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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Prince Alwaleed Invests $800 Million To Create World's Largest Four Seasons Resort To Be Built In Egypt

>>Saudi Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal invests $800 million into Resort expansion in Sharm El Sheikh.

According to latest BNC report released by The Big 5 Construct Egypt, there are approximately $5.3 billion worth of hospitality projects in Egypt today.

800 new rooms will soon be added to the Four Seasons Resort of Sharm El Sheikh, making it the world’s largest Four Seasons, with a total of 1,400 keys. Saudi Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced an $800 million investment to expand the resort in the popular Egyptian tourist destination on the Red Sea, a few weeks after the Egyptian Parliament ratified the country’s new investment law.

Easing investment opportunities, cutting down bureaucracy and providing incentives to investors, the new law is expected to further boost the tourism and construction sectors in Egypt. According to the latest BNC report released by The Big 5 Construct Egypt (“Egypt Tourism and Hospitality Market Snapshot 2017”), there are over $335 billion worth of active construction projects in the country, 5% of which belong to the hospitality sector.

“Thanks to a recovered political stability, state led initiatives and the new investment law, we expect the tourism sector, which is vital to Egypt’s economy, to pick up in 2017, further inflating the demand for new hotels and resorts,” comments Andy Pert, Exhibitions Portfolio Director of The Big 5 Construct Egypt, a leading international construction event launching in Cairo in 2018.

There are approximately $5.3 billion worth of hospitality projects in Egypt today, 70% of which are in the initial stages of construction showing a healthy pipeline, as per The Big 5 Construct Egypt’s report. Beyond the Four Seasons resort, other notable projects currently underway to attract tourists include the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, and the Jumeirah Gamsha Bay Resort in Hurgada.

New developments in the hospitality industry are spread across the country, with Cairo’s rapid urban expansion fueling the demand for additional hotels and resorts in the capital city, which already hosts over 20 million people. “Cairo holds the record of construction activities in Egypt. Here, the demand for products and materials for the built environment industry is booming, and we expect the construction sector to grow further in the coming years,” confirms Mr. Pert.

To meet this growing demand, a leading international exhibition company, DMG Events Middle East, Asia & Africa, is bringing to Cairo its most successful and renowned construction event, The Big 5. From September 15 to 17 2018, the New Cairo Exhibition Center will host The Big 5 Construct Egypt, where hundreds of local and international manufacturers and suppliers of construction products will showcase the latest global, sustainable innovations and solutions for use in all current and planned developments.

GCC Projects Market Improving

**Long-term prospects bright with over $2 trillion of known active projects in the pipeline across the GCC

The GCC projects market had a muted performance in the first half of 2017, but is expected to perform better in the second six months of the year as the region’s economies continue to adjust to lower oil prices.

According to the latest data from MEED Projects, the region’s leading projects tracking and analysis service, just $56bn worth of contracts were awarded in the first six months of 2017 compared with $69bn worth of deals over the same period in 2016.

With the exception of Saudi Arabia, every country in the region experienced lower contract award values year-on-year, with the most marked falls seen in Kuwait (46%) and Bahrain (84%). Even Dubai, which has hitherto been the most robust and active of the GCC projects markets, experienced a slight dip between the two periods.

The prognosis for the second half of 2017 is brighter, however. Based on its tracker’s pipeline of projects under bidding in addition to contracts already awarded in July and August, MEED Projects forecasts a total of $61bn to be let in the second half of this year, a significant improvement on the first six months.

Added to the January-June numbers, the forecast for the year as whole for the GCC is therefore $117bn, roughly equivalent to value of contracts awarded in 2016. On a country level, the UAE, led by the Dubai real estate and transport sectors, remains the largest single market with about $38bn worth of contract awards. It is followed by Saudi Arabia at close second at $36bn, and then Kuwait at $16.8bn.

 “Although market performance year to date has been sluggish, there have been signs of a pick-up in activity,” says Ed James, Director of Content & Analysis at MEED Projects. “The award of more than $5bn worth of EPC contracts on the new Duqm refinery in Oman at the beginning of August, plus a raft of new project announcements in Dubai, and the gradual re-emergence of activity in Saudi Arabia have provided a degree of impetus that points to a strengthening market.

“There’s no doubt that the past two years have been tough for the projects supply chain as government spending has slowed,” adds James. “But with construction companies now more efficient, the private sector more active and the number of PPP projects growing by the week, there is cause for optimism.

