Where exactly is Dubai?
Dubai is a city in the Middle East. It is one of seven
United Arab Emirates. It is adjacent to Saudi Arabia,
within three hours of India, four hours to North Africa
and within six hours of China and Europe. Its central
location makes it a desirable vacation destination and
a gateway to over 1.5 billion consumers.
Why has Dubai been attracting so much international
attention as an investment opportunity in recent years?
In May 2002 Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum issued
a decree allowing non-nationals to buy and sell property
in selected developments. Before that time, only United
Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals could own property, and
even then, only on restricted land.
What type of development has taken place since Sheik
Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum
issued his decree?
Dubai has quickly become one of the world's most appealing
foreign investments. It's been only a few years since
the Sheik's decree, and it is no surprise that Dubai
is the number one emerging market today.
estimated $80 billion of real-estate projects are now
underway in Dubai. The appeal? Dubai offers a stable
economy, zero property and income tax, and an unmatched
standard of living.
Q. Is the population in Dubai primarily people who were
born in that country?
Modern Dubai is home to a cosmopolitan population that
has more than 140 nationalities. Almost three-fourths
of its estimated three million population is comprised
of expatriates from all over the world, making it a
true melting pot of cultures.
What language is spoken in Dubai?
Arabic and English are the dominant languages.
Q. How would you describe Dubai to potential investors?
It is a clean, ultra-modern, crime-free city. Over the
past 50 years it has developed a state-of-the-art communications
infrastructure, progressive hospitals and an amazing
variety of shopping malls and value-filled souks. It
has some of the best healthcare, education and leisure
facilities in the Middle East. And it has a history
of economic and political stability.
How would you describe Dubai to potential visitors?
A. For visitors, it offers world-class hotels, restaurants,
beaches and tourist attractions. Its internationally-renowned
sports facilities include golf, tennis, water sports,
horse riding, dune driving, sand skiing and the world's
first indoor snow skiing.
The factors fuelling the rush to Dubai include year-round
sunshine, soft, white sand beaches lapped by a clear
blue sea, non-existent crime and a relatively westernized
culture. English is spoken everywhere. Women can drive
and walk unaccompanied. Alcohol can be consumed at home,
in hotels and on licensed premises.
Q. I am
Jewish. Can I invest in Dubai? Can I visit Dubai?
Yes, the developer has informed us that "anyone
can buy properties in Dubai regardless of religion and
origin. And we have a lot of UK and US Jewish people
living and working here. However, the problem is entry
to the UAE (as with most countries in the Middle East).
Holders of Israeli passports or Israeli entry stamps
are a problem, the latter isn't such a big deal really
(unlike ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia) but holding
the actual passport is a direct refusal at check-in."
Freehold vs. Long-term Lease: I've heard that foreigners
can not buy a freehold interest in Dubai. Is this true,
and if so, then how is this property to be sold?
At present there is no federal law to govern foreign
freehold ownership of property in Dubai, so you are
right. Therefore, these units are sold as 99 year leaseholds
with automatic renewals for the cost of 100 Dirhans,
which is roughly $27. However, in a few months they
hope that the law of freehold ownership will change
and the property will be transferred to a freehold instead
of a leasehold at that time.
Q. I've read that you get automatic UAE residency
with purchase. Can you provide details?
The customer and his/her immediate family (spouse and
children) can get residency when he registers the apartment
in the land department upon completion, essentially
when he receives the key of the apartment.
How do you get to Dubai?
A. Dubai's main airline, Emirate Airlines, serves the
entire world and even flies direct to New York. In fact,
here's a trivia fact for you. Emirate Airline is the
most profitable airline in the world.
Dubai International Airport is within 20 minutes reach
of main locations of Dubai. The Airport continues to
win internationally acclaimed awards, especially for
its duty free shopping. The second international airport
in Dubai, currently under construction, will be based
10 minutes from Dubailand called Jebel Ali International
Q. When you compare the pricing
of Dubai's five-star condo hotels with that found in
condo hotels in other countries like the U.S., Dubai
seems like a downright bargain. Why are the prices so
Why look a gift horse in the eye, right? The main developer
with whom we're working has built 75% of the middle
east. He has Wal-Mart buying strength and can get construction
materials for a fraction of what a small developer can
typically the land is 15% of a developer's cost to build
a project. That's not the case in Dubai. How much does
the land in a desert cost? We don't have a precise answer
but let's just say, it's not like buying prime oceanfront
land in Miami Beach or a lot on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Once I've zeroed in on a condo hotel property that I'd
like to buy, how do I choose a specific unit?
Condo Hotels Dubai can send to you our exclusive inventory
list. You can choose to move forward on any of this
inventory immediately. However, if you are not interested
in a unit on our exclusive list, we will do everything
possible to fulfill a special request for another floor
have an excellent relationship with the developers with
whom we work, and accommodating requests is usually
possible, although it may take a day or two to get confirmation
because of the time difference between the U.S. and
Is there a rescission period when you purchase property
In Dubai, there is no rescission period as there is
in most U.S. states. According to the developer, "The
mentality is different here. We move forward fast based
on trust and real commitment from purchases." Essentially,
this means your deposit cannot be refunded.
What is the time difference between the U.S. and Dubai?
Dubai is eight hours ahead of the U.S.
What is the AED called as a unit of currency, a dollar,
a pound, or is it simply referred to as an "AED?"
AED is actually the three- letter code for the currency
name Dirham (or UAE Dirham pronounced "Dearum").
It is comparable to USD, the three-letter code for US
Dollar; EUR for Euros; and GBP for Pounds Sterling.
