Nakheel cuts service charges, Saudi plans worlds tallest building

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Eid Mubarak!

The Middle Eastern property market is trying to defy the global gloom as Nakheel, the Dubai based developer, plans to deliver 7,714 units through its various project by the end of next year. This is welcome news in an industry recently dominated by developers canning projects or putting them on hold. Nakheel Chairman, Ali Rashied Lootah commented that they plan to start construction on a new phase of Villas on the iconic Jumeirah Palm which shows a growing confidence in the Emirate.

Nakheel, which is now wholly owned by the Dubai Government, also revealed that it has slashed its service charges by up to 30%, which will obviously come as a relief to both residential and business occupiers. This is due to a “value engineering, negotiation and renegotiation of service provider contracts” said Lootah.

Elsewhere in the Emirates, RAK Properties have handed over the first of 214 Villas at the Mina Al Arab development in Ras Al Khaimah. The beach front Villas are for the more athletic amongst us as the development boasts jogging tracks, tennis courts, children’s play areas and swimming pools. RAK Properties have also handed over the luxurious 43 floor RAK tower.

Meanwhile, across the border in Saudi Arabia another type of development is being proposed. Seven Mosques in the Holy City of Makkah are being considered to help with the overcrowding of worshippers in the Grand Mosque. The proposals will increase the capacity in the city to 2.5 million worshipers at a cost of 80 Billion Saudi Riyals (£13bn/$21.3bn).

Plans are progressing to build the worlds tallest tower in Saudi Arabia. The 1 kilometre tower is being designed by Adrian Smith. Smith, the designer of the Burj Khalifa, currently the worlds tallest building, recently gave a telephone interview and commented on its design to counter nature. One of the biggest concerns is the winds that reach 120mph at the top of the tower and how to reduce the swaying. The building will rise from three separate bases in continuous slopes which will help balance the weight and stabilise it against the wind. “Wind is the enemy of tall buildings”, Smith said. Kingdom Tower will be 50 floors higher than the Burj Khalifa.

Occupancy might not be something that keeps the designer up at night but Saudi officials will have been watching the Burj Khalifa closely, where rental prices had to be slashed by up to 40%. However, tall building are “about making a statement and not addressing any real needs in the market," said Majid Azzam, a real-estate analyst at AlembicHC Securities in Dubai.”

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