Building a regional first

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Senior Executive Vice Chairman, MAG talks to Big Project ME’s Jason Saundalkar about the vision for Keturah Reserve and Keturah Resort and what differentiates the projects from other luxury offerings in Dubai

Post pandemic, Dubai’s luxury real estate market began booming and continues to be a significant driver of the economy today. According to data from global real estate consultant Knight Frank, in 2022 the emirate registered 219 sales of homes valued at US $10mn and above. The consultancy also said that higher demand will drive 13.5% growth in the luxury residential market in 2023, fuelled by Dubai’s continuing safe-haven status and a demand-supply imbalance with regards to this segment of the market.

In response to the appetite for luxury residential homes as well as a growing appetite for developments that focus on health and wellness, in 2022, UAE-based real estate developer MAG announced the launch of two unique developments, Keturah Reserve, and Keturah Resort which includes The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside.

The US $817mn luxury Keturah Reserve development aims to provide residents and visitors with a unique, healthier environment towards uplifting the notion of inspired living, through its unique ‘Bio Living’ concept that incorporates nature into the built environment to improve the physical, mental and emotional health of its occupants.

“The Keturah Reserve and The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside represent MAG’s vision for developing extraordinary living spaces with the highest standards of wellness and luxury experiences, providing residents and visitors a unique, healthier environment and uplifting the level of inspired living,” says Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, Senior Executive Vice Chairman of MAG. “Our objective is to revolutionise luxury living by demonstrating the profound impact of thoughtful, nature-conscious design on improving quality of life.”

Elaborating further on the development, he adds, “We are dedicated to developing a resilient blueprint for a sustainable future for upcoming generations. With Keturah Reserve and Keturah Resort we aspire to set unprecedented standards in Dubai’s real estate sector, rooted in our dedication to environmental responsibility. In essence, our ambition is to pioneer sustainable luxury living by weaving these critical aspects into our projects.”

“The clientele we are attracting are the ones that place significant emphasis on health, well-being, and luxury in their lifestyle preferences. Keturah Reserve’s transformational living will appeal to our potential home-buyers and end users, and we recognise that they are not merely seeking a house but are investing in a rich lifestyle and a vibrant community experience.”

Creating a WELL Community

When the developer launched Keturah Resort on Dubai Creek, it said the development will be the first in the MENA region to pursue the WELL Health-Safety certification for buildings as part of MAG’s registered ‘WELL Community’. It added that residents will have access to a five-star wellness hotel, a private members-only club; a women’s club; a kids club; an immersive, holistic wellness centre; Michelin-star restaurants; 550m promenade; sustainable and organic-focused retail spaces, 24/7 secure private parking with a valet facility, and a gated community with unique views of the Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary.

Sharing his thoughts on the masterplan, architecture and design language of the luxury residential project, Al Gaddah remarks, “The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside project comprises 177 residences across seven buildings and 12 mansions. The architectural forms and landscape within the project reinforce the concept of human and natural wellness. The inspiration behind the orientation and layout is to enhance the connection between the residents and the surroundings.”

“Warm, robust, yet elegant and refined materials have been selected to complement the ‘resort’ feel of the development. Lush green spaces have also been integrated into the facades to soften the structures. The overall infrastructure gently blends into the landscaping to create a truly exemplary wellness resort, which will set an international benchmark for the future of wellness communities.”

Al Gaddah says that the exterior designs and interiors of the 12 mansions which are themed earth, water and sky echo cues of the elements, and create distinct experiences for residents.

“The spaces create seamless journeys through covered terraces framed by structures that encourage outdoor living, glass-framed courtyards, and adjustable architectural screens that elevate the individual’s interaction with insides and gardens,” he explains.

“Keturah Reserve will feature 93 townhouses, 90 villas, 540 units across six apartment block buildings, and eight penthouse apartments. The project is the first residential development in the Middle East to immerse residents in nature through Bio Living to improve occupants’ physical, mental and emotional well-being.”

“The homes in Keturah Reserve are angled to capture and maximise natural daylight, gently diffusing it throughout the interior without heat or glare; double-volume interior spaces increase the flow of naturally cooled air, reducing the need for air conditioning. The open-plan spaces are also designed without corridors or hallways, with custom-designed furniture and fixtures produced for each space to optimise the flow of the passage,” he elaborates.

Asked about how the luxury development addresses health and wellness requirements, Al Gaddah remarks, “Residences at The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside adheres to the WELL Certification Standards, and integrates evidence-based wellness innovations, pioneering the concept of Wellness Real Estate, in collaboration with world-class scientific and medical experts.”

“The architectural forms, materiality and landscape reinforce the concept of human and natural wellness. The inspiration behind the architectural orientation and layout is to maximise the connection between the residents and the surrounding views and amenities.”

He continues, “At Keturah Reserve, Bio Living is rooted in Biophilic Design, architecture and interior design conceived to incorporate nature into the built environment to improve occupants’ physical, mental and emotional health. Bio Living at Keturah Reserve creates the perfect synergy between interior design, architecture and landscape, completely respecting the surrounding ecosystem.”

