Green living in heart of the city
Despite a dip in the final quarter of 2008, sales prices in The Greens still rose at an average of 70 per cent last year compared to 2007, according to data from Hamptons real estate, which its spokesperson put down to its locale and proven investment quality.
As the first freehold apartment development in Dubai, the area has proved popular from day one.
The blocks were soon sold out and have continued to attract residents – both buying and renting.
"The Greens, as a preferred home purchase for a wide cross-section of professionals in Dubai, continues to record robust enquiries and sales. The central location of the community, which is already well-established, makes it an attractive buy for the short-term and long-term, providing good returns on investment and rental yields," Hamptons informs.
According to data from Links Real Estate, the average rent of a two-bed apartment this year stands at Dh140,000, down slightly from last year's average of Dh160,000 as reported by Asteco. However, the project finished fourth in the list of highest value properties in the recent Colliers International House Price Index.
When Emaar launched the development in July 2002, studios in The Greens could be snapped up for as little as Dh188,888, while apartments started at Dh288,000 with sizes ranging from 372sq ft to 2,100sq ft. Today, one-bed properties sell in the region of Dh1.4 million to Dh1.7m, while two-beds are on the market for Dh1.9m to Dh2.5m, down from their peak of Dh3.2m last July.
Although this is a dip of 30 per cent, the area is still proving popular, says Melissa O'Gorman, Sales Manager at Links Real Estate.
"The location continues to draw people in and it is a very established area. It's more desirable than the Marina at the moment because Dubai Marina has a lot of traffic problems, while the new flyover will ease any congestion in The Greens."
Situated off Sheikh Zayed Road between Al Barsha and Jumeirah Lake Towers and opposite Dubai Internet City, The Greens is conveniently located for all areas of Dubai. As O'Gorman highlighted, a new flyover will soon give direct access to Dubai Marina, helping ease the congestion that builds up in rush hour at the two exits.
The development itself consists of 36 buildings set over 65 acres with 3,500 residential units and four office blocks. The residential towers comprise studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments set over seven floors, which makes the project stand out among many others in Dubai, as newer buildings often come with an excess of 30 floors.
Each building has secure underground parking – with additional on-street spaces – and security-controlled entrances. There are also shared swimming pools, gyms and barbecue facilities.
The community centre, located behind Emaar Business Park – which itself has banks and restaurants – comprises a number of convenient amenities.
With a supermarket, other stores, coffee shops and restaurants, residents enjoy various conveniences on their doorstep.
Slightly beyond the boundary, the development is a short drive from Emirates Hills and The Montgomerie golf courses, as well as the Jebel Ali Race Course. Regent International School is located on Al Mafraq Road, which runs behind The Greens, meaning children have easy access to classes and short travelling time.
Across Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Media City is just a five-minute drive, where there are a number of leisure facilities, five-star hotels, beaches and restaurants as well as The Amphitheatre, which has played host to a number of music festivals and concerts.
A number of hotels have also started springing up in adjacent Al Barsha, such as The Grand Millennium and new Media Rotana.
Although the road works surrounding The Greens are causing headaches for residents, they will result in an improved road network, giving residents easier access to Dubai in the long run and is no doubt a reason why buyers are still attracted to the area.
When Jack Slater was evicted from his villa in Umm Suqeim in 2003, he decided to stop renting and buy a home to avoid the same thing happening again. At that time, The Greens was the only apartment development available to expats and so he opted for a one-bedroom unit.
The 37-year-old from Ireland paid Dh427,000 and watched the value of his property go up to a peak of Dh1.5 million; it has now tailed off to Dh1.1m.
"It was a gamble at the time because it was still a new market with not much choice. The only other option was The Springs but I could not afford a villa there," he says.
"I had been saving up to buy a house in Ireland but decided to invest here instead because I didn't want to be evicted from a place again."
Slater is now hoping house prices will continue to fall because he has outgrown the property and plans to upgrade. He hopes, however, to hold onto his apartment and rent it out.
"I have no mortgage on it so it makes sense to rent it out as there is still demand in The Greens," he says.
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