EMAAR_THE_BUILDER_OF_ICONS

EMAAR… THE BUILDER OF ICONS

By: Mohanad Alwadiya
Published: Property Times
Dated: May 2016

Since 1997, Emaar Properties has been pioneering the development of Dubai real estate by continually and consistently conceptualizing, designing and constructing quality master-planned communities across the emirate.

So integral has Emaar Properties been to the growth and development of Dubai that its own growth and emergence as one of the world’s most valuable and respected real estate development companies has been virtually synchronous with the emergence of Dubai as one of the world’s great cities.

By delivering established communities such as Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, and Dubai Marina, Emaar has played a major role in establishing the bedrock for supporting the lifestyle that Dubai offers today. But all that was eclipsed when it delivered its flagship development, Downtown Dubai, home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and The Dubai Fountain. Not only did it provide what is now the world’s leading lifestyle destination, but it also reshaped Dubai’s skyline forever, and gave it a profile which is recognized around the world.

And that skyline is about to change significantly, once again, with the announcement of the construction of a stunning new architectural icon, the latest exciting development by Emaar.

The icon will simply be known as “The Tower” and its design was chosen by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, a design which draws inspiration from the lily and evokes the image of a minaret, which is a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture and architecture.

The location of The Tower is an important reminder of Dubai’s past as it will be constructed on the Dubai Creek, the cradle of Dubai’s history and culture. This astute choice of location will forever mark the origin of Dubai and remind all of the humble beginnings of what has now become a remarkable story of vision and growth, amply demonstrated by the 6 square kilometers of world-class master-planned development that will have The Tower as its centerpiece.

Not only is the site historically significant, but it is also located in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention, and home to over 67 species of water birds.

And, as with all great icons, The Tower has a reason for being, and is envisioned to be of symbolic significance to, not only Dubai and the UAE, but also to global visitors hailing from all across the world.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress. A shining beacon of hope for the world, celebrating diversity and human achievements, this new iconic landmark further highlights the country’s ambition and futuristic vision, and enhances our nation’s pride. It will be the destination for the world to visit, enjoy and celebrate life, as Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020.”

He also added: “It integrates, not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations. With The Tower, we are delivering a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the UAE. It will also position Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the most desired residential, leisure and touristic attractions, providing visitors and residents with a modern, luxurious and sustainable environment in which to live, work, learn and entertain.”

As an iconic structure, The Tower will provide a clear and bold symbol of a people’s culture, aspirations and ambitions. It will be representative of a vision of progress that has global relevance and benefit demonstrated through innovation, growth and development.

Every nation or great city has some symbolic architectural icon which helps to define either the history, vision, cultural values or characteristics of the people that inhabit it… whether it be the Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower, The Shard in London, The Sydney Opera House, or even St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow… they are all symbols, and all of us have grown to accept those structures to be symbolic, in some way, of the cultures that they uniquely represent.

In my mind, I believe The Tower will represent the pride of a nation, an unmistakable reminder of what has and can be achieved regardless of how humble the beginning… of how people, corporations and governments, united by a shared vision, can play a role, share the burden and eventually mutually benefit from progress, and the desire to improve and achieve.

And it comes as no surprise to me that Emaar, with its pioneering spirit and continued significant contribution to the development of this amazing city of Dubai, should be the driving force behind this wonderful initiative, for it is Emaar, as an organization, that harbors and exhibits all the qualities that The Tower has been designed to symbolize.

ask the agent

Ask the agent

Mohanad Alwadiya
Published: Gulf News Free Hold
Dated: 14th May, 2016

Question: I have an apartment I wish to rent out. Which would be a more practical approach, getting a rental agent or a property manager? I heard that property managers usually charge more, why is that?

If you are going to engage the services of a realtor, you would enter a leasing agreement assigning the real estate agency to locate suitable tenants for your apartments, facilitate the signing of the tenancy agreement, and leaving you to assume the responsibility and devote your time to managing the tenant and all aspects of the property thereafter. A property management agreement includes a lot more.

A competent property manager will provide an assessment, strategy and activity plan designed to harness the true financial potential of your property. Considerations include history, current market factors and risk factors, whether they be global, regional or local in nature requiring a good understanding of economic factors, industry knowledge extending to policy and regulation, finance and market dynamics.

An activity plan will be provided covering pricing and marketing, customer relationship management, tenant management and policy, cost management, maintenance supervision, communications and review schedules, status reporting, financial reporting and resourcing. All of these activities will be performed by the property manager under a property management agreement.

