LONDON: Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone and partner Doug Barrowman plan to offer a £250 million development in the heart of Dubai for sale to purchasers using bitcoin.
The businesswoman who founded the Ultimo lingerie range and was nicknamed ‘Baroness Bra’ when she became a British parliamentarian, has launched a site offering the first property development for sale using the crypto-currency.
She has teamed up with Doug Barrowman, the chairman of the Knox group of companies to launch Aston Property Ventures.
“I am thrilled to be launching a project of this scale as a step in the property development business. This is also a natural progression from the launch of Michelle Mone Interiors – bringing together my two passions in business for the first time; design and property,” said Baroness Mone.
Investors are being offered 150 apartments located in Dubai Science Park which are being developed by Dubai-based Aston Developments. The project is due to complete in Sept. 2019.
Studio apartments will start from 27 bitcoins ($124,000) with packages for interior design services and furniture available using bitcoins.
Aston claims investors can expect to receive rental returns of nine percent following handover.
“I wanted to offer the property, tech and blockchain community a unique and exclusive opportunity by merging the property and tech sectors together in a true first for the industry,” said Doug Barrowman. “Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in a few short years means it’s now the world’s leading cryptocurrency. This is exactly why we are the first property development ever to be priced in Bitcoin.
After a rampant rally in recent months, bitcoin has fallen sharply since Sept.1 losing about 20 percent against the dollar.
The launch of the bitcoin property development in Dubai comes just days before the annual Cityscape property exhibition where developers compete to grab the headlines surrounding the latest real estate launches.
Competition for investors is expected to be fierce amid a subdued residential property market where a glut of new homes is weighing heavily on prices.
In 2016, house prices in Dubai fell by between eight and 11 percent, according to credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, which forecasts a continued fall in property prices and rents across the emirate throughout 2017.