About the author Mark Towers

Emaar says “No” to Holiday Homes in Downtown

On the 5th September Emaar announced that there would be no more Holiday Homes allowed in their Downtown project. This ban is to all owners, operators and apparently includes their own holiday homes operations, Ease by Emaar.

Back in February 2015 The Dubai Tourism announced new regulations and a framework for how the Holiday Homes industry would operate and have been very supportive ever since with operators such as ourselves.

The launch of holiday homes was to enhance the tourism industry and offer a more diversified offering of rooms to tourists in the lead up to Expo 2020.

“It is also part of Dubai’s objective to further diversify and increase its hospitality offering in line with its vision to attract 20 million visitors to the emirate by 2020.”(Hotelier Middleast, Feb 2016)

So it was huge shock on Thursday when Emaar announced the ban.

As an industry we have all spent the past weekend looking at whether or not this move will stick and if it does what happens next. We are not massively exposed to property in Downtown but it sends out a mixed message that suddenly Holiday Homes is not welcomed by Emaar yet actively supported by DTCM.

My personal view is that DTCM will want to find some sort of middle ground whereby operators are free to carry on the activity but at the same time appreciate that Emaar are trying to protect the image and residents of Downtown.

Currently all operators have to register guests with the DTCM and a tourism fee is charged. This probably needs taking to the next level so that more stringent rules are imposed on guests and the operators become more vigilant ensuring that the guests are family friendly and fit in with living in a residential area. Parties come with music and this type of disruption leads to complaints from residents which of course anybody can appreciate. There has to be the right filters in place to allow a situation where holiday guests or corporate rentals can live harmoniously with permanent residents. The landlords need to make money to pay for the upkeep of their property and the service charges which ultimately everybody benefits from.

Dubai real estate is dominated by professional landlords who look for ways to maximise their returns and cutting off this option will not happen as I am sure DTCM and Dubai inc understand that it is a necessary part of the investment market and working out a way to integrate it properly will be the best way forward for all the stakeholders.

Crescent Living on Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah has been popular since 2006 when it welcomed it’s first residents.Since that time the apartments and villas on the Palm have been one of Dubai’s most sought after locations for both owners and tenants.

Over the past 10 years it’s been the apartments located on the trunk of the palm and the villas on the fronds, that have attracted most of the attention with the Crescent properties being left behind a little.

Not so it seems anymore! Finally, it looks like the Crescent is starting to receive the same amount of attention that the fronds and trunk have benefited from for over a decade. There are a number of reasons for this, which I will highlight, before giving a detailed account of exactly what the Crescent does have to offer.

Reasons for the Palm Jumeirah Crescent’s resurgent popularity.

The crescent is 11.6km from end to end and consists of a series of plots that have been developed into either residential apartments, residential villas or hotels. They have always been seen as too far to travel and places like the Tiara Residences and now the Five on the Palm were always more popular.

However in recent times we are seeing the requests for properties on the Crescent increase considerably.

The Reasons are:
1. Several new hotels have been built improving the overall look of the crescent
2. Landscaping has been improved
3. A bridge will link the crescent with Dubai Harbour.
4. The revetment surrounding the crescent has been made deeper and therefore making the experience of walking or running on the crescent track much more pleasurable.
5. Prices have reduced to price points lower than the trunk for rental atleast.

Where can you live on the Palm Jumeirah Crescent?

Working clockwise here are the choices:

22 Carat, Palm Jumeirah

Zabeel Saray

Taj Grandeur

W Hotel and Residences

Kempinski Residences
Kempinski Residence

Balqis Residences

Muraba Residences

Serenia Residences

Mina by Azizi

Dream Palm Residences

These developments offer a range of apartments and villas, with prices ranging from around AED1.5m for a one bedroom apartment all the way up to AED 65m for a bespoke villa with private beach.

Who is buying on the Crescent of Palm Jumeirah?

