Tilal Properties plans $816m Sharjah projects

Tilal Properties plans $816m Sharjah projects

Leading developer Tilal Properties is studying proposals for two new projects worth Dh3 billion ($816 million) in Sharjah, UAE, said a report citing a senior official.

A new joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate Development, the company aims to offer affordable housing to 65,000 residents.

The first-of-its-kind Tilal City mixed-use development includes 1,855 land plots, offering GCC nationals and UAE residents for the first time an opportunity to buy or lease land and develop properties in Sharjah.

The first project would comprise housing units, while the second one will be an industrial city, the company director general Khalifa Al Shaibani was quoted as saying in Mubasher.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the most prominent real estate showcase in the UAE capital.

The company is continuing with its 25 million-sq-m Tilal City project in Sharjah at an investment of around Dh2.4 billion ($653 million), said Al Shaibani, expecting phases one and two to be delivered by December this year and phases three and four by December 2017, stated the report.

Tilal is not currently considering to go public on equity markets, said the official, adding that it awaits the suitable time to take such a step.

He also revealed that his company is studying investment opportunities locally and overseas, especially in the GCC real estate sector with a focus on Saudi Arabia, it added


Source: TradeArabia.com

April 17, 2016 / by / in ,
RMK launches $30m Bahrain residential tower

Bahrain’s RMK Projects, a division of RM Kooheji & Sons, has launched its latest development, a freehold residential tower in Juffair area of the kingdom.

The 26-storey tower offers two-, three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom duplex apartments with parking spaces and amenities.

The $30-million Nasmah Star is the company’s third project in the Nasmah line of affordable residential projects, said RMK Projects CEO Ishaq Kooheji, at the official launch held today (April 16) at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Manama.

Committed to the vision “where elegance meets affordablity”, the Nasmah line offers affordable housing solutions without compromising on the quality of materials and fittings used,” stated Kooheji.

Located in the heart of Juffair, the property is within walking distance of major supermarkets and the vibrant Juffair ‘food street’, with easy access to major highways. All apartments offer excellent city or sea views, addeed Kooheji.

The tower offers 137 freehold residential units and three parking levels. Residents will benefit from a host of modern recreational amenities such as fully equipped gym, swimming pool, steam room and sauna, and a pool table.

The prices range from BD49,000 to BD60,000 ($129,104 to $158,086).

“We have received a lot of interest from investors, both local and international, which bears positive implications for the kingdom’s real estate landscape. We believe this is the right time to invest. Piling work is complete for Nasmah Star, and the tower is expected to be ready by the second quarter of 2018,” he said.

The apartment units were first offered in this project to the pool of loyal Nasmah clients and potential waiting list in an exclusive pre-launch event, where more than 50 per cent of the available units were sold out, said the company’s senior officials.

Kooheji said the developer had reached an agreement with Khaleeji Commercial Bank for mortgage financing and that more banks are expected to join soon.

According to him, four different apartment configurations are available, all named after celestial bodies in keeping with the “Star” theme.

The two-bedroom apartment units consist of the Pluto and Galaxy with a built up area of 109 sq m and 117 sq m respectively. The two-bedroom 138-sq-m duplex is called the Venus. Starting from the 21st Floor is the Jupiter, the 183-sq-m three-bedroom apartment, he added.


Source: Tradearabia.com

April 17, 2016 / by / in ,
Low oil prices to impact Bahrain growth: NBK

Bahrain’s economic growth is expected to slow in 2016 as real growth in the oil sector receded amid a low oil price environment, a report said.

Growth in real GDP will slow from an estimated 1.6 per cent in 2015 to around 1.1 per cent year-on-year (y/y) in 2016, before recovering slightly in 2017, explained the latest Economic Update from the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK).

Non-oil GDP is expected to decelerate to around 1.4 per cent y/y in 2016 on weaker investor sentiment, before picking up to around 3.2 per cent y/y in 2017 on stronger growth in government spending and official GCC grants targeting housing and infrastructure developments, the report said.

Non-oil growth is expected to receive a healthy boost from investment in the coming years. The GCC has pledged $10 billion in investment over ten years. Indeed, the airport expansion project is being launched with a Dh3.4 billion ($925 million) grant from the UAE. In addition to this, Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) plans to invest over $20 billion in industrial and infrastructure projects over the coming years.

Nonetheless, the strength of non-oil GDP growth remains vulnerable to some internal concerns, which have dampened business optimism in recent years. While these concerns have mostly subsided, they continue to affect investor sentiment and limit gains in the financial services sector, construction and tourism sectors.

Consumer price inflation expected to edge up on subsidy cuts

Headline inflation accelerated towards the end of 2015 mainly on the back of stronger gains in food inflation, following the cuts in subsidies on meat products in September of 2015.

