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Property Times eMagazine November 2014


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Property Times eMagazine November 2014 -

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Property Times eMagazine November 2014

  1. 1. People’s Choice Real Estate Awards: COMING SOON ///// Issue 24 - November 2014 Meet Rizwan Sajan, The man with the midas touch Building Dreamz 26pg
  2. 2. LANNHILL REAL ESTATE’S HOTTEST PROPERTIES 901 Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina |Tel: +971 4 365 7222 | | | ORN 2062 twi� Dubai Marina - Al Sahab AED 4,200,000 3 Bedroom Apartment 2,205 sq/� Marina View LH-S-9371 Hitesh Kotai 056 254 3290 BRN: 31826 Palm Jumeirah - Tiara Aquamarine AED 6,300,000 3 Bedroom Apartment 2,660 sq/� Sea View LH-S-8916 Rhe� McArdle 056 361 4917 BRN: 31813 Dubai Marina - West Avenue AED 1,680,000 1 Bedroom Apartment 742 sq/� Marina View LH-S-9216 Charlie Budnjo 050 225 9836 BRN: 31525 PalmJumeirah-DreamPalmResidence AED 5,950,000 2 Bedroom Apartment 2,330 sq/� Sea View LH-S-9304 Stuart Bichard 056 361 4921 BRN: 31528 Al Barari - Camellia AED 15,500,000 6 Bedroom Villa 12,936 sq/� BUA Lake and Garden Views LH-S-9232 Jonathan Shippee 050 926 1317 BRN: 27593 JGE - Flame Tree Ridge AED 9,400,000 5 Bedroom Villa 5,576 sq/� BUA Full Golf Course View LH-S-9129 Luke Banks 056 605 4075 BRN: 28086 Old Town - Yansoon AED 1,715,000 1 Bedroom Apartment 752 sq/� Business Bay View LH-S-9003 Craig English 056 254 4929 BRN: 26297 Downtown - South Ridge AED 2,300,000 1 Bedroom Apartment + Study 1,129 sq/� Pool View LH-S-9296 Mohammad Al Hajj 050 398 1790 BRN: 27808 Jumeirah Mansions AED 21,000,000 5 Bedroom Villa + 2 Maid 8,500 sq/� BUA Garden View LH-S-8787 Sara Hoodicoff 056 254 4882 BRN: 27497 Dubai Marina - Jewels AED 8,500,000 4 Bedroom Villa 5,500 sq/� BUA Marina View LH-S-8273 Pantea Rokni 050 926 1531 BRN: 26076 Old Town - Reehan AED 3,580,000 2 Bedroom Garden Apartment 2,423 sq/� Par�al Burj and Community Views LH-S-8102 Omar Kabalan 050 913 0523 BRN: 29969 JVC - Indigo Ville AED 2,750,000 4 Bedroom Townhouse + Maid 4,582 sq/� BUA Community View LH-S-8107 Anika Sayed 056 139 4580 BRN: 31023 Palm Jumeirah - Garden Homes AED 15,000,000 Upgraded 4 Bedroom Villa 5,000 sq/� BUA Sea View LH-S-9314 Siv Hartvigsen 050 559 1266 BRN: 12105 Palm Jumeirah - Palma Residences AED 8,800,000 4 Bedroom Townhouse 3,024 sq/� BUA GardenView LH-S-6820 Sirine Sellami 056 157 8315 BRN: 26156 Dubai Marina - Shemara Tower AED 4,800,000 3 Bedroom Apartment 1,858 sq/� Full Marina View LH-S-9278 Mac Rebello 055 778 1122 BRN: 23875 Jumeirah Park - Legacy AED 3,950,000 3 Bedroom Villa + Maid 3,063 sq/� BUA Community View LH-S-9062 Omair Siddiqi 050 885 4376 BRN: 30933
  3. 3. FROM THE EDITOR MORE PROJECT LAUNCHES IN STORE... After a series of high profile project announce- ments at Cityscape Global 2014, October wit- nessed yet another launch of a large scale devel- opment. A joint venture by Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding, Dubai Creek Harbor was unveiled at a press conference attended by Mohammed Alabbar, Emaar’s Chairman and Dubai Hold- ing’s CEO, Ahmad bin Byat. Our contributor Nicole Walter takes you through this upcoming project, which will be developed in phases over a period of time, depending on the demand from buyers and investors. The announcement of this development is indicative of the confidence of big developers in the future of Dubai real estate market and it will surely attract more and more prospective buyers and investors to Dubai in the coming years. In November and December, the Dubai market is set to witness more launches with G & Co, the developer of Millennium Estates and Grand Views at Meydan and Danube Prop- erties, the developer of Dreamz in Al Furjan, hinting at more launches in the near future. The recent announcements point to a brighter future asthedemandforpropertiesinDubaiisexpected to see a significant rise as these development will near completion, with Expo2020 only a few yearsaway.Inthisissue,apartfromtheextremely useful regular Q & A’s, features and columns, we Binesh Panicker Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder BINESH Panicker Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder JATIN Deepchandani Head of Sales, Marketing & PR SYED Ghayuor Sales Manager E. THINKAL Bhal Manager - Special Operations & Events E. NYSAM K Shahul Senior Graphic Designer TOSEEF Ali Tidiwala Accounts Executive KIRAN Reddy E-magazine support P.O. Box: 76460, Dubai, UAE P.O. Box: 347431, Dubai, UAE MEDIA LAB PUBLISHERS LLC Office 135, B Block, Al Shafar invest- ment Building, Near 3rd interchange Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE, PO. Box: 235504, Tel: +971 4 33 86 724 Fax: +971 4 33 86 734 EDITORIAL ADVERTISEMENT SUBSCRIPTION Licensed by National Media Council P.O. Box: 102817, Dubai, UAE OUR TEAM CONTRIBUTOR PRINTER DISTRIBUTORS PUBLISHER Nicole Walter Freelance Writer Mini Shivakumar Menon Freelance Writer Neha Kaul Freelance Writer P.O. Box: 485100, Dubai, UAE also have a number of relevant articles such as RERA’s upcoming regulations for Dubai real estate brokers, residents’ and office owners’ views of JLT as a community, an innovative way for construction called Smart Box and a look at Jumeirah Golf Estates from a real estate agent’s point of view. The November issue also carries an exclusive interview with the Head of Mortgages of Mashreq bank who sheds some light on the current situation in Dubai’s mortgage market. The hospitality story focuses on the increasing trend of theme park hotel development in Dubai. Property Times and recently announced the launch of People’s Choice Real Estate Awards 2015, a first of its kind initiative in Dubai from Media Lab Publishers. We have so far received an overwhelming response from the industry members and in the next few days, we will be announcing the dates for filing the nom- inations. I am sure this will take the industry by storm in the coming few months. Those who are looking to buy or rent, please visit the most comprehensive property portal in Dubai, with a new look and most updated community and property information; /blog/propertyonlineae/ /proponlineuae /propertytimes/ /company/media-labs-llc /+PropertyonlineAeweb/ November 2014 Issue -24 /// 5
  5. 5. 08 NEWS AND ANALYSIS: Dubai Tram launched 10 NEWS AND ANALYSIS: Motor City update by 12Column by Nita Maru, TWS Legal Consultants 14PROPERTY EXPERT: Dounia Fadi, elysian 16MORTGAGE EXPERT: Feyisesan Ekundare, MortgageMe 18INTERIOR EXPERT: Adam Riccio, Under One Roof 20LEGAL EXPERT: Jerry Parks, Taylor Wessing 22Damac wins international award 24Column by the Wolf of Real Estate Themanwiththe midastouch:Rizwan Sajan DubaiCreekHarborby Emaar and Dubai Holding Stringent regulations from RERA for brokers coming up Liveandwork in JLT26 30 35 46 39Smart Boxe: an effective way of construction 42Meet the agents 48An ideal abode: Jumeirah Golf Estates 50Interview with Pawan Dhawan, Vice President – Mortgages, Mashreq 52Select Group achieves record sales for Marina Gate II 54Indian Property Show 56Theme Park Hotel Development In The Limelight 56Hotel Operator Vs. Hotel Owner: Column on by Jitheesh Thilak 64Exclusive property listings 84Photo feature: Dubai’s future November 2014 Issue -24 /// 7
  6. 6. News&Analysis H is Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince, Chairman of the Executive Council inaugurated the Dubai Tram, in presence of His Highness Sheikh Mak- toum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Vice Chairman of the Executive Council and His excellency, Mattar Al Tayer, Chair- man of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Henri Poupart-Lafarge, President of Alstom Transport. This full system proj- ect - that was assigned to Alstom by Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) - was launched to foster multi- modal transportation use and to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. This first Tramway in the entire Gulf region is expected to serve about 27,000 pas- sengers per day and is anticipated to hit about 66 000 by 2020. His Excellency, Mattar Al Tayer, Chair- man of the Board and Executive Direc- tor of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said: “The Dubai Tram is a brain- child of His Highness. Sheikh Moham- med bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Presi- dent and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide an advanced transport system. When RTA was cre- ated in 2005, His Highness ordered to have an integrated and comprehensive solution for the area in order to accom- modate the huge urbanization projects in the neighborhood, particularly the JBR and the Marina and Al Sufouh area ”. “The tram for Dubai, which we are proud to have handed over ahead of schedule, illustrates Alstom’s strategy to serve all markets with a complete range of solu- tions while demonstrating our leading position in tramway systems. Thanks to Alstom and RTA’s close collaboration on the project, Dubai’s citizens can now travel aboard one of the most sophis- ticated and comfortable tram in the world” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Pres- ident of Alstom Transport The Dubai Tramway includes many Alstom’s technological breakthrough. It is the first tram in the world able to run in temperatures of up to 50 °C and ALSTOM’STRAMWAYSYSTEMSTARTSOPERATION ONTHEWORLD’SFIRST100%CATENARY-FREELINE- ADELIVERYAHEADOFSCHEDULEINDUBAI November 2014 Issue -24 /// 8
  7. 7. to withstand harsh climate conditions such as humidity and sandy atmo- sphere. Equipped with APS ground- level power supply, the system is also the first in the world to be catenary-free all along the line which is 10.6 km long and counts 11 stations . This technology enables perfect integration of the tram- way into the cityscape. Lastly, it is the first line to be equipped with air-condi- tioned stations and automatic platform screen doors. The Dubai Tram offers high-end comfort. The Citadis tram is 44 metres long and can accommodate 408 passengers in “gold”, “silver” and “women & children” classes. The tram is equipped with real- time passenger information and video broadcasting. To better reflect the city’s image, Citadis tram of Dubai has a dis- tinctive diamond-shaped styling on the front end. The Dubai Tramway is the eighth system delivered by Alstom in a decade. With seven others under imple- mentation worldwide including the Lusail tram in Qatar, Alstom is the world leader in tramway systems. INTRODUCING THE MOST OPULANT AND MULTILINGUAL TEAM OF REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS E N Q U I R Y Each SNS consultant is specially trained to focus in their areas
  8. 8. AHMET KAYHAN CEO, News&Analysis M otor City, since its incep- tion, has witnessed a steady increase in demand due to its strategic location with excellent access to various parts of Dubai, good quality properties and affordable pricing. Property Times in association with tracks the latest trends in this community. • Motor City has been gradually gain- ing popularity over the years. What makes it a good place to live in? Location, Location, Location. Motor City has proved to be a good location consid- ering its connection to main highways andeasyin-outgatescomparedtosimilar communities in the area. Product quality also adds up on top of the location prox- imity of the project. • Would you say Motor City is an affordablecommunitytolivein?Why? Certainly Motor City is one of the afford- able communities as far as sales prices and rents are concerned. Average sales price of an apartment is around AED1, 000/square foot in Motor City, which is a little above Discovery Gardens and International city but way below the Dubai average. • How have the prices and rents been performingover the past one year or so? Motor City is among the highestperform- ing communities in Dubai w/ apartment prices increased 24.7% in the last one year but unfortunately prices witnessed a drop in the villa segment. Victory Heights prices fell around 6.3% in the last six months put- ting last 12 months increase to 2% range. That’s understandable considering the steep rise of the villa prices in the last two years. Rent rates look strong in Motor City. Apartments saw a 23.1% increase in the last 12 months and villas 14%, which is at the normal market levels. Great location and good quality properties are two major high- lights of Motor City. By Binesh Panicker WELLCONNECTED: MOTORCITY November 2014 Issue -24 /// 10
  9. 9. Source : is widely used by real estate agents and investors for reliable, well-re- searched information on the country’s real estate sector., founded in 2007, is a leading real estate information company focusing on UAE, Turkey and other emerging countries. helps professionals and individuals easily access the real estate information they need to make more informed investment, purchase, sales, rent, mortgage, finance, development and management deci- sions. ‘Data & Research Team’ together with a global network of infor- mation partners endeavours to provide high-end analysis and research support to its clients. November 2014 Issue -24 /// 11
  10. 10. I n my line of business, I am often found quoting the words of Amer- ican author and academician John M. Richardson, Jr. Marked by innate simplicity, it is as simple to practice as it is to preach: “When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. If you own or partially own a business or a professional practice in the UAE, it is important that your estate and succes- sion planning begins today. Ask yourself these few questions: • What would happen to your business in the event of the death or serious disability of you or a co-owner? • Who would run the business? •Doyouthinkyourbusinesscouldsurvive? Without adequate planning, your business may be negatively impacted or forced to close in a relatively short period of time. Why? Not because you did something wrong, but because you did nothing. Consider this: less than 30% of family owned businesses survive to the 2nd generation and less than 12% to the 3rd generation. There is only a 3% survival rate to the 4th generation. Have you wondered why? There are two common reasons why a family does not retain their business after the first generation. The first reason is straightforward - there is no qualified successor. In such cir- cumstances even though the busi- ness would not be passed down to the next generation, steps can still be taken to ensure that the value of the business survives. The second major reason for unsuc- cessful business transitions is more unfortunate. In many cases, businesses fail or are sold off due to a lack of plan- ning. Although most of us are careful to safeguard our personal assets, for example by insuring our homes, many business people do not plan ahead to safeguard the value of their busi- ness. At first glance, this lack of plan- Nita Maru LLB (Hons) UK Solicitor and Managing Partner TWS Legal Consultants THE FAMILY BUSINESS & SUCCESSION PLANNING If you own or partially own a business or a professional practice in the UAE, it is important that your estate and succession planning begins today. ExpertAdvice Wills | Real Estate | Business Succession Planning | Company Formation | Contracts | Family Law QUALIFIED SOLICITORS DEDICATED TO PROTECTING YOU YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR ASSETS.
  11. 11. ning seems incomprehensible. But when you consider the personal and family issues that can be involved, it is easier to understand why many peo- ple stave off dealing with the issue of business succession. Running a business is not easy, in fact, it is very hard work. The daily work required to make and run a successful business leaves little or no time to plan for the ownership and management changes that will inevitably occur. None of us like to think about or dis- cuss our own mortality. But the process of succession planning, like good finan- cial or estate planning, is all about what will happen after we are retired or gone for good. The longer business owners wait to design and implement a succes- sion plan, the greater the risk that the plan will not meet their goals. There is also a risk that a business will fail along with the health of the owner. When a business owner does not implement a succession plan before he or she is disabled or dies, the value of the business often drops rapidly. This may sound harsh, but in fact, it is not uncommon that both the business and the business owner die on the same day. This may mean that the owner’s intended beneficiaries will not receive the full value of the business. Planning five years in advance is good. Planning ten years ahead is even better. For business owners living in Dubai, or in most places in the Middle East, there is a pressing reason to consider business succession planning. Under Sharia law, company shares do not pass automatically by survivorship and have to be probated in the case of a shareholder’s death. This often results in lengthy processes that affect the performance and profitability of the company. This can be compounded ExpertAdvice TWS Legal Consultants, Office Suite 3001, HDS Tower, J L T , Dubai. Tel: +971 4 448 4284, Email: Website: and when the company has more than one key shareholder, or upon the death of a husband and wife who are joint shareholders. Sharia prescribes a set method of dis- tributing a person’s wealth after death, based on Islamic principles, and such distributions differentiate between male and female family members in terms of the allocated shares . This may appear risk-free or even pleasing in theory. However, its implications and implementation may not prove very practical. For instance, a wife who has children qualifies for only one eighth of the entire estate, and this distribution is automatically applied. Unpaid bills, debts and mortgages do not automatically die with the death of a person. All assets, including bank accounts of the deceased, are frozen until such time that liabilities have been discharged to the satisfaction of the Court. The application of Sharia law is particularly pertinent in circumstances where the deceased is the sponsor of his or her spouse and has a joint bank account or shared assets (cars, rental agreements, and freehold homes). These jointly held assets may also be frozen until the issue of inheritance is determined by the local courts. Surviv- ing family members are often left with- out access to money until the author- ities decide how the estate should be distributed, a process that could take months or even years. Consequently all successful busi- nesses, whether sole establishments, partnerships, LLCs or free zone corpo- rations in the UAE, should plan for the eventual transfer, succession or sale of the business. Good business suc- cession planning addresses the death, disability or retirement of a business owner as well as the sale of a business owner’s interest. A sound business succession plan intends to ensure that the business owner’s objectives will be accom- plished, that the most effective busi- ness transfer is realized, that funds will be available to provide maximum financial flexibility and that the pos- sibility of conflict among the remain- ing principals, employees and heirs is reduced thus lessening the prospect of costly and time consuming pro- bate and succession procedures or damaging litigation. One can opt to rely on a will. How- ever, in many cases the better approach is a more evolved method, involving restructuring your company and off- shore succession planning solutions . Such restructuring can seek to avoid the application of Sharia Law to your estate and lengthy probate proceedings are avoided. Business owners should seek the counsel of specialized lawyers who will work with you to ensure your per- sonal assets, shares in a business and investments can be structured effec- tively for the long-term benefit of you and your family. The author of this article is Nita Maru, a British qualified solicitor and Managing Partner of TWS Legal Consultants. Call: +9714-4484284 Email: Website: For further information please contact:
  12. 12. If you have any queries about buying or renting, please email at Dubai is indeed a great place for investment. Now depending on your budget, we can determine where and which type of property you should invest in, however on a general note I would say that there are two types of investments: one is capital growth and two is getting a good ROI. It has been known in Dubai that villas won’t get you the kind of ROI you are looking for but it can surely give you a good healthy profit margin once you decide to sell it off. This is mainly because we have fewer villas than apartments in the market right now. This also applies on some apartment developments such as Dubai Marina, Downtown, JLT and Palm Jumeirah. The maximum ROI you can get in these areas is 4% - 5.5%. At the moment, the highest ROI you can get is in areas like Motor City, Sports City and Jumeirah Village with up to 7.5% – 8% on some selective prop- erties. Purchasing an off plan property will definitely offer you a good capital growth by the time the property is handed over, but you will have to consider multi- ple factors when purchasing an offplan option such as location, developer, the price you are buying for versus price for a similar ready property. Our expert answers the queries about your real estate investments. w i t h p r o p e r t y e x p e r t I am a property investor based in the UK. I recently visited Dubai and was quite impressed with the city and its real estate mar- ket. I am planning to come back and invest in a few properties. As an inves- tor, what type of properties should I be focusing on ; apartments or vil- las? And should I consider off-plan or ready properties? Dounia Fadi Managing Director Elysian 04 323 4545 ExpertAdvice For this budget, we will be mostly talking about townhouses and not independent villas. The loca- tion you prefer will determine the size of the house you can get. The three main communities where it is possible to get a ready property for your budget right now are Arabian Ranches (either Al Reem with contemporary looking town- houses or Palmera with Spanish/Medi- terranean style townhouses); Springs in Emirates Living if you wish to stay closer to Sheikh Zayed Road wherein you can buy an upgraded type 4 (two bedooms + study) with a view or just a normal type 3 (three bedrooms + study) townhouse and Jumeirah Village located between these two developments where you can getabiggerpropertyintermsoflandand built-up sizes. I currently own an apartment in Downtown. I am planning to sell it off and move to a villa. My budget is around AED2.5 to AED3 million. Could you please suggest some areas that fall within this price range? Most of the completed develop- ments in Dubai have a family community feel to them as they all have shopping centers, kids' parks and amenities. First step will be to identify the budget, so If your monthly income is AED 40,000 with no other liabilities, you will be able to get a loan value of up to AED3.2 million with an interest rate of 3.85%. This budget can get you either a two- or three-bedroom townhouse or an apartment. For townhouses, areas I would recommend are: Emirates Living, Arabian Ranches or Jumeirah Village. For apartments, my personal choice is defi- nitely Dubai Marina as it is a great place for families. Both adults and kids have plenty of fun places to go to in addition to your access to the beach. I have been a Dubai resident for the past 20 years and have been renting since then. I am think- ing of buying a home now rather than wasting money on rents. My current monthly income is AED40,000. What is your recommendation in terms of the areasIshouldtakealookthatwillfitmy budget and also offer me and family a goodlifestyle? November 2014 Issue -24 /// 14
  13. 13. 04 323 | Call the Top Real Estate Agency to help you make a sound real estate investment and benefit from our extensive market knowledge. Think Real Estate... ...think elysian For Sale AED 15MFor Sale AED 10.5M For Rent AED 200K For Sale AED 2.9M Rented AED 278K Rented AED 95KRented AED 200K Rented AED 210K Rented AED 105KSold AED 745K Rented AED 352K Sold AED 3.05MSold AED 1.1M Sold AED 730K Rented AED 90K Sold AED 15.9M Rented AED 210KRented AED 90KRented AED 180KSold AED 1.5M Sold AED 1.5M Sold AED 13MRented AED 75K Rented AED 268K Sold AED16.75M Sold AED 1.8M Sold AED 1.8M Rented AED 6.3M Rented AED 135K Rented AED 110KRented AED 180K Rented AED 220KSold AED 3M Rented AED 135K Sold AED 1.8M Rented AED 220KRented AED 90K Rented AED 130KSold AED 13.5M Sold AED 1.55MRented AED 77K Sold AED 1.95K Rented AED 55KRented AED 750K
