Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pentominium photo, Dubai Marina, 15/September/2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

RTA awards contract for widening Umm Suqeim Road project, costing AED167m

RTA awards contract for widening Umm Suqeim Road project, costing AED167m

The Roads & Transport Authority – Mohammed Al Munji:
The Board of Directors of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has endorsed, in a meeting chaired by H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, the awarding of a contract for widening & improvement of Umm Suqeim Road, stretching from Sheikh Zayed Road up to Al Khail Road. The Project has been awarded at a time where construction works in flyovers at the intersection of Al Khail Road & Umm Suqeim Road are nearing completion.

“The project aims at separating the traffic movement crossing from Sheikh Zayed Road to Al Khail Road from the local traffic movement through constructing flyovers at the intersections of this corridor with the Eastern Parallel Road (Al Asayel Road), and the Western Parallel Road (Al Khail Road 1). Two flyovers will be constructed at each intersection; each flyover consists of 3 lanes in each direction. Two more signalized junctions will be made at the intersection with Al Asayel Road and Al Khail Road, to ensure free traffic movement in all directions,” said Al Tayer.

“Service roads and car parks will be constructed at the frontage of business outlets on both roadsides to serve showrooms at Al Barsha and Al Qouz Industrial Areas. The Project will also step up the safety levels, thanks to the provision of three bridges, pavements, and two signalized pedestrian crossings, in addition to essential services such as street lighting and rainwater drainage.

“Widening & Improvement of Al Al Khail Road Project, at a cost of 1.925 billion dirham, is considered one of the biggest projects currently undertaken by the RTA, and due to the massive nature of the Project, RTA divided it into four phases. The importance of the Project is underlined by its nature as an extension of the Business Bay Crossing, and its role in realizing RTA's endeavours to open up auxiliary traffic corridors to Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road; as these two roads account for a huge portion of the high traffic volumes.

“Construction works in the Project have reached concluding stages and all key flyovers at the interchanges of the Project are set for opening by the end of this year, while the remaining subsidiary bridges are set for completion in the first half of 2013. Works in some interchanges are nearing completion with completion rates ranging from 72 to 96%. Phase I of the Project, costing about 575 million dirham, aims at easing the traffic flow in the direction from Al Khail Road towards Emirates Road and vice versa, besides ensuring the smooth traffic flow in the property development projects in the area.

“Completion rate in Phase I of the Project, constructed by Emirates Roads Constructing Co., has exceeded 95%, encompassing the construction of a new bridge to replace the circular surface intersection on Emirates Road, thus enabling free traffic movement in all directions. It also includes the construction of two flyovers; the first links the Emirates Road in the direction of Al Khail Road, and the second links Al Khail Road in the direction of Emirates Road. The Project also comprises increasing the number of lanes from four to six in each direction of Emirates Road and Al Khail Road, in addition to traffic signaling, signage and other utility works,” added Al Tayer.
The RTA opened in September 2011 the Widening of Emirates Road Project, and last April it opened circular slip roads branching out of bridges serving the traffic from Al Khail Road to Dubai, and from Abu Dhabi to Al Khail Road. By the end of December 2012, all remaining phases of the project will be completed.

Phase II of the Project, costing about 762 million dirham and undertaken by Gunal & Mapa Construction Co., comprises the construction of two new flyovers on Al Khail Road to ensure a smooth traffic flow in all directions to replace the existing two R/As at the intersection of Al Khail Road with Street 319 and Street 323 at Al Qouz residential & industrial Areas. It also includes the widening of Al Khail Road from four to six lanes in each direction, and the construction of an elevated link road inbound from Al Qouz and outbound to Al Khail Road; where construction works are currently underway. The Project also includes various road works such as pavements, street lighting, light signals, traffic signs and traffic diversions, in addition to the removal of some existing utility services intercepting the project works, and undertaking new utility works required for the project completion.

“In August 2012, the RTA opened the flyover serving the traffic inbound from Al Qouz Industrial and outbound to Al Khail Road in the direction of Dubai and vice-versa. Last July RTA also opened the Interchange No 22 linking Al Khail Road with Al Qouz Residential Area; which contributed to the smooth traffic flow on Al Khail Road, thanks to the widening of lanes from four to six. It also assisted the traffic movement in the roads linked with Al Khail Road, and eased the traffic congestion inbound from Al Qouz in the direction of Al Khail Road through an elevated link of the traffic coming from Al Qouz and heading towards Dubai. It also eased the traffic flow at the junctions with Al Khail Road on the one hand, and Street 323 and Street 319 on the other, besides easing the movement of trucks and heavy machinery at the Interchange No. 19.

