Middle East homebuyers want bigger, ‘greener’ properties: Knight Frank

Middle East homebuyers want bigger, ‘greener’ properties: Knight Frank
Houses on Jumeirah Palm island in Dubai, UAE. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 04 October 2021

Middle East homebuyers want bigger, ‘greener’ properties: Knight Frank

Middle East homebuyers want bigger, ‘greener’ properties: Knight Frank
  • Around 57 percent of respondents in the region said they would be most likely to buy a villa
  • Durrani said half of the respondents cited the energy efficiency of their home being a “very important” issue

DUBAI: Home buyers in the Middle East are increasingly eyeing bigger houses or those in “more rural locations” for their next purchase, a new survey by global consultancy firm Knight Frank has revealed.

“The pandemic has fuelled aspirations for bigger homes, much like the respondents from elsewhere in the world,” the firm’s Head of Middle East research Faisal Durrani said, adding the pandemic has affected home buyers’ attitudes in recent months. 

Around 57 percent of respondents in the region said they would be most likely to buy a villa, or a home in a more rural location for their next purchase, slightly higher than the rest of the world’s respondents.

“In markets like Dubai, we’re already seeing villa demand driving faster price growth for villas than apartments. Indeed, villa values in Dubai have climbed by 7.8 percent since Q1 2020, compared to a 5.9 percent fall for apartments,” Durrani explained. 

The survey also found sustainability to be an important factor for home buyers in the region than elsewhere globally.

Durrani said half of the respondents cited the energy efficiency of their home being a “very important” issue, compared to only 42 percent of global buyers. 

“This should send a very strong signal to developers and planners around the region about how important ‘being greener’ will be in driving the success of new projects,” he added.


Jordan-based Tamatem Games closes $11m funding round

Jordan-based Tamatem Games closes $11m funding round
Updated 20 sec ago

Jordan-based Tamatem Games closes $11m funding round

Jordan-based Tamatem Games closes $11m funding round

RIYADH: Jordan-based Arab mobile game publisher Tamatem Games has successfully raised $11 million in a Series B funding round.

The investment will be used to fuel its expansion strategy across the region with initial focus on Saudi Arabia where it will hire local talent, Wamda reported.

The round was led by KRAFTON, makers of the popular battle royale game PUBG. 

Venture Souq, Endeavor Catalyst and existing investors also participated in the round.

Tamatem is seeking to expand its offices in Saudi Arabia to hire local Saudi talent and gain a stronger foothold in the country that harbors 70 percent of its users.

It also plans to offer a wider selection of games in the Arab markets.

Tamatem is also aiming to expand into more countries in the region and launch a gaming academy to train and raise the level of employment in the industry.

"We are committed to the MENA region and willing to take more bets in the overall Media and Entertainment Sector, and this investment is aligned with our efforts to strengthen our commitment to the startup ecosystem," CEO and founder Hussam Hammo said.

 


Dubai-based Arcab raises seed round, eyes regional expansion

Dubai-based Arcab raises seed round, eyes regional expansion
Updated 31 min ago

Dubai-based Arcab raises seed round, eyes regional expansion

Dubai-based Arcab raises seed round, eyes regional expansion

RIYADH: Dubai-based technology-enabled bus aggregator has raised an undisclosed amount in its seed round led by We Founder Circle, Wamda reported. 

The financing will be used to build, maintain and scale technology infrastructure that facilitates a multi-sided marketplace to fuel expansion in the region. 

“The next 18 months are going to be very exciting and crucial for us to move quickly, ramp up our operations and scale our footprint in the region,” Arcab CEO Bilal Shabandri said. 

The startup’s tech-enablement allows fleet owners to increase utilization of their vehicles by reducing downtime and avoiding manual control, hence increasing profits. 

Arcab works with over 40 operators including Europcar, Avis and Dubai Taxi corporation, and more than 3,000 buses. 


Voyager Portal raises $8.4m in Series A round led by Oman’s Phaze Ventures

Voyager Portal raises $8.4m in Series A round led by Oman’s Phaze Ventures
Updated 34 min 49 sec ago

Voyager Portal raises $8.4m in Series A round led by Oman’s Phaze Ventures

Voyager Portal raises $8.4m in Series A round led by Oman’s Phaze Ventures

RIYADH: US-based marine supply chain platform Voyager Portal has raised $8.4 million in a funding round led by Oman’s venture capital firm Phaze Ventures.

The startup will use the newly acquired funds to speed up its product roadmap, whilst maintaining an international client base, Wamda reported. 

The new funding comes amidst the Voyager Portal’s unprecedented growth. 

Revenues have seen a thirteen-fold increase from the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021.

The voyage management platform, founded in 2018, is a software as a service startup that aims to reduce risk, cost and complexity across companies’ marine supply chain. 


KSA’s Sidra fund exceeds annual target net returns

KSA’s Sidra fund exceeds annual target net returns
Updated 48 min 51 sec ago

KSA’s Sidra fund exceeds annual target net returns

KSA’s Sidra fund exceeds annual target net returns

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Sidra Income Fund, a US dollar-denominated investment fund, exceeded its annual target net return of 7.75 percent, delivering, 8.01 percent and 8.39 percent respectively in the last 24 months, said a statement.

The fund, focussed on financing supply chains, is managed by Sidra Capital, which is a Shariah-compliant investment fund regulated by Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority.

Launched in September 2019, the $50-million Shariah-compliant fund, aims to capitalize on the infrastructure boom in Indonesia, while aiming to intervene in energy and infrastructure supply chains achieving stable, unlevered high yield return uncorrelated to the stock market and global commodity prices.

“The economy of Indonesia is the largest in Southeast Asia, and is one of the leading emerging market economies of the world,” explained Hani Baothman, chairman of Sidra Capital. 

“Following 2020’s pandemic-induced recession, rising infrastructure spending and unleashed pent-up demand amid supportive fiscal and monetary policies should sustain investment for the foreseeable future.”

 


Japanese SoftBank shares fall 9% amid bad portfolio news

Japanese SoftBank shares fall 9% amid bad portfolio news
Updated 58 min 10 sec ago

Japanese SoftBank shares fall 9% amid bad portfolio news

Japanese SoftBank shares fall 9% amid bad portfolio news

RIYADH: Tokyo-based SoftBank Group’s shares dropped nine percent on Monday, hitting its sixth consecutive day of losses as valuations of its key portfolio companies fell. 

SoftBank shares sank to 5,057 yen ($45) in its largest intraday decline since March 2020, Bloomberg reported. 

The group’s Chinese portfolio company Didi Global started US delisting last Thursday, following the US Federal Trade Commission opposition to SoftBank’s Arm sale to Nvidia Corp. 

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, relies on completing the Arm deal to secure the nine trillion yen for his investment group. 

This happened as the shares of Alibaba Group Holding, the biggest Chinese internet firm and most valuable company in SoftBank’s portfolio, fell by more than eight percent, while Didi Global’s stock dropped by over 22 percent.