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Site visit: Mont Rose, Dubai

Deyaar Developments is close to completing its mixed-use Mont Rose project in Dubai, a three-tower residential and hospitality development located in Barsha South

Site Visits

Property developers in Dubai have recently started diversifying their portfolios with expanding pipelines of mixed-use projects around the city.

UAE-based Deyaar Developments is moving with this trend, having announced several project launches in Barsha South, and is now nearing completion on its three-building development, Mont Rose.

Located in what is expected to become a sprawling community in the next couple of years, the $117m (AED430m) Mont Rose comprises two residential towers and a hotel apartment building. The residential buildings, towers A and B, will have 146 one-bedroom, 144 two-bedroom, and seven three-bedroom units. 

The hotel apartment tower comprises 126 studios and 72 one-bedroom apartments, all fully-furnished by luxury brand, Aati, and boasting a contemporary interior design. 

With a total built-up area of nearly 79,000m2, the development will be surrounded by hospitals, clinics, and schools, and is located close to a science and technology park. The transportation infrastructure is already taking shape near to the project. 

David Milligan has been a part of Deyaar’s growth since 2013, and is currently head of projects and commercial at the company. He says: “As a masterplan, we see [Al Barsha South as having] great potential and [being a] growth coordinator. We were probably one of the first developers to start again in this area.”

“If you look at the overall masterplan, it is going to have high-calibre schools, hospitals, a fantastic opportunity for retail, as well as a mall 500m from [the site].”

Mont Rose was put on hold nearly 10 years ago before going through a comprehensive redesign that included the addition of more units and a hospitality component to the final plan. Ground was officially broken in 2014.

“What we did previously was a re-excavation because we had already started the foundations a couple of years ago, when the project was put on suspension,” Milliband explains. “We then relaunched [the project in 2014], redesigned it, changed its name, and rebranded. We also changed the unit types, and introduced serviced apartments as  a component.”

While Deyaar plans to keep the hotel element as a held asset, nearly 85% of the residential units have already been sold so far. The developer has also signed  Millennium Hotels & Resorts to operate the serviced apartments. 

“Millennium has signed off the quality, materials, and operational standards. We have residential sales opportunities, and the hospitality sector is starting to boom in Dubai,” Milliband says. He adds that operational mobilisation should start by the fourth quarter of this year.

The hospitality portion of the development will have a soft opening of a couple of floors, and will then be fully operational by the end of the year, he explains. Millennium will be on site by the end of Q3 to prepare for handover.

Structural and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) works are now complete, and the serviced apartments around 62% finished. The residential towers are both around 90% complete. 

Deyaar signed Al Oroba Contracting  Company as the main contractor, and Incorporated Consultants Conin is the consultant. 

More enhancements

Despite the changes to the original plans for the project, Milliband maintains that very few – if any – challenges arose during the project’s construction phase.

“We have not had any major challenges, but we have had a couple of delays here and there, for various reasons. But for reasons that have actually enhanced the project and the product,” he says. 

However, he concedes: “We may have also had some changes that have slightly [altered] the finishing.” 

Deyaar brought in interior designer, DWP, to enhance the interiors for the hospitality component. Milliband says the developer was already happy with the design, but wanted to add “an extra layer of quality”. 

He explains that with any project, there will always be standard contractual arguments, as “every project has its tense periods”, regardless of the scope and size. “It doesn’t matter if you’re building one villa or a full masterplan, every project goes through the same issues, and they usually get resolved,” he says.

“On most occasions, the client and the contractor sit down and talk about these things. We always try to resolve these issues as amicably as possible. That is how we are as a company.”

The project is now on track to be completed by the end of the year.  “We are expected to be complete around the end of the third quarter [of 2017], with people probably moving in around that time or in the early fourth quarter,” says Milliband. 

“The hospitality portion will be fully complete by the end of Q4 2017,” he adds. 

Building Hospitality

Developers are increasingly opting to build hotels and serviced apartments as part of their developments because the UAE offers “fanatic opportunities” for this sector, says Milliband. “If you look at the UAE on the map, it is basically the midway connection point of the world. If you look at the passengers coming through the airports, I think this is [growing] 10% to 15% every year.” 

He continues: “Hospitality-wise, the number of industries now holding conventions here [is growing], and there are a lot of companies that hold their annual gatherings here now, so the focus is on business, but also on becoming a tourist destination, and you can see this with the portfolio. It is going to be the place to be as things progress.”

Deyaar is currently working on a number of other projects, including The Atria in Business Bay, which is due for delivery this year. The developer is also launching another project in Al Barsha, which will feature 405 rooms and will be a combination of hotel and hotel apartments. 

“Again, that [project] is going to be operated by Millennium, is fully designed, and is in construction at the moment, to be completed by next year, on schedule,” says Milliband, adding that Deyaar will announce more details about the project soon. 

The company has also recently entered into a joint venture with Dubai South as the master planner, and there will be a hospitality component to that project as well. “As a strategy, the city will generally [spread out] towards Abu Dhabi, and we see massive potential in [Dubai South],” Milliband says.

 “The year 2018 for us is going to be a very bright year, I think, with the collections that we are going to have completed. We have a hotel completing in the second quarter, and have aggressive growth targets as well.”  

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