What Creates a ‘Sense of Belongingness’ at Kaizen’s Workplace?

One of the most silent features of a successful organization is its ability to motivate its employees to perform better. As rightly said by Dave Ulrich, “good performance accountability is about having a positive conversation between manager and employee. A manager is a coach and communicator, not command and controller.” The triumph of an organization largely depends on how its employees perform. Employees who are fulfilled and productive always prove to be instrumental assets in steering an organization toward success. I believe that these values are embedded in the culture of Kaizen AMS. Being an industry leader, Kaizen AMS truly understands the significance of employee morale in meeting its purpose of ‘Creating Memorable Experiences and Communities’.

As they say, ‘first impression is always the last impression’. My first day at Kaizen has been one of the most memorable days of my life. Four years ago, in Aug 2018, when I joined Kaizen AMS as Property Handover Manager at its headquarters I was overwhelmed by the courtesy and respect shown to me by the Kaizeners. I got all the necessary support from my co-workers required to streamline my induction process. There felt a sense of belongingness at the workplace.  My team members and the leadership empowered me in rising over all the challenges involved in my role by offering me support and timely training to motivate me in exemplifying the term Kaizen which means ‘continuous improvement‘. 

I joined Kaizen AMS as an experienced professional with over 11 years of UAE experience. However, I can confidently say that my last 4 years with Kaizen AMS have been exceptional. The knowledge and the experience I got at Kaizen are truly exceptional. A vast amount of this goes to Kaizen’s incredible mission of ‘transforming properties into smart, sustainable & engaging communities that are impactful to one’s well-being, happiness, and returns.’ Kaizen taught me to always prioritize customer’s concerns over anything else and strive to create an unforgettable experience for them. Kaizen’s top leadership (which includes – Fadi Nwilati, Alex Voytov, Sara Nwilati, and Tariq Arisheh) spends a couple of hours every week imparting their valuable learnings to the employees which allows them to improve their leadership skills, managing their teams and work effectively and improve their overall performance. Undoubtedly, Kaizen’s most valuable investment is its people and it makes sure the Return on Investment (ROI) of this investment improves every day through continuous learning and improvement in their roles. Here I will quote an example of how Kaizen assisted me in my journey of continuous improvement. In 2020, Mr. Fadi Nwilati and I were discussing the business expansion plans. I informed Fadi about my challenges with some of the new responsibilities assigned to me to which he immediately approved a budget so that I can pursue relevant courses to overcome my shortcomings.  I was elated and overwhelmed by this gesture shown to me by the top leader in the company. Honestly, it meant a lot to me and made me a loyal ‘Kaizener’.  Care is a give-and-take relationship. When employers care about their employees, employees also make a ‘last-ditch effort’ to live up to the expectation and give their best performance.  

‘Creating passionate Kaizeners’ has always been the core philosophy of Kaizen AMS to drive performance. The leadership at Kaizen firmly emphasizes on making every job role very creative so that employees feel passionate about their work and perform at their optimum level. The triumph of an organization relies on its employee’s performance. Even after completing 4 years at Kaizen, I feel equally passionate about my work and ensure I thrive in every responsibility assigned to me. I strongly believe that an organization can achieve its goals, mission and vision easily when its employees feel passionate, empowered, motivated, and engaged. This is where Kaizen AMS has an upper edge over its rivals. Kaizen’s leadership has been instrumental in instilling these traits in its employees which is the major reason behind Kaizen’s success as the most successful Community Management firm today.

Kaizen AMS – My First Experience Working in a Truly Global Environment

Story of our Excellence Officer – Miss. Haya Mustafa

First job always holds a special place in the heart as well as in life. The job becomes even more special if the employer is Kaizen AMS. I am very grateful to Kaizen’s leadership for making me a part of this beautiful family where each employee is treated with utmost respect, kindness, and dignity -like a family member.

When I joined Kaizen AMS in November last year as Excellence Officer, I had ‘butterflies in my stomach’, i.e.  I was very nervous. I was complete stranger to the corporate environment. Like any other person, I also had hundreds of questions in my mind about my manager and co-workers and the work environment, however, all my confusion and dilemmas were solved once-in-for-all when I went to the Kaizen office. My line manager, Mrs. Vidya Cawa conducted my induction and introduced me to the leadership and my co-workers. Everyone behaved with me in such a manner that they know me for years. My coworkers and my manager aligned all my mandatory trainings and made me understand all the rules, regulations, and norms of the company. 

