RAK makes play for stake in freehold developments

Three housing communities and marina resort to be linked to Tower Links Golf Course

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By  Eudore Chand Published  March 20, 2004

Taking its cue from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah has kept aside land exceeding 40 international soccer pitches at one of its most prime and exclusive locations for the development of luxurious waterfront housing communities. The development will comprise apartments and villas, and will be available for sale to any one, UAE national, expatriate or foreigner, on a freehold basis, according to officials linked to the development told Construction Week. The development is located on the outskirts of Tower Links, the vast new 18-hole golf course and borders on to the tidal creek with its mangroves on the one side and the Marina Mall on the other. “What was a one year construction, went on to two years because we incorporated changes midstream to make housing available,” said Colin Baxter, managing director of Hydroturf International. Hydroturf is the company that designed, oversaw the construction, marketed and will manage the Tower Links. Baxter said the ripples of freehold developments in Dubai are being felt in other emirates. “I think Dubai has led the way in other emirates. There is a lot of interest now in purchasing property in Ras Al Khaimah.” Three segments of land, measuring 257 000 m2 in total have been kept aside for housing communities; the first of which will cover some 63 000 m2, the second will be the largest sprawling over 135 000 m2, and the third of 59 000 m2. Apart from this, 32500 m2 of land has been reserved for a resort hotel and marina that is to be built, and another 38 000 m2 of land has been kept aside for a Golf Village. Overall, land reserved for the above projects is about 327 000 m2. The project is as yet in the concept stage, and once finalised, is expected to see billions of dirhams worth of investments resulting in a slush of tenders, thus boosting the construction activity in the emirate. It is being promoted by Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qassimi, chairman of Ras Al Khaimah General Account. He is also the owner of the adjacent Tower Links Golf Course. The housing project may be developed and managed separately. “As far as the real estate development t goes, we think that the client, Sheikh Faisal, may do it himself,” Baxter said. He expected that the freehold development would ultimately be floated for both sale and lease. “I think housing will be a combination of both sale and rent. There will need to be a market study. The price of the real estate here will need to reflect that this part of the UAE is just about beginning to develop and consequently, it will have to be attractive from an investor’s point of view,” Baxter pointed out. “Infrastructure in Ras Al Khaimah has obviously changed over the last few years and it is all very exciting. You’ve got the sea and the mountains, a combination that Abu Dhabi and Dubai don’t have,” Baxter added.

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