Is Your Property Attractive Enough for Tenants?

In the last decade, Dubai has emerged as the biggest hub for business. Global investors are lining up for an opportunity to invest in the city and take the advantage of its tax-free environment. Dubai has also witnessed a huge increase in tourism with millions of tourists experiencing the feel of its modern infrastructure, luxury, and exotic food & beverages every year. This rise in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Dubai and surge in tourism has boosted the demand from tenants in the residential & commercial property sectors. 

According to the annual transaction report of the Dubai Land Department (DLD), despite the pandemic and global economic slowdown, the real estate market in Dubai continued to be attractive to local and global investors in 2020. The sector recorded 51,414 transactions representing a value of over Dh175 billion, according to the annual transaction report issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). It is of paramount importance for both commercial & residential sector head honchos to understand the tenant behaviors and the key trends that are going to impact the sector.

Here are the type of properties and options which will attract residential & commercial real estate tenants in the coming years –

Short-term Rentals

Every year, millions of tourists and business travelers visit Dubai for a shorter period of time. To avoid getting into a contract or paying advance rent for three months, or facing challenges with cohabitation, etc., tenants will prioritize alternative accommodations which are available on short-term rentals for everyone including – singles, families, couples, partners, and corporate groups. 

Another factor that makes short-term rental accommodations a preferred choice for the tenants is they are fully furnished. Thus, there is no need for them to spend money on buying furniture or other daily routine items such as – air conditioners, refrigerators, ovens, etc. Thus, short-term rentals are a cost-effective option for them.

Short-term rental accommodations have more space compared to hotels which offer more privacy to the expats & holidaymakers. They also have a private garden, kitchen, and a personal door which make expats feel like they are at home. Furthermore, short-term rental accommodations are usually based in the downtowns which makes it easier for tourists to travel to the major attractions of the city. 

The rising demand for short-term rentals among tourists & expats has also attracted the attention of global investors. There has been a significant rise in investments in short-term rentals as they are more profitable due to lower operational costs, fewer restrictions, and no contracts involved. 

The rents across Dubai declined between 9% and 17% in 2020. Thus, thousands of Dubai homeowners converted their properties into short-term rentals to generate good & quick income. While landlords are accepting more cheques, tenants are still using the option of paying in one or two cheques to drive the price down further. 

Another reason behind the rising popularity of short-term rentals is job uncertainty and rising layoffs due to the situation created by Covid-19. Several residents have expressed an interest in short-term lettings as they face uncertainty about their job and their future and are giving themselves a little time to decide by renting monthly as opposed to signing a lease contract for a year.

Properties with Garden & Pool are in High Demand:

Tenants are now prioritizing the properties with a garden, pool, and balcony. According to Lynnette Abad, Director at Property Findera real estate website with a wide range of residential and commercial properties for sale and rent, stated – “Our website recorded significant month-on-month growth in people using keywords such as – pool, garden, and balcony. If you look at rental contracts that have closed over the last few months, you have more in the villa townhouse sector than you do in the apartment sector, when you compare it to previous years.”

The buyers are prioritizing homes that are equipped with all sorts of amenities for recreation as they will be spending more time at home due to an increase in work from home culture amid covid-19.

Tenants Prefer to Move to Suburbs due to Cost & Safety:

There has been a rise in the trend of tenants moving into suburbs or in the outskirts of Dubai due to cost & safety. The amount of rent tenants pay for a flat in Dubai Marina or Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) is quite higher than the rent for a three-bedroom townhouse in the outskirt areas. It was noticed in 2020 that a large number of tenants moved to suburbs such as – Mudon, Dubailand, and Dubai South in search of better living at a much lower cost.

Furthermore, downtowns have a very high density of population due to the presence of high-end commercial & residential properties.  Therefore, from both cost & safety standpoint, it makes more sense for the tenants to move to suburbs. In 2020, there was a huge increase in the tenant inquiries for the properties with outside space with real estate agents reporting an uptick in villa inquiries since May 2020.

Increase in Cheque Payments:

There has been a rising trend among tenants to make cheque payments and lockdowns exercised to curb the growth of coronavirus have given a further boost to this trend. The majority of property owners are understanding the benefits and the need of offering an option of cheque payments to the tenants. As per Allsopp & Allsopp report, 2021, the real estate brokerage firm has witnessed a significant rise in the trend of tenants paying their rents using cheques. 

According to Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp “Pre-Covid-19, we were seeing more of a trend to increase cheque payments and the lockdown accelerated that. Some owners are now asking for fewer cheques again but overall more owners are appreciating that they need to offer increased cheque payments – gone are the days that companies pay for rent in one cheque. In 2021 so far we have seen one cheque rental payments decrease by 28.3% compared to the beginning of 2020.” The brokerage firm reported an emerging trend of short-term, month-by-month rental inquiries as a result of job losses or financial strains. 

Rise in the requirements for Office Space:

In 2020, Dubai’s office market witnessed a total of 194,000 sq. m of office gross leasable area (GLA) delivered, majorly at prime locations such as – Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Downtown Dubai, increasing the total stock to 8.9 million sq. m.

In Abu Dhabi, a 40,600 sq. m of office stock was added, bringing the total supply to 3.8 million sq. m. To sell this massive office space at a fair cost, the office space developers continue to remain tenant-friendly with landlords coming up with beguiling offers and lease terms. The office sector is getting ready for the post-Covid-19 office environment, which will consist of collaborative spaces, masks, sanitizers, lower seating densities, more meeting rooms, and at least 8m to 12m space between the workstations to maintain social distancing.

Surge in the Demand for Leisure Properties from the Corporate Tenants:

There are numerous listings in Dubai that are specifically developed to meet the requirements of the corporate sector. Moreover, they are also available for short-term lets. Despite the unfavorable economic climate, accommodation for leisure outpaced corporate demand in 2020.

Villas are becoming popular due to the rising demand for luxury accommodation available on short-term lets and at lower annual rates. To earn good revenues in the current phase of slowdown, landlords prefer to lease villas for the short-term. Villas are the best bet for landlords as tenants are willing to pay a higher amount to rent them on short-term rentals.