“Longer term, there is even more reason to be hopeful. Currently, there are over $2 trillion of known active projects in the pipeline across the GCC according to MEED Projects data. The majority of these are infrastructure projects that are essential to the future prosperity of the region, job creation and economic diversification. While inevitably not all will come to fruition, we can be confident that there is still a large amount of work to come regardless of the oil price.”

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pakistan Invests Heavily In Dubai Projects

Gemini Property Developers, a boutique real estate developer, is set to tap high potential investment from Pakistan as more and more Pakistani investors buy properties in the UAE.

Pakistanis are the third largest non-Arab expatriate group investing in Dubai real estate, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

Around 3,372 Pakistani nationals purchased Dh4.4 billion ($1.2 billion) worth of properties in Dubai in 2016 and Dh8 billion in 2015, DLD statistics show.

Gemini Property Developers ran a major marketing campaign in Pakistan at the Abad-Jang Expo 2017 at the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre in Islamabad from March 24-26. Pakistani expatriates form the second largest foreign nationality in the UAE with more than 1.2 million overseas Pakistanis contributing in the UAE economy.

“As we are on target to deliver our first project in the first quarter of 2018, we want our Pakistani buyers to benefit from the great location”, Sudhakar R. Rao, Managing Director of Gemini Property Developers, said.

The construction of the Gemini Splendor luxury residential project marks Gemini Group’s foray into the region’s real estate market. The high-end project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2018.

The G+8-story residential building is being built at Sobha Hartland within the Mohammed Bin Rashid City and is in advanced stage of construction. The project with a built-up area of over 320,000 square feet will include 134 residential units comprising spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments, penthouses and townhouses equipped with state-of-the-art amenities. Apartment units range from 780 square feet to 3,400 square feet. The community will also have comprehensive retail, shopping and entertainment facilities, along with much needed green spaces.

“Dubai is an attractive place for investment and real estate provides the best investment opportunity,” Sudhakar R. Rao, says. “The layout and design of the Gemini Splendor will make the Pakistani and South Asian families more comfortable and make them feel at home.”

The project is located at the center of Sobha Hartland – a new mixed-use development located between Al Khail Road and Meydan – and is close to the downtown of the future – the massive mixed-use project that has become a major destination. The project will border Meydan One on one side, MBR city – District One on the other and Meydan Grandstand at the backdrop.

“As the surrounding developments take shape, Sobha Hartland will become the most sought after destination for people to live due to its strategic location with strong road and rail connectivity embedded with great lifestyle, self-contained community, leisure and entertainment. It is already surrounded by two highways while two new rail networks are expected to pass by the development,” Sudhakar R. Rao said. “As more and more people begin to settle down, value will appreciate manifold. In addition to the location, our projects will create a new benchmark for quality and amenities. It will create a new signature of quality in real estate development.”

Gemini Splendor is conceptualized by renowned consultants, Aedas which is one of the five largest international architectural firms, while detailed designs were carried out by Dubai Consultants. The project, once completed, will offer excellent views of the Dubai skyline via two expressways as well as nearby Ras Al Khor bird sanctuary.

The project is self-financed by the group as well as funded by banks and the construction of the project is not linked to off-plan sale of the units.

Synonymous with trust and credibility, Gemini Property Developers is building on the strong legacy set by Gemini Group that has 30 years of successful business operations in various fields, including Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) services, trading and allied fields for the energy sector. Founded in 1986 by Sudhakar Rao, the group has an established presence in India and Middle East.

Prabhakar Raghavendra, Gemini’s Jt. Managing Director, said the project is being constructed at a time when Dubai’s real estate market is witnessing signs of upturn. “This is a very good time for investment as the lower pricing of properties will widen the margin when sold at a later stage when prices jump ahead of the Dubai Expo 2020. “This causes for optimism as we also have seen a renewed interest among buyers as we construct Gemini Splendor.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has already planned a new purple metro line running under the ground at Hartland. Another rail line has been planned to run near the project. Sobha Hartland is the only luxury community development located on the Dubai Water Canal.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Riyadh Leads Hotel Develpoment In KSA with 48 New Projects

Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s busiest city for hotel construction with 48 hotel projects underway, a new report has revealed.

The 2017 Saudi Arabia Hotel Construction Overview report by TOPHOTELPROJECTS prepared exclusively for The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia, found that the Kingdom’s capital city is preparing to add 48 new properties to its already vast hotel portfolio.

Riyadh leads the hotel boom closely followed by Jeddah. Across the country, the exclusive industry report reveals that 170 hotels and 60,395 rooms are currently in various stages of the construction pipeline.

Hilton is noted as one of the top hotel operators in the country. Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences is one of three new hotels the brand will bring to the Kingdom in 2017.

