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Why Dubai is selling homes to Kenyans

By Ferdinand Mwongela | Published Thu, March 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 15th 2017 at 22:05 GMT +3
ABOVE: Mona Al Tamimi, VP, marketing and corporate communications for Deyaar Development.

Last month’s’s Deyaar event in Nairobi was billed as showcasing “premium Dubai real estate projects to Kenyan investors”. Could you tell us about some of these projects?

Our main focus was on our premium project, Millennium Deyaar Atria Residences. It is a 30-storey residential tower and a luxury serviced apartment tower in Business Bay — a social and commercial hub with views of the Dubai Water Canal and Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building). The contemporary serviced apartments will be operated by world-renowned hotel operator Millennium & Copthorne. We also had Midtown by Deyaar, the new integrated urban community in Dubai Production City targeting middle-income families as well as Mont Rose project, a two residential towers and a well-appointed hotel-apartment tower at Dubai Science Park in Al Barsha South area.

Why do Dubai developers see Kenya as a source for real estate investors?

Kenya’s strategic location, stable macro-economic environment, and steadily growing affluent class make it an ideal investment target. Kenyans are seeking long-term investment opportunities, and Dubai real estate is considered a safe asset class with a strong return on investment.
Many wealthy Kenyans have properties abroad, and Dubai is second only to London as their top global real estate location. The United Arab Emirate’s tax-free status, and the stable political environment and well-diversified economy, make it a leading overseas investment destination.

Is this your first time marketing your projects to Kenyans?

This was our first roadshow in Kenya. However, in Dubai, we have interacted with Kenyans who are based there. This interest is one of the reasons we decided to market directly at the source.

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How has the interest been from Kenyans so far?

A total of 100 visitors attended the roadshow. We understand that real estate bookings take time to materialise, especially for substantial investments such as we have on offer. Investors need time to review payment plans and organise financing. We expect a good number of inquiries will materialise into sales.

Is there a cap on the stake a foreigner, say Kenyan, can own in a project in Dubai?

There is no limit. Investors are free to invest as much as they like in Dubai as long as the business is legal.

What is your target market/demographic?

We are targeting anyone with the financial means and interest in making serious returns in Dubai, or investing in a home for themselves or family.

How would a Kenyan go about buying into such investments?

We have appointed a sales agent who specialises in selling properties in Dubai. They will provide brochures, videos, payment plans, construction updates and any information needed to help a buyer make a decision.

Are there any other benefits that come with buying into such projects in Dubai?

With the Atria Residences, the investor enjoys a 20-day complimentary stay annually as well as an array of benefits at Millennium hotels in the Middle East and Africa.
In addition to the contractually guaranteed returns an investor would be buying into projects in a safe investment destination. Our project locations are strategic. The Atria is located in Business Bay — a social and commercial hub with views of the Dubai Water Canal. It’s also very near Burj Khalifa. One of the world’s largest shopping malls — The Dubai Mall — is also in the neighbourhood.

What would be the return on investment?

For the Millennium Deyaar Atria Residences, the return is seven per cent per year for the first two years, coming to 14 per cent in total. This is included in the purchase contract.

Should we expect to hear more from Deyaar in Kenya?

Yes. We are buoyed by the interest so far. Our partner in Kenya will carry on with sales and handle inquiries.

Most companies behind mega developments in Dubai are wholly or partially owned by the government. Is this the case with Deyaar?

Deyaar Development is a semi-government company listed on the Dubai Financial Market. Dubai Islamic Bank owns 41 per cent of Deyaar shares


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