Expo city
Expo City's first offplan launches came through in March - and are proving to be an instant hit with investors eyeing Dh1 million plus homes in the city's newest mixed-use destination. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The ‘Expo City’ is becoming the go-to destination for buyers seeking out budget-friendly homes in Dubai.

In fact, Dubai’s newest offplan option – Expo City had its first releases in March - is already competing with the established Jumeirah Village Circle and Al Furjan in getting these investors. At Expo City’s Mangrove Residences, for instance, the listed prices are Dh1.39-Dh1.59 million for a one-bedroom, while a two-bedroom would be Dh2.05 million to Dh2.55 million.

The buyers get 7-year payment plans, with five years being post-handover.

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“Expo City home prices to date are yet to see the heavy mark-ups that most locations elsewhere in Dubai have been seeing,” said an estate agent. “These are direct from the developer, have the proximity to the major legacy attractions of the Expo, and Expo City itself is being heavily promoted as Dubai’s newest place to live and work.

“The Mangrove Residences are a taster of what the location can offer later. Future releases will see that premium added.”

The master-developer is indeed taking a phased approach to the offplan launches, having also launched the ‘Expo Valley’ with its 3-/4-bedroom townhouses and 4-/5-bedroom villas.

Expo City has to date launched two clusters under offplan. Pictured here is part of the Mangrove Residences. Image Credit: Supplied

“The payment plans are quite affordable,” said Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer of Expo City Dubai, during a recent media tour of the project.

Fifty per cent of the payment needs to be done before handover, and the remaining over the next five years.

- Ahmed Al Khatib of Expo City Dubai

Dubai South benefits too

The attention garnered by Expo City is showing up favourably on property sales in the wider Dubai South area. “We are seeing prices rising - primarily because of offplan launches - of as much as 40 per cent,” said Sameer Lakhani, Managing Director at Global Capital Partners.

“Dubai South is becoming the new hub for residential developments not only in affordable segments, but in the upper-middle and premium brackets. The masterplan allows for a striation of offerings, and investors as well as end-users have responded.”

The price options too are helping in directing demand, with the per square foot (psf) values ranging from Dh650 to Dh1,200.

Heavy interest in sub-Dh2m homes

Dubai property market has just had one of its best first quarter showings ever. While a Dh410 million penthouse deal and, more recently, the priciest land deal for Dh125 million have absorbed much of the attention, there has been much happening in the sub Dh1 million and sub-Dh2 million categories. According to DXBInteract.com, 35 per cent of all home sales in Q1-2023 were for units under Dh1 million, while another 27 per cent went on those between Dh1 million to Dh2 million. (Only 9 per cent went into properties above Dh5 million, but for obvious reasons, these transactions had the biggest visibility.)

Jumeirah Village Circle

JVC was the best performing area sales-wise in Q1-23, with the average value of properties sold during the period at Dh687,500, thus reinforcing the location’s affordability credentials. The average psf comes to Dh1,100, up by 16 per cent from a year ago.

The MBR City is another that’s doing well selling to the budget-conscious, with sales average of Dh1.4 million and a Dh1,800 per square feet, up 15.7 per cent.

And the launches keep happening in and around Jumeirah Village, at the Circle or in the Triangle. “Fashioz has just been released into the market, with prices starting under Dh1 million, and earlier there was the Hadley heights from a new developer to Dubai called LEOS,” said an estate agent. “Jumeirah Village property values are still in check because of the frequent new launches – it also explains why for the past few quarters, JVC has been the top spot for under Dh1.5 million homes.

“These are mostly end-users buying and deciding to get out of renting.”

Al Furjan too is showing some of the same dynamics, with apartment prices from known developers, with two-bedroom listings at or around Dh1 million. Another mid-market location with heavy offplan launches in Arjan.

The new Dh300 million Samana Mykonos Signature in Arjan. “New areas are valuable since growth is rapid as the population is increasing,” said Najmeh Jafari, General Manager at Samana Developers. “Take the example of Arjan and Al Furjan, which are relatively new residential areas in Dubai and are proving popular among many young professionals and families.” Image Credit: Supplied

A touch of Greece with ‘Mykonos’

At Arjan, Samana Developers has launched its third project of the year – and second bearing the ‘Mykonos’ name, which is a nod to its inspiration from Greek islands. “We are replicating, rather, launching an enhanced version of our Mykonos project and we have named it Samana Mykonos Signature,” said Imran Farooq, CEO of the Dh300 million project. (The developer is also promising an ‘additional’ 8 per cent RoI direct from developer is the units are placed as holiday homes.)

We do not have a rent-to-own option, but we offer a long-term, monthly interest-free payment plan, which reduces financial risk by spreading out the cost of investment

- Najmeh Jafari, General Manager at Samana Developers.
The Damac Lagoons’ Mykonos cluster. The master-development has been one of the more successful ones among recent offplan launches, building up a profile with European investors, say estate agents. Image Credit: Supplied

This isn’t the only new Mykonos that Dubai will be home to. Damac, the master-developer, has released the ‘Mykonos’ cluster at Damac Lagoons, which continues to be one of the most popular offplan choices with investors. All of those water elements set among the residences sure is working well as a concept, especially with the growing base of European buyers.

Recreating the touch and feel of Europe is proving quite a winsome strategy. And keeping new launches to an affordable range is just adding to the winning feeling.

It benefits from its proximity to the Expo City site which has 42 active retail and F&B outlets.

- Katie Burnell of Residential Agency, Savills
Expo City’s running hot as a rental spot too
There’s the Expo City – and then there’s the ‘Village’. The expo Village is where the rental options are available.

“Expo Village stands apart from other Dubai South developments for a number of reasons,” said Katie Burnell, Associate Director - Head of Residential Agency, Savills, the leasing agent.

“First, it boasts a robust infrastructure network, which is fully delivered and includes a dedicated metro station within walking distance, and excellent road connectivity. Expo Village is a purpose-built community complete with parks, green spaces, play areas, swimming pools, gyms etc., as opposed to a solo residential building.

“It benefits from its proximity to the Expo City site which has 42 active retail and F&B outlets.

Savills Middle East was mandated to lease out ‘Residences 4, one of the Expo Village’s four community clusters, totaling 600 units.