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serviced apartment DubaiServiced apartments in Dubai could offer investors double-digit annual yields before additional supply reduces the sector’s profitability going forward, a banker at HSBC said.

The sector is receiving interest from investors looking to acquire developments or convert existing idle commercial office blocks into serviced properties, Nick Levitt, head of commercial banking for the United Arab Emirates at HSBC, said.

Given the low interest rate environment in many developed markets, investors desperate for returns have flooded into a number of different emerging market assets.

“The reason why there is so much interest is because there is double-digit growth in there,” Levitt told reporters at a media event on tourism in the Gulf Arab state. “If you have got a whole bunch of investors moving into that type of asset class, you soon create an oversupply which becomes an issue.”

While future oversupply in the serviced apartments sector was a concern, yields should be supported by Dubai’s thriving conference industry and demand from those seeking refuge from regional trouble spots. “The anticipation is there won’t be a major correction,” Levitt said.

After being hit by a burst real estate bubble and the global financial crisis in 2008, leading to debt problems at state firms, Dubai has shown renewed vigour in recent months, with big new projects announced.

At the heart of the revival has been Dubai’s traditional strengths of tourism and logistics, as well as its status as a safe haven in a politically volatile region.
“With regional unrest, people are coming to Dubai where they might have gone to other locations in the past,” said Susan Potter, group director, hospitality, for MKM Commercial Holdings which runs Dubai’s Wafi complex, among other interests.
“A lot of families prefer to stay in apartments if they are going to be here for a period of time.”

Source : Reuter


Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest property developer, said it will expand Dubai Mall to include luxury homes, serviced residences and a new hotel as part of its 1m sq ft expansion.
The developer, which in February announced plans to expand the world’s largest mall, will also add a shopping boulevard lined with restaurants and water attractions.

Emaar Properties said it will expand Dubai Mall to include luxury homes, serviced residences and a new hotel as part of its 1m sq ft expansion.

The sale of the residential units, which will feature direct access to the new shopping boulevard as well as views of The Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa, will launch soon, the developer said in a statement Thursday.

“With the mall expansion to feature a modern hotel, luxury homes and serviced residences, designed to the world-class standards associated with Emaar, we are further contributing to strengthening Dubai’s powerful growth drivers – the tourism, retail, hospitality and business environments,” said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, managing director, Emaar Properties.

Emaar said it had completed the masterplan for the extension and expected construction work to begin soon.

Dubai Mall, which boasts 1,200 retail stores and 160 food and beverage outlets, was the world’s most visited shopping and leisure destination last year. Over 54m shoppers visited the mall between January and September, up 15 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

Dubai, home to some of the world’s glitziest shopping malls and an indoor ski slope, has staged something of a recovery this year, partly due a tourism and retail boom. Tourist arrivals increased 10 percent and hotel revenue 19 percent in the first half of the year.

Retail accounts for around 30 percent of GDP in the emirate, according to Standard Chartered estimates. Dubai is home to about 40 shopping malls.

Emaar last week said it would cooperate with Dubai Holding to build a new tourism and leisure development in the emirate, which will include an even bigger mall. Mohammed bin Rashid City will feature a retail complex ‘Mall of the World’ and more than 100 hotels able to accommodate up to 80m visitors a year.

“The current facilities available in Dubai need to be scaled up in line with the future ambitions for the city,” Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement.
Dubai aims to become a business and cultural capital for 2bn people in the surrounding region, he added.

The emirate also announced this week it had approved plans for a AED10bn (US$2.7bn) entertainment and leisure development to the south of Dubai in Jebel Ali, which will include five theme parks.

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