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SLS residents can enjoy loft-style living and the highest infinity pools in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Think uber-modern and hyper cool. Think spectacular modern branded units with jaw-dropping views, uniquely designed hotel apartments and hotel rooms, infinity pools on the 75th floor at 325 metres, globally famous culinary concepts, a mixology lounge and a signature rooftop day club lounge and nightlife venue. If Dubai has always been synonymous with luxury, then here’s a twist on what you can expect in one of Dubai’s tallest hotels and residences.

The Dubai-based luxury real estate developer, World of Wonders Real Estate Development (WOW RED), has partnered with leading international hospitality and entertainment group, sbe, to build the first flagship SLS brand in Dubai and the region. The $550 million (Dh2 billion) SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences will open its doors in the third quarter of next year and is now 73 per cent complete. The project topped out at 75 floors in April.

The tower, one of the tallest hotels and residences in Dubai, brings in a whole new concept of luxury living and boutique hospitality to the emirate.

Setting standards

“This is a new and exciting residential and lifestyle concept that has attracted international attention to Dubai’s growing and maturing real estate sector. It will set the standard for future luxury residential and hotel developments both in the city and across the region,” explains Yahya Alkan, CEO of WOW RED.

The reasons for choosing Dubai, Alkan says, is because the emirate “is synonymous with lifestyle brands and SLS matches the luxury that Dubai offers”.

Osman Celiker, director of development, WOW RED, says, “By bringing the SLS brand to Dubai, we have added a twist on luxury. Such a 360-degree lifestyle and entertainment brand was missing in Dubai and the offerings are truly unique. Luxury is a concept, it is not something tangible. The SLS brand will change the dynamics of the hospitality and residential sector.”

The focus is on lifestyle here and the design of the tower (managed by international architecture firm Aedas and interior design firm Bishop Design) takes inspiration from the module of an Oriel, a distinct aspect of mid-century classic architecture. The building’s façade has a unique character that brings to mind a “honeycomb” where each module of the double-ceiling vertical community is built by rotating the geometry of the units by 45 degrees in four different axes. The result is breathtaking views and a privacy between neighbouring units as well as neighbouring towers.

Alkan explains, “We have offered terraces in the units that extend into your living area and make the outdoors a part of your living space.” While the ceilings are 3.1m, the sliding doors are 3m in height and from the terraces residents can enjoy views of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Creek, Meydan and Dubai Canal.

Location

The tower is in the Downtown district, strategically located 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, 15 minutes from the iconic Burj Al Arab, five minutes from DIFC and the upcoming Meydan One Mall and only three minutes to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. It offers studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom lofts, one-bedroom simplex and one- and two-bedroom duplexes.

“Our unit configuration is incomparable, which makes it very attractive for the buyers. We have studios, one- and two-bedroom duplexes and lofts. Specifically the double-height lofts create extra liveable spaces as well as maximised volume, which is a very important aspect of luxury living,” says Celiker.

The average price per square foot here is Dh1,600, a competitive offering for the unique lifestyle it offers. There are 946 units in total – 371 branded residences, 321 hotel apartments and 254 hotel rooms. While the seventh to the 33rd floors are for residential use, the last 10 floors are hotel rooms and the crown of the building or the last six floors (69th to the 75th floor) are built as public areas.

Signature lifestyle brands

The Crown includes the sbe signature Ciel Spa with seven treatment rooms and Vitamin Bar, salons, a fully equipped gym and two outdoors terraces on the 69th floor. Then there is Fi’lia, the Mediterranean all-day dining restaurant on the 70th floor, the sky lobby and the mixology lounge bar on the 71st, meeting rooms on the 73rd, the award-winning sbe steakhouse Carna by Italian butcher Dario Cecchoni on the 74th and the jewel on the crown, the two infinity pools, and a nightlife venue (Privilege) on the 75th floor. The Crown is set to become the go-to entertainment destination of Dubai with its exceptional food and beverage services and the views.

Progress in record time

The building has made headlines for its steady progress in record time. Construction started in May 2017, and the floors extending from the seventh to the 75th were completed in less than a year, rising a floor every 5.5 days. It officially topped out in April and is currently the fastest skyscraper building project in Dubai. There is a massive attention to detail onsite and each of the completed units we surveyed on the seventh floor of the building (the -one and two-bedroom lofts and the -one and two-bedroom duplexes) had a high standard of fixtures and fittings, such as custom-made matte lacquered kitchen top and bottom cabinets, state-of-the-art appliances, fully soundproof and thermally insulated rooms, automated curtains and smart climate control systems, among other things.

“We are thrilled with the progress being made in the construction of SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences. The building work has been so rapid and smooth, with the tower one of the fastest construction projects in Dubai. The tower is 100 per cent on target to reach its handover deadline by Q3 2020. Being able to maintain this pace of construction is a reflection of our commitment and skills. At the beginning of October, we received a certificate from the Dubai Land Department that has confirmed that we have completed 73.26 per cent of total construction,” says Alkan.

International buyers

The worldwide appeal of the SLS brand is seen here as well in the diverse and international mix of buyers who have purchased the units. Half of the buyers are from China, with Emiratis making up 15 per cent, Saudis 12 per cent, Indians 8 per cent and the remaining 15 per cent including a mix of Australians, Britons, Pakistanis, Lebanese and South African nationals. The tower has also introduced the loft lifestyle in the UAE for young professionals, couples and smaller families (the two-bedroom has a maid’s room).

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Yahya Alkan, CEO of WOW RED, believes loft living fits the lifestyle of younger homebuyers Image Credit: Supplied

“We have seen a great appetite from the younger generation. The loft duplexes match their lifestyle. They love the units where there is a living area on the ground floor, and the top area has a bed and en-suite bathroom. It’s like living in a luxury suit,” says Alkan. Some of the duplex lofts even have three glass corners that divide the whole unit in three step ups. You step into the kitchen, step up to the living area and then a floor higher to the bedroom.

One of the region’s tallest hotels and residences, the tower boasts a diverse selection of branded residences, hotel apartments and hotel units. SLS will manage and operate the tower’s 321 hotel apartments and 254 hotel rooms, as well as manage the unique luxury F&B, entertainment and lifestyle venues throughout the property.

Payments plans

The developer has also entered into an agreement with Dubai Islamic Bank to provide an exclusive and value-added home finance solution. “Our payment plans for the residential units are flexible,” says Alkan, “whereby you can pay 10 per cent of the unit price in advance, 20 per cent during construction, the other 20 per cent on handover and the balance 50 per cent through a seven-year profit-free payment plan through DIB.”

For investors, keeping in mind the unique luxury features of SLS Dubai branded apartments and the expected rental premiums compared to other typical units in the market, the monthly home finance instalments will correspond to less than 35 per cent of their net monthly rental income during the first seven years. This will enable investors to potentially earn more than 45 per cent return on their cumulative equity.

Alkan explained that in a market full of real estate opportunities, the need for differentiation for property developers will play a key role in mid to long-term accomplishment targets. “Our formula is simple – no large monthly instalments and maximised returns,” says Alkan. “Now with the extremely low payment schedule investors and end users can own a dream home and enjoy an SLS-branded lifestyle.”