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Danube eyes expansion after almost doubling turnover

Danube Group almost doubled its turnover to AED 5.13bn ($1.4bn) in 2015 compared to AED 2.8bn the year before and is forecasting further growth of 15 to 20 percent in 2016 as it eyes further opportunities in the affordable housing sector.

Rizwan Sajan, the founder & chairman of the Dubai-based company, revealed that its property wing expects to launch three to four low cost developments per year in a bid to cash in on burgeoning demand for low cost housing in Dubai.

On the retail side Danube will invest AED 200mn to open six new retail stores in the region in the near future, bringing its total number of stores to 50.

Danube has launched six affordable residential property developments to date, the most recent being Glamz by Danube – a AED 300mn development in Al Furjan comprising 418 apartments.

The company believes that its vertically integrated structure offering building materials as well as home interiors has allowed it to carve out a niche in the affordable housing segment.

“Such an arrangement makes sure that the project cost comes down considerably, which allows Danube to pass on the benefits to customers by delivering property at the most affordable price,” Sajan says.

He added that 2015 was the year of “affordable housing and convenient payment plans” and that the trend will continue in 2016.

“We started the properties division with a clear focus on the affordable housing segment,” Sajan said. “We identified the gap that existed in the market which was too focused on luxury and super-luxury segments while the mid-income population was left untouched.”

He added: “We were one of the first private developers to offer affordable housing combined with the special payment plan of 1% per month. The most attractive part of the payment plan is that it requires the buyers to pay only 52% until handover and balance in 4 years after handover.”

With Dubai’s property prices remaining lower compared to global hub cities such as London, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong, Sajan says the new low-price environment offers a great opportunity for consumers to benefit from not only the asset but the price appreciation of the asset when delivered.

“The current economic environment offers perhaps the best opportunity for home buyers as well as investors,” he says. “First, the home buyers will be able to save them from the increased high rent in Dubai that will affect their savings. Besides, the apartment will command higher value and rent – in case the home-owner wants to sell or rent out. Either way, there is guaranteed higher return.”