Omniyat to relaunch two stalled Dubai projects

The Pad and Zaha Hadid-designed Opus towers in Business Bay were halted as a result of the global financial downturn
Omniyat to relaunch two stalled Dubai projects
By Beatrice Thomas
Thu 03 Oct 2013 12:32 PM

Dubai developer Omniyat is set to relaunch two major projects at the Global Cityscape trade event next week, five years after they were stalled amidst the global financial downturn.

The company was forced to put the brakes on AED8bn ($2.18bn) of projects during the Dubai’s property crash as it switched focus to delivering projects rather than launching new ones.

The company said it was working with regulators and original investors on the future of the stalled projects, but it is not clear how many plan to continue with the project.

The company is now shifting away from residential-only developments to more diverse and, it believes, lucrative hotel-residential projects.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Omniyat executive chairman and CEO Mahdi Amjad confirmed it will announce three major ventures at the three-day Cityscape Global exhibition on October 8-10.

Giving details of two projects, Amjad said The Opus will be a revamp of the mega-development it launched in 2008 in Business Bay.

Previously a 23-storey retail and commercial tower that was slated to be finished in 2010, the project will now also comprise a five-star, mixed-use hotel and apartment development.

Amjad said the new Opus development is again designed by world-renowned Iraqi-British architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, but will now be the first hotel and apartment project to her name.

To come under the ME hotel brand, which is owned by Spain’s Melia hotels group, ME Dubai will follow other ME hotel launches in London and, soon, Paris and Austria.

Construction is under way and is expected to be finished by mid-2015 with the hotel opened by mid-2016, Amjad said.

The second project, The Pad, is also a reincarnation of the company’s 2007 development of the same name, comprising a 231-apartment, 24-storey tower in Business Bay.

Originally scheduled for completion in 2009, it was pushed back to 2010, then mid-2011 before eventually being put on hold.

Amjad said the new development would be “a very cool, hip hotel” and hoped it would be finished in mid-2015 as the first of a chain of properties under the brand, The Pad.

“We said, again, turning that building into a hotel-apartment would be a significant value increase,” Amjad said.

“It increases the value at least 30-40 percent for the owners who have previously purchased and effectively bringing by far a better product to the market.”

Omniyat had completed three projects – its flagship One by Omniyat office tower, Bayswater office tower and mixed-use project The Square. Another five projects – Binary (office), The Opus, The Pad and two as-yet unnamed projects were under construction and due to be completed in 2014-15. Projects on the Palm and Maritime City were also on the cards.

It was also working with Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) after the official cancellation in June of Omniyat’s AED3bn ($816.81m) Beachfront Living project in Waterfront, which paved the way for investors to submit claims.

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