Dubai's Emaar opens property showcase in London's Harrods store

London // Dubai’s biggest developer, Emaar, has opened a new showcase for its latest properties in Dubai – in London’s Harrods department store – in a fresh push to tempt overseas buyers to offset a softer market at home.

The new, specially-designed marketing suite on the second floor of the famous store in up-market Knightsbridge features scale models of new residential towers in miniature versions of Downtown Dubai and Dubai Creek Harbour, as they will look when completed by 2020.

“Our 2017 Emaar showcase at Harrods promises to be the most spectacular property exhibition undertaken in the store in recent years,” said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the managing director of Emaar Properties.

Mr Matrooshi said he hoped that London buyers would be attracted to Dubai’s offer of an “exceptional lifestyle”. However, the strengthening dollar has led to weaker demand for property in in the emirate and the wider UAE. Its effect on investment flows naye only be short-term though, a new study from Reidin/Global Capital Partners said on Monday.

This latest launch follows Emaar Properties’ 2016 showcase at Harrods. Mr Barry estimated that of the 40 properties bought at last year’s showcase, about 40 per cent were purchased by visitors to London from the Mena region, with another 25 per cent from India and Pakistan. The Reidin report said investment flows into Dubai actually strengthen from Indians and Pakistanis as the dollar rises, because these investors look to property in a dollar-pegged country as a hedge against the risk of domestic devaluation.

Other investors came from countries as far afield as Brazil, Canada and China.

The current showcase runs until August and among properties offered include high-end apartments in the two 77-floor towers of the Il Primo development in the new Opera District in Downtown Dubai, set either side of the new Dubai Opera House. Prices start at Dh18 million for a four-bedroom, half-floor apartment, and go up to Dh40m for an entire floor with panoramic views.

Also featured are Act 1 and Act 2, two residential apartments in Downtown Dubai, while Dubai Creek Harbour is an entire new development that includes villas and apartments set around the marina in a development called The Cove.

While rental yield is good in the areas featured, at around 6 to 8 per cent, capital gains are less attractive, Mr Barry said, but he added that most investors in Dubai are looking longer-term, as the city continues to grow as a financial and business centre.

Properties in Dubai Creek Harbour are up to 60 per cent cheaper than equivalent properties in Downtown Dubai, he said, but he anticipates that their value will grow as the area becomes more established. “In 10 years, I predict that Dubai Creek Harbour will be as valuable as Downtown,” Mr Barry said.

Emaar Properties last week reported a 56 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.

The developer, in which the Dubai Government owns a min­ority stake, made a net profit of Dh1.61 billion in the three months to December 31. That compares with a profit of Dh1.03bn a year-earlier.

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