London calling for Dubai developer Damac

London calling for Dubai developer Damac
Aykon Nine Elms is located in a regeneration area adjacent to Battersea in southwest London.

Dubai developer makes first international foray outside the Middle East with luxury residential tower, writes Deepthi Nair.

By Deepthi Nair

Published: Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jul 2015, 3:17 AM

Brand associations are commonplace in the premium end of Dubai's property spectrum. Leading global brands in the industries of fashion and design have partnered with local developers on ultra luxury projects.
Luxury real estate developer Damac has been a pioneer in partnering with recognisable brands such as Versace, Fendi, The Trump Organisation, Paramount Hotels & Resorts and Tiger Woods Design to launch exclusive projects in the UAE and the wider Middle East.
In its first foray outside the Middle East, Damac, through its international arm Dico UK Property Holdings, launched Aykon Nine Elms, a 50-storey, 360-unit project with interior designs by Italian fashion brand Versace, in London on Monday.
Amenities will include a gymnasium, indoor swimming pool and spa, children's play area, roof garden and cinema. The lobby, amenities and interiors for each property will be designed and fitted out by Versace Home.
Offering a mix of penthouses, three-, two-, one-bedroom and studio units with views of the City, the River Thames, Palace of Westminster and the London Eye, the £500 million tower is due for completion in 2020. It will be funded through own equity, project finance and off-plan sales, said Damac executives.
"The prices of the apartments start from £690,000 (Dh3.4 million), with the two- and three-bedroom apartments varying between £2 million and £3 million, depending on the size and position of each," said Niall McLoughlin, senior vice-president at Damac Properties.
Aykon Nine Elms is located in a regeneration area adjacent to Battersea in southwest London. Battersea was until recently wasteland. It is currently the biggest building site in London, and one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe, worth £15 billion.
The area will soon host the US and Dutch embassies. It is 15 minutes from central London and will benefit from two new Tube stations.
While JLL and Hamptons are handling Aykon unit sales in London, the project will also be pitched to investors in Singapore, Hong Kong and China this week, in addition to several other markets, McLoughlin said.
Damac expects buyer interest from London and across the UK.
"We also see investment from the Middle East, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Aykon Nine Elms will appeal to a wide spectrum of buyers, regardless of their geographical presence. However, we would not be surprised if buyers in this project will reflect more or less the same profiles and nationalities seen in other real estate developments in London," McLoughlin added.
Meanwhile, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, chief executive of Versace, said: "Versace is synonymous with fashion and luxury and its participation in the real estate business provides the opportunity to experience the Versace lifestyle. In recent years, private residential projects have become a strategic part of the Versace world."
Damac's earlier collaborations with Versace include a tower in Jeddah and one in Beirut, Lebanon, which is due for completion by the year end.
Damac's international business development team is also on the lookout for potential development opportunities globally. "We are constantly looking for the right land at the right price in the right location," McLoughlin concluded.

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