  14. 14. If you have any mortgage related queries please email Feyisesan Ekundare Business Development Middle East/Africa M: +971 050 4168 548 Looking for a mortgage? Our expert answers your queries about securing a mortgage in Dubai. w ith mo rtgage exp ert Ideally, the guideline stipulates a minimum of six months with a current employer. Thus, if you were employed with a multinational and have just been recently relocated to the UAE, the lenders will also consider your earn- ings pre your relocation since you are still employed with the same organization. The premise is to ensure that the borrower’s source of earnings is stable enough to guarantee the repayment of the loan. That having been said, there exist cases where exceptions are made by the lenders. Bottom line, the lenders’ decisions in such circumstances are made according to the facts of the particular situation. Defaulting on your mortgage payments does not necessarily constitute a criminal offense. UAE lenders are aware that obligors go through exigent finan- cial circumstances from time to time and would rather assist in ensuring that you meet your financial obligations than go through the hassle of bringing up crim- inal/civil charges against you. What is most pivotal is to always keep your lender engaged and updated on your financial position when your mortgage repay- ments become taxing. Lenders have a host of loan restructuring methods that can help alleviate your financial burdens to ensure that you do not default on your loan repayments. I am from the UK. I have been work- ing in the UAE for six months. I am planning to apply for a mortgage to purchase a villa. Do banks consider the number of months the applicant has been working for? Also is a mortgage default con- sidered as a criminal offense as per the laws oftheland? ExpertAdvice To summarize, once the buyer enters into a Sales & Purchase Agreement withthesellerofthemortgagedprop- erty, the seller applies for a liability letter from his/her mortgage to be sent to the buyer’s lenders. The property is then appraised by the buyer’s lender and, based on the appraised value, the buyer is issued a final approval for a mortgage loan. The seller’s outstanding mortgage loan is liquidated by the buyer’s lender (based on the information detailed in the liability letter) and the Title Deed is released to the buyer’s lender via an NOC (No Objection of Change) from the master developer. The buyer's 25% deposit and the remainder of the mortgage loan availed to the buyer (less the amount paid towards liq- uidating the seller's existing mortgage loan) is then remitted to the seller. The process is called a seller buyout mortgage transaction and these types of transactions may involve different dynamics. My advice is that you engage a mortgage brokerage firm that has the expertise to ensure that your seller buyout mortgage process is executed seamlessly. Thatwayallyouneeddoissitback,relaxand let your mortgage firm do the rest. As far as the Emirate of Dubai is concerned, the buyer always bears the 4% (of property cost) land transfer charges. The property I am planning to buy is mortgaged.Ihavethepreapprovalfrom abankformortgage.HowdoIclosethe existing mortgage and transfer the property in my name? How much does it cost and who will bearthecost? MortgageME offers the full com- plement of mortgage brokerage solutions for home ownership and real estate investments. Our services cater to resident expatriates, non-UAE based clients, locals & GCC Nationals and corpo- rate entities. Our mortgage brokerage ser- vices include all residential & commercial mortgage products for property buyers & investors; mortgage buyouts for mortgage obligors with existing mortgages looking to replace their current mortgage deal with a different package under better terms & conditions; and equity release mortgages for property owners looking to convert the capital value of their properties into cash. Our ABR service is offered under the brand name of PropertyME and yes, it exclusively represents property buyers and their inter- ests. As an independent third party, Prop- ertyME works with clients to establish their property needs, their affordability and then act on their behalf to source the properties most suited to the generated criteria. WhataretheservicesMortgageME offers? Will you also act as buyer's representativeoryouwillonlyhelp thebuyerwiththemortgage process? November 2014 Issue -24 /// 16
  15. 15. If you have any queries about renovations or conversions, please email at Everything you need to know about property refurbishment, conversions and permissions. w i t h i n t e r i o r e x p e r t ExpertAdvice Adam Riccio Operations director Under One Roof 04 323 2722 It depends on how you want your living space. An obvious choice if you do not have a live in maid- would be to knock through the existing storeroom and maid’s room and com- bine into one bigger area. This could then be fitted out with bespoke office shelving, storage space and desks to fit your exact requirements. A good fit out company should be able to do all of this work for you including new cabling, electrics and make the space work for your needs. They should also be able to give you a 3D Design of how the space could look and samples of the final cabinets and furniture for you to choose from as part of their service. I want to create an office space in my apartment for my personal work. Mine is a three-bedroom apartment with a storeroom and maid's room. Which area do you recommend for the office space? Generally most developers no lon- ger allow this type of conversion although in the early days, some conversions did take place. It is still worth checking with your developer as the reg- ulations with regard to this are always evolving and depend on light, access etc. It is very important to get proper approv- als for the work done as these are then registered as alterations to your property. Without this, it could become difficult to resell your property later. A reliable con- tractor would not do any work on your home without obtaining the necessary approvals first. I want to convert my garage into a games room. Is it legal to do so? WhoshouldIgetpermissionfrom? Each developer has their own set of rules and regulations for approvals. In most cases these are very detailed and comprehensive. Usually they can be obtained from your master developer’s office that deals with your development. Once obtained, your requirements need to be submitted, any potential structural issues addressed, and various paperwork such as passport copies, deeds of sale etc submitted along with deposits, some refundable, some not. All of this can be done by your cho- sen contractor who should have a qual- ified engineer on their payroll to check and submit the application on your behalf. This work should be free of charge and included as part of the services they provide to you, assuming you go ahead with the work. It is always worth checking with your chosen contractor as to how they gain permissions for the work they do and ask to speak to three or four previous clients who have had done similar work to which you require to see if they were satisfied, to make sure they are qualified to do the work. One thing to be aware of is that no guarantee can be given by the contractor as to whether they will obtain approvals or how long those approvals will take as that is up to the developers to decide. I have a four-bedroom villa, which I bought last month in the Springs. I want to com- pletely redo the interiors as per my requirements. What is the procedure to get approvals? Dubai Marina November 2014 Issue -24 /// 18
  16. 16. If you have any legal queries about buying or renting, please email at Our expert answers the legal queries about buying and renting properties. w i t h l e g a l e x p e r t ExpertAdvice Jerry Parks Partner Taylor Wessing The first point to check is that the company you appoint is licensed with RERA to provide the services in question. The company should hold a licence the activity of ‘Leasing and Man- agement of Other People's Property’. In order to obtain such a licence the com- panyisrequiredtoprovideaAED5million bank guarantee, which gives you some comfort and protection. You should ask for a copy of this licence and also check with RERA to confirm the company’s registration status. You will need to enter into an agreement with the company to manage your properties, clearly setting out the scope of the services they will provide, and the basis on which they are to be paid (be it a fixed fee or a variable fee based on a percentage of the rental income achieved). Since I am an overseas investor based in India, I would like to appointalocalmanagementcom- pany to manage my properties in Dubai. WhatkindofagreementwillIhavetosign with the agency and how does the law protect investors like me in such cases if somethinggoeswronginthefuture? If you are buying a property off- plan from the developer, then the purchase price installments should be paid into an escrow account, rather than to the developer directly. This is the requirement of Law 8 of 2007 which was passed to address con- cerns that developers were not previously obliged to utilize investors’ funds for the projects in which that particular inves- tor was investing. The funds held in the escrow account can be released to con- tractors upon independent certification of construction progress. I am in the process of buying a home in Dubai and the real estate company I am working with is asking me to transfer the funds to their company account for speeding up the process. Is this legal? Should there be an Escrow account for such transactions as per the law? There is no prohibition against an individual renting more than one apartment. If you are finding that landlords will demand a higher rent for corporate lets than for individual lets, then you could rent units in your own name. However, if you are then effec- tively going to sublet those units to staff members,youwillneedtoobtaintheper- mission of the landlord to do so. Alterna- tively, the executive level staff could take the leases in their own names. I run a manufacturing com- pany in Dubai. When I tried to rent a few rooms for my exec- utive level staff, I found that land- lords are asking for higher rent if its for a company accommodation. Can I rent few apartments in my name so that I can save on the rents? Does the law permit one individual to rent multiple units? Dubai Marina skyline November 2014 Issue -24 /// 20
  17. 17. Customer Services: 600 54 7773 | DUBAI | ABU DHABI | AL AIN | SHARJAH | QATAR | JORDAN Disclaimer: Whilst every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the contents of this literature do not form part of or constitutes a representation or warranty and should be treated as a guide only. Government of Dubai Land Department Registration No. 180 ASSET MANAGEMENT SALES LEASING VALUATION & ADVISORY SALES MANAGEMENT After three decades of experience, local knowledge and achieving results for the region’s top property owners, developers and investors, our success is now yours to benefit from. OWNERS ASSOCIATION The Asteco Sales & Leasing Brokerage Franchise... EARN THE Lion's Share Following 30 Years of success as an industry leader, we are pleased to announce the launch of our unique REAL ESTATE FRANChISING OppORTUNITIES so that brokers and entrepreneurs like you, can enjoy the financial rewards and success you deserve. COMMISSION* CREDIBILITY YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUPPORT As a Franchisee, you’ll get exclusive access to our enviable Sales & Leasing Listings: EXCLUSIVE OR JOINT AGENT & MANY MORE *Less Royalty Fees
