Is Dubai's real estate market shifting to a new profile of investors or buyers?
This is a dynamic situation, and every year will be different. Now, we see population growth of around 5%. There are currently 500,000 homes here, and every year, we must add 25,000 units if we are to accommodate a 5% annual increase, which is close to USD30 billion. When there was 7% growth in 2018, we saw a market size of around USD40 billion.
How does Sobha react to volatility in the market?
The real estate business around the world is cyclical; however, there is always a minimum requirement. Dubai can accommodate 10-12 million people. In 22 years, assuming a minimum 3.75% annual growth rate, Dubai will hit 10 million people. I see growth in the future, and in the real estate business, if one sees growth in the next five years, they should be pleased. I will bet on the UAE for at least the next 30 years.
What does Hartland bring to your product portfolio and to Dubai?
Hartland is situated in the heart of the city, and it is one of the few communities that has such a prime location. As a developer, we bring years of experience doing huge and luxurious projects. We are real estate developers that know the business inside and out. We have a responsibility to our consumers to create the best projects we can. We make sure every aspect that goes into the creation of the product is the best it can be. Being backward integrated is unique not only in Dubai but in the entire world. We are the only real estate company in the UAE that can boast about such integration. The details of our projects are extremely important; we are focused on precision and perfection, which our clients know and appreciate. At every level, we have a dedication to quality that translates into persistent luxury. There is great luxury in our dedication to details and in our commitment to quality, and this persists throughout every level of our product offering. We have our own engineering and architectural studios, and this allows us to craft every detail with elegance and precision.
What can you tell us about Sobha's focus on innovation?
We have a quality department that focuses on bringing the best techniques and practices to our operations. We never rest on our laurels and never will. With every new building and project, we strive to further optimize and improve our practices. We are always raising the bar for ourselves, which is a truly exciting component of being in this industry.
How will your new office in London enhance your international brand?
It helps us maximize our international branding as well as strengthen our bonds with customers. Many Chinese travelers regularly visit London, and they represent one of the largest blocks of buyers for us. The Chinese economy is strong, and this translates into Chinese consumers with a keen interest in international real estate. Dubai is also a welcoming environment, allowing many different people to enjoy themselves and integrate. There is a strong international thread here that connects people together.
How do transformation and disruption shape your business?
Transformation and disruption are all about creating a product that never compromises on quality. We must always stay on top of cutting-edge developments so that we can deliver the very best the market has to offer. When our customers do not realize the quality of the product we provide, we must educate them. We know what quality and luxury is, and we must educate the market on these issues so they can be informed and so we can drive the market forward. We are in this industry to educate people about how we are changing real estate and offering the finest products.