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After a successful year, find out
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discuss the region’s forward-thinking
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Multi-billion dollar schemes to ramp
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FOCUS ON ABU DHABI
ROOM WITH A VISION
After a successful year, find out
about the future of Abu Dhabi’s
growing tourist industry
Leading sustainability advocates
discuss the region’s forward-thinking
LICENSED BY INTERNATIONAL MEDIA PRODUCTION ZONE
Nicholas Publishing International FZ LLC
Multi-billion dollar schemes to ramp
up the economy and reignite
22-25 April 2012
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
United Arab Emirates
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sustainable design and construction for the built environment
Find ways to capitalise on the billions of dollars committed to major construction projects within
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of sustainable know-how to enhance your work
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Future Build Sponsors
Sustainable Knowledge Partner
20 Great stall of China
Bubble and creak of People’s Republic
26 Eurozone investment
Investors playing a waiting game in
8 Kingdom on the rise
From central Amman to coastal Aqaba,
the Kingdom of Jordan is - quite literally -
on the rise
Bahrain Bay appoint new CEO
Emaar launch premium golf homes
Etihad Airways accommodation offer
Le Meridien debuts in Turkey
34 Industrial development
Sector outperforming rivals in the capital
36 Mortgage UAE
Market shows signs of recovery
12 Turkey opens to investment
Is Turkey the next big destination for
42 Room with a vision
The future of Abu Dhabi’s growing tourist
22 New era for Egypt
With a new spring comes new impetus in
45 Plan Al Gharbia 2030
Focus on the Western Region
38 Sustainable future
The region’s forward thinking green
Abu Dhabi Focus
28 Capital upturn
Impressive projects coming online in 2012
30 Infrastructure boom
Real estate bolstered by multi-billion
32 Project focus
Midfield airport terminal development
48 UAE visas
Residence visas not top priority for
41 Cityscape Awards
Abu Dhabi awards and cocktail evening
16 London calling
UK real estate attracts Middle East
18 London residential market
Supply continues to lag behind demand in
50 Middle East Real Estate Summit
Dedicated to regional real estate
52 Cityscape Abu Dhabi
Plan your visit to the capital’s only
international real estate event
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 3
Bahrain Bay appoints new Chief Executive Officer
International Real Estate expert, Robert Lee, to spearhead project’s ongoing progress
ANAMA, BAHRAIN: Bahrain Bay, the country’s highest profile masterplanned
waterfront community, has appointed a new CEO, Robert Lee, to lead the
management and development team through the next phase in the project’s progress.
Lee joins Bahrain Bay with 25 years of real estate investment experience including
development, investment, sales and marketing, asset management, and advisory.
His portfolio of past projects includes green-field city planning, large-scale mixeduse development, institutional/infrastructure, leisure and hospitality, and retail &
Since arriving in the Gulf in early 2000, Lee has held senior executive positions at leading
real estate companies in the Middle East including Emaar, Al Futtaim, and Nakheel, where
he was instrumental in bringing some of the iconic projects, such as Dubai Marina and
Palm Jumeirah, to their successful fruition. “I’m proud to have this opportunity to continue
to establish Bahrain Bay as the premier real estate project in the country” says Lee, “I
plan to unite all stakeholders under a common vision and continue to deliver the top-level
results Bahrain Bay is renowned for, within the time-budget-quality constraints. All the
excellent progress achieved until now will serve as a perfect foundation for the exciting
future the project has lined up for this year and beyond.”
Welcoming Lee to the development, Deputy CEO Abdulla Al Doseri commented: “Mr
Lee joins us at an important time in Bahrain Bay’s progress with the project moving into its
next chapter of delivery. With four Third Party Developers already on site, and more due
in 2012, Mr Lee’s expertise will be invaluable to the ongoing success of the development.”
Lee replaces former Bahrain Bay CEO Bob Vincent, who offered his full support to the
transition: “From both a commercial and personal perspective, it is appropriate for me to
step aside and endorse the ongoing commitment of the BBD team. Deputy CEO Abdulla
Al Doseri and the Bahrain Bay management team remain in place to ensure full continuity,
with new CEO Robert Lee overseeing the project’s next phase.” Vincent will continue to
work closely with Bahrain Bay in his new role with Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay l
AECOM establishes Global Advisory
Board to be chaired by Sir John Major
Former U.K. prime minister to lead advisory board focused on high growth markets
os Angeles: AECOM announced today that it has established a
Global Advisory Board that will be chaired by the former U.K. Prime
Minister, The Right Honourable Sir John Major KG CH, and composed of
other independent leaders in business and geopolitical affairs.
The AECOM Global Advisory Board will support the company’s efforts
to enter and grow in new geographies, business lines and high-growth
service areas. In addition to Sir John, who also served as the U.K. Foreign
Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, charter members of the
advisory board include:
• Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, former Prime Minister of
Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman of India-based Housing Development
Finance Corporation Limited
Dr. Daniel Thorniley, President of Vienna-based DT-Global Business
4 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
“I am pleased to announce the formation of the AECOM Global
Advisory Board,” said John M. Dionisio, AECOM chairman and chief
executive officer. “The global insight and marketplace visibility of our
advisory board members, led by Sir John Major, will provide a valuable
business perspective as we advance AECOM’s diversified global
growth strategy. In addition, our advisory board members offer expert
knowledge for issues at the intersection of global business operations
and society at large, including humanitarian affairs, socially responsible
business practices and sustainability.
“The advisory board will be especially valuable in offering guidance
as AECOM increases its participation in geographic areas of focus such
as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, India and Latin America as well as highgrowth businesses such as oil and gas, energy, mining, and national
security,” said Dionisio.
“I am delighted to Chair such a distinguished Advisory Board of
members prepared to offer their experience and expertise in support
of one of the world’s most ethical companies,” said Sir John Major l
Emaar Properties launches sale of premium Golf
Homes at the Arabian Ranches Golf Course
Only 18 luxurious villas set in vast premises of 17,000 to 27,000 sq ft
Offer customers the opportunity to customise the interiors to their
individual tastes and preferences
Choice of three types of homes designed in elegant Spanish
All homes overlook the swaying grass dunes of the Arabian
Ranches Golf Course
ubai, UAE: Emaar Properties PJSC, the global property developer of
iconic projects, has launched the sale of the spectacularly designed
and premium Golf Homes, set in the heart of the rolling green fairways of
the Arabian Ranches Golf Course.
Only 18 palatial villas, each in a plot area of 17,000 to 27,000 sq ft, are for
sale. The villas are specifically developed in a shell and core form enabling
potential customers to customise the interiors to their preference and
taste including the ability to even extend the developed area. Available in
three floor plans, the Spanish architectural works of art reflect high-end
residential luxury, complemented with the uninterrupted views of the golf
Mr Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties, said: “The
Golf Homes at the Arabian Ranches Golf Course bring a new dimension
to luxury residential development in Dubai. From the choice of location
within the championship golf course to the elegant architectural style and
extensive lawns, the homes will be an ideal choice for connoisseurs who
value the finest luxuries in life. The Golf Homes provide customers with the
advantage of benefiting from Emaar’s overall construction quality, being
part of a superior golf community living and the convenience of shaping
the homes to their individual choice.”
The 18 luxury villas are part of the established Arabian Ranches
community, a much sought-after residential development in Dubai.
Promising a leisurely lifestyle, the homes feature Hispanic elements
such as arches and courtyards and mosaics. Customers can choose
from three home styles – Hacienda, Castilla and Suncadia. Hacienda
homes are exceptional family and reception estates nearly 7,000
sq ft in area, while Castilla homes have an area of 8,270 sq ft and the
Suncadia homes are palatial at nearly 9,000 sq ft. Customers can
further construct additional 1,000 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft depending on the
size of their respective land plots.
Potential customers can visit the Emaar Sales Office at Emaar Square,
Downtown Dubai or call toll-free 800-EMAAR (36227) for more details.
The Arabian Ranches Golf Course, spread over 247 acres comprising
120 acres of grass land and desert vegetation, is part of the Arabian
Ranches Golf Club. The 18 hole, par 72 signature course was designed
by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. Adding to the
lifestyle choices available for residents at The Golf Homes, the Spanish
Colonial style Arabian Ranches Clubhouse features the Ranches
Restaurant, with a terrace offering panoramic scenic views over the 9th
and 18th holes l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 5
Etihad airways offers stopover passengers one
night’s free accommodation in Abu dhabi
tihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner (left) alongside Abu Dhabi Tourism
Investment and Development Company (TDIC) Senior Manager of Business Partnerships,
Revenue Development and Operations Guy Epsom as they celebrate the launch of the Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will offer one night›s free
accommodation to passengers stopping over in Abu Dhabi for a minimum of two nights before
December 1, 2012.
The Essential Stopovers offer, part of the Essential Abu Dhabi program, can be redeemed at 25 hotels,
ranging from three to five star.
Further nights in five and four star accommodation can be purchased at rates as low as US$59 per
person, based on twin occupancy, and US$43 for three star accommodation.
Etihad Airways passengers taking advantage of the stopover offer can also enjoy two-for-one deals
at Ferrari World, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Yas Links and Monte Carlo Beach Club.
