Your Real Time Property Guide to Cayman Real Estate

The value of Cayman real estate property is rapidly increasing despite the experience of challenging years. For example, in 2016’s first seven months, the freehold property transfer average value rose by 6.7% from 2015. The growth comes along Seven Mile Beach and coral-sand beach on the west of Grand Cayman. To purchase property in such areas and other similar places on the Cayman Islands follows a simple process and the good news is that there are no restrictions on real estate investment in the island. So, how can you go about the process of acquiring a place to call your own at the prestigious island?

The process of acquiring property
First, it’s important to be aware of the varying property prices. For example, prices are relatively lower on the sister islands and higher on Grand Cayman. A five-bedroom would cost you around $ 2.8 million on canals near Ritz-Carlton Blue Tip golf course. As you go beyond circular cobblestone driveway, a similar villa on a 0.48-acre land and without furnishings would still go for around $2.8 million. Grand Cayman is the largest among three-island Archipelago and is considered to be the liveliest. Along Seven-Mile Beach, the prices can start at around $300,000. According to an owner and developer of Century 21, Kel Thompson, the market continues to favor buyers since 2008. The time to buy is definitely now!

Having the varying prices in mind, you may approach your bank to see how much they can lend you in terms of the mortgage. The rates will differ between banks and if you are on Cayman Island on a work permit, then you will have to wait until six months are over so you get a mortgage from a bank at the place. As a foreigner, you can also get a mortgage at the island after following the procedures agreed with the bank you choose.

After that, take into the consideration additional costs you may have to incur to acquire your property which may be up to 10-12% of the total cost. Examples of these costs are:

  1. Stamp Duty
  2. Stamp Duty for your mortgage
  3. Valuation by a chartered surveyor
  4. Life Insurance
  5. Legal fees

Last but not least, go ahead and find your perfect home which can be done through an expert. Present an offer in writing to the seller of the property to initiate a contract then proceed to close it once all the conditions to purchase are fulfilled.

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Building the Bridge between the US and UAE

Appointed in 2008, Yousef Al Otaiba has served as the Ambassador to the United States representing the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since his appointment, he has quickly gained favor among those in charge of the interests of the United States for his skills and understanding of the issues which face both nations. This has led to him being responsible for proposing solutions which satisfy the interests of both countries.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba did post-graduate studies in International Relations at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The combination of immersion in American culture and studying at a world-renowned university allowed the Ambassador to gain insights which serve both the UAE and the US during the turbulent times which exist today.

Due to the strategic location of the UAE coupled with its liberal social and economic policies, the UAE has become the most important ally of the US in the Middle East. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba works daily to ensure that this alliance grows stronger. One example of how Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba helped the alliance was the airstrike on ISIS forces in Syria in 2014. The Ambassador proposed to have the UAE Air Forces strike at the heart of ISIS under the command of a female combat pilot. This ingenious act affirmed the UAE’s shared values with the US while inflicting physical and psychological damage to ISIS.

Although working to strengthen the alliance, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has consistently represented the interests of the UAE. He continues to work to persuade the US that a two state solution to the Palestinian problem is most favored. He puts forth the concerns of the UAE that Iraq must maintain its integrity as a nation which allows the participation of all its citizens regardless of their religion.

The Ambassador understands that although there are always differences between allies, successful alliances are based upon common interests and goals. He knows that the common interests should be emphasized while respecting the differences. He recognizes that both the US and the UAE are dedicated to eradicating the radical extremism which produces so much fear and suffering. He understands that the Middle East is the pivot point in fighting terrorism. He also recognizes that both the US and the UAE are best served by healthy and vibrant economies.

With all of this, Yousef Al Otaiba has proven a most competent Ambassador for the UAE while cementing the friendship with the US.

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New Mexican Restaurant Coming to the DC Wharf

The Wharf in DC offers a variety of spectacular attractions including restaurants, cafes, taverns, and shopping. In November, a new Mexican restaurant, Mi Vida, will be entering the scene of The Wharf. Headed by the renowned Chef Roberto Santibanez, Mi Vida is aspiring to be the next ‘it’ restaurant of the area. Chef Santibanez will be bringing a more modern feel to the traditional Mexican cuisine and style.