Every country currency has this code, just as every
airport has a three-letter code like MIA for Miami.
It's an international ID.
Q. How do I convert meters to
square feet and Dubai currency to the U.S. dollar?
By best approximation, to get sq. meters, divide sq.
ft by 10.75, or multiply sq. meters by 10.75 to get
conversion rate is currently 3.66 AED to one dollar.
This is a fluctuating rate. Divide AED by 3.66 to get
close approximation of prices in U.S. dollars. Click
here to get the current rate.
I've read that the "average temperatures in Dubai
range from 24°C in winter to about 45°C in July."
I don't remember my ninth grade science. How do I convert
these temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit?
As I recall it was something like take your Fahrenheit
number, subtract 32, divide by 9/5ths, do the hokey
pokey and turn yourself about. For
ease, however, just click here for temperature conversions.
It seems like many of the condo hotels to be built in
Dubai will be in the Dubailand area. What is Dubailand?
is destined to become the planet's biggest and best
leisure, entertainment, and tourism destination. It
will be divided into six immense "Worlds,"
each pulsing with state-of-the-art themed rides, world-class
entertainment, awe-inspiring attractions, and the most
sophisticated virtual reality games. It is a place being
designed to excite, amaze and enthrall children and
complete, Dubailand will be almost three times the size
of Walt Disney World Resort and will attract Europeans,
Asians and Arabs to come to Dubai, which is far closer
for them than Orlando.
worlds of Dubailand are:
Attractions and Experience World
- 145 million sq. ft. - a world of vibrant characters,
with its theme parks clustered around a landmark viewing
tower and forming a "must see" attraction.
The themed experiences and attractions for the entire
family will form both a playground and a spectacle.
include: Anchor theme parks, The Global Village, themed
water parks, Kids City, Giants World
Retail & Entertainment World
- 45 million sq. ft. - An indoor and outdoor destination
with innovative retail concepts in a themed and entertaining
include: Flea Market, World Trade Park, Auction World
and Factory Outlets.
Themed Leisure and Vacation World
- 311 million sq. ft. - The creation of appealing
retreats, quality vacation village residences and
resort hotels. Imaginative and creative themed development
concepts adjacent to major leisure and entertainment
facilities and incorporating amenities such as formal
waterfronts, canals, lakes and parks.
include: Women's World, Destination Dubai, Desert
Kingdom and Andalusian Resort & Spa.
Eco Tourism World
- 806 million sq. ft. - An area devoted to preserving
the desert heritage of Dubai and creating a habitat
for animals from the region to be showcased in their
include: Desert Safari, Sand Dune Hotels, Desert Camps
and Dubai Heritage Vision.
Sports and Outdoor World
- 206 million sq. ft. - A stimulating arena of outdoor
sports activities and adventure. The activities will
optimize the use of the expansive area to build facilities
capable of hosting world events such as football,
soccer, cricket, rugby, etc.
include: Indoor and outdoor venues, traditional and
extreme sports, including Dubai Sports City, Emarat
Sports World, Plantation Equestrian and Polo Club,
Autodrome and Dubai Golf City.
Downtown - 5.66
million sq. ft. A gateway to the overall development
centered in Dubailand and forming the resort's downtown,
business and administrative district. It will retain
the open space and leisure character of the overall
development through its landscaping, water features
and grand scale squares and piazzas.
include: Mall of Arabia, the largest mall in the world,
and City Walk with its art displays, entertainment
and outside dining. It will also consist of wide boulevards,
street cafes and theaters, lush parklands, lawns museums
and common gardens. Finally, it will contain Virtual
Game World, a cyber-heaven with 3D interactive games.
Q. What is the reasoning behind the development of Dubailand?
Dubailand is a tourism, entertainment and leisure destination.
It was established with a simple mandate, to develop
an initial critical mass of entertainment projects that
will attract 15 million tourists to Dubai by the year
concept behind the development was to take advantage
of the comparative geographical advantage that Dubai
has of being within a 3-4 hour flying time range from
Europe and Asia, thus having access to over a combined
GDP of USD 1.1 trillion and 1.5 billion in population.
factor that was considered was to strategically phase
out the dependence on oil revenues and establish a sustainable
economy through higher value-added services.
When was Dubailand launched?
The work on Dubailand started long before its official
announcement date of October 23, 2003. Projects were
envisioned, their feasibility was established, the market
demand was considered, and the final product that emerged
was a development spanning over 2 billion sq. ft. in
size with 45 mega projects and 200 sub-projects.
When will Dubailand be completed?
Dubailand is a city, and cities keep on growing and
developing. Therefore, there is no definite completion
day for the entire project. Furthermore, Dubailand's
development is related to the development of the different
projects being constructed within its virtual boundary
walls. The more projects that open, the more developed
Dubailand becomes. Six projects will finish by 2007,
forming the first operational phase of Dubailand
What are the time scales for its various phases?
A. Dubailand will be completed in four phases. The first
phase will see completion in 2007, with the ending phases
following suit and completing from 2015-2018.
How does Dubailand fit into the overall framework of
Dubai, of the UAE, of the region and of the world?
A. Dubailand will not only be Dubai's entertainment
location of choice, but it will represent the whole
of the U.A.E as being the regions largest entertainment
and leisure destination point, if not the world.
If I have additional questions or would like to reserve
a condo hotel unit, what's the next step?
A. Contact us at Condo Hotels Dubai. We'll answer all
of your questions, explain to you the procedure for
going forward and provide you with any necessary forms.
We can be reached at info@CondoHotelsDubai.com
or call us in Miami, Florida at 954-450-1929.