Wheels of change: bi­cy­cling rev­o­lu­tion slowly gath­er­ing mo­men­tum in In­dia

Be­sides boost­ing the last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity, cy­cle shar­ing ex­pands the catch­ment ar­eas for a city’s rapid tran­sit sys­tems and also has direct im­pact on real es­tate

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Nam­rata Kohli Si­mon Sel­varaj

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Golf homes seem to be the next big thing in Dubai’s real es­tate. Wi t h t h e D P Wo rl d To u r Cham­pi­onship and the Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic re­ceiv­ing huge sup­port­ers and play­ers year-on-year, builders are now bring­ing in pre­mium hous­ing for golf afi­ciona­dos.

Some of the lat­est golf com­mu­ni­ties cre­at­ing a buzz in the mar­ket in­clude Ara­bian Ranches, Emi­rates Hills, and Jumeirah Golf Es­tates. About 70% of golf homes sold this year be­tween Jan­uary and May 2016 were from Ara­bian Ranches, says a re­port by Lux­habi­tat, Dubai’s high- end bro­ker­age firm.

Ac­cord­ing to Lux­habi­tat’s lux­ury sales director, An­drew Cleator, “Golf com­mu­ni­ties, in gen­eral, carry an extra pres­tige fac­tor, this also usu­ally war­rants high qual­ity prop­er­ties, top class fa­cil­i­ties, fam­ily com­mu­nity, good ac­ces­si­bil­ity and safe se­cure en­vi­ron­ment.”

Buy­ing in a golf­ing de­vel­op­ment nearly al­ways adds to the in­vest­ment se­cu­rity as golf­ing en­thu­si­asts and end-users look­ing for tran­quil sur­round­ings will al­ways pay a pre­mium to re­side in such an en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Tugba Do­gan, a Dubai based con­sul­tant, “The pre­mium re­turns on th­ese golf prop­er­ties de­pend on lo­ca­tion, qual­ity and views.”

So let’s see what kind of su­per lux­ury fea­tures some of th­ese prop­er­ties have

Last mile con­nec­tiv­ity! To­day it has be­come one of the most im­por­tant issues faced by cit­i­zens living in ur­ban In­dia, es­pe­cially the ones de­pen­dent on mul­ti­ple pub­lic trans­port sys­tems for their daily com­mute.

Our cities are see­ing huge in­vest­ments to up­lift and aug­ment their trans­porta­tion net­work and are ex­pand­ing their rapid tran­sit sys­tems. This is lead­ing to an as­ton­ish­ing trans­porta­tion struc­ture in the coun­try. In spite of all such re­mark­able de­vel­op­ments, t he point of pro­vid­ing af­ford­able and con­ve­nient ‘last mile con­nec­tiv­ity’ to the pub­lic trans­port net­works con­tin­ues as a com­par­a­tively ne­glected area of fo­cus. Cer­tain part of cities are be­ing served with para-tran­sit modes such as share auto-rick­shaws and feeder bus ser­vices but th­ese ser­vices are lim­ited to a few and se­lec­tive sta­tions. Sim­i­larly, though walk­ing be­comes an in­evitable last mile con­nec­tiv­ity op­tion, it comes with a dis­claimer: ‘the lo­cal cli­mate, phys­i­cal con­di­tion and dis­tance’.

To over­come this ma­jor pub­lic con­cern, our cities are slowly be­ing up­graded with an im­por­tant strate­gic ini­tia­tive to ex­pand their sus­tain­able trans­port modes termed as cy­cle shar­ing sys­tem.

Cy­cle shar­ing is a pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in which peo­ple have ac­cess to cy­cles that can be used across a net­work of closely spaced sta­tions. Cy­cle shar­ing is a con­cept that orig­i­nated in the 1960s. But it took years to catch on un­til bet­ter tech­nol­ogy was de­vel­oped to pro­vide real-time in­for­ma­tion about the scheme, track­ing the bikes and also pro­tect­ing the bikes against theft and van­dal­ism.

