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  • Saipem wins $350m North Field contract from Qatargas

    Saipem, a global oilfield services company, has received from Qatargas the confirmation of the exercise of two options for additional scope of work worth $350 million within the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore Project (EPCO package).

    The additional scope of work of the two options is related to rerouting of the hydrocarbons from existing wellhead platform through the new facilities, due to existing pipeline being decommissioned.

    The activities to be carried out comprise the construction of two additional riser platforms, two additional connecting bridges with existing wellhead platforms, two corrosion resistant carbon steel cladded intra-field pipelines with a length of 13 km overall and decommissioning of existing pipeline.

    Works associated with the exercise of the options will be fully integrated with the project activities of two contract awards announced earlier this year, the North Field Production Sustainability Offshore and the North Field Production Sustainability Pipeline, which are both part of the strategic development of the North Field production plateau.

    Saipem is already working actively on project engineering and site preparation activities and it’s looking forward to progress further, by leveraging its competences, assets and technology, a company statement said. – TradeArabia News Service

  • Manital wins key supply contract from Qatari luxury hotel

    Manital, a leading Italian manufacturer of door handles, said it has secured a major contract for the supply of lever handles to open the doors of the luxurious St Regis Marsa Arabia Island complex located within the Pearl Qatar development in Doha.
    A palatial property set along the shores of a golden beach, St Regis Marsa Arabia Island comprises 207 hotel apartments, including spacious duplexes and townhouses, bringing a century-old tradition of innovation to Qatar. 
    As per the deal, Manital will deliver 5,000 Dune lever handles, one of the Brescian company's best-selling models, to the luxury hotel complex being developed by Alfardan Group, a leading upscale property developer in the region.
    Italian quality and design are especially cherished in this region, remarked Manital’s owner Luigi Bigoloni.
    "In this area, Made in Italy, or the attention to detail and aesthetic taste are highly valued and admired. This new supply of lever handles confirms us as the leader in contexts in which we are the spokesperson for made in Italy quality, combined with a contemporary style," he stated.
    On the new contract, Bigoloni said Manital's lever handles have been in much demand in the region for their outstanding quality and design; especially the Dune lever handles, designed by Maurizio Giordano and Roberto Grossi.
    "These are renowned for the elegant Satin Nickel finish, which perfectly complements the chromatic palette of the construction," he observed.
    "Dune’s dynamic curved form integrates itself with the traditional Islamic elements, while also matching the contemporary finishing details," he explained.
    "Added to that is the Andalusian and Arabian architecture influence on offer for Marsa Arabia’s guests, who will also get to enjoy a breath-taking view over the Persian Gulf, resulting in a new construction that establishes itself as the pinnacle of 21st century luxury," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
  • Residential property values in top UAE markets down in 2020

    With population levels in UAE's top real estate markets, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, estimated to have declined by roughly 5% in 2020, growing levels of supply and existing vacancy levels, there has been a steep decline in residential property values in both these emirates, according to global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. 
    Whilst population growth is expected to return in 2021, it will likely not be at least until late 2022 before the population levels return to their pre-pandemic levels, stated the expert. 
    In Dubai, this lower level of demand will be further compounded by a continuing influx of supply, which in turn is likely to continue to put pressure on property values, Knight Frank stated in its UAE Property Value 2021 Movement report.
    Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic, there has been an unpresented curtailment of economic activity and social mobility and as a result, unsurprisingly, global GDP was forecast to contract at the fastest rate seen in decades.
    Despite the initial shock and considerable levels of uncertainty, Knight Franks said it had not seen the worst-case scenarios come to fruition. 
    On the back of a mixture of fiscal and monetary stimulus packages enacted in around 197 countries, the IMF has revised the rate of contraction for global GDP down from a high of 4.9% to 3.3% as at April 2021, it added.
    "In the UAE, despite various fiscal initiatives enacted on an emirate level and a wide-ranging federal monetary stimulus package, property values in most parts have seen material declines. However, it is important to note that this is not the case in all segments," remarked Taimur Khan, Head of Research at Knight Frank Middle East.
    The pandemic has, in certain real estate asset classes, accelerated pre-pandemic shifts in demand, for example from physical retail to e-commerce, which in turn has helped underpin values in the industrial sector. 
    "More so, in certain cases, revaluations have arguably spurred investment activity in what was a largely subdued marked beforehand. Looking ahead, we forecast that the vast majority of the UAE’s real estate market will see values remain at similar levels to 2020 or even begin to increase in some cases," he stated.
    On the UAE’s hospitality sector, Knight Frank said since it is heavily reliant on international tourism, it has undoubtedly seen the most significant impact on property values as a result of the pandemic. 
    "Of the two largest tourism markets in the UAE, Abu Dhabi recorded relative outperformance compared to Dubai. This was underpinned by the size of the capital's market and diverted demand from UAE residents," noted Khan. 
    "Whereas in Dubai, given the size of the market and the reliance on international source markets, values have declined much more significantly. As the market continues to recover, gradual performance improvements will reflect gradual increases in hotel values," he added.
    On the UAE’s industrial sector, the expert said it could be singled out as one of the few sectors to benefit from the pandemic. 
    "Despite this, we have seen industrial property values in Dubai decline as rents continue to fall across all segments of the market," stated Khan. 
    "However, in Abu Dhabi, values in 2020 remained stable despite the ongoing pressure on rents. Both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we envisage that markets look to have bottomed out and as a result, in 2021, we expect values to remain stable on average," he added.
    On the retail sector, Khan said: "With footfall and retail spending seeing heavy declines, and the evermore common practice of turnover rents, in conjunction with lower base rents, it is not surprising that retail property values declined in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2020."
    "Looking ahead, in Abu Dhabi, given its relatively low levels of upcoming supply we expect values to remain stable compared to 2020 levels. Whereas in Dubai, given significant levels of upcoming supply and hybrid, or turnover only rental models going forward, we expect values to continue to decline in 2021," he added.
    On the office sector, Knight Frank said whilst the pandemic will impact the future form and function of office spaces, it has been an accelerator of already shifting fundamentals rather than the root cause of these shifts. 
    "In Abu Dhabi, given relatively low levels of new supply and stability in rental rates, overall we have seen values for institutional grade assets remain relatively stable in 2020," noted Khan. 
    "While in Dubai, with rental rates continuing to fall and a surge in vacancy, office property values have declined materially on average," he added.
  • Summertown Interiors seals Times Square Dubai contract