Kamel Ajami, Vice President Operations KSA at Hilton, said: “Our presence in Saudi Arabia goes back over 20 years. We have ambitious plans for expansion with up to 29 hotels in the pipeline and by the end of 2018 I expect to oversee double the number of hotels than I do at present.”

Ajami attributes Hilton’s success in the market to providing guests with “variety” and “smart luxury”. He continued: “Each of our properties has its own distinct features and identity which enables us to meet a variety of customer needs and outperform the market.

“As a company we have invested heavily in digital innovation. Each of our hotels in Saudi Arabia is enabled with digital check in and the ability to choose your preferred room via our Hilton Honors app. This is a feature which has been commonplace in the airline world for some time but that we are pioneering in our own industry. Ultimately we are working towards providing guests with the ability to use their smart phones as their physical room keys which is again an industry first.”

Following the announcement of Saudi Vision 2030, international brands are following Hilton’s example by expanding their footprint across the country. New players including Rocco Forte and Nobu Hospitality are opening properties in the Kingdom for the first time.

Nobu Hotel Riyadh, launching later this year, is already promising a unique experience for travelers to the city. General Manager Simon A. Fricker says the property will be the “first 5-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” which will offer “an array of innovative dining opportunities” across its three new eateries, including the world-renowned Nobu restaurant.

Commenting on the chain’s decision to choose Riyadh for its first hotel in the Middle East, Fricker said: “Riyadh is an important city in the Middle East for future business, tourism, leisure and hospitality. The government, according to Saudi Vision 2030, aims to develop all areas in Riyadh as the Kingdom’s capital city, with major developments including the Riyadh Metro and King Abdullah Financial Center. Riyadh is now directed to entertain citizens, tourists and foreign residents to encourage local and foreign investors.”

As Riyadh and the wider Kingdom look set for a busy year of new hotel openings, the 5th edition of The Hotel Show Saudi Arabia 2017 is taking place in Jeddah on 4-6th April, co-located for the first time with Stone & Surface Saudi Arabia.

Providing the hospitality industry with the ultimate platform to source the materials required to construct a hotel or restaurant in the Kingdom, the events will see 100s of international suppliers descend on Jeddah.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Omniyat’s Opus Tower Is One Of The Best

Dubai-based property developer Omniyat’s visually impressive Opus Tower development has been lauded by global design authority Architectural Digest magazine.

The incredible Dame Zaha Hadid-designed development in Dubai was named in the publication’s recent list of  ‘9 of the Most Striking Skyscrapers With Holes in’ and was a celebration of buildings that offer “city dwellers bold new forms to admire from the outside, but [that] tenants within can enjoy sources of light that more traditional skyscrapers preclude”.

Located in the heart of Burj Khalifa District, the project is due for completion this year and will be home to the ME Dubai Hotel by Melia Group of Hotels, a leading global hotel chain with over 350 properties and 90,000 rooms in 39 countries on 4 continents.

The Opus Residences, a limited collection of luxury serviced residences at The Opus, will be furnished with furniture and fixtures exclusively hand-picked by Zaha Hadid. Each apartment will be an individually crafted art piece.

The placement of Omniyat’s unique flagship property in the list is testament to the developer’s vision and thought leadership when it comes to iconic, avant-garde building design.

Mahdi Amjad, Executive Chairman and Founder of Omniyat, said: “I am delighted that our forward-thinking approach to property development has been recognized by this prestigious global publication and look forward to more accolades as the project progresses.

“When I established Omniyat in 2005 I was motivated by my desire to develop uncompromising creative signature buildings”, continued Mr Amjad. “I was fortunate enough to have worked with my dear friend and design mentor Dame Zaha Hadid on the creation of our flagship Opus Building in the heart of Dubai and it promises to be a worthy addition to the ever-growing Omniyat portfolio.”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Building Work Nears Completion On AED500m First Avenue Project In Dubai’s Motor City

§  Countdown on as mall and hotel in Motor City set to launch in May

§  Mall’s anchor tenants in place, taking up 40% of the leasable area

§  Arabic restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi among the anchor tenants

§  Fit-out for retail outlets will be finished within four months

§  Project attracts major brands as backers expect strong consumer demand

Building work is almost finished on First Avenue, the new shopping mall and hotel development in Motor City. The project’s backers say construction work for the mall is on track for completion by the end of this month, with fit-out for the retail units set to take another four months. The mall is expected to open in May, along with the adjoining hotel.

