Tuesday, 23 September 2008

VideoPros Announces Beta Launch: Professional Videographer Search and Content Management

Denver, September 24, 2008 – VideoPros announced today the beta launch of its online video service and Web site, VideoPros.com (http://www.videopros.com). VideoPros is a venue to find and contact video professionals. Featuring a sophisticated videographer search, VideoPros services individuals, small businesses, corporations and industries needing professional video production and online distribution. The website offers video professionals a robust video hosting, streaming and content management system.

Beginning today, video professionals and consumers from around the world can go to VideoPros.com and begin using the Web site. Video professionals can create professional profiles, display demo reels, get indexed in search results, host and stream professional content, and create custom video players. Consumers can search, request bids and contact local, national and international video professionals.

“We’re excited to launch VideoPros.com to serve a professional, business-driven audience,” said Sean Murphy, Principal of VideoPros. “User generated content, social networking and Web 2.0 have delivered minimal ROI for businesses and video professionals. Launching VideoPros.com is a first step in delivering a solution to the professional segment of the online video community.”

The company announced VideoPros products and services are positioned to take advantage of several trends reported by research firms.

• “Local online video ad revenue will reach $1.5 billion in four years. Video ads will account for 11.6 percent of the online advertising budgets of small and medium-sized business by 2012.” (The Kelsey Group, June, 2008)

• “The online video market is expected to explode to record $4.5 billion in sales by 2012.” (In-Stat, July, 2008)

•“As media companies change their business model, putting more and more professionally created video content online, the audience, and related ad dollars will increase dramatically.” (eMarketer, August, 2008)

VideoPros brings together professional content producers and provides a tool-set to help them grow their business,” said Layne Solheim, Online Media Specialist for VideoPros. “Video professionals are demanding better resources, technology and ways to service their clients. Businesses of all sizes are demanding professional content and online distribution. VideoPros is where they come together. It’s the perfect storm of professional collaboration.”

VideoPros announced it has closed an initial round of funding from angel investors. The official terms of the funding are undisclosed.

The company announced it will undergo an official “Beta” period to resolve any technical complications associated with the launch. Users are encouraged to report any malfunctions or errors. VideoPros announced rapid development continues for the Web site. For more information, a development timeline can be viewed on the company’s official Beta Storyboard. (http://www.videopros.com/pages/beta_storyboard).

About VideoPros
VideoPros is a privately-held company headquartered in Denver, CO, USA. The company is an online service for video professionals, individuals and corporations. The Web site is a venue for video professionals, consumers and businesses of all industries. VideoVine™, ProCertified™ and ProAPI™ are official products and services of the company. The website features a professional videographer search and video content management system. For more information, visit VideoPros at www.VideoPros.com.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Billionaire's Giga-Yacht in Cannes

Multi-billionaire Andrey Melnichenko parked his brand new Mega_Yacht "A" in Cannes recently. To the admiration and envy of the entire French coast (except for those who consider it a design abimination). Perhaps the most beautiful ship on the seas at the moment? You decide.

Photos of Mega-Yacht "A"

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Daman Investments in Dubai announces new company

Dubai-UAE: Daman Investments, a UAE-focused investment holding company with an initial capitalization of US$ 180 million. The company has nine founding partners of which Daman Investments is one. The partners are GCC based (from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE) and are a mix of private and public sector institutions as well as high net worth individuals.

Buildan is a venture capital company that aims to become a leading developer and investor in aviation and logistics related businesses as well as real estate projects located primarily within and in the vicinity of the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali. Buildan will work through direct investment, partnerships, venture capital and infrastructure investments. Already in operation, Buildan is fully staffed and set up with projects in the pipeline, some of which are nearing completion. Major projects will be announced in mid October, 2008.

Commenting on why this company was established, Mr. Shehab Gargash CEO of Daman Investments said: "Buildan was created to participate in very early entry opportunities which we recognized when the new Jebel Ali area airport was announced. Conceived as a holding company that will act directly or through special purpose vehicles, Buildan is a very early strategic investor within this new infrastructure city and international logistics hub currently being developed with costs estimated at US $33 billion.

Mr. Gargash added: "We believe that Buildan is yet another example of Daman's ability to bring premium financial products to life with enhanced investor value. We are proud to be a pioneer investor in this important infrastructure and logistics hub which will change the face of transportation and tourism in the region. "

When asked about future projects in Dubai and long term planning Mr. Gargash replied: "As the business evolves, Buildan will naturally require a broader capital base. We foresee that we may consider an IPO within a 4-5 year time horizon."

