Dubai developer announces threefold increase in real estate sales

Nakheel general manager Manal Shaheen. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Nakheel general manager Manal Shaheen. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

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Nakheel, the Dubai government-owned developer and one of the world’s largest, has announced that its 2008 sales to date have shown a threefold increase over 2007’s full-year figures. Through August 2008, more than 6,100 Nakheel units have been sold or reserved, the company announced in a statement on its Web site on Sept. 7. Broken down by type, apartment sales accounted for more than two-thirds of the 2008 figure, villa sales accounted for more than 25 percent, and land plot sales accounted for about five percent.

The company statement added that the units were released in 13 staggered launches between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, with a further 2,650 units to be released in 11 additional sales launches scheduled for the final quarter of 2008.

“We are delighted but by no means surprised by this year’s phenomenal sales success,” Manal Shaheen, Nakheel’s director of sales, said in the company’s statement. “Demand for Nakheel’s Dubai properties continues to rise across residential and commercial sectors, and we see no signs of this demand abating — despite recent gloomy predictions from one or two analysts.”

Shaheen added that 2008 sales had even been immune to the predicted summer dip in July and August, which she said proved how healthy the real estate market is.

With an estimated portfolio of $80 billion [USD], Nakheel has projects including the Palm Jumeirah, The World and Dubai Waterfront, according to a Sept. 7 article in Gulf News.

The developing giant is responsible for providing around 50 percent of Dubai’s residential supply by building homes for three million people, ranging from affordable housing to luxury living.

The company has developed a number of affordable housing projects in three areas of Dubai: Waterfront, International City and Al Furjan. It is also playing a key role in Dubai’s tourism ambitions — Nakheel’s project portfolio includes up to 250 new hotels, a 50 percent increase on current figures.

The man-made Palm Jumeirah Island alone has doubled the number of beachfront hotels in Dubai, with more than 30 hotels and 14,000 rooms competed or under construction.

“If you compare the expansive vision of Dubai to the construction capacity constraint, which is currently around 80,000 dwellings per year,” Shaheen said, “and if you believe that population growth will continue to rise by 6-7 percent per annum — a conservative estimate — then by 2020 we will still not have enough residences to meet demand, even with the staggering amount of homes that Nakheel is delivering over the next two decades.”

Experts believe the increase in sales is not linked solely to Nakheel, but to the market itself.

“This rapid increase of business was much more driven by international investment, which I think is a direct result of what is happening in the rest of the world,” said Vincent Easton, the sales director of property consultant Sherwoods in a Sept. 7 interview with The National. “The second reason is the legislation that has been brought in to safeguard investment, and which started with escrow.”

Easten added that Nakheel’s international reputation and recognition as a brand had grown.

“People around the world recognise Palm Jumeirah; it’s a landmark,” he told The National. “They feel comfortable buying brands that Nakheel has been delivering.”

In 2007, Nakheel’s full-year profit more than quadrupled on property sales.

Net income rose to $1.28 billion up from $275 million a year earlier, while the developer’s revenue rose 9.8 percent to $3.6 billion.