Palm Jumeirah joint venture puts 104 homes on the Dubai market

A Saudi-Qatari joint venture plans to start selling homes at a Dh2 billion project on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.

Qatar-based Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co (Al Mana) and Saudi Arabia’s Al Sharq Investment ill begin sales of 104 homes as part of a hotel and serviced apartment development.

The Alef Residences will take up 505,000 square feet of a 1 million sq ft plot on Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent, with the remainder of the project housing the new W Hotel owned by the same joint venture. It will sit next to the under-construction Kempinski Hotel & Residences.

The Alef Residences will contain eight clusters in two buildings. Each cluster will have just two apartments per floor, and five penthouses housed at the top of the buildings.

Apartments will range in size from 4,800 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft, and in price from Dh12 million to Dh13m and Dh45m to Dh50m. Residents will also have access to a private three-floor club with a food & beverage unit, lounges, a gym, spa treatment rooms and a cinema.

Al Sharq Investment first announced it was to build a W Hotel at Palm Jumeirah in 2006, but Matthew Bate, Al Mana’s general manager of investment and real estate, said that plans for this project started in 2011.

The joint venture company to operate the residences was formed only last year, with Al Mana holding a 51 per cent stake and Al Sharq Investment the remaining 49 per cent.

“It’s a lot more than just an SPV – a vehicle to create a development,” said Mr Bate. “We see the Alef Residences on the Palm as kick-starting what we hope will be an international brand that really does reflect luxury and provides a unique living experience.”

The project is already fully funded and is under construction, with Mace as project manager, RMJM as architect and lead consultant and Al Futtaim Carillion as main contractor. Both the W Hotel and the Alef Residences are due to complete by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

“To be honest, we’re trying to push hard to finish before the end of Q1,” said Mahmoud Amer, a member of the executive committee of Al Sharq Investment. “If you drive by the site today, you will see we are up to the fifth floor in parts of the development. On the residences, we are about 34 per cent complete.”

Demand for apartments at the luxury end of the Dubai market has been declining. According to Asteco Property Consultants’ quarter three 2015 report, prices for apartments on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah dropped by 13 per cent year-on-year.

Mr Bate argues that Alef Residences is not governed by the same dynamics as the rest of the market as it “is filling a niche that doesn’t currently exist in Dubai”, he claims. “If we look at supply and demand, there is no supply of this style of high-end luxury living in an integrated lifestyle development like the Alef and The W. But the demand is absolutely there.”

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