Top 50 GCC Developers: 21-30
Welcome to Construction Week’s Top 50 GCC Developers 2017, our annual ranking of the region’s most active real estate developers.
21. Farhad Azizi, CEO, Azizi Developments
Having completed eight projects within its Al Furjan development between August 2016 and July 2017, Azizi Developments aims to see that number more than double by July 2018.
Farhad Azizi tells Construction Week: “We expect to complete Mina by Azizi on the Palm Jumeirah [and] Azizi Aliyah at Dubai Healthcare City. In addition, we will also complete nine projects in Al Furjan: Farishta, Samia, Shahista, Star, Plaza, Aster, Acaia, Roy Mediterranean, and Montrell.”
The company is also busy with its $3.3bn (AED12bn) Azizi Riviera waterfront development, its “most ambitious project [to] date”, he says, adding: “Azizi Riviera comprises 69 mid-rise residential buildings, an integrated retail district, a street art museum, and a four- and a five-star hotel.”
22. Mahdi Amjad, Executive Chairman and CEO, Omniyat
The last quarter of this year will see Omniyat complete and hand over around 232,258m2 of developments in Q4 2017, including The Opus by Zaha Hadid, a project located in Dubai’s Business Bay.
“The Opus by Zaha Hadid [...] is an architectural marvel that is finally becoming a reality after years of [collaboration] with the late world-famous architect,” says Mahdi Amjad.
“The Opus overcame many architectural challenges, such as the 50m hanging bridge with three stories of residential units.”
Citing the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait as the company’s biggest markets, Amjad reveals that Omniyat plans to announce three major hotel brands and add more than 3,000 units to its portfolio in the coming year.
23. Yousuf Kazim, CEO, Jumeirah Golf Estates
Yousuf Kazim, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Golf Estates (JGE), describes 2018 and the remainder of this year as a “pivotal” period for the company.
“We plan to reinforce its position as a world-class residential golf destination,” explains Kazim. “Construction of the Green Sports Hub, [a] new retail centre, and Alandalus is on track for a 2018 completion.”
He adds: “While Alandalus’s launched townhouses and Towers A and B have already sold out, we have had an equally positive response to Tower C following its May 2017 launch, and this will remain a priority.
“Finally, we look forward to revealing the JGE master plan in October 2017.”
The developer delivered two projects in late 2016: Phase 1 of Redwood Park and Phase 1 of Redwood Avenue.
24. Faris Saeed, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Developers
The developer of Dubai’s The Sustainable City has identified “building sustainable developments in different markets and different climates” as both its projects strategy and long-term objective.
“We want to keep accelerating the move towards sustainable developments, not only by building futuristic cities, but also by sharing knowledge and encouraging other developers to build sustainable green buildings, developments, and cities,” Diamond Developers’ chief executive officer (CEO), Faris Saeed, tells Construction Week.
Talking about its flagship project, he says that two years into the operations of The Sustainable City, the company has proven that “such a model is not a dream but an existing reality and a working model of what future cities could look like”.
To prove that the model is indeed effective, Diamond Developers will “soon” share data and numbers, reveals Saeed, adding that by doing so, the company is hoping to encourage other developers to implement projects that promote sustainability and resource conservation.
According to Saeed, Diamond Developers has already completed Phase 1 of the project, as well as adding a commercial outlet, called The Sustainable Plaza, to the residential clusters.
The developer aims to complete three more components of the project in the coming year. The first component is Green Diamond One, which is a 25,291m2, seven-storey apartment building. The second is Hotel Indigo, which comprises 153 rooms and spans 19,037m2. And the third is the 22,718m2 The Sustainable City School.
Emphasising the need for developers to pursue ventures that can open up social, environmental, and economic opportunities for future developments, he says: “The biggest opportunity [in the GCC]is to [utilise] the latest technologies and innovations to provide a higher quality of sustainable living that significantly [reduces] the carbon footprint of the [region], while offering compatible economic models without sacrificing quality and comfort.”
25. Benoy Kurien, General Manager, Al Hamra Real Estate Development
Al Hamra Real Estate Development’s (AHRED’s) Bayti, an Arabic word that means ‘my home’, is a project that comprises 162 residential units – and, according to AHRED’s general manager, Benoy Kurien, is the “feather in the [company’s] cap”.
Completed last year, Bayti is located in Ras Al Khaimah, within close proximity to three recreational parks, Al Hamra Championship golf course, white sandy beaches, and Al Hamra Marina, says Kurien, adding that the project also boasts sustainable features.
“The homes have insulated walls, are solar heated, and feature energy[-efficient] water tanks; low-flow water fixtures; carbon monoxide detectors on each floor; environmentally friendly, low-VOC [volatile organic compound] paints; and solar lightning, to minimise environmental impact and reduce [energy] consumption while retaining and appreciating the value of the homes,” Kurien elaborates.
Building on the success of the project, AHRED has started setting into motion expansion plans for the development, AHRED’s general manager reveals: “We are currently designing the second phase of Bayti after undertaking detailed market research at the end of last year.
