The world’s tallest twin towers will be the centerpiece of a new residential and business project in Dubai being developed by Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) and Dubai Holding LLC.
The first phase will start Nov. 1 with the sale of 350 apartments in two smaller 40-story towers, according to the companies. Those buildings will take about 2 1/2 years to build, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar told reporters today.
The companies didn’t provide a cost or a timeframe for the entire 6 million square-meter (65 million square-foot) Dubai Creek Harbour project or the buildings set to break the record held by Kuala Lumpur’s 88-story Petronas Towers. The two apartment buildings being constructed first are set to cost around 3 billion dirhams ($817 million), Alabbar told Al Arabiya TV in an interview.
Residential property prices in Dubai slowed since the start of the year as mortgages were restricted and the government increased a transaction tax to damp the market. Home prices surged at the fastest pace in the world last year, igniting concerns a bubble may be forming.
“The market’s cooling down is healthy,” Alabbar said. Increasing supply “is a good for our customers because it keeps prices at reasonable levels. In 2013, things went crazy because supply was limited and, as long-term developer, the spike scares me.”
Concerns about Dubai’s property market have abated since the spring, Masood Ahmed, IMF director for the Middle East and Central Asia, said in an interview in Dubai today. That’s thanks to the government “trying to impose a few bits of grit in the system of real estate transactions,” as well as more restrictive lending by banks, he said.
Dubai had one of the world’s worst property crashes in 2008 as home prices slumped by more than 65 percent across the city. The bubble burst as the global credit crisis caused speculative demand to wane and banks restricted lending.
Dubai’s economy is rebounding and the IMF expects it to grow 5 percent this year and next year compared with 4.6 percent growth in 2013, IMF’s Ahmed said.