Dubai's AHS Properties plans to launch $850 million project in Dubai

Exclusive: Developer is optimistic about the luxury property market in the emirate as prices continue to increase, its chief executive says

Abbas Sajwani, founder and chief executive of AHS Properties. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Dubai's AHS Properties plans to launch a $850 million project next month amid higher demand for luxury property in the emirate, its founder and chief executive has said.

The Casa Canal project along Dubai Water Canal will have a mix of boutique residences, including three-bedroom penthouses, four and five-bedroom “sky” villas and six-bedroom “sky” mansions and palaces.

The units are priced between Dh22.5 million ($6.12 million) and Dh185 million and the project is set to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2025, Abbas Sajwani told The National in an interview.

The project was designed by Shaun Killa, the brains behind the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

“Casa Canal is our biggest project to date and is 70 per cent sold even before it was launched,” Mr Sajwani said.

Mr Sajwani is the son of Damac founder Hussain Sajwani and launched AHS in 2021 to capitalise on the growing demand for luxury property in Dubai.

The company launched two projects worth $650 million last year, which were fully sold out. Casa Canal is the third major project for the company and it plans to launch a few more projects next year.

AHS has a portfolio worth about $1.5 billion currently and is funding projects through its own cash reserves.

Demand for luxury property continues to rise in the emirate, spurred by government initiatives such as residency permits for retired and remote workers and a wider economic recovery from a coronavirus-induced increase in oil prices.

The total number of $10 million home sales in Dubai hit a record high of 277 in the first nine months of the year, according to a study by global consultancy Knight Frank.

The emirate registered a 40.7 per cent annual jump in the volume of residential sales valued at more than $10 million in the third quarter of 2023.

The volume of homes priced at more than $10 million in Dubai – the commercial and tourism centre of the Middle East – stood at more than $1.59 billion in the July-September period, the report said.

Dubai also maintained pole position in the Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index, with its luxury property prices rising by 48.8 per cent in the first half of the year.

Luxury property prices in Dubai have soared by 225 per cent after hitting a pandemic-induced low in the third quarter of 2020.

“Price appreciation will continue to go on as the demand is still very strong,” Mr Sajwani said.

“You have millions and billions of people around areas such as ... Europe, Russia, other Arab countries [and] China, and a lot of people want to move to Dubai from all these spaces. So, I think the demand will continue,” he said.

Europeans have been the biggest buyers of the company's property as they are moving to the emirate “full time, not just buying as a secondary home”, Mr Sajwani added.

“We have seen a huge influx of Europeans for the last two years, and they continue to see the benefits of Dubai and what it has to offer.”

Last year Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the Dubai 2040 Urban Plan, an outline of how the emirate will be developed over the next 20 years.

It envisaged large-scale changes to the landscape and skyline and paved the way for the next major residential and economic developments in the city.

The master plan also calls for the development of a “20-minute city” – giving residents access to 80 per cent of their daily needs and destinations within 20 minutes on foot or by bicycle.

Mr Sajwani said there was no competition with Damac and both companies “complement” each other.

“We have a certain niche that we focus on, which is I would say the ultra-super luxury units and that's what we want to stick to focusing on.”

Damac is one of the biggest property developers in the region, with projects in the UAE, Lebanon, the UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It also built the Middle East’s only Trump-branded golf course in Dubai.

“My father is my biggest inspiration and he is also my adviser; before doing anything, I take his advice.”

AHS aims to expand to other countries but has no plans to go public.

“We would like to do something in London because it has a good appetite for super luxury as well. We don't want to move away from our target audience or target clientele of super luxury.”

The company is also considering Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, as it is a “very hot market today and we see it as a growing market as well”.

AHS began its journey with three villa projects in Palm Jumeirah and sold them for a combined value of about $75 million. It also did a villa project in Emirates Hills that was sold for $45 million recently.

“So, that was our focus two years ago, then early in 2022, we saw that there was a good market for luxury penthouses. So, we started off by buying our first land in the Palm and then at Canal, decided to continue in this field,” said Mr Sajwani.

“We are satisfied with the way we have grown in the last few years.”

Updated: October 17, 2023, 5:47 AM