Despite this, average inflation slowed to 2.3 per cent y/y in 2015 compared to a 2.7 per cent average in 2014; this was primarily due to a moderation in housing inflation in the second half of 2015. “We expect inflation to edge slightly higher to average around 2.5 per cent in 2016 on further subsidy cuts,” said the NBK update.

Budget deficit to remain high on lower oil earnings and high spending

Bahrain is forecast to log in one of the largest budget deficits in the GCC region. “With the breakeven oil price estimated at around $120 per barrel and oil prices remaining low, we expect the budget deficit to widen and come above 17 per cent of GDP in 2016 before narrowing slightly to around 13 per cent of GDP in 2017,” said NBK.

Bahrain has vowed to embark on austerity measures in line with the IMF’s recommendations to help plug its public deficit. Thus far, it has approved a plan to reduce government spending by 30 per cent. Spending cuts have been concentrated on subsidies, while maintaining planned spending on infrastructure and development projects.

In August 2015, the government lifted subsidies on meat products. In December 2015, the cabinet approved a new pricing system for diesel, kerosene and jet fuel that will lower subsidy costs and better reflect price increases in other GCC states. In March 2016, it is scheduled to remove subsidies on utilities.

However, engaging in any further significant cuts in public spending will be a challenge, especially since the two politically sensitive areas of spending, subsidies and public wages make up two-thirds of total government spending. Any major cuts in these two areas could be problematic.

Given that the budget deficit is expected to remain high in spite of recent and potential subsidy cuts, Bahrain will continue to tap into international bond markets in 2016 to help finance its deficit. In 2015, Bahrain raised $1.5 billion in bonds. However, the recent downgrades of Bahrain’s long-term credit rating to BB by S&P and to Ba1 by Moody’s are likely to make issuance more challenging.

Banking sector liquidity set to tighten

Credit growth portrayed a mixed picture in the first half of 2015: whilst personal lending growth remained rather resilient in the face of lower oil prices, growth in business loans appears to have eased.

It is important to note that credit growth data has been distorted and more difficult to interpret ever since the Central Bank of Bahrain reclassified some of its financial institutions in May of 2014.

Business loan growth, relative to the growth in personal loans, was more affected by the central bank’s reclassification. Adjusting for the reclassification (dotted red line on chart 5), business loan growth slowed to 2.5 per cent y/y in June 2015, whilst personal loan growth edged up to 13.8 per cent y/y. However, personal lending growth is also forecast to ease in the near- to medium-term amid new liquidity conditions.

Deposit growth trended lower in 1H15, mainly due to a slowdown in government deposit growth.

After a short-lived recovery in May 2015, government deposit growth slipped back into negative territory in June, declining by 3.4 per cent y/y. Government deposits are being sapped by high levels of fiscal spending and lower oil revenues.

Growth in the broad M2 money supply measure has been gradually trending lower since the end of 2014, on the back of lower oil prices. Recently, this has helped push interbank rates higher. In June 2015, M2 money supply growth came in at 6.5 per cent y/y.

Bahrain’s one-month and three-month interbank rates witnessed steep increases at the end of 2015 and at the start of 2016. Both rates are due to continue to rise in 2016 on the back of slower deposit growth.

Bank asset growth remained lacklustre; total commercial bank asset growth slid deeper into negative territory after declining by 2.1 per cent y/y in June.

Total bank assets were shepherded lower mainly by losses in the wholesale sector. Growth in wholesale bank assets, which make up around 60 per cent of total assets (as of 2014), contracted by almost 4 per cent y/y in June.

Asset growth among the more domestically-focused retail banks has been on a downward trend since the beginning of this year. In June, it slowed from 2.9 per cent y/y in May to 0.5 per cent y/y.


Source: TradeArabia.com

April 13, 2016 / by / in ,
Cayan Group acquires off-plan permits for Samaya project

Cayan Group, a leading property developer in the Middle East, is to launch Samaya, a high-end residential project in the prime area of Erga in northwestern Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Spread over 1 million-sq-m, the billion-riyal project is set to become the ultimate residential destination, offering integrated services in Wadi Hanifah, one of the most attractive spots in Riyadh.

Cayan Group has obtained all official permits required to proceed with the project, including the off-plan permit from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Further, off-plan residential land plots have been reserved for Cayan’s VIP clients at this initial stage.

Ahmed Alhatti, chairman of Cayan Group said: “Samaya addresses market needs for high-end residential compounds that offer integrated services for the residents of Riyadh.”

“Such prominent developments support the Saudi economy and drive property investment across the kingdom,” he added.

Samaya is a strategic residential suburb that features an impressive location contiguous to lavish residential compounds such as the Diplomatic Quarter, and boasts vital facilities designed to the highest engineering and urban planning standards.

