LIVE: Updates from Cityscape Global 2015 in Dubai

All the latest news and updates from Dubai’s biggest property event



DAY THREE

 

5.00 pm

And one more image – this time it’s from developer Damac’s stand.

Bugatti MD Visits DAMAC Properties stand at Cityscape Global Following Launch of Luxury Villa Collection

Yes, that’s an actual Bugatti and the person standing next to the luxury car is Bugatti’s managing director of Brand Lifestyle Massimiliano Ferrari.

The car made a presence to signal Damac’s launch of a luxurious Bugatti-styled villa community in its AKOYA Oxygen development. Apart from the car, a ‘Bugatti drink’ was also handed out at the stall, a fellow journalist told us.

And with that we come to an end of this year’s Cityscape coverage. You can always find more news and views on Dubai’s property market on our website.

2.10 pm

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum made a visit to Cityscape Global and toured the stands. He stopped by Dubai Properties’ stand where he was briefed about the latest projects.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum visits DPG stand

12.50 pm
The massive Mall of the World project launched last year has been delayed, developer Dubai Holding has confirmed. The site of the development is currently occupied by the Dubai Police Academy, which is expected to move only in two years.

The company had said last year that it expected to commence work on the first phase of the project during the first quarter of 2015.

The massive 48 million sq ft, climate-controlled development will house the world’s largest shopping mall and the world’s largest indoor theme park, covered by a glass dome that will be open during the winter months. The project will also include a wellness zone, a cultural celebration district and 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms.

Once completed, the development is expected to welcome around 180 million visitors annually.

11.30 am

News now from developer Tanmiyat Global, which has said that the first 172 villas within its Living Legends projects have been completed. The overall site has reached 80 per cent completion on infrastructure and roads and the electrical sub-station is also over 80 per cent complete, the developer confirmed.

Once completed, the 14.4 million square foot mixed-use development will include 500 villas and 12 apartment towers, along with a community club house, 9-hole golf course, shopping mall, boutique hotel, schools and clinics.

Located in Dubailand, the development is set for completion in 2016 and is estimated to create 1,500 permanent jobs, according to Tanmiyat.

9.45 am

The CEO of Jumeirah Golf Estates has confirmed to us that they are mulling the launch of a second phase of AlAndalus by next year. The second phase of the residential community will have townhouses that will be bigger in size compared to phase one, Yousuf Kazim told Gulf Business.

Although Dubai’s property market is correcting itself, Kazim forecast a brighter future with demand picking up again in the run up to Expo 2020. Read more here.

DAY TWO

 

5:20

That’s it for our coverage of day two. More coming on this space, stay tuned!

4:55

Visitors to Cityscape this year seem to be more interested in affordable properties. Gulf Business just passed a packed open seminar theatre where experts are discussing the feasibility of affordable units. According to one speaker, the return on investment in this bracket is still high, at around 7 per cent annually.

4.00 pm

Even as reports confirm that Dubai’s property market has slowed down, a new survey in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman has now found that up to 55 per cent intend investing in real estate in the next two years or more.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for Majid Al Futtaim Properties, also showed that 87 per cent of respondents intend buying property in the future.

The UAE topped the list of where investors would prefer to buy their property (59 per cent), followed by Oman (24 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (24 per cent). The deciding factor for all three markets was political and economic stability, the report found.

2.00 pm

The upcoming new Sharjah Waterfront City project will cost Dhs 20bn to build with the first phase expected to be ready by Q4 2018, its developer Sharjah Oasis Real Estate has revealed. Officials also confirmed that the second phase will be completed by Q4 2020.

Spread across 36km of coastline, the project is slated to become the emirate’s largest mixed-use development with a total area of around 60 million sqft. It will include 10 islands connected by canals and bridges and also feature its own water theme park called Crystal Lagoon.

The project will have a 300-room hotel, operated by Shaza Hotel and 350 hotel residences units. There will also be more than 200 residential units, with 100 of them allotted to foreign investors.

Sales for the project are already ongoing, and officials said that they have seen a strong response to the launch. The overall project will be able to house 200,000 residents upon completion, according to its developer.

1.10 pm

Freezone operator DMCC, which unveiled the design of its mega Burj2020 development yesterday, has announced that its other project, One JLT, is now available for lease and will be ready for occupation in November 2015.

One JLT has 27,000 square metres of leasable area and provides contiguous space for businesses seeking to house their entire operations in one building, the developer said.

12.00 pm

Developer Meraas, which has its cultural project Marsa Al Seef on display at Cityscape, confirmed that it has all the funds required to complete the development on time in 2017. Speaking to Gulf Business, chief executive of Marsa Al Seef Abdul Wahab Al Halabi said that the company had already arranged financing through various means. Dubai does need more cultural tourism destinations in the future, he added.

He refused to reveal any details about Meraas’ other major upcoming project, Dhs 6bn Bluewaters Island, but did say that all its developments were progressing on track.

Located off the Jumeirah Beach Residence coastline, the mixed-use development will feature retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones. It will also house Dubai-I, a massive ferris wheel. When ready, the island is estimated to attract around three million visitors every year.

10.00 am

As day two of Cityscape opens, Emirates NBD has released the Dubai Real Estate tracker that polled households and real estate brokers in the emirate to gauge market conditions. According to the tracker, 60 per cent of the real estate agents reported a drop in average sold prices over the past three months while just 13 per cent indicated an increase.

DAY ONE

5.20 pm

To end today’s session, here’s an interesting fact we heard. During an off-the-record chat, a senior property expert opined that Cityscape 2016 will more accurately reflect the current dip in Dubai’s property market. We have to wait and see how accurate his prediction is going to be!

More to come tomorrow.

