Dubai to get more affordable homes

Dubai is usually associated with luxury property that fits with the glitz associated with the celebrities and wealthy property owners in the emirate but several new announcements now suggest otherwise.

One developer is to build a series of affordable homes in Dubai while over 200 dilapidated villas that were lying empty are to be demolished.

The moves show a different side to the emirate’s real estate market and is a reminder that not all properties are luxury apartments for the well off.

Danube Properties has unveiled an affordable housing project that will allow home owners to turn one room into two. The Ritz Project at Al Furjan includes 452 fully furnished apartments, comprising of studios, and one a d two bedroom units.

The rooms features a bed which can be tucked into the wall during the day, thus creating a larger living room space. At night it can be lowered to transform the accommodation into a bedroom.

The Ritz also includes retail space and a gym, together with an outdoor running track and swimming pool, tennis and badminton courts and a basketball area.

‘We are bringing the latest home technology to our customers at a time when consumers are looking for more with less,’ said Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group, who added that the homes are aimed at new couples and small families.

The launch comes at a time when the luxury part of the property market is experiencing a softening, but Sajan pointed out that some 18,000 new homes are needed in the emirate over the next five years.

‘Real estate is a long term business and I am a firm believer in the long term sustainability of Dubai’s economy, which is very resilient. The current supply of 12,000 to 13,000 homes per annum falls well below the anticipated demand. Besides more than 80% of Dubai’s population live in rented homes,’ he explained.

‘With property prices coming down to a more realistic level we see the possibility of a large scale migration to home ownership from rental homes,’ Sajan added.

Meanwhile, around 250 dilapidated villas across Dubai which are regarded as posing a public health risk are to be demolished. According to Dubai Municipality many of the properties are caught up in inheritance disputes between family members and the rightful owner has neglected them, making them a threat to security and public health.

‘There is a possibility that these houses are used as a den for crimes and as a hiding place for illegals and fugitives,’ said Khaled Mohammed Saleh, head of the buildings department at Dubai Municipality.

It is estimated that there are 713 abandoned houses across Dubai of which 303 have already been demolished and a further 154 have been renovated by their owners. The Municipality will now issue orders to the owners for the houses to be demolished and if they fail to comply the properties will be taken down and the owners charged.