The Abu Dhabi-based property vulture fund investor Tasweek plans to invest Dh800 million (US$217.8m) in property in the UAE this year, the company said yesterday.
The private company, set up in 2009 by the former Emaar and Sorouh executive Masood Al Awar to invest in distressed property in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, said it planned to invest Dh300m in purchasing income-producing blocks of flats in Abu Dhabi and another Dh500m in developing a new housing scheme at an undisclosed location in the UAE.
Tasweek, which is owned by 53 Emiratis and operates a $250m property portfolio spread across the UAE, Malaysia and Morocco, announced it was in negotiations to purchase 200 flats in two blocks in Abu Dhabi, one in Sorouh's Saraya scheme near the Sheraton Hotel on the Corniche and a second on Reem Island.
At Cityscape in Abu Dhabi yesterday, the Tasweek chief executive, Masood Al Awar, said the company was hoping to either list the entire company on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange next year or to list its property assets on the exchange as a special-purpose vehicle or Real Estate Investment Trust during this year.
"In 2010 we said the market was 'pretend and extend', by 2011 it was 'delay and pray', 2012 it was 'surrender and murder'.
"But now we see more cash coming in, more liquidity coming into the market. So we thought it is the right time to go to the market with our product. The year of 2013, the two words we use are 'maintain and sustain'."
He added that the company was spending Dh500m developing 400 villas in the UAE. He said that at the Cityscape exhibition his company had registered 360 people interested in purchasing.
"We will not disclose the location until we have finished the four show homes in September," Mr Al Awar said. "Then we will have a sales launch and reveal the location and the international financier behind the scheme and everything. Wherever the location, the villas will be 10 per cent cheaper than Emaar."
When asked why people were registering to buy property without knowing its location, Mr Al Awar said that people trusted his track record for development.
"I sold 1,387 homes in one day at Emaar," he said. "I sold more than 5,000 homes at Sorouh. People know this and they trust Tasweek. They know we can deliver."
According to a Tasweek flier distributed at the Cityscape exhibition, the company is advertising 150 square metre two-bedroom villas at a starting price of Dh650,000. A 350 sq metre, five-bedroom villa is advertised at Dh1.3m.