Monday, 5 January 2009

Sweet Homes sells out 70 per cent of AED 3 billion ‘Ajman Uptown’ despite 40 per cent property price hike in 2008

Sweet Homes, a leading UAE-based developer and multi-service provider to the real estate sector, has announced that it has sold out 70 per cent of its AED 3 billion ‘Ajman Uptown’, the first freehold residential township in Ajman. The announcement follows a GCC-wide roadshow organized by Sweet Homes and is in line with the developers’ AED 2 billion investment plan for 2008. The strong sales reflect the vibrancy of Ajman’s real estate industry and the appeal of ‘Ajman Uptown’, which comprises of seven commercial and residential towers, a hotel and hotel apartments complex, and villas and townhouses, despite a 40 per cent hike in property prices in Ajman in 2008. Reports also indicate that investments into Ajman’s property sector have crossed the AED 400 billion mark this year, which augurs well for the success of the ‘Ajman Uptown’ project.

The strong performance follows Sweet Homes’ successful participation in high-profile property exhibitions as part of an extensive region-wide campaign to promote its ‘Ajman Uptown’ project. The impressive sales indicate that the global financial crisis might actually have a positive effect, as Arab and expatriate investments into the US and European markets are expected to flow back to the local and national property sectors. Ajman in particular is experiencing a property boom due to its investor-friendly property laws and reasonable project rates, with the emirate having attracted significant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which has exceeded the rest of the other emirates’ by 300 per cent.

“As the third largest property market in the UAE, Ajman is strategically positioned to attract more foreign investments into the real estate sector, with over 33 per cent of development projects in the area owned by expatriates, as compared to 11 per cent in other emirates. The Ajman Government has mandated the implementation of a solid infrastructure that will entice high-caliber real estate developers and has recently adopted Escrow Accounts and STRATA regulations similar to those adopted in Dubai. Further, the recent signing of an AED 7.34 billion contract between the Ajman Government and Malaysia-based power producer Malaysian Mining Corporation (MMC) to build the first coal-fired power plant in the region is set to build investor confidence, and we are positive of an increased response to our projects,” said Fahad Sattar Dero, CEO, Sweet Homes Group.

Sweet Homes has been boosting its regional presence through an extensive roadshow highlighting its ‘Ajman Uptown’ township community. The developer participated in the recently held ‘City View Syria 2008 - The 2nd Tourism Investment & Real Estate Development Exhibition and Conference’ and ‘Kuwait Property Exhibition 2008’, where it showcased the two office towers - ‘Freesia’ and ‘Gardenia’ and the five mixed-use luxury towers - ‘Heliconia’, ‘Jatropha’, ‘Iris’, ‘Kentia’ and ‘Ludisia’, within its ‘Ajman Uptown’ project. Both events have helped Sweet Homes significantly expand its investor base and motivated the property specialist to plan appearances in other upcoming real estate investment and development shows. With offices in the UAE, Oman and Qatar, Sweet Homes continues to undertake regional awareness campaigns and participate in high profile promotional activities, such as its ongoing participation as a major sponsor for the Doha Shopping Festival, with aims to draw further attention to its latest residential development.

“Our projects, plans and philosophies were warmly received during our roadshow, proving the soundness and appeal of our comprehensive property development approach. We hope that our activities will spur investments not only into Ajman but also into the broader UAE market. Sweet Homes has indeed shown through these events that many opportunities remain despite today’s highly competitive and unpredictable real estate environment,” concluded Dero.

Ajman Uptown’s prime location and its distinction as the first freehold villa and townhouse community in Ajman have made it a highly-sought project among local, regional and international investors. The prime residential development includes 1,504 G+2 villas and townhouses and 7 G+4 buildings spread over 4 million square feet of land that is directly accessible from the Emirates Road and adjacent to Emirates City. Scheduled for completion by 2010, Ajman Uptown will feature a school, a healthcare centre, a fire fighting station, several mosques, a health and recreation club, a swimming pool, markets, shopping mall, hotel & hotel apartments, and convenient and spacious parks.

The Emirate of Ajman has made substantial improvements to its property laws and infrastructural strategies to further attract realty investors. Ajman is the second emirate after Dubai to introduce a freehold property law as early as 2002; the law allows non-GCC developers and buyers to own freehold land and property in designated areas determined and approved by the ruler. The emirate has also streamlined its inheritance policies and introduced bank guarantees to safeguard investor's interest. Finally, Ajman has made substantial investments into utilities, sewage management and transport projects to establish suitable infrastructural foundations for more intensive property development activities.