As a company already diversified across several industries, how will Alfardan benefit from the initiatives of Tanfeedh?
As one of the leading family-owned business enterprises in the region that focuses on luxury and high-end markets, Alfardan Group fully supports Oman's key policies and long-term development plans, which include diversifying the local economy to provide its citizens and residents with quality and prosperous life. Tanfeedh, which seeks to reinforce public-private partnerships (PPPs) in areas of national importance such as manufacturing, tourism, transport and logistics, mining, and fisheries, is a unique opportunity for us to further strengthen our ties and ongoing collaboration with relevant government entities to help achieve not only our business objectives but, more importantly, the fundamental goals of the government as well. Promoting open communication and dialog to effectively overcome identified challenges, the initiative also allows us to be continuously part of the country's journey toward a more sustainable future.
How are you projecting the market reception to the opening of Alfardan's newest mixed-use property in Oman?
We are confident of a positive market response to our ongoing mixed-use project on the Sultan Qaboos Highway located near the Muscat International Airport. Upon completion, the sprawling 100,000-sqm development will feature luxury residential apartments, office spaces, and showrooms designed to cater to the specific needs of the local market. Prospective occupants will also be impressed by the unique blend of traditional Omani architecture and the key elements of contemporary design. Furthermore, we are optimistic that our project will set new benchmarks for the domestic real estate sector as well as help boost Oman's economy. This project is being developed against the backdrop of Oman's dramatic transformation that is giving rise to immense opportunities across sectors, including real estate. Analysts expect Oman's GDP to increase by up to 5.2% this year, thanks in part to the introduction of natural gas production at the Khazzan gas field and the opening of the new airport. Stable political and economic systems, transparent legal systems, and investor-friendly rules are driving the country's growth as well. All these will play a pivotal role in the success of our mixed-use property development in Oman.
Finaa Alazaibah is one of the largest mixed-use properties in Oman. How do you see this sector developing in the next five years?
The demand for mixed-use developments in the next five years will expand even further given Oman's urban density. The trend is continuously shifting toward combining retail and commercial offerings with sectors or services that are traditionally not part of the mix. This is usually the result of changing customer expectations and demands, among others. The rising necessity for mixed-used projects highlights the need for constant innovation in terms of concepts and designs. We expect leading property developers to respond to these modern changes and requirements, which is why we, at Alfardan, constantly work to be on top of upcoming trends and easily adapt to the ever-changing demands of the sector.
Within real estate, what trends or innovations does Alfardan see as most promising to the industry?
Next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and 3D printing are expected to have a massive impact on the real estate sector in the coming years. Modern innovations will definitely disrupt the entire industry and bring the real estate sector to unimaginable heights. We are excited to see where these technologies will take the whole sector.
Which sectors do you hope to focus on or expand into in 2018 and beyond?
Alfardan Group will continue to strengthen its presence in various sectors where it currently operates in by consistently delivering high-quality, innovative, and luxurious products. Focusing on property developments, including Finaa Alazaibah and other premium projects, and the flourishing automotive industry, for example, will surely reinforce our position not only in the Middle Eastern market but also in big markets such as Turkey, where we are eyeing to bring our signature luxury brands.