How does Tamouh position itself in the UAE's property market?
Tamouh owns around 60% of Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, whilst also maintaining a large amount of land in Al Ain. What differentiates us is our work on Reem Island. We began with Marina Square, which comprises of 14 buildings, a mall, hotel, and serviced apartments. The beauty of Marina Square is that it is located just outside of downtown Abu Dhabi. We delivered Marina Square in 2011, and it was later sold to a sub-developer. From there, we moved on to the City of Lights, where we developed six buildings, all of which were handed over in 2014. In addition, we also sell plots and buildings as part of our business strategy.
What does the concept of happy living mean to Tamouh?
When you are living in an apartment, you want all your amenities within easy reach. This is why we have focused on building communities that have all the necessary amenities for tenants and occupants to enjoy. These include—but are not limited to—walking tracks, retail centers, gyms, swimming pools, and mosques. There is a diverse range of nationalities, including Emirati nationals, who call our projects home. All this adds a rich cultural vibrancy to our communities.
Can you walk us through some of the unique payment plans Tamouh has in place?
Our aim is to be flexible. When the market goes down, we have to move with it. Some investors will be hesitant to sell when the market goes down. Recently, we rolled out a payment plan called "post-handover" for Horizon Towers. Horizon Towers is the only project with a five-year payment plan that allows clients to move in right away. This is done to satisfy the requirements of investors as well as the market. I believe flexible payment plans will become more widespread, and we will see more developers following such sales tactics.
How do you expect the Ghadan 21 initiative to effect Tamouh's operations and developments?
Ghadan aims to make the real estate sector more attractive in Abu Dhabi. The government has recently changed regulations to allow for titles to be transferred to foreigners. This is one factor that will help stimulate the economy.
Are you utilizing any disruptive technologies?
We always seek to upgrade our systems in-line with the market to enhance productivity and efficiency. We are also exploring some new technologies with the architects that we work with. Consider precast, an old technology that is taking on new processes. By using new technologies, precast parts can be built much faster, which ultimately helps the government build housing more efficiently.
How do you scale projects while maintaining family aspects of Emirati life?
For one of our major projects in Jebel Hafeet that comprises of 3,000 homes, we were conscious of building in such a way that would foster social interaction and build a real sense of community. This development is a fully fledged community that includes schools, mosques, retail centers, and a health center. Over the next five to seven years, our biggest market will be focused on Emirati housing as the population is growing, and the government is supporting projects of this kind. We are in communication with the housing authority, advising on how regulations can be changed or eased, in order to reach a level of harmony between the public and private sectors.
What can be done to increase investor sentiment and revitalize the construction industry?
It is paramount that the government is part of the solution. When the economy goes down, we must react and reduce prices. When the market goes up, we can look to increase prices, proportionately. This will cover losses when the economy goes down—adaptation is where we find strength.