  18. 18. L uxury real estate developer, DAMAC Properties, has won a top industry award for the ‘Res- idential Project of the Year’ at the ‘Design and Build Awards’ held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al Jawharah, an iconic 47-storey luxury residential tower on the banks of the Red Sea in Jeddah, was named the best project in the King- dom by Construction Week magazine, a leading specialized publication in the Middle East. DAMAC’s Al Jawharah includes ‘DAMAC Residences’, the first Versace Home styled apartments in the country. The distinguished project has wit- nessed huge customer demand from the day of its launch until its recent completion, witnessed by the record sales of the various apartments in dif- ferent styles and sizes. Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director at DAMAC Prop- erties said: “We are glad of this presti- gious award that showcases the high quality and excellence in execution that DAMAC always invests in its proj- ects.” He added: “DAMAC’s excellence doesn’t stop here; we are delighted that our first completed international project has won this prestigious award and we are confident that our other luxury projects in Saudi Arabia will witness similar success.” DAMAC has two major luxury residential projects under construction in the Saudi capital Riyadh; the first being DAMAC Esclusiva with interiors by FENDI Casa and the second, DAMAC Tower by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, both luxury serviced hotel apartments to be managed upon completion by DAMAC Maison and Par- amount respectively. The two projects are making impressive progress and recently reached a key milestone last month with the topping off of both towers. The projects both overlook the Kingdom Tower on King Fahd road in the heart of the capital city. “We have seen such a positive response from our customers to luxury living concepts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Ziad. “Al Jawharah in Jeddah, DAMAC Esclu- siva and DAMAC Tower by Paramount in Riyadh represents the new elegant and luxurious way of living demanded by a refined segment of Saudi’s living in these two cities, or those visiting for vacation or business purposes,” El Chaar went on to say: “These projects pres- ent a great opportunity for investment while buying a place for living in one of the most desired areas in Jeddah and Riyadh. DAMAC Properties' experts will be ready to provide more information about the two luxury projects in Riyadh for interested Saudi investors or cus- tomers, during next week’s special sales events to be held in designated loca- tions that will be announced soon.” Al Jawharah has won numerous industry awards including ‘Best High-Rise Archi- tecture’ at the 2010 Arabian Property Awards and ‘Outstanding Development of the Year’ from The Big Project awards in 2012. DAMAC’S AL JAWHARAH IN JEDDAH NAMED ‘RESIDENTIAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR’ Market Al Jawharah In Jeddah November 2014 Issue -24 /// 22
  19. 19. TEL: +971 (0)4 277 80 02 | E-MAIL: | WEBSITE:
  20. 20. T here was a time when the property game was for the wealthy investor and those with only small amounts to invest had to look elsewhere to invest their hard earned capital. This is no lon- ger the case due to the rise of new investment platforms which enable even the smallest of investors to enjoy the returns of investing in property. One such platform which is relatively new to the local market is the REIT. REIT is an acro- nym for Real Estate Investment Trust which, as a trust company that accumulates a pool of money through an initial public offering (IPO), buys, develops, manages and sells real estate assets. The IPO is identical to any other security offering with many of the same rules regarding disclosure and reporting require- ments and regulations. Investors,whetherlargeorsmall,insteadof purchasing stock in a single company, have the opportunity to buy a unit which is actually a portion of a managed pool of real estate. This pool of real estate then generates income through renting, leasing, selling and financ- ing of property and distributes it directly to the REIT holder on a regular basis. Units held in a REIT can be bought like a stock on a stock exchange. The REIT invests in real estate directly, either by buying, sell- ing or leasing properties or by investing in property mortgages. There are 3 types of REIT’s. Equity REITs invest in and own properties and therefore are focused on increasing the value of those prop- erties while also accumulating revenues from their properties' rents. Mortgage REITs deal in investment and ownership of property mort- gages. These REITs loan money for mortgages to owners of real estate, or purchase existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Their revenues are generated primarily by the interest or profit that they earn on the mortgage loans while Hybrid REITs combine the investment strategies of equity REITs and mortgage REITs by investing in both proper- ties and mortgages. Individuals can invest in REITs either by purchasing their shares directly on an open exchange or by investing in a mutual fund that specializes in REITs that are listed on the stock exchange. Among other things, REITs invest in shopping malls, office build- ings, apartments, warehouses and hotels. Some REITs will invest specifically in one area of real estate - shopping malls, for example - or in one specific region, state or country. Investing in REITs is a liquid, divi- dend-paying means of participating in the real estate market. REITS allow both small and large inves- tors the ability to invest in real estate with- out investing large amounts of capital or devoting a lot of time in directly managing a property portfolio. A REIT also allows a greater amount of portfolio diversification because of the large amounts of pooled funds available to the REIT Management team enables the accumulation and oper- ation of different types of property assets in different locales. Investing in a REIT is no different to invest- ing in any company. Some companies repre- sent lucrative opportunities, while some com- panies may represent too much risk or poor value. Investors still need to look at the REITS performance in terms of Nett Asset Value growth and dividend payment history, cur- rent portfolio composition and performance, the management team, future plans for the REIT as well as have an understanding of the likely performance of the property market and overall economy in which the REIT par- ticipates. Investors, having completed a thor- ough and in depth assessment of the proba- bility that the REIT will provide desired returns, can participate at the level that is consistent with what they can afford to invest. Another investment platform which allows smaller investors to participate in the prop- erty market is Crowdfunding. A relatively new concept Crowdfunding entails the pooling of funds by a group of individuals to finance ini- tiatives such as real estate investment projects. This is usually done via the internet. The advantages are obvious. Investors get access to the real estate market with small amounts of money and can pick and can efficiently choose which Real Estate projects they wish to invest in, thereby spreading risk and enabling the possibility of building a port- folio made up of a variety of assets, in a vari- ety of locations being developed by a variety of developers. For developers, Crowdfunding provides another source of funding for their projects. Using the internet is an efficient way of attract- ing interest to their projects and the reach that the internet provides magnifies the potential for raising funds more quickly. However, as with any investment, Crowd- funding is not without its risks. Obviously, investors will be exposed to any gyrations in the market along with all the other investors. In addition, the risk of default from developers can be higher when compared to peer-to- peer and direct real estate investment fund- ing. In addition, unlike investing in a REIT, the absence of a secondary market restricts the ease with which an investor can liquidate his or her position. These risks need to be consid- ered carefully when determining the type of return required and, as with any investment, extensive due diligence by all investors, regard- less of whether they be big and small, is of par- amount importance. REAL ESTATE … NOW FOR SMALL INVESTORS AS WELL!! Mohanad Alwadiya, MD of Harbor Real Estate & Instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute, the official training & certification arm of the Dubai Land Department Market November 2014 Issue -24 /// 24
  21. 21. D anube is a familiar name for Dubairesidents, so is its Founder and Chairman Rizwan Sajan. A leader in the building material industry with an unwavering faith in Dubai’s real estate market, Riz- wan is one of the top investors with a diversified portfolio of properties in the UAE. He has now stepped into a differ- ent realm of the property market and set up Danube Properties with an aim to build luxury homes for the middle-in- come group. The company’s first proj- ect, the AED520 million worth Dreamz with 171 townhouses located in Al Fur- jan, was sold out within three hours of the sales launch. At AED2.5 million, each townhouse comes with a wide array of facilities and amenities, completely unheard of in Dubai for this price range. He tells Property Times flashing his signature smile, “This is just the begin- Property Times catches up with Rizwan Sajan, the extremely humble yet articulate Chairman of Danube Group, who has recently ventured into property development with Danube Properties, after having steered the group into the number one position in the UAE’s building material industry. By Binesh Panicker “THISISJUST THEBEGINNING” ning,” hinting at the future projects he has in store. RIZWAN ON DANUBE PROPERTIES… We wanted to enter the property development business ten years ago, but at that time the market was grow- ing at a speed, which nobody could imagine. I felt the pace of growth during those days was unrealistic and then the recession stuck the market a few years later. Looking back, I feel we made the right decision not to get into the prop- erty market during the boom time. But post the crisis, especially over the past couple of years, the market has been growing at a rate that's more realis- tic; that means in the range of 10% to 25% per annum depending on the CoverStory November 2014 Issue -24 /// 26
  22. 22. area. The government introduced a number of laws such as 4% registration fee to keep flippers out of the mar- ket. Developers can’t launch or even advertise their project unless and until the land cost is 100% paid and all the approvals from RERA are secured. All these things are good for the market as it protects the investors and the seri- ous developers. That's why we felt the time was right to enter the property development business. THOUGHT PROCESS BEHIND DREAMZ … In most of the projects in Dubai such as Burj Khalifa, Bur Al Arab, Media City, Internet City and the Metro project, Danube supplied building materials at some point in time. When we thought of launching our first project, we knew we had an edge over other developers “Post the crisis, especially over the past couple of years the market has been growing at a rate that's more realistic; that means in the range of 10% to 25% per annum depending on the area. The government intro- duced a number of laws such as 4% registration fee to keep flippers out of the market.” Dreamz by Danube, Al Furjan CoverStory November 2014 Issue -24 /// 27
  23. 23. in terms of construction cost because of our building material supply back- ground. So we decided to come up with a project that the middle-income group can afford. Our first project Dreamz highlighted this affordability factor as we were selling three-bedroom town- houses at AED2.5 million. We managed to offer the units at AED900 per square foot at such a location as Al Furjan, in the heart of new Dubai, close to Dubai Marina and Emirates Hills. More import- ant are the amenities on offer at the project. In other developments, one may have to do a lot of renovation or decoration after buying the prop- erty, but in Dreamz, we are making sure buyers will get all the amenities and facilities. Units at our project will have Italian marble, modern kitchen, Italian bath- room fittings, Jacuzzi, Swiss origin par- quet flooring, landscaped gardens with gazebo, double glazed windows, water bodies etc. The idea is we want to cre- ate a name in the market for Danube Properties so that people know buying from Danube offers much more values as you get more than just a property. Nakheel is the master developer of Al Furjan, which will soon have all ame- nities and facilities such as community centre, pools, health club etc. TARGETED CUSTOMERS We signed up ex Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar as our brand ambas- sador because we were targeting the Asian customers including Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans etc. I felt that many expatriates from these countries are mid income groups and I wanted to create a luxury development for them at unbelievably affordable prices. People often ask how I manage to sell at such low rates and the answer is simple; we get better prices for all the building materials than all other devel- opers, which help us save on our con- struction costs and we pass it on to our customers. MAD RUSH AT THE SALES LAUNCH All the 171 units were sold out in three hours on the day of the sales launch of Dreamz. We had more than 2,000 enquiries about the project prior to the launch, which was a testimony to the tremendous interest in the market and on the day of the launch about 1,000 people turned up to snap up the prop- erties. It reminded me of pre-recession- frenzy. Luckily for us, everything fell into place as far as Dreamz was concerned such as the location, type of properties, amenities and facilities etc. First and Dreamz by Danube, Al Furjan CoverStory November 2014 Issue -24 /// 28
  24. 24. foremost, I don't think we could offer a better location than Al Furjan at that particular price. Within five minutes, you can reach Sheikh Zayed Road from our project. Pricing turned to be extremely good for the location we were offering. Design also proved to be a major attrac- tion for the buyers compared to similar properties that are coming up in Dubai. We decided to have a very contempo- rary, modern look. Most importantly, the reputation Danube built over the years has played a key role in attract- ing many buyers as we have a proven track record in the building materials industry. We will be launching our sec- ond project soon called Glitz in Studio CIty,as we feel that there is a growing demand for studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms. THE BUBBLE I don't think there is going to be a bubble anytime soon. The biggest advantage of buying a property in Dubai is that the rental income is higher than many other global markets. You will get back your investment within ten years with a rental return of around 10% in Dubai. Also the property prices in Dubai are three to four times less than many international mar- kets such as Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singa- pore and London. “When we thought of launching our first project, we knew we had an edge over other developers in terms of construc- tion cost because of our building material supply background. So we decided to come up with a luxury development that the middle-in- come group can afford.” Dreamz by Danube, Al Furjan CoverStory November 2014 Issue -24 /// 29
  25. 25. T hose who have snapped up a unit in the first release of Emaar’s Dubai Creek Residences, which went for sale earlier this month, have chosen to live in town yet close to nature right for a rich water-fronted life. “The waterfront experience can’t be emphasized enough. This is going to be the next great harbour city of the world,” says Harold Thompson, Vice President at RTKL – Dubai, the firm tasked with master-planning this huge area, about 2.5 times the size of Down- town Burj Khalifa. “We take the Creek for granted but there are very few projects which can draw on its heritage, some- thing this site around 12 kilometres from the Gulf needs to take advantage of,” he remarks. Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, recalls his memories of life at the Creek, describing the project as continuing Dubai’s story. “It is nice to come back to the Creek, where I was born and learnt to swim. To be able to reflect this lifestyle in a mod- ern way today is a wonderful opportu- nity,” he says. THE NEXT PREMIER WATERFRONT ADDRESS: DUBAI CREEK HARBOUR AT THE LAGOONS Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding join hands to deliver a world-class waterfrontliving community at The Lagoons Words and Photography : Nicole Walter/freelance writer Market Views from Dubai Creek Harbour November 2014 Issue -24 /// 30
  26. 26. Live a different lifestyle Living at Dubai Creek Residences will afford sweeping views of Dubai’s sky- line, and with binoculars at hand the pink sea of flamingos, as well as migra- tory birds home in the neighbouring Ras Al Khor wetlands. Nestled around a marina set on an island within the Dubai Creek waters, the apartments designed to be light and airy, come with a host of lifestyle related compo- nents, with hotels dotted around the neighbourhood, including Emaar’s own hospitality brand Vida. The launch of the first two 40-storey towers of Dubai Creek Residences may have past but they form part of a six-tower cluster, leaving the door to this lifestyle open to others. While the developer wouldn’t reveal the starting price of the units, Mohammed said they would be in line with market expectations. “We look at the market at a daily basis,” he says, add- ing that getting the price right is a bit like preparing the right recipe. “We look at how the last launch went, its price point and where the buyers came from. So, if I launched at a certain price point a few weeks ago and it was ok, but today the price point is different, then I need to go back to the kitchen and adjust a few things, and then usually on the day you sell out,” he explains. Future buyers should also be able to take advantage of Emaar’s ‘skip the line’ buying programme, whereby it gives preference to those making a down payment of 30% and ask for ownership to be maintained until handover. Dubai Creek Residences forms only a minute part of the first phase, which includes the first of nine districts, the Island District, of Emaar and Dubai Holding’s Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons master-development, stretching over one and a half acres. Meticulous planning Envisaged to become a new downtown in the Emirate, interconnected districts with residential, as well as retail, busi- The waterfront experience can’t be emphasised enough this is going to be the next great harbour city of the world.” Harold Thompson, Vice President at RTKL – Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 31
  27. 27. ness, cultural, educational and enter- tainment components and plenty of green spaces are on the drawing board, as well as three green line metrostops. “We have about 10.5 million square metres to be developed within 25-30 years. It is very important that we get the mix of uses correct, recognizing that over time the project will develop and adjust but maintain the right bal- ance. Massing is sensitive to the wildlife sanctuary, which we will preserve and enhance and make it educational, whilst the Sanctuary District will be low-rise, so the density is focused on the core of the project,” explains Harold. The Core would be home to the highest twin- tower development globally, at just under 600 metres, surrounded by lots of F&B as a strong centre of excitement and activity, similar to Downtown Burj Khalifa, from which the other districts radiate, says Harold. “The Canal District continues the waterfront experience on the mainland side of the Creek, imag- ine other canal cities in the world. The width of the canal is about 45 metres for only smaller watercraft like water taxis to operate,” he says. ''The public realm connection to the water and walkability were a key direc- tive given by Emaar to the master-plan- ners,'' says Harold. “We planned the dis- tricts so you can get to any of them in the site within a ten minute walk, and a five minute walk within the individual districts. We have a nice hierarchy of blocks, plazas and squares so it feels like an accessible pedestrian friendly envi- ronment,” he details. Equally, the Retail District won’t be home to a giant mall, but a series of interconnected small malls based on the pedestrian high street concept. A business district, like the others will also be intelligently connected. “The other remit we have that this not just needs “It is nice to come back to the Creek, where I was born and learnt to swim. To be able to reflect this lifestyle in a modern way today is a wonderful opportu- nity,” Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties. Market REGISTER FOR NEW LAUNCHES +971 52 88 66 288 T:04 395 75 45 F:04 395 75 46 Views from Dubai Creek Harbour November 2014 Issue -24 /// 32
  28. 28. to be the next downtown development of Dubai but has to take that up to the next level in terms of smart technology, including transportation and infrastruc- ture,” says Harold. Each district, including three residen- tial, will have an amenity centre as its focus, and green fingers radiating from central park spaces around which resi- dential, offices or community facilities, schools etc. are placed. In addition, a green necklace The Boulevard Crescent park, will snake through the master-de- velopment. “For sustainability the value generators are not just congregated in the centre but evenly spread through- out the site,” remarks Harold. While Phase I should be completed sometime in 2017, the developer couldn’t reveal the total value of this project yet, and the ultimate develop- ment speed would depend on demand and supply behaviour. “We don’t have a specific timeframe for the completion of the whole devel- opment. Its just a fact of life that some years are slower or faster than others, it’s a cycle with ups and down, and we should be fit enough to be able to deal with that,” Mohammed remarks. “We try to move as fast as we can, but we’re a profit making company, if the market isn’t there we have to adapt to that, our shareholders won’t allow us to do anything else,” he says, adding he didn’t see a real estate bubble forming since banks and developers have learnt a tough lessons they should remember, welcoming the market cooling down a little. “We’ll continue to supply the market, which is good for our custom- ers because it keeps prices at reason- able level. The market is still good, but what I saw in 2013, people were hungry getting out of control; I am glad I don’t see that, but instead things are going extremely well but reasonable.” Dubai Holding’s CEO, Ahmad bin Byat concurs: “All the stakeholders in the business here in Dubai have learnt the lessons and matured, primar- ily the buyer and the sellers, as well as the banks, real estate developers and regulators.” Market Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar with Dubai Holding’s CEO, Ahmad bin Byat “All the stakeholders in the business here in Dubai have learnt the lessons and matured, primarily the buyer and the sellers, as well as the banks, real estate developers and regulators.” Ahmad bin Byat, CEO, Dubai Holding Views from Dubai Creek Harbour November 2014 Issue -24 /// 34
  29. 29. Market A lthough illegal, the reality on the ground in Dubai’s real estate market partly remains one of unlicensed middle-men squeezing themselves into a deal, leading to loss of deals and confusion, licensed brokers lament. “For us from the outside, it is very difficult to under- stand the market because there are so many people involved in the industry, we’re still trying to figure out how it works here. What I heard from mem- ber companies referring business was that there are countless middlemen involved. That is something I don’t see in too many places worldwide,” Chris- topher Dietz, VP International Opera- tions, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World - London, which represent 550 brokers globally, says. Christopher highlighted that the confusion has led to less international agencies referring business to agents in Dubai, leaving the clients to findtheir own way. “They are not sure who to talk to because they expect a full brokerage firm, which adheres to the rules and regulations, to stand behind a person they are deal- ing with, but on negotiating fees they suddenly find out that there is actually no licensed company behind this per- son entitled to sign this agreement,” he explains. Marwan Bin Ghaleita, RERA’s CEO made clear that after regulating the industry for seven years now, everyone should be holding a RERA card accord- ing to Law No.85 and who participated in a deal without it could be fined and even go to prison.“Everything should be correct with no grey areas. The tough- est part for agents is probably driving away those intruders who come as a middleman, they should fight this and not give them a commission and report them to RERA,” he remarks. “Easier said than done, brokers point out: “We know and we follow that STRINGENT REGULATIONS IN STORE FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) sets out to reduce the number of property brokers to ensure a professional market. By Nicole Walter/freelance writer advice, but then they say we’ll use an agent who will do it, cousins, brothers etc. pop up and then it’s difficult to fight,” says Mario Volpi, Managing Direc- tor at Prestige Real Estate - Dubai. “Yes, that what everyone is telling me; if we follow the rules and regulations, we will lose clients because somebody else is willing to deal with a freelancer but this is their choice, if they continue to accept freelancers within a deal we will never regulate the market,” responds Marwan, though adding that he felt that inves- tors today were choosing their brokers REGISTER FOR NEW LAUNCHES +971 52 88 66 288 T:04 395 75 45 F:04 395 75 46 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 35
