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10 December 2023

Indigo's Dubai villa project to replicate tropical resort

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Increasingly, ambitious Dubai developments are seeking to capture the ambience and brand-power of unique locations from across the world.

So from Taj Mahal replica, to snow-lined streets of Europe, no canvas is too big for developers on which to paint their plans.

Welcome to the lush green tropical landscape and waterways of the Far East... right here in this Dubai project.

Indigo Zen, a villa development in Dubai Golf City, Dubailand, being built by Indigo Properties, will offer the tropical resort lifestyle, with the 4.5 million square feet of land area dotted with verdant foliage and winding waterways.

The Dubai-based developer will be launching its new Dh1.5-billion villa community by May/June.

 “We got the concept idea from our visits to the tropical resorts in the Far East,” Anand Lakhiani, Director and Partner, Indigo Properties, told Emirates 24|7.

“This is the largest project that we have developed to date in the emirate. We plan to launch the project in May or June, and aim to commence construction in about four months, subject to getting all approvals.”

Indigo Zen, which will cover a land area of 4.5 million square feet, will comprise 350 villas, a retail centre and a clubhouse.

The new project, Lakhiani revealed, is being developed through a joint venture.

“We are developing the project through a joint venture. We will reveal the name of our partner in the coming months.”

Though Indigo owns a large land bank in Dubai’s International City, Al Furjan, Arjan and Waterfront, the company has ruled out any other project launch except Indigo Zen.

“We aren’t planning to launch any other new project as we are focusing entirely on Indigo Zen. We aim to complete and handover the Zen in 24 months,” Lakhiani asserted.

Who are the buyers?

With a built-up area of 4,000 to 7,000 square feet, the villas will be priced between Dh4 million and Dh8m.

“We are targeting the upper middle-class. This is a niche market segment where we see growing demand. This segment of the population wants to live in villas and we offer them that opportunity since our prices aren’t too exorbitant.”

In its World Report 2014, UK-based Knight Frank referred to Dubai's prime luxury property market being a lot more affordable than key global cities despite prices rising 35 per cent in 2013.

The consultancy pointed out that a person could buy 146 square meters of prime property for $1 million (Dh3.67m) in Dubai compared to only 15 sqm in Monaco; 20.6 sqm in Hong Kong; 32.6 sqm in Singapore and 25.2 sqm in London.

Shortage of villas

Even though Dubai has seen a number of villa developments being launched in the past 12 months, Lakhiani believes there is still “shortage” in the villa segment.

“There is an inherent shortage of villas in Dubai. We see a better demand for villas than apartment category which is currently witnessing excess supply.”

Reidin.com data January 2014 data, however, revealed apartment prices rose 29.70 per cent year-on-year compared to villa prices rising 16.38 per cent year-on-year.

On the issue, Lakhiani said: “Villa prices may not have risen in tandem with apartment prices, but they have gone up substantially.”

Knight Frank expects property prices to rise by 10 to 15 per cent in 2014, with global investment banks and property consultancies ruling out fears of impending bubble in Dubai’s property market.

Stalled projects revived

Following the upswing in realty market, which has been driven by UAE’s strong economic fundamentals and safe haven status, Indigo Properties has revived all of their on-hold projects.

“We will soon commence work on Indigo Spectrum 2 and Indigo Capital projects in International City.

“We plan to deliver 68 villas in Orange Lake in Jumeirah Golf Estate, and Indigo Spectrum 1 in International City by September. Indigo Optima 1 in International City is set for completion by December,” he disclosed.