First Avenue’s anchor tenants are in place, taking up 40% of the mall’s leasable area. Carrefour, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa, will take up 11% of the leasable area. Prime Medical Centre, a leading provider of clinical, diagnostic and medical tourism services, will absorb 9% of the leasable area. Fun Block, part of Fun City by Landmark Group, will introduce a new generation of children’s entertainment space, occupying 9% of the leasable area. Reem Al Bawadi, a famous Arabic food and beverage chain, will take up 6% of the leasable space. ACE Hardware, the world’s largest hardware retail cooperative selling products to fix homes and businesses, will have 5% of the leasable area.

First Avenue, which is owned and operated by Saudi Arabia’s Al Tawfeeq for Development and Investment (ATDI), will meet rapidly scaling consumer and business demand in Motor City as Dubai’s tourism sector and the local population grow.

“We are delighted that First Avenue mall is on schedule for a ‘soft opening’ in May,” said Dr Ramy Moussly, ATDI General Manager. “The project will be a landmark development in Motor City, strategically located to serve local demand in a growing area with a young demographic, and positioned to help meet rising business and leisure tourism numbers in Dubai. First Avenue is part of Dubai’s newest suburban quarter. Among the signs that the area is popular is the planned move by media group MBC of a major part of its production to Dubai Studio City which is less than one kilometer from the mall and hotel. As Dubai’s development moves southwards, we are well sited to serve a growing and discerning market.”

First Avenue, based at the edge of the Dubai Autodrome, will have 70 high-street retailers and 15 casual dining restaurants. The adjoining four-star 150-room hotel, which can be accessed directly from the mall, will be operated by Park Inn by Radisson, with an all-day restaurant, lobby, meetings and events spaces, gym, spa and swimming pool. The hotel overlooks the race track at Dubai Autodrome.

First Avenue’s backers want the mall to be an all-week-round social and retail hub in the Union Properties-developed Motor City, with a distinct automotive and lifestyle theme. The two-storey development stretches across 500,000sqft. with an underground car park offering 400 spaces.

Motor City is a rapidly growing area in Dubai, close to Studio City, Sports City and Arabian Ranches, and a short drive from Maktoum International Airport and the Expo 2020 site.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dubai Properties’ Iconic Tower Development 1/JBR On Track For Q4 2019 Completion

Dubai Properties (DP), a leading Dubai-based real estate master developer and asset manager, has announced that Dubai Construction Company (DCC) has been awarded the contract for the exclusive luxury sea-front tower - 1/JBR. Work is now steadily advancing and on track for a Q4 2019 completion. Located at the entrance to Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), one of the most exclusive lifestyle destinations in the Emirate, 1/JBR will epitomize unparalleled luxury and indulgent beach side living.

Abdulla Bin Lahej, Group CEO, Dubai Properties said: “1/JBR is an exemplary development that reinforces DP’s position as a creator of master-planned destinations and it is set to redefine the definition of luxury sea-front living in Dubai. This is exemplified by the extremely positive investor sentiment in the entire JBR area, with Dh2.893 billion worth of real estate transactions recorded in just 6 months of 2016. Our luxury portfolio of destinations is strategically developed to reinforce Dubai’s position as the capital of luxury on a global scale and we have carefully chosen our project partners for this development in order to ensure only the highest quality and specifications for the building works, as well as a timely project delivery.”

DCC, a Dubai-based construction company with more than 50 years of experience in the region specializing in building residential, commercial, mixed-use building, hospitality and leisure complexes, sees the 1/JBR project as an opportunity to bring to life a future icon on Dubai’s skyline.

A spokesperson from DCC commented, “By using only the most innovative techniques, we are able to bring to life the most iconic designs with the highest quality of detail and finish. This approach has allowed us to deliver many memorable and groundbreaking landmark buildings in the UAE and across the region. We are delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of such a landmark project as 1/JBR and our reputation, talented team and decades of expertise will complement DP’s vision for this unique tower development.”

JBR is the most sought-after lifestyle destination among residents and tourists and is globally recognized as a leading mixed-use destination, welcoming over 12 million tourists annually.  1/JBR will be gracing the JBR skyline and offer the bespoke 5-star luxury amenities Dubai is known for.

