Global groups move in on local property boom

Hong Kong trading giant pumps in Dhs440 million to build two-tower Marinascape in the heart of Dubai Marina

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By  Eudore Chand Published  July 17, 2004

Attractive Potential|~|Trident-B1.jpg|~|The Marinascape|~|The on-going boom in Dubai’s construction industry is not only being taken advantage of by local developers like Emaar Properties or Nakheel or even regional financial entities like Kuwait-based International Financial Advisers (IFA) - it is attracting overseas investments from firms such as global trading house, Trident International Holdings. Trident, a Hong Kong headquartered business house, had its first foray into property with the 20-storey Waterfront tower in Dubai launched in June 2003. Its construction has begun at Nakheel’s Jumeirah Lake Towers. Dimension Engineering Consultants are working with main contractor, Larsen & Toubro. Encouraged by the sell-out response for the debut property, the group has now announced a two-tower upscale community development at the belly of Dubai Marina. It will cost some Dhs440 million to build. The financial strength of the group is such that Trident chairman AS Jamal is confident: “We have substantial financial strength. I don’t think there is any need for debt,” Jamal told Construction Week. Trident’s latest community project, Marinascape, will be a premium development spread over 90 000 m2 of prime land at Dubai Marina. It will have two residential towers, the 35-storey Oceanic and the 26-storey Avant, which will offer more than 200 two- and three-bedroom waterfront apartments ranging in size from 180-260 m2. There will also be 13 four-bedroom luxury villas with roof top landscaped terraces and an AquaCentro health club. Architectural firm of Archon Engineering has been retained as consultants. The selection of the main contractor would be done in a few weeks time. Construction is to begin in a couple of months and will be completed by December 2006. “We at Trident are committed to deliver the best residential and investment proposition to the selected few, who are looking at the ‘best of the best’ uncompromised living, and simultaneous investment growth. Our new project Marinascape, will set a new benchmark in luxury living,” said Jamal. The Trident chairman explained that his group is present here with “high seven-digit investments in the UAE”, but it was not into real estate until the Waterfront came along. The group decided to get into property development because: “Dubai as a city is undergoing a positive upward transformation. It has announced mega projects, which further consolidates Dubai’s image on the world map. “The city is poised to become one of the most happening cities in the world in relation to business growth, tourism and trading,” Jamal pointed out. His chief executive, Wazir Ali Daredia, said the development would be of a very high quality. “The word ‘premium’ is widely used, but we justify it,” he claimed adding that the development’s location at the belly of Dubai Marina is exceptional, its high ratio of living space to lifestyle space, its quality recreational facilities like two pools, two gymnasiums, three squash courts, private elevators, branded white goods, 3G homes etc. all make it a premium development. The project will be the regional launch pad for the Infinity Swimming Pool, specially created by designers Hirsch Bedner & Associates and exclusive to Marinascape. The world-renowned firm has also designed the 300 m2 Marinascape lobby, which boasts highly elevated lobby space.||**||Functionality|~|Trident-People-B.jpg|~|People behind the project|~|When we were designing the project, we were very conscious about its functionality. We have designed tremendously advanced automated homes,” added Sadruddin Inayat Ali, Trident managing director. Commenting on the status of the project, Inayat Ali said the shoring and piling bids are in and are being evaluated. The main contracting tender package is out. The project will move in packages. As the earthworks will be done, the main works will start. Completion is by end-2006. The Avant Tower will be 26-storeys tall with a combination of 80 units. Each of the 40 two-bedroom condominiums of about 177 m2 is priced at US $345 000 and up; each three-bedroom of about 236 m2 at $480 000 and up and each of the two penthouses of some 1000 m2 at $1.893 million and up. The Oceanic tower will be 35-storeys tall with 116 units. Each of its 70 two-bedroom condominiums of some 180 m2 will cost $343 000 and up; its 46 three-bedroom units each of about 246 m2 is priced upwards from $456 000. The 13 waterfront villas, Marina Homes, will range in size from about 800 to 945 m2 and will cost $1.3 million up. The project was conceptualised early this year, said Trident CEO Wazir adding that the project has witnessed a costs escalation of between 15-20% over the past seven months due to increases in the prices of raw materials such as steel and cement products. He pointed out that Trident is in talks with a couple of home financing institutions and a scheme should be available shortly. The payment plan is geared to suit buyers, with the largest package to be paid towards the completion of the project. The company has set up a dedicated sales centre at Emarat Atrium on Sheikh Zayed Road, to handle enquiries relating to the new project. It has also authorised eight to ten sales agents. “We stay firm with our commitment to provide homes which people will cherish for their life. We are committed to excel and to introduce new benchmarks in all our business sectors,” added Trident chairman Jamal.||**||

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