Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Dubai Property price growth rate slowing

Dubai: House prices in Dubai are still rising, but the rate of increase is expected to slow in the coming year, according to the latest research into the local property market.

There was an increase of just 5 per cent in the growth of house prices in Dubai in the three months to September, compared to the previous quarter.

But according to international property firm Colliers, the rate of growth in house prices has been dropping rapidly since the beginning of the year.

Although house prices increased by 43 per cent in the first quarter, by the second quarter the growth rate had declined to 16 per cent.

Growth in residential prices is expected to slow further as the year comes to an end.

Nevertheless, year-on-year growth in the third quarter was 80 per cent.

The negativity in the market is most notable, perhaps, on Palm Jumeirah, where prices have fallen by up to 40 per cent since September. Some previously much sought-after residences in the Burj Dubai area have also seen price drops of up to 30 per cent.

This phenomenon has been attributed to the fact that an increased number of homes is coming onto the market and loans are hard to come by because of the international financial crisis.

"I think [growth in the property market] is slowing ... but what's happened is the formation of micro-markets.

"For instance, values in DIFC, from a sales and a leasing perspective, are still strong," said James Knowles, director of sales and leasing at Asteco.

The volume of transactions so far in the fourth quarter are low, but this is because people are now more cautious about investing and limited money is available from lenders, Knowles said.

The 5 per cent increase in house prices is also not bad compared to other property markets that have slowed more drastically because of the international financial crisis, he said.

"On the one hand, the index results show a 5 per cent increase in overall residential prices for the third quarter, which is good news. On the other hand, over the past three quarters, the rate of growth has slowed to the point where we expect overall price growth to enter negative territory in the fourth quarter," Ian Albert, regional director for consultancy services, Colliers, said.

Buyers in search of a mortgage used to be able to get a loan for around 80 to 85 per cent of the home value. However, it has become difficult to get pre-approved loan-to-value property loans.

Loans in the 60 to 70 per cent region are now more common.

Knowles said this was not a bad thing, as speculation would decrease.

Dubai real estate NOT affected by negative equity problems

The full scope of the real estate meltdown in Dubai is not clear and will be evident only after a few months. The Gowealthy Research Team evaluated the Negative Equity Problem in detail and has noted that it has not affected the Dubai real estate market. The term Negative Equity implies a condition in which the value of the asset used to secure the loan slides below the outstanding balance of the loan. High interest rates and a drop in the property prices have forced small-time speculators to undersell their properties in Dubai. But after evaluating prices at the various freehold clusters, we have observed that although there has been a price correction of 30 to 40 per cent at Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay and Dubai Waterfront as well as several high-yield zones, Dubai does not face negative equity problems. Our study reveals that the Dubai Property Bubble has ended; property developers are either scaling back their new projects or discussing mergers/ take overs to grapple with the situation.

Currently expatriate buyers in Dubai are guaranteed mortgages of up to 65% of the total value of the property and national buyers over 80%. Property buyers cannot avail of full mortgage options. It is only recently, in 2007 to be precise, that home financiers and lending institutions started issuing flexible loan packages. Under such circumstances, the issue of negative equity does not arise because buyers are not allowed the total price of the asset as mortgage.

Following the global liquidity crunch, banks and financial institutions in the country have tightened their lending policies and raised interest rates despite government reassurances. A majority of such agencies have even stopped issuing mortgages. Why has this happened? Primarily because, the mortgage crisis-induced credit collapse has restricted banks and financiers from lending money to one another. To overcome the situation, the Government has come up with a 'rescue' plan and announced the merger of the country's top financiers, Amlak and Tamweel into the federally administered Real Estate Bank.

The abrupt disruptions in credit flow have affected both real estate developers and investors, resulting in a general slowdown of the sector. Yet, in stark contrast to reports that failure of risk and recovery models adopted by the region's banks and financing institutions led to the current credit crisis, we note that the bulk of funds were used to finance investment assets like shares and bonds.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Burj Dubai Construction Progress

Burj Dubai (Arabic: برج دبي‎ "Dubai Tower") is a supertall skyscraper under construction in the Business Bay district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure ever built, despite being incomplete. Construction began on September 21, 2004 and is expected to be completed and ready for occupation in September 2009.[1]

The building is part of the 2 km2 (0.8 sq mi) development called "Downtown Dubai", at the "First Interchange" (aka "Defence Roundabout") along Sheikh Zayed Road at Doha Street. The tower's architect is Adrian Smith[4] who worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) until 2006.[5] The architecture and engineering firm SOM is in charge of the project.[4] The primary builders are Samsung Engineering & Construction and Besix along with Arabtec.[6] Turner Construction Company was chosen as the construction manager.[7]

The total budget for the Burj Dubai project is about US$4.1 billion[8] and for the entire new 'Downtown Dubai', US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the CEO of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said that the price of office space at Burj Dubai had reached $4,000 per sq ft (over $43,000 per sq m) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Dubai, were selling for $3,500 per sq ft (over $37,500 per sq m)

Maids: just because you sponsor them, it doesn't mean you own them.

domestic worker in Dubai, "Jane", has given a testimony of her job and life. It's republished below, slightly edited for punctuation:

"Hi.. I worked in JUMEIRA as a DH.. for 4 years and 5 months.. to a good arab family.. I dont have any comments for them because they are so good to me. They don't look at me as a maid but as a sister to them.. but some of the agencies are taking for granted about the salary.. they get some extra.. which is.. that extra is a big help for our family.

"The problem is... some of the employers.. same my employer are abusing me, like they don't even tell me, if I eat or no? Because they want me to stay all the time with the kids, or tell me to go and sleep just for 30 minutes. You know 5 minutes closing my eyes it's like 1 day of sleeping for me, or I can't even go to the bathroom leaving the children because they are just very busy of talking the phone from morning until evening. Instead, I would find way, how to go and make a release.

