Tag Archives: Hotels

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.

Top Five Reasons for Dubai Property Market Resurgence

Top Five reasons for the Dubai Property Market recovery

As the Dubai Property Market continues to go from strength to strength, we take a look at the top five reasons why Real Estate in the UAE is seeing a powerful resurgence.

Following the correction in prices back in 2008, the market has slowly improved with 2012 seeing the most impressive growth – around 10-12% in some of the more desirable areas according to recent reports.

There remains a great deal of growth still to come as infrastructure is completed and the influx of foreign investment and foreign workers drives the market.

1.    Increased Liquidity

The Dubai economy remains on a strong recovery path with Gross Domestic Product projected to grow by 4.5% in 2012. This performance is being driven by the strong growth of key sectors such as tourism, commerce, retail, hospitality and logistics.

Banks are now providing funding again – not just for investors in the form of mortgages as low as 3.99% – but also to contractors and developers.

As developers receive funding as well as deposits and further payments on projects they will be able to continue building at pace. Liquidity is the key driver of the Dubai Property market and the banks need to continue to make funding available at all levels to ensure that the current recovery remains on track, at a steady pace.

2.    Comprehensive infrastructure investment

The Dubai Government is again investing heavily in an infrastructure programme, with Dubai World Central spending US$ 4.6 billion on infrastructure alone and terminal two of Jebel Ali Port passed halfway and set for completion next year.

As road networks, schools, hospitals and shopping malls also complete in the new areas of Dubai, investment in the real estate projects will continue to come in. There are many good prices to be achieved in the less developed areas of Dubai which are certain to grow in the coming years as the infrastructure network is finished.

3.    New Job Creation

Nearly one million new jobs are expected to be created before the end of 2020 according to the Dubai Government. As Dubai continues to grow and generate new opportunities, the demand for quality housing will remain. Jones Lang La Salle predicts that around 50,000 additional residential units are expected to be delivered by 2014.

With Europe and America still feeling the effects of a global recession, many ex-pats are looking to Dubai as a place to extend their career opportunities.

According to Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at Huxley Associates, “Dubai has evolved into a lifestyle destination of choice for people all over the world looking for a safe, secure, vibrant, cosmopolitan city to live in, providing tax free income and a high standard of living. This is quite a contrast to many other countries in the world where economic and social conditions are not as rosy.”

 4.    Transparency and regulation

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is launching a new service fees index in this month which aims at regulating service fees, reducing disputes about service charges and increasing transparency in the market.

Following the release of the draft investor protection law in Q2, the Dubai Land Department has released a draft Code of Corporate Governance for Developers. The Code defines the responsibilities of developers and requires them to disclose to investors complete information about their properties, including alternatives in case of potential delays. The Code’s ultimate goal is ensuring more transparency and better regulation of the real estate market.

Further regulations ensure that all lease contracts are registered through a government database and all transactions with the Land Department go through a centralised listing site for available property, all of which prompted DAMAC Properties to recently call Dubai’s property market as one of the most regulated in the world.

“DAMAC Properties welcomes recent moves by the Dubai government to tighten regulation in the property market which we believe will sort out the wheat from the chaff,” said Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties. “As the market in Dubai recovers strongly, it is important to have clear legislation which will instill confidence in overseas investors in particular.”

5.    Confidence

Investors believe in the Dubai Property market again. Government, banks and developers have worked hard over the past few years to bring back the belief in the growth potential of the market. Cityscape Global this year was a case in point with companies talking confidently about the prospects for the future and bringing back projects which had previously been shelved.

All markets, both financial and real estate are driven by consumer confidence and a return to the belief that Dubai is a thriving international hub will see clients returning in big numbers.

What do you think of our top five list? What have we missed? 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 Hotel Rates Jump Nearly 60%

Revenue Per Room, or RevPar, in hotels in Dubai has jumped 59.9% in August as international confidence in the emirate continued.