Villas, Apartments or Townhouses – Which one offers the Best Rental value?

Dubai allures the world with its sky-high residential properties. The city’s villas, apartments, and townhouses are becoming the most sought-after options amongst tenants due to their varied styles, location, and budget-friendliness. However, tenants are still in a dilemma about which property has the best rental value. 

It is pivotal to know the rental value of each property before making your mind to choose among an elegant rental apartment at Dubai Marina, a spacious villa in Arabian Ranches, or a European-styled townhouse at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

This article will guide you in making a better choice which type of property offers the best rental value –

Living in Villas symbolizes luxury due to high space, and a list of private amenities. This is the prime reason villas attract a higher price and rental rates across the globe. However, it is not always the same.  It depends on several factors such as the location of the property, proximity to essential places, number of rooms, space available in the property, etc.

Factors Determining the Rental Value of the Property:

The location has a profound impact on the rental value of a property. Although villas attract higher rents, however, if the apartment is rented at a prime location, the average rent can be much higher than the villa located in a suburb or a very remote area. 

The proximity of a property from essential places such as schools, colleges, hospitals, etc. is also a key factor that determines the demand for the property. Tenants who prefer these establishments nearer to them choose to live in apartments, while those who prefer space, luxury, and living peaceful life away from the city’s crowd prefer to live in villas.

Another key factor that influences the price or the rental value of the property is the number of rooms rented. Generally, villas attract higher rents due to a more number of rooms compared to an apartment or a townhouse, and also offer more privacy. Furthermore, villas offer more private amenities such as pools, gardens, etc. It is also important to note that while renting villas or apartments, there are several additional expenses on top of rent that are incurred by the tenants. These additional costs include – maintenance charges, electricity charges, and the cost of furniture. It is always recommended to buy your furniture if you are staying for long to cut on those costs. Considering villas are larger in size with more rooms, the cost of running a villa is much higher. Even if you are lucky to find a villa with lower rent, after adding maintenance & electricity charges, cleaning costs, cost of hiring a plumber or gardener, cost of maintaining the backyard, and other additional expenditures, you will still find villas several fold expensive compared to an apartment.

Rent Value for Villas, Apartments, and Townhouse:

According to Bayut, the annual rents for 2-bedroom houses start from AED 50k and go up to AED 170k per annum for more luxurious units in an upscale neighborhood like Palm Jumeirah. 

For tenants looking to rent 3-bedroom villas in Dubai under AED 115k per annum, the most relevant options are Mirdif, Akoya Oxygen, Reem, DAMAC Hills (Akoya by DAMAC), and International City. The rental rate for a 4-bedroom villa ranges between AED 90k to AED 800k. 5-bedroom homes are priced from AED 70k in Akoya Oxygen to AED 1.1M in Palm Jumeirah. 

The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Dubai ranges between AED 40k – 70k annually. As per Bayut data, there is a vast range of cheap 2 BHK apartments for rent in Dubai. The top area for 2-bedroom apartments for rent in Dubai in the range of AED 70k includes – Al Nahda (AED 47,000), Bur Dubai (AED 65,000), Jumeirah Village Circle (AED 65,000), Al Warqaa (AED 46,000), and Dubai Silicon Oasis (AED 59,000).

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Dubai is between AED 21k to 65k per annum.  One-bedroom apartments for AED 21k can be rented for AED 21k in areas like Al Nahda and Dubai South. The rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah then the rent for a 1 BHK is between AED 45k and AED 65k, respectively. 

The rental prices for 2-bedroom apartments in Dubai range from AED 30k to AED 525k. The higher-priced properties are found in exclusive neighborhoods such as Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah. 3-bed units are priced upwards of AED 45k in the Al Qusais and Jebel Ali communities. 

The average price for renting a 3-bed flat in JLT is AED 121k and it is AED 137k in Business Bay. 4-bed units can be found for AED 65k in Deira and go up to AED 800k yearly in Downtown Dubai. A 5-bedroom apartment in Dubai is not that common and prices start from AED 150k in communities such as Dubai Sports City, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). 

The latest data from Bayut reveals that average rent for a 1-bedroom townhouse starts from AED 20k in locations like Dubai Industrial Park and goes up to AED 80k in Jumeirah Village Triangle (JVT). The annual rent for a 2-bedroom townhouse would be around AED 40k to AED 130k, depending on the location and whether the property is fully furnished. A 3-bed townhouse for rent in Dubai costs around AED 90k in areas like Noor Townhouses in Town Square with areas spanning over 2,000 sq.ft.  The rent for a bigger townhouse with 4-bed and 5-beds is between AED 100k to AED 300k, annually. Data from Property Monitor reveals that the most popular areas to rent a townhouse are – Dubai South, Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Reem, and Town Square. 

Apartments Emerge as a Clear Winner in the Rental Value:

Living in apartments is far cost-effective compared to living in a villa or townhouse. Furthermore, the service charges and other maintenance costs are also low.  Apartments are also the most desirable option for the tenants as they offer better security compared to any other property type. Proximity to the downtowns and city center is another factor that makes apartments ‘a perfect ten’ for the tenants and boosts their rental value.

Expo 2020 to Dubai 2040 – Accelerating the Real-Estate Sector in Dubai

2020 was a tough year for the UAE’s housing market, surrounded by a massive supply glut. According to Global Property Guide, the prices for Dubai’s residential property fell by 4.88% during the third quarter of 2020. This was followed by a year-on-year (YoY) decline of 3.27% in Q2 2020, 5.06% in Q1 2020, 4.05% in Q4 2019, and 4.52% in Q3 2019. During Q4, house prices in Dubai fell by 1.36%.

The foremost reasons for this decline in property prices are – excessive supply aggravated by low demand due to the COVID-19, an increase in property registration fees from 2% to 4%, implementation of 5% Value-added tax (VAT) to home sales after three years of the completion of the project, oil price slump, and the after-effects of Federal Mortgage Cap, introduced in 2013. 

