DUBAI — Offices and residential apartments in the Dh1.6 billion 60-storey 266-metres tall award winning U-Bora Towers, the tallest in Business Bay, are ready to be occupied in March.
This is definitely a boost for Dubai’s property market and Business Bay, which has some 20 projects already completed or nearly complete.
By completing the U-Bora Towers project, Korea’s Bando Engineering and Construction Company has achieved a pioneering feet as U-Bora Towers is Korea’s first overseas investment development project. All processes for the U-Bora Towers have been managed by Bando, from site selection, investment attraction and construction to sales.
“We are happy our company has fulfilled its commitment to the Korean and Dubai governments that we will do the project,” Park Jae Myung, Bando’s project director for U-Bora Towers, told Khaleej Times in an interview.
Bando’s chairman, Kwon Hong Sa, who is also the chairman of the Korean Construction Association, wanted to keep the project moving forward despite the international financial crisis and material prices, Park said.
“We continued at full speed even by injecting our own funds because we believed in the statement, ‘Dubai has a dream. The dream will be achieved’, by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” Park said. “Now, we are seeing that the economy is getting better and so is Dubai’s property market. Some major developers have restarted work. People are coming to Dubai as it is a convenient place to live.”
He said, “Dubai has strong foundation and qualified infrastructure. Property market investors who have bought land here will come back to Dubai and so will developers, contractors and everybody else. Time has come for the Dubai property market to move. But, the market being very heavy, acceleration will take time.”
The name of the towers, U-Bora, is a name of African Swahili origin meaning superiority and excellence. But, Park explained that U means well-equipped electronic system and Bora is also the name of the daughter of their company chairman, Kwon Hong Sa.
“To us, U-Bora means that our project has well-equipped electronic system and our chairman’s daughter is so dear to us that we treat our project as our chairman’s daughter,” Park said.
He said that the U-Bora Towers was completed in four years and people will enjoy living and working there once the current handing over stage is completed and people start moving in next month.
The 60-storey vertical office tower is 100 per cent sold while 50 per cent of the 225 units of studios, and one, two and three bedrooms in the 16 floor horizontal residential building have been sold. The units have LG home network system and their kitchens have built-in appliances.
Park said that the remaining residential units are now being sold and Bando is looking at various options to facilitate the buyers. “We had sold the units at Dh1,200 per-square-foot when the market was at Dh2,000. We will not sell them at a lower price because our quality is of a very high standard,” he said.
The retail space at the project will also be launched. It includes space for supermarket and other convenience stores, he added.
A unique feature of the project is that the office tower twists at varying degrees and angles to reorient their faces to maximise available views. Its width is low at the bottom and gradually doubles at the top while 89.6 per cent of residential tower and 78.5 per cent of office tower have lake view.
Park said that U-Bora Towers has received completion certificate from Tecom and Civil Defence. The plot area is 19,883 square metres and built up area is 228,519 square metres. Parking area has 2,425 lots. There are 36 lifts in the project with a maximum speed of eight metres per second. Major materials used are 108,000 cubic metres of concrete, 24,000 tonnes of rebar, and 50,000 square metres of glass.
It received several Arabian Property awards in 2009. They are: Residential Property Awards, Best Architecture, Best Development, Commercial Property Awards and Best Mixed Use Development.
“U-Bora Towers is Bando’s first project in the UAE. We have successfully completed it and now we are ready to take another job here as developers and contractors,” Park said.