A professional property manager will make your investment work harder for you and the additional returns you receive will outweigh any fees he/she might charge, which means less headaches for you.

 

Question: I am 52 and planning for my retirement with Dubai in mind as a future part-time retirement destination. Right now, I want to invest in a property I can rent out, then use personally in the future during retirement. Is this a good strategy?

Including property as part of your retirement plan is a sound investment decision and a safe bet to ensure you maximize whatever you savings or wealth you possess at this time. The key to choosing your property is determining the right balance between the amount to be invested, the returns you require in the interim period before you retire, and what type of property you want to enjoy in your retirement.

As the property will eventually be for your own use, you need to determine what you will enjoy in your retirement. The good news is, your tastes are likely to be shared by your tenants in the interim so renting should not be a problem.

Quality properties are available starting from AED 700 per sq.ft., but if you want to purchase in the prime areas of Dubai such as Downtown Burj Khalifa, somewhere close to the beach or with a golf course view, you can easily double or triple that amount. The choices are varied, and getting what works for you is certainly achievable.

You can expect a minimum net rental return of around 5% to 7% which, given the cheap financing available at the moment, makes for a solid investment in preparation for outright ownership and retirement. But be careful with fluctuations in exchange rates.

Factors such as location, the developer’s track record, building quality, service fees, building management and the existence of a functioning owner’s association will require a reputable local real estate professional to help you minimize any risks with your investment, whether during the procurement stage or managing your investment until you are ready to assume occupancy during retirement.

 

Question: What property characteristics should I, as a buyer, pay close attention to in order minimize any risks associated with my investment decision?

An old adage in real estate says “location, location, location” – as it is the first factor to consider and can drive up to 90% of any property’s value. The more established and prestigious locations such as The Palm, Downtown, Dubai Marina and JBR fared extremely well in the post-GFC period, and secondary, more affordable areas such as JLT, The Greens, Sports City, Discovery Gardens and International City followed suit.

But there are other factors as well. The quality of the end-product and maintenance services, and the extent of completion and quality of infrastructure should also be part of any investment consideration. With so much upcoming supply, buyers can demand, seek out and purchase the best of what is on offer.

Value for money and superior ROI must be considered very closely especially if you are an investment buyer. In the post-recession era, the chase for yield along with an increase in the level of critical assessment of true values has meant that properties that offer more in way of physical product and potential rental returns are attracting the greatest attention.

Current and future supply levels of various asset types need to be examined so consulting a reputable property broker to assist you is a must. For example, villas as an asset type, across-the-board, have outperformed other asset types because of supply shortages. However, when looking at the inventory pipeline, this may not be the case always as more affordable properties are likely to be in higher demand – a trend we are already experiencing.

But one thing is certain, it is the fundamental drivers of market values which remain, i.e. location, product features and benefits, product quality and demand and supply.

 

QUESTION: Can you please share some information on Dubai property management fees?

Like most services, property management fees would vary depending on the service provider. It may be anywhere between 3% and 6% of the rental receipts, and some will charge an administrative fee as well.

You need to know and understand what you can expect from your property manager as the depth and breadth of services provided by them in Dubai can vary greatly.

You can negotiate a fee structure based upon your actual requirements. We have had many clients who went with the cheapest on offer, with an ill-defined scope of services and, sadly but almost predictably, had very poor experience, resulting in all sorts of tenant problems, maintenance deficiencies, missed revenue, and generally poor advice with regard to marketing and obtaining the best returns from their property.

A competent property manager will provide an assessment, strategy and activity plan designed to harness the true financial potential of your property.

Depending on the size and complexity of your portfolio, you should have, as a minimum, a rolling 5-year activity plan which covers pricing and marketing, tenant management and policy, cost management and maintenance schedules. A competent property manager will also provide you with communications and review schedules, status reporting formats and regular financial reporting.

Ask for referrals and make sure you follow up with some existing clients to get an appreciation of levels of efficiency and professionalism.

 

Question: What would be the consequences if we hire a property manager who does not have the relevant property management license?

The property management practice has risen in importance since the last GFC made it harder for real estate brokerages to generate revenue from transactional services alone. In addition, demand for property management expertise grew rapidly as investors started to realise that investing in property is not a “set and forget” proposition, and requires constant attention as factors influencing its performance as an investment are as broad as they are complex.