As the countdown for Expo 2020 Dubai begins, the real estate sector has a chance to come out of the rough phase and make the most of this opportunity. Industry experts believe that Expo 2020 will defy all odds for the real-estate sector and will boost property sales, stimulate the job market, and will ensure that the sector thrives despite market fluctuations.

Expo 2020 to Act as a Panacea for the Real-estate Sector:

There are a lot of expectations of the real estate industry from the EXPO 2020  due to a list of favorable policy reforms and schemes launched by the UAE government such as: the Golden card visa, 100% foreign ownership for enterprises, easy payment plans, long-term residency options for professionals, and the flexibility offered by financial institutions in debt repayment, and foreign retirees scheme.  

The Impact of EXPO 2020 on Dubai Property Market:

Real estate gurus predict that Expo 2020 Dubai will expedite the pace of growth of the UAE real estate market. The event will have a favorable impact on the competitiveness of the real estate market, infrastructure, economy, trade flow, which will spur the sales of the real-estate sector. These schemes will boost investor confidence and foster more investment into the UAE real estate market.

Expo 2020 will bring transformational change to Dubai’s property market in terms of both sales & value. Since the announcement of Expo 2020 in Dubai, there has been a colossal increase in sales of hotel rooms as 25 million expected visitors will rush to book their accommodation well in advance. Expo 2020 will also flourish the sales of residential property as thousands of expatriates will move to Dubai before, during, and after the event. The grand event will also have a favorable impact on the commercial real-estate sector with increased demand for office space as experts predict that post expo, an exhaustive list of global logistics & marketing firms will relocate or expand in Dubai to service-related event driven demand.

The real-estate sector will also have a profound impact on supportive government policies such as – easing of ownership and visa regulations, over recent months. This will work wonders for the real estate industry and create even more favorable conditions for real estate growth. The grand event will have a favorable impact on the prices and will attract more investment in the near future. 

There were several large-scale real estate and retail projects announced in the run-up to Dubai Expo 2020 that form a part of the wider expo experience to be provided by Dubai. The most significant real estate and retail developments among those are Mohammed Bin Rashid City and Dubai South.

A list of new infrastructure projects worth billions of dirhams has been announced which will have a major impact on Dubai South. Several experts believe that post Expo, Dubai South will emerge as a microcosm of unconventional real estate and architecture. The expo site at Dubai South is spread across 4.38 Sq. km. It is equipped with world-class infrastructure and imposing structures and has hosted several high-profile events in the past. Dubai South has close proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport and is easily connected with every part of Dubai through a new metro line, Route 2020.

They are as follows:

  • Over 8,200 property units have been sanctioned for development in Dubai South after Expo 2020. This includes – schools and malls, within a 700,000 sq. ft. area(2).
  • A list of commercial development projects has also been planned for Dubai South and an area of 1.5 million sq. ft has been allocated to it.
  • Dubai South will be benefited from sustainable practices as the government will power the event through a solar project and will reuse and repurpose 90% of the construction materials used after the event. Several companies based in Dubai South in the renewable energy business will be benefited from it.
  • Expo 2020 will initiate redevelopment work at District 2020 – an area located in Dubai South where the expo will take place. Some of the buildings such as -the Sustainability Pavilion, for instance, will live on as a center for child and scientific education. The Dubai World Trade Center Conference and Exhibition Center will also remain after the expo.
  • District 2020 will have 700,000 sq. ft. of residential space, education facilities, and parkland equivalent to six soccer pitches. 
  • With proximity to  Al Maktoum International Airport, District 2020 will act as Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and will facilitate the businesses to function tax-exempt.
  • The Expo site at Dubai South will go through a transformation phase with 8,228 units currently under construction. This will lead to the establishment of several new homes, schools and shopping centres.
  • The AED 10 billion investment in building metro lines in Dubai South will have benefits far beyond Expo for Dubai residents as well as for the global expats working or visiting the city.
  • Billions of dollars will be invested into Dubai’s infrastructure to improve its global image as well as its rankings in business competitiveness. It will also attract thousands of talented expats to the city who will buy or rent property, which will spur the sales of the real-estate sector.

Dubai 2040: 

UAE launched its ambitious Urban Master Plan – Dubai 2040 on Saturday, March 13, 2021. The plan outlines Dubai’s strategy for sustainable urban development to cater to the requirements of the rising population of the emirates. The top agenda of Dubai 2040 is to improve the effectiveness of resource utilization, develop vibrant, healthy, and inclusive communities, and double green and leisure areas and public parks to create a healthy environment for the residents and visitors.

The Need for Dubai 2040:

As per govt. data, UAE’s population is expected to increase by 76% in the next two decades (i.e from 3.3 million in 2020 to 5.8 million by 2040). The commuter-adjusted or day-time population will also increase from 4.5 million in 2020 to 7.8 million in 2040. Dubai 2040 focuses on building infrastructure as per the needs of the rising population and ensuring Dubai maintains its spot among the best cities to live in.

Dubai 2040 envisions the establishment of a list of green corridors to connect the service areas, residential areas, and workplaces, ease the movement of pedestrians, bicycles, and sustainable mobility throughout the city. The plan revolves around optimum utilization of space available in Dubai and the development of infrastructure to support residents and foster a more favorable business climate.

Dubai 2040 – A Forge Ahead for the Real Estate Sector:

The real-estate sector will be the biggest beneficiary of Dubai 2040 as construction work will take place on a very large scale. The ambitious program will lead to the expansion of urban areas by increasing the space for health & education institutes by 25% as well as an increase in the areas used for economic, commercial, and industrial activities to 168 sq. km. To accomplish these tasks there will be a vast requirement of real-estate firms. Dubai 2040 is a billion-dollar opportunity waiting to be cashed in for the real-estate sector. 

