Dubai developers are no more deploying the ‘build it and they will come’ strategy. In fact, they are now moulding projects in response to market demand. Case in point being Jumeirah Golf Estates (JGE) which said that Phase B of its masterplan will feature a transit-oriented development, taking into account the Dubai Metro extension traversing the golf-themed community.
“The two proposed Metro stations going through JGE will dictate the nature of development. There will be a transit-oriented development in Phase B. We are working very closely with the Roads and Transport Authority [RTA] to market this concept. Earlier, the RTA developed transport networks based on surrounding projects. Now, the tables have turned and we will build around the RTA’s transport network,” Yousuf Kazim, CEO of Jumeirah Golf Estates, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.
Remaining tight-lipped about plans for an additional two golf courses, Kazim said the promoters will do more to capitalise on the existing Fire and Earth fairways.
“There is a lot of opportunity to capitalise on the clubhouse and golf academy as well. We are trying to bring in other entertainment components to JGE. We will think about what will bring people to a destination: entertainment, more retail, hospitality, residential, among other elements. The market will dictate our plans,” he divulged.
Meanwhile, launches in Phase A which spans all of 370 hectares continues to keep the developer busy. It has been steadily releasing apartments and townhouses in its mid-income community, Alandalus, which will eventually comprise 715 apartments and 95 townhouses when complete.
Jumeirah Golf Estates recently launched 122 apartments in Tower D in Alandalus. This is the fourth tower to launch in Alandalus, which is expected to hand over to customers in Q2 2020. The first two towers of Alandalus, launched for sale in 2015, are sold out. All towers are on track for their scheduled handover by the end of 2018.
Among the five out of eight towers that have been launched, one was lapped up by a single investor, revealed Kazim. Smaller sized apartments are seeing robust demand. “Customers are purely focused on the ticket size, not the price per square foot or finishes. Developers are offering units in smaller sizes. This is similar to specifications in markets such as Tokyo and London. This does not conform to typical Dubai standards,” the CEO observed.
There will be a community centre in Alandalus, with Spinneys as an anchor tenant. “It will be a hub for Alandalus as well as the wider community. It will also cater to commuters on Al Fay Road. We have received interest from several reputed investors to operate a 280-key 4-star property in Alandalus,” he added.
Residents will start moving into buildings A and B as well as the townhouses in Q4 2018.
The apartments are priced from Dh786,000 for a 1-bed to Dh2.9 million for a 4-bedroom with partial views over the golf course, informed Paul Kelly, operations director, Allsopp & Allsopp, a Dubai real estate brokerage.
“The townhouses have completely sold out from the developer. They sold at between Dh1.4 million to Dh1.7 million for a 2-bedroom and Dh1.9 million to Dh2.3 million for a 3-bedroom. If the person that bought it from the developer is looking to sell in the current market, they need to be around the figure that they bought it for,” added Kelly.
Customers can avail a 100 per cent waiver on Dubai Land Department (DLD) fees on property purchases. There is also a special offer for UAE nationals with a down payment at 2 per cent and a 4-year monthly installment plan starting at Dh6,000.
“It is a buyer’s market today and very competitive. This will be a record year for Dubai in terms of the number of units delivered. Anything between 30,000 to 70,000 units will be delivered in Dubai this year as opposed to 25,000 units every year. More units delivered will put pressure on rents as well as sales prices. This is the right time to buy since prices are very attractive and terms are very good,” suggested Kazim.
“The two payment plans for apartments is excellent. The first is a 5 per cent deposit needed to reserve an apartment and then six further 5 per cent payments to be made during construction with the remaining 70 per cent due on handover, which can be financed. The second option is 50 per cent paid during construction and 50 per cent paid up in two years after handover. There is also an offer at the moment whereby the developer will pay the 4 per cent transfer fee and the agent’s commission,” mentioned Kelly.
Welcoming the UAE’s recent decision to grant 10-year visas to investors, Kazim, however, was cautious in his projections for the remainder of 2018 and 2019. “There are several factors that determine the market situation: stock market, oil prices and global economy,” he added.
“A few things make Alandalus special. You are a part of Jumeirah Golf Estates, one of the best communities in Dubai and home to the finale of the Race to Dubai. Alandalus will also house a retail plaza with shops, cafés, restaurants and a hotel,” Kelly concluded.
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