Future of Dubai property market ‘very strong’

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Dubai’s largest private sector real estate developer, Damac Properties, is very optimistic about the market’s future, and the company’s position in it, its chairman told the Financial Times.

“The market in the next three years will be very strong, especially in the high end,” the FT quoted Hussein Sajwani as saying.

Damac is currently focused on delivering hotel apartments in Downtown Dubai, a luxurious district that attracts over 65 million visitors every year, and has become a hub for people coming to view the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, according to a company press release.

“Even with more hotels coming online in the next few years, Dubai’s exponential growth as an attractive global tourist and business destination will see demand exceed supply by 2016,” said Ziad el-Chaar, Damac’s managing director.

The company is considering a listing at the London stock market amid its renewed expansion plans, Sajwani said.

“We learn from mistakes and learn from our history… We will only carry projects the market can absorb,” said Sajwani.

In the past, real estate developers in Dubai agreed major deals with buyers despite projects still being on paper, or construction having barely begun.

Also, banks gave people large amounts in mortgages and loans without solid guarantees.

Other projects to be completed this year by Damac include Capital Bay, The Cosmopolitan, Water’s Edge and The Vogue.
The Distinction, Upper Crest, Bay’s Edge, and Damac Towers will reportedly open by 2016.

Since its foundation in 2002, Damac has launched tens of projects in Dubai, and has expanded into several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The company was hit hard by the global economic downturn in 2008, which badly affected Dubai’s property market.

Damac cut staff and renegotiated contractors in efforts to salvage the business, amid a rise in lawsuits and a drop in customer confidence, the FT reported.

The company won 90 percent of legal claims against it, Sajwani told the newspaper. He rejected “100 percent” rumors that Dubai’s government or Iranian investors had secretly bailed out Damac.

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