Tag Archives: Renting

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.

Dubai Marina is a great place for investment

Top Tips For The First-Time UAE Real Estate Buyer

Buying real estate overseas, especially for the first time, can be a daunting prospect, but who hasn’t aspired to owning their own home or apartment in the sun? The monumental investment indicates that you’ve accomplished your financial goals and are looking forward to a life of security. When you buy a property in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that security is taken a notch higher with visions of a luxurious life in sumptuously designed apartments or high-end hotel penthouses. Whether you’re looking to live a lavish life in an apartment or a penthouse, you’ll want to ensure your property investment is the right one.

While there are many laws designed to protect real estate buyers in the UAE, it still pays to do your due diligence to avoid any problems. Here are our top tips to consider when you’re looking to buy UAE real estate property.


Transact with the actual owner or the official broker. You want to be able to deal with people who either own the property or have a legal standing to sell the property. Make sure that you are communicating with the right people before you even visit the property or make further inquiries  When you’re looking at real estate development, ensure that the developer and the project are registered with the relevant local government agency and can supply you with details of Escrow accounts, and agreements with the main contractor.


Take your time. Consider the market value against the location and potential growth of the area. This will help you buy an apartment or a villa at the best possible price, with a potential for considerable profits when you decide to resell it in the future. Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the UAE real estate market has been experiencing falling property values by 65 percent during its four-year turn. But the glamorous emirate is seeing strong signs of recovery as prices for residential properties in the Burj Khalifa and Marina area shoot up 15 percent in 2012 alone.

Use Experts

Get the expertise of a surveyor when inspecting the property you want to buy. This will allow you to have a better idea of the property’s actual value, and not its projected market value.


And finally, always read the contract before you sign it. If you’re able to, get a lawyer to look at it to make sure that everything is as you expect before you step in.

Buying property in the UAE is a great accomplishment. Ensure your financial security by making the right property purchase. Consider these tips and find your dream home today.


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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 Property Market outperforms Singapore, London and Hong Kong

The Dubai property market has been performing strongly during the first half of the year, with prime rents increasing 3.3% during the first half of 2012.

The latest report from the one of the world’s largest privately owned property companies, Knight Frank, says that Dubai is ninth in the Prime Global Rental Index, which was released this weekend.

The emirate outperformed the likes of Singapore, Geneva, London and Hong Kong over the same period the report added.

In a further sign that the luxury rental market is picking up pace, the index also shows that rents had risen by two percent in the second quarter of 2012 alone.

The global report showed that the top performing city was Nairobi in Kenya where rents had shot up more than 17 percent in the first half of the year and five percent in Q2.

While the numbers only reflect the first half of the year, it is a further sign which shows that the Dubai property market is not only growing again, but it is outstripping many more established cities around the world.

Knight Frank adds that a surge in foreign investment into the world’s developing markets will ensure that the likes of Dubai continue to perform strongly in the medium term.

Another signal in the report which could hint at Dubai’s continued growth is at the bottom of the list. Manama, the capital of Bahrain has seen prices drop back 18 percent in the last year although that rate slowed off significantly in Q2 (down just 0.2 percent).

The protests in other Middle East countries could be encouraging regional investors to move their money to the safe haven of Dubai.

As Dubai’s property market continues to receive reassurance from all quarters are you now looking to get back in to the real estate sector? How has your portfolio performed over the past year? Are the more positive signs in the market being reflected in reality?

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

Where next for rents in Dubai's Office space?

Dubai Office Prices bottomed out?

As the Dubai residential property market continues its resurgence, what of the commercial space?

The average asking rents for prime office buildings in Dubai has remained unchanged over the past year, according to the latest Jones Lang LaSalle report.

In fact, prices have been flat since the end of 2010, with space in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) attracting prices of AED 2,370 per sq m, down from a Q4 2009 peak of just under AED 4,500 per sq m.

Prices elsewhere in Dubai saw more modest falls with prime rent in the central business district (Excluding DIFC) at AED 1,615 per sq m, compared to AED 2,500 in 2009, with citywide rent elsewhere attracting slightly lower prices.

With a further 1.4 million sq m of office space due to come online in 2013, the trend for rental prices in the commercial sector looks set to remain for another 12 months at least, even as more international companies relocated to Dubai as the economy strengthens. Expect office space in secondary locations to continue to fall in the short term.

However the macro perspective for office space in the Dubai property market shows signs of opportunity. As residential prices continue to improve, due to a growing population (50% of the UAE population is under 20) and positive sentiment, companies will need to expand their workforce, and with it their office space in the coming years.

The UAE is the most confident country in the Middle East according to a recent Nielsen survey and the World Bank rated UAE 2nd in a list Arab countries for ‘Doing Business in 2012’ due to the friendly business policies, government supported initiatives and simple registration procedures.

The Dubai economy is also targeting growth of 4.5% in 2012 according to Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee – 50% higher than 2011 and up from 2.5% in 2012.

Having said that, supply is outstripping demand for the commercial sector at the present time and a delicate global economic outlook, especially in Europe, will continue to impact on the short to medium-term expansion plans of international companies.

It is going to take a concerted effort to attract new business into Dubai, highlighting the tax-free benefits, ease of doing business and ideal geographical location to entice overseas companies. The emirates pitch to host the World Expo 2020 on the eve of the countries 50th anniversary will certainly reignite the global focus on Dubai and drive new investment.

Dubai Property Market Surge – Rents Up, Mortgage Rates Down

As the Dubai property market heads towards the final quarter of 2012, market conditions are well positioned for strong and continued growth into the new year and beyond.

Rental prices in premium areas of Dubai, such as Dubai Marina and the Burj Area, are experiencing increases as much as 10 – 15% a year.

Supply in the market is also reducing as the Arab Spring, high oil prices and a recovery in the economy has resulted in more people moving to the UAE.

At the start of the year dubizzle.com had more than 100,000 units available, according to ArabianMoney.net.

At the time of writing that number has dropped to 61,046 residential units for either purchase or rent. While this is not a scientific test of the market, it is a fair indicator that demand is growing across the Dubai property market.

Admittedly, more projects are coming online in the coming months as construction continues at pace, but the government aims to create 950,000 new jobs by 2020, attracting more people to the country and filling the new apartments.

In addition to the supply increasing, mortgages rates in the UAE are at their lowest for many years. The banks are putting liquidity back into the market and you can find a mortgage at 3.99% today – much below the 6.75% and above back in 2008.

The six-month Eibor (Emirates Interbank Offer Rate) has also fallen from 1.714 per cent at the start of the year to 1.485 per cent at the end of August, leading many to think that mortgage rates could fall even further by the end of the year.

Market conditions are well placed for a continued recovery in the Dubai property market and I for one will be spending the weekend scouring through the property sections and dubizzle.com to keep hunting out that dream place in the sun!

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