Two-for-one safaris or tours can also be claimed from operators Desert Safari and Abu Dhabi City Tour.
The stopover program offer is available to all Etihad Airways guests, as well to passengers travelling
on Etihad Airways marketed flights. All passengers must have an onward booking beyond Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner said: We are delighted to invite people
from all over the world to experience Abu Dhabi for themselves. The capital city of the United Arab
Emirates has so much to offer both business and leisure travellers.
This offer is intended to encourage people to make time to get off the aircraft at Abu Dhabi and explore
the emirate - be that with a visit to the Arabian desert, a trip to one of the world›s largest mosques, a
tour of the attractions on Yas Island or by sampling the emirate’s world class hotels and restaurants.
Abu Dhabi is a magical place with something to offer everyone l
Hyderabad Real Estate Update Q1 2012
Residential Real Estate
Residential property buyer sentiments in Hyderabad have improved
considerably over the last three quarters. There has been a gradual but
certain increase in residential demand and absorption. That said, the
market is still a long way from touching the 2007- 2008 levels.
There has been a marked increase in activity by developers scouting
for suitable land parcels for residential development. More than
anything else, this is a convincing indication that they want to proceed
with their expansion plans and not hold on to their land, which had
more or less been the trend since 2008-2009.
We definitely expect an increase in PE investments into residential
real estate projects in Hyderabad in 2012. Until now, institutional capital
flows had been slow in Hyderabad when compared to some of the
other cities. The reasons for this were specific to the period:
• In 2007-2008, the main reason was high valuations
• In 2008-2010, the global financial crisis was clearly the culprit
• In 2010-2011, the state-level political scenario depressed
institutional investment sentiments
At this point in time, the real estate valuations are once again making
sense, and developers as well as end users are once again in action
mode. There is every reason to believe that the political scenario will
take a turn for the favourable for PE investment in 2012-2013.
On the more sombre side, it also looks like residential supply is
likely to outstrip demand in the foreseeable future. There is clearly a
6 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
supply–demand mismatch, and unsold inventory is quite high. This
fact will definitely have an impact on residential property pricing in the
mid-term. That said, there are also going to be selective price rises for
projects in high-demand locations having good amenities.
Commercial Real Estate
The commercial real estate sector in Hyderabad has reacted very
differently from the residential sector over the past few years. In
2008-2009, the Grade A office space absorption in the city stood at
approximately 2.2 million square feet. Thereafter, in 2010 and 2011,
Hyderabad saw absorption of 4.4 to 5.0 million square feet year on
year. This clearly indicates that corporate client did not let the political
scenario upset their expansion plans in Hyderabad. In fact, all our large
corporate clients such as Cognizant & Accenture have expanded their
office bases over last 2 to 3 years.
What is worrisome is the fact that very few new companies have
set up their base in Hyderabad over last couple of years. Notable
exceptions would be JP Morgan and Facebook, along with a handful
of others. Almost 90–95% of the city›s commercial real estate
absorption has been via expansion of existing companies.
In 2012, the lack of SEZ supply will result in city absorption being
lower than in 2010 and 2011. There is a huge supply of STPI/Commercial
space available for corporates amounting to approximately 4.5–5.0
million square feet, but as 50-60% of the absorption is in SEZs,
landlords and developers owning STPI/Commercial spaces might feel
the pressure of unsold and un-leased inventory l
STARWOOD DEBUTS LE MERIDIEN IN TURKEY WITH THE
NEW LE MERIDIEN ISTANBUL ETILER
The First New Build Le Méridien Hotel in Europe in a Primary Destination, Designed by
Award-Winning Turkish Architect Emre Arolat
STANBUL: Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) announced the
debut of the first Le Méridien hotel in Turkey
with the opening of the highly anticipated Le
Méridien Istanbul Etiler. Owned by Makyol
Construction Industry Tourism and Trading Co.
Inc. and designed by leading Turkish architect
Emre Arolat, the hotel is situated in Istanbul’s
most exclusive neighbourhood and overlooks
the Bosphorus with panoramic views over two
“We are delighted to partner with Makyol as
we introduce Starwood’s Le Méridien brand to
Turkey”, comments Roeland Vos, President,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa,
and Middle East “Istanbul continues to evolve
as a metropolitan centre of culture, design
and cuisine, making it an ideal match for our Le
Méridien brand. This flagship hotel will enable
us to showcase Le Méridien’s contemporary
lifestyle and sophisticated origins in one of the
world’s most remarkable destinations.”
“Le Méridien has undergone a comprehensive brand relaunch in the
past six years since it was acquired by Starwood,” said Eva Ziegler, Global
Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “In this new era for Le
Méridien, we are proud to celebrate Le Méridien brand’s best portfolio ever
with the grand opening of the flagship Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler, which
marks the first new build Le Méridien to open in a primary European city.”
Adnan Çebi, Makyol’s Chairman says, “We are extremely excited
to be expanding Makyol’s tourism portfolio with an internationally
renowned hotel group such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts and to bring
the contemporary Le Méridien brand to Turkey. With the brand’s artistic
cosmopolitan touch, we believe Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will bring a fresh
flavour to the city, perfectly suited to the rich and sophisticated cultural
blend of East and West.”
Set to become a landmark in the city, the 34-storey hotel features iconic
architecture and a dedicated curated art programme showcasing Turkish
contemporary artists, reflecting Istanbul’s inspiring and culturally diverse
atmosphere. Designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat,
the hotel features three distinct, vertically-stacked blocks inspired by the
neighbouring buildings in Etiler. The building gradually becomes transparent
as it rises towards the sky, providing guests with impressive views of the
Bosphorus and a new perspective of Istanbul. The hotel’s interiors were
designed by renowned Turkish designer Sinan Kafadar of Istanbul-based
The hotel provides a comprehensive contemporary lifestyle experience,
featuring 259 guest rooms, including 21 long-stay residence suites all with
floor-to-ceiling windows providing inspiring views of the Bosphorus and
the city. Featuring a timeless chic design, all guest rooms are outfitted
with Le Méridien Bed® and amenities such as a docking station, rainforest
shower and a separate bathtub. Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler’s signature spa
offers visitors a new perspective inspired by European spa traditions and
features eight treatment rooms, a Turkish Hammam, an indoor pool, an
outdoor heated pool, and a state-of-the art fitness centre.
Le Méridien’s UNLOCK ART™ programme features an artist-designed
key card collection that offers access to both the guestroom and affiliated
contemporary cultural centres. In Istanbul, guests can enjoy access to
Istanbul Modern, the hotel’s UNLOCK ART™ partner, using keycards
designed by :mentalKLINIK – a contemporary artist duo from Istanbul
and recently appointed as the latest LM100™ members. Selected by
Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator since 2006, LM100 is a group
of international innovators chosen from the worlds of art, architecture and
cuisine who use their creativity to develop original, interactive programs
that transform the Le Méridien guest experience.
The hotel offers the newly developed Le Méridien Hub experience which
re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative
people to converse, debate, and exchange. Dining facilities include an allday restaurant, Latitude Bar serving illy coffee and other refreshments,
and a rooftop bar with spectacular 360-degree views of the city. Le
Méridien Istanbul Etiler also features over 2,000 square metres of meeting
space, including a 766-square metre ballroom and nine individual rooms.
Acquired by Starwood in November 2005, Le Méridien has undergone a
full brand relaunch to transform into a contemporary, design-led lifestyle
brand that seeks to provide a new perspective through a curated approach
to culture. The opening of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler is a milestone for the
brand’s transformation as it continues to attract a growing audience of
creative, world-travelling guests.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts currently operates six hotels throughout
Turkey, including three in Istanbul – W Istanbul, Sheraton Istanbul Maslak
Hotel and Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel, as well as Sheraton Ankara Hotel
& Convention Centre, Sheraton Cesme Hotel Resort & Spa, and The Lugal,
a Luxury Collection hotel. The company is set to open three new hotels in
Turkey in the next few years: Sheraton Adana Hotel, Sheraton Bursa Hotel,
and Aloft Bursa. l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 7
KINGDOM ON THE RISE
Never the development poster child, unlike some of its higher profile neighbours, Jordan
has been quietly getting on with the job of diversifying its real estate product. From
central Amman to coastal Aqaba, the Kingdom is - quite literally - on the rise.
With a young demographic make-up, active monarch and strong focus
on education and development, Jordan is a solid prospect in a region beset
by recent turmoil. Its long-term links to the GCC are also driving inward
investment and, backed by its series of special economic zones, the
country is taking its tourism and industrial offering to the next level.
In late 2006, the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba unveiled plans to
woo the international investment community with a then US$3 billion
development project on an unprecedented scale.
Located 330 kilometres south of the capital, Amman, and 80 kilometres
from the World Heritage site at Petra, the 375-square-kilometre site has
‘mega city’ ambition with tourism as its centrefold, supported by demand
for its emerging logistics and industrial hubs.