Historically there have been a few nationalities that have dominated the sales of Palm Jumeirah. Up until 2014 the Russians were probably the most active investors on the Palm Jumeirah which was because of two main factors:

a) They had money (and lots of it)
b) Russians love a sea and beach view ( and The Palm Jumeirah was the only freehold choice for this)

Their purchasing rate unfortunately slowed down after the rouble crashed in 2014, but 2019 has seen some encouraging signs that they are buying again. Palm Jumeirah villas on the fronds are home to a lot of Russians and the crescent also attracts many with the Kempinski being predominantly Russian and now the soon to be released 22 Carat has been another favorite of the “Red Army”.

Taj Grandeur was heavily marketed to the Indian investors and subsequently they dominate this development.

The brightest light of the past two years on the crescent has undoubtedly been what was originally the Alef Residences and now the W Hotel Residences on the Palm Jumeirah. The developer has done a great job marketing both the apartments and the penthouses and this has resulted in some top end prices being achieved. The buyers have been a real mix with Russians, Iranians and Brits making up a good percentage of the buyers. With 3 beds coming in around the AED 16m they offer a great standard and fabulous views with all the amenities of a five star serviced residence.

Why Move to the crescent on the Palm Jumeirah?

As a valuer and chartered surveyor with 15 years’ experience in Dubai I have been guilty in the past of being a little skeptical about the crescent. The Atlantis used to be the only hotel that was open and it just seemed so far to travel there in relation to how easy it was to get to places like the Tiara and Oceana Residences.

Of course it hasn’t got any closer but it has developed so well, that now it just seems to be a part of the Palm rather than a forgotten off shoot. Luxurious hotels span the crescent now with 5* brands such as The Waldorf Astoria, The W Hotel, Emerald Kempinski, The Sofitel and many others making up this concentration of luxury living and holiday making.

One day, I will count, how many food and beverage outlets there are to choose from but I would estimate that within an 11km stretch there are over 200 to choose from. These range from beach clubs to coffee shops and it is undeniable that the Crescent offers an amazing array of ways to spend a pleasant afternoon or a more energetic evening.

How much will it cost you to live on the Crescent at Palm Jumeirah?

Palm Jumeirah living has never been cheap but at the end of the day you get full sea views and beautiful white beaches to laze on.
I can consult on any particular development that you may be interested in and I am always happy to find recent sales to support my views.
As a rough guide, the apartments sell from around AED1500 per square foot depending on views and building.
Villas are rare on the crescent and start from around AED 16m for a 5 bed.
For more detailed pricing please contact me directly. (I really do know what I am talking about so you will get the best advice).

Re-sale value on the crescent, Palm Jumeirah

What new properties can we expect on the Crescent, Palm Jumeirah?

Here is a list of the developments that will be handed over in 2019

Balqis Residence

The 8

22 Carat

W Hotel and Residences

What can we expect in the future?

One of the big attractions for investing or holidaying on the crescent is the plethora of hotels and therefore food outlets to choose from. You simply couldn’t sample them all no matter how hard you tried.
The Crescent is going to be linked to the new Dubai Harbour by Emaar which in turn is linked to Bluewater by Meeras.
A short walk will take you to the latest beachside developments where branded buildings ( such as Elie Saab) will lead you to the Dubai Lighthouse the Harbour Mall and also The Dubai Eye.
The bridge from the crescent to the Emaar beachfront is going to breathe new life into the already vibrant crescent and I am sure will ensure that the Palm Jumeirah retains it’s positioning as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Dubai.

If anybody wants to discuss this further I would be delighted to have a chat.

Mark 050 1131134

Emaar give cash Prizes totalling AED 20m to Top Agents for 2017

Emaar, this morning, held their annual Achievement awards for their top Earning agents.

There was no fancy meal, or gala booked out. Just a microphone and 20 oversized cheques as the prizes.

The prizes were phenomenally generous and I’m sure there are a few agents out on the town tonight. If you were lucky enough to be in the top 20 then you won a bonus of at least AED 500k. If you were awesome enough to win then you are having a healthy discussion on how to split AED 3.5m.

Emaar are having a successful time with their new projects with only last week their new Vista Beach at Dubai Harbour selling out in less than 7 days. This week they are launching Golf Place at Dubai Hills which I’m sure will be as popular.

It’s a strange time at the moment in real estate with the secondary market being a bit sluggish whilst off plan sales appear to be flying.

