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BUYERS LINING UP FOR DUBAI’S READY PROPERTIES

Even ready properties in Dubai are getting right into the thick of sales action going by the numbers notched up in the first five months. If this interest in ready properties holds up even after summer, it will allay concerns in real estate circles that buyer demand is there only for off-plan units.

According to data from Reidin-GCP, 5,397 ready properties were sold in the first five months, a marked improvement on the volumes in 2016 (4,521 units during the same period). And they seem to be moving back to the levels set in 2015 when just over 6,000 ready units were sold. (But in 2015 buyers did not have to contend with an array of incentives offered on off-plan properties). A good number of the ready properties getting sold now were launched when the market went into an upturn during 2012-13. These are now being placed in the secondary market by the original buyers. In rare instances, they could also be sold directly by the developers, who used the “ready” status to try and get a better premium.

In comparison, the number of off-plan residences sold in Dubai between January to end May was 7,152 against 4,521 for the same period in 2016. The first three months, it is reckoned, saw the highest number of off-plan launches since the same period in 2008.

In terms of locations, Dubai Marina kept the flag flying for ready properties, with 748 apartments changing hands, the Reidin-GCP data finds, while International City (542 units getting sold), Jumeirah Lake Towers (380 units) and Sports City (378 units) being the next three popular destinations for buyers.

ABU DHABI’S $1B AL MARYAH CENTRAL TO BE OPENED BY THE END OF 2018

Al Maryah Central is going well, on tack and on budget. We are targeting to open it at the end of 2018. The construction will finish in September next year and we need a bit of time for getting approvals from the regulatory and governmental bodies before we open the mall, Dr Karim Al Solh quoted as saying.

Al Maryah Central, located at Al Maryah Island, is a joint venture project between Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Capital and the US-based Related Company. Earlier the company had announced that the mall will be opened in August next year.

Speaking on the leasing activity, Al Solh said with 50 per cent of the retail space is already leased with a number of new potential customers showing interest. “We are expecting 70 per cent of the mall to be leased by the end of this year.”

EMIRATES POST STOPS ALL TYPES OF POSTAL SERVICES TO QATAR

Emirates Post Group, upon instructions of the Government of the United Arab Emirates, has suspended all postal services to Qatar in all its postal offices in the UAE from June 6, 2017, and will remain so until further notice.

This decision also includes advising all customers that apart from temporarily stopping the delivery of mail items to the State of Qatar, all undelivered items will also be returned with corresponding postal fees according to the procedures and regulations.

The move followed the isolation of Qatar by the four states, which have cut all diplomatic and transport links. This pressure is likely to constrain the funding Qatari banks would be able to raise from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, one banker in the region said.

 

UAE BLACKLIST LIKELY TO SQUEEZE LIQUIDITY OF QATARI BANKS

A move by four Arab states to blacklist dozens of figures with alleged links to Qatar could squeeze liquidity at Qatari banks which get a significant amount of their funding from the region. Qatari banks have around 60 billion riyals (Dh60.3 billion, $16 billion) in funding in the form of customer and interbank deposits from other Gulf states, Chiradeep Ghosh, banking analyst at SICO Bahrain, said. But the UAE Central Bank has ordered local banks to stop dealing with the 59 individuals and 12 entities with alleged links to Qatar and to freeze their assets, state news agency WAM reported late on Friday.

It has also told them to apply enhanced due diligence for any accounts they hold with six Qatari banks, including Qatar National Bank (QNB) which is the Middle East and Africa’s largest bank, WAM said in its report The six banks — QNB, Qatar Islamic Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank, Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank — did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

KUWAIT DEPORTS 13,000 FOREIGNERS IN FIVE MONTHS

Authorities in Kuwait have deported around 13,000 foreigners in the first five months of the year.

The reasons included mainly violation of residency and work regulations, implications in criminal offences and breaking traffic rules, a security source said, cited by Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas on Wednesday.

Indians topped the list at 23 per cent of the deportees, followed by Egyptians at 20 per cent. Indians and Egyptians make up the two largest communities in the northern Arabian Gulf state.

Filipinos constituted 17 per cent, followed by Ethiopians at 15 per cent, Sri Lankans at seven per cent and Bangladeshis six per cent.

“These six nationalities make up 88 per cent of the foreigners who were deported while the other nationalities make up the remaining 12 per cent,” the source said. “In a noticeable break with the past, the deportation process is now much faster. Foreigners who are placed on the deportation list are sent home within one week, just enough time to process their papers and book the ticket to fly home.”

ARABTEC WINS DH1.46B CONTRACT FOR DUBAI TOWER

Arabtec Construction, a subsidiary of Dubai-listed Arabtec Holding, has been awarded a Dh1.46 billion contract by Wasl Asset Management Group for the construction of a mixed-use tower in Dubai.

The 63-storey building, known as Wasl Tower, is located on Shaikh Zayed Road and is being developed by Wasl. The tower will also house a Mandarin Oriental hotel, which is due to open in November 2020.

“The long-term outlook for the construction and engineering sector in our key geographic markets remains positive, especially in the UAE, where the majority of our projects are located,” said Hamish Tyrwhitt, group chief executive officer of Arabtec Holding, in a statement on Sunday.

He added that the repositioning of the company coupled with catalyst events such as the Expo 2020 will provide Arabtec with a path to a “sustainable future”.

Arabtec currently has a project backlog of around Dh17 billion.

The company is in the middle of a recapitalisation programme that aims to turn around financial performance. It launched last week a Dh1.5 billion rights issue, on which trading ended on Sunday. The rights issue will be followed by a capital reduction plan to extinguish Dh4.6 billion in accumulated losses.– Agencies

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