Friday, November 28, 2014

UAE 43rd National Day

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dewa doubles security deposits for flats, villas

The security deposit for utility connection in Dubai has more than doubled with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) implementing a hike in the amount for both flats and villas, Khaleej Times has learnt. The deposit for activation of power and water supply to a flat has been hiked to Dh2,100 from Dh1,000 while that for a villa or house has jumped from Dh2,000 to Dh4,100. The deposit is refundable once the utility supply is disconnected.

The change in the security deposit amount has not been updated in the FAQ section on Dewa’s website yet. Dewa officials were not available for comments at the time of going to print. However, Dewa’s customer care contact centre confirmed the hike. An executive who answered the call said the hike was implemented by the end of September.

An Indian expatriate, who did not want to be named, said he paid the new amount of security deposit on October 9. “Though it is a refundable amount, I was shocked to hear there is more than 100 per cent increase in the security deposit now. I was told it was increased just two days before I made the payment. That made me feel even worse because had there been an announcement I would have made the payment a few days in advance.” said the man who is moving into a flat in International City.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dubai Visa Rules: UAE to issue emergency entry permits valid for 4 ...

Dubai Visa Rules: UAE to issue emergency entry permits valid for 4 ...: The UAE will issue emergency entry permits, as per Cabinet decision No 22 for 2014, regulating naturalisation and residency services.

According to a report in 'Al Khaleej', travellers on an airline sponsorship will be eligible for an emergency entry permit valid for four days against a payment of Dh100.

The report quotes Brigadier Dr Rashid Sultan Al Khodr, Vice-President of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Interior and official spokesperson of Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs.

Al Khodr said that the permit will be granted to travellers in emergency cases at air terminals, including when a traveler is sick or a flight is cancelled due to bad weather conditions or a technical fault in the aircraft.

The report quoted Al Khodr as pointing out that the emergency entry permit is in keeping with the pace of development at all airports across the country. It also addresses the situation of emergency traffic at airports.

"Entry permits for studies or treatment has not been changed, but has been amended. These are now valid for multiple entry," Al Khodr said, adding that these amendments are in order to facilitate medical tourism and facilitate the quick and easy movement of beneficiaries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sharjah residential and office markets benefitting tremendously from emirate’s expanding economy

Sharjah 20 May 2014: The strong growth of the UAE economy has also been mirrored at an emirate level in Sharjah and this has boosted demand in both the residential and commercial property markets in the emirate, according to international real estate consultancy Cluttons.
The latest Spring 2014 Residential Market Outlook reports released by Cluttons point to rising rents in neighbouring Dubai, an influx of residents from troubled parts of the region as well as renewed economic activity and job creation in Sharjah, which are making the emirate an attractive option for tenants.
Average residential rents climbed by 4.5% during the first quarter of 2014, leaving them 19% higher than this time last year, further building on a 3.4% increase in Q4 2013. Average rents in Al Qassimiya have seen the strongest gains over the past 12 months, with rents now standing 36% up on Q1 2013. Villas on the other hand have registered a 13% rise in rents in the first quarter, which compares to a 25% increase throughout 2013.
According to Steve Morgan, Cluttons Middle East Chief Executive: “The strong growth in villa rates has been catalysed by rising demand for villa communities, particularly along the Sharjah Airport/Maliha Road corridor. This is being fuelled by a rising population, which in turn is being driven by the emirate’s expanding aviation sector, a growing number of international schools and the proximity to Sharjah International Airport. Sharjah International Airport, through the brisk expansion of Air Arabia is starting to extend its sphere of influence on surrounding areas and is emerging as another budding UAE aerotropolis, in much the same way that Al Maktoum International is spurring development in areas south of Jebel Ali.”

“Developers are also keen to capitalise on this strong demand and we are recording a substantial rise in the number of feasibility studies requested for master planned residential communities in this area. Not only does the Maliha Road corridor provide easy access into Dubai, but the mushrooming of these new lifestyle destinations will start to put Sharjah’s residential offerings on par with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, albeit on a smaller scale”

The report also reveals that the current political instability across parts of the Middle East has caused an influx of people setting up home in Sharjah, due to largely affordable rents and its rich Islamic heritage. The report points to these expatriates being flush with ‘refugee capital’, which is finding its way into Sharjah’s off-plan residential sales market. This has in turn encouraged some developers to return to the sales market. Although limited to a small number of instances, residential towers in locations perceived to be prime, have been sold entirely off-plan, with capital values hovering around the AED 400 psf mark.

