Emaar has launched a division to focus on building low-cost homes in the region.
Emaar has launched a division to focus on building low-cost homes in the region.

Emaar aims for low-cost home market



Emaar plans to swap penthouses for affordable housing as the developer of the Burj Khalifa looks to capitalise on the need for 3.5 million affordable homes in the Middle East.

Tomorrow's exclusives tonight:

Industry Insights e-newsletter Stay ahead of the pack and get the pick of the premium Business content straight to your inbox. Sign up

Known for its luxury master-planned developments, Emaar has launched a division to focus on building low-cost homes in the region.

The unit, Dawahi Developments, will operate as a separate entity with its own management and staff, Emaar said yesterday.

"The public sector alone cannot bridge the gap for value housing across the wider region," said Mohammed Alabbar, the Emaar chairman.

But there are challenges to the business, analysts say. Land prices remain high in many countries and mortgages are unavailable to many potential buyers.

"There is definitely demand from people who need accommodations," said Craig Plumb, the director of research for the property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.

"The challenge is to produce product that matches people's ability to pay."

Other large developers have entered the market, including Orascom in Egypt, with mixed results.

"The consensus is that no one has come up with a business model that works yet," Mr Plumb said.

But delivering affordable housing constitutes one of the major opportunities for the property industry. Demand could quickly grow beyond the 3.5 million homes, according to Jones Lang LaSalle research, and is expected to increase faster than supply in the next five years.

"There's a growing and young population [in the region], and the age at which people tend to leave home at the moment is going up," said Nicholas Maclean, the managing director of the property services company CB Richard Ellis.

But financing is still an issue, with lenders wary of supporting large-scale housing projects.

"Developers must prove that such projects will be profitable in order to secure financing from banks and investors," Mr Maclean said. "Homebuyers, meanwhile, need mortgages from banks accustomed to financing more expensive properties."

Dawahi will develop "master development design incubation and programme management to develop 'value housing' projects across the wider Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region," Emaar said yesterday.

The projects will focus on the Middle East's "emerging middle class". The number of families in the region with annual incomes of more than Dh100,000 (US$27,224) is expected to double to 28 million by 2025, Emaar noted.

The plan is to develop full-scale communities with education, medical, retail and entertainment facilities. The new company will target "mid-price points", creating a new category of homes.

Emaar did not specify which markets it would target for its first projects. But it already has operations in several of the markets where demand is highest.

More than 1.5 million homes are needed for Egypt, 500,000 in Morocco and 400,000 in Saudi Arabia, according to Jones Lang LaSalle estimates.

Emaar has been winning support from analysts in recent weeks for its ability to diversify away from its core Dubai market. Last week, Arqaam Capital initiated coverage with a "buy" recommendation, noting the company's "balance sheet protection against UAE property market dynamics, relative to peers".

* additional reporting by Asa Fitch

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo

The specs: 2018 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Price, base / as tested: Dh182,178
Engine: 3.7-litre V6
Power: 350hp @ 7,400rpm
Torque: 374Nm @ 5,200rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
​​​​​​​Fuel consumption, combined: 10.5L / 100km

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Rating: 4/5

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo and 3.6-litre V6
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Power: 235hp and 310hp
Torque: 258Nm and 271Nm
Price: From Dh185,100

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

The Cairo Statement

1: Commit to countering all types of terrorism and extremism in all their manifestations

2: Denounce violence and the rhetoric of hatred

3: Adhere to the full compliance with the Riyadh accord of 2014 and the subsequent meeting and executive procedures approved in 2014 by the GCC

4: Comply with all recommendations of the Summit between the US and Muslim countries held in May 2017 in Saudi Arabia.

5: Refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of countries and of supporting rogue entities.

6: Carry out the responsibility of all the countries with the international community to counter all manifestations of extremism and terrorism that threaten international peace and security

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

How to help

Send “thenational” to the following numbers or call the hotline on: 0502955999
2289 – Dh10
2252 – Dh 50
6025 – Dh20
6027 – Dh 100
6026 – Dh 200

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 720hp

Torque: 770Nm

Price: Dh1,100,000

On sale: now

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Pakistanis at the ILT20

The new UAE league has been boosted this season by the arrival of five Pakistanis, who were not released to play last year.

Shaheen Afridi (Desert Vipers)
Set for at least four matches, having arrived from New Zealand where he captained Pakistan in a series loss.

Shadab Khan (Desert Vipers)
The leg-spin bowling allrounder missed the tour of New Zealand after injuring an ankle when stepping on a ball.

Azam Khan (Desert Vipers)
Powerhouse wicketkeeper played three games for Pakistan on tour in New Zealand. He was the first Pakistani recruited to the ILT20.

Mohammed Amir (Desert Vipers)
Has made himself unavailable for national duty, meaning he will be available for the entire ILT20 campaign.

Imad Wasim (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders)
The left-handed allrounder, 35, retired from international cricket in November and was subsequently recruited by the Knight Riders.

Law 41.9.4 of men’s T20I playing conditions

The fielding side shall be ready to start each over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed.
An electronic clock will be displayed at the ground that counts down seconds from 60 to zero.
The clock is not required or, if already started, can be cancelled if:
• A new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
• An official drinks interval has been called.
• The umpires have approved the on field treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
• The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
• The third umpire starts the clock either when the ball has become dead at the end of the previous over, or a review has been completed.
• The team gets two warnings if they are not ready to start overs after the clock reaches zero.
• On the third and any subsequent occasion in an innings, the bowler’s end umpire awards five runs.

Places to go for free coffee
  • Cherish Cafe Dubai, Dubai Investment Park, are giving away free coffees all day. 
  • La Terrace, Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai, are serving their first 50 guests one coffee and four bite-sized cakes
  • Wild & The Moon will be giving away a free espresso with every purchase on International Coffee Day
  • Orange Wheels welcome parents are to sit, relax and enjoy goodies at ‘Café O’ along with a free coffee
The specs

Engine: 4-cylinder 2.0L TSI
Transmission: Dual clutch 7-speed
Power: 320HP / 235kW
Torque: 400Nm
Price: from $49,709
On sale: now

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre flat-six
Power: 525hp (GT3), 500hp (GT4)
Torque: 465Nm (GT3), 450Nm (GT4)
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Price: From Dh944,000 (GT3), Dh581,700 (GT4)
On sale: Now


On The Money

Make money work for you with news and expert analysis

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      On The Money