Azizi planning five new buildings at Dubai Healthcare City

Azizi Developments is planning to launch five residential buildings in Dubai Healthcare City and a building next to the UAE Exchange metro station in the Downtown Jebel Ali area.

The company’s chief executive, Farhad Azizi, told The National the buildings in Healthcare City will all be 15 storeys, with commercial space on the ground floor. The first of these is set to be launched “very soon”, with the other four being brought forward early next year.

Mr Azizi said his company had been one of the first private developers to buy plots within the Phase 2 expansion area of Healthcare City from Dubai Healthcare City Authority back in 2007.

“We’ve been going back and forth ever since. That small plot was converted into a bigger plot, and then a bigger one. We truly think that this area is going to become a good residential area. It’s very convenient for the airport, Sheikh Zayed Road – everywhere.”

The company’s initial development plans for Dubai were focused on plots at Nakheel’s Palm Jebel Ali and Dubai World Central. It spent Dh3.5 billion buying more than 920,000 square feet of land in these locations in 2008, launching a pair of projects at the Palm Jebel Ali.

However, following the financial crisis and the restructuring of Dubai World, the Palm Jebel Ali’s master developer Nakheel shelved the development of Palm Jebel Ali, and Azizi Developments swapped its plots for land at Al Furjan and for three plots in Palm Jumeirah.

“We had a very close relationship with Nakheel. After the crisis, they told us that they had 30 master communities, but they were focusing on 17 or 20 of them. We were humbled to be part of the discussion, and took part in the ones that were actively running.”

It has since launched 17 projects in Al Furjan, but it is only in the past week that the first one – the 109-unit Azizi Yasmine block – has completed.

Mr Azizi said that 858 apartments will be completed this year as four more Al Furjan blocks are handed over.

“There is another one expected in about 15 to 20 days from here – Azizi Feyrouz. Then there is Liatris coming in 45 days from now, followed by Orchid and by Iris.”

The 20 projects under construction have a development value of Dh7.3bn, he said, and include two projects being developed from its three Palm Jumeirah Plots – Royal Bay, a Dh350 million project containing 90 apartments that was launched in January and is 85 per cent sold, and the recently launched Mina project, which has been created by merging its two remaining Palm Jumeirah plots. It is a 178-unit development with a value of Dh750m containing four penthouses, 120 one-bedroom and 54 two-bedroom units.

Mr Azizi said it is planning to launch “10 to 15 minimum” new projects next year, which would bring the development value of its portfolio up to Dh10bn. These will include most of the Healthcare City buildings, projects on four recently-acquired plots at Al Furjan, and the new building at Downtown Jebel Ali, which he said will be 18 or 19 storeys.

“There is a project manager for it, the designs have started and we are already working on the layouts.”

Mr Azizi said he remained confident about the prospects for Dubai’s property market.

“There’s a lot of talk about rents being down and prices being soft. But I can only judge based on our sales figures – and our sales have been good. Every month it has been better.”

mfahy@thenational.ae

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