Revenue climbed to US$109.29 as international visitors returned in strong numbers due to the temperature drop and a post-Ramadan resurgence.

The average daily rate (ADR) of a room during August also increased strongly, up 23.7% to US$184.23 according to data just out by STR Global.

“The holy month of Ramadan ended earlier this August compared to August 2011, and performance metrics were positively impacted because of it, showing a 19.6 percent RevPar increase across the Middle East,” Elizabeth Randall Winkle, Managing Director of STR Global told Khaleej Times.

Dubai’s tourism remains a very stronger driver of growth for the Emirate, with 577 hotels in Dubai creating a total number of rooms and serviced apartments at 75,171 according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The STR report states that occupancy in the hotels was running at 82.3 %, the highest in the region.

Occupancy and RevPar rates are expected to remain strong for the rest of the year as the peak exhibition season gets underway, driving international business with tourists coming or pre-Christmas shopping when the weather is at its best.

As reported on this site on 17 September, the serviced apartments sector is set for strong growth in the coming years as Emaar announced its latest project in Downtown Dubai. The BLVD is already reporting strong uptake with the first tranche of properties sold out on the opening day again reflect the interest that remains in the Dubai property market.

With Cityscape underway next week, we expect the serviced hotel apartments sector to take centre stage as a number of the big name developers are expected to announce their managed properties at the show. With many projects coming on line in the early to mid part of next year, there is going to be strong competition for this growing sector.

With the investment opportunities and revenue generation a serviced hotel apartment can generate, especially through high-end, luxury managed properties in prime locations, it’s hardly surprising that there remains huge interest in this sector.

Emaar launches serviced apartments in Downtown Dubai

Just a few days after we put the spotlight on the investment opportunities in the hotel apartments sector in Dubai, Emaar Properties has launched its offering.

‘The Address The BLVD’ is described as a five-star premium hotel and serviced residences featuring 200 hotel rooms and 542 serviced apartments. ‘The Address the BLVD’ will overlook the Dubai fountain, Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.

The hotel is expected to be completed in early to mid 2015 the developer announced, with sales of the studio, one, two and three-bedroom serviced residences launching on 22 September.

The 63-storey hotel will be 340 metres high and will become the second tallest building in the area.

Speaking at the launch, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive of Emaar Retail, said: “The launching of this project is underlining the positive growth of Dubai’s property sector and the robust gains recorded by the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors.”

The announcement falls a couple of weeks before the region’s largest property and real estate exhibition of the year, Cityscape Global, which takes place from 2-4 October 2012 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

It is expected that other developers will confirm their serviced/hotel apartments products at the show, with many towers already well under construction in the Burj Area and likely to handover their serviced apartment offering to the market early in 2013.

This means that the five-star luxury serviced apartment offering will have been on the market in the same area for more than two years before ‘The Address The BLVD’ will handover to clients.

There is certainly a gap in the Dubai market for serviced apartments with Dubai Tourism stating there were just 200 properties offering this product in the Emirate.

Serviced apartments allow investors to either live in the property themselves, or pass it onto a management company who will rent it out as part of a pooled programme. Owners can choose to live in the property for certain times of the year and rent it out for the remainder making the sector a flexible and lucrative option for investors.

Dubai Property Market Proves a big draw with International Hotel Chains

Dubai International airport has just released its figures for July which shows a 6% increase on last year and the first time monthly traffic has passed five million travelers. The airport remains on target to hit 56.5 million visitors this year and they hope, 98 million by 2020.

With those kind of figures banded around, it is hardly surprising that the International Hotel chains are expanding heavily in the Dubai property market and the Middle East in general.

There are 577 in Dubai at the last count in Q1 of 2012 according to Dubai Tourism and Marketing Commerce (DTCM), but that number is heavily weighted towards the high-end luxury market.

Where the big boys are looking to expand is in the mid to low-end hotels. The cheap and cheerful; allowing visitors from all over the world to experience Dubai without paying through the roof – average Dubai room rates are close to AED 1,000 per night.