“Ascon Contracting Co., undertaking Phase III of Al Khail Road Improvement Project at a cost of 282 million dirham, is about to complete all works pertinent to widening of Al Khail Project from four to six lanes in each direction from the intersection with Umm Suqeim Road up to the intersection with Emirates Road, besides modifying the curves at Intersection No 13.

“Completion rate has exceeded 70% in Phase IV of the Project, costing 307.368 million dirham and undertaken by Wade Adams Construction Co. It comprises replacing the existing roundabout at the intersection of Al Khail Road with Umm Suqeim Road by a free multi-level interchange providing a smooth vehicular traffic movement in all directions. It also encompasses the widening of Al Khail Road from four to six lanes in each direction, and shifting & protecting the public facilities & utilities impacted by the free interchange. Main bridges on Umm Suqeim Road are penciled for opening by the end of this year, and all works in subsidiary bridges are set for completion by the end of March 2013. When completed, The Project will provide smooth access to areas in the vicinity of the Interchange such as Al Barsha, Al Barsha South, and Al Qouz Industrial among others, thus ensures seamless traffic movement in the neighbourhood.

• Mattar Al Tayer
• Layout of Umm Suqeim Road Improvement Project

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dubai rents up and sales flat in Q3, says Asteco

Dubai rents up and sales flat in Q3, says Asteco

Apartment and villa rents up 2% and 3% respectively since Q2 2012; real sales prices unchanged; commercial property market quiet, says Asteco Q3 2012 report.

Quality residential developments in Dubai built upon their strong performance in Q2, with average rental increases in Q3 2012 of 2% for apartments and 3% for villas.
Residential sales prices were relatively unchanged, even though increasing numbers of units were advertised at inflated prices, while the commercial property market remained subdued due to a lack of demand, according to the latest Q3 2012 report from leading UAE property management company, Asteco.

Apartments on Sheikh Zayed Road and Downtown Dubai showed the greatest rental increases, with a two-bedroom apartment annual leasing rates up 6% at AED105,000 and up 4% at AED120,000 respectively.

Leasing rates for villas followed a similar steady trend, with the Palm Jumeirah leading the way with a 7% increase. A three-bedroom house now rents for AED325,000 per annum on average. The Springs and the Arabian Ranches were next in line with increases of 5% and 4% respectively. Three-bedroom villas were leasing for AED125,000 per annum in the Springs while similar properties in the Arabian Ranches were leasing for AED145,000 per annum.

“The increasing rental rates are due to the lack of a certain unit type, whether that is larger three-bedroom units in towers or smaller townhouses in villa communities,” said Elaine Jones, CEO at Asteco.

“The reason for the shortage of a particular unit type is either the low number of units initially available or high occupancy rates within certain developments,” she added.

Asteco also witnessed increased rates in some of the emerging communities such as Jumeirah Village, which can in part be put down to the increased demand as infrastructure, landscaping and the retail offering improve.

“It is also true that increasing rents in more established developments and the consequent outflow of residents unwilling or unable to pay the hiked rate, are adding upwards pressure to the rental rates,” commented Jones.

Overall sales prices in Q3 2012 remained stable after the steady increases which were recorded at the beginning of the year. The summer coinciding with Ramadan resulted in lower enquiry levels and consequently no significant pickup.
Apartment sales were relatively unchanged since Q2 2012 - the only movement was seen in the Greens, which recorded a 3% increase, edging up to AED8,800 per square metre. Apartment sales prices in DIFC and the Palm Jumeirah, still the most expensive areas, both commanded AED14,000 per square metre.

There was also little movement with villa sales, which were flat across the board. Once again the Palm Jumeirah is still the most sought after with villas changing hands for AED17,200 per square metre, compared with AED5,400 per square metre in Jumeirah Village.

The commercial market has also been rather passive since the beginning of June, which was reflected in the office sales and rental rates, which remained unchanged.
“One trend we have noticed is that tenants and or buyers of office space are demanding significant discounts and incentives before committing. This is likely to continue as more supply enters the market,” said Jones.
For more details, please visit

The full Asteco Dubai Q3 2012 report is available online at

Asteco, a major regional and international real estate services firm and the largest property services company in the United Arab Emirates, was founded in Dubai in 1985. Asteco offers independent market analysis, design development consultancy and valuation services, sales and leasing services, as well as asset and property management services.
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