Category Archives: Media Coverage

Lincoln Park on Umm Suqeim Road, launched by DAMAC Properties

DAMAC Properties Launches Luxury Living in Dubai Starting from AED 449,000

DAMAC Properties has launched its latest serviced apartments on Umm Suqeim Road, providing its luxury living concept in the centre of Dubai for units starting from AED 449,000.

Lincoln Park, on Umm Suqeim Road, which will be completed by the end of this year, is near the recently opened Miracle Garden and is just ten minutes drive from the Mall of the Emirates and Sheikh Zayed Road. The project offers a luxurious family living environment within easy access of both sides of Dubai.

“Lincoln Park comes complete with a gymnasium, swimming pool, restaurants & retail outlets and offers all the conveniences of a serviced apartment at an unbeatable price,” said Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties. “The Umm Suqeim Road area is set for major development and growth in the coming years and this is a great opportunity to invest in Dubai real estate before prices inevitably rise.”

Lincoln Park comprises one, two and three bedroom units, inspired by Chicago-style architecture, with a well articulated and ornamented front entrance, flat roofs with parapet walls and beautifully designed roof terraces.

Interested clients can call the DAMAC Properties call centre on 04 301 9999 or visit the DAMAC Properties office at Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina or Park Towers at DIFC.

DAMAC Properties recently announced it was on target to complete 3,328 units throughout the region by the end of 2013.

Lincoln Park is the fourth launch by DAMAC Properties this year alone, following the announcement of DAMAC Residenze in Dubai Marina, DAMAC Esclusiva in Riydah, KSA, both of which are being developed with interiors by Italian fashion-house FENDI, and DAMAC Towers by Paramount – a hotel and luxury serviced residences in the heart of the Burj Area.

DAMAC Properties has completed 37 buildings to date with 7,817 units and spanning 13,945,299.00 sq feet. DAMAC Properties also has a further 66 buildings at various stages of progress across the Middle East and North Africa region. These consist of 12,100 units.

Dubai Marina is a great place for investment

Dubai Still Sits Pretty Among the World’s Super Rich

Dubai remains one of the favourite cities in the world for the rich and famous, according to the latest research.

The Emirate is listed in the top ten countries which wealth expert felt their clients considered the most important. Of those with more than US$ 30 million in wealth, Dubai came seventh, just behind the likes of London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Geneva and Shanghai.

The detailed annual report suggests that it is the real estate market which has driven the increase in confidence of the rich and famous. It says: ‘Dubai (Property Market) has recovered some of its popularity with Russians, but competition from North Africa, Pakistan, India and Iran has been an important factor in helping to drive process higher this year.

In fact, the report goes on to show that Dubai’s increase in valuations at around 20% is the second highest in the world, behind only Bali in Indonesia. Analysts praise the turnaround in the Dubai property market by stating that the Emirate has gone from: ‘the epitome of the global downturn between 2008 and 2009’, to rebounding spectacularly in 2012 ‘on the back of resurgence in demand.

The main reasons for the return to favour of the worlds most influential HNWI’s (High Net Worth Individuals) was the strategic location linking the East and the West and its position as a safe haven in the region.

Bang for your Buck

The report went on to highlight just how much physical real estate you can get for your cash in each respective city – and in Dubai we do pretty well. For a US$ 1 million investment you can expect to be given around 168 square metres. Doesn’t sound much? Well head to Monaco (16 square metres) or London (23 square metres) and you soon realize that very few cities can match Dubai even for value.

But are these global investors looking at Dubai as a quick win city, where they can ride the second wave, make some tax-free cash and get out before the next collapse? Apparently not. The report asked which cities would be most important to the clients of wealth investors in ten years time, and Dubai still ranked in the top ten in the world! 

This is one of the most important pieces of information in here … for those of us looking to invest in the Dubai property market, as it clearly shows that the uber rich are involved in Dubai for the long-term, they are here to stay. And that injection of liquidity into the market will ensure that Dubai remains not just the leader in the Middle East for property investment, but increasingly on the world stage.