"Or I went to some places which is so class or social places without changing my clothes for the reason that she forget to tell me, while I'm so shy and felt embarassed with my kabayan. You know, just uttering those simple words without action is very hard for them while they're doing nothing. Working from 6:00am to 11:pm, sometimes 2:00am or 3:00am is optional when have parties or weddings. Tell me, who is not tired of working and can't have even a nap just for a minutes.

"They know that I am good and I do all the works and taking care of children is really important which is the big factor for them. And they don't even want to find another until I become old. I'm talking about my efforts, they took out from me because they think I'm always ok even they saw me with their eyes that I'm tired everytime.

"They don't mind me because they think they gave me good salaries which is 700Dhs. for 4 years and 5 months without day-off. And I spent with my own money buying those necessary things even they knew that it is their obligations to buy for us. What you expect from it? How much is left from my salary? As long as they can get benefits from me.. they don't mind me at all.. just because I'm so good to them while they are taking for granted.

"Mostly, the problem with arab people are being a LAZY. Machines will sometimes not function or shutdown reading all the datas, how much more the human?"

Paris Hilton is going to settle in Dubai

Dubai: Paris Hilton could be the latest in a constellation of stars to light up Dubai's property sector, in a possible $2 million (Dh7.3 million) deal with Abu Dhabi-based developer, Hydra Properties.

Hilton, who was famous before she was even born, will add a dash of desert glam to Dubai's celebrity skyline.

"Mr Hilton is having a lawyer look over a million-dollar agreement between a property company in the UAE and Paris Hilton. The deal would give the company 'naming rights' for three years to call a set of twin towers Paris Hilton Towers. The deal currently stands at around $1.5-2million," said celebrity booking agent, Mike Esterman.

Officials at Hydra Properties were not immediately available for comment.

Although Hilton's roots are firmly entrenched in the hotel business, branding a property is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

And there is perhaps nowhere more fitting for a celebrity to flash a smile and name a building than in Dubai, where real estate is very much the name of the game.

As a recent wave of celebrities-turned-real-estate-professionals have found, investors in Dubai real estate are cashing in on a booming economy.

If agreed, Hilton would follow in the impressive footsteps of tennis great, Boris Becker, Formula One champion Michael Schumacher and golf-pro, Tiger Woods.

But if it's glamour you're after, you'd be hard pushed to find a star more focused on glam than Paris.

Of course, aside from those celebrities who want to see their name on a tower, there are other stars here working with local developers who know the bigger the name, the bigger the interest.

There's property heavyweight, Donald Trump with Nakheel, fashion legend Giorgio Armani and Emaar and most recently, bona fide Hollywood superstar, Brad Pitt, working with Zaabeel Properties.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ras al-Khaimah

Ras Al-Khaimah (Arabic: رأس الخيمة, transliteration: rās al-Khaymah, literally "The Top of the Tent") is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It covers an area of 656 square miles (1700 km²). Ras Al Khaimah is in the northern part of the Persian gulf.

The emirate is ruled by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman. The emirate has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants.

The city has a population of 219,897 as of 2008.[1] It is served by the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in Al Jazirah Al Hamra.

The city has two main sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, on either side of the creek which flows through Ras Al Khaimah.

UAE - short information

The United Arab Emirates is a federation which consists of seven emirates. The largest emirate is Abu Dhabi which contains the nation's capital city Abu Dhabi. Five emirates have one or more exclaves, in addition to the main territory. The seven emirates:

* Abu Dhabi
* Ajman: 1 exclave
* Dubai: 1 exclave
* Fujairah: 2 exclaves
* Ras al-Khaimah: 1 exclave
* Sharjah: 3 exclaves
* Umm al-Quwain

Abu Dhabi
Al Ain
Al Fujairah
Major cities of the United Arab Emirates

There are two areas under joint control. One is jointly controlled by Oman and Ajman, the other by Fujairah and Sharjah.

There is an Omani enclave surrounded by UAE territory, known as Wadi Madha. It is located halfway between the Musandam peninsula and the rest of Oman, on the Dubai-Hatta road in the Emirate of Sharjah. It covers approximately 75 square kilometres (29 sq mi) and the boundary was settled in 1589. The north-east corner of Madha is closest to the Khor Fakkan-Fujairah road, barely 10 metres (33 ft) away. Within the enclave is a UAE exclave called Nahwa, also belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah. It is about 8 kilometres (5 mi) on a dirt track west of the town of New Madha. It consists of about forty houses with its own clinic and telephone exchange.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Cost of living in Dubai


Dubai is generally a very expensive city. Some of the goods provided in Dubai, such as vegetables, computers and cars, are cheaper in the UEA than elsewhere due to the tax free zones. Visits to the doctor (especially those which are state run) and gas are also inexpensive. Prices for groceries are about the same as in Canada, Australia and European members like the UK. To rent a house or an apartment can be more expensive than it would be in another country, so is a visit to the hairdresser.

Those who come to Dubai to live and work should try and get an employment package that includes a housing allowance. For a fully furnished studio you have to calculate 6.250 Dh per month (approximately 1.350 €), for an unfurnished two bedroom apartment 6.700 Dh per month (1.400 €), for an unfurnished three bedroom apartment 7.900 Dh per month (1.700 €) and for a villa in the region around Midriff 8.400 Dh per month (1.800 €). On top of this there is an amount of approximately 420 € per person needed for maintenance.

A three course meal with drinks is around 110 Dh or 24 € and a bottle of beer (which is only available in hotel bars and restaurants) costs 18 Dh or nearly 4 €.

Will falling Dubai house prices ever outpace rental increases?

The International Monetary Fund recently published an interesting study of housing markets in emerging economies which pointed out that the average decline in house prices in a downturn was 30 per cent spread over four years. This contrasted with much sharper but short-lived plunges in emerging market equities.

Now the first thing to note in the context of the Dubai property market is that we have not reached the top of the cycle yet. House prices and rentals are still going up. And even the moderately pessimistic Asteco real estate company thinks this will last for another 12-18 months.

