UAE Focus


Abu Dhabi approves $148m projects

Abu Dhabi government is set to pump in more than Dh544 million ($148 million) on major infrastructural projects including new internal roads, water networks, a wastewater system, electricity and communication lines and rain water drainage systems, said a report.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council approved the referral of contracting for the roads and infrastructure projects at several plots in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, stated Wam. The project services 119 units, 96 of which are residential and 23 are plots dedicated for public facilities, the construction of internal roads over 7.7 km, water networks, a wastewater system, electricity and communication lines, irrigation systems, rain water drainage systems, and internal road lighting.


Aces completes UAE quarry work

Jordan-based Arab Center for Engineering Studies (Aces) said its Dubai unit has completed a challenging site investigation project in the hills of Fujairah.

The investigation was carried out for a quarry site located at the top of a hill at an elevation of 400 m within the Hajar Mountain area, according to Aces. The scope of the investigation included drilling of 30 boreholes to depths ranging from 40 to 250 m, with a total of 1,500 linear m besides continuous coring with 100 per cent core recovery using wireline HQ core systems.


BRE opens regional office in Dubai

BRE Global, an independent, third-party approvals organisation offering certification of products, services and systems to an international market, has opened its regional office in Dubai.

The move to open an office in the Middle East comes in line with BRE’s plan to strengthen its international presence. The office will promote BRE Global services in fire and security, in particular the world-renowned LPCB certification brand which covers certification of fire safety and security products for buildings and homes.


Damac project wins key certification

UAE-based Damac Properties said its Hollywood-inspired luxury apartments project – Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts – has won an industry leading design certification from EarthCheck.

The four-tower Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts comprise 1,200 luxury serviced residences in three towers while the fourth tower will house the world’s first Paramount Hotel, featuring 823 guest rooms and suites.  This certification from EarthCheck, a leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, is one of the very few that have been awarded to hospitality projects across the Middle East region.


DSOA completes student housing

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), has completed the construction of a 10,000-sq-m student accommodation complex.

The complex, built at a total investment value of Dh56 million ($15.2 million), comprises four buildings that can accommodate up to 432 students from the DSO-based Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT-Dubai) and Dubai International Academic City.


Dubai tops Mideast office market

Dubai leads the office space market in the Middle East and is ranked 23rd globally, according to the Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey conducted by CBRE Global Research and Consulting.

The Dubai office occupancy ranking has dropped by four places when compared to last year, translating to more affordable office rental space. Dubai’s current prime office occupancy costs in Q1 is Dh280 ($76.2) per sq ft per annum. Abu Dhabi was ranked as one of the most expensive markets in Q3 2015 and has dropped by four spots, with prime office occupancy costs in Q1 being Dh1,800 ($490) per sq m per annum.


New homes at Dubai Hills Estate

EMAAR Properties has launched an exclusive collection of residences with park and boulevard views at its ambitious Dubai Hills Estate. Only 147 residences, comprising one, two and three-bedroom apartments, are now offered for sale at the new mid-rise tower in the Acacia at Dubai Hills Estate. 

A joint venture with Meraas Holding, the 11-million-sq-m Dubai Hills Estate is set to welcome its first residents later this year. The first key launch this summer, the latest homes are part of a distinctive community highlighted by a central park, a championship golf course, a mall, two lifestyle hotels, a boulevard, and trekking trails.


Dubai Opera set for completion

Construction work on Dubai Opera, the city’s first purpose-built multi-format performing arts theatre, is set to be completed this month (August), developer Emaar Properties said.

According to an update on its website, the project is “showing good progress” with the concrete and steel structure works completed.

Located at the foot of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the opera will form the centrepiece of The Opera District, comprising the UAE’s first opera house, and homes within the surrounding arts hub development in Downtown Dubai. The opera is expected to cover 2,000 sq m with a seating capacity of up to 2,000 guests.