   Here are some of the highlights of Dubai 2040 :

  • Increase in the land area used for hotels and tourist activities by 134%
  • Increase in the length of public beaches by 400%
  • 60% of Dubai to comprise of nature reserves and natural areas
  • 55% of Dubai’s population to live within 800 metres of a main public transport station
  • Billions of dollars will be invested in infrastructure to make Dubai a global hub for innovative start-ups, and international corporations
  • Focus on improving the efficiency of resources, fostering a vibrant & inclusive environment
  • Doubling the size of green cover and leisure areas to offer a healthy environment to the residents
  • Developing comprehensive legislation and planning governance model

 Dubai Urban Master Plan:

Dubai South will also  be the biggest beneficiary of Dubai Urban Master Plan which is focused on development and investment in five main urban centres (three existing and two new centres) that foster the growth of economic sectors, create employment, and improve lifestyle. 

The existing urban centres include Deira, Bur Dubai,Downtown and Business Bay; Dubai Marina and JBR .

Dubai 2040: What’s there for the Property & Strata Management Sector?

Dubai 2040 will also be a boost for property & strata management firms such as Kaizen AMS as real-estate firms will be requiring support in terms of design & construction, strategy, handover process, and tenant management or retention etc. 

KAIZEN AMS –  ISO 9001:2015 certified top property management firm in Dubai, offers end-to-end solutions in Property Management, Owner Affairs, Unit Management, Handover Services, Community Management, Lease Management, and Investment Advisory. KAIZEN AMS has across 12,000+ units and is also a proud corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council. 

District Cooling Vs. Chiller Units: Which one is better?

Amid the rising focus on air quality and reducing carbon emissions, a list of initiatives is being launched by various governments across the globe to improve air quality. Their efforts are laid towards reviving their respective countries from the catastrophic effects of climate change. District cooling systems can play a decisive role in curtailing the emission levels, ensuring better air quality, and fostering a healthy environment.

Demerits of Traditional Methods of Cooling on Environment

Natural resources are running out quickly. There is an urge to preserve them for future generations. Unfortunately, the traditional methods of cooling consume a lot of invaluable resources which makes them unsuitable despite being a cheaper option.

Some of the demerits of traditional methods of cooling are:

Excessive Water Consumption

Water consumption is the prime consideration made during the selection of chiller units. The chiller units and other traditional methods consume a lot of water and thus get subjected to state regulations surrounding the reduction of water consumption. Exceeding the limits of water consumption can attract hefty penalties. 

Global Warming

Chillers units and other conventional methods of cooling require refrigerants to perform the cooling process. These refrigerants contain harmful chemicals that contribute significantly to global warming. Refrigerants absorb infrared light and trap it in the air which leads to a steady increase in temperature, and a decline in the quality of air. Traditional methods of cooling such as air-conditioning use Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as cooling agents in the air conditioners. This increases the holes in the Ozone layer and contributes immensely to global warming.

High Power Consumption

Chiller consumes significantly high power for its operations which also shoots up the company’s energy bills. Furthermore, there is a huge amount of environmental cost associated with chillers. Due to high power consumption, the chiller releases additional carbon emissions from the power plant which increases the pollution level and degrades the quality of the environment. The assessment for power consumption and carbon emissions must include the chiller and its ancillary equipment such as pumps. 

Air conditioners also require a significant amount of energy for their operations and therefore release pollution. On average, air conditioners consume between 3000 to 5000 watts of electricity every hour. Air conditioners consume even more energy when it is warmer as extra power is used to cool the building. They are not only a costly-affair for the businesses but also have adverse effects on the environment.

Pollutes the Environment

Air conditioners have adverse effects on the environment. The ducts in the air conditioner collect dust and bacteria every time it is turned on which is very unhygienic and toxic for humans, especially for kids and the elderly.

The Use of Plastic is Detrimental

Earlier, the air conditioner manufacturers used to manufacture them with metals, however, with rising costs,  they switched to plastic, which is much cheaper. Although the use of both plastic and metal in the manufacturing process is bad for the environment, the use of plastic is far more detrimental as it is non-biodegradable and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and also causes the greenhouse effect.

How Does District Cooling Overcome these Challenges?

District Cooling is indeed a blessing in disguise in meeting Middle East cooling requirements and leading the region towards sustainability. It is far more energy-efficient, reliable, and environment-friendly compared to the conventional methods of cooling. District cooling systems (DCS) are instrumental in providing buildings located in serviced areas with distributed chilled water for convenience and to perform cooling. 

District cooling curtails the higher maintenance cost for the building owners and occupies very little space. It is far more efficient to produce chilled water in a central plant rather than using in-building equipment to minimize the adverse effects on the environment.  

Although the energy-saving from using a district cooling system differs according to its configuration such as heat rejection method, length of distribution pipeline, and plant efficiency improvement schemes, an estimated cost a building owner can save from the implementation of DCS is between 20% to 35% compared to conventional air-conditioning systems and individual water-cooled air-conditioning systems using cooling towers.

The district cooling system offers advanced processes that lead to almost 40% of energy efficiency improvements and more than 20% of lifecycle cost savings in comparison to the traditional air conditioning systems. DCS minimizes the extortionate maintenance and capital cost and reduces the demand on the grid. The conventional systems of air conditioning create 50% to 70% of the peak electricity demand in the building specifically at a very high cost. Building owners can curtail the electricity cost by avoiding the peak power demands on the grid.

Cost Difference: District Cooling vs Chiller Units

District cooling is one of the most popular methods of cooling due to its environmental benefits. It is widely used by firms, tenants, and owners at homes, retails spaces, offices, or any other available area. The prime difference between the district cooling and chiller-free is majorly the choice afforded by tenants. In the case of Chiller-free properties, tenants usually do not pay for air conditioning. Whether to choose district cooling or chiller-free depends on the choice and aim of the tenant. If the tenant is looking for an economical or cheaper option, undoubtedly chiller-free is the better alternative.

In Dubai, the district cooling cost is segregated into consumption charge and demand charge. The consumption charge is calculated depending on the usage captured by the meter of the unit at the building or premise. It is billed at a rate of AED 0.568 fils per Refrigeration Ton (RT) per hour. The demand charge is billed to the tenant, owner, or company for providing District Cooling Service to the apartment/unit at AED 750/ RT per annum. 