Mi Vida will be designed to provide a contemporary atmosphere that will feature an elegant and historical design. The restaurant will provide plenty of space including private dining rooms and outdoor seating with a waterfront view. Mi Vida is the perfect setting for a night out experiencing The Wharf’s spirit at its best.

The Wharf district is a beautiful location on the waterfront with countless shops and activities to engage in while visiting. Music lovers can find concert halls, such as the Athens, and plenty of opportunities for live music. Water activities are popular in the area, including kayaking and sailing. Another popular attraction is the fish market which offers fresh seafood, great for making the perfect meal. The Wharf is rich with culture and there are many museums and monuments to visit and explore. While shopping you can find a variety of boutiques and shops with unique items and souvenirs.

Mi Vida is being developed by Madison Marquette. Under Chairman Amer Hammour, they have been creating and transforming successful and efficient projects including entertainment areas, office spaces, and community properties since 1992. They are now the leader in development and redevelopment of The Wharf and other marquee projects. Their streamline, yet vibrant visions have created quality results that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Madison Marquette has partnered up with KNEAD Hospitality and Design to create the vision for Mi Vida. Their grand, contemporary style gives a clean, airy flow with flourishing features. The design is sure to provide a relaxing yet lively atmosphere that will draw in visitors. Be sure to stop by and check out this exciting new restaurant in November at The Wharf.


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Get to Know: Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba

Yousef Al Otaiba ( is the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States. He began the diplomatic mission for his country in 2008. The focus of the Ambassador’s mission is to improve bilateral security and economic relations between the two nations.

Background and Family
The Ambassador’s father, Mana Al Otaiba, was the UAE’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and owner of the Royal Mirage Hotels located in Morocco. Ambassador Al Otaiba is married. His wife’s name is Abeer and they have two children.

Yousef Al Otaiba graduated from Cairo American College. As a student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, he earned a degree in international relations. He was an International Fellow in Washington, DC, at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at the National Defense University.

Interests and Home Life
The UAE Ambassador and his wife were married at the home they own in McLean, Virginia. He enjoys entertaining guests at his home with his wife and spending time with their children and two dogs.

Job Experience and Appointment as UAE Ambassador
Yousef Al Otaiba was appointed as the Director of International Affairs for the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s court. During that time, he worked as Senior Advisor to HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and was Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE. He became the UAE’s Ambassador to the United States in 2008. The Ambassador was appointed to his position by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.

Political Accomplishments
As the UAE Ambassador, Al Otaiba has worked diligently to improve cooperation between his country and the United States. Areas of intelligence, counterterrorism, and military support have improved since he ascended to his position. He played a critical role in passing the United States and UAE Agreement for Peaceful Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement that went into effect in 2009. Cultural, educational, and healthcare facilities based in the US have opened branches in the UAE. Since Yousef Al Otaiba became Ambassador, trade between the Middle Eastern country and the US has increased dramatically.

The Guggenheim and New York University now have branches in the UAE. Philanthropy is important to the Ambassador. He assists Children’s National Medical Center in Washington with its fundraising projects. The UAE Embassy helped with the recovery and reconstruction projects after natural disasters including the Joplin tornado and Hurricane Sandy. The Embassy of the UAE has built five soccer fields in the US in underprivileged communities.

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba has been instrumental in improving trade relations between his country and private businesses, has enhanced the security of the UAE, and has aided in counter-proliferation efforts.

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Through the Pink Ceiling

While most woman-centered initiatives focus on getting women into positions of power, Pink Ceiling takes a unique approach. Its mission is to help pioneer solutions that make women’s lives better. But this isn’t surprising if you know anything about the company’s founder, Cindy Whitehead.

Whitehead, who is most well known for developing the “female viagra”, burst back into the spotlight just four months after selling Addyi and Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Pink Ceiling, a nod to her signature pink lipstick, is one part venture capital fund, one part consulting firm, and one part incubator. Her first project for Pink Ceiling, Undercover Colors, was a wearable nail polish that would discretely let women know if date rape drugs were present in their drinks.

Sharing What She’s Learned
Pink Ceiling has billed itself as a capable team that has billions of dollars worth of experience in building a company from concept to market. They even know a thing or two about selling a successful company. The team, ten women, are keen to partner with companies that “propel the conversation” about women in society forward.