    Summertown Interiors, one of the UAE's leading sustainable fit-out contractors, said it has been awarded the contract for the refurbishment of the food court, Picnic Square, within the Times Square Center in Dubai.
    One of the newest community-oriented malls in Dubai, Times Square Center is a uniquely compact community shopping destination which offers a wide selection of renowned international and boutique brands.
    Summertown Interiors said over the next few months, it will collaborate with the mall’s management team to transform the existing 2,330-sq-m food court space into an exciting new family focused dining area. It is likely to be handed over in the third quarter. 
    In line with Times Square Center’s sustainability focus, Summertown said it aims to achieve the green building certification Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) for the new artisan food dining area. 
    The global certification encourages the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy buildings, said the top fitout contractor.
    Once completed, Picnic Square will be an exciting artisanal, deli-style dining area with family-friendly seating zones; including stylish ‘private pods’ for mothers to feed their babies in privacy, which will complement the functional open plan design, it added. 
  • Abu Dhabi’s IHC boosts stake in Aldar with new acquisition deal

    International Holding Company (IHC), one of Abu Dhabi’s leading business conglomerates, said it has completed the purchase of a 45 per cent stake in Alpha Dhabi Holding (formerly Trojan Holding).
    With this deal, IHC will become a shareholder in Aldar Properties as Alpha Dhabi had bought a key stake in the Abu Dhabi developer last month. The transaction follows the IHC board meeting disclosure last month.
    CEO and Managing Director Syed Basar Shueb said: "The acquisition of a substantial stake in Alpha Dhabi Holding will add a significant scale to IHC, the move will increase and diversify our investment vertical, as we continually seek strategic partnerships with local and international players and further strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace."
    Alpha Dhabi Holding was set up in 2008 with a focus in the real estate and construction sector. It had recently embarked on building a diversified portfolio that manages, deploys and organises a variety of entities within the construction, hospitality, industrial and capital verticals. 
    This includes a stake in leading UAE real estate company Aldar Properties, which was acquired in late March through its subsidiary Sublime Commercial Investment from Mubadala Investment Company.
    Alpha Dhabi, which employs over 22,000 people, is involved in the development of a wide range of projects, including mixed-use and high-rise property, mass housing and infrastructure.
    Managing Director Engineer Hamad Al Ameri said: "The transaction places us in a unique position to capitalise on IHC’s robust institutional backing, as we pursue further growth. We are building a diversified portfolio in line with the UAE’s ambitions to promote private sector development. We look forward to working closely with IHC in the next phase of our journey.”
    IHC was founded in 1998 as part of an initiative to grow non-oil business sectors in UAE. Comprising over 30 entities, it seeks to expand and diversify its holdings across a growing number of sectors, including real estate, agriculture, healthcare, F&B, utilities, industries, IT and communications, retail, leisure and capital.-TradeArabia News Service

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