Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Dubai developer bills new housing district as the perfect retirement destination

Majid Al Futtaim’s Tilal Al Ghaf district will open to residents in 2022

A new community in Dubai is being sold as a perfect place for people to spend their retirement.

The emirate has long been known for its transitory nature, with a large turnover of residents from all over the world.

Now developer Majid Al Futtaim is banking on that changing as families look to put roots down and buy homes in which to retire – in its housing district Tilal Al Ghaf.

This month, Dubai’s government announced non-GCC citizens would be able to live in the emirate long-term, providing certain conditions were met.

Arun Tuli, 62, from India, and his Canadian wife Neeka, 59, plan on taking advantage of the new visas.

I’m looking forward to playing with my grandchildren here

Neeka Tuli, who bought a four-bed townhouse

“It was a very easy decision to decide to buy property here,” said Mr Tuli, who runs his own air-conditioning company in Dubai.

“We’re planning to spend our retirement living here. We both had a strong feeling that this was the perfect place to set up a home.”

Applicants for the visa must be aged 55 or up and hold valid health insurance.

They must also have a monthly income of Dh20,000; have Dh1 million in cash savings; or own Dh2m worth of property in Dubai.

The Tulis were bought one of 900 three and four-bedroom townhouses in the first phase of the project.

Known as Elan, the community will span three million square metres when complete, with the keys set to be handed over in 2022.

Homes include bungalows, townhouses and larger villas ranging from Dh1.3 million to Dh1.9m .

Ms Tuli said she and her husband chose a four-bedroom townhouse so they could spend time with their grandchildren.

One of the most distinctive features of Tilal Al Ghaf is a seven-kilometre lagoon.

“The vastness of the area means it’s a great place to walk about in,” said Ms Tuli, a teacher.

“I’m looking forward to playing with my grandchildren here – everything about it is so relaxing.”

While a laid-back retirement community sounds like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle that people associate with Dubai, there are still more than a few nods to the city’s reputation as a futuristic hub.

One of those examples is a robot shaped like a jet fighter that is assigned the task of cleaning the lagoon, which is still under construction.

So far demand has been high.

Hawazen Esber, chief executive of communities at Majid Al Futtaim, said that all 900 units in the first phase have been sold.

Hawazen Esber, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Communities. Reem Mohammed / The National 
Hawazen Esber, chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Communities. Reem Mohammed / The National 

“Tilal Al Ghaf is a place of longevity where generations of families will grow up,” he said.

“If people want to retire in Dubai this is the perfect place.”

He said he was confident that demand for the project will continue to grow, despite the financial impact of the pandemic.

“Despite the global disruption of the pandemic, we have seen high optimism, particularly at Tilal Al Ghaf which saw a phased release of units being sold out in mid-February, and again just this month,” he said.

“Our changing reality has increased concerns among our buyers. As such, all our communities are designed so that all our residents’ needs, whether school, retail, or community centres, are just a few steps away.”

In recent years, other developers have sought to wow potential homeowners with grand designs and even free cars with purchases.

“It’s not in our USP to plant the Eiffel Tower in the middle of a community. We are giving people what they want,” Mr Esber said.

“We have created a destination where people have a sense of belonging.”

But he is not limiting the target market to couples looking at retirement destinations.

“It is a family-focused community that will appeal to a diverse range of cultures, age groups, and nationalities,” he said.

“The neighbourhood provides the modern family with an authentic sense of belonging; where people can connect, socialise and unwind.”

He points to the amenities that will be available in Tilal Al Ghaf as an indication as to why people will be excited about the project, close to Motor City in Dubai.

He said there will be a school within nine minutes’ walking distance by the time people have moved into the district.

Other features include a white sand beach, an 18km cycling and jogging lane and tree trails.

Updated: September 21, 2020 07:30 PM

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