Its status as the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ), is being supported
at both Government and private sector level with a raft of investorfriendly initiatives and programmes in place to drive ongoing levels of
inward investment into what it hopes will transform the area into a major
Development of the King Hussein International Airport, with its ‘open
8 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
skies’ policy is leading to growing interest in using the airport for regional
freight delivery – with an eye on facilitating reconstruction project access
to Iraq, offering another dimension to the logistics possibilities served by
development of its sea port.
A handful of high profile projects have already made headlines, including
the US$10 billion waterfront UAE-backed Marsa Zayed project, which is the
Kingdom’s largest ever real estate and tourism development, and which
hopes to become a global yachting destination contender.
The US$1 billion Saraya Al Aqaba mixed-use development will be home to a
sextet of luxury hotels as well as residential properties and a convention centre,
while the US$1.4 billion Venetian waterway-inspired Ayla Al Oasis project will
dramatically transform Aqaba by creating 17 kilometres of new seafront.
ASEZ and the Aqaba Development Corporation, which owns Aqaba’s
seaport, airport and strategic parcels of land as well as the development
and management rights for these assets in addition to key infrastructure
and utilities, acknowledge that the challenges of bringing the master plan to
fruition are colossal, but argue that in creating a mega city with mixed-use
appeal, tourism projects will rub shoulders with residential communities,
and health, education, business and transportation opportunities will be
INSIGHT: MARSA ZAYED
he US$10 billion Marsa Zayed mixed-use waterfront project in Aqaba,
Jordan is a multi-phase development covering 3.2 million square
metres of desert and mountain along with two kilometres of waterfront,
and is the Kingdom’s largest ever tourism and real estate project. Under
development by UAE-headquartered developer Al Maabar, which is
part owned by Abu Dhabi state investment vehicle Mubadala and Aldar
Properties, phase one of Marsa Zayed, which is on track for completion in
2014, will see the construction of 263 village flats, 151 townhouses and the
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which will accommodate 2,000 worshippers.
Yousef Al Nowais, Managing Director, Al Maabar
What was the appeal of Jordan as an investment destination?
“Al Maabar is always looking for new opportunities and in our search
we look for extremely significant projects that will add real value to the
countries we join forces with. We saw this potential with the Marsa Zayed
development. In recent years, Jordan has been undergoing comprehensive
economic reform in a long-term effort aimed at improving living standards
and this has put it on the map for foreign investors.
“When assessing an opportunity, Al Maabar looks for strategic locations
as well as the potential of a nation, and actual market demand over the
long-term. The countries of most interest to us are those with great
heritage and in need of a more developed tourist infrastructure for coping
with the international tourist arrivals on an annual basis – and this is true
of Jordan. As for Aqaba itself, we see enormous tourist and economic
potential for the city due to its strategic location on the Red Sea coast.”
Why the decision to focus on a mixed-use project centered on hospitality
“Mixed-use developments add real value to various sectors of an
economy. They create vibrant and attractive urban centres through
greater activation of urban areas for more hours of the day, a variety of
housing options, a reduction in car dependence and the development of
local sense of space. Al Maabar’s projects always respond to genuine,
unfulfilled market demands and we have seen this in Aqaba – and Jordan –
in the hospitality and tourism sectors.”
Is Jordan an investor-friendly destination within the region?
“With the country’s ongoing strategy to push comprehensive economic
reform, we continue to see significant potential in Jordan and are working
closely with the Jordanian Government and Jordanian Investment Board on
Asteco Jordan Q4 2011 real estate report
Residential compounds are expected to gain momentum
as new developments are offering good-sized quality
products at affordable prices. Some projects will be
completed by the end of 2012
Pricing averages are expected to remain similar to 2011
levels. Demand will continue for medium-sized and larger
apartments (350-400 square metres) in prime locations
Demand for offices has been slow as companies preferred
leasing over buying
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 9
“Last year we continued to see steady
progress and important milestones
met for both our developments in
Aqaba and Amman. We awarded the
Phase One Infrastructure Contract
for Marsa Zayed to a Jordan-based
contracting firm in July 2011, and
we also signed an agreement with
Starwood for the The St. Regis Amman
and The Residences at The St. Regis
Amman. Our business model at Al
Maabar is all about helping to create
long-term, sustainable developments
through strategic partnerships.”
the Marsa Zayed and St Regis Amman developments.
“Last year we continued to see steady progress and important milestones
met for both our developments in Aqaba and Amman. We awarded the
Phase One Infrastructure Contract for Marsa Zayed to a Jordan-based
contracting firm in July 2011, and we also signed an agreement with
Starwood for the The St. Regis Amman and The Residences at The St. Regis
Amman. Our business model at Al Maabar is all about helping to create
long-term, sustainable developments through strategic partnerships.”
Jordan Industrial Estates Company (JIEC) oversees the country’s
burgeoning industrial asset class, with responsibility for the newly labelled
official Development Zones
“Over the years, JIEC has developed five operational industrial estates
across the Kingdom and we have two other projects in the pipeline. We
provide companies and plants that invest in any of our industrial estates
with a number of incentives that help reinforce their industrial activity,”
says Kay Marwan, JIEC’s Head of Marketing.
“As per the new Development Zones law, numerous incentives, sales tax
and custom exemptions are given, and we also encourage investment
through the provision of various support services that lead to better
efficiency and performance,” she adds.
Benefits driving interest and investment include a streamlined ‘onestop-shop’ service for new start-ups, well-developed infrastructure and
ancillary services, 100 per cent ownership and access to international
markets through negotiated trade agreements.
JIEC is financially and administratively autonomous, which is proving to be a
major attraction for foreign investors and, in addition to the one-stop-shop
concept, also established Investor Services Bureaus for each industrial
estate, designed to fast track businesses to get them up-and-running
with a minimum of bureaucracy.
According to Marwan, Jordan’s potential across all asset classes is
undeniable, as she explains: “Jordan is a regional hub for trade and culture,
and occupies a strategic position in the Middle East. We are also blessed
with political and economic stability, modern legislation, a strong and
independent legal system, are on a democratic path with a free economy
led by the private sector, and a government promise to support and sustain
the flow of investment into the country.
“These elements blend together to create an economically-feasible
destination; offering global investment opportunities in a world-class
business environment to both regional and international investors ” l
Jordan’s Big 4
Amman: Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein Industrial Estate
• 2.5 million square metres
• Largest industrial estate in the country in terms of total invested
capital and number of companies
• Pharmaceuticals, chemicals, engineering and food industries
Aqaba International Industrial Estate
• 2.75 million square metres
• Located one kilometre from Aqaba International Airport in the
Aqaba Special Economic Zone
• JIEC’s third QIZ
Irbid: Al-Hassan Industrial Estate
• 1.17 million square metres
• The first Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) worldwide.
• Home to many foreign investors, with a focus on textiles,
readymade garments and engineering
Karak: Al-Hussein Bin Abdullah II Industrial Estate
• 1.85 million square metres
• Second QIZ approved industrial zone in the country
• The second qualifying industrial Zone (QIZ).
• Strategically located in the south on the highway connecting north
• Textile and garment industries
10 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
Three other development zone projects are underway. The 2.5
million square metre Al-Muwaqar Industrial Estate on the periphery
of Amman is moving ahead with phase one of the project which is
targeting logistical services and technology industries with over 1.44
million square metres of space. A major draw for companies requiring
international connectivity, it is within close proximity of the highway
linking Jordan to Iraq and Saudi Arabia. On the Amman drawing board is
the Al-Zarqa Industrial Estate, which will be strategically located closed
to the Jordan-Iraq border, and the Madaba Industrial Estate, situated 35
kilometres south of the capital with close to 500 million square metres
of space pegged for investor use.
TURKEY OPENS TO INVESTMENT
Topping the list of European global investment hotspots and with the abolition of the
country’s real estate reciprocity law imminent, Turkey is looking to new markets including the Middle East – to secure its position as the next big destination for savvy
he final draft of the bill to abolish Turkey’s existing reciprocity law in
favour of open foreign investment is currently under scrutiny by the
Turkish parliament, and the country is preparing to welcome a flood of new
market investor interest upon ratification later this year.
According to the recent Emerging Trends Real Estate 2012 report by
PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute, Turkey is the
number one investment hotspot in the survey’s development and
investment categories, and was also ranked as the third most attractive
emerging market real estate investment destination in 2012 by the
Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.
And its real estate market has a solid base, underpinned by the sound
fundamentals of a relatively high-performing economy, good banking
system, secure levels of employment, industrialisation potential and
the government’s investment into social housing projects. This is being
further buoyed by amendments to the Land Registry Law, the Mortgage
Law, and the redrafting of tax laws, which is all designed to improve the
competitiveness of the Turkish real estate sector
12 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
MIDDLE EAST APPEAL
The Turkish Statistical Institute reports that the number of apartment
units sold in Turkey in Q2 2011 increased by 18 per cent against 2010,
and with tourism from the Middle East set to grow in 2012, developers
and real estate consultants across the country are preparing for an
influx of demand, not just for residential purchases but also for land
With the extension of the size of a piece of land that a foreign national
can own from 25,000 square metres to 300,000 square metres, the
price of prime real estate in key locations in Istanbul and the coastal
resorts of Bodrum, Kalkan and Gocek is expected to climb sharply,
despite a growth contraction in the country’s construction sector due
to increased materials costs and a slowdown in home sales in H2 2011.
