Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s biggest developer, Dar Al Arkan, has nailed the final piece of its Gulf expansion, launching a project in Oman and adding on to recent announcements in Dubai and Qatar.
“These are the three Gulf markets that have established themselves with global and expat investors – and we are there now,” said Ziad El Chaar, Vice-Chairman. “If Dubai is the business and tourism hub, Qatar’s push is centred around sports and education, and Oman is about offering an escape from all that hurly-burly. Now, we are there in each key market.”
Dar Al Arkan will unveil its Oman project on Thursday (March 24). The upscale residential project is located just outside of the capital Muscat. “Oman remains one of the hidden gems, and very few realise its actual potential,” said El Chaar. “We want to change that.”
Qatari island venture
Late last week, the Saudi developer announced its first project in Qatar, at the Qetaifan Island North in Lusail City. “Our location is on newly reclaimed islands alongside the Pearl Qatar,” he added. “The Qatari authorities are building it up as an entertainment destination, with a hotel and water parks.
“We have got five of the best plots there, facing the marina and at night offering unimpeded views of the city’s skyline.”
Start of construction will, however, have to wait until after the football World Cup in mid-December. “The area has been designated as a fan-zone during the course of the event,” said El Chaar. “It’s fine, we will have more time to prepare all of the masterplan in detail.”
The push outside Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean Dar Al Arkan will not be focusing on new launches in its home market. There could be one outside of Riyadh before this month is out, and the design and all other aspects are being given the final touch up. For year-end, the company will be ready with a tower launch at Jeddah Corniche.
Busy times for developers
Gulf developers are ramping up on residential projects all across as freehold options open up and more residents want to actually transition to home-ownership. A lot of that has been happening in Dubai since late 2020, and the momentum has not slacked as March closes. On Tuesday (March 22), Dubai Land Department confirmed real estate deals worth Dh1.5 billion plus happened on the day, while developers are busy with offplan launches.
Dar Al Arkan recently launched a super-premium project in Dubai in alliance with the Italian supercar brand Pagani. “We have reduced the number of units available from 90 because some of the buyers wanted to combine them,” said the official. “The project will get more of a profile when we are ready with the mock-up home in September.”
New land additions
The developer said its land bank in the UAE is near depletion, and which requires deciding on when and where to buy next. El Chaar is taking a trip down to Ras Al Khaimah – “Every day is about zeroing in on the next big opportunity, whether it’s Dubai or Ras Al Khaimah. Because by September, our land bank would have depleted. And we will want to top that up.”