Danube focus on affordable homes boosts sales and turnover

Danube Group reported an 83 per cent increase in turnover last year to Dh5.1 billion, partly buoyed by property sales.

The Dubai-based group’s founder and chairman, Rizwan Sajan, attributed the growth of the company to the success of Danube Properties – the affordable homes development arm of the business that was launched in mid-2014.

A focus on middle-income housing has helped to boost the overall real estate project value of Danube Properties to about Dh1.8bn, according to the company, despite an overall decline in Dubai house prices.

The company launched four projects in the Al Furjan community – Glitz I, II and III, and the Ritz by Danube, now renamed Starz by Danube – last year. Mr Sajan has said that he anticipates launching “three to four” residential projects every year.

“We started the properties division with a clear focus on affordable housing segment,” said Mr Sajan. “We identified the gap that existed in the market, which was too focused on luxury and super-luxury segments.”

Last week, the company launched its sixth project, the Dh300 million Glamz Danube. Mr Sajan said that he was in talks to acquire more land plots that would enable two further schemes to be brought to market this year – one ahead of September’s Cityscape Global conference in Dubai and another before the end of the year.

“We believe that if a project is offered at right price, at right payment terms and at right location, there’ll always be buyers in the market,” said Mr Sajan.

On the retail side of the group’s business, Mr Sajan said that he plans to invest Dh200m into six new stores, bringing the total in its network to 50. He is also forecasting a growth of 15 to 20 per cent this year for the group’s building materials business.

A real estate report published by the Dubai-based lender Mashreq yesterday forecast further declines in Dubai house prices throughout this year as more supply is built.

“Close to 50,000 units are scheduled to enter the market over the following two years, representing a 10 per cent increase over existing supply,” the report said. “In the near term, subdued growth and transactional activity anticipated over the following 12 months offers an opportune environment to source discounted acquisitions.”


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