Kerim Cin, Managing Partner for Colliers International in Turkey breaks
down demand further. “We are witnessing revived activity from Middle
East buyers in certain residential locations in Istanbul such as districts
like Tarabya and İstinye on the cost of Bosphorus, as well as weekend
MARKET SNAPSHOT: ASSET CLASS OPPORTUNITIES
Housing loans increased from TRY 3.5 billion in 2004 to TRY 68
billion as of September 2011. The share of housing loans as a
proportion of Turkey’s GDP is estimated to hit 15 percent in 2015
Retail development is on the up with the number of malls growing
from 44 to 284 between 2000 and 2011 with a number of
completed projects across the country, and not just sited in major
cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir
Demand for office space, especially in Istanbul’s most desirable
districts, is growing, with limited supply lowering vacancy rates and
effecting rent increases
Logistics is the leading industrial sub-sector and is being driven by
increasing industrial production and growing export-import and
retail markets, with increased outsourcing to third-party logistics
Courtesy of Invest In Turkey, www.invest.gov.tr; Business Monitor International Turkey Real
Estate Report Q1 2012
locations like the Prince’s Islands, plus newly-developed upscale city
centre projects,” he says.
“Resort locations on the southwestern coastline haven’t seen much
demand before, however we are now starting to see acquisitions of
upscale villa developments or hotels in places like Bodrum and Antalya.
These buyers typically purchase big-ticket property under local legal
entities where 100 per cent shares can be own by foreign individuals; so
the reciprocity law had little impact on these sectors and submarkets,”
Cin reports that institutional investors from Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain
as leading the investment wave, with individual buyers from Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria also eyeing up deals.
“Lately, there has been strong demand from foreign investors in
refurbished residential or commercial buildings in Istanbul’s city centre, and
end user demand for such developments is high.
“We are also seeing interest in newly-developed residential villas
managed by reputable five-star or luxury boutique hotel companies in
resort areas like Bodrum and Çeşme. These investments are favoured by
high income Middle Eastern buyers as they can use the hotel management
to maintain the property and generate income when not in use by the
With high-end brands including Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and
Viceroy identifying opportunities in the popular coastal resort of Bodrum,
this also augurs well for the future.
However, Cin has a word of caution for prospective investors, as he
explains: “I believe that zoning rights and procedures must be more
transparent, and with less bureaucracy at municipality level, in order to get
more foreign investors to invest into real estate development.
“This lack of transparency is currently driving foreign investors to partner
up with local companies and developers, which makes it less profitable for
them to engage with new projects and thus keep foreign direct investment
at lower levels than other industry sectors” l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 13
INSIGHT: DEVELOPER PERSPECTIVE
em Atakan, Managing Director, Mediterra, the Turkish subsidiary
of Dolphin Capital Investors Limited, and a developer of high end
residential projects in Mediterranean Turkey.
Are you expecting a rush in demand once the reciprocity law is abolished?
“When the new law comes into place it will lift restrictions on citizens
of 89 countries worldwide from owning a property in Turkey. With Turkey
already a hotspot for property investment with foreign sales in real estate
reaching US$ 2.5 billion in 2010, some experts predict the lifting of the
law could see this double in 2012. We have no doubt that this will pave the
way for a major boom, and we envisage significant demand from the Gulf
countries, Russia and the Turkic states of Central Asia.”
Is there already significant investment interest from the Middle East?
“We can only speak anecdotally, based upon our own experience, but we
have definitely seen an increase in demand. Much of this has come from
property rentals at LaVanta, in Kalkan. Many of our homeowners enter
into rental programmes to generate a second income from their property,
and over the last two years we have seen an increasing number of Middle
Eastern guests. Maybe it is because they can enjoy visa free travel or
because of increasing flight availability; but we have had guests from
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain and without exception our
guests have shown interest in buying property at LaVanta. Interestingly,
we also have a number of British expat owners who also live and work
in the Gulf. Most clients enquire about villas. All of our villas have private
swimming pools, which allow families privacy, plus they can also see the
capital growth that is achievable from larger properties.”
14 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
Which particular regions are key centres of development?
“Last November saw an increase in average property prices in Turkey –
one of the few countries in the world to experienced a rise. Istanbul, Izmir
and Adana are currently the highest performing areas and saw the greatest
growth. For anyone looking to invest in a city then Istanbul simply cannot
be ignored. But most of the action is on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. For
a short to medium term return then it has to be the Mediterranean coast
of southwest Turkey. The infrastructure is developed, and improving all the
time, and there is still sufficient undeveloped coastline.
“Antalya, Fethiye, Gocek and Kalkan offer the best prospects along the
coast. Rental yields of eight per cent are possible in these areas, with
an average yield of six per cent, which is higher than you can achieve
anywhere else in Europe. Within its Tourism Strategy for Turkey 2023,
the tourism ministry is looking to create tourism cities and corridors with
a view to enhancing the attractiveness of regions with tourism potential.
Kaş, which is a neighbour to Kalkan, been designated as such, and this will
have a positive knock-on effect for Kalkan.”
Is there any other legislation needed to boost foreign direct investment?
“I think we have to let the dust settle before considering anything else.
There have been lots of change in recent years, and the whole process of
foreign nationals applying for residency was only simplified and made more
affordable in 2011. As foreign ownership increases I am sure there will be
ongoing discussions as to how foreign nationals can integrate more fully
and contribute more positively to the economy ” l
UK real estate attracts Middle East sovereign riches
any of the construction cranes over the City of London bear the
stamp of Gulf countries as they emphatically alter the skyline of
Europe’s financial hub and arguably the Arab world’s most appealing
investment safe haven.
Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and cash-positive pension funds from
the Middle East are an ever-increasing force behind the high level of global
capital currently flowing into the central London commercial real estate
market, according to the latest research from global property adviser
Post-‘credit crunch’ this trend has increased substantially, with central
London attracting about 41 per cent of all European property investment
from outside the region since 2008, compared to 17 per cent in the previous
three-year period (2006-2008).
Since the financial crisis there has been a notable increase in central
London property investment market share by investors with long-term
hold strategies such as cash-positive pension funds and SWFs. Many of
these players are from the Middle East.
To put this investor diversification growth in context, over the past three
years only one buyer from the UK, Legal and General, has invested more
than £500 million in Central London commercial property. Over the same
period the largest non-UK buyers all invested more than £600m, with
cash-positive foreign pension funds and SWFs being key players in the
Simon Barrowcliff, executive director, Central London Capital Markets,
16 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
CBRE, said: “The fundamental drivers of growth in cash-positive pension
funds and sovereign wealth funds are expected to continue and capital
from these sources will continue to enter and power the Central London
property investment market.”
The London 2012 Olympic Village has become the latest UK sports
investment for Qatar following the joint purchase of the site for £557
million. The Olympic Deliver Authority (ODA) confirmed the sale of the
Village in a joint deal between British real estate firm Delancey and Qatari
Diar, the property company of the Qatar’s royal family.
The ODA said that Delancy and Qatari Diar would take over 1,439 of the
2,818 homes on the site along with six adjacent development plots with
the potential for a further 2,000 new homes. The Mayor of London Boris
Johnson said that the deal showed “great confidence” from big private
investors in the future of the city and the east London area.
Qatari Diar group CEO, Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa, said: “Our
commitment to the UK market and to building long-term relationships with
our partners and the wider community is of paramount importance to us.”
For years, Middle Eastern family funds have invested in the glamorous
and wealthy West End of London, buying residential buildings and offices in
fashionable neighbourhoods like Kensington and Knightsbridge.
But when turmoil engulfed the financial services industry, these investors
shifted their focus to the capital’s financial centre. Prices for commercial
real estate there dropped as much as 20 per cent in eight months, while
those in the West End barely moved.
“London’s reputation as a safe haven for
investors is being reinforced by global
troubles not undermined. Additional
incentives such as a weak sterling and a
favourable tax system are also making
it more attractive amongst a range of
potential foreign investors”
Snapping up high-profile buildings on the cheap is not the priority for
Gulf investors. London skyscrapers are attractive to them as long-term
investments with an almost guaranteed income.
Strife in the financial market may force some companies to cut back
on office space for a while, but in the long-term these investments will
probably pay off, said CBRE.
The Pinnacle, for example, a 66-storey office building financed by Arab
Investments and designed to have the highest restaurant in the city, is
expected to be completed shortly. Construction started in 2008, then
stalled, but Arab Investments took over and got the project moving in
return for 90 per cent stake.
Pierre Rolin, a London-based real estate investment adviser whose close
ties to the Middle East led to a $900 million investment by Oman in the
Heron Tower, another skyscraper, is confident his clients will get a 20 per
cent return on the investment this year.
Meantime, Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign-wealth
fund, has just bought Credit Suisse Group AG’s London headquarters and
leased the building back to the Swiss lender.
And Qatari Diar also bought most of Royal Dutch Shell’s headquarters
campus in London with Canary Wharf Group in July. Canary Wharf is
controlled by Songbird Estates, in which Qatar Holdings owns almost a 28
per cent stake.
