Realty Fact Interview With Yousuf Kazim, CEO, Jumeirah Golf Estates
With nearly 30 years’ experience in the real estate sector, Yousuf Kazim has enjoyed an extensive and diverse career with some of the region’s most prestigious developers, managing their most ambitious projects.
A Master of Science graduate in Business Strategy and Environmental Management from the UK, Mr Kazim also holds a BSc. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from the UAE University and holds a Diploma in International Safety Management from the British Safety Council in Dubai.
Mr Kazim has held a series of high profile management positions across the UAE, spending 14 years with Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation before being appointed as a Senior General Manager of Nakheel to oversee key developments including Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village and Jumeirah Island.
Mr Kazim was rewarded with increased management opportunities through his tenure with Nakheel, and left in 2013 as Managing Director, before taking over the helm at Jumeirah Golf Estates, leading the business to exhibit impressive and sustained levels of growth, whilst creating a vibrant and thriving community for residents and visitors alike.
Q: What are the key features of Jumeirah Golf Estates?
A: Set across 1,119 hectares of lush green landscaping, Jumeirah Golf Estates is a vibrant and thriving community and understandably one of the most desirable residences in the Middle East. Overlooking two of the world’s finest golf courses, these prestigious communities provide more than world-class sports facilities – they are family neighbourhoods. Each individually designed villa, apartment and townhouse is more than a residence, it is an ideal home in its own right.
Host to the DP World Tour Championship since 2009, the Fire and Earth courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates have set a benchmark on the world stage in terms of golfing venues and community developments. Players and commentators alike consider the courses to be among the best in the world, including Henrik Stenson, one of the sport’s most respected names who endorses Jumeirah Golf Estates as the official global ambassador.
The par 72 courses provide two very different challenges in their layouts, each one with very distinctive characteristics for players, as residents watch on from the comfort of their balconies. The courses offer visitors and residents the opportunity to play two championship layouts. For golfers looking to further improve their performance, the regions only European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) is a world-class training institute for elite professions and amateur golfers alike, and a natural stepping stone for the next generation of champions.
Just 20 minutes from the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina and only minutes away from the site of Dubai Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport, Jumeirah Golf Estates residents benefit from the tranquility and luxury of their own location while having the buzz of one of the world’s most dynamic cities on their doorstep. A dedicated metro stop is also soon to be added, making this a perfect location not only in terms of a private dwelling but also as a highly attractive proposition for property investors.
With more than 1,700 luxury properties across 16 communities, a massive 75 per cent face the courses and to cater to the ever-increasing demand, Jumeirah Golf Estates has now also launched its latest development, AlAndalus, a collection of 674 affordable luxury apartments and 54 townhouses. The development reflects the serenity and calm of its natural surroundings with rolling landscaped gardens, flora and fauna and a series of 15 lakes running through the heart of the community. The architecture and Mediterranean design of the residences adds to the ambience of the green surroundings while emphasising the unmistakably modern amenities.
With plans in the pipeline for a Community Centre, a hotel, supermarket, eateries, cafes and shop, the spacious 2, 3 and 4 bedroom town houses cover up to 3,640 square feet.
The ultra-modern Alandalus apartments are almost as large, ranging from one bedroom at 728 square feet through to a four-bed apartment at 3,374 square feet. Majority of the apartments have large covered terraces, to bring the green of the golf course and the thrill of the competition to the front door.
With 75 three and four bedroom townhouses and 47 five and six bedroom villas located in the heart of the community, Redwood Park and Redwood Avenue have also helped to make Jumeirah Golf Estates one of the most impressive destinations on the European Tour circuit. Redwood Avenue is a perfectly polished landscaped community where individuality is key and character is essential. From the latest entertainment systems to eco-friendly lighting, there are all the right touches, all the right trimmings and all the room needed for living the life of luxury – particularly for the six bedroom villa plus study which has a built up area of 11,000 square feet.
Q:Why it is the right time now to invest in Dubai’s real estate sector?
A:Dubai, unlike some of its oil-dependent neighbours, remains relatively insulated from global economic pressures. Continuing its focus on economic diversification – Dubai’s economy is largely driven by services, tourism, real estate and construction activities.Interestingly, gross rental yields in Dubai are among the highest in the world at 5.8-7.2% (UK: 2-3%). Source: Global Property Guide, June 2015.
In terms of real estate, investors and end-users alike are becoming increasingly discerning, with a focus on quality, access to amenities and a full ‘lifestyle’ offering. With a host of world-class facilities and amenities, Jumeirah Golf Estates represents an appealing and valuable proposition for local and international investors and homeowners.
It is a very exciting time for Dubai and Jumeirah Golf Estates in the run up to World Expo 2020. We are already feeling the benefits of being located in ‘New Dubai’ and in close proximity to ‘Dubai South’ – home of the Expo 2020 site. We anticipate positive knock-on effects as Expo draws closer, for example an estimated 277,000 jobs are due to be created, thus adding to market demand.
Q: Why Dubai is considered to be world’s most important and promising tourism havens and how it benefits the real estate industry?
A: Dubai has firmly cemented its position as regional hub for tourism and trade. Its appeal to investors, corporates, tourists and expatriates is owed to the quality of its infrastructure and world-class services and amenities. All of these elements stand Dubai apart from its neighbours, making it an attractive place to invest, live or set-up business.
The emirate has always been a popular investment option for Indians because of the tax-free regime, high rental yields, capital appreciation and the close proximity to India. There is already a big community of Indians living in Dubai and we expect to see this increase as the push for mid-market living options increases.
The UAE’s location between east and west provides a strategic advantage for conducting international business and places Dubai in a good position for Indian investment opportunities. Currently Jumeirah Golf Estates sees strong rental yields of 8-10 per cent for apartments and 5-6 per cent for villas.
As with any business, Jumeirah Golf Estates has evolved it’s offering in response to evolving market dynamics, and with fast-growing demand for mid-market housing. In line with the launch of our Alandalus development, the Dubai Government is undertaking initiatives to ensure that there are housing options available for Dubai’s middle income groups, a trend which we expect to see a continued increase in. The Jumeirah Golf Estates community is in a strong position to cater to this segment with high quality, superior properties – extending affordable luxury to a new market of buyers. In addition, with the arrival of Dubai Expo 2020, the already trust-worthy market is expected to further thrive.
As excitement and development surrounding Expo 2020 mounts, this is a prime time to invest in Dubai’s real estate market. Particularly for overseas investors, the coming years present an advantageous opportunity to enter the burgeoning market.
Q: CEO’s views on Dubai hosting the Expo 2020 and how the real estate industry will witness another cycle of growth in the years leading up to Expo 2020?
A: The World Expo 2020 offers an exciting opportunity for all businesses within Dubai and the UAE. We are situated only minutes from the official site, ensuring we are in a prime position to capitalize on the prestigious event.As excitement and development surrounding Expo 2020 mounts, this is a prime time to invest in Dubai’s real estate market. Particularly for overseas investors, the coming years present an advantageous opportunity to enter the burgeoning market. For example, Expo 2020 is estimated to create approximately 277,000 jobs, thus adding to market demand.Ahead of World EXPO 2020, the government of Dubai is investing in developing local infrastructure. One key project has seen Jumeirah Golf Estates working with the RTA to provide residents with a dedicated metro stop, as well as bus stops around the estate; ensuring that all residents have easy transport options in and out of the city and enhancing the accessibility of developments within ‘New Dubai’.
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