Bahrain’s Golden Gate has released to the market its crème de la crème Signature Series of homes targeted at high-net-worth individuals. At 1,060 sq m and custom-made to the owners’ requirements, these are one-of-a-kind units
Now, discerning investors in Bahrain have that rarest of rare opportunities to own some real gems in the “Island of Golden Smiles”.
The upcoming luxurious Golden Gate project in the exclusive Bahrain Bay has launched its Signature Series of units – there are just six such homes.
“Grab it fast if you are interested. Already one has been sold,” says a delighted Anas Ishaq Al Kooheji as Arabian Knight begins the exclusive interview with the Executive Director/Board Member of Golden Gate at the company office in United Tower.
“At 1,060 sq m and custom-made to the owners’ requirements, these are one-of-a-kind units – the crème de la crème of the Golden Gate towers that will rise 245 m above ground to take the crown of the tallest residential towers in the kingdom,” says the effusive and energetic young businessman.
The project, a 50-50 joint venture between Bahraini-based Kooheji Golden Gate (KGG) and Indian real estate companies Ajmera Realty and Mayfair Housing, aims to set a new benchmark for the real estate sector in Bahrain.
The two towers of the Golden Gate soar to 45 and 53 storeys, and with over 140,000 sq m of built-up space, offer buyers stunning views, enviable superior canal and seaside living, easy access to a wealth of amenities and nearby links to both local and international transport connections.
Each gleaming tower is clad in sun-defying high-performance glazing and crowned with a curved sail shape that pays homage to Bahrain’s 5,000 years of seafaring trade. Each storey benefits from balconies that provide stunning open-air views.
At ground level, the tower is wrapped in glass. The entrance welcomes residents and guests with a stylish water feature and iconic Golden Gate insignia, setting the tone of the towers with the kind of restrained elegance that is typical of the designers’ vision throughout.
Above street level, the six-floor podium from which both towers rise features an intriguing wraparound lattice façade known as ‘the jewellery box.’ It’s partly detailed in shades of gold and sapphire blue, and the intention here is to recall the colours of the precious stones traded with India in exchange for spices.
“We have two towers, 746 luxury apartments and one goal: to be the jewel in the crown of Bahrain Bay not only because it is the highest residential tower in Bahrain, but it also provides a gateway to luxury living in the heart of Manama,” Al Kooheji elaborates.
The Signature Series will cover six floors of the taller tower and is targeted at high-net-worth individuals. “The investors will have one full floor for themselves totalling a huge 1,060 sq m and get a fantastic full 360-degree view of Bahrain. They can customise the floor plan to their taste, we offer them the flexibility they deserve. They can also upscale the quality of the finishes or hire interior designers from around the world, if they so wish.
“We have designated two middle (27 and 36) and four upper floors (from 50 to 53) for the Signature Series,” he explains.
Of the two towers, only homes in the taller tower are being sold. “The other tower is not for sale and the owners intend to keep it for themselves with a view to offering them on rent in the future. Because this is a luxury lifestyle destination, we believe in the long-term prospects of the location,” adds Al Kooheji.
The Signature Series will start at BD1.3 million ($3.43 million) and already a Bahrain investor has snapped up one floor just as it was launched.
Those who don’t need the massive size of the Signature Series can consider the equally luxurious and well-appointed two- and three-bedroom options available at Golden Gate.
The project is described as a Jewel in the Crown of Bahrain. So what makes it such a top-end product? “Actually two things,” says Al Kooheji, “one is it’s strategically located in the heart of Bahrain Bay facing the Four Seasons hotel. If you look at the Bahrain Bay masterplan, our plot is exactly in the middle next to the canal and is considered one of the seven anchor plots. The second is that it is the highest residential tower in Bahrain Bay and the whole of the kingdom and it provides all the latest luxury amenities.”
The project is sure to appeal to the high-end home-buyers as there are plenty of lifestyle features and services catering to a stress-free living, continues Al Kooheji.
“Golden Gate represents a highly desirable freehold opportunity for buyers with cultivated tastes and a desire to experience the very best in modern living,” he says.
Kooheji now goes on to list out the outstanding features of the project. They include: Bigger apartments, amazing prices, fantastic location, unobstructed views, abundance of facilities, high return on investment, high car-parking space ratio, numerous food and beverage (F&B) outlets within walking distance and, above all, the highest gross floor area (GFA) at Bahrain Bay.
“There is an abundance of facilities for residents at the project – more than 26. You name it, we have it – a cinema, three swimming pools – indoor and outdoor, ladies gym, men’s gym, yoga classes, ladies salon, gents salon, kids playground, squash court, basketball court and many more.