Therefore, anybody buying a house will save on rising rentals for up to two years. Perhaps then they will additionally save somewhat less in the succeeding three to four years. Given that property yields are around eight per cent in Dubai, we might reasonably assume that in five years the buyer will have saved about 40 per cent of the cost of their home in rent that they would have otherwise paid.

Capital loss versus rental loss
Now what of the capital value of the same home? Let us assume an average annual gain of 10 per cent for the next two years, followed by an IMF-study average decline in three and not four years. Then you would have to figure in roughly a 10 per cent loss in capital over that five-year period.

On this calculation the savings in rent that would otherwise be paid out on comparable property clearly more than outweigh the risk of losing capital in a market downturn. Indeed the margin is quite wide, and this means that the capital loss on a home could be significantly bigger and it would still be better to buy than rent over a five year period.

This really comes down to what everybody knows who lives in Dubai. Rents are high and landlords are making an excellent return on their investment. Meanwhile, the cost of buying homes is cheap by international standards.

Comfort zone
Therefore, buying makes sense to avoid high rentals. But the additional comfort of this calculation is that even in a falling housing market the money saved from rents can more than offset a fall in capital value.

And buyers should also note that high inflation in the UAE will tend to protect the nominal value of homes. In such an environment buying now instead of renting makes good sense even if you see a property crash on the horizon; and waiting for a crash could prove an expensive error of judgment.

For one thing, paying rent is certain to loose you money while at least buying gives you a chance to win on the upside.

Dubai property fall is unavoidable

The rapid deterioration in sentiment in the UAE has caught even the most pessimistic of observers by surprise.

Predictions that the once unshakable real estate market in the emirates, particularly Dubai, was set for a slowdown have come to fruition even more quickly than anticipated, despite the repeated assurances of senior Dubai officials that the market's onward march would not be deterred.

Reports have put the fall in property prices at 4 per cent in Dubai, and 5 per cent in Abu Dhabi, in August alone. Falls in September and October are likely to be even greater.

The first wave of redundancies at developers is now under way and project work is already slowing on some of Dubai's signature developments. By pulling credit lines to employees at some of Dubai's biggest companies, Emirates NBD, the region's biggest bank by assets, has signalled that it expects the market will continue to fall.

As the emirate's economic growth slows, more lay-offs will undoubtedly be announced.

The number of new workers arriving in the emirate will also dwindle, putting further down-ward pressure on real estate in the emirate.

Other banks in the country now face the choice of whether to try to attract the customers Emirates NBD is passing up, or also view them as too risky. Given that confidence in Dubai's real estate sector is now so low, they will be tempted to steer clear of customers who may quickly find themselves unemployed.

The Central Bank of the UAE says it is looking at ways to prop up the real estate sector, but it is difficult to see what it can do to persuade people to buy in a market that could be on the edge of freefall.

The best it can do is to allow the market to quickly find its floor, so the recovery can begin, and avoid falling into the trap of using government intervention to take on the impossible task of stopping a sharp correction in an overvalued market.

Dubai Property Prices Falling

It’s not news that Dubai’s property market is expected to experience corrections next year and according to Morgan Stanley gradually decline by up to 10 percent by 2010. However, a real bombshell was dropped last Thursday when Arabian Business reported that Palm Jebel Ali’s island prices have depreciated some 40 percent in the last two months.

After all the hype and excitement about Dubai’s market, this news is certainly a wake up call for many would be investors who are standing on the brink of making a decision right now.

This fall in property values has been pinned on the global crisis and current investors who liquidate their assets in Dubai in order to keep their cash flow going.

This turn of events puts the development (and more to follow for sure) back to where they were some two years ago. To make matters worse, local Dubai mortgage providers acted and reduced home financing loan-to-value (LTV) to about 70 percent down from 90 in October. Of course this isn’t helpful for those looking to finance a property loan right now.

Five and six bedroom villas on the island used to be valued at around 16 million Dirham (approximately $4.35 million). In the last couple of months however these prices were depreciated to 9 million Dirham instead - a huge loss for current property owners.

Despite this, they didn’t really lose out on a bargain since overall the value of properties on the island increased by as much as 80 percent from the original launch buying price.

As reported from various realtors in Dubai, sales have dried up and making them seems harder these days, unless they accept a significant drop in property prices.

It will be interesting to see whether those predictions will come true in the near future. As for now, it is probably a wise move to hold on the investment for existing property owners while new buyers can snap up a bargain.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Dubai Marina at Dusk

This is a photo of Dubai Marina at Dusk - look at the details and colors of the farthest buildings on the view... Dubai skyscrapers on the left and on the right. Perfect reason to visit Dubai for a holiday break.

Burj Dubai Street (photo)

Here is a photo of Burj Dubai and the buildings across the street. Magnificient view of Dubai high street in the night...

Friday, 21 November 2008

Dubai Tower named as one of the Best 50 inventions of the Year

The worlds first rotating skyscraper, 'The Dynamic Tower', has been named as one among the "Best 50 inventions of the Year" by the TIME Magazine, due to its revolutionary design and innovation.

Created by David Fisher, the renowned Italian architect, the tower was one of the first choices in a list of ground-breaking inventions. Every floor of the tower rotates independently so as to form a building that constantly changes its shape and appearance, resulting in a unique and evolving architectural landmark.

The environment-friendly tower is the first building to be completely self-powered with wind turbines, positioned horizontally between each floor. The photovoltaic cells on the roof of each rotating floor, produces solar energy.

The Dynamic Tower in Dubai will also be the first high-rise to be built completely from prefabricated parts that are custom-built in a workshop and then installed on site.

This method comes with several benefits, including environmentally clean on-site construction, reduced time and cost of construction, less onsite accidents. Residents of the tower can park their cars at the entrance of the apartments with voice activated systems.

The residents can get a glimpse of the world rotating around them when looking through the glass wall of the buildings. These buildings will also be the first wherein construction begins at the top, with each floor mechanically installed from top to bottom.

Property agents optimistic about Dubai property market

Several property agents in Dubai predict a bright property market, with the sector expected to pick-up within next six months.