Whitehead, in an interview with Fortune magazine, said she thought pharmaceutical companies would benefit from her knowledge of regulatory practices and standards. And while companies that are women-led are preferred, the focus is mainly on being woman oriented. However, Whitehead maintains that Pink Ceiling was inspired by the experience of seeing women advocate for other women. In an attempt to break away from the one size fits all, boxed coursework that tells up and coming entrepreneurs how to build a successful brand, she built a mentorship element into Pink Ceiling that seems to be paying off.

Businesses hoping to benefit from the experience of the Pink Team can go to the website nad submit a “Pink Pitch”. If the proposal is in line with Pink Ceiling’s mission, then the company will be considered for investment and strategic support.

The Pinkubator?
Whitehead and Crowdfunder CEO, Chance Barnett, recently announced a shared venture, the Pinkubator. The startup was recently launched by Pink Ceiling. The project aims to focus on women-led business across the globe, empowering budding entrepreneurs to change their economic future.

Crowdfunder, the company credited with democratizing the equity process, has recently made headlines in pushing for women’s equality within its own structure. Unveiling pay transparency and announcing an equal pay policy, the team seem to be a perfect match.

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Tim Berners-Lee: I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it

Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the worldwide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool that serves all of humanity.

1) We’ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realize if we had direct control over this data and chose when and with whom to share it. What’s more, we often do not have any way of feeding back to companies what data we’d rather not share – especially with third parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

Read the full list here.

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Sustainability is Key at the UAE Embassy

With the devastation that scientists predict will come as a result of man-made climate change, the need for sustainable buildings for the future is at an all-time high. One country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has set a positive example by redesigning their embassy in Washington, D.C.

The embassy was given the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award by the US Green Building Council. It has also been awarded Energy Star certification by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The modifications that the UAE has made to its facility will reduce its carbon emissions by 400 tons of CO2 per year. The UAE’s dedication to sustainability is shown in their goal to diversify the economy of their country, with an emphasis on Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, and make it a leader in the growing new sector of alternative energy production.

While happy with their accomplishment spokesmen for the embassy remain humble and grateful towards all of the people who made the awards possible. Yousef Al Otaiba, an ambassador for the UAE, was quoted as saying “Thanks to the dedication of the UAE Embassy employees that led and supported the retrofit the UAE Embassy now stands as one of the most sustainable buildings in the United States.”

Thankfully the UAE is not the only embassy in D.C. to get involved in becoming eco-friendlier. The D.C. Greening Embassies Forum has recently been formed to encourage other countries to reduce carbon emissions and make their embassies more sustainable. Their goal is to make the District of Columbia the greenest city on the planet. Some notable countries who are getting behind the green energy movement with regards to retrofitting their embassies are the Netherlands and Finland. The Finnish embassy received LEED Gold certification in 2010. The Dutch embassy received LEED Silver certification in 2012. There were also a total of 47 different countries who came together to sign the Neighbors in Sustainability pledge, which is a promise by the nation’s embassies to reduce waste, save energy, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and teach their employees conservation techniques.

With the UAE stepping up to become a leader in adopting green technologies it is their hope that the word will take notice and do their part to adopt the clean energy that we can all be proud to use.

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5 Startups to Keep on your Radar in 2017

Say Goodbye to 2016 and Welcome these Five Startups in 2017
What will the year 2017 bring? If you’re interested in business and technology you think about new companies coming into the market with products that could blow your mind. There are many lists, and many startups, but these five caught my attention because of their innovation and my personal interests.

1. Magic Leap

Much has been written about Magic Leap. In their own words: “to…rethink the relationship technology has with people.” Who can’t be excited about that? This year is the year most people expect that CEO Rony Abovitz and his team will move away from marketing hype and deliver something tangible that people can use. By describing their technology as “magic in your hands” they have set themselves a very high bar to clear.

2. Undercover Colors

If you are at a bar, Undercover Colors is asking you to dip your fingernails into your drink and then take a close look at them. Why?-for safety of course. Two years in the making, their wearable nail technology to detect date rape drugs in drinks seem to be ready for prime time. Their tagline is “Power At Your Fingertips” and it makes a lot of sense in today’s world. This one comes from North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus laboratory. Started by engineering students, the company has been able to raise $5.5 million to turn prototypes into reality.

