15 January 2006

Marina Progress

Every month, we take a photo of the progress that’s happening on the construction sites that we can see from our balcony.

The following 3 images were all taken in 2005: January, July and November.

There was furious pace in the first 7 months of the year, but we reckon that progress has slowed down somewhat over the last 5 months.

You can judge for yourself. Click on the image to open it as a larger one in your browser, and then once it has opened, you should be able to magnify it again.


moryarti said...

very nice!

nzm said...


moryarti said...

do u have anymore photos like these? don't hold back :)

nzm said...

Of the marina? Or of that quality?

I have heaps - it's always difficult to choose which ones to use!

If there's one thing that I do, I take a LOT of images wherever I go!


moryarti said...

umm.. of those images that show things growing bigger and stuff.. :)

nzm said...

Unfortunately no - this is the only series that I have.

But I may also do one on part of the Interchange 5 on SZR - I had that thought last night!

Anonymous said...

Loved the photos, you have an awesome view from your balcony. I work at the Construction site on the tower pictured on the left side. I wanted to take pics at regular intervals like this but never got down to doing it.

nzm said...

Thanks Anon.

Feel free to email me at nzm_uae (@) hotmail.com and I'd be happy to send you some.

I have progressive images of that scene starting in Oct '04, so that tower was considerably smaller then!


BD said...


You have a great vantage point. But my take on the building progress would differ. It's 6 months between the first and second shot and 4 months between second and third. Also, in the Damac tower there may have been a substantial amount of interior work not visible from the exterior. Also, the JBR towers on the left appear to have risen almost proportionatley considering the shorter time span.

Still, I envy that you can get that kind of time span perspective. And, the map counter is really nice!

nzm said...

I'll post the updated image from January soon.

Of particular interest is the slowing down of the JBR towers.

The Grosvenor House hotel was completed in good time because there was obviously an immediate ROI due to it being a hotel in a notable chain.

The Damac tower has looked "finished" on the outside for months now - but the glass panels at the top have remained open. Only now, we're starting to see some lights on at night, but this could also be real estate agents or interior decorators leaving them on, as happens in the Dubai Marina 1. Lights are left on all night and burn for weeks, but nobody's home.

The question remains - who is the target market for these towers?
- families want to live in villas with gardens and play areas.
- middle management can't afford these places.
- the majority of the transient working force of expatriates (caucasian ones) don't want to invest in Dubai - they want to pay off their mortagages back home and be debt free when they return there.
- those that want to live there can't afford it.

Offering cars is just a way to get around the fact that all properties have a fixed selling rate (determined by the government/state or whatever you want to call it here)- and to me is an acknowledgement that they know that the prices are too high.

That leaves speculators and investors to snap up the properties, and I believe that the days of selling off the plan and making big bucks are over.

When I arrived in Dubai, the papers made HUGE deals of the fact that each newly announced residential complex was "sold out" within hours of being put on the market. What was actually happening was that the properties were being transferred internally within the umbrella company, from one sister company to another. I don't see this stunt being reported anymore.

Our landlord paid 1.6 million dirhams for his apartment. At the amount we're paying him for rent, it's going to take him at least 14-15 years to achieve a return on investment - longer if you factor in the maintenance fees and upkeep costs.

That's not a great return for serious investors and property market players.

I seriously doubt that our landlord would be able to sell his apartment now for that price - given that the Dubai Marina 1 project is still running at less than 50% occupancy - more like 30-40%.

So the number of property investors and speculators who do the math and realise the slow returns won't continue to buy here. In the course of our social activities, we've "accidentally" met 3 or 4 European serious investors who have decided not to put their money into Dubai - and some are friends of the ruling families.

In the 16 months that we've been renting in the DM1, we've seen a lot of people moving out after their first year of rental has expired.

On our floor alone, 3 of the 6 apartments have never had tenants.

If there's a slowdown happening on the building sites (and the article that you posted on your DM blog also mentions this), it's because they're trying to create a demand for what's already completed.

Just my observations.

It's not all doom and gloom. We love living here - but we won't be investing in property, as we don't see the return. When we choose to leave Dubai, we want to have the money for our home and to live comfortably - wherever that may be.

nzm said...


the Map Indicator is available on a trial basis until you have to pay for it!

I've just bought a 6 month subscription for 8 euros.

You can click on the map on our blog to take you to the Geoloc homepage, or click on this link: