Omniyat expects Dh5 billion in sales as it launches Orla project on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah

The developer is aiming to create more 'unique' projects amid a booming property market

Mahdi Amjad, founder and executive chairman of Omniyat, with a model of the Orla development by Omniyat in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Luxury developer Omniyat is expecting sales worth approximately Dh5 billion ($1.36 billion) from Orla, its new development on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah.

The company has also set its sights on more projects in Dubai, having just unveiled its latest development on one of the most prime pieces of land in the city.

Orla, Dorchester Collection, at the apex of Palm Jumeirah's crescent, has been designed by Foster + Partners and will be managed by the hospitality brand Dorchester Collection.

The development has one of the highest sales values of any similar plot, Mahdi Amjad, founder and executive chairman of Omniyat, told The National in an interview.

While more than 60 per cent of the 86 units at Orla — which start from Dh22 million — are either booked or sold, Mr Amjad said, Omniyat is ready to bring a new level of luxury to the market next year.

“Omniyat was always the driver of extreme luxury from the beginning in 2005,” he said. “We were the most unique in the city and that was our vision. Our drive and foundation are what drove us to work with Zaha Hadid for our first building.”

“We are not foreigners to uber luxury, we are definers of that space. I’m glad to see the city is now an attraction for the uber-luxury customers. When it comes to uber luxury Omniyat will continue to define with the type of portfolio. The higher the market goes, you will see us producing higher than that,” Mr Amjad added.

“In 2023, we will be producing more unique buildings than we have done to date. Unique by Omniyat means prime location, exceptional architecture and it is tailored for a specific customer segment that gives them an ultimate experience.

“Those pillars will remain the same and we will just make sure they go higher and higher and inspire our customer base,” he said.

With a limited amount of space remaining on Palm Jumeirah, there was competition for the plot.

“There is always competition for prime plots in the city,” Mr Amjad said. “Location is very important to me, and we wanted to make sure we got one of the first plots as you go on the crescent to the left.

“We love the Crescent area as it’s tranquil and we wanted to create the next building for Omniyat to become a resort and lifestyle residential building.

“We could not have chosen a better spot because it enjoys a beautiful horizon of the city and the beach, it has quietness and calmness and is just two, three, four minutes to Sheikh Zayed Road depending on the time of day.”

The launch of Orla has come against the backdrop of a booming property market, especially in the prime sector. Prices have risen amid the wider economic recovery in the UAE following the pandemic, and a shortage of prime supply in Dubai.

Dubai's prime residential market is set for the world's strongest growth next year, according to a new report by Knight Frank.

Prices are likely to end the year about 50 per cent higher than in 2021, it said, while they are projected to grow a further 13.5 per cent next year.

Records have been broken this year for transaction numbers, highest sales price and highest rental price.

Omniyat has seen its Residences Dorchester Collection in the Business Bay area, One at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection and AVA at Palm Jumeirah Dorchester Collection, all sell out.

The Orla project, meanwhile, will also include three sky palaces and Omniyat's first mansion, which will sit on a dedicated beach frontage of about 50m. It will have the Dorchester Collection service as well.

While Mr Amjad would not reveal a potential price for the mansion and whether it will set a record for Dubai, he said: “We would like to break the record for experience and quality and let the price speak for itself.”

Construction on Orla is set to be announced before the end of the year and Omniyat is aiming for completion in the first half of 2026.

Dubai has “finally managed to achieve the recognition that it well deserves from the uber luxury segment of the world,” Mr Amjad said.

“That’s a combination of the city’s performance post-Covid and failures of other capital cities of the world to satisfy its customers that has resulted in the delta in the luxury section of the market, which I think is sustainable.”

He said he expects overall global financial pressures and interest rate rises to have an impact on the market in the short term but added that Omniyat's projects “are still priced competitively for price per square foot compared to Singapore or London and are good value for money”.

Dubai has been ranked as the world leader for branded residences, according to a recent study by property adviser Savills. It has more than 40 completed branded residences, with a pipeline set to take that number beyond 70.

The Dorchester Collection — which in addition to its residences in Dubai and London runs nine hotels around the world — has experienced its best year in 2022, chief executive Christopher Cowdray told The National.

He said that it expects 2023 to exceed this year's positive trading and expects Omniyat's Orla to be “a magnet to discerning buyers looking for world-class amenities and legendary experiences”.

“Dubai is a highly attractive market to residential buyers, due to its successful tourism and trading positioning,” he said.

“Orla will also undoubtedly sit among the best residences in Dubai, especially given that it is designed by Foster + Partners and on a superb beachfront plot at the apex of Palm Jumeirah’s crescent with 270-degree views of the skyline and Arabian Gulf.”

Updated: December 01, 2022, 5:16 AM