In 2010, Mohamed al-Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatari royal family’s
investment arm for £1.5 billion in one of the highest-profile sales in the UK
for many years. Qatar also holds a 20 per cent stake in Camden Market in
north London and owns Chelsea Barracks.
“London continues to offer solid growth potential and its twinned status
as an accessible capital city and financial centre, alongside a stable political
system and transparent legal framework, continues to attract interest
from across the Middle East,” Ben Stroud, associate director of residential
agency, development & investment at Jones Lang LaSalle London, said in
“London’s reputation as a safe haven for investors is being reinforced
by global troubles not undermined. Additional incentives such as a weak
sterling and a favourable tax system are also making it more attractive
amongst a range of potential foreign investors.”
Middle East investors accounted for nine per cent of all Jones Lang
LaSalle’s sales in central London last year, up from five per cent in 2010,
making them the second largest group of foreign investors behind
nationals from Asia Pacific.
Sport plays its part with probably the highest profile investment being Abu
Dhabi United Group’s purchase of Manchester City football side. Plans include
a $158 million training complex adjacent to its home ground, Etihad Stadium.
Etihad Airways also chose Manchester as the location for its European hub.
Arsenal plays its home games at the spectacular Emirates Stadium.
Half the top ten sovereign wealth funds — including Abu Dhabi Investment
Authority — have offices in London.
A close working partnership has also helped secure Emirati funding for
major projects such as Europe’s largest wind farm, the London Array, and
the UK›s most ambitious port and logistics centre, the London Gateway,
near the mouth of the River Thames.
Last year, a Qatari investment fund bought the naming rights for the
inaugural British Champions Series, which will include 35 of the top flat
races in the British horse-racing calendar including outings at Royal Ascot,
the Derby and St Leger meetings.
David Wootton, Lord Mayor of the City of London, on a recent visit to the
UAE, perhaps summed it up best when he said: “I do not doubt that 2012
will be a year of great challenge, for London, for the UK, for the UAE and for
the world. But through our continued partnership we have the capacity to
transform these huge challenges into an enduring legacy for both nations” l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 17
LONDON RESIDENTIAL MARKET INSIGHT
By Nicholas Barnes, Head of Research at Chesterton Humberts
Chesterton Humberts are a multi-disciplinary property business
covering residential sales and lettings, international, rural and
commercial with 70 offices in the UK and international offices in Europe,
Asia, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East.
ondon is an attractive proposition from a residential real estate
perspective, offering a large stock of high quality properties and a
long and proven track record of strong growth performance and market
transparency. The legal system as it relates to property is straightforward
with clear title assured while transaction costs are relatively low by
international comparison. Moreover, with careful planning, it is possible to
reduce the tax burden both on acquisition and disposal of property.
The ongoing turbulent international economic and geo-political
environment has enhanced London’s reputation as a safe haven for
investors. Consequently, overseas buyers dominate in the prime central
areas, many of them benefitting from favourable exchange rates against
the Pound. Indeed, the majority of mid-high end developments have
recently been sold via overseas exhibitions either directly or through
In spite of the uncertain economic outlook, buyer demand remains
robust in the prime locations, which has helped push prices above their
pre-recession peak levels. For example, average prices in Kensington &
Chelsea and Westminster are now, respectively, some 17% and 15% above
their previous peak. This compares to average London values which remain
a little over 1% below peak.
periods and displaying lower volatility. The lettings market is expecting a
short term boost this year as a result of the large visitor numbers expected
for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.
Figure 1: Prime London prices as at December 2011 versus pre-recession
Interestingly, we have noticed that Middle Eastern buyers have extended
their traditional focus on prime centrally located, high-end lifestyle
properties to include mid-market units in secondary locations acquired
purely for investment. There is also increasing corporate interest in the
sector, mainly from international groups.
The outlook for the prime London property market remains healthy.
Although the UK’s economic prospects are still uncertain, the prime
residential segment has become more of an international than a
domestic market and will be increasingly influenced by the behaviour of
internationally mobile HNWIs rather than by domestic events l
Source: Land Registry
Supply continues to lag behind demand, which is helping to sustain prices.
Average annual completions in London since the recession have been
running at around 76% of their long term trend. This is particularly apparent
in the prime segment which has triggered a number of speculative
schemes that have generally attracted strong buyer interest.
The continuing expansion of the private rented sector is encouraging
investors, including a growing number of corporate players, to enter the
market. Recent data from IPD (Investment Property Databank) reveals
that residential compares favourably with other mainstream assets over
the longer term – for example, outperforming equities over 5 and 10 year
18 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
Figure 2: Nominal total returns, ungeared, as at December 2011
Source: Investment Property Databank
With an international network of over 70 offices, including
25 in London and two in the UAE, Chesterton International
is an expert in prime residential property and perfectly
positioned to help MENA-based clients invest in London.
To find out more about the properties we are offering, visit us on
stand AD40 at Cityscape Abu Dhabi or, for a private consultation to
discuss your investment needs contact:
Simon Gray, Managing Director MENA Region:
M: + 971 50 4588725
GREAT STALL OF CHINA
Bubble and creak of People’s Republic housing market
conomic forecasters around the world are maintaining a nervous
watching brief on China’s ominous housing bubble to see if the country
can succeed where the US failed, and avoid the kind of meltdown that
triggered the global financial crisis.
The possible spin-offs for the Gulf are immense as China is considered
one of the safest places for GCC countries to invest and experts say the
People’s Republic will be the Arab nations’ most important trading partner
But to avoid a crash akin to that in the US, China is making efforts to cool
the overheated property sector which has seen average home prices
across 100 mainland cities fall five months in a row.
The average cost of a home in the Shanghai metropolitan area has
plunged roughly 40 per cent since peaking in 2009 and home prices in
major Chinese cities are expected to fall up to an additional 20 per cent
this year, according to a report in the South China Morning Post Englishlanguage daily.
Unlike the US housing meltdown, there is method rather than madness
in China’s correction.
From the spring of last year, Beijing introduced a number of measures to
put the brakes on home prices. They included tightening lending standards,
hiking interest rates, requiring larger down payments, raising taxes in some
cities, and discouraging speculation by barring home buyers from buying
more than two properties.
While that’s straight-forward enough, the impact in China and on the
global economy is less certain. Falling property prices in China undercuts
consumer spending and weakens demand for foreign goods.
China’s building boom in recent decades is also a major contributor to the
increase in the price of oil, steel, and other commodities.
But Chinese consumers typically also carry much less debt than
borrowers in the West.
“I don’t think China is in danger of a US-style housing crash,” said Alistair
Thornton, a Beijing-based analyst for IHS Global Insight. “They still retain a lot
Three months ago, Shanghai property developers started
slashing prices on their latest luxury condos by up to
one-third. Crowds of owners who bought apartments at
full price converged on sales offices throughout the city,
demanding refunds. Some angry investors went on a
rampage, breaking windows and smashing showrooms.
20 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
of levers of control, should the property market slide faster than expected.”
For now, all signs point to China continuing to lean on those controls. The
country’s economy, while no longer producing year after year of doubledigit growth, still expects 2012 GDP of around 9 per cent.
Whatever the impact may be, China’s National Statistics Bureau reports
that home prices only rose during December in two of the 70 cities it
measures. Prices in 52 of those markets fell.
Three months ago, Shanghai property developers started slashing prices
on their latest luxury condos by up to one-third. Crowds of owners who
bought apartments at full price converged on sales offices throughout
the city, demanding refunds. Some angry investors went on a rampage,
breaking windows and smashing showrooms.
And similar steep price reductions are upending real estate markets
across China. Centaline, a leading property agency, estimates that
developers have built up 22 months’ worth of unsold inventory in Beijing
and 21 months’ worth in Shanghai.
Chinese radio reports that half of all real estate agents in the southern
city of Shenzhen have shut up shop. According to Centaline, more than 100
local government land auctions failed last month, and land sale revenues in
Beijing are down 15 per cent this year.
Lon John, the vice rector of Chinese University of International Business
and Economics said in a recent seminar that total trade between China and
the Arab world was likely to hit US$190billion when the final tally for 2011
The figure represents a significant increase on 2010 when the year-end
total reached US$145.4billion. It was just US$36.4billion seven years ago,
according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Meanwhile, the investment between the two sides is expanding every
year. By the end of 2010, the total amount of Chinese investment in Arab
states had exceeded US$15 billion and investment from Arab states in
China reached US$2.6 billion cumulatively.
And the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in a report that China is
expected to be the GCC’s most important economic partner by 2020.
Ironically, some are suggesting China should learn the lessons of Dubai.
Professor Huang Yiping of the Chinese Centre for Economic Research at
Peking University said: “In China, soaring real estate prices have led to deep
concerns over expanding bubbles. Especially against the backdrop of the
world economic slowdown, some local authorities have turned to the real
estate market to fuel the local economy.
