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Azizi says Dubai property to recover fast as it launches Palm Jumeirah project

Afghan developer Azizi Developments has become the latest in a string of property companies to launch new off plan luxury apartments in Dubai.

Marketing a block of 90 partly-built apartments on Palm Jumeirah with a press conference and marketing shindig aboard a yacht sailing from Dubai Marina, Azizi attempted to lure potential investors to shell out between Dh2.2 million and Dh4.5m despite a property slowdown.

Azizi, which owns two of Afghanistan’s four biggest banks and also runs a business importing oil and gas into Afghanistan from Kazakhstan, said that the new block, between the Anantara and the Viceroy hotels on the crescent of the Palm, was already 25 per cent complete and would be finished in March 2017.

Azizi said that it had financed the construction on the project so far with revenues from its oil and gas importing business which it said had not been hit by the slump in oil prices because it did not produce or refine.

“We are in a very healthy phase of the property cycle,” said Farhad Azizi, chief executive of Azizi Developments. “The next few months will see market stabilisation and then the economy is going to recover very fast by mid-2017. These are good times for buyers to invest in a good location and good property to make a profit and capitalise on quick price appreciation.”

The new Dh350m Royal Bay Residence block is just the latest in a Dh4.5 billion development plan for Azizi which is expected to complete eight blocks of apartments in Dubai’s Al Furjan in 2016 and also plans to launch a second apartment building of another 180 apartments on the Palm later this year.

Azizi said it had purchased the Palm land in 2013 after master developer Nakheel rejigged a number of plots.

And Azizi is not alone in launching new projects in Dubai. Last week, Damac Properties announced it was planning to build its Dh7.4bn Aykon City – six new towers of hotels, apartments and offices overlooking Dubai Canal and Safa Park.

Dubai Properties Group has also recently launched its 8.2 million square foot Serena development to be built in Dubailand.

The falling price of oil and the strong US dollar to which the dirham is linked has hit the housing market in Dubai, pushing average prices down by around 15 per cent in 2015. Many analysts are predicting falls of another 10 per cent this year.

According to property broker CBRE around 6,000 nearly completed homes in Dubai are sitting empty as developers wait for prices to stabilise.

On the Azizi yacht however, the potential investors invited on board by the developer seemed impressed with what they saw.

“I would need to analyse the figures more carefully before I made a final decision but Azizi’s offering seems very tempting,” said Sharam Gulzad, chief executive of Gulzad Group, which invests in property around the world. “We have made money in the past by buying in the most prime areas during a downturn. They usually tend to be the fastest to recover and so we hope this will be the case in Dubai too.”

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