At­p­re­sent, morethan700c­ities across the globe have their own cy­cle-shar­ing sys­tems, and more

Jumeirah Golf Es­tates

Jumeirah Golf Es­tates or JGE is host to the yearly DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship. Each course has been de­signed by a pro­fes­sional golfer – Earth and Fire by Greg Nor­man, Wind by Ser­gio Gar­cia, Pete Dye and Greg Nor­man and Wa­ter by Vi­jay Singh. Earth and Fire are ready with sev­eral Span­ish style vil­las. JGE still re­mains a new com­mu­nity, with two new de­vel­op­ments com­ing up. The club­house fea­tures a lux­u­ri­ous spa, many restau­rants and shops, a golf academy, a ten­nis academy and a world class fit­ness cen­tre.

The high-end kitchens have mainly Poggen­pohl and Miele prod­ucts. The fin­ish­ing of each home varies from de­vel­op­ment to de­vel­op­ment - some have mar­ble floor­ing, oth­ers have tile with stone as well as wood. Says Paul Clark, a Dubai based lux­ury sales spe­cial­ist, “JGE cities are added to the count ev­ery year. The largest sys­tems are in China, in cities such as Hangzhou and Shang­hai.

The Euro­pean cities in­clud­ing Paris (Velib BikeShar­ingSys­tem), Copen­hagen (ByCyklen Smart Bike Sys­tem) and the cities of United States suchasWash­ing­ton, DC (Cap­i­tal Bike­share), New York (Citi Bike) etc. are highly suc­cess­ful sys­tems that have helped pro­mote cy­cling as a vi­able and val­ued trans­port op­tion.

Com­pared to other trans­port net­works, Cy­cle Shar­ing schemes are rea­son­ably low cost and easy to im­ple­ment, which proves to be the ma­jor rea­son for its boom at an un­prece­dented rate glob­ally. And it’s an easy win for gov­ern­ments and ur­ban so­ci­eties, which can boost their green cre­den­tials by em­brac­ing such an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly de­sign.

After im­print­ing its wheels on ma­jor cities of the world, now in re­cent years the cy­cle s har­ing s ys­tem has c ome t o I ndia. Our metro cities in­clud­ing Delhi (Planet Green Bikes), Ahmed­abad (MYBYK), Ban­ga­lore ( Atcag), Mum­bai ( Cy­cle Cha­lao) have al­ready started ex­per­i­ment­ing with the con­cept of cy­cle shar­ing. Though the suc­cess rate of the sys­tem in In­dian cities is not so high, with the lessons from the experiences of th­ese cities and the suc­cess stories of Euro­pean and Amer­i­can cities, Cor­po­ra­tion of Chen­nai is also now keen to im­ple­ment the sys­tem.

At present in In­dia, the top 20 Smart Cities have al­ready em­barked on var­i­ous sus­tain­able trans­port ini­tia­tives such as the con­struc­tion of ex­panded foot­paths on all ar­te­rial streets, im­ple­men­ta­tion of pedes­trian zones to fa­cil­i­tate ac­cess to com­mer­cial ar­eas and cul­tural land­marks and IT-based on-street park­ing man­age­ment sys­tem in their Smart City Mis­sion pro­pos­als.

Sup­ple­ment­ing all th­ese ini­tia­tives, cy­cle shar­ing is ex­pected to en­hance th­ese ef­forts by help­ing the cities achieve their goals has small 3 and 4 bed­room en­try level prop­er­ties as well as 6 or 7 bed­room man­sions. The qual­ity within each de­vel­op­ment is pretty much the same from villa to villa – a view of the golf course view, the gen­eral pres­tige that comes with living in a golf course com­mu­nity, fa­cil­i­ties and se­cu­rity.”

Lo­cated ad­ja­cent t o t he Emi­rates Road and be­hind the In­ter­na­tional Me­dia Pro­duc­tion Zone, the av­er­age price of a home is AED 7,149,511 or ₹ 13.2 crore.

Emi­rates Hills

This private neigh­bour­hood has huge man­sion-like vil­las, and most prop­er­ties en­joy views over the 18-hole Mont­gomerie Cham­pi­onship Golf Course as well as wide lakes within the com­plex. There are grand en­trances and high ceil­ings with French win­dows open­ing on sus­tain­able trans­porta­tion.

