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Top 50 GCC Developers 2016: 11-20

Welcome to Construction Week’s 2016 ranking of the most active developers in the GCC. The following list recognises the individuals who are driving construction in the Gulf, delivering projects and planning communities for generations to come

Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman, Dar Al Arkan.
Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman, Dar Al Arkan.
Saeed H Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO, Meydan.
Saeed H Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO, Meydan.
Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar.
Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar.
Rahail Aslam, Group CEO, Select Group.
Rahail Aslam, Group CEO, Select Group.
Rizwan Sajan, Chairman, Danube Group.
Rizwan Sajan, Chairman, Danube Group.
Sameh Muhtadi, CEO, Bloom Holding.
Sameh Muhtadi, CEO, Bloom Holding.
Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, General Manager, Union Properties.
Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, General Manager, Union Properties.
James Wilson, CEO, Omran.
James Wilson, CEO, Omran.
Ali Al Obaidli, CEO, Ezdan Holding.
Ali Al Obaidli, CEO, Ezdan Holding.
Ibrahim Al-Othman, President and CEO, United Development Company.
Ibrahim Al-Othman, President and CEO, United Development Company.

11. Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman, Dar Al Arkan

It has been a challenging 12 months for Yousef Al-Shelash, chairman of Dar Al Arkan.

During the course of the last year, the Saudi Arabian developer was adversely affected by uncertainty within the kingdom’s real estate market, posting successive falls in net profit.

In Q2 2016, Dar Al Arkan reported a 38.7% decline in net profit, compared to the figure achieved during the corresponding period of 2015. In a statement released at the time, the company cited lower revenues from land sales as a reason for the dip.

The developer also posted declining profits for six of the preceding seven quarters.

Even so, Dar Al Arkan made a net profit of $11.5m (SAR43.2m) in the three months ending 30 June, 2016. Although lower than the $18.7m (SAR70.5m) figure achieved during the second quarter of last year, the developer remains solidly in the black.

12. Saeed H Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO, Meydan

Saeed H Al Tayer, chairman and chief executive officer of Meydan, has had a productive year.

Following the launch of its flagship Meydan One megaproject in Q3 2015, the developer has pushed ahead with a series of developments, including a beach hotel next to the Ritz-Carlton and opposite the Mövenpick in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) area.

The hotel will feature 260 rooms, including serviced apartments. The construction contract has already been awarded, and the project is scheduled to complete before the end of 2019.

In June 2016, Meydan successfully raised $272m (AED1bn) of financing through Islamic banks in the UAE. The deal was structured to meet the developer’s financing objectives, which include the enhancement of its capital structure, the diversification of its investor base, and additional funds for new projects.

13. Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar

Saeed Al Qatami, chief executive officer of Dubai-based Deyaar, has been focusing on diversification of late. His company is working to develop projects that cater to a broad spectrum of buyers.

“As a result of Dubai’s fast-growing real estate market – and its need for a full spectrum of homes – Deyaar has responded with new projects to cater to different markets,” he tells Construction Week.

“Deyaar’s latest development, Midtown, bridges the gap to reach a wider base of middle-income investors and potential homeowners, including single people and young families.”

Deyaar achieved solid results in its 2015 financial year. The developer achieved an operating profit of $38.5m (AED141.4m) which, as a percentage of its revenue, was 55%. When taking into account its net financial cost and share of results from joint ventures and associates, the firm’s profit for the year stood at $79.3m (AED291.4m).

Al Qatami elaborates: “The year-end results were a strong reflection of our market resilience among competitors, and our efficiency in meeting our clients’ diverse demands.”

Between 1 August, 2016 and 31 July, 2017, Deyaar expects to complete two major mixed-use developments: The Atria at Business Bay, which will have 219 residential units and 347 serviced apartments; and Montrose in Dubai Science Park, which will feature 286 residential units and 198 serviced apartments.

The developer’s Midtown by Deyaar project, meanwhile, will stretch almost a kilometre. Its 27 buildings will share a one-level podium, which will cover retail, parking, and essential services.

For now, Al Qatami’s team will continue to prioritise the maintenance of a diverse product offering for Deyaar customers.

“We aim to provide value for money and continue to operate a sustainable financial model for growth. Our well-diversified portfolio in residential, commercial, and hospitality projects is guided by our robust business plan. Deyaar’s financial results for H1 2016 shows steady growth, with net profits of $30.2m (AED111m),” he adds.

14. Rahail Aslam, Group CEO, Select Group

Rahail Aslam, group chief executive officer of Select Group, has enjoyed a busy 12 months in the UAE.

His firm is on course to hand over its Pacific development, located in Al Marjan, Ras Al Khaimah, before the end of 2016. With a gross development value (GDV) in excess of $270m (AED1bn), the project boasts 1,500 apartments and features amenities such as gymnasiums, tennis courts, rooftop swimming pools, and private beach access.

Work is also progressing smoothly at Marina Gate, which Select Group is developing in conjunction with UAE-based contracting giant, ALEC. With a GDV of more than $1bn (AED3.67bn), the three-tower development will feature podium-level villas, 1,500 apartments, expansive health and fitness facilities, and approximately 14,000m2 of retail space.

“Our flagship development, The Residences at Marina Gate, is a triumvirate of residential towers located in an unrivalled location within Dubai Marina,” Aslam tells Construction Week. “The project, which offers stunning waterfront views, consists of three residential towers with connected walkways and more than 50 retail outlets.

