A case of second time lucky for Dubai developer

The UAE’s property market is never closed when it comes to trying your chances. A near 10 years after he first made an attempt at becoming a developer, Noor Mukaty is getting a second chance.

The owner of a property brokerage firm — Aeon & Trisl — Mukaty has entered a joint venture with Pakistan’s Lucky group to launch a mid-rise project at Jumeirah Village Circle. The partners in Lucky Aeon are looking at a development cost of around Dh60 million to Dh65 million and sales proceeds of Dh100 million.

“The aim is to rely on our own equity to build the project and not be distracted by launching sales or trying to part-fund through the proceeds,” said Mukaty. “It’s only a mid-sized project and if we can maintain a tight construction schedule — of 18-24 months — that should keep our costs in check.

“That’s the reason why we will not be launching sales — in fact, we will decide on unit sales much closer to the completion. We do not want our cash requirements to be determined by market forces.”

It is quite a different set of circumstances from Mukaty’s experience a decade ago. He had bought a plot in Ajman at the tail end of the real estate boom and was all set to launch a project. That is when the financial crisis came on and nothing ever came out of that investment. “I do not even know what the status of the plot is,” said Mukaty.

“But now, even with a market in correction, there are certain factors that remain favourable. Dubai’s still the property market to be for a lot of overseas investors from within the region and near it.” This is where he hopes to leverage the client database generated by Aeon & Trisl since 2012.

“About 80 per cent of our sales come from retail clients — anything on and off Shaikh Zayed Road is doing well,” Mukaty added.

According to Gul Tabba of Lucky Group and joint venture partner in LuckyAeon, “We want to take real estate development in Dubai step by step. By launching in JVC, we are gaining an identity — the next logical move would be to build up a land bank. There are lots of land available — Dubai South, Dubai Healthcare City, etc.

“In Pakistan, we have interests in infrastructure and textiles apart from some real estate. This is the first time we have joined hands on a development — I’ve been an investor in Dubai property since 2002. For a joint venture, we wanted to come in a secure way by employing our own funds.”

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