Dubai builder warns against unrealistic 2016 plans

CEO of Dubai's Wasl Asset Management says developers "mindful of the reality around them" will sustain the turbulent economic climate this year

Hesham Al Qassim said project reprioritisation will bode well for Dubai developers in 2016.
Hesham Al Qassim said project reprioritisation will bode well for Dubai developers in 2016.

Dubai developers have been advised to maintain realistic plans and targets this year.

Hesham Al Qassim, chief executive officer of state owned Wasl Asset Management, touted to be Dubai's largest landlord, said developers will have to rethink their budgets and construction plans repeatedly in 2016 as a response to fluctuating market conditions. 

“Those who are mindful of the reality around them will manage, but those who stretch themselves with billions worth of projects won’t," Al Qassim said. 

According to Arabian Business, he also remarked companies need to be more "agile" to sustain their businesses. 

Dwindling oil prices and geopolitical tension in the wider Middle East made an impact on Dubai's property market last year

Furthermore, liquidity was also impacted in 2015 in a trend expected to continue this year, and likely to hurt developer finances into 2017. 

“I’d be very cautious, whether running an asset management company or a development company," Al Qassim said.

“I have to be very dynamic in terms of my budget planning.

"When there is a slowdown, I have to go through my budget and try to adjust it according to the market.”

The report added Al Qassim said he often reviews Wasl's project plans, shelving some and delaying or altering others to better respond to fast-changing demand and market sentiment.

He focusses on developing "what the company can afford to do in the worst-case scenario,” he said.   

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