Omani firm wins Asian Beach Games contract
Larsen & Toubro (Oman), the joint venture between L&T and Zubair Corporation, has secured orders cumulatively valued at $243m. The order includes the construction of a hotel and apartments for the Asian Beach Games, marine apartment buildings, administrative buildings for the games, an athletes’ village and a mosque. The second Asian Beach Games complex is being developed by the Oman Tourism Development Company.
No hotel conversion for Abu Dhabi villas
Landlords in Abu Dhabi are not being allowed to convert residential buildings into hotel apartments. Mohammad Rashid Al Nuaimi, head of the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee in Abu Dhabi, said the department has rejected a number of applications from landlords who wanted to evict tenants to convert the property into hotel apartments.
Aldar eyes middle income buyers
Aldar Properties has announced plans to develop projects catering to middle income earners, according to news reports. Its Al Raha Beach and Yas Island projects will market units for middle income groups. Aldar’s pledge will see the launch of Al Falah, a development dedicated to the middle-income segment.
Dubai property prices fall 23%
A new report by HSBC has found that Dubai property prices fell 23% last month from their record high in September. Prices for Dubai villas fell 30%, while the price tags for Dubai apartments were 20% lower than their September peak, the report said. It was the first time that a survey measured actual prices at which properties were bought and sold.
Dubai rent ‘capped at 20% maximum’
According to a decree regarding rental prices in Dubai, rents that are up to 25% less than the lowest band of the newly released Real Estate Regulatory Authority index average, and most new 2008 contracts, will remain frozen. Beyond this rents will go up by 5% for every ten percentile difference, up to a maximum of 20% to ensure that long term tenants are not hit with excessive increases.
Fitch gives stable credit outlook to GCC realty firms
Fitch Ratings yesterday assigned stable credit outlook to construction and property firms in the GCC and expects them to continue generating sufficient operational cash flow to support upcoming debt maturities in the short to medium term. The global ratings agency said the extent and severity of the property market slowdown will vary from one GCC state to another. In addition, the majority of Fitch-rated issuers in the region are either fully or partially owned by governments and are likely to be able to rely on support from their respective sovereigns if required. Relevant issuers’ ratings could thus be revised if a sovereign’s rating changes.
Emaar to raise up to $2bn from bond sales
Emaar Properties, the UAE’s largest real estate developer, plans to raise up to $2bn by selling Islamic bonds. A prospectus for setting up a US$2 billion trust certificate programme by a unit of Emaar was approved by the UK Listing Authority, the Dubai-based company said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. A unit of HSBC Holdings will serve as the principal paying agent for the programme, Emaar said.
Dubai issues new law on rents
Dubai tenants whose home or commercial property is less than a quarter below the average price for a similar premises will not have to pay any increase in rent this year, according to a decree issued by the ruler of the emirate. The decree is aimed at curbing the increase in property prices within Dubai to maintain a balance between the interests of both landlords and tenants and to ensure stability of the real estate sector, said Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, director of the Dubai Ruler’s Court. The decree provides for a freeze of rent prices in 2009 for tenants renewing contracts signed in 2008. It states that the rental value of those properties must be equal to or less than 25% of a corresponding rent average established by the rental index. The guideline for the rental index was issued on Wednesday last week by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority and is expected to replace the rent cap.
Istithmar makes employee cuts
According to a spokesperson from Istithmar World, the company has reduced its workforce by 13 staff members. This amounts to 10% of its total workforce. The company claims that this is a short term solution and sources will be reallocated when the economic recovery begins.
RAK construction slowed by rain
Following an incident where two workers were struck by lightening, authorities in the UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah have asked construction companies to limit their operations during the rainy season. Saeed Rashed Al Nuaimi, Chief of Labour Office in Ras Al Khaimah, said when it rains it is common for scaffolding to fall and walls to collapse at construction sites.
DIB, RERA host escrow forum
Dubai Islamic Bank in partnership with Real Estate Regulatory Agency hosted over 50 real estate developers at a recent escrow forum. The forum provided a platform for DIB’s escrow account customers to communicate with RERA. As one of the largest escrow players in the market, DIB has been actively involved with consulting RERA on general issues related to the escrow regulations.
Dubai-Jeddah Towers to move ahead
The Dubai-Jeddah Towers project in Saudi Arabia will be implemented on schedule, according to the CEO of Al Shoula Group, owner of the project, Gulf News has reported. Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Misha’al, CEO of the company has denied halting the SR7.24bn project as reported on television channels. The project is expected to be completed within three years.