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts on the report. Follow us on Twitter and join the debate!

A look at how DAMAC Towers by paramount will look when completed in 2015

‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ Brings Hollywood Glamour to Middle East Living and Hospitality

From ‘The Godfather’, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘Titanic’, Paramount Pictures has become synonymous with entertainment and above all creativity, and today the brand stands for more – adventure and escape. Now, in its 101st year, the global launch of ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ in Dubai marks the company’s first venture into the hotel and real estate industry.

DAMAC's Ziad El Chaar with Thomas van Vliet, Chief Executive Officer from Paramount Hospitality afte ...

DAMAC’s Ziad El Chaar with Thomas van Vliet, Chief Executive Officer from Paramount Hospitality after the announcement this morning at ITB in Berlin

In an exclusive partnership with DAMAC Properties, the leading luxury private developer in the Middle East, and Paramount Hotel & Resorts (PHR-FZ-LLC), the official licensee of Paramount, ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’, will comprise a 540 key Paramount Hotel & Residences and more than 1,400 units of DAMAC Maison – Paramount co-branded serviced hotel residences located in the heart of the downtown Burj Khalifa area in Dubai, a new tourism hotspot.

The US$ 1 billion ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ is currently under construction, and once completed by the end of 2015, will provide enviable views of the world tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa and provide easy access to one of the world’s largest shopping malls, The Dubai Mall. This area welcomed more than 65 million visitors in 2012, an increase of over 20 percent compared to 2011. The number is more than the amount of annual tourists to New York City (52 million).

Speaking at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, in order to launch the project to the global travel market, DAMAC Properties Managing Director, Ziad El Chaar, said: “The history, glamour and tradition of the movies indirectly transcend every element of the design and ethos of this aspirational project. We will employ the same, tried and tested production process, pioneered by Paramount Pictures at the studio, to direct, design and detail a world-class experience. The Paramount brand stands for more than exceptional film and entertainment: it’s an inviting lifestyle.”

The four towers which make up ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ are brought together with a multi level plaza, offering an eclectic selection of themed food & beverage concepts, meeting & events facilities, a screening room, wellness & fitness centres, swimming pools, kids club, retail, and merchandise all featuring the Paramount brand or select partner brands. Each tower stretches over 250 metres into the air.

One tower will comprise of the Paramount Hotel & Residences with the remaining three towers, housing the DAMAC Maison – Paramount co-branded serviced Hotel Residences.

“Most people know the famous Paramount Pictures logo, with the mountain and 22 stars, and they also watched many of the iconic movies the studio produced. The hotels, resorts and residences produced by PHR FZ-LLC will be developed using the creative process honed over Paramount’s 100 year history. Warm service, design, entertainment, food, beverage and spa concepts will combine magically to mark a new chapter for the brand and to set a rare standard in luxury hospitality,” said Thomas van Vliet, Chief Executive Officer, PHR FZ-LLC.

The serviced Hotel residences will feature fully-fitted kitchens and services that also include valet parking, concierge, housekeeping, in-room beauty treatments, a child minding service and kids club. In addition owners can elect to add their residence in the ‘rental pool’ whilst they are away, allowing for rental returns to be generated.

DAMAC Properties has completed 37 buildings to date with 7,817 units and has a further 66 buildings at various stages of progress across the Middle East and North Africa region. These consist of 12,100 units.

Paramount Hotels & Resorts is a lifestyle hospitality company that celebrates the power of creativity in all its forms – entertainment, design, service, cuisine, wellness, and technology – to meet the needs of the new creative spirits of discerning luxury travellers.

Further information is available at www.damacproperties.com or by visiting the Paramount Hotels & Resorts stand at ITB Berlin from 6-10 March 2013 at Hall Nine, Stand 317.

Emaar clients walk away from new property launch in disgust

Repost from Big News Network.com

Emaar, Dubai’s biggest property developor set the emirate on fire on Saturday but not in the way it intended.

