North America a key target market for DAMAC
The North American market is key for DAMAC in the near and medium term according to Senior Vice President Niall McLoughlin, in an exclusive conversation with Middle East Construction News (MECN).
“The company’s consistent success over the years, and more recently on the tailwinds of Dubai’s stellar economic performance and forecast, has propelled DAMAC to eye various global opportunities for development and growth,” McLoughlin notes.
“Recently, we bought land in the upscale neighbourhood of Surfside in Miami Florida, where we plan to build a Cavalli-branded condominium project. The DAMAC name and brand has been well established here in the UAE and the region, but globally more and more people are taking notice, and we are always eyeing opportunities for joint ventures abroad. North America will be a key target of ours in the near and medium term,” explains McLoughlin.
He adds, “We’re also developing a luxury resort in the Maldives to be operated by global hotel brand Mandarin International, and already have projects in Canada, the UK and the Middle East.”
McLoughlin says the firm discovered branded associations help bolster its appeal and visibility in global markets. “Those who have never heard of DAMAC are getting to know us through our collaborations with well-established brands such as Cavalli, Versace, De Grisogono, Mandarin International etc, and they like what they see.”
Discussing the Middle East region and the UAE, McLoughlin says the developer intends to build on its success and has launched several new projects in recent times.
He states, “We’re responsibly launching new products. Late last year, we launched our Cavalli Tower, a beach-facing 70-storey skyscraper of sheer luxury overlooking the beautiful Palm Jumeirah, with ultra-luxury interiors branded by Italian fashion powerhouse Roberto Cavalli. We also launched DAMAC Lagoons, our third master community in Dubai. Located adjacent to the DAMAC Hills community, DAMAC Lagoons aims to transport residents into an enchanting paradise comprising eight majestic cities, inspired by countries based on the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.”
In April 2022, the developer awarded a $136mn contract for Damac Lagoons development to Shapoorji Pallonji for the project’s main works.
“This year we launched a one-of-its-kind twin-tower development, Safa One de GRISOGONO – ‘The Nature of Luxury’ in Safa Park. With a design that resonates with the pulse of Swiss jeweller de GRISOGONO, the project is situated on the edge of Safa Park, with incomparable views of the Dubai Canal on one side and the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road on the other.”
Sharing his thoughts on the UAE property market specifically, McLoughlin is quick to point out that the sector is performing beyond expectations.
“Europeans are becoming top investors in Dubai’s real estate sector. Through economic and social reforms, the UAE is becoming an increasingly attractive place to live, and more and more skilled professionals want to make the UAE their home. The UAE property market continues to break records for sales and transactions and this upward trajectory is expected to continue this year owing to visa reforms and economic stability.”
He concludes, “Government incentives such as sweeping economic and social reforms, the new green residence visa, and broadening eligibility criteria for the golden visa, is encouraging more and more foreign investment and the real estate sector is reaping these benefits. The boom in Dubai’s prime residential market has led to prices rising almost 60% in the past 12 months, driven by growing interest from international investors with a great interest in high-ticket items.”
In March 2022, S&P Global upgrades DAMAC rating as the developer returned to growth. Later in the month, the firm also announced completion of roof slab works on its Zada Tower project.