The CEO of Dubai Properties, Mohammed Binbrek, said that the current issue is more due to public sentiment, than due to liquidity or resource availability. Once the fears and concerns of the people are addressed, the business would return to normal.

The same optimism was seen among the respondents of a survey, involving 170 Dubai-based property agents, out of which 77 percent felt that the issues currently plaguing the Dubai real estate sector would vanish in six months time.

Pointing out to other markets, the Managing Director of Better Homes, Ryan Mahoney, said that the markets had a slow phase for a couple of months, and then improved in terms of transactions, depending on the availability of financial lending.

But Mahoney predicts that although the transactions may not rise to previous levels within next six months, the prices would stop falling, and then grow again, which may take about a year.

Key Questions From the G-20 Summit

There are (at least) five fundamental questions that went unanswered at this past weekend's G-20 summit in Washington. In their attempt to show solidarity, the world leaders skipped over the complicated and contentious questions. But that's no long-term solution. Once they go home to their respective capitals, the finance ministers and other officials who met in Washington are going to be forced to make some tough decisions. Here are five puzzlers that will demand to be sorted out in the months ahead:

1. What is protectionism? The gathered ministers roundly condemned protectionism in all its forms and even agreed to take another stab at reviving the moribund Doha Round of global trade talks—if possible, by the end of this year. But it's hard to see how much progress they will be able to make when many of the efforts to revive national economies could be regarded as protectionism. For example, wouldn't extensive aid to the Big Three Detroit automakers constitute an illegal subsidy under the World Trade Organization's terms? For that matter, don't the massive aid packages flowing to banks, brokerage firms, and insurers in the U.S. and elsewhere constitute subsidies that are prohibited by the free-trade rules?

2. Should we be encouraging consumers to spend more, or not? There are two schools of thought on this central question. Many economists and ordinary people argue that a sharp drop-off in consumer spending is extremely dangerous, so government needs to help consumers find ways to keep spending. That's one of the reasons U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson revised the government's $700 billion troubled-asset relief program to support credit card borrowing, auto loans, and student loans. Yet other people, including some economists, say that excessive spending and borrowing got us into this mess in the first place—and that cutting back is exactly what Americans must do to restore balance to the global economy.

3. Is it important to put a floor under the prices of homes? There are two sides to this question as well. Treasury's Paulson has repeatedly argued that the financial crisis won't end until the decline in home prices reaches a bottom. So a lot of people want to stop them from falling further by providing financial incentives to buyers and by preventing more foreclosures. But other experts say that trying to prop prices above the level they naturally seek would merely delay the necessary market adjustment—keeping prices unaffordably high and making buyers afraid to step in because they anticipate further declines. It's hard to sort this one out because no one can reliably say what the "correct" level of home prices ought to be.

4. Should world leaders try to ensure that a financial crisis such as this one never occurs again? This seems like a no-brainer, but it's not. Sure, long-term reforms are needed. But there's a risk that clamping down on risky lending practices now could make matters worse in the short term. The G-20's communiqué instructs the various nations to report back by the end of March about the progress they've made on restructuring financial regulation. The danger is that in their zeal to show progress by then, government officials around the world will push lenders to tighten up, offsetting the elaborate efforts to provide fiscal and monetary support.

5. Do we need global coordination? This seems like another obvious yes. In the first paragraph of their declaration, the G-20 leaders said: "We are determined to enhance our cooperation and work together." Some cooperation is a good thing, of course. But notice that the leaders were quite vague about what they would do together in the short run. Most of their agreements were about long-term reform. This vagueness may be healthy. Each country's situation is unique. What the U.S. needs to do (consume less and save more) is precisely the opposite of what China needs to do (consume more and save less).

All in all, it's great that world leaders came together in an atmosphere of relative good will. Their intentions are good. But as someone once said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Hard thinking remains to be done.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Top hotels for luxury traveller in Dubai

1. Jumeirah Emirate Towers
Jumeirah Emirates Towers located on Sheikh Zayed Road is in the centre of Dubai's commercial business district and a highly visible statement of the region's corporate success. Two equilateral triangles are architectural icons one of their kind in Dubai. Jumeirah Emirates Towers consists of a 350-metre office tower and a 305-metre 400-bedroom hotel tower joined by a central podium containing a Shopping Boulevard. A sleek architectural masterpiece of steel and glass, Jumeirah Emirates Towers redefines the business hotel category, seamlessly combining form with function, high technology with unparalleled luxury and elegance with efficiency. With supreme attention to the requirement of the corporate individual, even standard rooms at Jumeirah Emirates Towers come with a business workplace along with IT amenities, interactive television and 24-hour technical assistance.

2. Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Reinventing the hotel experience, The Award Winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel introduces a new lifestyle that integrates all the excitement and exhilaration designed for couples, families and friends. All 600 Hotel Rooms And Suites Enjoy A Uninterrupted Spectacular Panoramic View Of The Arabian Gulf, Some With Private Balconies. Luxuriously Appointed And Exquisitely Furnished, At 50 Square Metres Each Room Exceeds The Proportions Of Most International Hotels. The Resort Facilities Include 20 Restaurants And Bars, Conference Centre for Up To 1,600 People, Business Centre, Sinbads Kids Club and VIBES Teens Club, 4 Swimming Pools, 7 Tennis Courts, Golf Driving Range And Putting Green, Marina And Sports Club, Watersports, 900 Metres Of Private Beach, Pavilion Dive Centre And A Purpose-Built Coral Reef 2 Km Offshore. All Guests Also Receive Complimentary Access to Wild Wadi Water Park. Guests Who Prefer A More Secluded Retreat Can Enjoy The Tranquility Of Beit Al Bahar, a Luxury 19 Villa Complex Located A Short Walk Or Buggy Ride From The Jumeirah Beach Hotel. A Combination Of One And Two Bedroom Villas Each Featuring An Outdoor Dining Area And A Tranquil Terrace Offer Beautiful Views Of Either The Arabian Gulf Or The Spectacular Resort Facilities Of The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Each Villa Also Has A Private Plunge Pool Tucked Away For Guests To Unwind In Peace.

