Damac to hand over first Akoya villas in Dubai this year

The first villas at the US$6 billion Akoya By Damac development will be delivered by the end of the year, says a senior Damac executive.

The progress on site has made Damac Properties the “busiest developer in Dubai” and the handovers to the buyers will continue until 2020, according to Niall McLoughlin, the firm’s senior vice president.

The Dubai-based developer bought a 42 million square feet plot of land near Arabian Ranches in July 2013.

Within 20 months it secured all the necessary permits, agreed 24 of the 26 main contract packages, and commenced work on 2,400 of the 2,600 villas.

Damac has completed construction of the structures for 1,100 villas, and about 95 per cent of the site’s golf course – designed by Gil Hanse and operated by Trump International – is complete.

About a quarter of the golf course’s clubhouse has also been completed even though the contract to build it was only awarded by Seidco General Contracting three months ago.

Work on six out of 18 clusters of apartment buildings – with 150 homes in each cluster – has been completed. Construction has started on 11 and contracts for the remaining seven are set to be awarded next month.

A substation feeding 75 per cent of the project has been completed and handed over to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. It is expected to be commissioned next month.

Currently, there are around 5,000-6,000 workers on site, but Mr McLoughlin said that this could increase to 30,000-40,000 as more of the clusters of villas and apartments reach fit-out phase.

“We could have 250 contractors on site at any one time,” he said. “There’s 42 million sq ft — and this is our baby one. Akoya Oxygen is bigger.”

He declined to give sales figures at the development, but said that the work done so far is an indication of its popularity as a product.

“We’re not going to do this much if a, we’re not confident of getting people here, but b, that the people who have already purchased continue to pay.

“People are buying and if the market is in turmoil, [they] don’t continue their commitments. We have seen the sales momentum continue in Dubai. In the first three months of this year we recorded Dh2.8bn in sales.”

In its first quarter Dubai market report, the consultancy JLL said that 730 new residential units were delivered during the first three months of 2015 but it expected 22,000 to be handed over by the end of the year.

“However, we remain cautious of the delivery of some projects within the specified time frame,” JLL added.


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