“Both the ratio of home prices to per capita incomes and the ratio of
vacancies are indications that bubbles in the Chinese real estate market
have expanded to a dangerous position. The Dubai experience tells us that
once bubbles occur, they’re sure to burst, which will inevitably lead to steep
declines in home prices” l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 21
NEW ERA FOR EGYPT
The inevitable stalling of the country’s real estate market in 2011 had both local
developers and international investors sitting on their hands for most of the year, but
with a new spring comes new impetus, and Egypt is once more looking ahead on the
new era of democracy and stability is being trumpeted for Egypt as
the country moves on from the Arab Spring; and despite a slowdown
in the housing market in 2011; early Q1 performance sneak previews are
indicating a more respectable first quarter for 2012.
The sector contributes nine per cent to Egypt’s GDP, and with the sense
of uncertainty slowly receding, and a move towards greater transparency
fuelled by the headline-grabbing lawsuits that challenged land deals
between the Government and real estate companies, Egypt’s internal
demand for property is being given renewed impetus. And even nonresident Egyptians are being given a chance to get in on the action with a
Ministry of Housing plan to sell 8,000 plots of Cairo land to expats.
22 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
MODEL FOR THE FUTURE
Lamia El Allamy, Director of Marketing & PR for Cairo-headquartered
Citystars Properties, developer of large-scale integrated mixed-use
projects including Citystars Heliopolis, Citystars Katameyah and Citystars
Red Sea Riviera, is optimistic about the country’s mid to long-term
“We are optimistic about long-term growth endorsed by solid
fundamentals - namely the largest population across the Arab countries.
Population growth, accompanied by growing per capita incomes, will result
in the increased demand for quality developments which, in turn, will
drive increased foreign investments within the market to accommodate
Ayman Sami, Head of Egypt for
Jones Lang LaSalle
Where is FDI interest coming from or is internal investment the main
“Towards the end of 2010, the investment landscape was growing at a
tremendous rate. Following the January 2011 revolution and, until today,
investors are in a wait-and-see mode - apart from a few UAE and Qatari
investors who decided to push ahead with their projects. Local developers
or investors have put many of their plans on hold, but some did work to
complete projects that were planned for prior to the revolution.”
What effect have the elections had on the real estate market?
“I believe that the parliamentary elections did not have such a big impact
on the real estate sector, however, confidence did return slightly to various
areas and this is mainly due to the partial restoration of security.”
Which asset classes and regions are receiving the most interest?
“The main drivers for growth are marriage and population growth driving
the demand for housing - especially in the mid to low income segment and value retail, mainly fast moving consumer goods and petrochemicals
which reflected on the continued expansion of hypermarkets, value
fashion and food and beverage outlets even during 2011. We have also
seen office occupiers especially in the FMCG and petrochemical industries
looking to relocate into larger or more modern office spaces.”
How is the country’s hospitality sector looking, post Arab Spring?
“The hospitality sector was hard hit during 2011 with more than a 30 per
cent drop in tourist arrivals over the previous year. The most affected area
was Cairo, where we witnessed occupancy rates as low as 15%. Tourism
is definitely an opportunistic segment with many areas in Egypt that are
untapped. Not too many projects were under development over the past
year as there was major concerns over the future of this sector, however, it
seems that there is no alternative or substitute for this sector and the new
parliament knows that very well as tourism provides jobs to more than 12
per cent of the countries› labour force.”
What kind of legislation is needed to encourage foreign direct investment?
“Egypt has come a long way and is becoming a more open market. The
main barrier at the moment is the political situation. I believe that the final
steps of electing a new president will help drive further investments.”
How can the development community come together to send out a
positive message to potential investors looking at Egypt?
“Cityscape is a good example where the development community came
together to help promote Egypt. I believe we are moving towards a more
favourable environment, and investors are already wandering about
waiting to catch the right opportunity. The local community should also
use third party providers like us to communicate the message as we
can combine trusted sources whether locally or globally. Packaging and
positioning the whole country as an attractive destination with increased
transparency will help create a strong impact, avoiding confusion and
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 23
such demand, and facilitate the construction of these developments in
accordance with international standards,” she says.
El Allamy also points out that Egyptians are generally selective in their
investment picking, and will only invest with reputable, trustworthy and
secure developers. And Citystars is banking on its existing credibility
to attract new investors for its six-strong portfolio of mixed-use
“We are pursuing several developments similar to our Heliopolis model
that are currently under construction throughout Egypt, and which include
groundbreaking worldwide attractions. These include urban resorts,
coastal resorts and residential compounds; which reiterate our confidence
in the Egyptian economy,” she remarks.
“The Egyptian economy is resilient and able to recover quickly despite
the current challenges at this critical stage. We are making rapid progress
on many mixed-use developments including tourism and real estate
developments, which reflect our confidence in Egypt’s stable investment
climate and tourism sector,” she adds.
SODIC, another leading Egyptian real estate company with a diverse
portfolio of commercial, residential, retail and hotel properties is
also looking forward – and ahead – to a positive change of fortune,
as Mohamed Kharma, Chief Project Development Officer, explains:
“Every political milestone achieved contributes to the stability of
the country. Real estate will always be a strong sector in the country
since it enjoys real demand across different segments and classes;
and currently, there is massive potential with a captive audience in
the middle income bracket.”
And the company already has a physical track record, with projects like
the award winning Allegria, which debuted Cairo’s first signature golf
course, and Eastown and Westown, Cairo’s two new suburban cities
centres; as well as the contemporary-styled Kattameya Plaza project.
In terms of legislative change to benefit the real estate sector El Allamy
believes that the new Government will have a strong desire to actively
support and encourage foreign investment, and Citystars expects that it
will consider providing more incentives to foreign investors, similar to other
countries in the region that strive to create a favourable environment for
For Kharma, it’s on-the-ground changes benefiting local investors, that
are needed first. “The Government needs to address the mortgage law to
create reasonable products. Proper mortgages products will increase the
purchasing power of the middle-income segment and then foreign direct
investment will follow suit,” he points out.
But he also believes that demand is the key driver for the future success
of the sector, as he explains: “It’s a growing region and country supported
by unwavering demand, no matter what kind of political turbulence is
“The real estate sector cannot flourish nor develop without the presence
of strong investors who take the lead to build cities and develop suburbs,
and thus revive the market. We are giving a direct message to both Arab
and foreign investors that Egypt is capable of surpassing recent events,”
concludes El Allamy l
MARKET OUTLOOK: COMMERCIAL
Jones Lang LaSalle reports current and active demand for between 5,000 and 15,000 square metres of office space from the international FMCG
and petrochemical sectors
Cairo Festival City will deliver its first office phase in mid-2012 and Damac is looking to open its retail and office project opposite Dandy Mall
before the end of the year
Around 60,000-120,000 square metres of Grade A office space is set to open in metro Cairo in 2012, including in Cairo Festival City, Mivida by
Emaar Misr and Citadel Plaza by Alkan Holding.
Total mall-based retail space stood at approximately 786,000 square metres at the end of 2011. Major completions included Phase 1 of Mall of
Arabia in Sheikh Zayed, and Sun City Mall in Heliopolis
Up to 260,000 square metres of new retail space could enter the market before the end of 2013, including Cairo Festival City. This could push
total retail floor space in Cairo to as high as 1.8 million square metres by 2014 with 29 per cent of supply comprising super regional and regional
malls by 2015
Courtesy of Jones Lang LaSale Misr LLC
24 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
Waiting game for
investors in the
26 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
t’s a confusing time if you’re looking to invest into property – private or
commercial across the eurozone. With such disparity between markets,
even referring to the area as one coherent ‘eurozone’ seems something of
Take Italy, for example. While stars such as George
Clooney and Mel Gibson are buying there; the Hollywood
rubber stamp has done little to lift prices. The word from
a range of international property experts eyeing Italy
is “buy, buy, buy,” with a strong pound generating
a great deal of interest from the British in buying
But there are strong caveats. While the
more adventurous property investor
may be tempted to take advantage of the
current eurozone woes to seek ‘distressed’
bargains; the crisis is far from over and the risk to
property values in some countries is still unacceptably
high - according to analysts.
Distressed property in Portugal and parts of Spain, for instance,
which can be snapped up at less than 50 per cent of pre-downturn
prices, is attracting the interest of long term, risk-taking investors who
intend to benefit from potential capital growth when demand recovers.
“But until the Greek crisis is over, prudent investors are advised to take
a wait and see approach towards buying properties in high risk countries,
such as Spain, Italy and Portugal,” said one industry watcher.
“The persistence of the crisis, coupled with slow growth projections and
a weak performance from European Union authorities and governments,
means things are likely to get worse before they get better,” said Stuart
Law, chief executive of buy to let specialist, Assetz.
It might be an extreme scenario, but if the eurozone broke up, the impact
on sterling or dollar denominated property values for foreign investors
could be devastating in weaker countries, if they exited the Euro and
returned to a devalued national currency.
While property may look appealingly cheap in some cases, it could be
worth half of today’s values to a foreign owner, if it was suddenly being
valued in drachma, for example, which analysts suggest could face a 50
per cent devaluation if Greece leaves the euro.
Investors putting money into eurozone real estate markets should be
demanding higher risk premiums - due to the potential repercussions of
the sovereign debt crisis, according to industry experts.
A recent report from AEW Europe and investment bank Natixis
calculated the “average probability risk yield premium” that should be
taken into account across different European property markets to convey
the likelihood of each country exiting the single currency.
