Khamis Juma Bu Amim, chairman of Dubai Maritime City and Mahdi Amjad, executive chairman and CEO of Omniyat Group. Omniyat is testing the waters, so to speak, with its Anwa launch which will cost an estimated Dh600 million and take two years to complete. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai will have a new destination for high-rise projects by the sea with the revised masterplan for Dubai Maritime City (DMC) in the final stages of the approval process.

The first of the towers — the 48-storey ‘Anwa’ from Omniyat Properties — goes on sale Wednesday December 10 with prices starting from Dh1,800 a square foot. Maritime City is located near the Dry Docks in the Port Rashid area.

While the Maritime City project has been around for the better part of the last decade, it was in 2012 that the developer decided to go in for a completely new masterplan. The project is now split into three phases, with the first two making headway on getting the basic infrastructure and access roads in place. The timing for the launch of the third phase will be confirmed later, according to a top official.

The masterplan would have scope for more than 50 mixed-use projects, an extensive retail component, hotels and green zones.

“With phases A and B ongoing, [private] developers can get on with their individual projects on site, which is what Omniyat has done,” said Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman at DMC. “Phase B itself has seen confirmations for 19 tower projects, of which 11 should be ready to get going shortly.

“Each of these projects could cost between Dh400 million to Dh700 million and gives a scale of what Maritime City can become.

“We have binding contracts with the developers who have acquired plots here, and payments have been made to us. If there have been any delays in announcing project launches, it has to do with how individual developers view market conditions.”

Buamim declined to mention the overall development cost of Maritime City, saying that would have to wait once Phase C related works become clear. The shared infrastructure related works in Phases A and B will take two years to complete.

Omniyat is testing the waters, so to speak, with its Anwa launch which would cost an estimated Dh600 million over a two-year project schedule. It was also the first private developer to launch in Business Bay. “There is a definite advantage in mounting a project in Maritime City because the masterplanning process is quite advanced compared to the newer development clusters in the city,” said Mahdi Amjad, Omniyat’s Executive Chairman and CEO. “It’s a completely different masterplan that Maritime City has now, and we will be launching additional projects here.”

Omniyat’s overall development portfolio is valued at Dh12 billion, and it is looking to double it in the next five years.

An entry-level pricing of Dh1,800 a square foot puts the Anwa project on par with values commanded by upper mid-tier high-rises in Dubai Marina, an established location. A lot of the Anwa premium comes from the location by the sea, as well as the fact that it will be on the same strip as a Four Seasons hotel and another bearing the Bvlgari branding.

Amjad confirmed that the project already has a sizeable equity component as well as back up from bank finance. “Plus, we have already seen firm buyer commitments for more than 50 per cent of the units ahead of the launch,” he added.