x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Emirati and Indian buyers snap up RAK waterfront properties

RAK Properties has quickly sold two-fifths of the new villas in the latest phase of its waterfront development. Many of the buyers are Emiratis.

Rashed Sultan Al Khatri, the director of marketing and sales for RAK Properties, says the waterfront Flamingo Villas will cost from Dh750,000 to Dh2.5 million. Sarah Dea / The National
Rashed Sultan Al Khatri, the director of marketing and sales for RAK Properties, says the waterfront Flamingo Villas will cost from Dh750,000 to Dh2.5 million. Sarah Dea / The National

Ras Al Khaimah’s largest developer has sold 40 per cent of the villas in a waterfront project’s latest phase within just a few days.

RAK Properties launched the 104 waterfront Flamingo Villas as well as two 20-storey apartment buildings in Lagoon Heights on Saturday.

The company’s director of marketing and sales, Rashed Sultan Al Khatri, was able to say that by Tuesday sales of the villas had already nearly reached the halfway mark.

He credited the allure of waterfront living and the emirate’s improving infrastructure.

“People are looking for a vacation spot and we provide beachfront villas that have a lower entry point compared to seafront properties of Dubai,” Mr Al Khatri said. “Improving infrastructure, an increasing business community with new free zones and industrial areas are also contributing to the growing number of investors here.”

The new phase is to cost Dh400 million and villas will cost from Dh750,000 to Dh2.5 million. The company expects to sell 75 per cent of the units off plan, with handover in two years.

Apartments, which are for lease only, are to hit the market by 2016.

The attraction of waterfront property is also evident in Dubai. Beachfront apartments in at least one Palm Jumeirah development – Viceroy Signature Residences from Skai Holdings were sold out, with prices starting at Dh2.4m, and are now selling at a premium of more than 15 per cent. In the trunk of the Palm, a four-bedroom villa in the same development that sold for Dh36m is now on the market with a 14 per cent premium for resale.

About 40 per cent of the buyers of RAK Properties’ Mina Al Arab development are Emiratis, and a quarter are from the Indian subcontinent. The rest are spread across Europe.

Eighty per cent of the buyers are laying down cash and the rest are taking out mortgages, Mr Al Khatri said.

Flamingo Villas and Lagoon Heights are part of the 30 million square foot Mina Al Arab development, which RAK Properties launched in 2005 and has been building in phases. While villas are bought by end users, most of the apartments are bought for leasing and reselling, Mr Al Khatri said.

The project’s previous phases included 307 villas, which had prices from Dh2m to Dh5.2m and were sold out by 2011. The earlier phases included 808 apartments, of which a few are left for sale at prices between Dh295,000 and Dh1.2m.

RAK Properties reported sales of Dh110.5m in the second quarter, down from Dh451m for the same period last year. It showed a profit of Dh51.1m in the latest quarter.

In July, the company said that it would repay a loan of Dh100m to the Ras Al Khaimah Investment and Development Office.

RAK Properties is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Its shares have a 52-week range of 36 fils to 74 fils. They last traded at 71 fils.

Ras Al Khaimah once had the reputation of being a place of dirt roads and limited electricity. Things brightened in 2011 when the federal Government announced a Dh5.7 billion investment in water and electricity, as well as construction of 667 villas.

Visitors are getting the message. The number of passengers at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in August rose 69 per cent over August 2012.

ssahoo@thenational.ae