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DAMAC Properties launches projects in Dubai Marina and Riyadh with FENDI Casa

DAMAC Properties Partners with FENDI Casa on Projects in Dubai and KSA

During an exclusive global launch in Dubai this morning, DAMAC Properties announced a major regional strategic tie-up with luxury global brand FENDI, to provide interior designs on projects in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.

The largest private luxury developer in the Middle East revealed details of DAMAC Esclusiva Luxury Serviced Apartments, a 150 metre high tower overlooking the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, which will provide refined luxurious interiors by the Italian fashion house for more than 100 luxury serviced apartments.

The two companies will also partner on the interiors for exclusive private apartments in DAMAC Residenze in the Dubai Marina.

The concept of continuity between building and interior space guides the ventures. The two projects are not only furnished with distinctive pieces from the FENDI Casa collection: the whole of the interior design is conceived by FENDI.

The state-of-the-art projects, which are currently under construction and set to be completed in 2016, will provide the highest standards of refinement.

“DAMAC Properties is thrilled to be working with FENDI to take the standards of luxury home living in the Middle East to a new level,” said Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties. “Together we can bring an experience to the market which the region is yet to see. It is a perfect synergy between two visionary companies looking to reach the pinnacle of luxury living.”

“DAMAC Esclusiva Luxury Serviced Apartments in Riyadh are being made available by invitation and pre-approval to a limited number of VIP’s only, reflecting the quality and refinement on offer. We believe these will be the most desirable serviced apartments available anywhere in the Middle East,” he added.

“FENDI is a luxury house, based on the fearless exploration and experimentation of luxury handicraft and strong appreciation of sophisticated materials. The Riyadh and Dubai projects are a perfect example of our poly-sensorial, three-dimensional approach to making beautiful things,” said FENDI Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari.

Mr. Sajwani was joined at the launch by Ms. Carla Fendi, Honorary President of FENDI and the Italian Ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Giorgio Starace, at a press conference in the Dubai International Financial Centre this morning.

“The partnership between DAMAC Properties and FENDI marks an important step forward in the growth of ‘Made in Italy’ in the United Arab Emirates,” said Mr. Starace. “FENDI is an iconic Italian brand, loved across the world for quality and style. With its sophisticated, top level quality standards it will contribute remarkably to spread the most exclusive Italian luxury tradition in the UAE. The two magnificent projects that FENDI and DAMAC Properties will develop in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE reflect a clear trend of ‘Made in Italy’ abroad, especially in this country, a successful trend which is more and more oriented at targeting the highest echelons of the market, offering top level products that represent the best of Italian culture, tradition and know-how.”

Each project has a specific and distinct identity. A subtle dialogue with the surrounding place makes the local atmosphere, culture and climate immediately palpable. DAMAC Esclusiva Luxury Serviced Apartments in Riyadh is a contemporary FENDI space inspired by Oriental tradition. The project will be managed by DAMAC’s own Hospitality division, a five-star hotel and personal service Management Company to provide the levels of luxury expected of VIP residents.

Whilst operating the serviced apartments within DAMAC Esclusiva, DAMAC will offer owners the personal touch of a VIP luxury 24/7 service, while investors will also be able to benefit from an attractive return on their apartment in the months they do not reside through a rental pool programme.

“The real estate market in both Riyadh and Dubai are again performing strongly, especially in the high-end, luxury sector,” added Sajwani. “We believe there will be a very high level of anticipation for these apartments from nationals and overseas investors.”

Each apartment will be fully designed by FENDI Casa reflecting the authenticity, desirability and uniqueness so strongly associated with FENDI. The reception and lobby areas of both the towers will also be styled by the FENDI Casa team to create a luxurious experience from the moment guest’s step inside.

Both the DAMAC Esclusiva Luxury Serviced Apartments in Riyadh and DAMAC Residenze in Dubai will include the highest standards of finishing and decor including relaxed spa and swimming pools, gymnasiums, restaurants and cafes.

The DAMAC Residenze apartments in Dubai Marina are available for investment now, while to qualify for the properties in DAMAC Esclusiva Luxury Serviced Apartments in Riyadh, applications can be requested on-line.