3. Burj Al Arab
A Billowing Sail-shaped Structure Soaring 321 Metres Above The Arabian Gulf Burj Al Arab Is A Dramatic Tribute To The Regions Seafaring Heritage. Combining The Latest Technology With A Long-standing Reputation Of Arabian Hospitality The Hotel Symbolizes The Very Essence Of Dubai Embracing The Best Of New Alongside Traditions Of The Past. Guests Can Transfer From Dubai International Airport By Rolls Royce Silver Seraph Limousines. 202 Suites Have Been Exquisitely Crafted And Appointed To Achieve A Degree Of Comfortable Luxury To Satisfy The Senses Of Every Guest From All Corners Of The World. Individual Service And Attention To Detail Are Paramount With A Private Reception On Each Floor As Well As Butler Service For Every Suite. Within Each Suite Lies Sophisticated Technology Providing The Largest Selection Of Satellite Television Channels Available In The Middle East. Every Suite Features Its Own Laptop Notebook Computer, Fax Machine And Printer.

4. Raffles Dubai
Inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt, Raffles Dubai radiates an opulent blend of Middle Eastern and Asian decor. Under the apex of the pyramid, 11 distinctive restaurants and bars feature culinary delights from all over the world. For successful meetings and events Raffles Dubai offers a choice of 11 private rooms with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and the latest wireless technology. The one-hectare masterpiece Raffles Sky Garden is Dubai's most luxurious venue for outdoor celebrations and events. From the extravagance of a SPA Pool to the pampering of the body and soul, the Raffles Amrita SPA with its 6 treatment rooms and gym is a unique and exquisite haven perfect for relaxation, rejuvenation and indulgence.

5. Mina A' Salam at Madinat Jumeirah
Nestled on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Mina A' Salam is the 'harbour of peace' - and getaway at Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort of Dubai. Offering a unique escape into a world rich in culture and faithful to time honoured values, Mina A' Salam is a grand boutique hotel of exquisite style. Whether you choose to dine alfresco around the enchanting harbour, or enjoy the enviable views of the neighbouring Burj Al Arab, your experience will be unrivalled in the region. The region is a sanctuary of Arabian essence, warm welcomes and endless fascination, where families, the discerning business traveller and small groups can retreat in sun-drenched splendour. The Madinat Jumeirah translates into the 'City of Jumeirah', so named because of the sheer variety of this magnificent Resort, located in the heart of fashionable Jumeirah. The concept is one of 'old Arabia' in a totally luxurious context. This combination of authentic Arabian themes has created a destination of unique qualities and outstanding beauty. Madinat Jumeirah is a city of contrasts - from the sublimely relaxing to the vibrant and exotic. A place of meandering waterways and wide open sea-scapes, it is a luxurious oasis in which to relax, experience and interact. The Resort is a recreation of old Arabia and a place where historic beauty meets new-fashioned luxury. The gateway property to Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort - Dubai. Opened in September 2003, this low rise, 292 rooms and suites grand boutique hotel is designed in the authentic style of 'old Arabia'. It is built alongside an enchanting harbour - around which much of the hotel experience is based. All rooms and suites have views of the sea and enjoy individual balconies. All restaurants, bars and lounges have extensive terraces which overlook the harbour and adjacent beach.

6. Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah
Al Qasr is one of the three properties of the Madinat Jumeirah Resort. Elevated as if to emphasise its splendour, Al Qasr is the 'palace' at the heart of Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort - Dubai. Approached via a ceremonial causeway, this majestic mansion style hotel rises up to form the jewel in the crown of the world's most sublime Resort and authentic recreation of 'old Arabia'. Surrounded by water, Al Qasr forms a virtual island looking down upon a multitude of fascinating aspects: ancient windtowers, pools, meandering waterways and the superb two kilometre wide private beach. Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort - Dubai, is a magnificent tribute to Dubai's heritage and is styled to resemble an ancient Arabian citadel. Luxurious and ornate, combining the height of opulence with an overwhelming sense of tradition. Meandering waterways transport guests to all parts of this intricate city of senses. Two grand boutique hotels, courtyard summer houses, a traditional souk, the Six Senses Spa, the region's leading conference and banqueting centre, unlimited recreational facilities and the superlative Quay Healthclub - all this and more combine to make Madinat Jumeirah the most fascinating Resort in the world.

7. Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah
Dar Masyaf is one of the three properties of the Madinat Jumeirah Resort. It is where guests are welcomed into sun-drenched solace, and rooms and suites are arranged in the style of exquisite Arabian summer courtyard houses. Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort is located on the waterfront in Dubai. Representing the premium accommodation within a Resort of magnificent qualities and nestled within the waterways and gardens - Dar Al Masyaf buildings are havens of seclusion interwoven with splendid irregularity into the world's most inspired destination. Literally translated, Dar Al Masyaf means summer houses. Authentically recreated, they are designed to provide sun-drenched spaciousness in the style of elegant residential retreats. The Madinat Jumeirah translates into the 'City of Jumeirah', so named because of the sheer variety of this magnificent Resort, located in the heart of fashionable Jumeirah. The concept is one of 'old Arabia' in a totally luxurious context. This combination of authentic Arabian themes has created a destination of unique qualities and outstanding beauty. Madinat Jumeirah is a city of contrasts - from the sublimely relaxing to the vibrant and exotic. A place of meandering waterways and wide open sea-scapes, it is a luxurious oasis in which to relax, experience and interact. The Resort is a recreation of old Arabia and a place where historic beauty meets new-fashioned luxury.

