Deyaar Development yesterday announced plans for a 1.25 million square foot luxury hospitality and housing scheme.
Deyaar said that it would spend Dh900 million developing 350 serviced apartments and 219 apartments at The Atria project, a twin-tower scheme in Dubai’s Business Bay area.
The developer said it would start selling off-plan apartments in the scheme on Saturday and had appointed Middle East Foundation to start work on construction next week.
The international interior design company Yoo has been charged with designing the apartments, which will be its first foray into the Dubai market.
Yoo has worked with designers including Philippe Starck, Jade Jagger and Steve Leung to furnish luxury pads on 55 projects across 27 countries.
“This project will be a new village,” said John Hitchcox, the co-founder of Yoo.
Deyaar, which was initially formed as the property management arm of Dubai Islamic Bank then floated on the Dubai Financial Market, has developed homes and offices in the Business Bay area, which has taken longer to recover from the crisis than other parts of Dubai.
The company, which was hit hard by the downturn, announced in 2011 that it would switch its focus from property development to growing its property and facility management operation.
But in recent months Deyaar has indicated it plans to move its focus back towards developing hotel apartments in Dubai.
“Deyaar is back,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Qatami, the Deyaar chief executive. “We are the biggest developer in Business Bay and we are trying to add to this history.”
Deyaar’s decision is part of a wider move from developers in Business Bay to convert buildings in what was intended to be the largest office district in the Middle East initially into flats and hotels.
A rival Dubai-based developer, Damac, is converting thousands of square feet of its planned office towers into serviced apartments, and Emaar is also developing hundreds of new serviced apartments in the area.
Deyaar said that the scheme had been originally earmarked for offices but had been redesigned as flats and hotel apartments because of market conditions.
“The market has changed,” said Mr Al Qatami. “Most of Deyaar’s land bank was designed as offices but a lot has changed since then.”
This month Deyaar said that it had decided to develop up to 1 million square feet for hotel and serviced apartment projects in Dubai as it attempts to diversify its development portfolio beyond commercial and residential properties.
It said the new schemes would be located in areas such as Business Bay along Sheikh Zayed Road and sites located in proximity to the proposed venue for the Expo 2020 along Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed road.
Deyaar also said that it was seeking to grow its hospitality portfolio, both organically and inorganically through acquisitions.
The company said it plans to allow foreigners to begin investing in its shares and to hold up to 25 per cent of its share capital.
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