New fund launched to buy distressed properties in select developments in Dubai

An Irish property firm has launched a fifteen million dollar fund to take advantage of the downturn in the Dubai real estate market and buy back properties from investors.

They are looking to buy properties in Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeriah Beach Residence, Ras Al Khaimah, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens and International City.

Dublin-based Deluxe Properties said that the fund is backed by Middle Eastern, British, Indian and Russian investors.
It has already bought in excess of £98 million worth of residential and commercial property in Dubai from Irish investors over the last four years.

But sellers are likely to get less than from pervious funds as the severe downturn in the market in the last year has an impact.
‘Prices being considered by the new fund will not be as strong as those offered through our previous funds.

Only sought after locations are being looked at and only properties which are offered between 30 and 50% below the original price will be considered,’ said Maria Fearon, managing director of Deluxe Properties.
It is certainly being meticulous about what it wants.
The company said the Palm Jebel Ali, The World and Dubai Sports City are not included in the fund’s target areas.

Meanwhile an International Monetary Fund official has expressed confidence that debt hit Dubai World, parent company of master developer Nakheel, will be able to manage its financial problems.

Its attempt to delay debt repayments and restructure will slow the growth of banks in the United Arab Emirates that lent money to the state run company, said Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department.
‘We don’t see that that’s going to be an issue for banks, because Dubai World has assets abroad such as commercial real estate.
It may well be that some of these assets will be disposed of,’ he added.
 But others don’t share this view.
‘Banks in Bahrain are likely to have some sort of exposure to Dubai, so profitability will be affected depending on the specific exposure of each bank,’ said Suleman Soorani, a banking analyst at Bahrain-based SICO Investment Bank.
The Central Bank of Kuwait confirmed that two banks in Kuwait were exposed in the crisis.