Kaizen AMS is a highly diverse organization. On my first day, I got the opportunity to meet people from 5 continents. It was indeed an unforgettable experience. I met people from India, Russia, Africa, Lebanon,  Philippines, Pakistan, and several other nations and learned a lot about their nations, cultures, traditions, behaviours, cultural differences, etc. For me, it was like a world tour in 7 hours. I can say proudly that I have connections in every part of the world. I could have never expected the start of my professional career in such a beautiful manner.

I joined Kaizen as an Excellence Officer. In my daily job, I am responsible for serving the residents of 150+ Kaizen Managed communities which come from across the globe. It is indeed an incredible experience interacting with people from so many cultures and backgrounds. Before joining Kaizen AMS, I knew only 2 languages i.e. – Arabic & English; however in less than a year of joining Kaizen and spending time with a global workforce, I have learned 4 new languages i.e. Russian, Hindi, Spanish, and French. Although I am not an expert speaker but somehow I can comprehend well in these languages. Thanks to Kaizen for making me a multilingual personality. I wish one day I meet all my fellow Kaizeners in their respective countries and spend time with their beautiful families. 

Now let me talk about my job role and team. I am part of the Communications Excellence team. I am responsible for solving some of the pressing challenges faced by our stakeholders. It gives me immense pleasure to serve Kaizen’s stakeholders and bring smiles on their faces every day. We say in Arabic, ‘Khidmat Alnaas hi Khidmat Allah’ – which means ‘to serve people is to serve god’. I feel in my daily job I get an opportunity to serve God every day.  My job and the positive feedback I receive from the stakeholders keeps my motivation levels high.

My team members make my journey with Kaizen even more memorable. Each team member motivates me and encourages me to do something different from the previous day. My line manager Vidya – who hails from India, is a blend of Indian wisdom with Arabic modesty. She is very quick to analyze the challenges I might face and provide her expert opinion. Her support helps me in resolving the clients’ queries much faster and live up to the Kaizen AMS’ vision ‘to Create Memorable Experiences and Communities’. My manager has always been my wonder woman. She has always been by my side whenever I needed her assistance. Vidya is doing an ultimate job of imparting her valuable learning and teachings to the team and empowering them in becoming the leaders of tomorrow. 

Another unique aspect of working with Kaizen AMS is it respects the suggestions and opinions of every employee irrespective of their position in the hierarchy. I have seen many of my suggestions turning into reality in the last half-year and reaping the benefits for my team as well as for the company and its stakeholders. This provides an employee a true experience of being a leader or a CEO and makes the person feel more confident in taking up the next role. This also encourages the employees to come up with new ideas for the greater good of everyone.  

At Kaizen, every day is an opportunity for ‘Continuous Improvement’ and learning new things. After joining Kaizen, I have seen myself solving complex problems and becoming a problem solver which I was not earlier. I have started ‘deep-diving into the root cause’ and have started ‘challenging the status quo (two of the core values of Kaizen). I have started analyzing the business needs more deeply and reaching the most viable solution. I have seen myself becoming more patient and turning from a person who always used to pick a safe side to a real risk-taker. This happened because Kaizen provided me with a platform to showcase my talent and skills. I would like to thank the top leadership – Fadi Nwilati, Alex Voytov, and Sara Nwilati for nurturing a culture where employees feel empowered to learn new things improve every day, and grow in their professional careers. Kaizeners truly personifies the values that the Kaizen brand represents.

My experience with Kaizen is a long story. This is just the first chapter. Rest is still unwritten.  I hope one day I will complete this story and I am sure it will be one of the most alluring stories and will make the readers enthusiastic about working with Kaizen AMS.

Why do I call Kaizen AMS My Home?

Story of our Training & Quality Assurance Manager – Ms. Vidyashree Cawa

Compassion, People, Passion, and a Feeling of belongingness are the key pillars which make a place a home. Even the most expensive house or decorated workplace in the world is incomplete if it misses these elements. As rightly said by famous American Writer – Ben Stein, ‘the human spirit needs to accomplish, to achieve, to triumph to be happy.’ Kaizen strongly focuses on the factors mentioned above to boost the human spirit which is one of the key reasons behind its monumental success in a decade’s time. Kaizen always tries to create an atmosphere where every employee feels a part of the family.