You need professional help to manage your property investment, particularly during times when yield is harder to generate. Your property manager must ensure that you maximize returns from your property portfolio while operating within the law.

Your property manager should be licensed, experienced and have a strong history of successfully managing properties. If you knowingly engage a person or organization who does not possess the correct license to manage properties, you are essentially aiding that person or organization to operate outside the law which places you in an awkward position should something go wrong.

In addition, if you have a legal dispute of any kind regarding your investment properties, any involvement of the non-licensed party that you have managed to manage your property will place your legal position in jeopardy.

It takes only a little effort to check on the licensing status of any organisation by referring your query to RERA, the regulatory authority for real estate professionals in Dubai. Remember, it is better to be certain than shoot arrows in the dark – especially when it involves investing your trust and hard-earned money in any business venture.

a_towering_vision

A towering vision

By Mohanad Alwadiya,
Published: Gulf Property

Dubai’s dynamic, ever-changing landscape, a constant in the continuously developing emirate, is a characteristic of the city well-known the world over. From the opulent halls of the Burj Al Arab and the graceful fronds of the Palm Jumeirah, to the tallest skyscraper that is Burj Khalifa, the architectural and engineering feats Dubai is famous for seem to have no limits.

Such achievements in the field of architecture and engineering prove how important property development is to real estate, and to the general economy. Emaar Properties, one of the UAE’s most respected property developers, has been pioneering the development of Dubai real estate since 1997, by continually and consistently conceptualizing, designing and constructing quality master-planned communities across the emirate.

So integral has Emaar Properties been to the growth and development of Dubai that its own growth and emergence as one of the world’s most valuable and respected real estate development companies has been virtually synchronous with the emergence of Dubai as one of the world’s most prominent cities.

By delivering established communities such as Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, and Dubai Marina, Emaar has played a major role in establishing the bedrock for supporting the lifestyle that Dubai offers today. But all that was eclipsed when it delivered its flagship development, Downtown Dubai, home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and The Dubai Fountain. Not only did it provide what is now the world’s leading lifestyle destination, but it also reshaped Dubai’s skyline forever, and gave it a profile which is recognized around the world.

And that skyline is about to change significantly, once again, with the announcement of the construction of a stunning new architectural icon, the latest exciting development by Emaar.

The icon will simply be known as “The Tower” and its design was chosen by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, a design which draws inspiration from the lily and evokes the image of a minaret, which is a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture and architecture.

The location of The Tower is an important reminder of Dubai’s past as it will be constructed on the Dubai Creek, the cradle of Dubai’s history and culture. This astute choice of location will forever mark the origin of Dubai and remind all of the humble beginnings of what has now become a remarkable story of vision and growth, amply demonstrated by the 6 square kilometers of world-class master-planned development that will have The Tower as its centerpiece.

Not only is the site historically significant, but it is also located in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention, and home to over 67 species of water birds.

And, as with all great icons, The Tower has a reason for being, and is envisioned to be of symbolic significance to, not only Dubai and the UAE, but to global visitors hailing from all across the world.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “The Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress. A shining beacon of hope for the world, celebrating diversity and human achievements, this new iconic landmark further highlights the country’s ambition and futuristic vision, and enhances our nation’s pride. It will be the destination for the world to visit, enjoy and celebrate life, as Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020.”

He also added: “It integrates, not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations. With The Tower, we are delivering a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the UAE. It will also position Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the most desired residential, leisure and touristic attractions, providing visitors and residents with a modern, luxurious and sustainable environment in which to live, work, learn and entertain.”

As an iconic structure, The Tower will provide a clear and bold symbol of a people’s culture, aspirations and ambitions. It will be representative of a vision of progress that has global relevance and benefit demonstrated through innovation, growth and development.

Every nation or great city has some symbolic architectural icon which helps to define either the history, vision, cultural values or characteristics of the people that inhabit it… whether it be the Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower, The Shard in London, The Sydney Opera House, or even St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow… they are all symbols, and all of us have grown to accept those structures to be symbolic, in some way, of the cultures that they uniquely represent.

The Tower is set to become a landmark representing the pride of a nation, an unmistakable reminder of what has and can be achieved when people, corporations and governments, united by a shared vision, move together, inspired by the desire to move forward and march into the future.

And it comes as no surprise, then, that Emaar, with its pioneering spirit and continued significant contributions to the development of this amazing city, should be the driving force behind this wonderful initiative, while it continues, as a company, to help develop and reshape the face of Dubai.

