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Damac releases units in sharia-compliant hotel apartments project

Damac Properties has announced a limited release in Ghalia, a Sharia-compliant hotel apartments development in Dubai, following a sold-out phase one.

The developer said in a statement that Ghalia offers the first certified Sharia-compliant serviced hotel apartments, with construction already underway, and will be operated by Damac Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality arm of Damac Properties.

The 38-storey tower in Jumeirah Village will comprise 742 keys, with furnished units ranging from studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, with prices starting at AED550,000.

Ziad El Chaar, managing director, Damac Properties, said: “The demand arising from halal tourism is gaining traction in Dubai, with a significant number of visitors from the GCC, and most notably Saudi Arabia, who seek luxury accommodation options, which are also Sharia-compliant.

"Saudi tourists represent the largest number of visitors from the GCC, with 1.5 million visiting Dubai last year and this number is expected to reach 2.5 million by 2020. Considering the demand for such accommodation along with the limited supply, we at Damac Properties, see this scenario as a huge opportunity to tap into.

"Similarly, for investors, this translates into a lucrative investment due to the potential rental yields whilst being in compliance with the financial principles of Sharia.”

According to findings from the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2015/2016, the market for Muslim travellers was worth $145 billion last year, representing 11 percent of the global travel market, and is expected to grow to $233 billion by 2020.

The UAE ranks second after Malaysia amongst the top global destinations for halal tourism.

“Ghalia presents a niche opportunity - to invest in Dubai’s growing hospitality market through a vehicle that is in-line with the principles and beliefs of many of our customers," said El Chaar.

"A growing number of regional investors seek primarily Sharia-compliant investments and financing. In addition, Islamic banks and lenders extend funding only to hotels that follow Sharia practices."

Ghalia features amenities such as separate ladies’ and men’s gymnasiums and swimming pools as well as dedicated dining areas for families and single men.

Furthermore, the development will feature ladies-only floors, served by female-only staff.

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