Deyaar has plans for 5.7 million sq ft of Dubai property on the drawing board

Property developer Deyaar currently has about 5.7 million square feet of potential new projects in the pipeline, but its chief executive Saeed Al Qatami has said that it plans to hold back on proposed new launches until the right conditions are in place.

Mr Al Qatami said that the company has projects containing 3 million sq ft of gross floor area (GFA) “in various stages of design”, plus plans for a further 2.7 million sq ft at Dubai South, where it signed an agreement with the site’s master developer for a 1.4 million sq ft plot of land last month. This is likely to house a series of low-rise apartments, plus Deyaar’s first townhouse project.

The projects currently in the pipeline for its own land bank include approximately 800,000 sq ft of GFA at a site in Business Bay, 700,000 sq ft at Dubai Silicon Oasis and 1.5 million sq ft at Midtown in the International Media Production Zone (IMPZ).

“We are very careful in terms of launching a project where exactly to launch.. we want to make sure the infrastructure is there, making sure that we deliver,” Mr Al Qatami told reporters at a visit to its Mont Rose site.

“We are also careful of how the market is developing, in terms of whether we will be able to go ahead with a project – that the funding is there, the customer interest is there.”

Deyaar currently has about Dh2.7 billion worth of projects under construction at four sites – the Dh440m, three-tower Mont Rose project in Barsha South, the Dh980 million Atria project at Business Bay, a Dh420m hotel project in Al Barsha and the first two zones (two and three) at its Midtown project. It has invested about Dh820m in the latter so far, where it is building 1,237 apartments.

The first of these to complete will be Mont Rose. Mr Al Qatami said that he expects to begin handover of the project’s two residential towers by July, and the remaining serviced apartment (which will be operated by Millennium & Copthorne Hotels) is likely to open in November.

He added that 265 of the 290 residential apartments on site have been sold, while the third tower is being retained by the developer.

Similarly, at the Atria – where it is building 566 units, he said that 95 per cent of the 219 residential apartments have been sold. Of the remaining 347 units, about 60 per cent are being retained as a source of recurring income. Only 35 per cent of the rest of the serviced apartments have sold, but Mr Al Qatami has said “we’re confident of the product that we have”. So much so, that it is offering a guaranteed 7 per cent return for investors in 2018 and 2019.

“We’ve been discussing numbers with [operator Millennium & Copthorne ] and that’s why we’re confident of ensuring returns for clients and we’re hopeful that in 2020 itself the hospitality market will pick up itself and the stability of our project will be there in terms of marketing and of customer awareness.”

The residential apartments at Atria are likely to complete in November this year, and the serviced apartment element will be handed over in December/January.

Discussing the development of the pipeline, he said that the next two zones of Midtown – zones 4 and 5 are in detailed design approval phase and a launch is likely “before this year end”.

A report published by JLL in January estimated that Dubai’s developers are scheduled to deliver 41,000 new homes this year, while Cavendish Maxwell said the figure was 61,000. However, both consultancies stated that developers are likely to delay handovers in a bid to avoid further price declines in the market.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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