عقاريون اعتبروه انتقائياً ويركّز على مساحات صغيرة ومتوسطة في مراكز تسوّق قائمة ووجهات جديدة طلب قوي يدعم ارتفاع إيجارات مساحات التجزئة خلال 2016

أكد عقاريون وجود طلب قوي على مساحات التجزئة في دبي، ما حافظ على استقرار الأسعار في القطاع، مقابل تراجع بقية الفئات الإيجارية، من وحدات سكنية ومكاتب تجارية.

وأوضحوا، لـ«الإمارات اليوم»، أن الطلب على مساحات التجزئة بدبي انتقائي بحسب النشاط التجاري، ويركز على المساحات الصغيرة والمتوسطة في مراكز تسوق ووجهات قائمة، فضلاً عن وجهات جديدة مثل «سيتي ووك»، لافتين إلى أن قوائم الانتظار أسهمت في تحفيز كبار المطورين على إضافة توسعات للمراكز التجارية والمولات، وضخ مزيد من الاستثمارات. وتوقعوا إمكانية ارتفاع الأسعار في الفترة المقبلة، على الرغم من المساحات الجديدة التي تدخل السوق، مؤكدين أن الطلب الكبير على مساحات التجزئة، في العديد من الوجهات الجديدة في دبي، يحافظ على استقرار الإيجارات، ويدفع بها نحو الارتفاع مجدداً.

طلب قوي

وتفصيلاً، قال المدير التنفيذي لشركة «الرواد» للاستشارات العقارية، إسماعيل الحمادي، إن عقارات قطاع التجزئة شهدت استقراراً في معدلات أسعار التأجير، خلال عام 2015، متوقعاً ارتفاع الأسعار خلال العام الجاري، مدعومة بطلب قوي على العديد من مساحات التجزئة في مراكز التسوق الكبيرة.

ولفت إلى أن قوائم الانتظار أسهمت في تحفيز كبار المطورين على إضافة توسعات للمراكز التجارية والمولات. وأكد الحمادي أن مركز التسوق الجيد يؤسس مجتمعاً عمرانياً من حوله، ويرفع قيمة العقارات في نطاق منطقته المقام فيها، مستشهداً على ذلك بمركز تسوق «سيتي سنتر معيصم».

وأضاف أن المطورين العقاريين أصبحوا مدركين أن التصميم الجيد لمركز التسوق، يمكن أن يعود بالنفع على بقية العقارات، التي تطورها الشركة ذاتها في محيط المركز.

وأشار الحمادي إلى عوامل عدة، تركت أثراً إيجابياً في قطاع التجزئة، منها الأداء الاقتصادي الجيد للإمارة، وزيادة عدد السكان، وازدهار السياحة، مبيناً أنه على الرغم من دخول مساحات كبيرة للتجزئة، فإن النشاط الاقتصادي الذي تشهده دبي استوعبها.

وذكر أن الطلب الكبير على مساحات التجزئة، في العديد من الوجهات الجديدة في دبي، مثل المرحلة الثانية من «سيتي ووك»، سيحافظ على استقرار الإيجارات، بلويدفع بها نحو الارتفاع مجدداً.

استقرار الأسعار

بدوره، رأى المدير الإداري في شركة «هاربور» العقارية، مهند الوادية، أن الطلب القوي على مساحات التجزئة في دبي، حافظ على استقرار الأسعار في القطاع، مقابل تراجع بقية الفئات الإيجارية، في الفترة الأخيرة، من وحدات سكنية ومكاتب تجارية.

وتوقع الوادية إمكانية ارتفاع الأسعار في الفترة المقبلة، على الرغم من المساحات الجديدة التي تدخل السوق، لاسيما في مراكز التسوق، التي شهدت العديد من التوسعات، أخيراً، بالتزامن مع ازدياد أعداد الشركات الراغبة في الاستئجار على قوائم الانتظار.

