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02 March 2024

UAE developers keen to tap Vietnam real estate market

By Parag Deulgaonkar



Dubai-based property developers are moving swiftly to invest in Vietnam, eager to tap the nascent real estate market there. The latest to join the bandwagon is ETA Star, the real estate arm of the ETA Star-Ascon Group, which plans to launch a mixed-use project in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

“The newest market for us will be Vietnam where we are on the verge of finalising some land transactions. Our focus will be on developing projects in the inner city,” ETA Star Executive Director Abid A Junaid told Emirates Business.

“Everyone knows Vietnam is a hot destination in the Far East and that’s the reason why developers are making a beeline.”

However, Junaid did not disclose the investment outlay for Vietnam.

Although ETA Star plans to enter the market alone, it is open to joint ventures. “When we know the JV partner it is ideal to partner with them, but in the absence of known partners we would go in alone,” Junaid said.

Limitless, Dubai World subsidiary, unveiled the $220-million Halong Star near Hanoi, Vietnam, late last year. The mixed-use project, which is spread across 125 hectares of land, will have a 250-room five-star hotel, a 100-room luxury boutique hotel, 36 high-end serviced villas, 190 top-end villas, 85 luxury townhouses, 114 apartments, retail and commercial space, cultural arts village and commercial hospitality school.

A time frame of five years has been set for completion of the project, with the first phase beginning with construction of villas and townhouses.

“We are lining up consultants and awarding contracts for the project. We will get the operators on board so we can jointly put up the design of the hotels that will start at the end of next year,” Rob Ferguson, Project Development Manager, Halong Star, told Emirates Business.

Richard Johnson, managing director of Istithmar Real Estate, told Reuters earlier that they had big plans for Asia. “We are very keen on Vietnam,” Johnson said.

The country has recently issued more flexible policies on real estate, including a regulation allowing foreigners to buy houses, which has contributed to the boom of the property market.