Site visit: Redwood, Jumeirah Golf Estates

CW visits Jumeirah Golf Estates to find out how the construction of Redwood Park’s townhouses and Redwood Avenue’s villas is progressing

Units at Redwood Park range from $762,300 to $1.3m.
Units at Redwood Park range from $762,300 to $1.3m.
Redwood Park: Three- and four-bedroom townhouses with prices ranging from $762,000 to $1.3m
Redwood Park: Three- and four-bedroom townhouses with prices ranging from $762,000 to $1.3m
Redwood avenue: five- and six-bedroom villas with prices with prices ranging from $3m to $8.7m
Redwood avenue: five- and six-bedroom villas with prices with prices ranging from $3m to $8.7m

Dubai real estate is growing in ways that many have yet to discover. While high-profile developments continue to launch in the prime areas of the emirate, residential projects are also cropping up in some of its farther-flung locales.

You could be forgiven for questioning whether the name Redwood is appropriate within the context of Dubai. After all, this is a city renowned for its glittering skyscrapers, not its lush greenery. But upon seeing this project, its name makes sense. The villas and townhouses that populate Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Redwood neighbourhood are surrounded by lakes, trees, and – perhaps unsurprisingly – golf courses.

Despite being located just 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Dubai, this residential and leisure community has the feel of a different city. Calming, elegant, and green, Redwood does its name justice.

Almost two years have passed since Redwood was launched. The project will include collections of townhouses in Redwood Park, and villas on Redwood Avenue. Redwood is part of Phase 1 of Jumeirah Golf Estates, a wider development that is to be built over four phases.

Jumeirah Golf Estates occupies an area of 375ha, and – once completed – will boast a total land parcel of 1,119ha. Ultimately, the development will feature 1,050 villas. Three-quarters of these properties will face two 18-hole golf courses (Earth and Fire) designed by Australian professional golfer, Greg Norman. The remainder will face lakes and nature strips.

The community will also feature a clubhouse, a European Tour Performance Institute, a tennis and fitness centre, swimming pools, tennis courts, barbecue facilities, a gymnasium, cycling and jogging tracks, children’s play areas, 15 lakes, and the associated wildlife and foliage.

Construction on Phase 1 of Redwood Park, which commenced in May 2015, is now 80% complete. Impressively, this portion is now completely sold out, owing to a combination of local and international end users and investors. The handover of the initial crop of 40 townhouses is scheduled to take place in Q4 2016. Last month saw the launch of Phase 2 of Redwood Park, and construction progress is already at 10%.

This section of the Redwood development consists of three- and four-bedroom townhouses, which overlook the Fire golf course. Shared amenities include swimming pools, children’s play areas, and barbecue facilities. The cost of these units ranges from $762,300 (AED2.8m) to $1.3m (AED5m).

Omar Al Mukhayet, head of projects at Jumeirah Golf Estates, tells Construction Week: “After Phase 1 sold out, we received word from senior management to start Phase 2 – [there was sufficient] demand and appetite from buyers for our townhouses. We plan to build 75 [additional] townhouses as part of Phase 2 of Redwood Park.

“We recently appointed Al Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading as the main contractor for Phase 2 of Redwood Park,” he continues. “Actually, [we selected] Al Ahmadiah as our partner because of its success delivering Phase 1.”

Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Ashraf Tolba, site engineer for Redwood Park, says that the specifications of the townhouses’ finishings are second to none. Entrance steps, porches, and staircases consist of Italian or polished Crema Marfil marble flooring. Risers and landing floors are finished with 20mm-thick marble tiles, and kitchens feature 40mm x 40mm porcelain flooring manufactured by UAE-headquartered RAK Ceramics.

Living and dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways boast 400mm x 400mm and 300mm x 600mm porcelain flooring tiles, also manufactured by RAK Ceramics, and ceilings are covered in 12.5mm-thick gypsum board from Boral. Bedrooms will feature fitted closets, consisting of melamine-covered medium-density fibreboard (MDF) carcases. The closet doors are laminated with veneers or mahogany finishes. Plastered internal walls and ceilings are painted with acrylic eggshell copolymer emulsion made by Sigma. All townhouses include 1.5mm-thick, aluminium-framed sliding windows.

Outside, the townhouses feature covered parking areas paved in 60mm-thick coloured stone. External façades made out of natural stone from either Saudi Arabia or Jordan are painted in Sigma-branded stucco paint. Sloped roofs consist of red clay tiles from Spain’s La Esandella, while exposed roofs feature thermal and moisture-protection systems, and terracotta tiles.

Redwood Avenue, meanwhile, features 47 five- and six-bedroom villas with prices ranging from $3m (AED11m) to $8.7m (AED32m). Eleven villas are available to purchase with high-spec add-ons, including the latest audio-visual systems and custom Italian kitchens. Standard villas offer buyers a blank canvas that can be fitted-out in line with their personal preferences.

“There are only a few villas left to be sold at Redwood Avenue,” Al Mukhayet notes. He goes on to explain that Jumeirah Golf Estates has expanded its development strategy to accommodate market demand.

“Initially, we [intended only] to build high-end villas for elite customers, such as professional golf players. But because the appetite has changed in Dubai due to economic circumstances, we went for townhouses [as well].

“However, we didn’t downgrade the class or quality of the development. We are simply targeting a [wider] segment of the market. Dubai attracts small families who are looking to save money; they don’t necessarily want [high-end] villas. So, as a developer, we need to provide products for them.”

Layouts aside, Al Mukhayet says that the main difference between Redwood Park’s townhouses and Redwood Avenue’s villas is the nature of the materials that have been used – a factor that significantly impacts the final price of a unit. Nevertheless, he is adamant that all units within the Redwood developments will be completed to a high standard.

In addition to the numerous creature comforts offered by Redwood residential units, residents will have access to world-class sporting facilities and events. Redwood was launched in September 2014 ahead of the DP World Tour Championship – the final tournament of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. The eighth iteration of this tournament, which will take place from 17-20 November, 2016, will be held on Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth course.

Neal Graham, general manager of club operations at Jumeirah Golf Estates, elaborates: “The Earth course stretches 7,700 yards, compared to the Fire course’s 7,500 yards. This November’s DP World Tour Championship will see the top 60 golfers from the European tour compete [on this development].”

Elsewhere at the development, Jumeirah Golf Estates has announced AlAndalus, a residential project comprising 715 one- to four-bedroom apartments and 54 townhouses, which will be built by Sumer Contracting Company. Prices will start from $162,500 (AED597,000), and completion is scheduled for 2018.

Jumeirah Golf Estates currently has 16 districts, and the developer has room to expand in line with demand. Whatever the future holds, construction progress at Redwood and the current market appetite both bode well for the wider development.

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