Here is the breakdown of District Cooling Charges:

The average monthly cost of using a district cooling system in Dubai is between AED 775 – 800 for the first owner in the first year. From the second year, it is between AED 625 to 670 per month. Here is the breakdown – 

  • Yearly Demand Charge: 6 RT (The RT load of the A/C of the unit) * 750 = 4500 AED per annum  
  • Monthly Demand Charge: 4500/365*31 = 387.50
  • Meter Maintenance Charge: AED 50 for 3 Months or AED 30 per month
  • Connection Charge:  AED 2000 (It is a one-off charge payable by the first owner of the unit at the time of registration) 
  • Administration Charge: AED 1000 (It is also a one-off charge payable by the first owner of the unit at the time of registration) 
  • Disconnection Fee:  Residential Units: AED 1000, Retail Units: AED 2000
  • Meter Testing fee: AED 160
  • VAT: 5%
Cost of Chiller charges: 

The yearly cost to a consumer for using chiller units is between AED 4000 – 5000 which comes out to AED 334-420 monthly. It is almost half of the cost of district cooling. The key components of the bill include

  • Consumption Charge: It is calculated according to the meter reading as per the usage. It will be charged at Dhs 0.568 fils per RT (refrigeration ton) per hour.
  • Demand Charge: It is a recurring yearly charge. It is around AED 750 per RT/ annually. It is billed quarterly in advance.
  • Fuel Surcharge: This charge is levied on the bill due to a rise in fuel prices. It is 6.5 fils / kWh.

Where Does Dubai Stand in District Cooling?

In the last few years, Dubai has emerged as the single largest market for district cooling in the world. The city accounts for 20% or one-fifth of the market share of all the cooling demand. Dubai supplies 600,000TR at peak capacity. There has been a shift of global policies towards energy conservation and billions of dollars have been invested in finding out novel ways to maximize efficiency and minimize the wastage of energy. 

Dubai is also planning a 30% cut in the usage of energy and water consumption by 2030. District cooling is an integral part of the city’s nine programs under an umbrella topic of Demand Side Management. Leveraging the benefits of direct cooling, Dubai is targeting a two-fold increase in its percentage market share and to deliver 14% of the 2.7 TWh of yearly targeted savings in power demand. Through a program of regulatory framework development, Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau for Electricity and Water (RSB) Dubai is planning to involve and encourage the private sector in energy supply and efficiency savings.

Predictions

With the rise in development and expansion activities in the region, the demand for district cooling is expected to surge at an exponential rate. As per the studies conducted by the global consulting firm, Booz & Co.(Former name of Strategy&), the total demand for district cooling in the GCC in 2010 was only 36 million Refrigeration Tones (RT). However, with rising population, industrialization, and economic expansion the demand for district cooling will increase almost three-fold to 100 million RT by 2030.

Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) also reveals that district cooling systems will have a very minimal impact on the environment compared to air conditioning or other traditional methods.

How Does Kaizen Curtail the Energy Cost at its Managed Properties?

Knowing the art of keeping the energy cost at its lowest can be a deciding factor in the triumph of a property management firm. This is very much evident in the context of Kaizen AMS. We implement innovative utility management techniques to reduce the energy cost. Leveraging both real-time and historic data, Kaizen AMS continuously monitors the energy usage of the property to take corrective actions on time and curtail the high energy usage.

According to the National Apartment Association, utility bills account for up to 30% of the operational cost of the building. Thus, utility management becomes an important area for property managers to focus on as it boosts efficiency, savings, and reduces the overall energy cost. Lower energy costs also cut down on the high rental rates as it is one of the major components of rental value.  Kaizen AMS’ invests significantly in adopting novel technologies & methods such as PropTech to reduce energy usage and minimize energy bills for the tenants. This is what makes Kaizen AMS’ managed properties an attractive residence and long-term value option for the prospective tenant. It is pivotal for property management firms to consider energy, waste, and water usage metrics that can adversely impact their business. 

Reducing energy consumption is the first thought which comes to mind of property managers when they think of curtailing energy cost and improving efficiency, however, this is not the only option. There are several other ways through which energy cost can be minimized in spite of significant usage

Regular Maintenance and Upgrades

The secret to cut down on the utility cost is to realize the importance of routine maintenance and energy upgrades. It has been found that most of the property managers consider maintenance and upgrades as an expense and do not plan or invest much into it. As they say, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. A vast majority of property managers fail to realize that a property with an old chiller or heating system will take a lot of time to perform cooling or heating compared to one with a new and innovative chiller. This is one of the most common reasons behind higher energy bills at UAE properties. 

Timely maintenance, replacement, upgrades, and usage of advanced materials such as efficient windows, sustainable construction materials, lighting, etc. significantly improves the energy performance of the building and also minimizes the cost of living for the tenant. 

Kaizen AMS understands that a timely proactive replacement of a decade-old chiller in the building will reduce the total cost of ownership in the coming years. Thus, we continuously invest in performing regular maintenance and upgrades as it is a big payoff and also demonstrates our strong commitment towards the safety and well-being of the tenants of the buildings we manage.

Automation 

Kaizen’s technology team automates energy usage wherever possible, which results in significant energy savings. We automate the areas where the community shares responsibilities. This includes – showers near the pool which turn off automatically and electric appliances in the common areas that operate at a lower heat and consume less water. Automating electronic appliances cut down energy usage by 30% and also reduces the extortionate energy bills.  This makes the Kaizen managed properties appealing to every tenant.

Submetering

Submetering is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs. It is the process in which a utility firm provides a breakdown on the basis of subunits. In case the property is a duplex with two or more tenants, an owner can request a separate electricity bill for each unit. The prime benefit of submetering units is that tenants are responsible to pay their individual utility bills and not the expenses passed by the property management firm. Furthermore, when a tenant knows they are responsible to pay their utility bill, they tend to use less energy. This not only reduces their energy bills but also conserves energy for the greater good.

Timely Monitoring of Energy Usage 

Kaizen AMS has a specialized team of energy experts who timely monitor the energy cost and ancillary expenses. We deploy advanced energy modeling software to predict the energy usage of the building based on the climate, location, construction, size, and construction material. When the usage exceeds the specified standard, the software alarms the team to take the necessary steps. The software also predicts the energy usage of the building accurately and assists the building managers in adopting the design that improves energy efficiency to maximize the overall return on investment (ROI).