Every expat understands it is not easy to leave your home country and go abroad for work. You feel nostalgic and homesick every moment. You need someone who supports you mentally and emotionally and motivates you to do something exceptional in your personal & professional career. In my case, this role was played by Kaizen Asset Management Services – a firm I am proud to call my home. It is a family I built 1500 Miles away from home in Mumbai, India

I am Vidya Cawa – Training & Quality Assurance Manager at Kaizen AMS.  I am responsible for ensuring that residents at Kaizen-managed communities are happy with the services and their queries & concerns get resolved within the lead time. In my role, I ensure that every team at Kaizen meets its quality parameters and the firm achieves its purpose of Creating Memorable Experiences and Communities through continuous improvement. I feel Kaizen truly understands the fact that the ‘best care of the clients starts with employees’. Kaizen always strives to achieve utmost employee delight and ensures employees always enjoy their work. This philosophy encourages everyone in my team to serve the residents & clients in the exact same manner and follow an approach where human touch, respect, and professionalism occupies at the foremost place. Each of my team members put their heart while addressing the resident’s issues to create those unforgettable experiences for every resident.

Let me elaborate on the factors why I call Kaizen AMS my home.

Compassion is the greatest reward an employer can give to the employees which will make them feel the company is their home. Supporting the employees in their bad phase of life is the best way to drive loyalty and boost their morale. 

The year 2020 came as a pandora’s box for me like many across the world. In June 2020, my husband lost his job due to a market slowdown. Things became from bad to worse when in July 2020, I fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic. Kaizen AMS leadership came as a blessing in disguise for me. Without me requesting they transferred my salary in advance. Like a true family member, Kaizen supported me in my difficult time. 

Another strong reason for me to call Kaizen my home is its wonderful people. I share a strong bond with everyone at Kaizen and they are always with me in my good and bad times. Kaizeners have made me believe time and time again that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’. When I was suffering from Covid-19 every Kaizener called my husband to keep a track of my health. Here I would like to name a few special people who have always been with me like a shadow. My dear friend Jaza Naveed (Portfolio Manager) checked on my health and ensured all required medicines and equipment are available all the time. She used to send all the latest educational material to my husband on the best practices to recover from Covid-19. My beautiful coworkers – Binny Varghese (Portfolio Manager), Muhammad Hassan (Experience Manager), and Raqueeb Mohammed Abdul (Experience Manager) used to deliver delicious homemade food to me to ensure I get my meals on time and recover quickly from Covid-19.  All my fellow Kaizeners went the extra mile to support me in every possible way. The support I receive from my coworkers makes me feel an integral part of the Kaizen family. Here I remember a quote by Late. Peter Schutz (Former CEO of Porsche) ‘Hire Character Train Skills’.  I feel Kaizen AMS has done a wonderful job in hiring people with very high moral values, character, and ethics. 

Kaizen AMS emphasizes strongly in fostering passion among its employees. Like a family member, my leaders Fadi Nwilati (CEO) and Sara Nwilati (Head of Talent), and all my coworkers encouraged me to try something new every day to enhance resident happiness. Everyone at Kaizen drives me to experiment new ways to achieve utmost resident delight. I feel this is the reason Kaizen has been a consistent winner in the ‘Customer Happiness’ category at all major awards like – Smart Built Environment (SBE) Awards, and International Real Estate Community Management Summit (IRECMS) Awards.

Another reason why working at Kaizen AMS always feels like home is the feeling of belongingness. The top leadership personally invests a significant amount of time in the professional & personal development of each employee. Kaizen invests significant time & money in providing world-class management training to the employees. Fadi Nwilati and Alex Voytov (COO) organise Leadership sessions frequently to impart their learnings and ensure Kaizeners thrive in their role and emerge as leaders of tomorrow. Fadi’s valuable guidance & sessions on leadership inspires and empowers me to manage my team of 21 Customer Experience Executives in a more professional way and drive maximum productivity from them while maintaining their utmost satisfaction.

Furthermore, Kaizen’s leadership is always open to provide their valuable suggestions to resolve the personal problems faced by the employees. I recall 2 years ago, Fadi provided career guidance not only to me but also discussed career plan for my son who was in school at that point of time. This has helped my son in career planning and he now understands the clear part once he has graduated. 

This has been a small summary of my incredible experiences with Kaizen. While working at Kaizen, I never felt away from my family back home. The best thing about working at Kaizen AMS is you never feel like an employee, you always feel like a part of a family where everyone stands by you despite any odds. Knowing and working with Kaizeneres coming from 20+ nationalities was like Music. Some had high notes, some had low notes but always created a ‘beautiful song for me.’  

How has Kaizen AMS made my Motherhood ‘a Memorable Journey’?