8. Traders Hotel Dubai

Opened In Early 2004, The Deluxe Traders Hotel Dubai Offers Quality Business Accommodation Combined With World-renowned Standards Of Personalised Service. The Hotel Is Near The Traditional Deira Business District And Is Only 10 Minutes From Dubai International Airport. The Guest Rooms Offer Contemporary Design Combined With Up-To-the-minute Amenities Including Broadband And Wireless Internet Access. Discerning Executives Can Reserve "Traders Club" Rooms Featuring Upgraded Amenities And Services Including Complimentary Breakfast And Evening Cocktails. Guests Can Enjoy International And Local Favourites At The Junction Or Relax Over A Cocktail With Business Associates And Friends In The Lobby Lounge And Chameleon Bar. The Fully-equipped Business Centre Provides A Comprehensive Range Of Professional Secretarial Services And Facilities. When Relaxation Is Required, the Recreational Facilities Include An Indoor Plunge Pool, sauna, Jacuzzis And A Full Range Of Massage Services.

9. Al Maha Desert Resort And Spa

You Cant Help Feeling A Little Like Lawrence Of Arabia On The Journey To The Al Maha Resort And Spa In The Heart Of Dubais Desert. Al Maha Is Located 45 Minutes Away From Dubai City Of Gold. Though 4-wheel Drive Jeeps Have Long Since Replaced Camels As The Most Common Form Of Transport The Sense Of Adventure Privacy And Isolation Remains. The Al Maha Was The First Ecotourism Resort Built In The United Arab Emirates. Home Of The Indigenous Species Such As The Arabian Oryx And Gazelles Have Been Re-introduced And Wander Freely. Al Maha Has Added 10 More Top Rated Luxury Suites Totaling To 40 To Further Accommodate Our World Class Guests. Al Maha Is The First Ecotourism Resort In The United Arab Emirates. The First Desert Resort In The United Arab Emirates.

10. Desert Palm Retreat Dubai
Due to unforeseen local construction issues and delays in the arrival of the imported furnishings, the property will not be opening until the 2nd quarter of 2008. ** Arabia avant-garde. Lush green of the polo fields. Sunset chukkas from a rooftop terrace. Sunrise over the dunes. Sensual Per Aquum design. Rare dining experiences. Spa addictions

Mina A Salam Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah is one the most beautiful hotel in Dubai, and probably in UAE. Look at this picture - it is really gorgeous...
Here is couple of recent feedbacks from TripAdvisor:
It's fabulous and is everything others have said. Large comfortable rooms, great bathrooms, great views and friendly staff with transport to other Jumeira hotels by boat or buggy.The only thing all this luxury comes at at great cost, especially the food and drinks, allow at least £200 per day per couple and thats a minimum...

Another one:
I've got to say that this was one of the best, if not best hotels i have ever stayed at, we went from the Jumeirah beach Hotel, to the Madinat Jumeirah and then the Mina A Salaam. My 3 year old daughter enjoyed it so much that I had to book in a few extra days. You get free access to the Wild Wadi Park if you stay at either the Jumeirah beach Hotel, Madinat or the Mina Salaam, the view from the balcony was beautiful and the staff made an extra effort to entertain my daughter by creating animals from the bath sheets and leaving them on the bed, something they learn at a course they are sent to. There are loads of restaurants on the hotel grounds, and you can be ferried around by guys driving buggies around the resort. you can also take little boats which take you around the resort....This is all free if you are staying at the hotel. If you are doing research and want to choose a hotel, then just to let you know, this resort has approx 3 hotels in them, Mina A Salaam, Madinat Jumeirah & Dar Al Masyaf and the little boats and buggies take you from one to the other.

Ann another GOOD review:

As people have felt the need to write bad reviews from a year ago I thought I'd add my year old GOOD review. My husband and I had such a good time at MAS last year that we are returning in two weeks time (at which point I'll probably write another review). It has to be the best holiday we have ever been on (except our honeymoon). I find it so hard to believe that people felt the staff were unfriendly. Everywhere we went from check in to the pool to the restaurants to the bars - all the staff were more than happy to help us. My husband tried to go to the bar to get a drink at the pool and was sent back to the sun loungers because they didn't want us to do anything ourselves. We didn't feel the need to tip at all. I may have picked up towels one day by myself but that really doesn't bother me! We were in an Executive Club Room but the only time staff would have known this was during check in and when we used the club room in the morning at breakfast and evening for drinks. The Arbas are great fun. We have booked a restaurant in another part of the hotel on the first night of our up coming trip just so we have an excuse to use them straight away. The only very slight annoyance was we decided to go half board but felt this didn't give us a lot of options and didn't feel brilliant value for money. We are only going B&B this time. One tip - pre book your restaurants because they get fully booked very quickly. We were unable to get reservations for a lot of the restaurants we wanted last year. We have already made reservations this year and we go on 14th November.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Dubai property market slowdown may be short-lived: Real Estate Experts

With the ongoing speculation in the property market, coupled with the liquidity squeeze which gripped the local banking sector, the Dubai property sector has come to a halt, and fewer people are seen investing on new properties.

A "dramatic slowdown" is likely in the short-term, as property developers such as Nakheel and Emaar will find it difficult in securing new financing, reports the Gulf News.

However, the projects that have already commenced and have already made commitments with financial institutions will continue, despite the financial turmoil, as the local banking system in the UAE has already been injected with liquidity.

According to industry sources, the current drop in real estate does not seem long-lasting. Although at present the property prices have eased a bit, the forthcoming slowdown in construction will reduce supply, which in turn, would drive up the prices again.

The Chief Executive of Rasmala Investments, a networking event with Dubai Property Sector, Ali Al Shihabi, agrees that there is little demand for real estate at present, as the investors are cautious and are awaiting prices to drop further. The Banks also do not have much capital to finance the development of new properties.

However, for an investor, this would be the best time to buy. Existing projects would continue. Major developers would continue their work, although at a reduced level. Dubai already has solid work for the next three years, and the current slowdown in supply would once again generate demand and increase in prices, during the next few years, Al Shihabi said.

The Resident Partner of Property Consultancy firm Cluttons, Ronald Hinchey, said that the slump in real estate activity may be due to the lack of liquidity in Banks and the reduction in loan-to-value ratios.

People are finding it difficult to borrow money for property as the mortgage providers have lowered their loan-to-value ratios to 50 to 70 percent from the earlier 80 to 90 percent. The lending institutions too have committed funds on properties that are under construction.

