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Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council shines sustainability….

April 29, 2014 by smartchoice

Thousands of visitors descending upon the exhibition halls of Cityscape Abu Dhabi have learnt how key aspects of sustainable design in new homes built to Estidama standards can help them reduce energy consumption by at least 35%, compared with a non-Estidama villa.
Sustainability was the core message emanating from the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s (UPC) 784 square metre exhibition stand this week at the three-day real estate event, which concludes on the 24th April at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The UPC showcased for the first time its Estidama Villa Experience Centre, an interactive display and scale model villa demonstrating real life energy and water efficient villa components that comply with the UPC’s Estidama Pearl Rating System (PRS) – a programme for the sustainable design, construction and operation of Abu Dhabi’s communities, buildings and villas.
These include walls that allow 85% less heat inside a home than non-Estidama walls; windows that let in 40% less heat; air-conditioners that use 37% less energy; low-flow taps that use 35% less water than conventional taps; and samples of the lead-free, asbestos-free paint.
As the UAE capital’s strategic planning agency tasked with incorporating sustainability at the core of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision, the UPC continues to forge ahead with plans to create an Emirate-wide network of complete sustainable communities.
According to its recent The Abu Dhabi Planning Council: At A Glance infographic, the UPC has so far more than 10,500 villas in Abu Dhabi under the Pearl Rating System, which have achieved between 1-3 Pearl Ratings.
Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director of Development Review and Estidama at the UPC, said: “The aim of the Estidama Villa Experience Centre at Cityscape Abu Dhabi is to demonstrate how small changes to the way we live our daily lives and build our homes can make a huge difference in creating a sustainable Emirate that protects and enhances the environment and natural resources for present and future generations.
“It’s important that people see the kinds of energy-saving, lifestyle-enhancing design features incorporated into new residential developments in Abu Dhabi. Resource-efficient urban design is a key strand of the UPC’s Estidama programme, which aims to create sustainable, liveable villas, buildings and communities for all residents.
Cityscape Abu Dhabi is held under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Now in its eighth edition and organised by Informa Exhibitions, the UAE capital’s largest and most influential property investment showcase hosted more than 120 exhibitors from the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, India, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, USA and UK.
Exhibitors supporting Cityscape Abu Dhabi on an official basis include Strategic Partner Department of Municipal Affairs, Headline and Official VIP Sponsor Ejadah Asset Management, Platinum Sponsor Emirates Steel, and Official Mortgage Provider Abu Dhabi Finance. Cityscape Abu Dhabi returns to ADNEC from 21 – 23 April 2015.

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UAE should be concerned about property flipping, says Emaar chairman

April 29, 2014 by smartchoice

the Emaar chairman, Mohammed Alabbar, has warned about off-plan sales as the Government and other developers take steps to reduce speculation on property prices.

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Photos In pictures: Emaar’s major developments in the UAE
Topic Emaar

“We need to learn from the mistakes of the past,” Mr Alabbar said at Emaar’s annual general meeting last week in Dubai. “We need to be concerned about flipping.”

Flipping was in part blamed for the extent of the housing market crisis in 2008 – when speculators bought unfinished properties and sold them on to third parties within a short time, inflating property prices.

Mr Alabbar’s comments followed news that the Abu Dhabi-based Aldar has introduced resale restrictions on new properties, designed to curb speculative flipping. Buyers must now pay 50 per cent of the property’s value before they can sell it on.

The Central Bank has introduced caps on the amount individuals may borrow to finance the purchase of houses for the first time in the country’s history. Home loans have been capped at between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of a property’s value, while loans on unfinished properties have been capped at 50 per cent.

Property experts warned against generous payment plans that allow buyers to defer paying the bulk of the cost of a new home until years after completion, in some cases.

“Can you stop it? No.” Mr Alabbar said about flipping. “We try to minimise it.”

 

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/property/uae-should-be-concerned-about-property-flipping-

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Deyaar eyes encore with hotel apartment sales

April 29, 2014 by smartchoice

Dubai: Deyaar Development Co is looking for a repeat performance as sales open on Saturday for the first hotel serviced apartments from it, at The Atria twin-tower project in Business Bay. There will be 162 of these units available for investors, with Deyaar deciding to retain the other 163 apartments for its own portfolio.

Online registration by prospective investors is already on a high, with more than 400 doing so in just over 48 hours of bookings being opened. Recently, the 219 freehold apartments at The Atria were sold out in six hours flat, providing a significant boost for the developer when it came to testing the investor waters. This netted proceeds of Dh500 million, with most of the units quoted at the Dh1,700 a square foot. [This is also higher than the average for residential units within Business Bay, where the average is now around Dh1,250 a square foot.]

The price of the serviced apartments which now go on sale were not disclosed. The Atria’s design and interior touches is being overseen by the UK boutique firm yoo Studio. Completion of the 30-storey tower is scheduled for the first half of 2017.

“Deyaar’s mid-term plan is to have 50 per cent of hotel serviced apartments in our portfolio in the next three to four years,” said Saeed Al Qatami, the company’s chief executive. “It’s a conscious move on our part to develop our interests in serviced apartments rather than fully-fledged hotels — the main factor is that this can be done at a lower operating cost than for hotels.”

 

Better returns

He added that this model is also a better fit for Deyaar as a company operating on Sharia. “Plus we see the market as getting oversupplied with hotel units, while that’s not the case for serviced apartments so far. Even now, there’s only the odd hotel property offering this category in Dubai.

“Going forward, lots of companies flying in personnel on short- to medium-term projects would prefer the convenience of serviced apartments for their stay. For an investor, it is an opportunity to acquire an asset that can provide better returns,” he said.

All of the top-notch developers in Dubai now have serviced apartments within their project portfolio. Damac is making a steady headway with the Maison branding.

Deyaar, at the moment, does not plan to create an individual identity for its offerings. “We have had big names interested in managing The Atria hospitality component; tie-ups would bring us the knowhow and creates scope for future joint ventures,” Al Qatami said.

 

*source Gulfnews

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