Story of our Portfolio Manager- Mrs. Jaza Naveed

Once rightly said by famous American Actress & TV presenter Ricki Lake Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing’. It is the most beautiful feeling on earth to be a mother but certainly, this journey is full of challenges and I am sure every woman who has been through this journey understands very well what I am talking about. A mother makes ultimate sacrifices while giving birth to a baby, raising him/her, and guiding the kid towards the right path and this project continues forever. It won’t be wrong to say that being a mother is a perpetual job with no scope of time off.  I think the reason women occupy the foremost place in society is because of their ability to give birth to the children and go through all hardships in raising them. This is what makes a mother a true synonym of endurance, valor, dedication, perseverance, and benevolence. 

Ideally, every section of society must contribute to simplify this journey for women; however, the reality of the world we live in is quite daunting. The first thought which comes to the mind of every working woman across the globe when she gets pregnant is ‘Will I be fired from the job for taking maternity leaves?’  So, are women correct in their thinking? The data suggests their fear cannot be completely ruled out. 

According to the 2021 Women, Business and the Law report released by The World Bank, 38 of 190 economies do not prohibit the dismissal of pregnant workers in their laws. Surprisingly, these 38 economies include the names of the world’s largest countries where almost half of the global women workforce lives. The report also reveals that discrimination and unlawful termination of pregnant workers remain pervasive practices around the world. A lack of protections like this makes it even harder for women to escape poverty and find stability. Thankfully, that is not the case with the United Arab Emirates. A vast amount of credit goes to the visionary leadership of the UAE for building the most women-friendly laws and the environment as well as to my employer Kaizen Asset Management Services for truly living up to the expectations and always going an extra mile to support every women employee in their journey to becoming a mother.

I am summarizing the ways in which Kaizen AMS has provided its valuable support to me throughout my journey of becoming a mother and did what it always does the best‘Creating Memorable Experiences’. 

1. Leadership Support

As rightly said by – Angela Ahrendts (Former Apple Inc.’s top executive) ‘everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first’. Kaizen AMS’ leadership is indeed a pioneer in this art of building a personal touch with his employees. Personalization is just not Kaizen’s approach to dealing with the clients & residents but its employees as well. When I informed the top leadership about becoming a mother, they congratulated me and my family very warmly and sent me loads of gifts for the newborn to cherish and be a part of the occasion. Being a truly women-friendly organization with 47% of a female workforce, Kaizen AMS understands the challenges faced by women employees when they become mothers. I was offered an option for a flexible remote working post completion of my maternity leaves, till the time I feel comfortable working from the office. Like a visionary leader, Kaizen AMS’ CEO – Mr. Fadi Nwilati has proven time and time again that he is always happy to lend his helping hand whenever an employee needed his support.

2. Open Dialogue

As Kaizen AMS is managing a diverse workforce from over 20 countries for the last fifteen years, it truly understands that every female employee has unique expectations from the employer during the pregnancy phase. Thus, rather than assuming my expectations, as a formal practice, Kaizen set up an open dialogue with me to find out what types of support I need throughout the pregnancy phase. This provided me with an opportunity to communicate openly about my expectations and requirements to assist Talent & Human resource leadership in better designing my maternity leave plan and a flexible work option which most closely matched my needs and expectations. 

3. Providing me the Access to the Best Medical Services

Expert advice is crucial for the women in avoiding many pitfalls during the pre & post-pregnancy phase which can lead to a grand fallacy. Timely & right doctors’ advice is one of the biggest supports women needs before, during, and post-pregnancy. Kaizen AMS’ Talent team provided me with access to world-class medical experts at the company’s expense to provide me with the best prenatal and postnatal care. Furthermore, as pregnancy affects all the health systems of the women, Kaizen provided me access to some of the leading nutritionists, dentists, and physiotherapists in Dubai to offer me the best care possible.

4. Mental & Emotional Support

A study titledPregnancy and Postpartum Disorders by Mental Health America reveals that over 80% of women experience mood swings often refer as the baby blues post-pregnancy as a result of high hormonal fluctuations which occur during and immediately after childbirth. The symptoms last for a few weeks. In this situation, women experience mood swings or feelings of depression for more than two weeks after childbirth and it can be very serious if it persists for more than two weeks.  This is the time when a woman needs maximum emotional support to overcome the feeling of anxiety and depression. 

During this phase, Kaizen’s leadership and most importantly my team workers have played a decisive role and acted like my family members in providing emotional support. Some of the ways in which Kaizen offered me mental & emotional support includes – supportive interactions with coworkers before and after birth is critical, organizing online sessions & creating social opportunities to interact with the team members, and hosting online donut meetings with fellow Kaizeners to provide me with their valuable insights & tips on the best practices for the women after childbirth, hosting weekly zoom meetings to check on my health and maintain a form of connection with coworkers and supervisors so that I don’t feel left out. 

