UAE to issue residential project tenders in Q2

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

The UAE government will start issuing tenders in the second quarter for a major 250,520-sq-m residential project being developed under the Zayed Housing Programme, in Dubai, said a report.

Pic courtesy; Wam
Pic courtesy: Wam

The Al Khawaneej Residential Complex is its second residential project housing 341 units in the second Al Khawaneej area, reported state news agency Wam, citing a senior minister.

“The Zayed Housing Programme will approve the design and supervision of the residential complex, following a tender in the second quarter of this year,” stated Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and chairman of the Programme.

The design and supervision of the project, which was launched in the first quarter, will be approved after announcing a tender for its establishment and completion in the fourth quarter of this year, he added.

The Al Khawaneej project comes following the launch of the Al Quoz Residential Complex that includes 159 housing units, as the second set of complexes that were developed by the programme in Dubai since its establishment, according to Tradearabia news report.

The project includes six models in a variety of styles, including Mediterranean, Modern, Andalusian and Islamic, said the report.

The new project is located in the Deira, Dubai, on the northern side of the Al Khawaneej residential area, along “D97″ street and in an area of more than 3,000 residential lands that were allocated by the Dubai Government for public housing, it added.

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Residential Villa in Al Khawaneej 2 - Plot No. 282-8160

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ZonesCorp to develop world-class auto hub worth US$ 435 mn in Abu Dhabi

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

ZonesCorp, the largest developer and operator of purpose-built industrial zones in the UAE, is set to develop Rahayel City, a new, world class, integrated ‘auto hub’ in Abu Dhabi at an estimated cost of Dh1.6 billion ($435 million).

Pic courtesy: Tradearabia
Pic courtesy: Tradearabia

Unveiling the plans at the ongoing Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) on Tuesday (March 28), the company said once completed, Rahayel City will become the focal point for all automotive manufacturers, distributors, service providers and dealers in Abu Dhabi, providing a diverse and attractive range of auto-related investment opportunities, according to Tradearabia news report.

It was in response to a mandate by the Abu Dhabi government to implement strategic plans to develop the automotive industry in the emirate, it stated.

Designed in collaboration with leading industry specialists and covering an area of 12.3 sq km, the development plan for Rahayel aims to create dynamic environment for all automotive related businesses to thrive while elevating the shopping and service experience for customers, said senior officials of ZonesCorp.

The construction of the infrastructure for the new city got underway at the beginning of the year and Phase I is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, they stated.

The City has been designed to accommodate the full range of auto-related businesses, with 1800 plots in a range of sizes and supporting services such as showrooms, service centres and workshops, auction houses, warehousing, light industry, residential areas and public recreational facilities, all underpinned by world class infrastructure.

Saeed Eisa Al Khyeli, the director general of ZonesCorp, said: “Rahayel is in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision to build a sustainable and diversified, high value-added economy that is well integrated into the global economy and provides more accessible and higher-value opportunities for all its citizens and residents.”

“The project is also in response to the wider economic growth in the UAE that has seen the automotive sector blossom in recent years,” he stated.

Alongside the development of Rahayel City’s physical infrastructure, the ZonesCorp is creating significantly enhanced operational and regulatory frameworks and structure that will ensure the proper allocation of land, a regulated planning and construction process and occupational and environmental best practice.

Specifically this means that the city was designed to ensure efficient and sustainable use of water and electricity as well as the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of waste and the provision of green spaces throughout, said Al Khyeli.

The Rahayel City site is strategically located 12 km from the western side of Abu Dhabi island along two major roads that link Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai and the Western Region and Saudi Arabia.

The location was chosen due to its proximity to major transportation networks via major arterial roads and air, sea transport hubs and planned railway stations to provide maximum convenience for both customers and employees alike.

Because of the importance of the project and its role in the advancement of specialised economic zones in Abu Dhabi, ZonesCorp has been tasked with developing Rahayel City in collaboration with a number of other government entities, he added.

Ahmed Ateeq Al Mazrouei, the executive director of the Rahayel Project said: “It will be a significant contributor to the national economy not only as a regional investment destination but through the creation of skilled jobs for workers in all fields relating to the automotive industry.”

“The project will also contribute to all levels of society particularly the knowledge economy of the UAE by establishing close ties between the major automotive companies and academic and R&D (research and development) institutions to cultivate expertise and innovation in the automotive sector,” he added.

Oman finalises draft regulation for listing REIT funds

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

Oman government has finalised a draft regulation for listing real estate investment trust (REIT) funds and is now awaiting final approval from certain ministries, such as the Ministry of Housing, said a report.


The whole issue will be resolved shortly and the regulation will be announced this year, reported the Times of Oman, citing a top official at the Capital Market Authority (CMA).

REITs are securities that sell like a stock on the bourse and invest in real estate directly, either through properties or mortgages. It provides investors an opportunity to participate in real-estate projects even with a small fund size and offers regular income and capital appreciation.