There seems to be an endless supply of new projects as we have just been briefed on the next Damac launch also to be released this week. Reva Residences in downtown will probably defy logic too. These will be 1 beds from AEd 700k overlooking the canal…

Well done to all the agents who got a lovely bonus from Emaar today.. Well deserved!!



Dubai Harbour: Emaar Beach Vista : Possibly the most exciting launch since the Palm Jumeirah

Emaar Beach Vista at Dubai Harbour: Is it worth Investing in?

As a Palm Jumeirah enthusiast it would be fair to accuse me of being a little blinkered when it comes to Dubai real estate. My love for the Palm started in 2003 and since then we have become well known for having a very strong hold on the resale and off plan markets on the illustrious Palm island.

For years I’ve been accused of getting a nose bleed if I venture off the island. Well everybody I think times are changing and my head has been turned.

There is a new project about to be released and although there is limited information as yet I have to say that it looks to be an absolute cracker!



The Project 

This project is going to be on a large scale with everything from a Cruise terminal  to the usual Mall and retail outlets we have become accustomed to.

The Cruise Terminal itself will with have a capacity of over 1.2m passengers per year so you can imagine how busy the retail areas are going to be.

It will also be home to the largest marina in the MENA providing berths for the regions super yachts with its 1,100 moorings.

The  Mall is said to be 3,500,000 sq ft which believe me is a big one and will rival the  Mall of Emirates not forgetting that the new Nakheel Mall on the Palm Jumeirah is also due to be opening later this year.

Dubai Lighthouse

The Dubai lighthouse is without doubt going to be the centre piece of this bold development and will certainly become a tourist attraction in itself. Standing at 135m tall it will house a luxury hotel and be a centre for light shows throughout the year.

When looking at the mock up, that was displayed at Citiscape, it is clear that there is a section of the development for residential mid to high rise towers that is set upon a man made beach.

Anybody who has spoken to me over the past 10 years knows that I am a fan of the shoreline apartments on the Palm Jumeirah for one big reason. BEACH ACCESS. We all know that the shoreline was a little disappointing when handed over and we all expected a lot more in terms of the fit out. It would be hard to argue against that but the past 10 years has proven that location and beach access has been the key to the Shoreline’s success.

So now, for the first time since the Palm Jumeirah launch there are going to be properties released that have direct access to a beach.

You can see from this graphic that there will be a good stretch of beach for the residents and the ones on show will also have an amazing sunset view.

Depending on the price I think these apartments could be a good investment for the future as they tick all the boxes in terms of what we should be looking for in luxury real estate.

If anybody wants to discuss this further I would be delighted to have a chat.

Mark 050 1131134

Palm Jumeirah apartment Rental Prices for January 2018

For those of you looking to move onto Palm Jumeirah this year, or maybe you are already living in the best place in Dubai and just want a change, then here are some indicative prices as to how much it will cost you.

As the Palm Jumeirah’s no 1 rental and sales agent you can speak to anyone of our dedicated Palm agents at any time.

Shoreline Rental Prices

1 Bed Park View  from 95k

1 Bed sea view from 130k

2 bed park view form 130k

2 bed sea view from 160k

3 bed park view from  160k

3 bed sea view from 185k

Tiara Residences Rental Prices

1 bed from 130k

2 bed from 180k

3 bed from 210k

Oceana Residences Rental Prices

1 bed from 130k

2 bed from 190k

3 bed from 230k

Fairmont Residences Palm Jumeirah Rental Prices

1 bed from 125k

2 bed from 150k

3 bed from 200k

4 bed from 400k

Five The Palm ( formerly known as Viceroy)

1 bed from 170k

2 bed from  210k

3 bed from 310k

4 bed from AED 1 million per annum ( note these are 5,000 sq ft


For viewings and advice please contact our specialist Palm Jumeirah Team on 04 422 1291


Palm Jumeirah rents continue to fall in 2017

This is not  a headline any of us want to hear but it is reality and we have to deal with it.

The truth is that 2017 has been a difficult year for the rental market on the Palm Jumeirah and here are my thoughts as to why.

There are number of reasons for this price decline ranging from the the macro economy to more local reasons. I’ll start with the reasons that are more specific to the Palm.