نشاط اقتصادي

وتابع الوادية: «هناك وفرة معروض عقاري في قطاع التجزئة، وعلى الرغم من ذلك فإن النشاط الاقتصادي الذي تشهده دبي قادر على استيعاب هذه الزيادة، خصوصاً ما يتعلق بمساحات التجزئة الصغيرة والمتوسطة»، لافتاً إلى وجود طلب كبير على مساحات التجزئة، في مناطق مثل «جميرا بيتش ريزدينس»، إذ أصبحت المحال التجارية ذات العدد المحدود من الطاولات، هي الأكثر طلباً في هذه المناطق، لتحل مكان المحال والمطاعم الكبيرة، وظهر مفهوم جديدة يسمى «ريتيل ميكس»، وهو يجمع أنواع التسوق كافة في منطقة عمرانية محددة، تخدم المحيط السكاني الخاص بهذه المنطقة.

طلب انتقائي

وقال الوادية إن الطلب على مساحات التجزئة في دبي انتقائي، بحسب النشاط التجاري والمساحة، إذ ازدادت الطلبات الإيجارية الواردة من محال تجارية تستهدف شرائح كبيرة من السكان، وخفت في المقابل طلبات مستثمرين، يعملون في تجارة السلع الفاخرة. وأوضح أن الطلب على قطاع التجزئة تركز على المساحات الصغيرة والمتوسطة دون الكبيرة، مشيراً إلى أن هذا واضح جداً في المشروعات التي تطورها شركتا «مراس» و«وصل»، والتي تستهدف إنشاء مجمعات سكنية صغيرة متكاملة مع وفرة مناطق التسوق بها، ما يجعل سلاسل المتاجر تتنافس للوجود في هذه المناطق، منها «كارفور» و«شويترام» و«سبينس».

مزيد من الاستثمارات

من جانبه، قال الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة «ستاندرد» لإدارة العقارات، عبدالكريم الملا، إن «الطلب على قطاع التجزئة تركز على المساحات الصغيرة والمتوسطة، التي تستهدف النشاطات ذات الشعبية، خصوصاً في مراكز التسوق، إذ ازداد الطلب من قبل مستأجري هذه الأماكن، مقارنةبتراجع في الطلب من قبل الذين يعملون في السلع الفاخرة على سبيل المثال، ما عوّض التراجع في هذه الفئة». وأكد أن زيادة الطلب أسهمت في زيادة ضخ المطورين العقاريين مزيداً من الاستثمارات في مراكز التسوق الكبيرة.

link: http://www.emaratalyoum.com/business/local/2016-05-07-1.894508

The_race_for_the_sky_is_not_over_in_Dubai

The race for the sky is not over in Dubai

By Mohanad Alwadiya
Published in Gulf News Freehold

It is the beauty, grandeur and special significance of landmarks and monuments that continue to withstand the ravages of time – characteristics which make them timeless in appeal, and transform them into global icons.

Not to be missed, of course, are the socio-cultural impact and economic benefits of having monuments and landmarks in a place, city or country. After all, their building or restoration already spurs economic activity and, with the end product, can lead to some form of socio-cultural revitalization.

Every nation or great city has some symbolic architectural icon which helps define either the history, vision, cultural values or characteristics of the people that inhabit it… whether it be the Statue of Liberty in New York, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Shard in London, The Sydney Opera House, or even St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow… they are all symbols, and all of us have grown to accept those structures to be symbolic, in some way, of the cultures that they uniquely represent.

Dubai’s dynamic, ever-changing landscape, a constant in the continuously developing emirate, is a characteristic of the city known the world over. From the opulent halls of the Burj Al Arab and the graceful fronds of the Palm Jumeirah, to the tallest skyscraper that is Burj Khalifa, the architectural and engineering feats Dubai is famous for seem to have no limits. Areas which were once all desert and sand are now teeming with people, businesses, and bustling with tourists.

Such achievements in the field of architecture and engineering prove how important property development is to real estate, and to the general economy. Emaar Properties, one of the UAE’s most respected property developers, after delivering established communities such as Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, and Dubai Marina, has played a significant role in establishing the bedrock for supporting the lifestyle that Dubai offers today. But all that was eclipsed when it delivered its flagship development, Downtown Dubai, home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall and The Dubai Fountain. Not only did it provide what is now the world’s leading lifestyle destination, but it also reshaped Dubai’s skyline forever, and gave it a profile which is recognized around the world. And that skyline is about to change significantly, once again, with the recent announcement of the construction of a stunning new architectural icon, their latest exciting development.

The icon will simply be known as “The Tower” and its design was chosen by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, a design which draws inspiration from the lily and evokes the image of a minaret, which is a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture and architecture.