The property giant, amidst heavy security, was launching its latest serviced residential apartments tower, proposed for a site opposite the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

After the debacle in September last year when a similar project was launched and hundreds of people camped outside the Emaar sales office for three days to get set, the company announced this time buyers would have to pre-register. What followed was a disaster, with one prominent Dubai real estate agent describing the actions of Emaar as “disgraceful.”

Registration was online and it took place on Wednesday at 10am. Emaar then vetted the applicants, estimated at around 12,000, and allocated tokens to those that had been successful. With 280 apartments on offer the developer it was assumed would have issued 280 tokens, and perhaps a number to offset those clients that didn’t turn up or didn’t proceed to buy an apartment. With approximately 300 to 350 tokens allocated it should have all gone swimmingly.

What the developer didn’t tell clients was that they had issued three lots of tokens. Successful registrants were told they had to be at the Emaar sales office at 8am. When they arrived they found long queues stretching from the front entrance to the three main buildings in the Emaar complex right around the outside of the buildings. The developer issued red, blue and yellow tokens. While the red queue moved swiftly through to the sales office to look over plans, prices and contracts, several hundred, possibly a thousand people, waited outside penned up in long lines for several hours without any communication from Emaar as to what was happening. Trays of Chicken sandwiches and croissants were passed around and bottles of water but there was no-one to tell the throngs what was going on.

Then as it was approaching seven hours in the queues, at about 2.40pm, a crowd marshal got up on her feet, without any amplification, and said the red tokens were up to number 155 and they had yet to start on the blues, and the yellows it seemed may not get a start at all. The Emaar employee stressed that people were welcome to stay but there was little likelihood they would get set. Angry scenes followed as frustrated buyers left in disgust, not so much because they had missed out, but they say because of the way they were treated. Scores were heard muttering, and others making their feelings known more loudly, indicating they would not take part in an Emaar property launch again.

For those that stayed however, in the ever-dwindling queues, and those that had made it inside into the sales office, the worst was yet to come. About 4pm, when the red tokens were up to about 175, an Emaar representative announced all apartments had been sold. There was a complete uproar as angry clients and their agents stormed Emaar personnel seeking an explanation. Agents had been told Emaar was restricting sales of the apartments to one per client, yet before even one third of the tokens had been dealt with all the apartments were gone.

Earlier in the day it had been indicated quotas of apartments had been allocated to each token category, however it appeared at the end of the day only those holding red tokens would get apartments, and clearly the one apartment per client rule didn’t apply to them.

The fact that Emaar may have been abusing their clients, many of whom have been with them for years, some even buying whole floors off them, didn’t seem to register. Management and marketing executives would have been well aware within a couple of hours of opening their doors, if not even before they opened, that there was no prospect of around 900 registrants being able to be dealt with by sales representatives, let alone complete purchases. An Emaar employee when asked about the situation, confirmed the company intended for it to happen this way as they wanted all the hype, and the subsequent publicity about hundreds being turned away. There were even suggestions Emaar limited the number of units on sale, preferring to establish the hype and then sell more units into the open market later.

What may have been deemed to have been a top marketing strategy ultimately turned into a public relations nightmare with more damage being done to the developer’s reputation, notwithstanding it sold whatever number of apartments it intended to. The company may not be so quick to sell the next project. It is unlikely those that took part Saturday, many of which had travelled from all over the UAE, elsewhere in the Gulf and as far away as Iran and Russia, would be lulled into going through a similar exercise again. One prominent real estate agent who did not want to be named said she and her colleagues in the industry were “appalled,” at the way in which Emaar handled the launch, describing it as a “con,” and a “disgrace.”

The developer was also under scrutiny as the emirate’s property regulator, RERA, requires payment programmes for off-the-plan properties to be set commensurate with construction milestones achieved. Emaar however was hitting clients with a 15% up-front payment, followed by a 10% payment in June, and then a 15% instalment when the construction is 10% completed. Investors will therefore have forked out 40% of the cost of their apartments while Emaar, which is state backed, will have only completed 10% of the construction.