FENDI was established in 1925, with the first handbag shop and fur workshop in Via del Plebiscito, Rome. The company is now listed as one of the top ten of the world’s luxury brands according to Millward Brown Optimor’s and has more than 190 boutiques in over 35 countries around the world.

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.

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 Property Market – 2013 Outlook

As we turn the corner into the home straight of 2012, www.dubaipropertyinvest.com dusted off its crystal ball and took a look at what to expect in the Dubai property market in 2013.

Recent announcements by the Dubai Government are an additional fillip to a market which has seen sustained and improved growth throughout 2012.

That key word we keep talking about here: Confidence is again riding high (hopefully not too high) and the market is more stable than it has been in the past three to four years.

Executives are starting to think about the direction of the market in Dubai and lay out their plans for the coming year, and supporting that with investment.

Ziad Al Chaar, DAMAC Properties Managing Director, told us that growth is sustainable in the near future, if you know where to look: “2012 has delivered on our predictions at the start of the year – prices in the Dubai market steadily grew with each quarter outperforming the last. In 2013 buyers will definitely be able to benefit from this capital growth, but will need to be very savvy about where they invest and in which projects in each area.”

And this is a key element. While we often look at numbers and data across the board in Dubai, the market remains fragmented with some areas driving premium prices and others yet to fire into action. This creates opportunity for investment, but new clients to the market should be careful and do their research.

Look for the areas where the Government have committed to infrastructure investment over 2013 to provide a guide to where the latest projects will not only be completed in good time, but where services will also be close to hand.

“Encouragingly, there are indications that some of the lessons of the last real estate crisis have been learned,” said Jones Lang LaSalle in its latest look at the Dubai market.

“This is still Dubai and it is as ambitious as ever but we are also seeing a more mature and considered approach which is only going to benefit the long term health and credibility of the real estate sector amongst domestic and international investors and stakeholders,” added Alan Robertson, chief executive officer, of Jones Lang LaSalle in the Middle East and North Africa.

This more stable take on development should hold Dubai in good stead through 2013 with job opportunities created as the cranes swing back into action. There will also be a host of projects actually coming on line next year from developers who focused on delivery rather than new announcements over the past couple of years.

Next year could turn out to be one of the most consistent of recent years. We expect to see less erratic movement in prices across the twelve months with a steady climb of 4-5% per quarter in the most sought after locations.

Do you agree with our assessment of what is to come in 2013? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below, or joining us on Twitter, @dxbpropinvest.

To buy or not to buy? Dubai is the question.

As the Dubai property market sees encouraging signs that prices are returning, is it the right time and opportunity to move from a rental property and purchase your own home in Dubai?

As property prices increase, so do rental yields. This is great for investors who can capitalize on extra income, but is it also an opportunity for tenants to purchase property for themselves.

Financial institutions are starting to put liquidity back into the Dubai property market and RERA, the Government Department in charge of legislating the purchase of property has relaxed rules for overseas investors.

So, should we make the big step? Well, consider how much you spend a year on your annual rent in Dubai, with the likelyhood of a 5% increase year on year.

This could well cover the mortgage payments on the same property and you would own it out right within ten to fifteen years. In addition to the fact you would be using your accommodation allowance to buy out your own property, you will also benefit from the growth you could see in the valuation of the proprety.

At the moment your rent goes to a landlord and funds your living year on year. By purchasing now, even if the property did lower in value for a short period, will it drop by the same amount you would have spent in rent? If not, you would still be better off buying?

Also, there are many serviced apartments coming onto the Dubai property market in the next few months which will allow you to live there for as long as you like while receiving the five-star luxury service that comes with it, but the management company would also rent out your property on your behalf should you decide to take a couple of months away, or return permanently back home.

Certainly the financial benefits of buying over renting prove attractive and now that banks are starting to offer finance deals again, the proposition becomes even more attractive.

If you are reading this from outside Dubai; in the UK, India, Russia or USA maybe, how are your investments performing? What are the current interest rates? What has happened to the value of your home? Is it time to look towards your future by investing in a city which is showing strong returns on property investment?

Are you thinking of buying your own place in Dubai? What excited you about having your own property in one of the fastest growing cities in the world? It it the right time to step into the Dubai property market? We would love to hear your comments by posting about the Dubai property market below or you can email us at editor@dubaipropertyinvest.com