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Luxury buyers drive up Dubai property prices in runup to 50th National Day: Report

Luxury home buyers drove up Dubai’s home prices as the property market grew by 21 percent in the runup to the United Arab Emirates’ 50th National Day on December 2, according to a report by property consultant Knight Frank.

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September saw the value of home sales reaching a monthly record of $3.3 billion (AED12.2 billion). Sales declined slightly in October, however, to $3 billion (AED11.2 billion).

The overall value of villas rose 14 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Knight Frank’s report highlighted a disparity between luxury homes and more affordable properties – as apartment prices rose in high-end areas, such as The Palm Jumeirah (14 percent) and Downtown Dubai (eight percent).

Average apartment prices, however, were down by 3.1 percent.

“There are very early signs to suggest that 2021 may… end up marking the peak of Dubai’s third property cycle,” Faisal Durrani, Head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank said in a statement.

“While values are still creeping up, anecdotal evidence points to an emerging delta between seller and buyer expectations, a classic sign of a rising market that may soon stall.”

Home values overall were down by 29 percent from the 2014 peak.

Durrani went on to say: “Average transacted prices are up 21 percent so far this year but remain 20 percent below the pre-global financial crisis [2008] peak.

“Dubai’s relative affordability compared to other global gateway cities has been instrumental in driving its popularity and it wouldn’t be in the interest of market stability for prices to race past the 2008, or indeed 2014 peaks over such a short period of time.”

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Region’s first-of-its-kind 3D printing facility for aviation parts opens in Dubai


Paradigm 3D opened the doors to its state-of-the-art $5.44 million (Dh20 million) 3D-printing facility in Dubai on Thursday — the first in the Middle East capable of producing parts in accordance with the aerospace-specific EASA Part 21G regulation.

Outfitted with industry-leading industrial 3D printers from NASDAQ-listed Stratasys Ltd., the facility will initially focus on producing parts for the region’s aviation industry.

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The 10,750 sq ft. factory in the Jebel Ali Industrial Area will initially have a production capacity of approximately 2,000 additively manufactured parts per year, with expectations to grow to around 20,000 per year over the next decade. Typical components produced at the facility will include aircraft interior components for seating, lavatories, electronic cooling ducts, environment control system ducting, wire guides, filter boxes, micro vanes, gaskets, component connectors, air intake manifolds and more.

As officials explined, the USP of the process at the facility is essentially the ease of use, reliability, repeatability — printing engineering grade thermoplastics with long intervals between maintenance and autonomous operations.

The event was notable for the presence of Scott Crump, Co-Founder of Stratasys, recognized globally as the godfather of 3D printing, a technology that is transforming industries worldwide. In fact, it is Crump's groundbreaking invention — Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) — that has become synonymous with 3D printing itself.

Paradigm 3D’s factory, in the Jebel Ali Industrial Area, will feature world-class industrial printers from Stratasys, establishing the UAE as a hub for fast-growing additive manufacturing segment. (Supplied)

Paradigm 3D’s factory, in the Jebel Ali Industrial Area, will feature world-class industrial printers from Stratasys, establishing the UAE as a hub for fast-growing additive manufacturing segment. (Supplied)

Across the world, leading aircraft and cabin interior product manufacturers including Boeing, Collins Aerospace, BAE Systems, Airbus, Diehl Aviation, Safran Seats, use additive manufacturing systems from Stratasys. “What makes Paradigm 3D’s facility unique is that it is the only 3D printing service provider in the Middle East that will be certified to produce 3D-printed parts for private and commercial aircraft,” said Stratasys EMEA President, Andreas Langfeld. “Having this capability in Dubai will reduce the lead time for replacement parts by weeks, possibly even months, helping airlines keep their planes in operation more predictably. This will not only reduce operational costs, particularly around logistics, but it will also reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation of these spare parts.”

Paradigm 3D has partnered with Stratasys’ long-time Dubai-based partner, The Design to Manufacturing Company (theD2Mco) and Latvia-based certified aerospace production company, AM Craft which holds an EASA Production Organization Approval (POA).

The industrial 3D printers at the new facility were installed by theD2Mco and they will be responsible for 24-7 uptime and support.

AM Craft will enable Paradigm 3D to become the first qualified manufacturing site outside the European Union under their certification and will support Paradigm 3D in achieving local production approval. This affords the company the ability to offer regional manufacturing capabilities to local airline operators.

“We are committed to collaborating with Paradigm 3D and Stratasys in supporting the UAE government’s vision for its manufacturing sector through initiatives such as Operation 300bn. The use of Stratasys 3D printers for primary production applications sets this facility apart from others in the region, and enables it to confidently serve the needs of customers in highly regulated industries such as aviation. We see clear potential for this new plant to serve not only the UAE market, but the entire region,” said Kyriakos Papantoniou, group executive director at theD2Mco.