Tiger Woods Dubai completes bulk earth works
The Tiger Woods Dubai, a member of Tatweer Dubai, today announced it has successfully completed bulk earth works at the 55 million sq. ft. golf community development, enabling the project to progress to the next phase of construction. All remaining bulk earth works are now complete on the road network, commercial buildings, residential plots and Al Ruwaya Golf Course. The resulting effects on Al Ruwaya Golf Course, Tiger Woods Design’s first project, is typography, with elevations reaching an 78 meters above sea level, including a difference of 29 meters between the lowest point, the lakes, and the highest point.
Dubai prices to fall ‘until Q3 2009’
Speaking on a panel of industry experts at the monthly meeting of the Dubai Property Society, Sherwoods Managing Director Iseeb Rehman predicted that Dubai property development prices are likely to continue falling for a further six to nine months. They will then bottom off between mid-2009 and the end of the third quarter and hold for 12 months before beginning to rise again.
Sorouh to build affordable housing project in Abu Dhabi
Sorouh Real Estate, Abu Dhabi’s second-biggest property developer by market value, is planning an ‘affordable housing’ project in the emirate to tap into the underserved market in the emirate. Gurjit Singh, Sorouh’s chief property development officer, told Bloomberg said the plan ‘is currently on the company’s drawing board’. Sorouh has more than $13bn of projects under way in the emirate.
Dubai creates price index for properties
Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority on Wednesday announced the emirate’s first residential and commercial rental price index. The commercial index provides the average rental rates for properties, based on road conditions, public parking, location, air conditioning, view and age of the building. Rental prices for residential properties are less clear. Properties are divided into apartments and villas, and are based on the size of the building only and no other criteria, reported Gulf News.
Dubai’s 5% rent cap still valid, says official
Dubai’s five per cent rent cap will remain valid in the absence of any new announcement, Gulf News has reported. An official from the Rent Committee at the Dubai Municipality said landlords still cannot increase the rents beyond five per cent. And tenants can file complaints with the committee if there is violation on the existing rent law.
Dynasti Zarooni chief jailed for fraud
Indian businessman Kabir Mulchandani has been arrested in Dubai on allegations of a multi-million dollar real estate fraud, media reports said. A senior official who is part of the investigation told The Times Of India that Mulchandani was in jail. Scores of investors have been allegedly defrauded of over $100m by Mulchandani, chairman of ‘Dynasty Zarooni’. At least 10 members of an ‘investment club,’ which last year promised huge profits from the company’s preferential access to real estate deals, have lodged complaints against Mulchandani, his Emirati business partner, Hilal Al Zarooni, their joint venture ‘Dynasty Zarooni’ and two other employees.
Work on Nakheel Tower halted for one year
Construction work on the Nakheel Tower in Dubai – designed to be the world’s tallest when completed – has been halted for a year, The National has reported. The tower is to be the centrepiece of a 270-hectare marina development called Nakheel Harbour and Tower near Ibn Battuta Mall and the Arabian Canal. The stalling of the tower is the latest in a string of delays on Nakheel’s most prominent projects. Other developments that have been affected include the Trump International Hotel and Tower, Frond N villas, and Gateway Towers, as well as parts of the Waterfront and Palm Deira.
Developer says 23 marina on target
Construction of 23 Marina, the real estate project by Hircon International, a joint venture between Indian property developer Hiranandani and Dubai-based ETA Star Properties, is proceeding as planned and is expected to be complete in 2011. The real estate developer has assigned Dubai Civil Engineering to construct the tower that is set to rise up to 90 floors at Dubai Marina. 23 Marina will feature 57 swimming pools, a world record. Every duplex apartment in the building will have an independent plunge pool, apart from temperature-controlled pools and children’s pools on the other levels.
Dubai property prices fall 8%
Prices of residential property in Dubai fell 8% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a report by Colliers International. The report said the average price of 14 developments in the fourth quarter was Dhs1,770 ($481) per square foot, down from Dhs1,919 per sq ft in the third quarter. The number of sales in the fourth quarter also dropped 45%, the report added.
Second phase of Al Ain Industrial City opens
The second phase of the Al Ain Industrial City was opened on Sunday. A 10-square kilometre site situated in the Madina Sanaya district, the Industrial City provides 300 mixed industrial and commercial plots.
Ajmal launches property venture
The Dubai-based Ajmal group has launched Ajmal Real Estate, with an asset value of over Dhs200m. Ajmal Real Estate is involved in the development of projects in the UAE and developments in India including Ajmal Sarah Tower apartment building in Dubailand. Further projects include residential developments in Jebel Ali and International City.
Rents cool off in Dubai, Abu Dhbai
The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai rose by just four per cent last year and did not rise at all in the last three months, according to a new report by UAE-based property services firm Asteco, cited by The National. In Abu Dhabi, rents for units with two or three bedrooms also levelled off, although demand for smaller, less expensive homes pushed up prices for one-bedroom flats, the report said.