Construction Week's Top 50 GCC Developers 2018: Abu Dhabi | Northern Emirates
Check out the top real estate developers from Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates in CW's Top 50 GCC Developers 2018 list
From man-made islands and exclusive villas to overseas expansion, joint ventures, and takeovers, real estate developers have worked hard to bolster resilience and profitability this year. Ahead of Construction Week’s Top 50 GCC Developers 2018 list, which will be published in print on 29 September, 2018, CW rounds up the top developers from Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates.
6. Kevin Ryan
At the helm of Abu Dhabi-based group Gulf Related is its chief operating officer and managing director Kevin Ryan, who has more than 30 years’ experience in real estate development, joint ventures, and project finance.
Gulf Related manages Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Mall, which announced a “major milestone” in September when it obtained its building completion certificate.
This recognition means that tenants of Al Maryah Central, including global fashion, dining, and entertainment brands, can now take possession of their units and commence fit-out nearly a full year before the mall is scheduled to open its doors on 27 August, 2019.
5. Jassim Alseddiqi
Jassim Alseddiqi is chairman of Abu Dhabi-based Eshraq Properties. Looking towards the next 12 months, he says the company is currently “taking advantage of its healthy financial position and unlevered balance sheet to develop its land bank using its own internal resources”. He added: “Developers who were aggressively investing in projects over the past few years, especially at the peak of the market, and overleveraged their balance sheet to do so, would be facing a liquidity crunch in current market conditions.”
He says a contractor’s project methodology and financial standing is as important as its organisational culture. “Contractors are project partners. Their culture must be in sync with Eshraq’s to ensure that projects are delivered efficiently and are a pleasant experience for all stakeholders,” he told Construction Week.
4. Low Ping
Low Ping has been chief executive officer of Eagle Hills since its inception in 2014. A veteran of the UAE’s real estate sector, she is responsible for the overall management of Eagle Hills and oversees planning, monitoring, and management of execution, systems and processes, legal, finance, and tax planning for the company.
This year saw the sales launch of Eagle Hills Sharjah, a joint venture by Shurooq and Eagle Hills. The 458,000m², mixed-use development is home to residential, hospitality, and retail properties in the northern emirate.
3. HE Mohamed Al Mubarak
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak is chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC). Established to be the dedicated tourism asset management and development arm of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TDIC has been actively involved in many of the UAE’s most prestigious and high-profile projects.
This May, Aldar acquired real estate assets worth $1bn (AED3.7bn) from TDIC in an agreement that the real estate developer described as being among the largest real estate acquisitions in the history of the UAE.
2. Sameh Muhtadi
No stranger to the Top 50 GCC Developers ranking, Sameh Muhtadi has served as the chief executive officer of Bloom Holding since October 2014. A real estate investment veteran, Muhtadi boasts more than 30 years of experience across the real estate development, engineering, construction management, strategic planning, and financial investment industries.
Major developments for Bloom Holdings this year have included receiving clearance in April to build Bloom District, a 2.2km² mixed-used master development near Abu Dhabi International airport.
Speaking to Construction Week in the same month, Muhtadi revealed that the company would be moving beyond the borders of the UAE and into other markets, including the US. While he said that the group was developing a project in Minnesota, US, he shared no further details about the project at the time.
This June, Bloom Properties announced the completion of enabling works for Bloom Towers, its residential project in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle.
The project includes three high-rise buildings.
1. Talal Al Dhiyebi
Heading up Aldar Properties, one of the most recognised names in the UAE’s development space, is Talal Al Dhiyebi. He currently serves as the group’s chief executive officer, having previously held the positions of chief development officer and executive director of asset management since the company’s merger with Sorouh in 2013.
His position in our 2018 ranking is well deserved, given the developer’s strong financial performance over the past 12 months. The firm’s gross profit in the first half of the year was up 5% on the same period in 2017, topping $381.1m (AED1.4bn).
In May 2018, Aldar also announced the acquisition of a selection of assets from Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), including residential projects on Saadiyat Island that are at “reasonably advanced stages of construction”.
This September, Aldar created the region’s largest diversified real estate investment company after a recent decree gave the development giant full onshore real estate ownership rights.
The new company, Aldar Investment Properties, will take ownership of $5.4bn-worth (AED20bn) of high-quality, revenue-generating real estate assets located in Abu Dhabi.
The new subsidiary features recurring revenue assets comprising more than 5,000 residential units and 50ha of prime retail and commercial space, including Yas Mall and the Aldar headquarters building.
2. Samuel Dean Sidiqi
RAK Properties has made good progress on its Hayat Island master development, according to its newly appointed chief executive officer, Samuel Dean Sidiqi.
Sidiqi only joined the Ras Al-Khaimah-based developer in May 2018, following the resignation of Mohamed Sultan Mohamed Al Qadi. However, Sidiqi was able to kick off his tenure by reporting that Hayat Island was moving ahead as planned.
Marbella Villas, the residential element of Hayat Island, comprises 205 beachfront villas and townhouses. Designed by Dar Al Omran, the project is adjacent to the public realm area of Hayat Islands, designed by RMJM.
At the time, Sidiqi said the launch of Intercontinental- and Anantara-branded hotels at Hayat Island was “an important addition” to Ras Al-Khaimah’s offerings for domestic and international tourists. He continued: “I am confident that we will have a great deal more to show you [in the not-too-distant future].
“We are confident about the exclusive release of Marbella Villas. They are a key element of the overall design, and will play a central role in attracting the right mix of investors and tenants to the island,” the RAK Properties
This August, RAK Properties reported $1.44bn (AED5.28bn) in net assets for the first six months of 2018. The company has begun the construction of the Anantara and Intercontinental hotels in Mina Al Arab, both of which it said would “strengthen the recurring revenue portfolio in the future”.
Commenting on the figures at the time, Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, managing director of RAK Properties, said: “The company is making significant headway on residential projects, both under construction and due to launch over the next year.”
The 306-room Anantara hotel is expected to open at the end of next year and will feature the emirate’s first over-water villas.
1. Benoy Kurien
Heading up Dubai-based real estate developer Al Hamra is its chief executive officer Benoy Kurien, who marks his return to the Top 50 GCC Developers list this year. With a strong hospitality sector portfolio, the group has built more than 4,000 homes valued in excess of $952.9m (AED3.5bn).
“Catering to the middle-income segments is an important market that will continue to grow,” Kurirn told Construction Week.
“The market expects quality homes that are affordable and sustainable. We see customers focusing on amenities, not only within the development, but also in the surrounding neighbourhood.”
He added that the current business climate “will pose challenges to many developers with regards to sales and the financing of projects”, stating that developers will “have to adapt to managing the supply of new projects with a realistic perception of
This August, Dubai’s VX Studio said it had won a contract of undisclosed value to work on Al Hamra’s planned Rove Manar Mall in Ras Al-Khaimah. The architecture and design firm has been appointed lead consultant for the Rove Hotel at Manar Mall, a 250-room, mid-scale property in the emirate.
Current plans for the project involve constructing an eight-storey hotel next to Al Hamra’s Manar Mall. It was announced in July that Al Hamra had signed a management agreement with Emaar Hospitality Group to operate the new Rove Hotel.