The InterContinential Hotels Group (IHG) recently announced that the InterContinental Dubai Marina would open by the end of 2013, but it was what Taras Ettl, Vice President, Development, Middle East and Africa, IHG told Gulf News about its mid-scale properties which caught our eye: “Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are growing at pace, with 50% of our development pipeline across India, Middle East and Africa now made up of these two brands.”

Dubai is certainly in need of more mid-range hotel options, especially in Burj Area and Dubai Marina, where many of the tourist attractions are located, so it is a positive sign that this section of the tourism market is set to be well catered for in the coming years.

In another report this week, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said that opportunity and private equity funds completed US$ 519 million of select-service hotel purchases this year through July. That’s an increase of 19% year-on-year, again highlighting the strong moves investors are making in the hotel and tourism industry.

It is also an area where developers in the Dubai property market are turning their attention in a big way in the coming years. While the majority of real estate clients don’t have the cash to set up, manage and operate an independent hotel chain, a hotel or serviced apartment in a managed tower is certainly an attractive way of getting into this lucrative market.

Dubai currently has just 200 serviced apartments, suggesting this is also an undersupplied opportunity, but there are many more coming online. DAMAC Properties only recently reported that Burjside Boulevard, a luxury hotel apartment tower over looking Dubai Mall in the Burj Area, will complete in Q1 of 2013. The company added that they are targeting 4,000 ‘key’s’ under the management of its new arm, ‘DAMAC Suites & Spa’ which will manage its serviced apartments division.

The huge benefit here falls not just to speculators, but to the many people who own a property in Dubai but stay in it just a couple of months each year. For the remainder owners can benefit from a rental pool scheme whereby their property is rented out and managed by DAMAC Suites & Spa.

The opportunity to get into and benefit from the hotel industry has never been easier in Dubai and will certainly catch the eye of many investors. With the capital growth adding to the rental returns we expect quite a few people to switch their portfolio to be more heavily weighted to this sector, rather than the money markets which are sitting relatively stagnant.

Family enjoying serviced apartments in Dubai

Dubai Hotel Rates on the rise

Dubai hotel room rates continued to rise in July despite a fall off of occupancy during the summer and Ramadan.

According to the latest HotStats survey of full service hotels by TRI Hospitality Consulting the average room rate in Dubai and Abu Dhabi increased by 6.4 per cent to US$188.51 in July 2012, compared to the same period in June.

However, occupancy levels in Dubai fell 11 percent to 70 percent during the same period the report stated.

Dubai Statistics Centre has also recently reported that nearly four million guests stayed in Dubai hotels in the first six months of this year.

There are currently 577 hotels in with the total number of rooms and serviced apartments at 75,171 according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

The hotel industry in Dubai is worth US$10.9 billion according to DTCM and is a driver in attracting international tourists and businesses to the Emirate.

Individual investors who traditionally have turned to the Dubai property market have been looking to tap into the hotel sector for a while, but the price point and heavy competition from international chains has made this impossible for all but the very wealthy.

Despite the large number of luxury hotels in Dubai, there are just 200 serviced apartment buildings. This is one area, however, where investors can purchase an apartment within the complex and either rent it themselves or hand it to a management company who will rent it as part of a pool.

Many of Dubai’s tourists come from the GCC where the number of family members is quite high relative to the international average. These families are often looking for more of a homely feel when travelling, instead of paying through the roof for three or four hotel rooms.

The number of serviced apartments is set to grow in the coming years as demand for five-star luxury within a private space increases. DAMAC Properties is already looking to diversify into this area and have stated that they will have 4,000 rooms under development for management by its DAMAC Suites & Spa arm by the end of next year.

Its first serviced apartment building, Burjside Boulevard, will handover in Q1 2013.

As more tourists flock to Dubai – Dubai International airport welcomed nearly 28 million passengers in the first six months of 2012 – demand for hotel accommodation, and the opportunities to invest in this sector will only increase.