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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dubai Properties seeks tie-ups with Malaysians

DUBAI Properties, the largest master developer in Dubai, wants to tie up with Malaysian property developers for its on-going projects there.

The unit of government-owned Dubai Holding hopes to lure developers, contractors and real estate agents to invest in its booming property market.

"We are targeting mid-sized to big established developers with a minimum investment (capital) of US$100 million (RM327 million)," deputy chief executive officer Yaqoob Al Zarooni told reporters after a presentation on its Dubai projects, held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Yaqoob: We are targeting mid-sized to big established developers

Dubai Properties, which does not have a local partner, spoke to several developers yesterday.

"However, the discussions are very initial because such projects require due diligence and feasibility studies to be carried out beforehand," he said.

Dubai Properties, with an estimated US$100 billion (RM327 billion) ongoing projects, also wants to work with Malaysian real estate agents for the sale of its units, said sales development director Abdel Rahman Almadhloum.

Its biggest project is the recently launched US$60 billion (RM196 billion) green initiative covering 880 million sq ft.

Dubbed the "Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Gardens" project after the country's ruler, it comprises four clusters and 73 per cent greenery.

It will house a zoo, gardens, hotels, museums and higher educational institutions.

Other developments include its US$30 billion (RM98 billion) business bay, US$13 billion (RM43 billion) mixed-development known as the culture village and a US$15 billion (RM49 billion) housing estate.

Yaqoob said that with large projects such as the 64 million sq ft business bay, local developers could save on marketing and promotional costs due to the overall project's market visibility.

"Also, logistics here is easy - you are able to establish your office within a couple of months," he said.

Yaqoob said the Dubai property market offers diversity with various foreign developers from South Korea, Japan, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

However, developers have to work within the theme created for each project, he added.

Senior consultant Walid Hareb, who heads Dubai Consultancy, said there was a possibility of setting up a Malaysian theme city in Dubai.

"Malaysia has its uniqueness in terms of culture and heritage so the developers can bring these elements there," he said.

By New Straits Times (by Jeeva Arulapalam)

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