Top 50 GCC Developers: 31-40
Welcome to Construction Week’s Top 50 GCC Developers 2017, our annual ranking of the region’s most active real estate developers.
31. Peter Walichnowski, CEO, Omran
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) has been extremely active over the last 12 months. This May, the company announced the appointment of Peter Walichnowski as its new chief executive officer (CEO).
Walichnowski was tasked with leading Omran to its targets as the sultanate’s executive arm for, and master developer of, tourism destinations and communities aimed at contributing towards the country’s growing tourism industry.
This June, it was announced that the UAE’s listed developer, Damac Properties, together with Omran, would work on the redevelopment of the latter’s $1bn (OMR385.1m) Mina Sultan Qaboos master development.
32. Mohamed Al Qubaisi, Chairman, Manazel Real Estate
Manazel Real Estate reported an 81% hike in net profit during the first half of this year. Net profit rose to $15.4m (AED56.5m), a significant hike over H1 2016’s figures, worth $8.5m (AED31.2m). Consolidated revenues in H1 2017 recorded an annual increase of 54%, to $112m (AED412m).
Chairman Mohamed M Al Qubaisi says Manazel’s H1 2017 performance is thanks to the company’s diversification strategy. Manazel now operates in the areas of “residential and commercial real estate development, property and facility management, commercial retail management”, and also provides district cooling services to its key developments in Abu Dhabi.
33. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Executive Director, Lootah Real Estate Developments
The past year has been a happy one for Saleh Abdullah Lootah, executive director of Lootah Real Estate Development (LRED), a Dubai-headquartered company that recorded 35% in operating profit in its most recent financial year. Between 1 August, 2016, and 31 July, 2017, the company completed and handed over two projects in Dubai – Shamal Residences, and Phases 1 and 2 of Shamal Terraces. The total value of these completions – which together span 50,000m2 – is $81.7m (AED300m).
Over the next 12 months, the company expects to complete The Waves – a residential development close to the Shamal homes in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle neighbourhood – and its expansion of Ewan Residences.
In addition, LRED’s The Gardens project is 50% complete, and the company is looking forward to progress on the development over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, The Waves is due for completion by Q4 2018. Spanning 55,000m2, LRED’s pipeline of expected completions is worth $54.4m (AED200m).
This August, LRED and Dubai South inked a joint venture (JV) agreement to develop a residential project spanning 10.6ha in the latter’s Residential District. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to set up the 50:50 JV, and Lootah says the project’s master plan will be announced in Q4 2017.
Residential developments are LRED’s key focus, with Dubai being its largest market in the GCC – and for good reason. Lootah tells Construction Week his team is “very optimistic” about the local real estate sector’s prospects, adding: “The success of Expo 2020 Dubai is something we’re betting on, and are confident that it will reflect positively on the sector in general.”
However, Lootah says that achieving returns on investment (ROI) may be a challenge to contend with over the next five years, adding: “The challenges we expect to face in the next five years revolve around the ROI on real estate investments, the cost of construction materials, demand for freehold projects, the proper positioning of new project buyers, and the availability of talented real estate industry resources.”
34. Sufian Al Marzooqi, CEO, TDIC
Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural, and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has much to look forward to over the next 12 months.
Its Mamsha Al Saadiyat project – which is being implemented in two phases – is on track for completion in Q3 of 2018, with structural works for all buildings now complete.
Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi, chief executive officer of TDIC, tells Construction Week that he is also proud of his team’s work on the Saadiyat Beach Villas integrated residential development.
35. Kabir Mulchandani, Chairman and CEO, Five Holdings
Five Holdings is a Dubai-based real estate group that offers services across the development, hospitality, restructuring, and investment industries. The company, which was formerly known as SKAI Holdings, established a hospitality subsidiary – Five Hotels and Resorts – this June.
Commenting at the time of Five Hotels and Resorts’ launch, Kabir Mulchandani, the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Five Holdings, said: “We are pleased to announce the launch of our new hospitality brand, which will operate four hotels and residences in Dubai by 2020.”
36. Mohammed al Qadi, CEO, RAK Properties
The last 12 months have been busy for Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi and his team at RAK Properties, during which, the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) has overseen new launches and solid financial growth.
This September, the company unveiled Hayat Island, a 55.7ha mixed-use project that will feature food and beverage, shopping, and recreational offerings, in addition to hospitality and residential options. Speaking about the project during its launch at Cityscape Global 2017, Al Qadi said Hayat Island would be “one of [the firm’s] distinctive developments”.
37. Kareem Derbas, Founder and CEO, Palma Holding
Kareem Derbas, the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Palma Holding, is excited about the year ahead. The company will hand over its 250-unit Serenia Residences this December. In 2018, Palma will lay the foundation for a project that Derbas hopes “will be among Dubai’s most vibrant and contemporary suburban communities”.
He adds: “Dubai is investing in a variety of property and infrastructure projects to welcome the world. Developers face a variety of challenges, but in such a competitive and healthy market, they do not pose an obstacle to growth and progress.”
38. Ahmad Kasem, Deputy CEO, United Real Estate Company
Kuwait’s United Real Esate Company (URC) is making headway with two major developments in the Middle East, one of which is the mixed-use Assoufid project in Morocco’s Marrakech city, which spans more than 200ha. The project’s upcoming Phase 2 includes a five-star hotel, and a residential component comprising villas and apartments.
Work is also progressing on a part of URC’s Hessah Al Mubarak District, an integrated development that – according to Ahmad Kasem, deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of the company – is Kuwait’s first development of its kind. Kasem adds that the company will look to expand its contracting and facility management subsidiaries during the upcoming year.
39. Low Ping, CEO, Eagle Hills
Low Ping has had a fruitful year at the helm of Eagle Hills. This August, the chief executive officer (CEO) oversaw the signing of an $81.6m (AED300m) facility agreement with National Bank of Fujairah to fund the ongoing construction of Eagle Hills’ The Address Fujairah Resort and Spa. The project comprises 170 apartments across four residential buildings, five beach villas, and five garden villas.
Commenting on the facility, Ping said: “We are committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate, and we believe it is absolutely vital that we work in partnership with local organisations.”
40. Gagan Suri, CEO, Bahrain Bay
Thanks to a promising project pipeline, Gagan Suri, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Bahrain Bay, expects to be busy over the next 12 months. One of Bahrain Bay’s upcoming developments is its first residential complex, the 15,000m2 Waterbay project by Bin Faqeeh Real Estate Investment Co.
He adds: “Work has also commenced on a seven-storey tower that will serve as the new regional offices of AXA Insurance Gulf. Other projects in the pipeline include Wafra Tower by Wafra Real Estate Group, Golden Gates by Ajmeera Mayfair Realty Group, and Rolex Tower by Nama International Real Estate.”