“In January [of] this year, we signed an agreement with Jumeirah Group, the globally renowned hotel and hospitality company and member of Dubai Holding. We secured Jumeirah Living to manage the third tower of Marina Gate with 508 units. Jumeirah Living Marina Gate (JLMG) complements the aspirations and expectations of premium residential developments in [the emirate] by providing residents with a world-class, curated lifestyle within the vibrant Dubai Marina community,” he notes.

Also in the UAE, No.9, Select Group’s ninth residential project in Dubai Marina, is scheduled to complete in 2017. Located on the promenade, this 34-floor waterfront development will house 220 apartments.

“Development in the UAE remains our core focus,” says Aslam. “[Select Group] currently has seven million square feet of developments under construction, with approximately 3,500 homes scheduled for delivery over the next three years.”

15. Rizwan Sajan, Chairman, Danube Group

Rizwan Sajan entered the real estate sector in Dubai with Danube’s first affordable housing project in Al Furjan, Dreamz by Danube. Danube is a well-established name in the building materials sector, and with its offshoot, Danube Properties, Sajan wants to create a new wave of affordable communities.

Sajan tells Construction Week: “The largest opportunity we believe will continue to be the affordable housing sector throughout the GCC. This segment of the market, although largely unattended, will continue to maintain consistent demand in years to come, especially for UAE, which is attractively placed for a population growth in the wake of Expo 2020.

“The current supply is not sufficient to meet the demand being generated and we will continue to see a drift from luxury and super-luxury to the affordable segment.”

The developer has successfully sold inventory worth $163m (AED600m) in the current year and, according to the builder, this translates into a healthy year-on-year growth of over 66% for the firm. Sajan says: “This year also marks the delivery of our first project, Dreamz by Danube. The flagship project is in its final stages of finishing and we are receiving some rave comments from site visitors.

“While we are creating a consistent pipeline of projects for 2017, our main focus will be on delivering 660 units of contemporary apartments and some retail shops. Glitz Residence 1 and 2 are planned for delivery in March and both towers of Glitz Residence 3 are anticipated to complete in September this year.”

Danube will continue to focus on affordable residential developments with limited retail facilities, to cater to the direct need of prospective projects. Sajan says that the company has plans to foray into the commercial segment, but not until next year — with lot of planning, and depending on the market conditions.

He concludes: “We opened our first international office in India in 2014 and, this year, we added another one in Saudi Arabia. The top three countries from the GCC giving us ample business are Saudi, followed by Oman and Qatar.”

16. Sameh Muhtadi, CEO, Bloom Holding

Under the leadership of Sameh Muhtadi, the chief executive officer of Bloom Holding, its subsidiary Bloom Properties announced Bloom Heights — a mixed-use project in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) — marking the developer’s foray into mid-market housing in the emirate.

Located in the master community, Bloom Heights offers easy access to all major roads and will consist of two high-rise towers linked internally by four podium levels.

The project will offer a total of 686 residential units, ranging from studios to one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, with scheduled completion in early 2019. The developer’s current portfolio also includes Soho Square on Saadiyat Island, and Bloom Gardens.

17. Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, General Manager, Union Properties

Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, general manager of Union Properties, must be a happy man; the firm recorded a profit of $31m (AED113.8m) in the first six months of 2016, up from $13m (AED47.5m) during the same period a year ago.

Quarterly profits increased to $19.5m (AED71.7m) in this year, from $5.2m (AED19.3m) a year ago. The developer, earlier this year, secured $26.6m (AED98m) from the sale of a 20% stake in a joint venture it has with Dubai Investments, which now owns 70%.

Union Properties is taking on a series of new projects at the 350ha Motor City master-development, including a new residential project and a four-star hotel, while its retail components, such as The Ribbon, are complete and up for leasing.

18. James Wilson, CEO, Omran

James Wilson was appointed the chief executive officer of Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) in January this year.

Wilson is leading the company on its mission to contribute to Oman’s growing tourism industry, a sector that has seen an increasing focus from the government as part of economic diversification efforts.

Wilson joined Omran with more than 25 years of experience in the tourism, real estate, and hotel development sectors.

Omran is currently implementing a fresh strategy, in keeping with the sultanate’s National Tourism strategy. It’s flagship project, the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in Muscat, will open its doors to the public this month.

19. Ali Al Obaidli, CEO, Ezdan Holding

Qatari real estate developer Ezdan Holding Group’s net profit for the first six months of 2016 went up by 8% to $254m (QAR927m), compared to $235m (QAR858m) during the same period in 2015.

The man behind the venture is Ali Al Obaidli, who acts as the company’s chief executive officer. Obaidli boasts extensive experience in the business and investment sector, and holds several key positions in both.

Under Obaidli’s guidance, Al Wukair town’s first mall, Ezdan Mall, has partly opened to the public. Construction is complete and the complex is expected to open fully in the coming months.

Located in the south of Doha, Ezdan Mall is part of a group of 11 two-storey, interconnected buildings. Once fully operational, the mall will have several restaurants, a children’s play area, 60 shops, and a clinic.

20. Ibrahim Al-Othman, President and CEO, United Development Company

Ibrahim Al-Othman was appointed the chief executive officer of United Development Company (UDC) in June last year. The company reported a net profit of $97m (QAR353m) for the first half of 2016.

UDC is one of Qatar’s leading shareholding companies and is the master developer of The Pearl-Qatar. Al-Othman said in a company statement that the results are higher than budgeted and reflect the soundness of the company’s strategy.

He added that during the first six months of the year, UDC focused on interacting with strategic developers that had shown interest in investing in The Pearl Island. He outlined that the company focussed on maintaining its recurring revenue, of which the volume of residential units leased in the first six months of 2016 increased by 4%.

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