3. Nomiku

Who doesn’t like to eat delicious food in their own home? Nomiku has created a Wi-Fi connected sous vide device that allows anybody to cook like a professional chef. A mobile app controls the device to automate the cooking process. Chefs love to hear about other chefs and learn new recipes so the app also connects to a community to share instructions for cooking that delicious meal.


The Internet of Things(IoT) grows every day. Some say it’s the driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. IFTTT has been adding third-party integrations-applets-to allow things like your car, refrigerator, Amazon Echo, messaging apps, cooking hardware, and Google Home to talk to each other and make things happen. You will no longer be bound to just one manufacturer’s offering.

5. Clarifai

Face recognition, health diagnostics, games, and chess have become associated with artificial intelligence and it would not be surprising if more applications are found for this technology. Clarifai has the brainpower to do it. Started by Matt Zeiler, a former Google Brain intern, and expert in machine learning, it develops tools for integrating visual recognition services into other apps.

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Supporting Those Who Care for Our Heroes

In a time of medical advancements, particularly on the battlefield, people living longer, and persistent, complex military conflicts around the world, a silent tribe of Americans is bearing the fallout. They are hidden heroes caring for those who have been the guardians of our nation and our freedom but are returning home with serious injuries.

More than 5.5 million people have been turned into the caretakers of our military and veterans who suffer physical, mental and emotional wounds. These military caregivers are spouses, parents and friends. Most are young women with small children.

In an effort to raise awareness of and increase resources for these hidden heroes, a new effort is underway, led by Sen. Elizabeth Dole and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The Hidden Heroes Campaign officially launched in late September to acknowledge the importance and complexities of being a military caregiver; to connect caregivers and create a network of support and information sharing; and to inform and engage communities, companies and individuals to join in the effort to support military caregivers.

The campaign’s website,, officially launched and which will provide a directory of resources, a national caregiver registry and a private community enabling the sharing of questions and advice among military caregivers.

The Hidden Heroes Campaign has already gained support from critical allies. Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks is chairing the campaign and is the face and voice of public service announcements.

Other early and prominent campaign supporters include newscaster Tom Brokaw, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba ( and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald.

Key support also announced at the launch includes $1 million from Colonel Jennifer Pritzker, Army National Guard (Retired), and founder of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, who will serve as campaign Vice Chairman; $1 million from the United Arab Emirates; and campaign sponsorship from USAA including providing financial education and advice for caretakers.

Comcast NBC Universal was named the official media partner and will leverage all of its communication channels. NBC Universal’s high profile newscasters—Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw are personally supporting the campaign as Hidden Heroes Ambassadors.

The campaign has also led to the creation of Hidden Heroes Cities that commit to getting organized and helping caregivers access resources in their communities. San Diego was identified as the first Hidden Heroes City among an additional 50+ cities that have joined the campaign.

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Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. Proposes 33-Story Apartment and Office Building

Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. is planning to build a 33-story building, complete with an adjoining parking garage at the address of One Light Street in downtown Baltimore. Metropolitan submitted its proposal and met with the city’s design panel and architectural review board and later sat with the zoning council. At this stage, the details of the project have not been discussed but are being presented to the city for consideration.

What is known is that the plans call for a 404-foot tall building with both apartments and retail space, adding 10 additional floors to the plans it proposed for the site last year. It would hold 340 apartments, have 10 stories of office space, and host shopping outlets on its corners. It would sit on top of a parking garage holding 646 spaces. The proposal calls for two-story apartment building to be constructed on President Street.

Architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht expressed that the building would bring much needed vitality to the area and that it will serve as the impetus for further expansion of the district. Architect Lee Driskill expressed similar viewpoints to that of the company, saying that he believed that, “momentum that is growing here”. City leaders, along with Downtown Partnership, have backed the project, with Downtown Partnership saying it made supporting the project a priority.

Planning Director Thomas J. Stosur is excited about the project and expressed that the site is one which has presented challenges to those bringing forth building proposals. Mirecourt Associates Representative J. Joseph Clarke added that the property was purchased 25 years ago and that the intention has always been to build more offices. The site used to be home to the Southern Hotel, until it was torn down in the year 2000.

City officials view the merger with Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. as a clear sign that a new construction may finally fill the now vacant lot. Decades of discussion have taken place over potential projects for 1 Light Street, including with developer Madison Marquette. Metropolitan CEO Cary M. Euwer Jr. said that this project will be a further expansion of Baltimore’s financial district.

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