Typical components produced at the Paradigm 3D facility include aircraft interior components for seating, electronic cooling ducts, environment control system ducting, wire guides, filter boxes, micro vanes, gaskets, component connectors, air intake manifolds and more. (Supplied)

Typical components produced at the Paradigm 3D facility include aircraft interior components for seating, electronic cooling ducts, environment control system ducting, wire guides, filter boxes, micro vanes, gaskets, component connectors, air intake manifolds and more. (Supplied)

“Airlines operate globally, and the Paradigm 3D facility will enable both regional and global aerospace companies to benefit from decentralized and on-demand manufacturing. We are aiding Paradigm 3D to enable them to become a one-stop-shop for designing, manufacturing and postprocessing certified aircraft components exactly when and where they are needed for immediate installation on aircraft which will be the state-of-the-art capability from the certification and technology perspective,” said Janis Jatnieks, CEO of AM Craft.

Following the anticipated success of the Jebel Ali manufacturing plant with airlines, Paradigm 3D intends to expand its focus into other industry verticals. “We see additive manufacturing as a core growth enabler for manufacturing in the region. The UAE’s appetite for innovation, and the government’s support for projects that leverage industrial 3D printing, means the country is perfectly positioned to be a hub for real digital manufacturing revolution,” Mohamed Juma, co-founder and owner of Paradigm 3D added. “Proving our abilities in the highly regulated aviation sector will serve to validate the numerous advantages of 3D printing. It will enable us to expand into parallel sectors, such as oil & gas and other industrial applications.”

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Supermarket franchisee Spinneys Dubai plans IPO in 2024 second quarter


Spinneys Dubai LLC, the franchisee of the supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is planning an initial public offering of the business in the second quarter of 2024, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Albwardy Investment, the franchise’s 100 percent owner, hired Rothschild & Co to advise on the planned IPO, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the plans are not public.

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It invited banks this week to pitch for roles in the offering, expected to be up to 30 percent of the company, the sources added.
Spinneys, Albwardy, and Rothschild did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
The potential IPO of Spinneys Dubai, planned on the Dubai Financial Market, would add to the small but growing regional food retail sector.
Americana Restaurants, the Middle East and North Africa franchisee of fast food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut, as well as a seller of frozen foods, debuted in a dual listing in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh in December.
Lulu Group, a hypermarket and mall operator, expects its IPO in the first half of 2024, its chairman said earlier this month, adding that it hired Moelis & Co to advise it, confirming an October 2022 Reuters report.
IPO activity in the Gulf is expected to pick up after the pace slowed from an exceptional 2022, when Saudi Arabia and the UAE led new listings, raising nearly $22 billion — more than half the total for the wider Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Dealogic data shows.
Middle Eastern companies still raised $5.3 billion in the first half of this year through 23 market debuts.
Spinneys Dubai operates more than 65 stores across the UAE, its website says. In addition, it operates at least seven stores in Oman, Albwardy’s website says.
Albwardy, which says it has annual turnover above $1 billion, also owns the franchise rights to upmarket British supermarket chain Waitrose.
Founded in the mid-1970s, it has a hospitality portfolio that includes several Four Seasons hotels and food distribution investments that include Nestle UAE.
Other sectors in Albwardy’s portfolio are industrial and engineering, commercial and insurance, agribusiness, and properties.

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Private lender Blue Owl plans to open Abu Dhabi Office in Middle East expansion


Private credit lender Blue Owl Capital Inc. is working to open an office and hire a team in Abu Dhabi focused on capital raising, a move to help strengthen its relationship with wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The office has become a priority for Blue Owl as it expands its presence in the Middle East, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. The private credit lender recently secured a $1 billion investment commitment from the Abu Dhabi wealth fund.

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Representatives for Blue Owl and Mubadala declined to com-ment.

Blue Owl, which has about $150 billion under management, is one of the largest players in the private credit market. Some of its recent deals include a $2.65 billion debt package to support Francisco Partners and TPG Inc.’s acquisition of New Relic Inc. as well as a $2.7 billion financing to help fund BradyIFS’s acquisition of Envoy Solutions.

Blue Owl has also been formalizing plans to open an office and hire a team in nearby Dubai to tap into growing demand from Middle Eastern wealth funds in alternative assets. The firm plans to invest directly in the region once the new offices are established, the person said.

The Middle East offices will add to the nearly dozen locations around the globe where the firm already has a presence including Hong Kong, London, Singapore, and Tokyo.

Read more: Private lender Blue Owl eyes more Middle East money with plans for new Dubai office

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