The tower itself, The Address Residence Fountain Views comprises 60 floors of one, two, three and four bedroom apartments and penthouses. It will be the only Address property developed by Emaar to date to not include a hotel, however hotel services will be provided to the complex by Emaar’s hotel chain, The Address Hotels and Resorts. The company will also operate a serviced apartments pool in the tower.

Let us know if you had a similar experience at the launch; we would love to hear from you. You can also follow us @DXBPropInvest on Twitter.

UAE Construction Sector Set for Growth in 2013 as Increase in Middle East’s HNWI’s Drives Investment

The construction sector in the Middle East is expected to grow again this year, providing a significant boost to the countries non-oil contribution to GDP, the latest report from KFH-Research suggests.

Analysts stated that industrial production will ‘improve gradually’, but the non-oil sector will be ‘more significant.

All signs point to a resurgence in the real estate market, particularly in the well-developed luxury areas within Dubai. 2012 saw the most growth in pricing across the board in more than four years.

“We forecast moderate economic growth for the UAE, at three percent in 2012, conservatively lower than the Central Bank’s forecast that growth maybe exceeding 3.5 percent,” KFH-Research said.

The strength in the market is supported by the growth of HNMI’s in the Middle East who are again looking to the property asset classes as a means of secure long-term capital growth.

The report showed that in the Middle East, the number of HNWI’s has increased by 2.7 percent year-on-year to 450,000. Total financial wealth of the Middle East HNWI’s grew by 0.7% year-on-year to US$ 1.7 trillion.

It is thought there are around one million wealthy households in the GCC region, with total investable assets of between US$ one trillion to US$ 1.2 trillion. Of these, around 260,000 to 280,000 households have total assets of more than US$ one million in each household.

By country, Saudi Arabia has the most number of wealthy households, estimated between 600,000 and 625,000, followed by the UAE (200,000-220,000) and Kuwait (120,000-130,000). Naturally, Saudi Arabia also has the highest total investable assets in the region, estimated at US$ 500 billion to US$ 550 billion, followed by the UAE (US$ 260 billion to US$ 280 billion) and Kuwait (US$ 140 billion to US$ 150 billion).

As the wealth of the GCC high spenders increases again we expect to see further investment in the Dubai property market, which is considered a safe haven within the region and secure place for investment. This will support the continued growth in the luxury sector of the market, with serviced hotel apartments a prime investment opportunity for those looking to own a high-end, well serviced property and the flexibility of earning rental returns while they are not living in the apartment.

What impact do you see on the Dubai Property Market in 2013? What is your own personal experience of the price rises seen over the past 12 months? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below, or joining us on Twitter, @dxbpropinvest

The 53-storey towers to be built in the Burj Area

The Distinction – The latest project to hit the luxury Dubai Property Market

DAMAC Properties is the latest luxury developer to step forward with a new project announcement, and The Distinction is set to wow the growing number of people returning to the Dubai Property Market.

A stunning 195 metre, 53-storey, iconic tower overlooking the Burj Area, with views taking in the vista of the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, The Distinction is set for completion early in 2015.

The Distinction will come with 295 luxury serviced hotel apartments, including studios, one, two and three bedrooms. There are also two four bedroom penthouses.

DAMAC Properties has timed the announcement well – with the market on its strongest upward curve in four years. There is a great deal of interest and excitement about the Dubai market at the moment and especially the Burj Area which DAMAC recently described as one of the most desirable locations in the world.

Average prices in Dubai have increased by 14 percent in the first nine months of the year, according to the Reidin Residential Sales Indices, with the rental market also seeing strong growth with yields up as much as 24 percent in prime locations across Dubai according to a recent report by CB Richard Ellis.

DAMAC Properties is certainly focusing on the top-end serviced apartments sector of the market and has recently announced it will have more than 4,000 units of this type under development by the end of next year.

Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties, said: “Luxury projects in prime locations are driving the UAE property resurgence and ‘The Distinction’ will provide the quality of finish and service expected at this end of the market. The serviced hotel apartments at ‘The Distinction’ will offer the highest levels of customer service, luxury and opulence placing it among the premium products DAMAC Properties has on the market today.”

You can experience the views you can expect from The Distinction by checking out this cool time lapse from one of the towers next door.

What do you think of The Distinction? Do you think luxury serviced apartments will take off? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below, or joining us on Twitter, @dxbpropinvest.

Dubai Metro is driving property prices in Dubai. Here is passes DAMAC Properties' 'The Waves' in Dubai Marina

Transport Networks Driving Dubai Property Market

Improvements to the transport network in and around Dubai have had a dramatic impact on pricing, according to the Roads and Transport Authorities.

Property close to the Dubai Metro, which opened on 09/09/09, is already seeing a strong increase with prices appreciating anywhere from 7 – 34% a report concluded. Up to 300,000 people a day are now using the metro, making it one of the most used forms of public transport in the country.

It may seem obvious that the metro will have helped to increase prices, but many ‘experts’ were sceptical of the impact of the metro before, and even shortly after, it opened. It was thought that they would be seen as an eyesore, increase traffic congestion around the stations and no one would use it due to the obsession with big cars and cheap taxis.

However, people have been using the metro in their millions to get across Dubai and real estate has seen a good boost as well.

It is a further sign that infrastructure development has a dramatic impact on pricing and improvements to standard of living; something the top developers have been pushing for quite a while.

There is a currently a two-tier structure to Dubai’s real estate market, with the main areas along the coast, and adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road and the metro demanding the highest prices, with the developments slightly further into the mainland offering great value as infrastructure is still in development.

The metro service in Dubai Marina looks set to come on-line in the New Year, with talk of the rail network linking Dubai and Abu Dhabi also set to get under-way at full steam shortly, the UAE’s transit network is set to be one of the most advanced in the Middle East.

Where as in 2008/9 and before, there was no need to even think about public transport in Dubai when considering a place to call home, it is now becoming a more important factor for all of the Dubai property market – not only for increasing value in the property but also for easier access around the Emirate.

How often do you use the Dubai metro? Have you seen an increase in your property since its completion? Have the prices risen because of the new network? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below, or joining us on Twitter, @dxbpropinvest.

Dubai’s Bold Move Forward

Dubai has stepped back into the limelight in the past couple of days, reaffirm its unwavering vision for the future.

In the past 72 hours His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved two major development projects which, it is hoped, will drive Dubai onto the next level.

While we saw a hint of Dubai starting to get back on its feet and talk more confidently about the improving fiscal situation and desire to build again at Cityscape last month, the last week has blown that out of the water and shown just how far Dubai is willing to go.

Firstly, there was the Mohammad Bin Rashid (MBR) City which will contain up to 100 new hotels and house the world’s largest mall. The mall alone could cost in the region of AED 10 billion according to industry experts.

Then, just a couple of days later this was followed up by the announcement of a new entertainment hub costing another AED 10 billion in Jebel Ali which will be home to five distinct theme parks. The first phase will be Dubai Adventure Studios, originally announced in December 2011, and is expected to be completed as soon as 2014.

Too much, too soon?

We must say that, while we remain some of the most optimistic people involved in the Dubai Property Market, this does all sound very ambitious, even for Dubai. Has the market really recovered so much that tens of billions of investment is justifiable? Where will the market come from as Europe, America and even parts of the Far East struggle to shake of the remnants of the Global Financial Crisis? Is the GCC market big enough to drive enough demand?

Well, while even we get a little nervous around should big aspirations and dreams, a few reports came out which actually support increased growth and demand in Dubai.

The UAE is ranked first in the Arab world and 18th globally as the best place to be born in 2013, it is the 26th ‘best country for doing business, it enjoys the world’s easiest tax structure and Dubai is experiencing its fastest rate of growth since 2007. Four reports in one week all signifying the UAE’s place on the world map.

