GROWTH ENABLER

Dubai 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

With a portfolio of projects based on a solid understanding of customers' wants and needs, Azizi Developments serves as a catalyst to the UAE's development.

Fahad Azizi
BIOGRAPHY

With over a decade of experience in banking, construction, oil and gas, and hospitality, Farhad Azizi is the CEO of Azizi Developments. He is responsible for the company's overall operation and management and has been the driving force behind the strategy, guidance, and direction of the managerial team. A business strategist and real estate expert, Azizi has an exemplary track record in project implementation and has contributed substantially to the overall value of the organization. In 2019, Azizi was featured in Arabian Business' GCC 100 Inspiring Leaders List.

How have your recent developments intertwined with your commitment to Dubai?
We are proud to serve as a catalyst to the UAE's vision and development through our projects. We believe that Dubai will continue to inspire through its growth and innovation, it being an outstanding platform for the business community and individuals to live, work, and thrive in. Construction and delivery marked our 2019, with an emphasis on accelerated building and completions. From 1Q-3Q2019 alone, our contractors have casted over 117 slabs, poured over 165,000 tons of concrete, erected over 45 cranes, and constructed over 120,774sqm across our ongoing projects. As a developer, we are active in many parts of Dubai, but we have specifically focused on the Emirate's prime up-and-coming areas. We work diligently to ensure that our locations are of the utmost value to the client and will appreciate over time. The size of our developments is also important—more and more of our buyers are young people who require the same level of luxury but smaller homes. So, our portfolio includes studios and one-bedroom apartments, with many of them being delivered in 2020. With the Expo coming up, 2020 will be a whole different ball game.

What are your plans for capitalizing on Expo 2020 and its knock-on effects?
First and foremost, we have a large concentration of projects in Expo 2020's vicinity with direct connectivity to the site, including the new Route 2020 line. The site will also continue to be a vibrant hub of culture and leisure even after the event. We may launch a small number of additional projects in Al Furjan, an up-and-coming community with easy accessibility to the site. We also have a short-term home rental concept through which we manage and service our customers' apartments. We plan to extend this model to several of our residential buildings. Moreover, we are also looking into converting some of our properties into hotel units. More importantly, we have been in touch with the Expo committee to have a physical presence in the hub's center. We believe that Expo will not only result in an increase in visitors, jobs, business, and infrastructure investments, but will also drive forward the vision of Dubai.

How is Azizi Developments staying agile in the ever-changing real estate landscape in Dubai?
Following our recent restructuring efforts, which took approximately 12 months, we have adjusted to market conditions and are operating more efficiently than ever before. We became tech savvy thanks to a major digital transformation. We have become even more customer-centric and have built an experienced team of industry experts, responsible for reviewing and analyzing our business model and offerings to provide corrective actions as and when required. Through our knowledgeable team and other market intelligence channels, we have a solid understanding of our customers' wants and needs.

What opportunities do you see in 2020 and beyond?
We are on a promising growth trajectory. From today until 2022, we will be generating substantial revenue and increasing our top and bottom lines from our 54 ongoing projects, 76% of which are already sold, through swift construction and delivery. Up until 2025, we are planning to launch and deliver another 130-plus projects through our strategic partnerships with Dubai's key master developers, which granted us an extensive land bank that we can choose to acquire and develop. Our growth is furthered by the generation of additional revenue streams from new businesses that we are looking into, such as retail and commercial developments, hospitality, leasing, and brokerage services. We have nascent geographic expansion plans in high-growth markets, particularly in neighboring emirates and countries that offer strong development prospects, such as Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, we are looking into more mature markets, such as Germany, France, and the UK, as well as markets in North America. We want to demonstrate that a UAE-based developer can develop world-class projects across the globe.