“On top of that, we are next to two beautiful concepts that are going to open soon in Bahrain Bay just outside our project – The Wharf and The Park, two retail and the food and beverage (F&B) locations. All this will give residents a superior lifestyle here,” he adds. “You also have the luxury boat taxis that will take you from your tower to The Avenues mall, one of the best shopping and dining destinations in Bahrain.”
As the cliché goes, when selecting a property, it’s location, location and location. And Al Kooheji says: “Golden Gate is undisputedly in the best location in Bahrain. You have views of one of the best Four Seasons hotel in the world, the World Trade Centre, the Bahrain Finance Harbour, the United Tower – all iconic buildings of Bahrain. And we are creating another icon next to these wonderful edifices.
“Also, Bahrain Bay is in the middle of Manama, close to all the attractions, but two minutes away from heavy traffic and the hustle and bustle of city.”
One of the features that will draw clients to the Golden Gate is the concierge service that will cater to every buyer. “We are offering the best-in-class concierge service. The minute the customer decides to buy, he/she is enrolled in the service and their needs are looked after – whether it’s the various paper work or issues related to the property or any other service. Once the buyers receives the unit, he will continue to receive the top-class service,” explains Al Kooheji.
“We have a lot of clients from other countries and this service will help them a lot. The service is rendered by a specialist who is involved in many projects across the GCC. We worked hand in hand with the service provider to develop the concierge service,” he adds. “Obviously some services will be free and others will be charged.”
Speaking on the over-riding philosophy behind the project, Al Kooheji mentions that the project’s promoters are family-owned businesses from Bahrain and India and the ethos of family run deep in our thinking. “We have planned the project in such a way that the residents in this magnificent homes will be part of a larger family – a Golden community,” says Al Kooheji.
The property has drawn keen interest from investors – from Bahrain, the Gulf and international, and units are selling fast and many of the premier units are already sold. “Actually 50 per cent of the buyers so far are Bahrainis and the rest are from outside – Europe, GCC and India. Bahrainis investing in the project is a very positive sign for us as it gives a stamp of approval from the local community,” he says.
The homes come semi-furnished and Al Kooheji says there is an option for full furnishing too.
Even the smaller size units are of high standard and cater to the high-end customers. Apart from all the luxury amenities, they also enjoy super-sized units, since the units are bigger than the normal market sizes. “We wanted to provide value for money and our prices are unbeatable,” he says.
The project will also appeal to the weekend or long-stay visitors from the region. “The concierge service, the luxury amenities, the strategic location within the heart of Manama, close to the airport and shopping areas, makes it an ideal investment for them, explains Al Kooheji.
One other major plus point for the project is the abundance of parking. “At Golden Gate, we always think of the future, we are not building for today, we are building for the future of Bahrain. Taking this into account, we have supplied the project an additional 28 per cent car parking space than is required. We are required to provide 780 car parks, but the project will offer 999,” adds Al Kooheji.
Speaking about the joint venture, he says the partnership has been very successful because the ethos of the partners is the same and rooted in family ties. “I believe the important cornerstone of the project has been laid from the beginning, which is we both come from similar thought processes. Our Indian partners are family owned and developers, just like us. So the interest and thought process were closely related to each other. The beauty of the project is that we have combined our efforts in order to bring to Golden Gate these advantages.
“We have exceeded expectations in all aspects – in terms of location, facilities, size, price and service. Even our approach towards the client is family-oriented. I personally meet every customer who buys at the Golden Gate to make sure that he/she has received all the information and that the person qualifies to become the resident of Golden Gate. We are very selective in accepting buyers because when one lives in the Golden Gate, he becomes a part of the community and the larger family,” Al Kooheji explains.
“We want the project to be a bridge between communities and nations since people from all over the word will be living here. We believe this will be an icon that will stay so for a long time,” he adds.
Answering a question on the market response to the project, Al Kooheji says: “The response has been fantastic. We know the market is not at its peak at the time, but we have received good response as we offer a different product and that is why people are coming to us rather than us chasing them. We have the unbeatable combination of four pillars – the four Ps – the place, product, price and promoters,” Al Kooheji says proudly.
The Golden Gate joint venture has plans to expand and launch other projects too, but it will wait. “The company policy is to focus on one project at a time, make sure it goes into the auto-pilot mode before we launch anything new. By April or May, we will have 83 per cent of the funding requirements secured for the project and that will set the project in that mode,” he says enthusiastically.
The project work is in full swing with the piling already completed. The homes are set to be handed over in three years. Not surprisingly, there is an hour-glass on Al Kooheji’s table signifying the importance of time for him and the developers.
– By Sree Bhat
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