iSuites – A Schon Properties & Al Hamad Group $870m Joint Hospitality Venture

iSuites by Schon Properties (PRNewsfoto/Schon Properties)
iSuites by Schon Properties (PRNewsfoto/Schon Properties)

Schon Properties, a major Dubai based property developer, and Al Hamad Group – a leading construction company in the GCC – announce a joint venture to develop iSuites – a huge Dh3.2 billion (US$870 million) hospitality development of 2,550 hotel apartments in Dubai Investment Park – close to the Dubai Expo 2020 site.

Danial Schon, President of Schon Properties, says “Schon Properties is very excited about this venture we have embarked upon, iSuites. With the location gaining more traction day by day, we believe this plot is the perfect location for hospitality going forward.  We have found one of the most capable partners in Al Hamad Group, with their established construction track record of 45 Years and history of building some of the tallest towers in the world”.

Al Hamad Group is purchasing significant equity in the 2,550 unit development while Schon Properties will retain a substantial number of units, the remaining inventory is offered to select investors for acquisition. With over 45 years of expertise in construction, Al Hamad Group will be responsible for construction through its contracting arm, Dubai Civil Engineering. iSuites, is being jointly developed but will be managed by Schon Properties.

The entire complex includes 21 buildings – comprising 2,550 hotel suites, 52 restaurants and outdoor cafes, 125,000 square feet shopping mall, all surrounded by a manmade beach and a lagoon spread over 5 acres- all to be delivered before the historic Expo 2020 begins in the fourth quarter of 2020.

A yet to disclosed, branded international hotel operator will manage hospitality services to offer greater comfort to guests. The announcement of the joint venture has increased investor confidence in a 12-15% yielding investment opportunity to purchase a hotel suite or a service apartment that will be managed by international branded hotel chain operator.

Nashat Sahawneh, Chairman of Al Hamad Contracting, says, “We are delighted to partner with Schon Properties to create a unique hospitality landmark catering to the Al Maktoum Airport and Expo 2020 sites, the highest expected tourist growth area in Dubai. We are proud to be part of this massive development and see a great potential in this partnership.

“Our 45 years’ expertise with building some of the tallest towers in world and iconic projects will prove integral to delivering a landmark project in this crucial location. Schon’s track record of developing such high profile projects will add to our experience, and we are excited for the prospects of this development. The development of iSuites is a historic move by Schon Properties as it will help support the Dubai Government’s vision to create 140,000 hotel rooms for tourists and visitors to the emirate.”

Al Hamad Contracting brings more than four decades of experience in constructing large projects. The company is based in the UAE with operational footprint across the GCC. The company has grown to become a group of large diversified businesses with more than 20 companies active in construction, real estate and industrial sectors.

“Additionally, Al Hamad expertise in hospitality with the fact that they have built, and now own and operate over 7 hotels in the region, including Media Rotana Tecom and Hilton Jordan Gate, is very beneficial to the success of the iSuites project. The combination of Al Hamad’s experience and Schon’s multi-disciplinary experience will add to the Dubai landscape. Designed by Swiss Design Bureau, the suites offer smart stay concept and the building follows a modular design code. The design team’s innovation is expected to create a top of the line development.

“This crucial partnership will ensure an active participation by Al Hamad Contracting – who are now our partner in development and holds a stake in the overall progress of the project and guarantee smooth construction, development and delivery with the units. This partnership now cements the deal and ensures on-time delivery and the best quality, said Danial Schon.

“We are also happy to announce that the piling and shoring works of the project has already been completed while the main construction will commence in January. Al Hamad’s track record of on-time delivery over the last 45 years gives us the confidence that we will be ready to deliver the 2.6 million square feet significantly before the Dubai Expo 2020.”

iSuites envisages smart modern living of functional and futuristic facilities. The full-serviced hotel apartments are targeting millennials interested in urban lifestyle hotel stays, small families coming to Dubai on a short- term corporate assignment or a pure family vacation. iSuites strategic location being next to the world’s largest airport – Al Maktoum International Airport – assures high occupancy rates and secure income for investors.

The iSuites features over 52 restaurants and cafes boasting outdoor areas overlooking the Crystal Lagoon as part of a master-planned development. iSuites includes a 125,000 square feet retail promenade called the Laguna Centrale Mall. These include urban themed cafes dedicated for entrepreneurs, kids play area’s and nanny services available for all guests. Bank, retail, spa’s, supermarkets, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, and shopping are available at the Laguna Centrale Mall to give full service to all guests for the hotel development.

iSuites – a lucrative investment product – will help contribute to the economic growth of the UAE and help realise the country’s vision 2021 and 2030. Schon Properties, which will retain a significant portion of the 2,550 units in iSuites, will offer a limited number of units to the public to purchase and benefit from a higher return on investment.

