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Dubai demand skewed to specific properties

Real Estate projects in Dubai

It seems that Dubai is developing an insatiable appetite for sought after residential projects in key areas.

November 21, 2012 4:33 by

By Mario Volpi, Head of Residential Sales & Leasing at Cluttons in Dubai.

There has been a lot of buzz in Dubai over the past weeks about highly desirable real estate projects being launched and sold out within days or even hours of being released.  This is not to say that every property project in the emirate will receive this response, rather demand is skewed towards specific projects, with very specific facilities and amenities in key areas. The first project to generate a huge response was ‘The Address the BLVD’ by Emaar, which according to media reports ‘sold out faster than tickets to Justin Bieber’s Dubai concert’.

The latest Emaar development to hit the market and bound to cause a frenzy is the launch of an extension to Arabian Ranches called Casa.  The first phase released is made up of 253 Moroccan style villas.  Completion of these villas is set for end of 2014 and the wider project will include schools, health clubs, cafes/restaurants and other retail outlets. In order to avoid mayhem with long physical queues, which would put buyers and their agents to considerable inconvenience, the sales management at Emaar have set up an online system for registration.

Online registration was on a first come first serve basis and I sincerely applaud them for coming up with this idea. This is a clever way of allowing people to complete their business in a civil manner whilst avoiding bad publicity from disruptive queues. People who manage to register online will receive a time slot to purchase a property when they release them on 24th November and this will guarantee that all 253 units will sell.

An additional benefit is that individuals can register directly and only Emaar- approved agents can register for their clients or for themselves too, which eliminates the possibility of scams or any kind of fraud.

Aside from the online system, the interesting issue here is the popularity of these projects.  It seems that Dubai is developing an insatiable appetite for sought after residential projects in key areas. Established residential communities within easy access of the work and leisure facilities of Dubai simply cannot be built fast enough.

Residents want to be within easy commuting distance of DIFC, Media City and other commercial districts, and also want to be within a comfortable distance of the beaches, malls and other leisure attractions of the city.  At the same time, the average Dubai resident has very high standards for their home.  They want green spaces, beautifully manicured public areas, access to gardens, children’s play areas, fitness facilities and swimming pools as well as onsite supermarkets and cafes.

A few key communities do manage to offer it all. Prime examples are The Arabian Ranches and Emirates Living.  There are several reasons why a community like Arabian Ranches, for example, is popular. Firstly, Emaar properties are highly regarded in terms of quality, finish and services.  The Casa development launch is a small part of a much larger development that is already well-established and leverages on the existing supply of successful schools, mosques, community centers, recreational facilities, tennis courts and retail units which will guarantee a successful launch.

Finally, the proposed properties themselves have good specifications, with a beautiful Moroccan design, and are of an excellent size (3,100 – 3750 sqft), offering six different layouts for 3 or 4 bedrooms and are due to be delivered quite soon (at the end of 2014).

It is interesting to see that the only companies launching at the moment are Emaar, Nakheel, and Damac, and in particular most are launching specific sections of each project. This sends out a clear message that the market can absorb these small amount of units. This is quite a different scenario to that of the pre- 2008 era, when greed encouraged massive developments to be planned without any regard for genuine demand.

This is a very different, more carefully considered time where projects are being launched at a rate that allows the market to absorb them and where supply is catering to proven demand. Overall, it’s a very positive message that the Dubai property market is on the right track. The more positive messages like this that come out from Dubai, the more likely it is that serial investors and first time owner- occupiers will be encouraged to take the plunge and purchase property in the emirate or increase their portfolio once again.

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