The study did not apply this suggested premium to Germany,
the Netherlands or Austria due to their stable public finances.
However, it recommended a risk premium of ten basis points
for France and Belgium, while 375 basis points was suggested for Greece.
Madhi Mokrane, head of research and strategy at AEW Europe, said
investors should be “demanding” these higher risk premiums.
He added that his firm anticipates “non super-safe yields will be rising
across the board in the eurozone by year-end unless a convincing solution
to the crisis is found to satisfy financial markets”.
CB Richard Ellis believes global real estate investors are focusing their
attention on a small number of core markets on the continent, with London
attracting the highest volumes of capital, followed by Paris, Berlin, Moscow
While the most desirable regions where demand exceeds supply - such
as France’s Cote d’Azur and Paris – will always remain popular; raising
finance remains a challenge in the eurozone. Cash-rich second or holiday
home buyers who can afford to take a longer term view and buy for the
location and climate, may still feel the time is right to seek out a bargain.
Reports and market watchers suggest that investors would do well to
“sit tight” until the situation becomes clearer - or concentrate on safer
countries with less exposure to a partial Eurozone break-up such as the
UK, USA or France.
Retail growth in new markets
Meanwhile, capital flows into the European retail property continue to
follow economic performance, with Germany and those markets just
outside the eurozone, such as Russia, clear favorites with investors,
according to global real estate adviser CBRE.
European retail property investment grew to €9.4 billion in the final
quarter of 2011; bringing the annual total to €37.2 billion. The defensive
characteristics of good quality retail assets continue to attract local
and international investor demand despite an uncertain economic and
political environment. As a result, retail in 2011 generated a large share of
the overall commercial real estate investment across many European
markets, growing to just above last year’s record of 32 per cent on the panEuropean level.
Capital flows continue to favour Europe’s stronger, faster growing
economies, with Germany, some of the Nordic and Central and Eastern
European (CEE) markets seeing robust activity. The German retail market
has seen remarkable growth – tripling since 2009, while the retail share of
overall commercial property investment jumped to 48 per cent in 2011, up
on 2010’s 42 per cent.
Iryna Pylypchuk, associate director, EMEA Research, CBRE, said:
“Germany, the Nordics, and some CEE markets have been the biggest
beneficiaries of investor demand, especially when it comes to international
capital looking for new retail opportunities. In an uncertain economic and
political environment, investor strategies will remain risk-averse.”
John Welham, head of European retail investment, CBRE, said: “Some of
the CEE markets will become extremely attractive from both an economic
and pricing perspective. One step removed from the eurozone crisis, these
younger economies offer further potential, especially as Russia becomes
more of an international market” l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 27
Clear signs of capital upturn
t the time of writing, stocks on Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index
(ADSMI) were at their highest level since November 2011; bolstered
by the news that 2001 profits of Aldar (Abu Dhabi’s biggest property
developer) beat estimates; while Sorouh Real Estate Co., the emirate’s
second-largest developer, headed for the highest close in almost five
Aldar, the company behind the Yas Marina Formula One circuit and the
Ferrari World theme park, made a fourth-quarter profit of AED182.1 million,
Reuters calculated, compared with a loss of AED11.14 billion during the
same period in 2010.
“Recent news on the real estate sector, including progress on Aldar
and the commitment of the United Arab Emirates to some key projects,
provided a rebound,” said Ahmed Talhaoui, Abu Dhabi-based head of
investment and asset management at Royal Capital PJSC.
A positive wind is blowing across the construction-filled skyline of the
UAE capital, after a few rocky years. Aldar is on an even keel; a new iconic
building seems to be unveiled almost every month, and property pricing is
on a gradual upward curve.
With a plethora of exciting, world-class developments slated to come
28 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
on line this year, the real estate market in the capital will be anything but
stagnant. Developers are going out of their way to generate interest in the
thousands of new homes, offices and retail space they are creating across
Property experts CBRE suggest the Emirate might still be in for a bumpy
ride, however, according to its most recent local market report.
Despite an increasingly strong economic outlook, bolstered by the
continued flow of petrodollars, Abu Dhabi’s real estate sector still faces
some downside risks, according to CBRE.
This year, supply is forecast to outstrip demand. CBRE suggests a further
drop in rental rates is inevitable, although with a highly fragmented market,
the impact will vary, dependent on the quality and location of individual
City centre (on-island) real estate will continue to command premium
prices, both residential and commercial - particularly as Abu Dhabi awaits
completion of Sowwah Square and further delivery of developments in
Marina Square, Reem Island, although the overall trend for office rents has
The last quarter of 2011 saw a marginal fall in office lease rates, ending the
year 3 per cent lower than Q3 2011.
For developers, the next 12 months could be tough, but it’s a buyer’s
“Landlords are becoming increasingly flexible and realistic in their
approach to leasing, with rent free periods offered as standard market
practice. For occupiers with strong covenants, extended rent free periods
of up to eight months per five years of term can be secured as landlords
try to limit their risk exposure by avoiding extended rental voids,” a CBRE
commentator said in the report.
Even the somewhat bleak market outlook from CBRE concedes that the
capital’s residential sector is only seeing modest price declines.
“The market appears a little steadier than at this time last year. However,
delivery delays during 2011 have arguably helped to alleviate the onset of
more aggressive deflationary pressures, and with this in mind the outlook
for the year is for further downside,” it said.
On the main Abu Dhabi island, average residential rents fell by around 4
per cent over the previous quarter and 16 per cent year on year. For Abu
Dhabi mainland, the decline was more pronounced with a quarterly decline
of 5 per cent against a 30 per cent drop year on year.
“With a considerable development pipeline looming for handover during
2012, we anticipate that rents will continue to fall, although the rate of
decline is likely to be more moderate than in previous years,” the CBRE
A brief glimpse into the projects coming on line in 2012 is impressive.
January saw a government announcement that work is set to resume on
the Abu Dhabi branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums after a
“review of their viability.”
Nation Towers is a US$436 million development from International
Capital Trading, on the Corniche, comprising two towers (one of 64 storeys,
and one of 51) which include a five star hotel, loft apartments, office space,
a retail area, recreational amenities and beach club. Nation Towers has
incorporated sustainability features throughout the build concept.
Aldar’s profits look set to continue with Central Market, its flagship
downtown three-tower development, which includes 76,500 square
metres of retail space, 591 residential units, 72,000 square metres of office
units, two hotels and leisure space.
The five Etihad Towers – on the map since 2006 – intend to “change the
skyline of Abu Dhabi forever.” This half a million square meter development,
with towers ranging from 54 to 75 floors, is again mixed-use and offers a
lifestyle that might just ensure residential property prices are on the up by
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 29
Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure boom
set to bolster real estate
Multi-billion dollar schemes to ramp up economy and reignite property demand
bu Dhabi’s bid to diversify its economy away from oil received a
significant boost in January when the UAE capital gave the green light
to a raft of infrastructure and real estate projects. Alongside investments in
housing, healthcare and education, the emirate’s Executive Council signed
off immense rail, road and airport schemes worth billions of dollars. On
completion, these plans will overhaul the city’s connectivity and provide
vital links for trade and tourism.
High on the agenda is the creation of the UAE’s first cargo railway line,
a AED40bn ($11bn) track set to span 1,200km, connecting ports and
factories in the Gulf state’s seven emirates.
The first phase of the track will allow Abu Dhabi National Oil Co to ship
products from its facilities in Habshan, to the port in Ruwais for export. The
first trains are slated to start running in 2013.
A second track will link Abu Dhabi and its huge industrial free zone
Kizad to the port of Jebel Ali in Dubai, before linking up with Saudi Arabia
and Oman. A third line is expected to run from Dubai to the five northern
30 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
emirates, including Fujairah and Ras al Khaimah.
Crucially, the track will give industrial companies an alternative to slow
road and sea journeys for bulk shipments, accelerating transit times for
materials. This feeds into Abu Dhabi’s push to grow industry, attracting
firms eager to capitalise on the city’s strong trade ties, said Shadi Malak,
commercial executive director at Etihad Rail.
“Our network will be a rapid, cost-efficient means to transport incoming
raw materials and finished goods for distribution,” he said.
Any boost to industry also spells good news for Abu Dhabi’s property
market. An influx of new companies will provide new jobs, and attract new
residents to the emirate, helping to mop up the thousands of new homes
set for completion in the next few years.
Some 28,000 new properties are scheduled to come online in Abu Dhabi
in 2012 alone, according to real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
“It’s good for the property sector,” said Loshini Lawrence, operations
manager at Better Homes, Abu Dhabi. “Any kind of upward investment in
terms of infrastructure or industry will encourage new investors, people
who didn’t know Abu Dhabi before, to look again at the market. Particularly
those from the region who want to invest in a more stable economy.”
In another boon for the real estate sector, Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council
confirmed it had carved out financing for a metro and rail system to cross
the capital. The long-discussed project was thought to have stalled in the
wake of the financial crisis, as the city reviewed its spending budget and
Initial designs for the Abu Dhabi Metro show a 131km track backed by
tram and bus feeder systems. The network, which is scheduled to launch
by early 2017, is geared towards easing traffic congestion in the capital and
supporting a predicted jump in the city’s population.