Gen­er­ally, this sys­tem is im­ple­mented in phases. The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the ap­pro­pri­ate cov­er­age area for each phase is best car­ried out by qual­i­fied plan­ning bod­ies through sur­vey­ing and sta­tis­ti­cal data anal­y­sis. Sur­veys are also the key to lo­cate ideal cy­cle sta­tion spa­ces based on the lo­cal­ity, con­nec­tiv­ity, in­ten­sity of pub­lic move­ment and space avail­abil­ity for the docks.

Based on the sur­vey re­sults, the sys­tem size in­clud­ing the num­ber of sta­tions, num­ber of cy­cles and cor­re­spond­ing num­ber of docks in each sta­tion can be de­ter­mined. The most suc­cess­ful sys­tems have 2-2.5 docks for each cy­cle.

The cy­cle sta­tion lo­ca­tions are highly de­pen­dent on the ac­tual lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. Sta­tions are mainly lo­cated around the core city ar­eas cov­er­ing all the pub­lic and recre­ation spa­ces, pub­lic trans­port hubs, malls, cul­tural land­marks, aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, gov­ern­ment of­fices, mar­ket ar­eas etc.

The va­ri­ety of op­tions for ideal sta­tion spa­ces in­clude wide pave­ments, space be­tween land­scaped ar­eas, ar­eas be­neath fly­overs and bridges, space ad­ja­cent to bus stops, on-street park­ing spa­ces etc.

Advertising space on cy­cles and at sta­tions (pro­vides rev­enue gen­er­a­tion op­tions for sys­tem oper­a­tor/ cor­po­ra­tion)

On boost­ing the last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity, cy­cle shar­ing thereby ex­pands the catch­ment ar­eas for the city’s rapid tran­sit sys­tems and will also have direct im­pact on real es­tate de­vel­op­ment.

Also by en­cour­ag­ing a shift to sus­tain­able modes the de­pen­dency on au­to­mo­biles will be highly re­duced. Bi­cy­cling is of­ten faster than driving in ur­ban ar­eas, and one can cover a lot more ter­ri­tory than he/she can by walk­ing. to great views of the golf course from all rooms. Vir­tu­ally all vil­las in Emi­rates Hills have traver­tine mar­ble floors. The homes are ex­pen­sive at AED 26,750,358 or ₹ 50 crore.

Says Ian Kirkby, Dubai based con­sul­tant, “Clients are now look­ing for more Euro­pean fin­ish and style with open plan living and high end fit outs with kitchens by Poggen­Pohl and SieMatic and ap­pli­ances by Miele and Gagge­neau. Po­ten­tial buy­ers are the high net worth In­di­ans, lo­cals and still some prom­i­nent Euro­peans.”

Ara­bian ranches

This is a pre­mium golf gated com­mu­nity, said to be ideal for a ‘desert life­style’ with over 1,650 acres. It has about 4,000 vil­las. The homes of­fer gen­er­ous living spa­ces and bal­conies, court­yards or terraces. Vast ex­panses have been cre­ated with bi­cy­cle ₹

Vic­tory Heights

1 Vic­tory Heights, a joint ven­ture be­tween the over­all master developer of Dubai Sports City and Ar­capita (a Bahrain-based in­vest­ment bank), cov­ers 25 mil­lion sq ft, and fea­tures 961 lux­ury vil­las and town­houses, set around Els Club, de­signed by the South African golf­ing leg­end, Ernie Els and man­aged by Troon Golf. This can be con­sid­ered the first ma­jor golf-course villa com­mu­nity in Dubai.

The vil­las come in Euro­pean Clas­si­cal, Span­ish An­dalu­sian, and Mediter­ranean ar­chi­tec­tural styles, with cus­tom fin­ishes. This de­vel­op­ment, which en­cour­ages fam­ily living and of­fers am­ple space to res­i­dents has its own recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties. Av­er­age price is around AED 4,153,216 or ₹ 7.6 crore.

Just right for a tee break: As Dubai gets firmly en­trenched in the big league golf­ing cir­cuit, de­vel­op­ers are fo­cus­ing on golf life­styles with

1. Vic­tory Heights

2. Jumeirah Golf Es­tates

3. Ara­bian Ranches and

4. Emi­rates Hills

IS­TOCK

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