Dubai surges on with three new mega projects

Three major projects completion planned: Dubai Safari, Dhow Wharfage at Deira Corniche and Business Bay Canal

Hussain Nassir Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, has announced three prestigious projects approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality.

Lootah said that the most important project is Dubai Safari Project, which will be located in Al Warqa 5 in Aweer Road on 400 hectares of land and includes Dubai Safari, butterfly park, golf courses, entertainment and recreational areas.

Dubai Safari that covers 60 hectares of the total area is aimed at establishing the best centre for wildlife in the world, providing a variety of environment appropriate for different animals, attract visitors from different parts of the world and use modern interactive methods to ensure a distinctive experience for visitors.

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The stages of project include site preparation, preparing internal roads and infrastructure, gardening, landscaping and water bodies; transferring the existing zoo in Jumeirah to the new location and other facilities.

Mohammed Noor Mashroom, Director of General Projects Department, explained the second project -- Dhow Wharfage Development at Deira Corniche – will build an additional integrated infrastructure to facilitate an increase in dhow trade throughout Dubai.

The project consists of the construction of a comprehensive wharfage of length 3 km, in between the Deira Corniche and Palm Deira, in front of Hayatt Regency Hotel. The wharfage will be divided into 30 loading/unloading areas, which will allow around 400 dhows of different sizes to berth at the same time.The project provides a loading/unloading area of 90,000 square metres, which is more than half the loading/unloading area existing currently in Dubai Creek; and facilitates loading/unloading of cargo  of more than 1.7 million tons per year.

The wharfage has been designed with a depth of seven meters below the low water level and with all necessary anchorage elements; this will allow Dubai Creek to receive and anchor bigger dhows, which could not enter before.

This project includes new quay structures and associated dredging and reclamation, including the supporting services and infrastructure such as entry and exit reporting wharves, administrative and control buildings, sailor’s facilities and re-fuelling wharf.

All safety precautions have been followed according to international standards through providing an integrated fire fighting network as well as security services, police, rescue and civil defence facilities and berths. The project works include providing all major services including internal roads, water, electricity, telecommunication and sewage networks. Also, a lighting network will be provided for the whole wharfage area which will facilitate cargo handling work during the evening hours.

Construction of the project will require the excavation and dredging of 390,000 cubic metres of sand from the seabed adjacent to the wharf site, and this amount will be re-used for the reclamation works of the wharfage. According to the project plan, construction works will commence at the beginning of June 2012, with the completion and operation of Phase 1 (60 per cent of the wharf) after 12 months, and the second phase will be completed by end of year 2013.

Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim Ali Juma , Head of Coastal Engineering Unit explained the project of Completion of Business Bay Canal and its Connection to the Sea.

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Ibrahim said that the aim of this project is to revive Business Bay Canal as a part of an integrated marine system which will improve the environmental state of the canal, as well as the upper part of the creek. It will also provide a chance to use the Business Bay Canal for navigation. It will create a unique water body suitable for leisure navigation purposes.

A complete hydrodynamic study has been done by Dubai Municipality to ensure proper water circulation in both Business Bay Canal and the inner part of Dubai Creek, as well as the efficiency of the near future inclusion of Meydan Canal in the overall system.

The project consists of two phases:

Phase 1: involves the connection of Business Bay Canal with sea through a pipeline system connecting the sea to the side of canal adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road.

The pipeline system of an overall length of about 3km will be achieved by adopting the ‘micro-tunnelling’ technique, which will allow the pumping process to proceed without impacting any existing utilities or services as well as not requiring any diversions to be done to roads or services lines.

Also, the water intake will be done using the “pipeline intake” technique, which does not require the construction of any breakwaters, thus preventing any harm to the coastal and marine environment.

Phase 2: Completion of the canal waterway through connecting the existing lagoons.

This phase consists of carrying out the dredging works for the remaining parts of the canal, estimated by an amount of 750,000 cubic metres. In addition, the canal quay wall of a length of 1.2 km will be completed.

The duration of design works will be seven months and the implementation works will be 18 months.

All key bridges on Khail Road to open this year

Matar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced that all key bridges being constructed at interchanges of Al Khail Road Widening Project would be opened by the end of this year, adding that construction of the remaining auxiliary bridges would be completed in the first half of 2013.

Work in some interchanges reached the final stages with completion rate ranging from 88 to 96 per cent, he added.

"The project, which is being constructed at a cost of about Dhs1.925bn, is considered among the key projects currently undertaken by the RTA, and due to its massive scope, it was divided into four phases.

“The importance of the project is underlined by the fact that it represents an extension of the Business Bay Crossing, and enables the RTA to create an auxiliary traffic corridor supporting both the Sheikh Zayed and Emirates Roads; which account for high traffic volumes," Al Tayer said in a statement made during an inspection tour of Al Khail Road Widening and Improvement Project.