Energy Modeling Software to Track Energy Usage

Kaizen’s technology team, which consists of top engineers from prestigious engineering institutions has developed an intuitive & comprehensive energy modeling software to track the energy usage of each tenant in real-time. The prime reason for the development of the software is to make sure we take necessary steps in case a particular tenant or building as a whole exceeds the set limit. This ensures Kaizen AMS always meets its energy goals every year. We are also equipped with an unconventional dashboard that continuously explores opportunities to save energy. It also monitors progress and calculates the savings from our energy conservation initiatives.

Timely Reminder to the Tenants on their Energy Usage

The Kaizen AMS’ energy efficiency team sends timely automated reminders to the tenants on their current energy usage, and expert advice and tips on how to conserve the energy efficiently.

Organizes Energy Management Studies

Kaizen AMS ties-up with energy efficiency firms to conduct energy management studies at regular intervals. We encourage our employees and concerned parties to provide their valuable suggestions on energy conservation and reward the best ideas. The Kaizen AMS’ leadership fosters a culture of innovation in its processes to ensure our clients get the lowest energy bills and we stay on the top in terms of energy conservation.

UAE Vaccinates Over 4 Million People. What does it mean for us Residents?

UAE has emerged as one of the most successful nations in executing a coronavirus vaccination drive. Over 4 million people so far have received the covid-19 vaccination. The public sector has been vaccinating the employees at a large-scale and making Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests mandatory for those not being vaccinated. 

What is Efficacy Rate? 

Efficacy rate measures the reduction in disease incidence in a vaccinated group compared with an unvaccinated group. For instance, the efficacy rate of 70% means people injected with the vaccine are 70% protected from getting infected, compared with those who are completely vulnerable without it. 

Covid-19 Vaccines Available in the UAE:

At present, there are four vaccines available in the UAE for use on eligible individuals against the COVID-19 infection. This includes – Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and, Sputnik V.

All of these vaccines are available for free to all citizens and residents. 

Instructions for the Federal Employers & Employees:

The top considerations for the federal employers and employees in the UAE in the coming weeks and months will be to make coronavirus vaccines easily available. They are currently being administered in two separate doses. Employees must be provided with the necessary time off from work to obtain the vaccine and to recover from the side effects if any. 

The Economic Impact of Sinopharm on UAE:

UAE’s pace has been the fastest in vaccinating its people for Covid-19. While the western world has prioritised the older people in the vaccination drive, the UAE has given preference to the frontline workers and expanded the access to all adults in its 1 million nationals and over 8 million foreign residents.  The approach of vaccinating the front-line workers have worked wonders for the UAE in controlling the pandemic as they are more prone to spread the virus. 

Since the vaccinating process began, the UAE government has allowed residents to organize gatherings inside their homes of up to 10 people. Hotels which remained vacant for almost half a year witnessed a 70% surge in their occupancy rate since the launch of vaccination drive. The primary reason being a substantial surge in international tourism in the UAE due to a sense of normality and warm weather.     

The UAE is driving GDP & economic growth across GCC nations by the virtue of being a trade, transport, and tourism hub. Post-vaccination process, retail & tourism sectors have outperformed others in terms of revenue. UAE also achieved better inflows and outflows of goods & services and presently striving towards its aim of vaccinating the largest percentage of society in the next 2-3 months.

What Does the Clearance of Covid-19 Vaccines Means for the Communities?

The approval of the list of covid vaccines is indeed a great news for the UAE economy. Since the launch of the vaccine, several restaurants, cinemas, tourist destinations, shopping malls, entertainment venues have been made operational. This will have a profound impact on the job market. Furthermore, the launch of the vaccine will also make it possible to organize Expo 2020 in October 2021, which will attract billions of dollars of investments to the UAE economy. The grand event will also boost tourism and real-estate, and will lead to the creation of millions of new jobs in the economy.

According to Khatija Haque, Chief economist & Head of research at Emirates NBD, “Overall we expect the non-oil sectors to grow 3.5 % with headline GDP growth to be at 1.9 % in 2021.”

Rapid changes are expected to take place in the coming months with an increased focus on being vaccinated. The UAE government is planning to vaccinate almost 60-70% of its population before the end of March 2021. The Sinopharm vaccine emerges as the most preferred option due to its wider availability compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The launch of the covid vaccine will allow the UAE government to avoid taking any serious steps such as – lockdowns which have completely paralyzed the economies of some of the biggest G8 nations.

Covid-19 Measures Taken by Kaizen AMS for its’ communities:

The core mission behind the formation of Kaizen AMS is to create a community ecosystem which focuses on a stronger emotional connection, by offering residents exceptional experiences through sustainable, reliable, safe, and technologically advanced means. 

Ensuring residents safety and great experience have always been the top priority of Kaizen AMS. Our community managers have been instrumental in safeguarding their communities from Coronavirus Pandemic. They laid special emphasis on increasing the frequency of sanitization and cleaning across all the communities.

To ensure residents & tenants’ do not have to go out physically to contact our community managers and their issues gets resolved online, Kaizen AMS’ integrated all resident and tenant support applications with Whatsapp. This way we made sure that we  stay just a click away from our residents in need. Our applications received an overwhelming response with 98% usage. 

Our community managers also ensured social distancing norms are followed while residents travel in elevators or in common areas. They temporarily suspended any use of swimming pools and facilities and installed hand sanitizers in all the communities to curb the spread of the virus. Kaizen Community managers also ensured that all the government guidelines pertaining to stop the spread of the pandemic are followed. They instructed the security personnel to ensure that residents are wearing masks at all times while accessing the common area. We went beyond the RERA’s guidelines to protect our communities from Covid-19 because creating safe and memorable experiences is not just a statement, but the core philosophy behind the formation of Kaizen AMS. 