Al Shihabi pointed out that Dubai has been hit by its own financial turmoil this year, due to the downfall of major financial institutions such as the Lehman Brothers in the US. During the first six months of the year, an influx of several billion dollars from global financial institutions has been common.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Dynamic Architecture in Dubai - Video #2

Wonderful concept by David Fischer!

The first World Dynamic Architecture in DuBai project

Dynamic Architecture in Dubai

Italian experimental architecture company Dynamic Architecture has proposed a revolving sustainable skyscraper for Dubai powered by wind turbines placed between each floor.

Monday, 3 November 2008

List of 50 Recruitment Agencies in Dubai

Name Phone Number Email
Adecco +971 4 351 8596
Altaayeen Management Consultants +971 4 324 4933
Amrop Middle East +971 4 332 8830
Appointments +971 50 474 2648
BAC Executive Recruitment +971 4 337 5747
Beresford Blake Thomas +971 4 390 0375
Carmichael Fisher +971 4 430 9309
Charterhouse +971 4 372 3500
Clarendon Parker +971 4 391 0460
Concur Consultants +971 4 813 5200
Connected Group +971 4 311 6530
Dulsco +971 4 347 7500
Duneden M.E. Recruitment +971 4 321 8742
Edge Executive +971 4 368 9460
Embed HR +971 4 362 4748
EuroJobs Middle East +971 4 609 1500
Executive Solutions, ME +971 4 338 9766
First Select International +971 4 334 3461
Focus Direct +971 4 355 4134
Future Focus +971 4 321 7222
Gulf Bankers +971 4 332 1716
Gulf Connexions +971 4 311 7178
Hays +971 4 361 2882
Headway +971 4 398 7369
Hill McGlynn +971 4 299 0070
Horizon International +971 4 435 0999
Ibtikar +971 4 343 8380
IQ Selection +971 4 329 7770
Job Track Middle East +971 4 397 7751
Jobscan +971 4 355 9113
Jobtrack Middle East +971 4 397 7751
Lobo +971 4 331 3223
Ma Foi +971 4 273 7427
McArthur Murray +971 4 409 8100
Michael Page +971 4 709 0300
Millennium Solutions +971 4 338 4944
MIR Recruitment +971 4 390 2238
mrl-financial +971 4 425 8100
People Source Management +971 4 351 4567
Principal Search Dubai +971 4 420 3767
Real Recruitment & HR Consultancy +971 4 399 7606
RP International +971 4 391 0300
SOS Recruitment +971 4 396 5600
Standon Chase +971 4 369 3529
Swisslinx +971 4 509 6762
Ultimate Management Consultants +971 4 343 3737
United Media Entertainment +971 4 433 4244
WoodHamill Ingram +971 4 324 2797
Xperts HR Consultancy +971 4 334 4421
Apple Search & Selection LLC +971 4 329 8220

Dubai Photo - Burj Dubai

One of the most magnificient buildings in Dubai is a Burj Dubai skyscrapre. I really liked this photo of Burj Dubai made in the night which shows beautiful picture of Dubai and neon lights of this amazing city.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Over 40% say it is still a good time to buy property in Dubai

Since the recent dramatic events in the financial world around the globe, the organisers of this weeks' Worldwide Property Show being held in Dubai have just announced the results of a recent survey on investor confidence conducted in association with YouGovSiraj.

The survey shows an optimistic view, with one fourth of respondents feeling that the global crisis will only have a minor impact on the local UAE Property Market. 56% surveyed felt that there may be a slowdown but will not have the same impact as in Europe and US.

The survey further revealed that Dubai residents are more confident than those living in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah however 40% of all respondents felt that now is still a good time to invest as they can pick up a bargain. 16% of respondents were not sure and were sitting on the fence.

When deciding on the developer -value for money, ability to adhere to promises and transparency of information are the attributes that people look at. The least important attribute is public information available either on a website or in the media. This indicates that consumers are anxious about cost of ownership and the inherent investment value of the property.

Respondents were also asked what were their top destinations for real estate investment around the world - 55% favoured Asia, 40% for Middle East, 32% for Europe & UK and 27% for North America.

George Betz ,International Sales Director at Dubai Shows Limited organisers of the Worldwide Property Show said: "Considering our survey has literally been completed in the last few days since the global meltdown, it is very encouraging to see that people still understand the merit in investing in real estate and that now is still a good time to buy as prices are low."

Betz continued: "The Worldwide Property Show which started in 1995 has received a record number of developers and estate agents wishing to participate in this season's show and will feature 85 exhibitors from 32 countries including USA, Egypt, Morocco and UK, as well as emerging Asian markets such as Philippines and Thailand and a very wide variety of UAE developers and agents."

Mike Bridge, Business Development Director at Dubai Shows Limited said: "With developers feeling the pinch, it is definitely a buyers market with great opportunities to select prime property in some of the best locations in the world. You cannot take away the benefits, even in a crisis, of a fabulous city or beautiful coastline."

Bridge added: "It is also good news that the banks have recently received Governments' support and are more likely to be in a position to fund property investment again".

The Worldwide Property Show and UAE Developer, the UAE's longest running consumer property exhibition opens 23rd to 25th October 2008 at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

Original at:


Thursday, 16 October 2008

Cityscape, World's biggest real estate investment expo opens in Dubai as growth slows

Cityscape Dubai, the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development event in the world, opened today amid news that Dubai house price growth slowed to 16% in the second quarter of this year.

In an earlier version of this story, Property Wire incorrectly cited a report by Colliers stating that Dubai property prices fell by 16%. Colliers actually said that the house price growth had slowed down to 16% in the second quarter. Property Wire regrets the errors and the story has been amended to reflect the accurate figures.

The figures were met with an intake of breath as they had been rising sharply and although analysts have been predicting a slowdown few expected such a drop at this time.

The figures, from leading international property consultants Colliers, indicate that Dubai's six year property boom is at an end with the company predicting figures will remain flat for at least 12 months, probably until 2010.

