Feb 19 2006   | Source: Press Release 

Omniyat Properties launches its first two projects with a value of AED 850 million

Dubai-based Omniyat, which combines its mother company's two core areas of activity to create the most technologically advanced properties in the Middle East region, announced the launch of two high-rise office towers available for sale on a freehold basis in the Business Bay district of Dubai, on Sheikh Zayed Road.

The two projects have a combined value of over AED 850 million and offer a total of 700,000 square feet of prime freehold office space as well as 25,000 square feet of prime retail space on Sheikh Zayed, behind the Emirates Airlines and Emirates Holidays buildings between the first and second interchanges.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of the company's debut projects, Mehdi Amjad, President and CEO of Omniyat Properties, said that the two projects will cater to different market segments and offer two different types of office space, for the upper segment and the middle segment.

The first project, One Business Bay, is a 30-storey tower with a unique design which resembles a diamond sticking out of the ground. It will offer Grade A office space in what is considered the best location of the entire development. "One Business Bay is the first building you see as you enter the Bay. It's actually plot number one," Amjad said.

He said the building, designed by creative and upcoming German architects Kling Consult, enjoyed unparalleled views of the Sheikh Zayed Road and Jumeirah Beach on one side, and the Business Bay on the other. Almasa Holdings itself has bought 3 floors for its corporate headquarters.

Ehab S. Shouly, Senior Vice President and Marketing Director of Omniyat Properties, said that the design of Omniyat's first project was a tribute to its holding company Almasa Holdings. "Almasa means diamond in Arabic and we designed the building in a shape of a diamond sticking out of the ground," he explained.

Another design element which reflects Almasa's and Omniyat's creative and out-of-the-box approach to business, is the "nose" of the building which is sticking out of the body mass of the building. The nose consists of three floors which are physically pushed out of the building's mass, creating a gap through the building.

"We have taken a completely new and unique approach to property development. We are combining our expertise in technology and real estate to create unique state-of-the-art buildings, not just in terms of design but also in terms of high-tech features, such as robotics and voice control, among others," Shouly said.

Tim Wilson, Sales Director and Senior Vice President of Omniyat Properties, told the press conference that even though One Business Bay was just being launched, its office space has already been more than 95% sold out, due to interest from investors who came in during the pre-launch stage.

"As soon as we launched our new company in December and announced our vision, we were inundated with inquiries from investors who wanted to buy into the Omniyat vision and philosophy and buy into the project even before it was put on the market. We thank these investors for their trust and long-term vision," Wilson said.

The AED 507-million One Business Bay, which will enjoy Omniyat's high-tech facilities, has three under-ground basement parking levels, and five floors of podium parking, giving it a total over 1000 parking spaces. Construction has already begun and the tower will be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Omniyat's second project, Bayswater, is a 25-story scissor-shaped office tower located on a water-facing plot in the Business Bay. The office space in the project has also been 93% sold out and only some offices and the retail space is still available for investors, Wilson added.

The building was designed by leading Dubai-based architects Dubarch. Its unique design is an optical illusion that makes it appear to consist of two slim towers side by side, forming the shape of the letter X. "We try to come up with unique designs all the time. Good location and good design is a winning formula," Amjad said

The building will enjoy more than 875 parking bays spread over 2 basement floors and four podium floors, giving it one of the highest ratios of parking spaces to office space in the area. The building will have two penthouse office floors, one with a terrace and a limited number of waterfront loft-style offices.

Construction of Bayswater, with a value of AED 345 million, will begin in May of this year and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008. Bayswater is a mid-market segment targeted at medium-sized companies which want a premium address and office location but at a lower price than Grade-A offices.

Besides Omniyat Properties, Almasa Holdings also consists of five different companies operating in all areas of information technology. It was formed in 1995 with a capital of one million dirhams and in a short period of 10 years has grown to a 2 billion dirham conglomerate which includes the largest IT distribution company in the MENA region.

Omniyat Properties, which was formed as a result of Almasa spinning off a five-year-old real estate investment divisions, was launched last December with an initial issued capital of AED150 million, and an authorized capital of AED 300 million as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Almasa Holdings.

The division had implemented numerous successful real estate investment projects in the UK and Iran over the last few years, and started looking at the booming Dubai property market more than a year ago. It then started building a land bank and has acquired a number of prime plots in the emirate of Dubai, including the two in Business Bay.

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