The 46-story tower, with its panoramic views of the Dubai Eye and Palm Jumeirah, offers amazing living on a new scale as the JBR’s future luxury icon with indulgence infused into every detail. Each of the 161 large units, which range from two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and five-bedroom penthouses, will have high-end finishings and fixtures from floor to ceiling windows. Each apartment comes with two privately appointed parking spaces as well as private elevators for the penthouse apartments. The building fa├žade perfectly complements the ‘A’ grade interior with unique and animated lighting making its mark on the surrounding lifestyle boulevard – The Walk.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cayan Group Closes 2016 As ‘Year Of Excellence’ With Ongoing Projects Valued At SAR 5.5 Billion

++Saudi-based property developer and real estate investment group to surge ahead with strategic objectives and plans for 2017

Cayan Group, the leading property developer in the Middle East, has achieved its strategic business objectives and surpassed some of the tactical objectives for the year 2016, making it yet another excellent year for the group. The group has announced SAR 5.5 billion worth of ongoing projects in 2016.

Throughout 2016, Cayan Group surged ahead with planned projects and made steady progress in both construction and sales. In Riyadh, the CMC Tower’s enabling and structural packages were completed ahead of schedule in May within three and six months respectively. In addition, the group successfully launched Samaya project, a high-end mixed-use development located in a very primary area in Riyadh and the project is currently in the midst of the enabling stage.

In Dubai, the group launched the Cayan Arjaan Hotel Apartments in November at a press conference, during which it revealed that the residential tower of the Cayan Cantara project would also be managed and operated by renowned hospitality brand Rotana under their ‘Residences’ badge. Sales of units in both the Samaya project in Riyadh and Cayan Cantara in Dubai have been remarkable with each averaging 50% sold, which leaves a positive outlook for 2017.

Throughout the course of the year, Cayan Group was honored with numerous industry accolades and awards. The group was honored by Forbes Middle East as one of the ‘Top Real Estate Companies in The Arab World’ and as one of the ‘Top 50 GCC Developers in 2016’ by Construction Week magazine. Cayan Group was also bestowed the top spot in the 2015-2016 Arabian Property Awards in the ‘Office Development’ and ‘Mixed-use Development’ categories for the CMC Tower and Cayan Cantara respectively. Other accolades include the “Most Innovative Leading Property Developing Brand, KSA” by Global Brands Magazine Awards 2016. In addition, Cayan Group received “The Majestic Falcon Award for Quality & Excellence” by Otherways Management & Consulting.

“The general fluctuation in economic conditions in the Gulf region, and in particular in Saudi Arabia, has thrown some challenges our way too but these have not had a lasting or deep effect on our plans. Challenges are neither a phenomenon or a permanent setback; they can be rectified through planning and preparation,” noted Ahmed Alhatti, Chairman & President of Cayan Group. “However, the one area where we have experienced some difficulty in 2016 is in recruitment as attracting qualified personnel remains a challenge in the Kingdom,” surmised Alhatti.

“A source of inspiration for us all has been Saudi’s Vision 2030. The government’s plans have provided a road map to guide our decisions and directions. One of these is the development of local talent which we will pursue vigorously in 2017. This is true for most of the countries in the GCC that are following economic diversification and local talent-pool development plans—it is a great time to make an impact and a difference,” said Alhatti.

To address this concern, Cayan Group is formulating a new strategy to retain, attract, and train the best workers in 2017 by investing in employee skill development, creating alliances with relevant institutions, and offering internships to recent graduates.

Complementing the strategy on staffing, Cayan Group also intends to focus on developing new methods to improve customer care and to show loyalty and exceptional service for existing and potential clients alike. Cayan Homes, through it’s unique range of innovative, holistic real estate services, will continue to provide customers with the best brokerage services, as well as protecting their interests by giving them exclusive opportunities with preferential rates for the upcoming Cayan Group projects.

An area of strategic expansion in 2016 was Cayan Group’s foray into the GCC’s hospitality sector though Cayan Hospitality, and the development of projects such as Cayan Cantara. “The hospitality sector is brimming with opportunities. It would be a shame not to be involved as we have a lot to offer when it comes to developing high-quality, high-end, and fascinating projects. We envision being a point of interest for the tourists whether they stay in a Cayan-branded hotel, or visit any Cayan-branded building,’’ commented Alhatti. “The Group will continue to seek opportunities in this sector in 2017.”

Much like in 2016, the main focus for Cayan Group for 2017 remains its core business which is the development of iconic and awe-inspiring real estate. With three mega projects in the pipeline, Cayan Group continues to lead the way as the master-developer of choice in the Arab world as well as penetrating new market opportunities on an international scale.

“As 2016 draws to a close, we have a strong pipeline of projects that are custom-made to meet the needs of the real estate investors in the region and that stand out due to their individuality and exceptional quality. We are proud of what we have achieved and we are unified in our vision to extend these values to all our businesses. The success of our business is very much a team effort and together we will continue to play an important role in setting the pace of real estate development in the region to match market needs,” said Alhatti.

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