Speaking on behalf of Buildan, Mr. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Strategic Project Manager said: "We have had the opportunity to work closely with Dubai World and their highly professional team from a very early stage of the project. This enabled us to bring value as a private sector contributor to this impressive initiative."

Al Maktoum International Airport will house 6 integrated clusters and become the largest, most technically advanced new international airport in the world. Mr. Al Matrooshi continued: "Although a very young company, Buildan is built upon a clear vision with well defined goals backed with a team of seasoned investment professionals. With our specific geographic and sector development focus, the company will benefit from its early mover advantage."

Buildan's initial focus and primary objectives are the development of assets and operating businesses located primarily in the Al Maktoum International Airport area located in Jebel Ali, Dubai. These businesses may include specialized airport facilities, long-term investments in the airline industry and freehold purchases of commercial property, warehousing or logistics property as well as specialized airport facilities and residential property.

Monday, 8 September 2008

UAE: Real Estate Financing Sector to Touch $40 Billion

The unrealistic growth on the real estate sector due to speculation is a serious challenge that has put real estate financing on higher risks, says a report by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI).

In a research report, Abu Dhabi's main trade body has said that real estate financing in the emirate is projected to shoot up to $40 billion over the next five years, driven by the $354 billion in construction projects announced so far, record surge in demand for housing units and soaring rents of residential apartments.

But, the remarkable growth is not without any challenges.

Lack of adequate regulations to regulate the real estate market; absence of long-term in-depth studies, risk management analysis and forecasts at the GCC level; Long-term bank financing in real estate investment could affect bank liquidity.

It said that rapid developments in the sector could invite contingent changes in the market. Any possible correction in the prices of real estate assets could harm real estate financing amid lack of legislations; Defaults of clients could plunge financiers into troubles.

The report has called for learning lesson from the US's subprime crisis, as the record growth in the real estate sector in the GCC in particular and Arab countries in general could result in credit crisis as happened in the world largest economy. Unexpected boom and accelerating demand have left banks and financing institutions with little room to introduce innovative financing products to satisfy great expectations of developers, contractors and investors. The ADCCI report says that abundant supply of up-scale properties doesn't cope with actual demand of medium and low-income categories for houses, leading to a decline in prices of units, thus overshadowing the sector at large.

There is strong need for regulations to regulate the real estate sector in attracting investment so as to protect interests of all stakeholders and maintain the growth momentum.

The report asked for chalking out a strategy to match projected growth in demand for houses with growth of supply under the economic expansion plan of Abu Dhabi. The ADCCI report asked for providing accurate data on demography, population increase, incomes, and number of young men and women planning to get married to forecast the deficit in the demand-supply equation for housing. The report recommended drawing a housing plan to cater for low-medium income groups.

Similar issues are facing Dubai, and recent attempts to regulate the out-of-control growth rate include:

The removal of guaranteed residence visas in Dubai for foreign buyers
A new law to regulate the mortgage market in Dubai
The introduction of a high capital gains tax on properties bought in Dubai and sold within a year

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Worldwide Property News and Markets

This is a list of links to interesting real estate news from around the world. As the saying goes, "One man's meat...." which means falling prices in certain areas combined with volatile foreign exchange rates are helping to change the face of the world's property markets.

Property prices in Moscow are falling, which is a big turnaround, and perhaps reflects the fact that like most other cities, overbuilding will eventually catch up with demand, surpass it and cause prices to fall.

A new waterfront development in Sydney, Australia offers a potential good investment. Like many other areas of the world, prices have been falling here, and perhaps now is a good time to buy before the tide turns.

Manhattan luxury real estate also sees a drop in prices this month, with large drops in both prices and the amount of sales made. Our feeling is this market has not quite reached rock bottom yet, but for buyers spending Euros, this is a good time.

Other markets are also feeling the pinch, not just the property markets. Even the designer handbag market is seeing problems with luxury buyers waiting to see what the future brings rather than rushing out and buying the latest bag as soon as it is launched.

Office furniture, oddly enough is another market being hit. With job losses in most industries, and more job cuts planned across the USA, used office furniture just got a whole lot cheaper.