Dubai realty market draws $15.5bn

Investors, mainly Arab and foreign nationals, poured Dh57 billion ($15.51 billion) into Dubai’s real estate market in the first half of 2016, according to the Dubai Land Department’s (DLD) transactions report.

As many as 26,000 investors from 149 countries, with the majority being GCC nationals, invested in the Dubai market during the period, the report issued by the DLD’s Real Estate Research and Studies Department said, according to a Wam news agency report.


Deal inked for new Aloft hotel

Majid Al Futtaim and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have signed an agreement to open an 304-room Aloft hotel directly connected to City Centre Deira, the Middle East’s first integrated shopping, leisure and entertainment destination.

The construction contract at Aloft Dubai City Centre Deira has been awarded to Laing O’Rourke and work commenced in early June. The project is expected to be completed in Q1 2018 and will become the fourth hotel partnership between Majid Al Futtaim and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which already includes Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates, Le Meridien Bahrain City Centre, and Westin Bahrain City Centre. 


Huawei, Dubai South in smart move

Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider, has signed an agreement with Dubai South to bring future-city capabilities and services to Dubai South’s Business Park Free Zone.  

Located at the gateway of Dubai South and comprising 11 modern buildings, the Business Park offers commercial space to support diverse sectors including aviation, logistics, general trading, finance, business consultancies, training institutions, retail, fitness and food and beverage (F&B).

The MoU (memorandum of understanding) between Dubai South and Huawei will see the deployment of Huawei’s Smart City and Safe City Solutions, which will deliver expertise in end-to-end network planning and the development of cutting-edge technologies.


Miral signs deal with skyTran

UAE-based Miral has signed a deal with skyTran, a Nasa Space Act Company, to launch the study and implementation of skyTran, a personal rapid transit (PRT) system, for the first time in the Middle East on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Headquartered at the Nasa Research Park near Mountain View, California, skyTran said its computer-controlled, two-person “jet-like” vehicles employ unique, state-of-the-art, skyTran Magnetic Levitation (STML) technology instead of wheels.


Third Al Habtoor City hotel to open

Al Habtoor Group chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor has announced that all three of the luxury hotels within the Hotel Collection at Al Habtoor City will be open by the end of summer.

Following the recent opening of the W Dubai – Al Habtoor City, and The St Regis Dubai at the end of last year, the group chairman said The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City will open this month (August).

The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City comprises 1,004 modern rooms, including 142 suites fitted out with state of the art technology. There are six elegant dining venues offering a variety of cuisines.


Hartland model villas unveiled

Sobha Group, a global real estate development firm, has unveiled model villas at its $4-billion Sobha Hartland project in Dubai.

Sobha Hartland is the only luxury community development located on the new Dubai Water Canal, said PNC Menon, chairman and founder of Sobha Group.

Hartland offers a range of ultra-contemporary villas and apartments with a selection of different floor plans. An uber luxury two-bedroom model apartment is also ready for viewing. The L-shaped villas, which are part of the Hartland Estates community, offer unmatched privacy. The four-, five-, and six-bedroom options are designed to provide ample living space.


Leed Ebom for Summertown Interiors

UAE-based Summertown Interiors has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (Leed Ebom) Gold certification for the ongoing operations and maintenance of its headquarters located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai.

Leed Ebom certification identifies and rewards current best practices and provides a framework for buildings to use less energy, water and natural resources; improve the indoor environment; and uncover operating inefficiencies. Marcos Bish, the managing director, comments: “We are very proud to have received this award – to be the only company in our industry, according to the US Green Building Council (USGBC), among a total of 11 companies in the UAE is a huge achievement.”


Tanmiyat hands over office tower

Tanmiyat Group, a UAE-based real estate development firm, has announced the successful delivery of its new office tower project at Business Bay in Dubai.

The Exchange Tower, which was completed in January, has now been handed over to the owners. Located in Business Bay opposite the JW Marriott Marquis, the tower includes offices and retail spaces that have been finished to a high standard using top quality materials.