“From our side, the draft is ready. We need to talk to certain government entities like the Ministry of Housing because there are certain legal issues that prevent companies and funds from owing properties. We need to resolve this issue with the Ministry of Housing,” stated Sheikh Abdullah bin Salim Al Salmi, executive president of CMA, according to Tradearabia news report.

The new regulation, which was approved by Tanfeedh, will be for both conventional and Sharia compliant REITs. “This will be another venue for Sharia-compliant issue,” he added.

Some of the key Gulf states have already launched the REITs owing to the demand from real estate developers and investors. The UAE introduced it sometime back followed by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

KIZAD to be turned into largest Free Trade Zone in the UAE

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

Abu Dhabi Ports has announced its plans to expand Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) into the largest Free Trade Zone in the UAE at an event on Tuesday.


The masterplan for the expansion will include an additional 100 square kilometers of space to accommodate more industries as well as a new Business Park.

The announcement was made at a press conference during the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit 2017 (GMIS) earlier this week as a response to the rising demand from both foreign direct and existing investors wanting to establish and grow their manufacturing and industrial businesses in UAE free zones.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The decision to expand the free zone is underpinned by the wise leadership to achieve KIZAD’s strategy to provide an attractive environment and destination for foreign investments in various sectors.”

The Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone is currently the second fastest growing port in the world, and is poised to become the future of trade in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

Approximately 40 companies currently operate in the Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone with a mixture of activities including industrial, trading and service orientations. The primary focus of business activities is on trading, Logistics, Packaging, Food & Beverage, Aluminum, light, medium and heavy industries.

Arab Contractors wins US$ 561.4 mn to develop Nuwaiseeb Road in Kuwait

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

Egypt’s Arab Contractors Company has won a KD170 million ($561.4 million) contract from the Kuwait ministry of public works to develop the strategic Nuwaiseeb Road.


The scope of work in includes construction of 37-km-long roads, which consist of three lanes in each direction, with two safety lanes and nine multi-storey intersections, reported Daily News Egypt.

As part of the project, a two-lane bridge will also be constructed. All the bridges along the main road and turns include an extra lane in each direction, which allows developing the road in the future, said the report.

Arab Contractors is currently carrying out the construction works of the fourth phase of the project to develop the Gahraa road in Kuwait, the first phase of which was inaugurated in January last year, stated the report citing a senior official.

“The Nuwaiseeb Road is considered one of the vital pillars of the Kuwait road development plan,” noted Mohsen Salah, the chairperson of Arab Contractors, according to Tradearabia news report.

The scheme will see four new bridges added for the passage of camels, beautification, and transferring and protecting services, including water, sewage, and rainwater networks,” he said.

The project is being implemented under the supervision of Parsons Brinckerhoff International Advisory Office in co-operation with Gulf Consult, he added.

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UAE residential property to not be subject to VAT

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Editor

The UAE Ministry of Finance has announced that residential property will not be subject to value added tax, which will only apply to the sales and leases of commercial property.


Sales and leases of residential property will be exempt from the tax, along with undeveloped land, civil servants said last week, according to The National.

Property development and the first sale of new homes will be subject to a zero rate of VAT, though all other commercial property will be subject to a 5% tax levy.

Earlier this week, Rakesh Pardasani, partner at RSM UAE, told Construction Week that the tax will result in an increase in construction and development costs, which will see the price of many developments rise from next year, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

“Any costs that they incur after that date will attract an additional 5%, where we will see the developers build it into their selling price of the units,” he said.

The Ministry of Finance will start registering companies that are above the yearly threshold of $100,000 for VAT by October of this year in preparation for the implementation of the levy from January 1, 2018.

Acwa Power and Apicorp sign agreement for 8% stake in Shuqaiq IWPP

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Editor

Acwa Power, a Saudi-based developer, owner and operator of independent power generation and water desalination plants, and Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) have signed a sale and purchase agreement for an eight per cent effective stake in Shuqaiq Independent Water and Power Project (Shuqaiq IWPP) in Saudi Arabia.

shuqaiq IWPP

Shuqaiq IWPP is one of Acwa Power’s early greenfield developments in Saudi Arabia.

Located on the western shores of Saudi Arabia, 130 km north of Jazan, the plant has a capacity to generate 850 MW of power and 212,000 cu m of desalinated water per day.

The project achieved financial close in 2007 and started commercial operations in 2011. It has a 20-year power and water purchase agreement with Water and Electricity Company, Saudi Arabia.

As per the deal, Apicorp will buy a 13.33 per cent equity stake in Shuqaiq International Water Company (SIWEC), thereby giving it an eight per cent effective stake in Shuqaiq IWPP, said the statement from Acwa.

Headquartered in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Apicorp was set up in 1975 to foster the development of the Arab world’s oil and gas industries. It is owned by the 10 member states of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec). It also operates a banking unit in Bahrain.

Prior to this transaction, Acwa Power had a 40 per cent effective share in the project, after having acquired a six per cent effective stake in 2014 from Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan, to add to its original 34 per cent stake in the project.

This transaction complements the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a co-investment initiative signed by Apicorp and Acwa Power in 2014, suggesting close collaboration in various projects in the fields of power generation and water desalination across the core geographies of Saudi-based power plant developer.