The location of The Tower is an important reminder of Dubai’s past as it will be constructed on the Dubai Creek, the cradle of Dubai’s history and culture. This astute choice of location will forever mark the origin of Dubai and remind all of the humble beginnings of what has now become a remarkable story of vision and growth, amply demonstrated by the 6 square kilometers of world-class master-planned development that will have The Tower as its centerpiece.

Not only is the site historically significant, but it is also located in close proximity to the Ras Al Khor National Wildlife Sanctuary, protected under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention, and home to over 67 species of water birds.

And, as with all great icons, The Tower has a reason for being, and is envisioned to be of symbolic significance to, not only Dubai and the UAE, but to global visitors hailing from all across the world. Once The Tower is finished and unveiled in time for Expo 2020, taking inspiration from the Eiffel Tower which was built for the 1889 Paris Expo, it is envisioned to become another global landmark surpassing the boundaries time and culture.

As an iconic structure, The Tower will provide a clear and bold symbol of a people’s culture, aspirations and ambitions. It will be representative of a vision of progress that has global relevance and benefit demonstrated through innovation, growth and development.

Big_shift_to_affordability

Big shift to affordability – Property Weekly

Mohanad Alwadiya is the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, senior advisor and instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute – the official training and certification arm of the Dubai Land Department, and presenter/content producer of Memaar – the first-ever property reality TV program in the Middle East. He is also among the Top 10 best performing brokers in Dubai, and is considered one of the most celebrated and influential industry commentators today.

COMPANY

Tell us about your company.

Harbor Real Estate is an integrated real estate service provider offering holistic real estate services to individual and institutional clients

Harbor represents the new breed of passionate real estate professionals that develop innovative strategies derived from conclusions based on rigorous fact-based analyses tailored to deliver tangible results through the adoption and implementation of global best practices

With decades of experience, the Harbor team is truly exceptional, and has intensified its focus on what has delivered success to Harbor since its inception: absolute client satisfaction

Having built a team that is passionate while pragmatic,, creative while logical, and aggressive while accountable, the strength of Harbor Real Estate lies in its ability to create innovative solutions, and to work in partnership with clients as a trusted advisor and reliable executor of wealth-generating strategies.

Harbor aims to consistently set new industry benchmarks. With ISO 9001:2008 certification for its operational guidelines and processes, Harbor continually strives to set the highest standards of customer service

In 2015, Harbor Real Estate won the title of “Best Property Management Firm” in the UAE, and this was a great testament to our aspirations of being the leading property management firm focused on developing and growing institutional real estate funds. Our current portfolio is worth AED 14.8B.

What’s the best property deal you have had in the past one year?

Obtaining the exclusive property management rights for Emaar Business Park Building Nos. 2 & 4 which I have always considered as among the most iconic corporate addresses in Dubai.

How many new agents has your firm hired in the past year?

Our brokerage division is always growing, and we have hired over 20 new brokers in the last 12 months. We always have room for and actively seek experienced agents and property managers.

INDUSTRY

What is your outlook for the UAE property sector for 2016?

Dubai real estate has been undergoing a correction for some time now. We feel that the decline in values associated with that correction has halted or virtually halted in all market segments. In Q1 of 2016, we have already witnessed significant growth in investor activity and strong land sales. Both are leading indicators that the market is heading into its next cyclical phase. We at Harbor believe that by the end of 2016, the market will have entered its next phase of growth which is expected to accelerate as we draw ever closer to the Dubai World Expo in 2020.

What types of property are selling most in the market under the current circumstances?

The market has definitely shifted towards the affordable segment. We have witnessed a strong increase in demand for affordable properties from both end-users and investors as the value story is compelling. Gross rental yields of between 8% and 10% are still achievable in some areas.

What are some of the challenges unique to this market?

There are a few major challenges which are totally unique to the Dubai market. Real estate markets globally are feeling the effects of a general decline in global economic growth, and the ongoing issues associated with geo-political upheavals which exist on virtually every continent. The world is still, after some 8 years, trying to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis, and while some economies such as the US have fared reasonably, other major economies in Europe and Asia are still struggling with systemic issues. The resulting headlines affect consumer and investor confidence negatively, and we all know that confidence is a key prerequisite for growth in the industry.

What are the biggest mistakes you see buyers making when purchasing in the market that offers them good entry points such as the present Dubai property sector?

Being impatient and diverting from the 5 fundamentals of sound real estate investing.

1: Know why you want to invest in / own a property.