  30. 30. more wisely. Cecilia Reinaldo, Manag- ing Director at Fine & Country, says too many, even licensed brokers, meddling in one deal was simply not helping with client confidence as they were not sure who represented whom. “Because of that, the broker’s value has been dimin- ished and sellers and buyers are playing on that to negotiate fees, even agents negotiate referral fees among them- selves to get hold of certain properties,” she describes. Solutions RERA is coming up with a solution, which should curb both, middlemen appearing and reducing the number of brokers, in the market. Currently, there are around 2,205 brokerage firms and 5,021 property agents in Dubai, about half that of peak times. Mario believes RERA had done well to reduce numbers from the height of the market six years ago. “But understanding the size of Dubai, when a buyer/seller or landlord/ tenant has a choice of say, 500 agencies, is this not enough?,” he remarks. Marwan concurs that current num- bers are still too much for Dubai. “This year alone, 567 new offices opened as people woke up and said I will start a real estate company because the market is doing good,” he highlights. “So what shall I do to fight this? These are already people on the ground I cannot just take them out, that’s why we are regulating them making it more tough to pass the exam increasing the minimum pass rate to 85 %, and putting new regulations in place,” he adds. The new regulations includes replac- ing the broker card with the Emirates ID highlighting the profession for agents to use in property deals, everyone involved in carrying out transactions would have a card reader and a new smart application would ensure peo- ple could verify an agent’s authenticity, explains Marwan. “I think by mid-June next year, none of the agents will have a broker card. So all the transactions and the moves that real estate agents will do will be linked to their National ID and we can measure their performance,” he says. Performance would become par- amount to staying in the business, as RERA plans to withdraw licenses from those who don’t. “We will be tough, yet we will consult and give time to imple- ment new rules, it is not going to come tomorrow or the day after, but I need only professional people on the ground. I expect everyone to make sure they do the transaction themselves, not passing it on to a middlemen or another agent. I will send a letter to their office within six months to a year telling them to let this agent go, or change his position, this way we will reduce the number,” explains Marwan. Cecilia believes that as Dubai’s regu- latory framework evolves and becomes more complex, it would become very difficult for most companies to be compliant, and that in itself and mar- ket forces, was big challenge for sur- vival for agents that were in business “Everything should be correct with no grey areas. The toughest part for agents is probably driving away those intruders who come as a middleman, they should fight this and not give them a commission and report them to RERA.” Marwan Bin Ghaleita, CEO, RERA Market Dubai Marina November 2014 Issue -24 /// 36
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  32. 32. for the wrong reason, already. “RERA and DLD have achieved much in a relatively short period of time in one of the most dynamic and challeng- ing real estate hot spots in the world. So, ensuring that brokers adhere to tighter controls is indeed good news,” says Cecilia, who reckons it would also make it even harder for non-registered brokers to operate. “Brokers themselves are already now reporting freelancers to the regulator and clients are becoming more aware of the necessary IDs that are required for a broker to operate,” she welcomes the move. Although Mario reckons it was diffi- cult to predict the outcome of using the EID as a broker card, given the mentality of some of the brokers in Dubai, they may still do deals with unregistered agents, he would welcome seeing even a small reduction in these kind of trans- actions as a step in the right direction. “Tighter controls on what brokers are doing can only be a good thing. The “RERA and DLD have achieved much in a rela- tively short period of time in one of the most dynamic and challenging real estate hot spots in the world. So, ensuring that brokers adhere to tighter controls is indeed good news.” Cecilia Reinaldo, Man- aging Director, Fine & Country professional agents amongst us have nothing to hide. So, if this helps to weed out the bad agents in the market then I welcome it,” he adds. Sandrine Loureiro, Head - Commercial Sales & Leasing at Better Homes Head Office, is convinced that the Emirates ID was another pos- itive step against freelancers operating in the market. “Since the introduction of freehold sales in Dubai, the Land Department have experienced a large number of Trade Licenses opening during good times, then closing, and many remain inactive,” she remarks. “Every week, we see new brokerages opening up and employing agents who may not have the right credentials. We need our industry to be regulated and more professional. Real estate is a profession,” Sandrine says, adding that the new process should allow RERA to monitor serious players looking at the long term and not just those in the market to make a quick buck. “The con- solidation of labour cards, employment visas, RERA registrations and broker offices licenses registrations will con- tinue to deter "fly by night operators". Thereafter, it is up to each broker and brokerage firm to ensure that they do not work with non-registered agents. When all of us are on the same page, we will all benefit,” she emphasizes. In addition, RERA will make it more difficult for new real estate companies to grow too fast for the sake of it. “I will only give them four agents as a start up company. And let us watch their per- formance for the whole year, if they are doing good we will add the fifth, and if they are doing well and need more agents they will have to pay extra fees,” Marwan remarks. Cecilia reckons reining in recruitment at new companies should ensure that the first brokers they hire are properly trainedandsufficientlyequippedbefore they can operate as most new compa- nies didn’t have enough resources for ongoing training they tended to fail meeting the basic needs of the costum- ers. “I am pleased that there are numeri- cal restrictions on the number of broker licences given out to new agencies, as I firmly believe that there are far too many companies and individuals work- ing in the real estate industry here in Dubai,” Mario concludes. Market Sheikh Zayed Road Skyline and Dubai Metro November 2014 Issue -24 /// 38
  33. 33. T o most people in the region, shipping containers are mam- moth steel boxes that transport cargo across land, air and sea – and rather imposing on roads. But not to Arjun Menon, Managing Director of Smart Box, Dubai. To him they are SMART boxes – Steel, Modular, Archi- tecturally engineered, Recyclable and Transportable boxes – Lego blocks that he plays with, to create some of the greenest habitats in the region. Arjun is truly a green advocate, a fact that is evident from the environ- ment-friendly practices he follows in his office. Perhaps, this commitment towards the cause is the reason he studied container conversion at such length, and opted for SMART construc- tion. “Very often, we see up to a third of used containers lying in ports at any given time. This is usually the result of trade imbalance, when it becomes unviable for shipping lines to transport empty containers back to their places of origin,” he explains. “A container is usu- ally declared non-seaworthy when the cost of repairing it exceeds that of man- ufacturing a new one. A container that is not seaworthy still retains its inherent qualities of strength and durability, and can be given a new lease of life. To me, upcycling used containers is an envi- ronmentally responsible alternative to abandoningtheminpilesonvacantlots. These otherwise redundant resources – well past their initial intended use in the transportation industry – are capable of providing adequate, affordable square footage for housing, commercial and other purposes,” he says. “Selecting containers that are conversion wor- thy, however, is important. At Smart Box, we ensure that the containers we choose for conversion are free of con- taminants, chemicals and spillage,” Arjun clarifies. What is SMART? “From the environment point of view, SMART roughly translates to minimal creation and consumption of new resources for construction, which sig- nificantly reduces carbon footprint. By upcycling containers, you cut down on the use of traditional building materials such as cement, brick, mortar and steel, providing comprehensive economic Arjun Menon’s commitment to sustainable practices brings container upcycling technology to the MENA region. He tells Mini Shivakumar Menon why he chooses SMART as his way forward. and environmental benefits,” he adds. Arjun has been repurposing shipping containers for residential, commercial and institutional uses at Smart Box since 1997, meeting the spatial needs of con- struction, mining, defense, hospitality, marine and engineering industries worldwide. His landmark achievement, however, came in 2013, in the form of MENA region’s first approved perma- nent modular building made of con- verted shipping containers that Smart Box constructed for Geo-Chem Middle East in Dubai’s Techno Park. The 13,440- sq. ft. office-cum-storage space com- prises 42 units of 40’ containers, and meets all the requirements of a typical office building: an open-plan office, a reception area, several individual cab- ins, a pantry-cum-dining room as well as conference, IT, prayer and ablution rooms. In addition, the facility hosts a capacious archive spread across 5,200 squarefeet. Rajiv Bahl, Managing Direc- tor of Geo-Chem Middle East, wanted to be atrendsetter, opting for a green building for their new headquarters – and he loved the idea of building with containers. Apart from the fact that a SMARTANDGREEN– THEFUTUREOFCONSTRUCTION November 2014 Issue -24 /// 39