4.30 pm

After the big bang launch of The Village earlier in the day, Dubai South has clarified that Dhs 25bn will be the overall cost of the development. The project will reportedly include three to five villages, all of which will be launched in various phases. Each will have a community core including a school, a health center, a civic center and retail outlets among others. Earlier the officials had billed Dhs 25bn as the cost for one village.

4.00 pm

Master developer Nakheel said that sales across its properties are in line with expectations despite talks of a market slowdown. Speaking to Gulf Business, Nakheel Properties’ chief commercial officer Aqil Kazim said that even if the property market reported a drop in prices, it would only be a slight correction.

He also added that the company decided to launch its latest Jebel Ali Gardens project because there is an untapped demand for affordable properties in that area. The project, which will have 10,000 apartment units, will have several amenities including public parks that will account for one-fifth of the development. However, Kazim did not reveal the completion date, as the project is yet to be tendered.

3:45 pm

Bloom Hospitality has announced a 200-key hotel development within its Abu Dhabi Marina project. The property will be operated under the EDITION hotel brand, a boutique venture of American hotelier and real estate developer Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International. It will also include 57 serviced apartments.

3.10 pm

Dubai’s real estate prices might have dropped marginally this year but the market is still an investors’ darling. In an interview with Gulf Business, Dubai-based property broker SPF Realty’s director Ranjeet Chavan said that the company has sold off units from its latest Cityscape launch Viridian at the Fields in Mohammed Bin Rashid City. Chavan said that Dubai’s properties provide strong rental yields, making them extremely attractive to investors across the world.

2:25 pm

Nakheel has revealed plans to make Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah more pedestrianised. The Palm Promenade will stretch 1.5km, with new walkways and road crossings connecting the island’s apartment buildings with a new park, the upgraded Palm West Beach, Nakheel Mall and new retail and entertainment venues.

2:20 pm

One from earlier. Al Zorah has announced two new additions to its Ajman master development. These include The Golf Estates, 800 villas, townhouses and apartments backing on to the project’s 18-hole golf course and the Al Zorah Beach Residences comprising 134 chalet-style villas.

2:10 pm

Minor Hotel Group just revealed plans for a new Anantara resort in Ras Al Khaimah. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2018 with 225 keys including guest rooms, suites and Maldivian-style overwater villas. It will be located in Mina Al Arab with facilities including a private beach, a yoga room and extensive spa.

1:45 pm

The upcoming super tall office tower in Dubai, Burj2020, has been designed to become “the diamond” of the city’s skyline, its architect Adrian Smith has revealed.

The exact height of the tower, which will be part of the new seven-structure Burj2020 development being built by DMCC, was not disclosed. However, DMCC’s executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem hinted that it may be around 700 metres.

12:30 pm

More on Dubai South the first development will be built at a cost of Dhs 25bn, according to executives.

12:15

A few details about the Dubai South development (renamed from Dubai World Central).

A new concept named The Villages is about to be announced. It is unclear how many different villages there will be, but development of the first is set for early 2016 and will be completed in 2019.

Each will include villas and townhouses surrounding a community core of a K-12 school, a civic center, a health complex and retail outlets.

Property sales are also set to begin early next year.

More details to follow.

12:10 pm

A quick walk through the exhibition has showed impressive stands this year, especially from all the major developers.

Nakheel, which announced a new AVANI beachside resort at its Deira Islands project in partnership with Minor Hotels Group yesterday, is set to launch two new projects today, Gulf Business can reveal. While the company will soon disclose all the details, one of them, Jebel Ali Gardens, is a major residential development that will include 10,000 units.

The other project, Palm Jumeirah Boulevard, will involve redesigning the trunk of the Palm island, with walkways and other amenities.

More to follow.

11:25 am

Habtoor group chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor confirms that the company is launching two new residential towers within its massive Habtoor City project.

The development will only target investors looking for ultra luxurious properties. Prices will start from a whopping Dhs 3m for one-bedroom units, he said.

“We are going to be very selective in terms of the buyers,” he said.

11:20 am

CBRE just released its Global Living Report a city by city guide for global residential markets.

The firm found that Hong Kong continued to be the most expensive residential location, averaging $1,377 per square foot. London ranked second, while Dubai was considered affordable compared to the UK capital, Hong Kong and New York.

Prime property came in at $3,000 psf in London compared to $1,300 psf in Dubai. The firm said this was partly due to low import taxes for importing materials to the emirate and a lower cost of labour.

11:15 am

The event officially kicks off.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai has inaugurated Cityscape.

10:55 am

Developer Tanmiyat Global has announced during Cityscape 2015 that its building in Business Bay, The Exchange Tower, will be handed over on September 30 2015. Tanmiyat also said it has appointed Delta International Real Estate to manage the handover process and undertake full service management of the development.

The tower is almost fully sold and comprises 35 floors, 188 offices and retail space totalling 350,000 square feet, the developer said. Features include a supermarket and café.

Valued at Dhs 500m, The Exchange Tower’s property value has increased by more than 25 per cent since its conception in 2007, Tanmiyat claimed.

10.15 am

Walking into the Dubai World Trade Centre, where the three-day Cityscape exhibition is being held, I was greeted by a familiar face at the media reception. “Can you believe it’s already been one year?” she exclaimed.

Indeed in this one year, Dubai’s property market has gone through its own mini cycle. Following two years of double digit increases, property prices have been dropping and were down 6 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2015, the latest report from CBRE found.

But optimism remains high in the market, with developers announcing big projects ahead of Cityscape, which begins today.

Gulf Business will be speaking to experts and insiders from the industry and we’ll bring you all the latest news and updates right here. Until then, you can read what to expect from Cityscape here.