Final words

This has been the summary of my memorable experience with Kaizen AMS. I found myself very fortunate to be a part of Kaizen where employees are not just only employees but a part of the ‘Kaizen Family’. Every Kaizener makes an earnest effort to help out the fellow coworker during the challenging phases of life and try to simplify their journey. I feel there is a lot global firms can learn from this blog on the expectations of pregnant women from their employers and how to support them while they are going through a pregnancy phase. This practice will not only have a profound impact on employee morale but will also empower the employers in being a part of the prestigious list of Female-Friendly Companies.  

What Makes Dubai Real-estate Sector Attractive for Global Investors?

In the last decade, Dubai’s skyscrapers have become attractive to elite international investors.  Along with its luxury aspect, Dubai real estate market also offers a better return on investment (ROI) on properties compared to other major international cities which makes it the preferred choice for global investors.

Earlier affluent people used to invest their fortunes in buying second homes in western cities such as London, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, and New York. However,  in the last decade, Dubai has outpaced many western cities to emerge as the biggest investment destination. With rising investments from across the globe, Dubai’s real estate sector head honchos are now customizing their sales strategies as per the requirements of international clientele.  

Exponential Surge in Investments into Dubai’s Real-estate Sector:

Dubai has maintained its leading position as one of the top three investment destinations globally in 2020 despite the pandemic. A vast number of property buyers in the emirates hail from abroad, making it the most active market for foreign real estate investors in the world.

According to the annual transaction report – 2020 issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), Dubai’s real estate market recorded 51,414 transactions in 2020, representing a value of over Dh175 billion. Indians emerged as the biggest investors, followed by the Chinese, British, Pakistanis, and French. Dubai’s real estate sector attracted 19,757 foreign investors, who concluded 24,666 investments worth over Dh35.6 billion.

There was also the great interest shown by the investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in buying properties in Dubai. About 6,704 investors from GCC recorded 8,659 investments worth Dh14.8 billion. Emiratis topped the list of GCC nationals, followed by Saudis, Kuwaitis, Omanis, and Bahrainis. In 2020, 4,388 Arab investors registered 5,283 transactions with a total value of about Dh7.5 billion.

Growth Drivers:

The prime reason for international buyers to buy property in Dubai is characterized by dynamism and tax exemptions.  Tax rates in other parts of the world are significantly higher and this is one of the biggest reasons for global buyers to view the Dubai property market favorably. Dubai is also popular due to its location as it is almost located equidistant between Asia and Europe.

There has been a colossal rise in the number of Indians buying properties in Dubai as the country’s central bank – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has doubled its foreign exchange remittance limit, subsequently making it much easier for Indian investors to purchase property in Dubai. Furthermore, Expo 2020 has also increased the level of enthusiasm among foreign investors.

Top Reasons to Invest in Dubai Property Sector:

The factors which make Dubai’s property market charming for international investors are as follows:

  • Higher Annual Rental Yields: Studies conducted by real-estate investment consulting firm, Global Property Guide also reveals that an average yearly return on Dubai properties is 5.19%. This is significantly higher compared to annual rental yields in New York (2.9%) London (2.7%), Singapore (2.5%), and Hong Kong (2.4%). With a rise in the real estate value post-Covid era, Dubai’s property market has much higher possibilities of even better returns.
  • Lower Property prices per square meter: The property prices per sq. meter in Dubai are far lower compared to other international cities. According to the Global Property Guide, the cost per sq. meter for a 120 sq. meter apartment in Dubai is US $5,918 compared to Hong Kong (US $28,570), London (US$ 26,262) New York ($17,191) Tel Aviv ($17,149) Geneva ($16,467) Tokyo ($ 16,322), Paris ($15,867) & Berlin ($7,325). Even the cost of buying a house is much cheaper in Dubai compared to other international cities. According to research by Alliance Business Advisors a prominent real-estate consulting firm, the average price of a home in Dubai is AED 1 million (US$ 272,000), compared to US$ 1.2 million in Hong Kong, US$ 1 Million in Munich, US $ 915,000 in Singapore, $ 650,555 in Paris, and $ 649,026 in New York, as per China Daily.
  • Zero Property Tax: Properties in Dubai have a 0% tax on property purchase and filing income returns. The burden of the property tax rate in other countries is higher such as UK (2.53%) France (1.70 %), Greece (1.50 %) Iceland (1.48 %), and Italy (0.71 %) according to the International Tax Competitiveness Index (ITCI). Zero Property tax is another factor that makes Dubai a preferred choice for international investors.
  • Safety: UAE is one of the safest regions in the world which makes Dubai a top choice to invest in. According to Gallup Law and Order Index 2020, the United Arab Emirates is the 4th safest country in the world compared to Germany (ranked 26th) France (ranked 31st) Japan (ranked 33rd) US (ranked 36th), and the UK (ranked 49th).  In terms of Law and Order, UAE has been ranked 10th globally in 2019 Gallup’s global Law and Order Index.
  • Residency Visa: To make its real-estate sector attractive for global investors, the UAE government has rolled out new visa laws linked to property investment offering a quick path to residency (subject to certain conditions). 