Dubai, which has 100,000 hotel rooms and hotel apartments, will need 40,000 new hotel rooms and hotel apartments within less than 46 months, as the clock is ticking for Expo 2020 – the largest exposition to take place in the history of the Middle East – that the city of Dubai will proudly host.

In order to help align with the Dubai Government’s Vision 2020, Schon Properties has stepped up its efforts to support the government’s tourism vision that will prepare the city to host 20 million hotel guests per year by 2020 and support the 25 million visitor traffic to the Expo 2020 site.

The Expo 2020 site will be used as the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), hosting all major meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and events.  Dubai added 4,337 hotel rooms in ten months of the year to reach 100,012 in October 2016, up from 95,675 hotel rooms in 2015.

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the emirate’s tourism industry regulator, said, Investment in Dubai’s hotel industry is expected to pick up in the next four years with additional 40,000 serviced hotel rooms and hotel apartments to be added to the existing inventory of 100,000 – to serve the anticipated 20 million hotel annual guests by 2020, in addition to the 25 million visiting the World Expo 2020.

This means, investors and developers will have to build 10,000 hotel rooms per year to reach the target of 140,000 hotel rooms and serviced apartments to accommodate the visitor traffic.  Of the 100,012 hotel rooms and service apartments available in Dubai, 31,953 or nearly 32 per cent belong to the five-star category while 22,108 rooms fall under business hotels or four-star category and 21,104 rooms fall under 1-3 star rating.

About Schon Properties:

Schon Properties, one of the top private real estate developers in the UAE, has an 8 million square feet development portfolio valued at Dh7 billion.  The company has over 3,000 customers and as of October 2016 has successfully delivered over 1.6 million square feet of developments till date.  Schon was the first company in Dubai to launch affordable housing targeting midmarket buyers, and the first company to introduce a post-handover payment plan.

Danial Schon, Schon Properties 2020 Vision entails focusing on sustainable income models via hospitality investments next to EXPO 2020.  As a corporate policy, the company intends to retain its assets for sustainable income, as opposed to conventional methods of sales used by other developers. With a staff of over 400 and being vertically integrated, the company strives itself on corporate governance and best practices worldwide.

About iSuites:

iSuites is a 21 building project (2B+G+8), comprising 2,550 luxurious hotel apartments, 52 restaurants and cafes, and 125,000 square feet shopping mall called the Laguna Centrale Mall. The project aims to serve the shortage of 4-star hotel rooms close to the Expo 2020, Al Maktoum Airport, and Dubai Parks and Resorts. iSuites’ total constructible area is upwards of 2.6 million square feet.

The turnkey construction contract has been awarded to Dubai Civil Engineering. Dubai Civil Engineering was established in 1976 and has a 40-year solid track record of building trophy projects across the Middle East. iSuites targets trendy millennials looking for an urban lifestyle hotel stay. Designed with elegance, the interiors of the hotel are chic, minimalistic, and contemporary.

Interior designed by one of the top architects Swiss Design Bureau, based in Geneva. The FF&E includes all smart technology aimed for millennials and the building entails a green environmentally design, saving on utility consumption charges. Construction works commenced on October 2016 and first deliveries are expected by Q2 2019. The full project completion date is set for Q2 2020.

About Al Hamad Contracting:

Al Hamad Contracting is a UAE-based large contracting company, part of the Al Hamad Group that has more than 20 subsidiaries involved in construction, real estate and industries. Al Hamad Contracting brings more than three decades of experience in constructing large projects. The company has operational footprint across the GCC.

The company began its journey in 1985 when its chairman established Al Hamad Building Contracting Company LLC in Sharjah, and Dubai Civil Engineering LLC to serve the Dubai region. The unprecedented growth and success of the UAE encouraged the company to invest in the precast and pre-stressed concrete solutions. In 1997, Concrete Technology LLC was established as the main contractor for all precast and pre-stressed concrete solutions in the construction sector. In 2011, Al Hamad Group of Companies established property management firm – Al Rawabi Real Estate LLC – that operates in northern emirates while Compass Properties Company LLC operates in the southern emirates.