Dubai developer Damac targets millennials with Akoya Selfie villa project

Damac Properties is making another attempt to attract millennials to buy its homes with the sales launch this weekend of its latest villa community Akoya Selfie.

The Dubai-listed developer announced today that it would open sales on a collection of three-bedroom villas at its 55 million square feet Akoya Oxygen development off the Umm Suqeim Road on the outskirts of Dubai on Saturday.

The glitzy developer known for offering buyers luxury cars and boats as inducements to purchase expensive flats, did not say how many villas it would be selling or how much they would cost.

Damac’s attempt to target millennials follows its sales launch in July of Akoya Imagine, a community of three and five-bedroom villas with a starting price of Dh1.2 million also designed to appeal to those reaching adulthood since the year 2000.

“Unlike most cities around the world, the millennial population in Dubai is quite significant and therefore there is a need to offer real estate products that suit their tastes and savvy lifestyle,” said Ziad El Chaar, Damac’s managing director.

“The median age of residents in Dubai lies between 30 and 34 years, falling well within the millennial segment of 25 to 39 years. This equates to 1.2 million and corresponds to 48 per cent of the total population of Dubai,” he added.

In August Damac reported that profits for the first half of the year fell by more than a third in the second quarter of 2016.

The profits slump prompted some analysts to question ­Damac’s sales model which they say relies more heavily on wealthy purchasers from Saudi Arabia than that of rival Dubai developer Emaar, which has recently switched its sales strategy to appeal more to Dubai residents by offering smaller units at lower lot sizes.

Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the word of the year in 2013 after it emerged from a niche social media tag into a mainstream term for a self-portrait photograph. The com­pany said that its frequency in the English language increased by 17,000 per cent that year compared with the previous year.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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