  34. 34. Market shipping container structure is made up to 98% of recycled materials, there are other factors that make SMART build- ings green and sustainable. For one, they can easily be adapted to become the most energy efficient constructions in the region. “An insulated container module is more energy efficient than any other traditional or alternative con- structionoption.AccordingtotheWorld Steel Association, the energy saved by recycling reduces the annual energy consumption of the steel industry by about 75%, enough to power 18 million homes for one year,” says Arjun. “Smart Box has the capability to convert con- tainers into completely green buildings. We can incorporate environmentally friendly options into a SMART build- ing, right from superior quality insu- lation and natural lighting for energy efficiency to water recycling and solar panel electricity system – if the client so wishes,” continues Arjun. The Geo- Chem headquarters has the advantage of maximized natural lighting through tubular skylights and LED down lights, as well as rockwool and fire-rated gyp- sum insulation. SMART buildings do not require tra- ditional foundations to be dug; this means that the land on which they stand can be easily restored to its orig- inal state if and when the buildings are dismantled. Additionally, these build- ings are recyclable – they can be reused more than once, and at the very end of their lifecycle, can be sold for the value of steel. Shipping containers are made of Cor-Ten, specialized ‘weath- ering’ steel that is also used to build bridges and create outdoor sculptures. It is 75% stronger than mild steel, and has superior bonding properties with paints and coatings. This ensures that SMART buildings are among the most durable, with a virtually infinite lifespan. The steel shell also makes them fire, termite and mould proof. Designed to withstand the hostile maritime dynamic environment, shipping containers are immensely capable of withstanding earthquakes, tornadoes and other nat- ural calamities. Aesthetic elements For many, the question that would come to mind is about aesthetics – both in terms of interiors and the exterior. One look at Arjun’s very elegant confer- ence room in Al Quoz is enough to put the minds of skeptics to rest. “We joined three units of 40-ft. containers side by side and removed the inner walls. We then divided the space into two, and this is one half,” he says. The other half of the building sports a sample luxu- ryone-bedroom hotel suite that was made as a model for a hotel for a Saudi Arabian developer who wanted to build a hotel in Kampala, Uganda. The interi- ors are stunning. “SMART buildings can be adapted to any design aesthetics; be it the minimalistic simplicity of their raw industrial lines, or ‘dressed up’ to stand out, or blend into any background. Aes- thetic enhancements can be added by painting the exteriors, or in the form of facades that suit the surroundings or zoning covenants. Exteriors can also be standardized in design using any traditional cladding structure , or their greener alternatives, depending on the client’s choice,” Arjun adds. So far his Smart Box Industries has recycled thousands of steel containers to build offices, homes, storage facili- ties, ablution units and more the MENA region and the UAE. Though a relatively new concept in the region, an increas- ing number of environmentally sensi- tive and innovative entrepreneurs are now opting for SMART construction. Smart Box’s impressive list of projects in the pipeline has some of the region’s most fashionable names including Dubai Design District (D3), Dubai’s cut- ting edge concept aptly termed as ‘a collective of creativity’. Building with containers is not a new concept. Container City in the heart of London’s Docklands is a very popu- lar collection of five-storey structures that have been in existence for over a decade now. Its success prompted the developers to build Container City II, a commercial space that is equally in demand. They later built small stadi- ums, hotels, schools, all with containers. There are other commercially success- ful construction projects in countries as diverse as New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Keetwonen in Amsterdam, a 1,000-unit dormitory with all facilities, is made entirely of containers, and is a huge success among students. SMART is certainly the future of construction. With modular construction coming of age and Expo 2020 timelines looming large, Menon feels it is breakout time for Smart Box. His plan to build the first 7-storey residential building using con- tainers in Dubai is set to take off in 2015. That will be Smart Box’s coming of age, feels Menon. “SMART construction is greener, smarter, safer and quicker,” he concludes. Conference room November 2014 Issue -24 /// 40
  35. 35. MEETTHEAGENTS When did you come to Dubai: August, 2009 Previous profession: Retail First sale in Dubai (villa, apartment or commercial? Which year? And value of the transaction: Two-bedroom apartment in The Burj Resi- dences Tower for AED4 million What you like about your profession: I love the energy and the buzz around the office coupled with the excitement of finalizing a deal. Hobbies: Real Estate/ Sport / Music / Learning French. Favorite hangouts: La PetiteMansion Why you love Dubai: It is a dreamland with unlimited opportuni- ties. So I am very happy to live here. When did you come to Dubai: November, 2013 Previous profession: Account manager for a mobile network software company First sale in Dubai (villa, apartment or commercial? Which year? And value of the transaction: My first sale was an Al Furjan villa, three-bedroom, in March this year, worth AED3.9 million What you like about your profession: I like interacting and meeting with new people, and the ability to see very tangible results from the hard work you put in. Hobbies: My hobbies include playing rugby, going to the gym, or relaxing by the beach with friends Favorite hangouts: My favourite hangouts include Barasti beach bar, kite beach or anywhere that involves being able to get away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai life. Why you love Dubai: I love Dubai because of the opportunity it presents. It's a city that's fast paced, dynamic, multicultural, and geared around making and spending money. It is one of the best places to be as a young guy or girl. Anna Zavarzina : Russian Aston Pearl Real Estate (Sales & Brokerage Division). BRN. 30729 James Bush : English PowerHouse Properties, BRN. 30962 Market November 2014 Issue -24 /// 42
  36. 36. When did you come to Dubai: 2012 Previous profession: Luxury jewelry broker for brands such as Cartier, Rolex etc First sale in Dubai (villa, apartment or commercial? Which year? And value of the transaction: My first sale was a penthouse in Emirates Crown in 2012 and the value was AED17 million What you like about your profession: Every day there is a new challenge. It is a profes- sion about beautiful things. I love to see my clients happy when I find the dream home for them. Hobbies: I love sports, adventure, spa weekends and discovering new things in Dubai. Favorite hangouts: My favourite places are Zuma (DIFC), Roberto's (DIFC) Why you love Dubai: love Dubai because it is multi-ethnic, where you meet people from all over the world. It is one of the safest countries in the world. It is full of opportu- nities and with Sheikh Mohammed's vision; it will reach new heights of success. When did you come to Dubai: 2009 Previous profession: Accountant / cabin crew First sale in Dubai (villa, apartment or commercial? Which year? And value of the trans- action: It was a three-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina last year with the most breathtaking views for almost AED4 million. What you like about your profession: Surprises, the good ones… The role is always exciting and full of newchallenges. Plus I have the advantage of meeting great people, all of which are absolutely different and unique characters. Hobbies: I am currently doing my Masters in International Business, so there is not much time for my favourite hobby, horseback riding. I tried to do some vocals, but my sister asked me to stop. Favorite hangouts: Jumeirah Beach Residence “the Walk” is my favorite place for my tea time. Why you love Dubai: I love Dubai because of the Downtown Burj Khalifa Fountains. I love that magical place with beautiful views, water and music. Stefano Leopaldi : Italian Al Habtoor Properties, Sales manager, BRN. 29695 Dinara Saidova : Uzbek / Russian Property Success Advisor at GGICO properties, BRN. 31461 Market November 2014 Issue -24 /// 43
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  39. 39. RESIDENTIAL POINTERS - THE WOWS AND WOES For residents Jumeirah Lakes Towers has slowly become a fully developed, self-sufficient community and recent additions have demonstrated an increased focus on safe and expanded play-zones for children as well as enhanced road-works, parking and leisure facilities for adults. While most mixed-use communities suffer from a lack of extensive residential services, JLT boasts a significant array of services catering to the needs of residents. From medium to large groceries to nurseries and learning centers, from day-care and medical facilities to laundromats and catering services, the community has grown into an all encompassing and thriving space for residents. “It has proven to be a good decision”, says Mohammed, a resident of JLT for the last six years. “When we first came to live here, it was a nightmare! It was completely deserted - no support ser- vices, no restaurants, roadworks still underway. But over the years we have seen a drastic change. I think credit must go to DMCC for having turned the place around. Now we look forward to coming back home. And people all around, from Discovery Gardens and even Marina, plagued by traffic and other woes, are seeking out options to stay in JLT” he adds. The initial launch years had seen JLT grappling with a lot of issues from smell of stagnant water to traffic and security concerns as well as the biggest draw- back for families with kids – a complete lack of play areas for kids. To the benefit of residents all these issues have been tackled head-on by DMCC and JLT now boasts a smell free, bustling, cos- mopolitan environment, with smooth traffic arrangements and access roads. The greatest change and development has, of course, been in the space of play zones for kids. “Its incredible what they have done now. Each cluster now has its own play area for children, safe, with a dedicated security guard. For families with kids, this is a big boon,” adds Mohammed. JLT has often suffered from a ‘traffic merry-go-round’ label, owing its one- way traffic rules that require you to go all around the Clusters for access COMMUNITY FOCUS: JUMEIRAH LAKES TOWERS Is a JLT an ideal option for residential and commercial buyers and tenants? By Neha Kaul/freelance writer to buildings or to get back onto the main highway. However residents feel otherwise. Mohammed is quick to point out. “Yes we might have to take a full round, but it’s smooth, orga- nized and moving traffic. Not like some other areas around, where friends tell me they get stuck on the supposedly straight road for an hour to reach the Sheikh Zayed Road!!” Parking however continues to be a key concern, and the free three hours, followed by a fine of AED200 for over- stepping the three-hour bracket is lead- ingtoraisedtempersandfrequentargu- ments with security guards. “This is one thing DMCC seriously needs to work on. As a rule it makes no sense. I cannot ask my guest to leave in three hours! Plus if they charge AED20 or AED50 per hour after the first three hours, it still makes sense. Straightaway charging AED200/- is too steep and unreasonable,” feels Mohammed. Frequent community events keep residents connected and provide net- working and fun opportunities for children and adults alike. The recent addition of the inflatable water park Market JLT, Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 46
