Dubai property boom attracts European hospitality chain

Bonnington Group set to invest US $57 million at Jumeirah Lakes

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By  Eudore Chand Published  February 12, 2005

Dubai’s bustling real estate sector has attracted a major European hospitality sector player, which has committed some US $57 million (AED 210 million) to build the first hotel-apartment tower complex at Jumeirah Lakes. After having arrived on the scene and been encouraged by the response, the UK and Ireland’s Bonnington Group has decided to invest further millions into more projects in Dubai as well as in Iran’s capital city of Teheran, and in Qatar’s capital Doha. “We will copy the same hotel-apartments concept in our projects in other parts of the Middle East,” said Alan Bostock, overseas development manager for the Bonnington Group, which owns a portfolio of nine properties in UK and Ireland. He said construction of the Bonnington Tower at Jumeirah Lakes is to start in April and will be completed by the end of 2007. “We will be keeping one-third of the building for ourselves, so we are ensuring that it has a good finish that will last for a long time,” Bostock added, while pointing out that the developer will run a five-star hotel in the reserved part. The upper 27 floors of the 40-storey tower will have 286 freehold apartments that will be offered to the public in Europe as well as in the region. Prices start at AED 600 000 to just over AED 5 million for a duplex penthouse. “We have appointed the internationally-renowned architects M3ar in Dubai; KHA in London; as well as top consultant engineers Mott MacDonald to design and build this tower,” said Bostock. No main contractor has yet been appointed, the selection of which will be by tender. Negotiations are on, added Bostock. The entrance to the building will be a foyer with a 10m-high atrium complete with water features, seating areas and three high-speed passenger lifts. The hotel facilities will include two panoramic lifts to restaurants and leisure deck, and a separate entrance lobby with another 10 m-high atrium. It will have a conference hall, banqueting and exhibition areas, as well as other amenities. For apartment buyers, Bonnington Group will offer a hassle-free fully managed buy-to-let option with returns of about 14% annually. “The group has the expertise to maximise the letting of apartments and we will service and maintain the apartment on the owner’s behalf. We will record and account for all lettings. The rental income, less the management charge, will be paid on a monthly basis,” Bostock said. The 15% management fee is not payable if the property is not let. Dubai-based Better Homes has been appointed as the marketing and sales agent for the Bonnington Tower. The tower will feature duplex penthouses on the two uppermost floors besides one, two and three bedroom apartments.

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