2: Set your objectives carefully as success in property investment or ownership can only be attained when (and if) those objectives of the investor have been realized. It’s as simple as that.

3: Think long term for your greatest success and happiness.

4:  Know your stuff… engage others to help you, but do be prepared to assess their performance.

5: Eliminate risks by planning conservatively.

ADVICE

What would you advise people who want to buy? What would you advise people who want to sell?

For buyers, the affordable segment is still providing very good value.

For sellers… it’s a buyer’s market, so don’t sell unless you have a compelling reason to do so. Selling because of a market correction which is part of a normal cycle is both short-sighted and wasteful.

What is your advice to agents who are struggling to close deals in the current market? What is your success strategy to lock in deals even in difficult times?

  • Be realistic when valuing a property; no false promises just to get the business
  • Hold firm to realistic values
  • Carefully assess the financial impact of every offer and counter-offer as an offer can, at face value, seem unreasonable, but further analysis can dispel any doubts
  • Be innovative in seeking solutions
  • Create competition. Market the property aggressively to generate competing bids

TRAINING

What type of training is mandatory for new agents?

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency and the Dubai Real Estate Institute have set a mandatory certification program for new and experienced agents who wish to work in a real estate brokerage in Dubai. The Dubai Real Estate Institute also organizes license renewal courses and exams along with a very rich variety of career development programs that will help elevate the standards of professionalism and effectiveness of brokers in Dubai.

Does your firm have a designated trainer, perhaps the broker or another experienced agent who acts as a mentor for new agents?

Harbor has always been big on training and we know it pays a huge dividend. Every one of our agents and property managers receives extensive and tailor-made training. Our rigorous internal training program includes industry, soft skills and specialized training courses that help our employees attain mastery in all the macro and micro aspects of their profession. We offer over 30 training courses every year, and each consultant receives a customized training plan that will help enrich his or her knowledge and skills. All our senior directors, including myself, are involved in this dedication to training, and it is part of our annual KPIs and targets.

 

PERSONAL

What motivated you to pursue a career in real estate? How long have you been in Dubai and why did you choose to open a business here?

I have always been passionate about real estate, and I am thankful that Dubai has allowed me to utilise my entrepreneurial skills to pursue my dream of establishing a world-class organisation to thrive in such a wonderful industry. I am immensely proud of what we at Harbor have created.

I have been blessed to have been in Dubai for over 30 years. I am of a generation that has been extremely fortunate to have witnessed and been part of the amazing growth and development that Dubai is now famous for. Any entrepreneur would be short-sighted not to participate in this economic marvel if he had the chance!

How has the industry changed through the years? Which significant events in the industry have left an indelible impression on you?

The most significant changes have been made in the structural area, and these changes have mostly occurred after the last Global Financial Crisis.

The increasing levels of governance, oversight and scrutiny that the industry has undergone has been instrumental in driving confidence back into the industry.  The ongoing development of the industry’s regulatory framework and implementation of laws and regulations to safeguard both consumer and investor interests, the overall industry and the economy at large from rampant and irresponsible speculative, predatory or unethical practices, reveals a mature and balanced approach to shaping an industry which exhibits sustainable growth over the long term. The “free for all” days of the past are long gone and investor, not speculator, confidence underpins the market performance.

The Global Financial Crisis taught the industry a lot. Looking back, many real estate companies were not structured to deal with the crisis and had operated during a period when selling property in Dubai required little or no effort, and even less business acumen or professionalism. It was a sellers’ market of a magnitude that has rarely been seen before, and is unlikely to be seen again.

The recession achieved what recessions typically do… reveal the flaws and weaknesses of those organizations that had been conducting business with a limited vision or a short-term perspective. While the short-term gains may have been exhilarating, it typically came at the expense of long-term survival.

Harbor survived because we quickly realized that everybody was in the same boat, and we needed to develop a competitive edge. After all, that is what a recession is all about… survival of the fittest. It was tough, and there were many sleepless nights during this period.

Obviously, we needed to adapt to survive. This required a brutally honest assessment of our capabilities as individuals, and the capability of Harbor to continue to provide the services that clients required, but within a totally new business context emanating from what was essentially economic turmoil on a global scale.

We needed to make sense of the chaos, and we determined that the market required new solutions to meet new challenges, and I think this is the greatest lesson that we learnt at Harbor. Innovation relevant to circumstance will always prevail regardless of the circumstances. If the market is hot or cold, innovation will always provide the competitive edge.