'In the first quarter, the average price went up by 43% while in the second quarter they (slowed to) 16%,' said Ian Albert, a regional director at Colliers International. He attributed the drop to seasonal trends and a possible inkling among investors of the looming credit crunch.

Colliers said the main threat to house prices was liquidity in the financial system. A shortage of cash has already doubled the interest rate that banks charge each other in the last four months to more than 4%. Many home finance companies have restricted the amount of money they lend to 65 or 75% of the property's value, and home finance rates have risen to about 8%.

'Future performance will be hinged on liquidity. Everyone in Dubai is now looking for the magic figure on how much prices will fall, but because of what's going on in the US and Europe, we won't know where we are in terms of liquidity for at least another two to three months. Prices have so far mainly appreciated through speculation,' added Albert.

He concluded that although mortgages will be harder to come by, demand would remain strong, with the market moving away from off-plan speculation and back to basic fundamentals, such as providing a good quality product.

The news should be taken as a wake up call but should also be seen as an opportunity to look at other markets. 'Now, as the world faces up to market uncertainty, we enter a new era in which Middle East developers are expected to maintain and even increase their presence throughout the world,' said Rohan Marwaha, managing director of Cityscape.

'The sheer scale and intensity of the iconic projects in one of the most impressive property booms in modern history has kept the UAE, and Dubai in particular, in the headlines worldwide for the best part of a decade,' he added.

Dubai's largest developer, Nakheel, defied the pessimistic news by launching the world's tallest tower. Nakheel, part of the Dubai World group, unveiled plans to build a tower that will be more than one kilometre high - eclipsing the current tallest tower in the world, Burj Dubai.

Nakheel declined to disclose the project's costs, but said it was confident of weathering the financial storm, particularly as the project would be phased over 10 years. 'We know that the world is experiencing a financial crisis right now. But this is jut part of a normal economic cycle,' said Nakheel's chief executive Chris O'Donnell.

'It will have an impact on the Middle East but our view is that it will be relatively small as the fundamentals in this market make it stand out compared to other markets. There might be a slowdown but there definitely won't be a crash. We are confident that over 10 years we will be able to finance, build and develop this project,' he added.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

81st Edition of the Carnival of Real Estate

Christopher Smith at Real Estate Investing in the Real World writes the beginning of an article about investing in real estate long-term. I really enjoyed the article until it suddenly ended. It should have been a completed article. The beginning paragraphs were intriguing and well written. Too bad it was cut short.

DaltonsBriefs presents a post that references a Zillow post about activists doing damage to property to bring notice to their cause.

MyNewPlace discusses the Casulo, a bedroom set in a box. It’s not available yet, but might be a great idea for students or people traveling abroad.

Nathan Blair of Salt Lake City Utah Real Estate Blog thinks aloud about what is ”classic” in architecture.

International Listings presents an incomplete, and questionable (they forgot to mention the best real estate website) list of real estate websites that are 2.0.

Purva Brown, the Sacremento Real Estate Gal, brings up three mistakes first-time home buyers fall victim to.

Silveral of Celebrity News and Gossip talks about celebrity homes and the characteristics many of them share.

John Lockwood of Sacramento Real Estate Blog lists the “Seven Deadly Misktakes Buyers Make in This Market.”

Dee Copeland of Texas Realty Blog writes about the trend of “Boomerang Buyers” moving back to the Austin area.

Charles Woodall of Dotham Home Search suggests that “Days on Market are Irrelevant” and makes some good points. I have posted on this topic myself and think it’s a good topic of discussion with buyers, especially in areas that are in buyers market’s.

Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade suggests that “The Mortgage Loan Market Controls the Real Estate Market.” His thinking is that as loan products go away, so do buyers who need those products to buy, and when rates go up, the buyer pool of a price range gets smaller.

Lenore Wilkas of Hillsburough, Burlingame Luxury Home Sales says “Be Sure to Ask Your Agent How Long the House Has Been For Sale.” The post discusses the practice of re-listing property to manipulate the days-on-market for the listing.

Raymond at Money BlueBook gives his reviews of the house-flipping shows currently on television.

Joe also gives us a look at some of the Tallahassee market’s pricing and sales trends.

Silicon Valley Blogger at The Digerati Life asks “Who’s To Blame For The Subprime Mortgage Mess?” With responsibility distributed between many people involved in the real estate transaction, he wraps up with some good advice to the buyers who, I believe, are ultimately responsible for signing contracts on homes they can’t afford.

Steve Leung gives us the “Consumer’s Rights When Purchasing New Homes”. He talks about warranties, having your own representation and protecting yourself.

Steve Faber at DebtBlog wonders, “Property Foreclosures- Is It Really as Bad as They Say?” Steve goes over some of the statistics showing some states, including Nevada, Florida and California have high foreclosure rates, but also had some of the highest run-up’s in prices over the last few years.

Cynthis Holt from Real Life Real Estate shares her frustrations with buying a short sale property in “War Zone”.

Kathy Koops from The Cincy Blog explains how the “3 Key Words in Real Estate” may not be as important as price.

Geordie Romer of Leavenworth Washington Real Estate Blog presents his “Top 5 Ways to Shoot Your Leavenworth Condo Project in the Foot.” He actually goes the extra mile and gives six, including “Don’t dismiss the internet as a fad.” Good advice.

Brian Block of Virginia Real Estate News says, “I’ve Officially Run Out of Room on My Business Card” and shares his experience breezing through the broker’s exam and the designations he holds.

Craig Schiller at HOME STAGING, Rants & Ravings presents “OOPS Goes the Staging!” The post is written well. There a lot of bold words, but the post shows how video can help make your point. It would have been great to have some more specific tips and even some examples on good staging. Hopefully that will be in the next post.

Rebecca Levinson of Connect2Agent presentsDo consumers want rock stars or real estate agents to sell their home?” She tells the story of another agent’s attitude and the impression it left on her.

Cliff Jacobson at WebHome USABlog presents, “Realtor Dirty Tricks” where he discusses Glenn Kelman and the NAR.