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‘Affordable’ property on the Palm? Oh! How the mighty have fallen…

Nakheel affordable housing

Benevolent master developer to cater for those ‘less-well-heeded,’ with affordable studios at the Palm Views East and West.

May 21, 2012 3:44 by

The latest ‘affordable’ housing to be offered by Nakheel has Kipp a little conflicted. For the most part after yelling till we were white in the face about how ‘unrealistic’ and ‘over-ambitious’ the cursed property sector in the UAE has been, we are happy to see Nakheel take such a sensible step. The current economic weather is ill placed for the glitzy glamorous world of six bedroom villas on a man-made island, and we are really glad to see Nakheel has come to terms with the realty market of Dubai-post recession.

We know all this, and yet, there is this, tiny part of Kipp that laughs with derision at this new cheaper offering. After all, this is the Palm, we are talking about. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and English footballer David Beckham owned villas on the very same Palm. Residences on the Palm have been the fluffiest feather in Nakheel’s hat; it is the ultimate destination for high-end luxury real estate. The Palm, which Nakheel has sometimes boasted of the ‘recession-proof’ nature of the Palm-despite figures showing, otherwise.

Of course, now it is going to be the Palm home to 192 studio apartments on the Marina area of the Palm. Called the Palm Views East and West, the studio apartments are projected to be completed in Q1 2014. So what does Nakheel have to say? Ali Lootah, Chairman of Nakheel said: “We identified a segment where we think there’s going to be a demand. Young people want to live on the Palm and at the moment a lot of them are sharing. It’s not a question of affordability but dealing with all segments of different people.” Thanks Mr.Lootah, can always depend on you to tell it as it is.

So just how much will these ‘affordable’ pads set these ‘less-well-heeded’ residents back? How does a cool Dh1 million, sound? Probably not too affordable, but nonetheless, Kipp can’t quite suppress the twinge of amusement we feel. After all, prior to the crash, master developers in the UAE very greedily chased after developing high-end luxury real estate-completely overlooking the needs of the majority population for affordable accommodation. In fact, Kipp remembers the plans to tear down old Satwa to develop a new ‘Jumeirah Garden City’ back in 2008. In fact, the recession hit while the bulldozers were still demolishing some of Dubai’s oldest and most affordable accommodation. Dubai on steroids was a scary place. So you will excuse us if we are still a little nostalgic and see Nakheel forced to develop affordable accommodation on the Palm as seeing the very mighty, humbled.

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