Danube Properties is back in offplan launch mode with Dh1.5b in planned Dubai projects

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All set to welcome homeowners… Danube Properties’ Bayz tower at Business Bay has the developer go all out on bespoke materials and the fine touch. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Danube Properties is all set to sign off on three new projects in Dubai for a combined Dh1.5 billion, including an extensively re-designed residential community on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.

“There’s no reason to hold back on launches – and offplan sales – forever,” said Atif Rahman, Director and Partner at the real estate arm of Danube Group. “It won’t make sense for developers to keep waiting for demand and supply to balance – sometimes it’s good to make things happen.”

Over the last two years, developers in Dubai have been relatively quiet with launches, as worries grew that the thousands of new homes added will create an excess of supply and add to the price falls. This year, another 30,000 plus homes should be ready.

But in recent weeks property sales – especially completed homes – picked up significantly and could soon extend to offplan sales. This is why developers like Danube want to be ready with new projects when investors come calling.

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Atif Rahman of Danube Properties: “With our projects, we will do all the planning, the designs. Signing up an overseas architectural firm will not make much sense – they wouldn’t have the feel of what the local homeowner will need.” Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Stick to affordable

One of the projects being launched is a community off Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. It was in 2019 that Danube had initially spoken about launching this one. Rahman reckons now is a good time to bring to the front, though with significant changes.

“We went in for a total revamp on the design and masterplan from what was deemed attractive for homeowners two years ago,” said Rahman. “We updated the product to be right for the times – that means more internal space, more areas for fitness activities, lots of green.”

The one thing Danube has no intention to do is upscale its upcoming projects. Of late, villas and townhouses are hot property in Dubai, finding buyers at seemingly faster rates than apartments.

Rahman acknowledges that there are buyers going gaga over villas and townhouses,” he added. “That’s still a limited segment of the market – we foresee a shift to affordable apartments happening soon. Developers though will have to give far more thought to space planning than was the case two years ago. Today’s buyer requirements are totally different – for developers it’s a fight to achieve better.”

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The Bayz at Business Bay… First homeowners will move in from next month. The Dh450 million development will enjoy the flagship status in the Danube portfolio. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Portfolio needs a reload

Danube’s portfolio stands at 14 projects, of which nine are delivered, including the Dh450 million G+29 storey Bayz at Business Bay. In terms of feel and location, Bayz has been quite a step up for Danube, which has focused on emerging freehold locations for the bulk of its work. The other delivery is for the Miraclz in Al Barsha South.

“So far, we are seeing very little secondary market activity for units at these two projects,” he added. “As with other of our projects, we are able to attract end-users. That plays to our strengths – it’s the same formula we will use in the upcoming three launches.”

An overseas trip?

Beyond Dubai – yes, Danube has plans for such a move.

And North America could be where the Dubai developer is headed for its first project outside of this city. “It’s not as difficult as it seems,” said Atif Rahman. “We have the experience to build, we can take those lessons to any overseas market. We are just waiting for the right time.”

To be decided

Whether the launches happen immediately or wait until after summer is to be finalized. After the community, the next will be a high-rise. Rahman is quick to emphasise it’s not going to be a standard-issue residential tower.

“One thing I can assure is that it will not be a plain vanilla vertical,” he said. “We found the right location to try something different.

“I personally feel the city needs more of communities. As a developer we intend to let homeowners decide what they want. We build to their needs.”