Stuck in Property Handover Delays? Here is All You Need to Know

Finalizing a property management company has never been a cakewalk. It is indeed a rigorous and careful process that requires evaluation of various important factors such as – cost, ROI, expertise, and above all capability and track record of the firm in handing over the keys to the investors on time. In the last few years, there has been an exponential increase in the number of new home handovers in the UAE. This has intensified the competition, with more companies offering handover services. Thus, it becomes more crucial than ever before to critically analyze their offerings and evaluate their strategy to mitigate any sort of property handover delays before selecting the right one.

Kaizen AMS ensures that you don’t regret your decision. We possess almost three-decades of experience in executing a smooth and swift handover process with complete protection of the property and better returns. Ensuring the property gets its best care and stays in good shape always remains the top agenda of our property managers.

What Makes the Handover Process Challenging?

The handover is quite simple and straightforward. However, in many cases, the momentous process of property handover becomes a headache for investors. The key villains are – ineffective management, limited support, and poor customer service offered by the developers. The complex procedures and hidden charges further make the handover norms more difficult to understand for the investors. Several property developers will simply send out the completion notice and demand investors for handover within a month or levy hefty risk penalties. This causes innumerable stress to the overseas investors and to those who have waited for years for the completion due to repeated delays in the construction process. The developers must have a well-defined process in place to minimize the challenges for the investors and avoid any delays in the construction process.

Top Reasons for the Delay:

The key factors responsible for the delay in the handover process are as follows:

Short-term Completion Notice

Once the building construction is completed and achieved the required certification, investors receive a 30-day notice of completion from the developer. During this period, investors are expected to clear all outstanding dues on the property price and other statutory fees to take possession of the unit as the new owners. Several other obligations are also required to be completed before the keys of the property are handed over. The process above looks alluring however it comes with a series of challenges for many investors. It is very frustrating for many investors who have waited for ages to reach this point and are now provided with merely 30 days’ time to stump up the final payments. It is not always easy for the overseas investors to make payments within this short period and also to come to Dubai to complete these final handover formalities. 

Pending Final Payments and Paperwork:

Along with the completion notice from the developer, the investor also receives a handover pack with key details on the completion date and the account statement. The account statement reflects the total amount paid to date as well as the amount due to take possession of the property. The percentage of final payment varies from developer to developer, however, the closing cost remains standard throughout. 

In most cases, the major cause of the delay in the handover process is the pending final payments and the paperwork from the investor’s side. To avoid handover delays, the investor should have paid all the required fees before the handover date of the project, and have submitted the relevant documents to the developer. 

Cancellation of the Project by RERA:

One of the biggest reasons for the delay in the handover process in Dubai is the cancellation of the project by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). The projects are canceled by RERA when the land is affected by planning or re-planning projects. In that case, the projects are transferred to the liquidation committee and then to the Dubai Real Estate Court, which handles the settlement of rights and liquidation to purchasers. It is always advisable to check the status of the project timely on the Dubai Land Department website under the tab ‘Project Status’.

Heavy Penalties: 

This stage requires the investor to clear the final balance due on the purchase price of the property, as per the terms and conditions of the sales contract with the developer. Penalties are levied on the account and in case of non-payment by the investor, the developer has a right to apply to the Dubai Land Department for the termination of the unit, depending on the breach of the sales agreement with the investor. It is always advisable to make the payment within the deadline to not risk losing the unit.

Ways to Avoid Delays in the Handover Process:

There are several ways the investors and buyers can implement to minimize the risk of delayed property project handover. 

Conduct Proper Research about the Developer:

It is pivotal to conduct an in-depth and thorough research about the developer before planning to purchase the property. Potential Investors must research the developer’s track record of completing projects and handovers as per schedule. It is certainly wise to talk to other investors and visit the project site to get the real picture of the project. 

Check for the Developer’s Escrow Account: 

As per Law (8) of 2007, it is mandatory for all real estate developers in UAE to have an Escrow Account which is registered with Dubai Land Department (DLD) to sell off-plan units. The investor must ensure that the developer has an Escrow account by visiting the DLD website and searching for the relevant project. All the payments made by the investor to the developer must be deposited in the registered Escrow account.

Check for Necessary Permits:

Before starting dealing with the developer, an investor must ensure that the developer possesses all the requisite permits and approvals from Dubai Land Department to market and sell off-plan properties.

Thoroughly Review the Clauses in the Contract

The potential investor must thoroughly review all the clauses stated in the Sales & Purchase Agreement to protect his interest and rights under any unforeseen circumstances. Before signing the contract, it is important to review whether the developer has mentioned all the provisions and plans to manage any kind of handover delay in the contract.

Check for RERA’s Registration:

Potential investors must check whether the project and the developer are registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) before investing. Mostly the developers which are registered with RERA have a great track record of completing the project handover on time. This information is readily available on the Dubai Land Department website.

The Secret Behind Swift Handover Process at Kaizen 

Kaizen recruits highly professional property inspection experts to carry out all the tasks associated with the handover process. They are highly trained in performing comprehensive checks of each property. Our property inspection experts offer prior notice to the developers on the expected completion date of the project. Post that, Kaizen’s handover team performs rigorous site visits at regular intervals subject to the first notice from the developer on the completion of the project. Later, our Developer & handover team collect information details of the project, client details, DEWA premise numbers & financial reports, and issue invoices to all clients with an outstanding balance. The team is also responsible for preparing the first communication with all clients and notifying them of the Building Completion Certificate (BCC) date. They also provide the expected handover date along with Service Oriented Architecture  (SOA). The Community and Owner’s association team is responsible for preparing clients’ service charge invoices and delivering them at the BCC date. Post that, guidelines are provided within a 30-day notice, and invoices are prepared and sent to clients. Subjected to testing and commissioning completion, the developers deactivate all units’ DEWA accounts. Lastly,, the handover team collects unit keys, access cards, remotes, etc. This process is not only systematic but very cost-effective too and also ensures that the handover process with Kaizen becomes a ‘memory to cherish’ for our investors.

Dubai: From trading pearls and fishing to engineering the happiest city in the world.

It all started with a vision of one man, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, who wanted to make Dubai become the happiest city in the world.