Commenting on the deal, Dr Raed Al Rayes, the deputy chief executive and general manager of Apicorp, said: “Shuqaiq IWPP ranks among the major developments in Saudi Arabia’s water and power sector and makes significant contributions to meeting the country’s rising demands in this field.”

“We are proud to support Acwa Power in their growth plans through this transaction, which enhances and diversifies at the same time our equity portfolio by increasing exposure to the power generation sector that has stable profit rates and low risk,” stated Dr Al Rayes.

“We look forward to working with our partners at Shuqaiq IWPP and to developing similar partnerships with companies in the same sector,” he added.

Rajit Nanda, the chief investment officer of Acwa Power, said: “This transaction is a reflection of the confidence that our partners have in Acwa Power, and in the way we develop, build and operate our assets.”

Apicorp, he stated, has been a valued partner for many years, and this transaction capitalises on the alignment of the business objectives of the duo, according to Tradearabia news report.

Kashif Rana, the chief financial officer of Acwa Power, said this transaction is a result of its evolving portfolio and corporate finance strategy.

“We are focusing on ensuring that our portfolio carries an optimum risk-return profile, while having a balance sheet that being efficient capital-structure wise will also support our growth plans,” he added.

With an investment value in excess of $30 billion, Acwa Power has a major presence in 11 countries including in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions.

UAE to attract new industrial investments worth over US$ 70 bn by 2025

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Editor

The UAE government aims to attract new industrial investments worth more than $70 billion by 2025, said a report.


The investments from the Emiratis in the industrial sector has risen to Dh112 billion ($30.5 billion) last year, accounting for 86 per cent of the total investments in this vital sector to the national economy, reported state news agency Wam citing a senior minister.

“The future outlook of the UAE is transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, promoting innovation and research and development, strengthening the regulatory framework for key sectors, and encouraging high value-adding sectors,” remarked Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy.

These will improve the country’s business environment and increase its attractiveness to foreign investment,” Al Mansouri noted.

According to him, investments from both the overseas group and that of the GCC citizens into the industrial sector stood at Dh14 billion ($3.8 billion), he added, according to Tradearabia news report.

Of the total Emirati investments last year, about 61 per cent was focussed on major industrial sectors along with F&B (food and beverage) platform, said the minister.

About 58 per cent of GCC investments focused on non-metalic mineral raw material and the mineral industries, while 58 per cent of foreign funding went to the F&B industries.

DP launches Mudon Views residential project

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Editor

Dubai Properties (DP) has launched its latest residential project, Mudon Views, the property developer announced on Tuesday.


The first phase of the launch includes one, two and three bedroom apartments within two buildings, which will be part of a larger integrated residential community with villas and townhouses, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

The launch comes amid growing demand for high return real estate investments in Dubai’s Dubailand district.

Masood Al Awar, chief commercial officer at Dubai Properties, said: “Communities like Mudon Views continue to be a key investment category for property buyers, especially families who are in search of holistic living within self-reliant communities that are complete with all facilities and amenities.”

The official cost of the project will be released soon with more details from the developer, a spokesperson said.

The development will offer a nearly 6,000m2 community centre that will include a supermarket, swimming pools and gym, tennis courts, a mosque, a medical clinic, as well as a children’s nursery and playground, and a variety of retail outlets and restaurants.

The 41-acre Mudon Central Park with cycle and jogging paths is complete, while the educational offerings at the GEMS school is currently in the last stages of development, according to a press statement.

The developer registered great success with the showcasing of the Mudon Views project at the recent Dubai Property Show in Shanghai that took place at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre from 24-26 March.

DP said that it has received a strong response from Chinese property investors who were particularly interested in Dubai’s wide range of residential investment developments in the Dubailand district, led by Mudon Views.

Dubai ranks ninth in hotel rooms supply in a global survey

Posted on March 29, 2017 by Editor

Dubai has been ranked ninth in a global survey as among the top 10 cities with the largest supply of hotel rooms in the world.


According to a new study by travel site Insider Monkey, the site pegs Dubai’s hotel rooms supply at 100,000 presently available for visitors, Hotelier Middle East reported, citing Gulf News.

Dubai’s tourism sector continues to show strong growth, showing a 12% year-on-year growth in visitor numbers over the first two months of 2017, with over three million people visiting Dubai, according to Constructionweekonline news report.

The emirate also saw a 60% growth in overnight tourists from China, and attracted a total of 157,000 Chinese visitors.

Russian visitors have also been influential to this continued growth, with visitation numbers jumping 84% year-on-year, with a total of 65,000 Russian travellers in the first two months of the year.

Experts believe that market wide hotel occupancy in 2017 will be around 75%, still among the highest in the world despite challenging economic conditions in the region, according to Forbes Middle East.

Dubai will continue to invest heavily in its tourism infrastructure, building hotels, resorts and amusement parks as well as mid-market hotel provisions, with a predicted 23% (4,000 rooms) of hotel rooms developed between 2017 and 2020 targeted for mid-market sectors.

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