The leaders of the UAE have remained steadfast in their vision to make Dubai and the UAE one of the best places on earth. The global crisis was just a curve in the road on that mission and it seems the country is leading its way back to greatness. We hope this strength of character proves well placed and the announcements from the past week come to fruition.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this and any other news on Dubai Property Invest. And don’t forget to also join us on Twitter @dxbpropinvest

Dubai’s Economic Recovery Drives Forward

Senior officials within the Dubai government are reaffirming the emirates growth estimates with renewed forecasts outstripping projections made prior to the downturn in 2008.

The government says nominal growth domestic product will hit AED490 billion (US$133 billion) by 2015, up from AED367 billion in 2011, with Dubai averaging real growth of 4.5 – 5% a year through 2015.

In 2007, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum targeted a GDP of US$108 billion for 2015.

“Dubai’s economy is well diversified and resilient to external as well as domestic shocks,” said Sami al-Qamzi, director general of Dubai’s department of economic development. “We think that growth will be more sustainable, albeit at a more moderate pace than in previous years.”

Given the Dubai property  market is so closely tied to the overall economy, a further recovery in the real estate sector would allow Dubai to return to its pre-2008 strategy of raising cash through land sales.

The economy minister, Sultan al-Mansoori, says the UAE is also introducing laws to boost investor confidence and better provide for its nationals. The country is also working finalise a companies’ law, which will open up some sectors to 100% foreign ownership.

There appears to more bullish tone from the Dubai government with the traditional revenue streams from trade, tourism and transportation have now been followed by the signs of recovery in real estate and construction.

Confidence has grown since the Arab Spring restored Dubai’s status as a regional haven, prompting a tourism revival with arrivals up another 10% in the first half of 2012.

While the recovery remains relatively slow, it is also returning at a stronger and more stable pace, allowing companies to built their operations for the medium to long term wit a renewed confidence.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this and any other news on Dubai Property Invest. And don’t forget to also join us on Twitter @dxbpropinvest

UAE Property Market Grows in Confidence, thanks to more stringent regulation

Regulation, clear structures and international promotion are driving the resurgence of confidence in the Dubai Property Market, according to industry experts.

DAMAC Properties Senior Vice President, Niall McLoughlin says this morning that: “as the Dubai market recovers strongly it is important to have clear legislation which will instill confidence in overseas investors in particular.”

The Dubai Land Department, through its regulatory arm the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), has recently introduced a number of processes and legislation designed to inject confidence and trust back in to the Dubai Property market.

These include specific Escrow accounts for individual projects, providing residency to overseas buyers of property worth more than AED one million, ensuring that all lease contracts are registered through a government database and all transactions go through a centralized listing site for available property.

In an interview with Gulf News today, the chairman and CEO of Falconcity, Salem Al Mousa Al Mousa said that local and international investors are returning to the market because of firm foundations of the UAE economy and leadership across financial, banking, legal, real estate development and infrastructure levels.

His comments come in the week the World Bank released its ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Report‘, which has seen the UAE move from 33rd to 26th globally. Its Global competitiveness report added that the country was also the 12th easiest country to register property.

The World Bank report is a very well respected resource and senior analysis believe an improvement in the rankings can directly affect Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), helping to grow economies.

“Real competitive economies drive economic prosperity to its people,” said Abdullah Lootah, Secretary General of Emirates Competitive Council. “Federal and local government entities in the UAE have been exerting a great amount of effort to enhance processes and boost productivity and efficacy for the purpose of offering better service to the public.”

As the economy improves, infrastructure reaches completion in certain areas and tighter legislation is brought in, the real estate landscape in Dubai will continue to improve. Confidence is the vital factor in the success of any economy in the world. As the first investors return, more will follow, bringing liquidity back and increasing the pace of growth.

Is the Dubai property market being over-talked? Is confidence too high? Is now the best time to invest in the past four years? We would love to hear your thoughts on this and any other news on Dubai Property Invest. And don’t forget to also join us on Twitter @dxbpropinvest