1. Palm Jumeirah speeds up construction to meet 2020 deadline.

A couple of years a go we all heard a rumour that Shaikh Mohamed had given Nakheel an ultimatum to get Palm Jumeirah finished before 2020. This might have been hearsay but nevertheless it is an undisputable fact that since that day the Palm has come on leaps and bounds. The Nakheel Mall is slated to open in the second quarter of 2018 , the Viceroy ( 5 The Palm) was handed over, The Dukes opened, the Balqis is ready for handover , and the Golden Mile Galleria opened it’s doors. Go onto the crescent and the pace of construction is immense ( as witnessed by the traffic at 6pm when construction workers clock off).

This is all positive news in the long run but the extra stock is taking time to absorb and has put pressure on the older stock as people move to newer apartments. There simply is a greater supply these days and that means one thing… price reductions!

2. Other areas can now compete with the Palm Jumeirah

In the last price decline, around 2009, the Palm was pretty unique and although there were declines people still had far fewer choices when looking for comparable places to live. Dubai has come a long way in the last 8 years with so many new projects attracting renters hard earned cash. Downtown and City Walk are just two exceptional developments that now have their own following and offer the type of apartments that high earners are looking for. At the entry level price for Palm Jumeirah, say AED 100k per annum, there is even more choice available in the broader market as the Marina and JBR continue to be a big draw.

Simply, there is just a lot more choice out there  and tenants are tempted towards the newer stock in other areas. The Shorelines are now 10 years old and every year there is new stock coming to the market making the older properties less attractive.

The shorelines will always have the added advantage of being on the beach but we are now seeing that after 10 years the lure of a brand new apartment is pulling the usual shoreline tenants to other locations.

3. The Value for money principle

The villas on Palm Jumeirah that are for rent are in the same boat as the Shoreline apartments. They are getting old ( and shabby in some cases) and tenants are much more discerning these days and are demanding well maintained properties.

A Garden Home will, on average, rent for around AED 425,000 per year. The majority of the villas available at this price are 10 years old and in the original condition. No upgrades, no new kitchen and bathrooms. You are basically paying for a great view and beach access.

Up until 2017 I would say that the Palm Jumeirah villas have been able to trade off the incredible view and beach access they provide. Potential tenants are constantly reminding us that the properties are in need of upgrading and therefore not representing good value for money and we have seen tenants moving out of the Palm Jumeirah villas  to ‘inland’ locations that still offer private pools and amazing community amenities.

To retain these tenants the Landlords in both the apartments and villas are going to have to start thinking about refurbishing their properties. With no investment these landlords are going to feel that the market is worse than it actually is. Tenants are not just going to spend 450k and take on a property with problems.

By way of an example we were lucky this year to rent out a few extremely well maintained Signature villas. The average rental price for a standard Signature villa on the Palm is around AED 750k per year.

We rented 2 out for over AED 1.2m each! These properties were fully upgraded and the tenants paid in one cheque. The properties that are standing out are getting good premiums and also good tenants that want quality and can afford quality.

It does not really matter what the ticket price is you just have to be offering value for money.

4. The rest of world

The bigger economic picture is also influencing the prices and it has been well documented over the past few years but in short the following are affecting the Dubai economy and therefore property prices.

  1. Low oil prices
  2. Weak Russian currency
  3. Brexit ( weak pound)
  4. Local unrest ( Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia etc)

Of course there is a much more complicated reason than just these simple factors but for sure these ones are having an impact and if the oil prices started to settle above $70 per barrel I believe sentiment in the  UAE would be greatly improved and we would start to see signs of improvement across all sectors of the economy.

To conclude I would say that the property market is under pressure right now and professional landlords need to react to the facts and not just bury their heads in the sand. Tenants have choices now and this is actually going to increase. Therefore the Landlords need to invest in their properties and ensure they are appealing to the tenant pool.

If you own property on the Palm Jumeirah you are blessed with one of the best locations anywhere. Don’t be fooled though into thinking that you have a right to a tenant who will meet your expectations as these tenants are savvy and are prepared to look elsewhere. Invest and upgrade your property and attract the best tenants through offering something they really want.

The Palm Jumeirah is the best place to live in Dubai but we need to offer the tenants a good product still.