Construction work will commence soon, offering comprehensive infrastructure services including water and electricity connections and other major facilities. Samaya consists of residential and commercial units, schools, nurseries, mosques, sports clubs, parks, green spaces, water fountains, farms, pedestrian paths, jogging and cycling tracks, as well as many other entertainment facilities.

Erga, the homeland of the project, is a one of the most luxurious areas, featuring breathtaking mountains, plains, and amazing parks. Samaya will be developed in Wadi Hanifa, one of the longest open parks in Erga spread over 80 km.


Source: TradeArabia.com

April 12, 2016 / by / in ,
Manara to showcase residential, logistics projects

Bahrain-based Manara Developments Company is set to launch a unique range of its properties at the Gulf Property Show 2016, the boutique showcase for real estate and property developments which opens this month in Bahrain.

The event is being organised by Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE) under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain, from April 26 to 28 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.

On the upcoming show, managing director Dr Hasan Al Bastaki said: “Manara’s participation as a strategic partner in this real estate event, portrays its commitment to the real estate sector, as this exhibition, which achieved a growth of up to 70 per cent from 2013, is an annual opportunity for industry players, as well as prospective owners to meet and address the industry’s latest developments and trends.”

Dr Al Bastaki said Manara will exhibit three major residential projects one of which is a mixed-use development “Hasabi” project offering breathtaking seafront views.

Also at the expo, Manara aims to introduce a new sales phase of its Investment Gateway – Bahrain project that offers opportunities for ownership for Bahraini as well as non-Bahraini companies and individuals, a feature that makes the project, and the kingdom an ideal base for a wide array of light industry and logistical support on both the local and regional level.

Launched two years back, Investment Gateway – Bahrain is a major initiative by the company to encourage and support investments in the kingdom, with a particular focus on foreign investments.

In addition, amongst the projects that will be showcased at the exhibition, include Kenaz Al Bahrain featuring 64 residential units spread over eight four-floor apartment buildings, in addition to Wahati, a subproject of Wahat Al Muharraq that was initially introduced over three phases since 2011, offering a total of 227 villas of various sizes and designs and targeted at middle-income earners.

According to him, the project offers apartments that were specifically designed to meet the requirements of modern Bahraini families while maintaining the common trend towards vertical expansion to address the scarcity of land and thus serving a greater population within the available space and yet meeting the needs and requirements of young Bahraini families.

Dr Al Bastaki said Manara was amongst the first companies to join the partnership with the Ministry of Housing more than two years ago in line with the leadership’s directives towards the national social housing strategy.

Through this partnership, Manara extended its support towards the efforts of the Ministry of Housing in providing appropriately priced housing to suit the modern family’s needs and achieve social stability.


Source: TradeArabia.com

April 12, 2016 / by / in ,
International Property Show opens in Dubai

The 12th edition of International Property Show, which coincides with the Annual Investment Meeting 2016, opened today (April 11) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (Dicex).

The show, the only retail property event at Dicex, attracted hordes of visitors. It witnessed brisk retail transactions on the inaugural day while real estate companies unveiled a series of projects for investors and end users.

Licensed by Dubai-based Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), the show is the only one of its kind that provides direct real estate transactions on its floor where all exhibitors are officially entitled to collect down payments for transactions made as well as presenting title deeds to purchasers at the event.

This has further positioned it as a one-stop shop opportunity for investors, end users, consumers and real estate professionals from the Middle East and the rest of the world.

“We attracted participants from new countries following an in-depth study of their markets, to ensure display of effective opportunities to investors in the UAE and the wider GCC region. We anticipate trade visitors from over 100 countries by the time we wrap up the show,” emphasised Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions, the event organiser.

“Due to the current uncertainty in the real estate sector, and the emergence of first-time buyers, and those looking for affordable housing options, the International Property Show serves as the best platform to showcase these trends and practice them onsite,” he added.

Leading real estate developers showcased their innovative projects along with brokerages, urban development authorities, free zones, and financial companies at the show.

Supported by Dubai Land Department and sponsored by plenty of media partners, it is a leading regional real-estate meeting platform for developers, investors and regional and international companies working in this field.

Source: TradeArabia.com

April 12, 2016 / by / in ,
Manazel sets up new affordable housing unit

Manazel Real Estate, a leading developer headquartered in the UAE, has announced the launch of Al Manzel, a new subsidiary responsible for managing and operating the company’s Dari initiative which connects the recipients of governmental housing loans with consultants and qualified experts at Manazel who oversee the new home’s construction from design to delivery.

The initiative, which has been established to support Emiratis, will help aspiring home owners with limited budgets to build their homes in a turn-key operation, choosing from among 10 types of villas of varying sizes, said a statement from the company.

