x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Riyadh developer Tanmiyat aims to deliver stalled Dubai projects

The Riyadh-based developer Tanmiyat says it is on track to deliver two stalled Dubai projects, the Living Legends community in Dubailand and three office towers in Business Bay.

The Riyadh-based Tanmiyat Group plans to deliver two stalled projects as it reports a bullish outlook for Dubai property.

The Saudi investment company and property developer had started an ambitious 15 million square foot project, Living Legends, off Emirates Road in Dubailand in 2007. The development, which is now valued at Dh4 billion with a total built-up area of 6 million sq ft, is to comprise 500 villas, 12 towers with 2,200 apartments, three office buildings, one mall, three schools, two mosques, and a hotel overlooking a golf course. The company had also started on three office towers in Business Bay around the same time.

Tanmiyat is showcasing the projects at this year’s Cityscape.

“We are now focusing on completing the [Living Legends and Business Bay] projects, which we have sold to the buyers,” said Muhammad bin Odah, Tanmiyat’s chief executive.

The company had shelved the projects after the global financial crisis hit. In October 2009, Wan Sulaiman, a Tanmiyat executive, said work on the stalled projects would resume in 2010. “The delays are not because we cannot finish everything but if we finish, can the customers cope … in terms of payments and the market situation?”

In the spring of 2011, dozens of angry buyers showed up at Tanmiyat’s sales office in Dubailand wanting to know why the homes they had bought three years earlier were still on the drawing board.

Now Tanmiyat reports that it has sold out all the Living Legends villas and 70 per cent of the apartments. All of the villas and apartments are to be handed over by the end of next year.

Tanmiyat officials said the company was very close to signing an international grocery chain as a tenant for the project’s 165,000 sq ft mall.

While most of the villas and apartments were sold pre-2008, the company is running a Cityscape-only special price for the remaining apartments at Dh555 per sq ft.

Financing for Living Legends was secured from Tanmiyat itself and the property buyers.

Of the three Business Bay towers, the 32-storey Exchange Tower has sold 92 per cent of its units and is expected to be ready for hand- over by late next year. The42-storey Court Tower is to be ready three months later, Mr Odah said.

The third edifice, Forum Tower, is further away from completion.

“The real estate market is very strong with high demand for the past few months,” he said. “If Dubai wins the Expo 2020 bid that will increase the demand further.”

The biggest buyers for the Tanmiyat projects have been Russians, Iranians, Indians and Pakistanis.

“Because of the Arab Spring there are many people investing in Dubai because of its safety and security,” Mr Odah said. “With the new Rera [Real Estate Regulatory Agency] rules, people are more aware of their rights and we will not see a 2008 situation any time soon.”

ssahoo@thenational.ae