A great leap forward from fishing and collecting pearls to be traded with other nations to engineering the happiest city in the world. Long ago, most Dubaiers used to live in houses made of corals with no water for sewers and electricity, However, Dubai now is indeed the pearl of the East and one of the world’s most favorable go-to places.

The culture of Dubai is a great mixture of beautiful Islamic and western styles. A metropolitan where the East and the West converge. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle are very prominent in the city. Everyone in Dubai is guaranteed a free-way living. A city that once was home for a single ethnically homogenous community has now transformed to become also home for other ethnic groups and nationals. If you’re in Dubai, you’ll have the chance to hear hundreds of languages with different dialects and accents, and you don’t have to travel anywhere to buy stuff. You can just buy it from Dubai Mall that has products from nearly 120 countries.

Visitors of Dubai can also enjoy very culturally-rich experiences. Especially after the launch of Dubai Culture that empowered many projects and initiatives as part of a great step forward to achieve the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 that aims to boost Dubai’s stand as a cosmopolitan city for culture, arts, and literature. These initiatives and projects include Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, Visual Art Programme, the First cultural visa in the world and my favorite is the SIKKA Art Fair.

Another interesting aspect of Dubai Culture is the adoption of happiness and positivity approach. Thus, happiness programmes and initiatives were launched to spread joy among people. After a while, some surveys revealed that a surprising majority of Dubai residents said they feel happy and safe. In Dubai, you can see a police Happiness Patrol handing out rewards to law-abiding drivers instead of fines and tickets. People are asked to rate public services with emojis to reward good behaviors instead of punishing the bad.

The UAE is one of four national governments to appoint a senior government member responsible for coordinating national happiness efforts. Happiness in Dubai is a serious matter, especially after it became an increasingly preferred indicator for social progress by governments and global organizations such as the United Nations.  

In conclusion, happiness is an integral part of Dubai’s smart transformation. A smart and happy city that prioritizes happiness as a key objective, led by the Smart Dubai Office that oversees that transformation and utilizes innovative technology.     

Working to live or living to work!

It is without a doubt that work can help us find ourselves, make a difference, and perhaps to live a happy life. But in this pursuit of happiness, we sometimes forget that we also have lives to live and times to spend with our loved ones. That’s why it’s important to strike some balance here between life and work to avoid stress and to maintain a healthy wok atmosphere.

The old saying goes: ‘healthy body, healthy mind.’ That’s why if you want to physically feel well, you have to maintain your mental health and vice versa. That can be achieved by doing daily exercises and eating healthy food. You can’t keep working like a machine without taking breaks, and you can’t keep thinking about work or take it home with you. This won’t only ruin your family relationships but worse still, the stress caused by such behavior can cause other physical problems like high blood pressure or heart diseases.

So if your life is all about work, then you’ve missed a lot of interesting and positive aspects of life that make you an interesting person to other people, especially to employers. Thus, having other interests outside the work environment helps to improve your social skills and to build a well-rounded and sophisticated character that will eventually make you more attractive to people, and you can share those experiences with them. That’s why it’s important to have hobbies and activities and include them in resumes. Because most employers look for such qualities in employees.

It’s sad how some employees don’t get how important mental health is in the workplace. Studies have shown how dangerous and risky ignoring mental health could be. In some cases, it can lead to stress-related illnesses, depression and even burnout. This happens when employees suffer a great amount of pressure and stress that could be caused by outrageous workloads, eventually leaving them with a feeling that their work isn’t being appreciated.

In conclusion, we only live once. So if you do feel you’re acting all spooky and out of character, then perhaps it’s time for you to take a break and to really start looking into your work-life balance. To maintain a good work-life balance, we all should take some personal time off when it’s necessary, breaks should be taken all the time, doing exercises, going on holidays, spend time with friends and family, eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and above all, we shouldn’t bring work home with us.

Why hire a decorator if you can do it yourself! Here’s some DIY ideas on a budget.

Stop reading decorating magazines, it will only make you feel unsatisfied with how small your room is or how poorly your apartment was decorated. Instead, you can remodel, rebuild or redecorate your rooms with these three easy tips & tricks.

Utilize the dark side of the bed!

If you have a small apartment filled with clutter and stuff, your bedroom, especially your bed area is a great place to store things underneath. If you have an elevated bed or a platform bed, you can easily throw whatever stuff you want underneath it. And if you don’t have a bed like that, don’t worry, you can always get bed risers which give you additional space under your bed. You can then store things like suitcases, luggage or old boxes. You know, those suitcases and old boxes can also be used to store in them whatever junk you want to get rid of.

Build upwards … Take advantage of your vertical space.

Another trick is to use your vertical space to your advantage. You can have, for example, a huge wall gallery. If you enter someone’s apartment with a gallery on their wall, this gallery will immediately draw your eyes from the floor to the ceiling, because there’s a lot of stuff to look at. This tip works not only with small rooms but also with large ones too.   

Utilizing the vertical space also means building upwards, you know, like putting up a shelf. A simple shelf on a wall next to your bed means that you can keep favorite reads and books within easy reach, you can also display lots of catchy things like trinkets and book covers. Believe me, nothing could go wrong with a simple shelf. They are simply practical. Wall shelves could be installed everywhere in your apartment, and they can hold additional things like books, décor, knick-knacks and lots of stuff.

Shelves are my favorite. They can be installed above your TV or above your kitchen cabinets. If you think about it, there’s lots of room for using the space upwards.

Rearrange your room design.

If you’re bored with your room design and you can’t afford buying new furniture now, you can always ‘Feng Shui’ your room by moving furniture around. This will allow natural light to enter different corners of your room. Furniture can make your room look different and bigger for free. You can shop secondhand for an old wooden chair if you don’t already have one, dip it in bright red paint and see how beautiful it will look next to a bright set of chairs.  

You can do a lot of things with tips and techniques like these. If you put imagination to work, your options are limitless. Plus, DIY gives you satisfaction of being able to show off projects that you did yourselves. They even have a name for it. It’s called “The IKEA Effect”!