  40. 40. “I feel JLT is the cosmopolitan pocket of Dubai. It’s a full- fledged city out here and as businesses we lack no services or amenities, all the way from banks to car rentals.” Jyoti Karmali, CEO and Managing Director, JK Eventz and water-slides, some of them being deemed the largest inflatable water rides in the world, is the most current example of the DMCC’s initiatives to provide value for community residents. But more remains to be done as resi- dents feel DMCC suffers from commu- nication lapses wherein information about such events is not circulated properly. “They are doing a lot. Recently there were Eid celebrations in the com- munity. But unfortunately we were not informed of the same. One poster in the parking lot does not suffice in tell- ing residents about such community events. There should be email invita- tions and updates, as well as fliers dis- tributed to our doors, so as residents we can all participate and enjoy and take benefit from these DMCC initiatives,” concludes Mohammed. COMMERCIALLY VIABLE - THE WOWS AND WOES Jumeirah Lakes Towers has rapidly grown from being just another free zone space to becoming one of the largest free zone developments in Dubai. The 200-hectare mixed-use free zone is located in the heart of new Dubai and comprises both freehold and leasing options, commercial as well as residential. Regulated and promoted by DMCC, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, a government entity set-up in 2002 to enhance trade flows across sectors, the Jumeirah Lakes Towers district has attracted major multi-nationals and SME’s to make it their business base. For business owners JLT has become a haven compared to other increas- ingly expensive commercial spaces in the Dubai market. Office rentals range from AED90 to AED100 per square feet, while the current rate for buying an office is around AED1,200 per square feet. Jyoti Karmali, CEO and Managing Director, JK Eventz, who runs a bou- tique events agency from JLT, feels the perfect balance of low rentals and selling prices coupled with simplified registration and licensing processes have led to JLT’s increasing popularity as a thriving business hub. “I was con- sidering various locations before mov- ing here two years back. As an events company, I could be located anywhere. But I chose JLT as even then it was one of the most rapidly maturing commu- nities in Dubai, offering affordable pric- ing and easy start-up options for SME’s. JLT is a value-for-money proposition for any business. DMCC makes the licens- ing process smooth. The infrastructure has developed really well and sup- ports the growth of the community,” adds Jyoti. Speckled alongside the array of prestigious commercial and residen- tial towers are highly developed retail and leisure amenities and services, including restaurants,spas, salons, edu- cational institutes (nurseries, world class universities, language learning centers and music institutes to name a few), recreation parks, lakes and play areas as well as hotels & conferencing facilities. “I feel JLT is the cosmopolitan pocket of Dubai. It’s a full-fledged city out here and as businesses we lack no services or amenities, all the way from banks to car rentals. And DMCC ensures members are kept updated on all the new additions, services and advance- ments in the community, including parking, traffic diversions, educational workshops and lectures as well as lei- sure developments.” However, the single biggest benefit of JLT, as cited by business owners, is its connectiv- ity to the rest of Dubai due to its easy access and proximity to the Metro. Jyoti enthusiastically adds, “ This is a big boon for us when hiring staff who find the access to the metro a key benefit of working here” While the community continues to grow further, the current biggest woe of residents is the traffic and parking situation. Getting into and out of JLT is being seen as rigmarole of sorts due to the construction all around. “We are finding it hard to invite and guide clients to their offices. Plus the lim- ited parkingspaces, the ceiling on free hours of parking and the paid-park- ing requirements is becoming a daily issue. But we do realize and hope this is temporary, and that the launch of the Dubai tram service and the completion of the JLT infrastructure works will lead to enhanced services for all community members,” feels Jyoti. Market JLT, Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 47
  41. 41. established now. The courses have been operational for four years and represent a lush green oasis located in the desert of Dubai with the PGA Race to Dubai Tour being played on the Earth course in November and it is certainly now on the World Golf Tournament map. 3. The villas The units are located around the perim- eters of the two courses and offer amaz- ing views with very high quality designs and specifications with smart home systems, high quality kitchens with Ger- man appliances. Some developers are offering properties complete with land- scaping packages with soft landscaping and swimming pools and are based pri- marily on European styles with strong Spanish and Italian concepts in most operational with the remaining two golf courses slated for completion in phase II The entire development will cover a staggering 1,100 hectares when com- pleted, while Phase I covers 375 hect- ares. There are 13 communities within the first phase, with five communities currently occupied and the remaining communities are mostly ready with the handovers commencing in 2015. There are a couple of large plots avail- able for developers wishing to build on the development to complete the remaining communities. The size of the communities range from 40 villas up to 180 townhouses. 2. Golf courses The two prestigious golf courses were designed by Greg Norman nicknamed the Great White Shark are very much AN IDEAL ABODE: JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES Property Times catches up with Property Boutique Real Estate’s Jumeirah Golf Estates specialist Paul Bennett, who has over four years of experience and extensive knowledge about the community. He tells us why he is so passionate about this golf development and why many people are choosing to live in this high quality development of villas located around two championship golf courses. By Binesh Panicker PAUL ON… 1. The community Jumeirah Golf Estates is located near the junction of the Al Khail Road, Al Fay Road extension with Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Highway. It is a high quality gated golf course development featur- ing three- to six-bedroom townhouses and villas. Having been delayed due to the market crash of 2008, the devel- opment is certainly underway now. The early birds in the community will be soon celebrating their first anniver- sary of moving into the development, which features approximately 900 lux- ury properties in the first phase which is located around two 18-hole champion- ship golf courses named after the four classical elements; Earth, Fire, Wind and Water. Currently Earth and Fire are fully Market Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 48
  42. 42. designs. Most villas will be facing the golf course by the design of the devel- opment while the remaining units will offer landscape or lake views. The villa sizes range from three- to four-bedroom townhouses to large detached villas with up to six bed- rooms, with purchasing prices rang- ing between AED5 million to AED25 million. Mortgages are available and payment plans are on offer for villas under construction. 4. Security Security is a high priority in this gated community, which features the main security gate to the perimeter road of the development and again gated security access to the individual com- munities, which is a major attrac- tion to the residents of Jumeirah Golf Estates. 5. Amenities & facilities Amenities on offer include discounted golf club membership which allows for discounted green fees for owners and those leasing on the development and access to both the Fire and Earth golf courses and being a full member currently provides access on weekdays to Yas links golf course in Abu Dhabi as well. Current facilities include a ten- nis academy, golf academy with Euro- pean tour centre of excellence which includes state of the art tuition facilities and of course the long awaited perma- nent 120,000 square feet club house due to open in November replacing the existing temporary structure offering significantly more facilities including bars, restaurants, cafes and large out- door swimming pools. 6. Local attractions As far as facilities in and around the area are concerned, there are many options in the neighbouring vicinities with Motor City only a five to seven minutes drive away. Motor City has one of the largest Spinneys, multi food outlets and local shops. Recently a small Carrefour has opened as well. For a wider range of facilities, Mall of the Emirates is around 15 minutes drive away while Mirdif City Centre is approximately 25 minutes away. A new mall is due to open near the entrance of Jumeirah Golf Estates at IMPZ (Inter- “Security is a high priority in this gated community, which features the main security gate to the perimeter road of the development and again gated security access to the individual com- munities, which is a major attraction to the residents of Jumeirah Golf Estates.” national Media Production Zone ) by Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF). The first phase of the mall will cover 300,000 square feet and an investment of AED275 million has been announced. This mall is expected to be ready by 2015 and one more phase will follow over the next few years. 7. Schools There are many schools available in the area with Jess and Repton less than 20 minutes drive away. More international schools are com- ing to the area such as Nord Anglia International School. 8. Transportation Jumeirah Golf Estates has direct access to Al Khail Road and Sheik Moham- med Bin Zayed Road, which enables residents to reach most parts of Dubai easily. With Downtown Dubai 20 min- utes away, Dubai International Airport 25 minutes away and the new Dubai World Central and Expo 2020 site all within 20 minutes drive, JGE is certainly a great choice for those who are look- ing for a dream home. Market Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai November 2014 Issue -24 /// 49
  43. 43. With the competition heating up among mortgage providers, what benefits can end users expect from banks in terms of interest rates and easier availability of mortgages? Interest rate is the key component of any asset product. The rate deter- mines the monthly installment for the borrower, and home being one of the largest purchases, the rate at which the loan is provided becomes a key compo- nent of the proposition. Current inter- est rate on mortgages are in the range of 3.49% to 4.99% depending on the transaction type & the period it is being fixed for. Mortgage lenders and banks view mortgage loans as a low-risk secured asset with a stickiness factor due to the nature & lifecycle of the product. In 2011 there were only a handful of lenders providing mortgage financing in the market and that too with stringent financing terms, but as we speak and over the past 24 month more and morefinancial institutions are lining up to tap into the opportu- nities that surround this sector. Banks have started attracting consumers by introducing different product variants & propositions, making mortgages easily available in the market. Top mortgage lending banks like Mashreq who offer a wide range of solutions to cater to customer require- ments across segments will stand to benefit. Over and above the array of options to choose from, the person- alized service with host of other bank- ing benefits will act as a competitive advantage for Mashreq customers availing mortgages. What is the current situation in the mortgage market in terms of demand and supply? As a mortgage pro- vider, have you seen an increase in demand recently? The later part of the year 2012 saw the revival of the real estate sector with capital appreciation reaching up to 35% during the year 2013. The home finance sector garnered the benefits of this upsurge in the reality sector with banks and financial institutions flocking in to take advantage in 2013. We had witnessed a reduced demand in re-sales mortgage transactions Q2 & Q3 this year, however this was com- pensated with increase in equity release mortgages, consequently keeping the demand at sustainable levels. We expect the demand levels to remain stable, and with all macroeconomic indicators looking positive, we expect the demand to gradually increase over the long term. What are the latest mortgage prod- ucts from Mashreq that will benefit the end users? Mashreq offers a complete and com- prehensive range of home loan solu- tions which are tailored to suit individ- ual needs of our clients. So, whether our clients are salaried or self-employed; our high finance amounts, competitive profit rates, wide network of approved developments, and quick processing are designed to ensure peace of mind throughout the process. Over the last year, Mashreq has enhanced its traditional mortgage offer- ing introducing various variants and plans which cater to the needs of our "REALESTATEMARKETIS POISEDFOR STABLE GROWTH IN THE COMING YEARS" In conversation with Pawan Dhawan, Vice President - Head of Mortgages, Mashreq By Binesh Panicker Market November 2014 Issue -24 /// 50