Dubai-based ACUBE Real Estate Development will significantly increase its project launches in 2024 and 205 in anticipation of sustained demand for high-quality residential and commercial properties.

“Our development strategy for 2024 and 2025 is poised for significant growth. In addition to the ongoing Adhara Star development, we have plans to launch one more substantial project by the end of 2023,” Ramjee Iyer, Chairman and Managing Director of ACUBE, told Zawya Projects.

The architect and engineer consultant for Adhara Star is Engineer Adnan Saffarini.

Furthermore, the company is committed to launching three to four luxury apartment projects every year in 2024 and 2025.

“At present, our focus remains on Dubai development projects. We will achieve our current development targets first before we explore other markets,” Iyer added.

Ramjee Iyer, Chairman and Managing Director, ACUBE Real Estate Development
Ramjee Iyer, Chairman and Managing Director, ACUBE Real Estate Development
Ramjee Iyer, Chairman and Managing Director, ACUBE Real Estate Development

Excerpts from the interview:

What market factors compelled you to launch Adhara Star in Arjan?

The decision to launch Adhara Star in Arjan was influenced by several key market factors. Firstly, Arjan is strategically located within Dubai South, which is a rapidly developing area with excellent road connectivity and access to key infrastructure and transportation hubs. This location has witnessed increasing demand for high-quality residential properties due to its proximity to major business districts and commercial centers.

Secondly, Dubai’s status as a global business and leisure destination continues to attract local and international investors and residents. The market trend has been shifting towards well-designed, modern, and sustainable living spaces, aligning perfectly with ACUBE’s vision of creating exceptional living experiences. Furthermore, our market research indicated a gap in the market for fully furnished and fitted units with high-end finishes, which Adhara Star aims to address.

When did you acquire the land for the project? Are you now seeing an increase in land price in the master development?

We acquired the land for Adhara Star in 2022. With regards to land prices in the master development, it’s important to note that the real estate market can experience fluctuations due to a number of factors, including demand, supply, and economic conditions of the market. While we have seen some fluctuations, we continuously analyse and adapt our strategies to ensure our projects remain competitive and economically viable.

What is the tendering timeline for Adhara Star?

The timeline for issuing and awarding of tenders for Adhara Star’s enabling and main contracts is contingent on specific project milestones and requirements. Our paramount objective is to execute these processes efficiently, ensuring the project’s successful delivery, with the handover slated for the first quarter of 2025. 

Are you seeing an increase in construction costs in the UAE?

Construction costs can fluctuate in any market due to factors such as material prices and supply, labour availability, and market dynamics. While we monitor these costs closely, we proactively manage them by employing efficient construction techniques, sourcing materials strategically, and optimising project timelines. Our goal is to maintain the highest quality in our construction processes while managing costs effectively to ensure project feasibility.

What will be the sustainable elements of the project? 

Adhara Star incorporates various sustainable elements that align with our commitment to environmentally responsible development. The project will include energy-efficient lighting and appliances, reducing energy consumption and lowering utility costs for residents. We will install water-saving fixtures to minimise water usage, contributing to water conservation efforts.

While specific materials may vary, we continuously evaluate and incorporate eco-friendly and sustainable construction materials into our projects to reduce our environmental footprint. Our landscaping design aims to create a green and serene environment, enhancing the project’s overall sustainability and aesthetic appeal. 

Do you have insights to share in terms of technology and construction process for this project?

Technology plays a significant role in our construction processes, and we are committed to embracing innovation. We utilise Building Information Modeling (BIM) for precise project planning, coordination, and design, ensuring seamless communication among project stakeholders and minimising errors during construction. We are also exploring modular construction methods to enhance efficiency and reduce construction timelines while maintaining high-quality standards.

AI-driven project management tools are being employed to streamline project scheduling, resource allocation, and decision-making, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget.

ACUBE Real Estate Development has stated that it aims to develop and sell 1 million square feet by 2025. Can you share the possible breakup in 2024 and 2025?

In addition to the Adhara Star, which has a built-up area of 227,000 square feet, we have ambitious plans to launch one more substantial [residential] project by the end of 2023. This upcoming project will be considerably larger in scale than Adhara Star, marking a significant milestone in our portfolio expansion. Furthermore, we are committed to launching three to four luxury apartment projects annually in 2024 and 2025.

These initiatives collectively position us to achieve our target of developing and selling one million square feet by 2025, contributing to our vision of reshaping the concept of modern living through innovation and sustainability. 

How much landbank do you own in Dubai/UAE? 

We have access to enough land to fulfill our business plans for the next three years. Considering the upward trend of land requirements in Dubai, we will potentially acquire more land while remaining receptive to joint venture opportunities with existing landowners to develop projects jointly. 

How do you plan to fund your projects?

Our projects are self-funded. ACUBE Real Estate also benefits from the financial strength and stability of our parent company, ACUBE SFO DMCC, whose expertise extends to the construction and management of complex industrial projects, including offshore oil rigs and underwater infrastructure.

Our internal funding approach gives us flexibility and the capital resources needed to execute our development plans effectively. By relying on our own capital, we maintain greater control over project timelines, quality, and execution, ensuring that our commitment to excellence remains unwavering.

We are considering future collaboration with other venture capital funds once our current business plan and model achieve success and we can assure investors that we can deliver value. 

What is your outlook on the real estate market in the UAE, particularly Dubai, over the next two years?

Our outlook for the UAE real estate market, particularly Dubai, over the next two years remains optimistic. Dubai continues to be a dynamic global business and tourism hub with a strong commitment to infrastructure development and economic diversification. We anticipate sustained demand for high-quality residential and commercial properties, driven by both local and international investors.

It is also important to consider Dubai and the UAE’s dynamic population growth, which continues to rise. For example, Dubai’s population increased by 100,000 residents last year and this trend is expected to continue as more people realise the benefits of living and investing in the world’s safest and happiest city. 

(Reporting by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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