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Top 50 GCC Developers: 11-20

Welcome to Construction Week’s Top 50 GCC Developers 2017, our annual ranking of the region’s most active real estate developers.

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11. Yousef Al-Shelash, Chairman, Dar Al-Arkan Real Estate Company

Describing Saudi Arabia as Dar Al-Arkan’s (DAAR’s) primary market in the GCC, Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Shelash reveals to Construction Week that the company, since its inception, has completed “more than 30 real estate projects, more than 15,000 residential units, and more than 500,000m2 of leasable space” in the kingdom.

“Despite the recent volatility in the real estate sector [...], DAAR remains true to its strategic focus on developing master-planned communities, homes, and shopping and business centres for the Saudi Arabian middle-income consumer segment,” says Al-Shelash.

12. Saeed Al Qatami, CEO, Deyaar Development

Deyaar Development intends to close this year by completing two projects: Mont Rose, which is valued at $151.6m (AED 556.9m) and has a built-up area of 79,990m2; and The Atria, a $331.6m (AED1.2bn) development that spans 130,064m2.

The company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Saeed Al Qatami, tells Construction Week that the two projects represent Deyaar’s entry into the UAE hospitality industry.

The developer’s hospitality portfolio also includes the Millennium Deyaar Hotel and Apartments project in Al Barsha.

13. Sameh Muhtadi, CEO, Bloom Holding

Bloom Holding’s chief executive officer (CEO), Sameh Muhtadi, says that the company expects to complete five projects by July 2018. These include Soho Square, Park View, and Bloom Gardens Faya.

Soho Square and Park View are located in Abu Dhabi’s university neighbourhood of Saadiyat. The former will consist of 302 residential units, while the latter will feature 207 residential units and 217 furnished and serviced hotel apartments.

Faya, on the other hand, will comprise 132 townhouses made up of 28 four-unit and four five-unit clusters.

14. Ahmed Alhatti, Chairman, Cayan Group

If there’s one sector that Cayan Group is interested in further exploring, it’s hospitality.

“In 2016, Cayan Group broke into the hospitality sector through Cayan Hospitality, and the development of projects like Cayan Cantara,” Ahmed Alhatti tells Construction Week. “Hence, we will be embracing hospitality, given that it’s a sector that is emerging effectively and widely.”

A mixed-use, two-tower project valued at $272m (AED1bn), Cayan Cantara is the developer’s first hospitality venture in the Middle East. It is located in Dubai and expected to complete in Q1 2019.

15. Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO, Meydan Group

Led by Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Meydan Group has reported making significant progress this year on its 375.4ha Meydan One mega development, which is located between Meydan and Al Khail Road in Dubai and is set to house Meydan One Mall.

In March this year, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ground-breaking of the mall, which is expected to complete in 2020.

The group has also formed a strategic partnership with Azizi Developments to implement a residential and retail project in the Meydan One development that will cover 180 plots.

16. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Chairman, Al Habtoor Group

Described as a self-made man, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor is the chairman of the UAE-based conglomerate, Al Habtoor Group, which has businesses in several sectors, including hospitality and real estate.

The group’s hospitality portfolio includes Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Convention Centre & Spa in Lebanon, Le Méridien Budapest and InterContinental Budapest Hotel in Hungary, and Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah in the UAE.

Its residential projects, meanwhile, include The Residence Collection in Al Habtoor City. The development consists of three towers comprising 1,427 luxury apartments.

In July this year, Al Habtoor announced that the project is on track to complete at the end of 2017.

17. Gurjit Singh, Senior Vice President – Real Estate, Dubai World Trade Centre

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), according to its senior vice president for real estate, Gurjit Singh, will keep its focus for the coming year on furthering the progress of two of its projects in the emirate.

He says: “DWTC’s real estate strategy is focussed on developing the One Central destination in the Central Business District of Dubai and the Jebel Ali mixed-use development in Dubai South as economically and environmentally sustainable communities.”

These projects, notes Singh, consist of hospitality, commercial, office, retail, entertainment, and residential components, as well as green spaces in the form of public parks. “It is pertinent to note that since 1977, DWTC [has] helped Dubai become the region’s premier trade and business centre.”

18. Kevin Ryan, COO and Managing Director, Gulf Related

Kevin Ryan, chief operating officer (COO) and managing director of Gulf Related, is convinced that it will only be a matter of time before the emirate of Abu Dhabi makes it mark as a global destination.

“Five years from now, the world will know the UAE, and Abu Dhabi [in particular], as a global destination, characterised by a diverse, sophisticated population; a thriving financial centre; ambitious architecture; and world-class museums, healthcare, and theme parks,” he tells Construction Week.

This confidence in the UAE capital is keeping him excited about Gulf Related’s Al Maryah Central, a two-tower, mixed-use project.

“Al Maryah Central has been designed with the future of Abu Dhabi – and the future of modern city living – firmly in mind,” says Ryan.

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

Union Properties’ profits may have recorded a 51% decline in 2016, dropping to $57m (AED211.4m) from $118m (AED434.6m) in 2015, but it has not deterred the developer from continuing to expand its footprint in the UAE property market.

Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, the company’s general manager, and the rest of the Union Properties team, are in the process of diversifying the company’s operations, having recently launched two subsidiaries: Union Malls and Al Etihad Hotel Management.

The company has also renewed plans to build a $163m (AED600m) motor-racing theme park in Dubailand, as well as signing an agreement with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) to develop a new, $2bn (AED8bn) master plan for its Motor City community.

20. Robert Welanetz, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim – Properties

Majid Al Futtaim’s strategy for 2018 will consist of “two key dimensions”, Robert Welanetz says, explaining: “Firstly, we will optimise existing assets across shopping malls, hotels, and communities; and secondly, [we will] outline strategic opportunities for redevelopment of existing properties and development of new assets.”

He notes that in line with this strategy, Majid Al Futtaim has announced several new projects, including the Aloft City Centre Deira hotel and a mixed-use community in Dubai.

The company has also shared updates on its existing projects, one being the Al Zahia community in Sharjah. “As part of the community, the recently launched second release of Al Lilac neighbourhood will comprise 61 four- and five-bedroom villas,” adds Welanetz.

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