Elsewhere in the emirate’s real estate landscape, the overarching improvement in the UAE’s economic performance is also manifesting itself in the commercial market in the form of rising levels of occupier activity, with Sharjah also clearly benefiting from the economic buoyancy, according to Cluttons Spring 2014 Sharjah Commercial Market Outlook report.
Demand for office space however remains centred on smaller units in the region of 1,000 to 1,500 sqft. Despite the slight upturn in requirements, office rents have remained relatively flat. That said, prime areas of Al Majaz have seen a slip in rates and this has been predominately a result of greater supply and reduced demand from larger, international occupiers.

Morgan added: “Some landlords with large shell and core space are moving quickly to capitalise on demand by carrying out partial fit outs in a bid to take advantage of market conditions and lease space as smaller units. Furthermore, where space is urgently required, we have seen a few instances of residential-office conversions take place, with previously abandoned residential schemes being transformed into office space.”

“The supply pipeline is expected to deliver mostly Grade B space to market and this is driving some occupiers to consider build-to-suit options, which will, to an extent, allow them to mitigate issues such as sufficient parking, which remains a major challenge in the centre of the city. It is however very encouraging to see the government making head way in this area.”
The government is ploughing investment into the upgrading of transportation infrastructure across the city. In addition, the announcement that the newly formed Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority is undertaking  feasibility studies for new road networks, a tramway system and a metro system which could be linked with Etihad Rail, further boosting the appeal of Sharjah as a more affordable alternative to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

According to data released by Meed Projects, Sharjah is planning a $2.3 billion investment in transport infrastructure projects over the next five years. The report also states that there has been a 300% increase in the number of new projects awarded in Sharjah in 2012 and 2013, with more than 90% of the contracts for the construction and real estate sectors.

Morgan concluded: “While a Metro network in Sharjah would bring about a radical transformation in accessibility across the city, the 7% rise announced in Sharjah’s budget for 2014/15 is set to see almost 50% of the AED 15.4 billion budget allocated to further development of the economy. This will add further impetus to the rising levels of real estate activity in both the residential and commercial markets across Sharjah.” 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

UAE industrial sector sustains momentum

According to the latest research from real estate consultancy Cluttons, momentum remains in the industrial property market with steady rates and growth throughout the UAE. According to Cluttons Q4 2013 report, the industrial market was bolstered by an improved economic climate, the successful win of Expo 2020, and the launch of passenger services at Al Maktoum International Airport, following the June 2010 inauguration of the airport as a cargo hub.
Steve Morgan, Head of Cluttons Middle East, says: “Steady growth following the win of Expo 2020 is inevitable, with a rise in demand for space surrounding the Expo 2020 site already starting to materialise. Facilitating this gravitation of business and industrial activity is the Government’s ramping up of critical infrastructure projects across the city as Dubai readies itself for the Expo in six years time. We are already seeing several players make moves to establish an early presence in the area as they position themselves to benefit from the projected upturn in overall business activity in areas south of Dubai.”
The Expo is set to play an integral role in facilitating the ongoing evolution of Dubai’s tremendous aviation and logistics infrastructure. These sectors, which form a key component of the city’s industrial capabilities, are likely to underpin requirements and growth across Dubai’s industrial landscape in the short-medium term. This will of course be in part linked to the on-going growth and expansion of the facilities at Al Maktoum International Airport. While Dubai International Airport emerged as the world’s second busiest airport by passenger traffic last year, the aggressive expansion plans being developed for Dubai World Central will increase the attractiveness of industrial areas close to the new airport, which is positioning itself as the premiere global integrated logistics hub.
Industrial market rents in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai grown steadily throughout the second half of 2013. Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) is appealing to a few tenants as a place to relocate, with most attracted by the prospect of expansion. Rent free periods, in addition to 50 year (musataha agreements) leases go further to enhance Kizad’s allure. There has been particular interest from logistics companies and manufacturers, who are drawn to these factors and the low operation costs.

Back in Dubai, Cluttons latest visual data depicts that rent on average stood between AED 28 and AED 40 psf during the fourth quarter last year, throughout the emirate’s onshore submarkets, which includes Al Quoz and Ras Al Khor. However, new entrants and international companies are moving towards other submarkets, such as Dubai Investment Park and Dubai Industrial City. These areas are now been viewed as alternative onshore destinations for development. Availability of space and cheaper land values is proving to be a big draw for this group of occupiers.  We have noted a marked upturn in the demand for industrial space over the past six to twelve months, with food preparation facilities for hotels and the food and beverage sector being a key contributor to overall requirements as the emirates hospitality and leisure sector expands further.
Morgan concludes: “Occupiers across the UAE are being drawn more and more to ‘built to suit’ options, rather than existing facilities, as a result of the lack of stock that is readily available in the areas they want to be to the specification they require.
“Overall, the improved economic climate and recent accomplishments of the UAE are enabling the momentum to sustain the industrial property market.”