The new unit has a dedicated team of consultants who will act as the local clients’ representatives before governmental departments, contractors and architects, and oversee all aspects of construction, including timelines, budgets and inspections, it added.

According to Manazel, the launch of the new unit supports its ongoing strategy to make affordable housing more accessible in the country, and aligns with the vision of UAE leadership to give all citizens access to quality homes at an affordable price.

The Emirati firm identifies and works with contractors and consultants on the citizens’ behalf, and ensures that homes are delivered within the government’s Dh2 million ($544,382) housing loan budget.

It will be delivering its first home under the Dari initiative this week at Mohammed Bin Zayed City.

Each of the villas on offer is being constructed by external contractors, in accordance with traditional family values, and incorporates between six- and seven-bedrooms, two majlis spaces and accompanying service rooms, including a kitchen, laundry, store room and maid’s room.

With the aim of adding even more value to Dari and working in co-ordination with government entities, Al Manzel offers post-delivery services that are initiated after the acquisition of all municipality permits for water, electricity, internet and phone lines, and the handover of the finished home.

Al Manazel identifies vendors and negotiates rates on everything from home furnishings with UAE-certified suppliers, interior designers, landscapers and maintenance services, it added.

Commenting on the new unit, CEO Hassan Fahmi said: “Our core business strategy centres on meeting the demand for affordable housing in the UAE, and Dari is a natural extension of this.”

“Not only are the homes we help deliver both affordable and comfortable, but they are also designed to correspond with the values embraced by families in the UAE, including majlis areas for both men and women,” he added.

The creation of Al Manzel follows the establishment of the Manazel Malls subsidiary to manage the company’s retail areas in Al Reef Community and Al Reef 2, Capital Mall and future retail projects.


Source: Trade Arabia

April 12, 2016 / by / in ,
Bahrain’s Expats Face New Dilemma

A representative from Bahrain Real Estate Association explains the Lease Law introduced last year provides guidelines on capped rents, but is not clear on utility billing which is subject to increase this month.

“The rent for tenants living in unfurnished homes typically excludes the water and electricity bill, which they pay themselves. But a fully furnished home is issued one standard bill that includes utilities,” says Mr. Saleh Faqihi, the association’s Secretary to Board of Directors. Even the municipality fees are calculated differently for furnished and unfurnished homes, the cost is 10% of the monthly rent for unfurnished properties and 70% for fully furnished.

The cost of water and electricity for expatriates and large businesses is expected to increase starting this month, however, there’s no clarification on how residential utilities are structured in the Lease Law introduced last year, and this can be a dilemma for fully-furnished property owners.

Introduced in February 2015, the law requires landlords to wait two years from the lease commencement date or the last rent increase date before increasing the rent. The maximum increase is set at 5% for residential properties and 7% for commercial and other properties, unless otherwise stated. A landlord must inform the tenant of their intention to increase the rent at least three months before the end of the second year.

There is a possibility that landlords of fully-furnished properties will hike their rent fee in light of increased water and electricity costs since these amenities are calculated in the total rent. How much and how often the rent increases depends entirely on the mutual agreement signed by both parties, Mr. Faqihi explains, stressing the importance of making sure property leases are officially registered with the government. But legally, homeowners can’t increase a tenant’s rent unless the lease is being renewed or two years have passed. At the same time, one can’t cross the 5% cap. Someone has to pay the price, therefore, the utility hike leaves homeowners of fully furnished homes in a rut.

“One homeowner I spoke to was concerned about dealing with the new utility charges. He can’t increase rent, so he decided that he’ll simply cancel furniture and register his tenants to pay for water, electricity and municipality on their own,” he shares. This solution holds tenants responsible for utility bills based on their respective consumption and leaves the homeowner’s current revenue unaffected. But since the property is no longer furnished, tenants will end up paying more than they previously were. Ideally, it’ll be simpler if landlords hand over the utility bill to the tenants and leave it at that.

Mr. Unkar Chanian, Senior Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys, agrees that making tenants liable for water and electricity is the easiest way to deal with the looming issue. In case of disagreement, concerned parties should take their lease complaints to the Rent Disputes Committee (RDC), a fast track court that was established subsequent to the introduction of the Lease Law last year. “People need to be aware that the court will not recognize complaints if a tenancy contract is not registered with the respective authorities,” he continues.

Mr. Faqihi expressed concern over the increased cost of living in Bahrain and says landlords might begin losing tenants as they look for cheaper accommodation or leave the country all together. He believes the lack of clarity regarding utilities could create rifts between homeowners and tenants, and hopes a clear cut explanation is provided soon.

Source: Gulf Insider

April 6, 2016 / by / in ,