x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Damac sets its mark on luxury hotel apartments

Cityscape Global this year may still be a fraction of the size it was during the boom days but for anyone visiting the Damac stand this year might have been forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Cityscape Global may still be a fraction of the size it was during the boom days but anyone visiting the Damac stand this year might have been forgiven for thinking otherwise.

The Dubai developer, known for emblazoning its towers with a massive "D" at the top, launched a 10,000-square-metre penthouse on the top of its 42-storey Burjside Boulevard tower to the assembled crowds, which it hoped to sell to investors for Dh40 million (US$10.89m). The hardbacked gold brochure alone weighed about 1kg.

"We're seeing price increases of 8 to 9 per cent in the first half of the year," said Damac's managing director Ziad El Chaar. "And the building below, the majority of flats have been sold."

This week Damac said it planned to have 4,000 hotel apartments under development by the end of next year as it focuses on the hospitality sector.

"Serviced apartments is where we can establish ourselves," said Damac's senior vice president Niall McLoughlin.

"Not only in Dubai but across the Middle East. By the time our new developments are built we will have four times the number of serviced apartments Emaar has at the moment - although we don't know how many more they will build over the same period.

"There are lots of people from the GCC region who visit Dubai perhaps every quarter. They do not want to stay in a hotel. They need a bigger space. They want to entertain visitors. The demand is so strong."

This summer, the companysaid it was giving away a Sea-Doo jet ski, a Monterey cruiser or an Azimut yacht, which can sell for more than US$1 million (Dh3.6m), with every new property purchased.

lbarnard@thenational.ae