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Glittering Umhlanga set to become the ‘Dubai of SA’

28 Oct 2016

It’s hot, it’s bold, and as it continues to attract more multibillion-rand residential and retail property developments and more ultra-wealthy international investors, Umhlanga is increasingly looking like South Africa’s own Dubai.

Umhlanga will be home to the first Radisson Blu hotel in KZN, a striking 16-storey ‘Dubai-style’ building that will link directly to another new mall housing international super-brands such as Armani, Burberry, Versace, Boss Orange and Paul Smith.

“The recently-launched Oceans Umhlanga project, for example, will take its place among more than a dozen other glittering high-rise developments in the town, where high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) from around the world are currently snapping up super-luxury apartments and penthouses,” says Charmaine Powell, sales manager for Chas Everitt International in Umhlanga.

“Many billions of rands have been poured into these developments over the past 20 years, and also into the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, which is the biggest mall in the southern hemisphere,” says Powell.

“Our world-class hotels and resorts such as Umhlanga Sands, Cabana Beach, the Beverley Hills and the internationally-acclaimed Oyster Box, and the New Town Centre are complemented by massive beachfront and infrastructure upgrades.”

There’s also more development on the cards. The multimillion-rand Pearl Walk designer boutique mall is set to open in November, and the Oceans Umhlanga developers recently announced that the town will be home to the first Radisson Blu hotel in KZN, a striking 16-storey ‘Dubai-style’ building that will link directly to another new mall housing international super-brands such as Armani, Burberry, Versace, Boss Orange and Paul Smith.

This five bedroom, five bathroom home in Umhlanga has a 17m fibre-line swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. It is on the market for R16.9 million - click here to view.

Powell says other attractions for an increasingly cosmopolitan mix of high-end holidaymakers include the warm sea, great weather year-round and proximity to top-class golf courses, Big Five game reserves and the Drakensberg and St Lucia world heritage sites.

“However, like Dubai, Umhlanga is now not only a global luxury leisure destination. Through our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World© (LeadingRE), we know that it is also very much about big business and high finance - and perfectly located in that regard,” she says.

“It is close to the new King Shaka international airport and Dube Tradeport, and just north of SA’s biggest sea port in Durban, which is currently also undergoing a multibillion-rand expansion to handle more container ships, as well as cruise liners.”

This six bedroom, five bathroom home in Umhlanga is has outside open and covered entertainment are and is on the market for R11 million - click here  to view.

Powell says The Umhlanga Ridge commercial and business node is, in fact, already the new financial heart of KwaZulu-Natal, where all the top regional companies in the ITC, pharmacy, shipping, logistics and import/export sectors have their headquarters, and where the regional offices of many national corporations and professional groups are also located.

This has led to Umhlanga also being called ‘Sandton by the Sea’.

“This is increasingly reflected in the property buyer profile of the Umhlanga/ La Lucia area. Through LeadingRE, we are receiving a large number of enquiries for the luxury apartments and homes here from overseas, as well as SA millionaires who run multinational businesses,” says Powell.

“Umhlanga is extremely well placed for those who need to travel between their multiple commercial or industrial interests in any of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand and the UAE, and it is currently attracting investors from all those countries.”

This three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home is situated in the highly-acclaimed Pearls of Umhlanga, and is selling for R19.5 million - click here  to view.

Powell says top choices for such buyers include penthouse apartments such as the R24 million one recently sold by Chas Everitt International in the Oyster Schelles development. This 477sqm apex apartment offers 180-degree sea and city views from Durban to Ballito, four en suite bedrooms, spacious reception areas with floor-to-ceiling windows, an impressive kitchen, lavish finishes and top-notch security provisions.

“At the moment, we are also marketing a three bedroom corner apartment in the Pearl Dawn tower for R19.5 million, fully furnished,” she says.

“This home offers uninterrupted ocean views that take in Umhlanga’s famous lighthouse, and an extra-large covered balcony.”

Powell says the highly-acclaimed Pearls of Umhlanga complex is close to the main beaches and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping but also just 10 minutes’ drive from King Shaka airport.

“Then for those who might prefer a ground-level residence, we are currently marketing a grand five bedroom home designed by acclaimed architect Stefan Antoni for R16.9 million,” she says.

“Set in the Hawaan Forest eco-estate, this double-storey mansion is perfect for entertaining, with spacious living areas opening onto a pool deck with hot tub and bar and a state-of-the-art kitchen. The garden is paved and landscaped and offers lovely sea views, as do the upstairs balconies leading off every bedroom.”

Powell says other luxury options include a selection of apartments and houses for sale at prices ranging from around R10 million to around R16 million.

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