According to Property Finder, for properties valued above AED 1 million (US $272,200), the investor may be entitled to a 2-year residency visa. For properties valued above AED 5 million (US $1.3 million), the investor may be entitled to a 5-year residency visa. While for properties valued at above AED 10 million (US $2.7 million), the investor may be entitled to a 10-year residency visa. Dubai is offering property investors a unique opportunity to gain a resident visa depending on the purchase.

The Imperative Role of Property Management Firms:

Property management firms are playing a key role in making Dubai real-estate sector attractive for global investors by offering world-class services. They are facilitating investors in managing property finances remotely which is the biggest challenge faced by them. 

KAIZEN Asset Management Services is one of the top ISO 9001:2015 certified providers of end-to-end solutions in Property Management, Strata Management, Community Management, Lease Management, Handover Services, and Investment Advisory. We offer  to simplify the journey for each party i.e. investors, tenants, and landlords.

Compliance and ethics have been an integral aspect of Kaizen AMS’ success story.  We follow international best practice standards to make our investors feel more secure that their investment is managed properly. Kaizen AMS’ strong commitment to quality, compliance, & ethics has earned it a trust vote of notable real-estate clients in the UAE such as – Emirates REIT, EMAAR Properties, Meydan, Meraas Estates, Mazaya, and Al Futtaim, to name a few.

Our state-of-art property and strata management services assisted these clients in ensuring that both tenants and homeowners drive utmost satisfaction with the services and occupancy rates stay at the pinnacle. Our services are a wheel in driving billions of dirhams of investments in the UAEs real-estate sector.

The Role of Compliance in the Success of PM Firm:

The primary reason for the unparalleled services offered by the property management firms is their strict compliance with international compliance & management standards such as ISO 9001:2015, QMS, BCMS, and RICS.

The compliance with the guidelines stated in ISO 9001:2015 assists property management firms in outlining a framework for improving quality and a vocabulary of understanding to offer services that consistently meet the requirements and expectations of customers and other relevant interested parties in the most efficient manner possible.

The Quality Management Systems (QMS) is the aggregate of all the processes, resources, assets, and cultural values that support the goal of customer satisfaction and organizational efficiency. The implementation of QMS assists property management firms in defining the structure, scope, responsibilities, the necessary content (defined processes and documentation), and the resources required to ensure the highest standards of quality. The implementation of Business Continuity Management (BCM) capabilities enables property management firms in restoring their businesses to normal operations during business interruptions, which range from a simple power outage to a Category 4 hurricane. The compliance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is another reason for the triumph of the property management sector. It guides the sector in promoting and enforcing the utmost professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure.

Ejari which means ‘my rent’ in Arabic is the mandatory registration of a tenancy contract that brings transparency in the operations. It is a smart leasing management application that specializes in the management of leasing operations. Ejari assists property management companies, property owners, and even the owner’s representatives in managing their leases from anywhere and at any time. It also reduces the cost and time required to complete the registration of rental contracts and facilitates the people to simply register their Ejari contract online.

Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) – regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department (DLD), plays a key role in the swift operations of property management firms. It has administrative independence, enjoys its own financial system, and secures full legal authority to regulate Dubai’s realty. RERA has been instrumental in defining Dubai’s legislative framework in respect of real estate matters as well as in the supervision of real estate regulatory framework and development. It is also responsible for settling disputes between tenants and landlords.

The compliance with the above laws enables property management firms to quickly register the rental agreements. RERA has been instrumental in setting up the policies and plans to effectively regulate the real-estate & property management sector and ensuring Dubai Real-estate sector always remains an apple of the eye of foreign investors.

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.