The metro is expected to connect Abu Dhabi’s Central Business District
with newer residential areas, including Reem Island, Saadiyat Island and
Sowwah Island. Eventually, the network will link to the Dubai Metro and
other key points across the UAE.
Further details about the project’s budget and completion dates have not
yet been released but, if the impact of the Dubai Metro is any indication, the
network may help push up rents.
According to real estate consultancy Asteco, apartments near stations
in Bur Dubai and Al Barsha districts have seen an up to 20 percent rise in
rents as tenants favour locations with good transport links.
“Land, property values and ultimately rentals within the vicinity of
stations linked to metro lines increase significantly,” the company said
in a recent report. “Close proximity to a station is becoming a priority for
many [Dubai] tenants, who are prepared to pay up to 20 percent extra for
Rail aside, Abu Dhabi is pouring funds into a revamp of two key roads
connecting the oil-rich emirate to neighbouring Dubai and to Saudi Arabia.
The first, a planned expansion of the existing Emirates Road to the capital,
is expected to slash driving time for commuters and industrial traffic
travelling from Dubai.
Abu Dhabi has also earmarked funds for the long-delayed Al MafragGhuwaifat road, which will connect the city to Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s
wealthiest state. The scheme is “one of the most important road
developments in the emirate… to keep pace with economic growth,”
according to the Executive Council. The plan calls for extending the current
road by 246km and building 15 new overhead interchanges.
Unsurprisingly for an emirate home to one of the world’s fastest-growing
airlines, aviation is at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure strategy. The
emirate is funnelling AED25bn into readying its international airport to
handle up to 40 million passengers a year by 2017, aided by the creation of
a purpose-built terminal for state-backed carrier Etihad Airways.
The focus of the strategy is to exploit the Gulf’s location as a hub between
Asia, Africa, Europe and South America to draw transit traffic and increase
“The extent of the development here will encourage investors to come
and set up their business, to benefit from those economic links,” said
Better Homes’ Lawrence.
“Rising trade drives job creation, which will aid Abu Dhabi in attracting
residents and reigniting property demand,” she added.
The city’s 2030 development blueprint forecasts a population of up to
five million in less than two decades, up from an estimated 1.6 million in
“There is a direct correlation between infrastructure investment,
population growth and real estate demand,” Lawrence said l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 31
Terminal, Abu Dhabi
bu Dhabi signalled its intent to fight for a larger slice of global air
traffic market in January, with the final approval of a long-delayed
terminal building at the city’s international airport.
The Midfield Terminal Complex, scheduled to open in 2017, is the
cornerstone of the oil-rich emirate’s bid to position itself as a business
and tourism hub. The 700,000 sq m building is part of a wider AED25bn
redevelopment plan for Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA), as the city
vies with neighbouring Dubai to attract long-haul transfer travellers.
On completion, the terminal will be home to the emirate’s flag carrier,
Etihad Airways, with capacity to welcome up to 30 million passengers
“This development represents one of the largest investments by the
government to deliver the needed infrastructure… [to] cater to the growth
of the aviation sector in the region,” said Khalifa Al Mazrouei, chairman of
Abu Dhabi Airports Company.
Demand for the expansion has been driven by the rapid growth of Etihad,
the Arab world’s third biggest carrier. The state-backed airline carried 8.3
million passengers in 2011, a number set to surge further thanks to a slew
of new routes and more than 30 codeshare deals.
32 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
ADIA itself saw traveller traffic jump 14 percent to 12.4 million last year,
stretching capacity at Abu Dhabi’s largest airport and creating demand for
fresh infrastructure and jobs.
“The new terminal can’t arrive soon enough for Etihad,” said Saj Ahmad,
chief analyst at StrategicAero Research. “With the carrier taking new
deliveries of Airbus and Boeing jets almost every other month, it needs
the capacity to cater for and handle passengers.”
The overhaul of the airport is, Ahmad said, a “vital piece of the
infrastructure jigsaw” that will help Abu Dhabi to lure lucrative long-haul
traffic away from established tourism hubs.
“The new terminal will allow a greater number of passengers to transit
to the city or for onward flights. Either way, that›ll translate into a big
market for local trade and tourism,” he said. “The benefits to the wider local
economy cannot be understated. Just as Dubai has captured the minds of
tourists and shoppers, so too can Abu Dhabi.”
ADAC has received six bids for the Midfield terminal from groups including
Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Larsen & Toubro, and consortiums
featuring local companies Al Habtoor and Al Jaber Group. Construction is
expected to begin in the second quarter.
The building itself is set to be Abu Dhabi’s largest on completion, visible
from more than 1.5km away. The central space of the terminal could hold
three full-sized football pitches, with a ceiling that reaches 52m tall at its
The complex will include retail and F&B space spanning more than 20,000
sq m, roughly equivalent to the current size of Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 33
Industrial real estate
outperforms rival sectors
Abu Dhabi developments are reaping the benefits of emirate’s industrial push
izad, Abu Dhabi’s sprawling new industrial zone, hit the headlines in
December when it signed up its second long-term tenant, Taweelah
Extrusion Co, in an AED735m ($200m) deal. A reported 30 more clients
have signed on to secure space in the free zone, at a cost of billions of
dirhams, while nearly 100 firms are waiting in the wings for their tenancy
deals to be approved. The demand for industrial real estate is evident with
the sector clearly reaping the rewards of Abu Dhabi’s push to transform
itself into a global trading hub, the is.
The UAE capital, home to around seven percent of the world’s proven oil
reserves, plans to pour $500bn into industry and other sectors through
2030 to scale back its reliance on oil. At the heart of this blueprint are projects
such as Kizad, a port and trade zone two-thirds the size of Singapore, set to
comprise around 15 percent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP by 2030.
34 I CITYSCAPE I APRIL 2012
This and other industrial zones are angling to attract foreign companies
keen to tap the UAE’s strong trade links and capitalise on its tax-free
business policies and cheap utilities.
Kizad’s $7.2bn phase one development is set to open in the fourth
quarter, with other industrial clusters to follow. Up to 80 percent of its
production will be earmarked for export.
“Abu Dhabi is laying the groundwork for a boom in industrial real estate,”
said El Fatih Said, CEO of warehouse and office development Abu Dhabi
Business Hub (ADBH), based on leased land within Industrial City Abu
Dhabi, in Musaffah.
The first two phases of the project include 32,000 sq m of leasable office
space and 67,000 sq m of warehouse space.
“These zones offer opportunities for people such as us to establish
projects of scale, to rent and convert land. The government is establishing
them to boost investment.”
This investment underpins Abu Dhabi’s industrial ambitions. Without
quality facilities that match the stock on offer in established markets, the
city will struggle to attract the multinationals key to driving growth.
“It’s essential to have the quality to attract these large, anchor tenants.
They are crucial because they attract the other companies,” said Said,
who counts Etihad Airways, the UAE Army and oil services giant Petrofac
among his clients. “[Grade A facilities] are one of the deciding factors for a
company, alongside utilities and infrastructure.”
It also translates into better returns for landlords. In neighbouring Dubai,
where Jebel Ali free zone contributes some 25 percent to the emirate’s
GDP, high quality, pre-let warehousing can command rents of up to AED35
per sq ft. Average industrial rents are closer to AED18-20 per sq ft, said
property consultancy Cluttons in a January report.
From an investment perspective, industrial real estate has seen little
of the market woes suffered by Abu Dhabi’s residential and commercial
sectors. The market emerged comparatively unscathed from the UAE’s
property crash, thanks to a lack of speculative building and close ties to the
Gulf state’s core area of business, trade.
“Every [real estate] market has gone down, but the industrial sector
didn’t have the speculation to drive oversupply levels, as we saw in the
residential and office markets,” said Matthew Green, head of UAE research
and consultancy at real estate broker CBRE. “Industrial market is owner-
occupier led - typically you are leasing rather than buying. Investors buy
land and then lease it on.
“The fundamentals are also solid; the UAE is a strong import/export
market, the ports and airports here do well and so the industrial market
does well from that as well. All these components have held steady over
the past few years, despite a small blip in the downturn.”
Combined, these factors have made industrial real estate an increasingly
attractive asset class for investors searching for long-term, stable returns,
said ADBH’s Said.
“That’s why we’re in the market. The risk is lower and the returns are
longer, by which I mean rents are often lower than in other sectors but
leases can run for 20 to 30 years.”
That’s not to say that industrial projects in the UAE capital haven’t
scaled back their plans in line with new economic realities. The Al Markaz
development, owned by Waha Capital’s real estate arm, has stripped out a
planned low-income housing element in favour of building only warehouses
and storage solutions. The residential element was “not profitable” use of
the six sq km plot, Waha Capital CEO Salem Rashid al-Noaimi told Reuters
ADBH, meanwhile, now exclusively custom-builds industrial space for
tenants, rather than speculatively building and then trying to source a
client to lease the property.
“We changed course slightly in the downturn,” said CEO Said. “Now, we build
to suit and in exchange we benefit from the tenant taking a long lease” l
APRIL 2012 I CITYSCAPE I 35