A unique luxury offering

With regards to how Keturah Reserve stands out and differentiates itself from other offerings in the luxury residential market in Dubai, Al Gaddah responds, “Keturah Reserve offers transformational living through the design of space. It is the first residential development in the Middle East to immerse residents in nature through Bio Living to improve its occupants’ physical, mental and emotional well-being. It is also the only residential development in Dubai with a direct nine-minute link to Downtown, with four separate exits onto the city’s main roads: Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road, Dubai Al Ain Road and Al Meydan Road.”

“At Keturah Reserve, the SuperHomes are uniquely represented through the Golden Mean principle of proportion and ratio to create harmony in space. Both interiors and architecture are crafted from the same raw materials and colours to subtly merge the exterior with the surrounding desert landscape. The restrained colour palette of bleached bone, champagne, and bronze further emphasises their natural inspiration, with lush elements visible from every vista, including olive trees, palm trees, green walls, balcony planters, and rooftop gardens.”

Emphasising on Keturah Resort’s significant WELL focus, he adds, “The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside, is the first development in the region to pursue a WELL Health-Safety Rating certification. The development combines luxury with well-being and a true sense of community. It is characterised by a high artistic value, where only high-quality materials are handpicked from artisans worldwide to ensure a long-lasting and sensual experience. Each residence within the limited collection adheres to the WELL Certification Standards and is complemented by ultra-high-end leisure areas and exclusive spa and wellness facilities.”

Luxury residential buyers typically have discerning tastes and specific requirements; pressed for his thoughts on key requirements buyers have today, and how Keturah Reserve and The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside respond to these demands, Al Gaddah notes, “With luxury residences changing and improving greatly with time, investors and end users who accept nothing short of extraordinary are on the lookout for experiences that transcend opulent finishes and exclusive community living: they are seeking properties that prioritise wellness and provide a sense of sanctuary from the outside world.”

“Emphasising well-being and transforming lives through the innovative design of interior, exterior and personal spaces is a mantra that defines everything we do, and each of our projects is conceived to evoke intangible emotions, turning homes into sanctuaries for residents to bask in comfort, luxury and fulfilment. Dubai is a reflection of this ethos, presenting the absolute best to all who would call the emirate home. After all, of all the cities in the world, very few are capable of matching the proposition that Dubai presents to home-seekers and investors in search of luxury and exceptional lifestyles.”

Another topic that has been captivating conversations in recent years with regards to real estate is, of course, sustainable development. With Dubai scheduled to host COP28 between 30 November and 12 December, industry insiders anticipate that the emirate, and the UAE as a whole, will step up its focus on sustainable development.

Asked about his firm’s approach to sustainable development on the luxury project, Al Gaddah explains, “MAG’s sustainable development strategy, specifically for the Keturah Reserve and The Ritz Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside, is built upon the integral connection of luxury, wellness, and transformation living. We perceive these elements as the vital pillars of sustainable development, and they lay the foundation for our approach.”

“Our economic model fosters long-term sustainability. We are dedicated not only to the creation of exquisite homes but also to the establishment of thriving communities. Our developments are designed to be attractive living spaces for the long haul, preserving their value and remaining a viable investment for property investors,” he says.

Discussing the firm’s business over the last 12 months, Al Gaddah comments, “2022 was a great year for us. In addition to launching Keturah concept, which is set to redefine the real estate sector, we completed 2,000 units across three projects.”

Commenting on the market response and success of the Keturah Reserve project specifically, Al Gaddah notes, “All 93 available townhouses at Keturah Reserve were sold for a total of $81.6mn, whereas at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside, penthouses with 360-views of the Dubai skyline, the two-bedroom Sky apartments, and two mansions were sold.”

“Additionally, all of the units at MBL Royal Residence, the mixed-use luxury tower in JLT, were sold out within 120-days with sales totalling $200.1mn, as well as, all units at MAG 22, a project comprising 22 townhouses in Meydan, were sold out, with completion anticipated by December 2024.” he comments.

Enduring growth

Commenting on Dubai’s real estate market and what is shaping demand for property in the city, Al Gaddah says that the real estate market in the emirate is “undergoing a remarkable phase of growth, and is poised to surpass notable global geographies by the end of 2023”.

“Dubai’s burgeoning reputation as a global business hub is a key driver of this growth. Its strategic geographic location, world-class infrastructure, and favorable tax policies make it an attractive destination for international companies. The emirate’s dedication to infrastructure and development projects is acting as a catalyst for the real estate boom. We are witnessing significant city-wide expansion, with new commercial and residential projects being launched frequently. This development fulfils the needs of the growing population and contributes to Dubai’s awe-factor, drawing more international investors and residents.”

“The progressive approach towards visa regulations, paired with a positive business environment and the safety and luxury associated with living here, have greatly fuelled the demand. Looking towards the future, Dubai’s projected population growth, which aligns with its 2040 target of 5.8m residents, further sustains this demand. With a balanced spread across various income segments, we foresee a consistent need for a wide spectrum of housing options.”

Closing with his thoughts on MAG’s future plans, he says, “MAG has always been strategic. Our focus is on recognising opportunities and capitalising on them to deliver exceptional value to our clients and stakeholders. We see significant demand in the market, and believe this is a strong indicator of future growth potential.”

“While our plans are to strengthen our position within existing markets, we are vigilant about new opportunities, be it within the region or globally,” he concludes.


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