three-bedroom, two penthouses and seven townhouses.”

Internationally acclaimed interior designer Steve Leung is the mastermind behind The Sterling’s interiors. His design concepts pervade every part, from the grand entrances to corridors and apartments. Both towers bear the stamp of Leung and his team’s aesthetic vision.

The twin towers of The Sterling by Omniyat have interlinked halls that make up the lobby, retail spaces, and the elevated gardens.

One at Palm Jumeirah is a luxury residential building will be designed by internationally renowned architects Soma from New York, Super Potato from Japan and Vladimir from Lebanon.

The building will offer 360-degree breathtaking views, with apartment sizes ranging from 2,500 to 20,000 sq ft.

The finishing will be handled by famed interior designers. The combined expertise of these world-class firms is guaranteed to create a unique, high-end extraordinary development.

The enabling works are due to commence within two months.

• Damac Properties, a top luxury real estate developer, saw global investors inquiring about its luxury master developments including Akoya Oxygen, a 55-million-sq-ft project in Dubailand.

Damac Properties had a number of important announcements at the show, including revealing that The Trump Organisation will manage its 18-hole, championship-standard golf course in Akoya Oxygen and that it has broken ground on a 1,250-key hotel in Business Bay, in collaboration with Paramount Hotels & Resorts – a project which will create the third largest hotel in Dubai.

The Paramount Hotel Dubai, Downtown will showcase timeless Hollywood elegance with contemporary styling and a polished integration of elements of Paramount Pictures movies through high-tech media mapping and digital signage.

The concept design of the project, which will be developed on a plot located just off Sheikh Zayed Road in the Downtown area, is already under way with the hotel set to open its doors in 2018.

The sales launch is planned for early next year. The hotel rooms will be made available for investment during the build phase of the project, with buyers able to capitalise on revenue from the room rates when the project opens.