Pure Gold has a 70-plus store network in the UAE and Gulf. Now its property arm, Pure Gold Living, wants to get going with offplan projects. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One of the big names in the UAE’s gold and jewellery space is developing an interest in real estate. And is all set to make its ambitions clear.

That’s right, Pure Gold Living – the property arm of Pure Gold – is making a start through its first freehold project, in Al Furjan, and with the aim of delivering on time and with all the promises it made to buyers showing up in the building’s quality and features added. The project - called PG Upper House - features 100 odd units, all one-bedroom, targeted at families wanting to get started on the process of acquiring a home in Dubai.

“We will never get into a project with the biggest or tallest in mind – what we hope to do is show people that we can deliver on time,” said Karim Merchant, CEO of Pure Gold Living. "And no, it’s not about the Group seeing property development as the next big thing. This activity will continue alongside all what we continue to do in gold retail."

The latter part has seen the retailer add 11 outlets in the UAE and elsewhere in the Gulf in the last three months. The network strength now lists more than 70 stores.

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Al Furjan is fast tracking its way into one of Dubai’s sought after locations for mid-to-upper-mid homes, with next three years set to see more launches and handovers. Recent launches there have been instant sell-outs and those properties handed over in the last 2-3 years have recorded high occupancies. The interest in newer Al Furjan options from mid-market buyers is akin to that experienced by JVC in the past. (Al Furjan area listings show a range between Dh700,000 to Dh1.5 million in the one- and two-bedroom options.)

For his project, Merchant has kept the prices at around Dh950 per square foot mark, ‘whereas prevailing prices in the area have crossed Dh1,000 psf’, he added. “Apart from the commitment to delivering on time, the other plan we will stick to is not to launch sales by just placing fences around a plot,” said Merchant. “On each project we launch, it has to touch the 30-40 per cent mark as per Dubai Land Department certifications before sales start.

“We did this with our first, which is now at the 50 per cent mark. Sticking with only having one-bedroom units was to target those who were starting out in the home owning process.” - Karim Merchant, CEO of Pure Gold Living Image Credit: Supplied

A new project is on the cards, again in Al Furjan, with development costs at or around Dh200 million. “The company is not limiting its land bank additions to just Al Furjan,” said Merchant. “Any location that fits in with the price points we hope to achieve is fine.”