“We found there is a demand [from] those looking to own their own home, particularly from millennials with families. This new development will be an exciting [one] for the company.”
In addition to working on the Bayti expansion, AHRED recently launched the Sailing Club of Ras Al Khaimah, he says, noting: “The venue, located within Al Hamra Real Estate’s Al Hamra Village, is the latest addition to the facilities offered by Al Hamra Marina. It is set to further boost the emirate’s credentials as a leading destination for sailing and watersports by welcoming a host of internationally acclaimed events.”
Meanwhile, Phase 1 of the company’s $106.2m (AED390m) Manar Mall expansion project is nearing completion, with Kurien describing its delivery as a “testament to the emphasis we place on retail and leisure for the benefit of both locals and visitors to the area”.
26. Ibrahim Al Saq’abi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Al Mazaya Holding
Eng Ibrahim Al Saq’abi, group chief executive officer (CEO) of Al Mazaya Holding, is of the opinion that when it comes to the GCC property market, affordable housing for the mid-income segment represents the largest opportunity for developers, especially those operating in the emirate of Dubai.
“In line with the Dubai government’s focus on affordable housing, Al Mazaya is working on affordable residential projects in the emirate,” he says. “We will continue to maintain the balance between our real estate portfolio and income-generating projects developed for sale, to safeguard the interest of our shareholders for better returns.
“The company’s management and top officials work hard to maintain the minimum risk towards all new developments,” he adds.
As part of its growth strategy, Al Mazaya is said to be looking into expanding its global footprint to include markets outside of the GCC. Elaborating, Al Saq’abi tells Construction Week: “Al Mazaya Holding already has projects in most of the Gulf countries and Turkey.
“Our aim for this year and the next is to explore new international markets, wherever we see the potential.”
Its expansion plans notwithstanding, Al Mazaya considers the UAE, Kuwait, and Turkey as its biggest markets in the Middle East, with residential its largest sector.
“[The] residential segment is the largest sector for Al Mazaya Holding, as we have successfully developed more than 10,000 units,” says Al Saq’abi.
“Second is [the office sector], with more than 3,000 units distributed among seven towers. [And the] third is healthcare, in which we have done two projects, [with] another health-related project in the pipeline.”
Al Mazaya completed three projects Clover Sabah Al Salem in Kuwait and Q-Line Phase 1 and Phase 2 in Dubai between August 2016 and July 2017, and aims to complete two more by July 2018. These projects are Q-Zone in Dubai and Mazaya Residence in Oman, the combined value of which is around $99.4m (KWD30m).
27. Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides
Abdulla Bin Sulayem has had a positive year as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Seven Tides International. Between 1 August, 2016, and 31 July, 2017, Seven Tides completed the Dukes Dubai project on Palm Jumeirah, which opened its doors this March. The hotel and apartments cover an area of 81,129m2, with a construction value of $93m (AED342m).
Commenting on the year ahead for Seven Tides, Sulayem says: “Our strategy for 2017/18 is based on launching exciting new development projects, at the right price point, along with a compelling market proposition.
“We will continue to promote our various projects to investors in the UAE, GCC, China, and India.”
28. Rizwan Sajan, Chairman, Danube Properties
For chairman Rizwan Sajan and his team at Dubai-headquartered Danube Properties, the past year has been a prosperous one. This September, the company announced it had sold out 75% of its Bayz project in Business Bay. The announcement came less than a month after the developer completed two of its earliest launches, Glitz I and Glitz II, which are together worth $95m (AED350m).
Danube launched two major projects – the $82m (AED300m) Resortz and the $123m (AED450m) Bayz – this year. Construction on Resortz has already started, with Bayz currently in the tendering phase.
The projects have a combined value of $205m (AED750m).
29. Zaal Mohamed Zaal, Chairman, Al Barari
Dubai developer Al Barari’s 171ha plot is set to get busier over the next 12 months as the company progresses with key projects, such as The Nest, Ashjar, and Seventh Heaven.
Zaal Mohamed Zaal, the chairman and founder of Al Barari, says the company will imminently proceed with Phase 2 of its development plans.
Phase 2 “will feature a hotel, a school, assisted living facilities, medical facilities, retail areas, food and beverage (F&B) venues, and more”, he tells Construction Week.
Zaal adds: “The end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 will be an exciting period for us, as we will welcome new residents moving into Al Barari.”
30. Faisal Jamil al-Essa, chairman, NREC
The last 12 months have resulted in mixed fortunes for Kuwait’s National Real Estate Company (NREC). In 2016, the developer registered a 19.2% hike in its annual operating revenue, which amounted to $112.7m (KWD34m) for the year. However, NREC’s shareholders approved a board recommendation this June to not distribute dividends for 2016, “in order to meet growth plan requirements”.
Commenting after the financials were announced, Faisal Jamil Sultan Al-Essa, the chairman of NREC, said: “Our business is healthy and standing on solid fundamentals. We [...] anticipate important advances with our key megaprojects [in 2017].”