He was accompanied by the Director of Roads Nabeel Mohammed Salih, Director of Traffic Hussain Al Banna, Director of Maintenance Nazim Faisal and engineers from the Traffic and Roads Agency as well as the project contractors.

Al Tayer set off his tour by inspecting the Phase I of Al Khail Road Widening and Improvement Project, which is being constructed at a cost of about Dhs575m with the aim of facilitating the traffic flow from and to Al Khail Road and Emirates Road; and accordingly would ensure a smooth traffic flow serving the property development projects in the area.

Dh50m villa on sale at UAE’s Nurai island

Ultra-luxury villas on Nurai island, off Abu Dhabi, have been put up for sale with one five-bedroom seaside estate being listed at over Dh50 million.

The 1740.71-square metre leasehold, beachfront estate has six bathrooms, receptions rooms, 24-hour security and of course, a swimming pool.

The asking price stated is Dh53.66 million.

Another listing from Knight Frank, global real estate consultant, is for a 929.37 square metre, four-bedroom water villa for Dh23.84 million.

The unit offers panoramic views with a floor to ceiling glass walls, rooftop lounge/garden and infinity pool, says the listing.

A 1737.937 square metre villa is listed for Dh48 million, while a 929 square metre water villa is selling for Dh26 million.

"They were sold at very high prices when they were launched.

“The average selling prices was between Dh35 million and Dh110 million.

“Even though the prices have come down, they still are amongst the most costliest villas," said a Abu Dhabi-based realty agent on conditions of anonymity.

Nurai island - a Dh3-billion ultra-luxury project in Abu Dhabi - was launched in 2008.

The project comprised 31 high-end beachfront estates and 36 water villas.

In an interview with Emirates 24|7 last year, Nadia Zaal, chief executive officer of Zaya, said: "When we launched in 2008, our project was 70 per cent sold within the first month.

“Since the crisis hit, we reduced the number of homes on Nurai as we realised that it was far better to reduce the size and finish the project."

She had said that company had not slashed prices as credit crisis had lesser impact on Zaya compared to its peers.

"Thankfully, the downturn has not affected Zaya as much as other developers due to the type of offering that Nurai represents.

“Our prices have remained intact and we have ensured that residents are always receiving value-adds at all times."

The developer had not responded to questions sent by this website till the time of publishing of the article.

Dubai residential market prices back to early-2008 levels

The Dubai residential real estate market appears to have bottomed out as prices are now at rates similar to early 2008 levels and the general rental trend being positive, Jones Lang LaSalle said on Monday.

Dubai is expected to see completion of 28,000 new units in 2012 with Dubailand and Jumeirah Park likely to see completion of 4,380 and 4,242 units, respectively.

Other freehold locations that will see additional supply are Dubai Marina (3081 units), Jumeirah Village (3891 units), Dubai Silicon Oasis (1956 units) and International City (1,813).

Approximately 3,000 additional residential units were added to the market in the first quarter 2012, bringing the total current residential stock to around 341,000 units.Almost 90 per cent of the completions in 2011 were apartments, JLL said in its first quarter report on Dubai real estate.

The 44 per cent of residential stock added in the first quarter is located within the submarkets of International City, Dubai Marina, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubailand.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency CEO Marwan bin Ghalitha has said that Dubai will see release of 16,000 units this year. JLL’s estimate is 75 per cent higher than Rera’s assessment.

“While liquidity is returning to the residential market and some previously stalled projects are recommencing, we expect that a substantial proportion of the supply due to enter the market in 2012, much of which was initially due to complete in 2011, will experience further delays,” the report said.

Quoting the Reidin Residential Sale Indices, JLL said the residential market “looks to have bottomed out,” with prices currently at rates similar to early 2008 levels.

Despite seeing a sharp fall from its peak levels in the third quarter 2008, the villa market began to see some uptick towards end-2011.

“This trend has continued into 2012 with sale indices now three per cent higher than in January 2008,” the report said.

Villa sale indices are still 25 per cent lower than at their peak in third quarter 2008. Apartment sale indices have also begun to stabilise, but remain at lower levels, 34 per cent down on the peak in Q3 2008.

Reidin rent indices from January 2009 show a similar trend with villas back at 2009 levels by the beginning of 2012.

“The general rental trend across the market is positive. Whilst villa rents have increased five per cent, apartments are 30 per cent lower relative to 2009 levels and continue to lag,” the report said.

The general residential indices 12 per cent higher than in first quarter 2011. The villa market is expected to continue to outperform the apartment sector. The prime residential assets in well established locations continue to see improved performance, while secondary buildings and locations are still suffering from rental and pricing declines, JLL stated.

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