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03 March 2024

‘Serena’ in Dubailand: ‘Affordable’ Dubai property gets 8.2m sqft push

Spanning an area of 8.2 million square feet, the first phase of Serena is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter 2018. (Supplied)

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Dubai Properties Group (DPG), the real estate arm of Dubai Holding, on Sunday launched ‘Serena’ in Dubailand, targeting the 'affordable' townhouse segment.

Spanning an area of 8.2 million square feet, the residential community will be developed in five phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2018.

With each cluster of four to six units, phase one will house two- to three-bedroom townhouses and three-bedroom semi-detached villas.

It will have three community centres including recreational facilities, swimming pools, gym, retail options, play areas and a clinic.

“We are helping lead the resurgence of Dubai’s real estate market through the smart and strategic development of iconic mixed-use destinations, as we anticipate and deliver on the rapidly changing and diversifying Dubai.

“Serena stems from our long standing experience in the market, and our understanding of the growing demand for affordable housing in the emirate,” company Group CEO Abdullatif Al Mulla said in a statement.

He added: “We believe that everybody should have access to good quality affordable housing that meets their needs.”

No details were shared on the total number of units and prices.

Some developers have targeted the 'affordable' townhouse category, which include Royal Estates in Dubai Investment Park and Town Square development close to Arabian Ranches and Expo 2020 site.

What’s affordable?

In September 2015, Erik Volkers, Senior Consultant, Research, CBRE Middle East, told Emirates 24|7 that mid-income UAE residents earning Dh15,000 to Dh25,000 a month found it quite a challenge to buy property in the emirate.

A UAE household earning Dh15,000 a month, he said, could afford a ready-to-buy property of Dh800,000 maximum, but would need to deposit Dh200,000 (25 per cent) as per UAE mortgage regulations.

A UAE household earning Dh25,000 per month could afford a ready-to-buy property of Dh1.35 million maximum, but would need to deposit Dh335,000 (25 per cent) as per the UAE mortgage regulations.

JLL, a real estate consultancy, found that households in the country should allocate up to 30 per cent of their gross income on housing and so a family earning Dh20,000 a month could afford to pay around Dh6,000 a month on either renting, or buying their unit.

“For developers to attract this sector of the market, they need to ensure that monthly payments are fixed at this level,” Craig Plumb, Head of research for Mena region, JLL, told this website.