May. 27, 2020

Jeremy Lester

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Jeremy Lester

Acting CEO, Bloom Holding

Bloom Holding is renowned for building mixed-use developments that resonate strongly with clients in the UAE.


Jeremy Lester is the Acting CEO of Bloom Holding and the executive director of its board. He has 35 years of leadership experience in some of the world's leading blue-chip companies. He has been working in the Middle East and Asia for nearly 14 years, where he has led international expansion for several different companies through organic growth, M&A, and joint ventures. Prior to Bloom Holding, Lester was the CEO of Emaar International and was responsible for the development and growth of Emaar's international business in several high growth markets including Egypt, Jordan, India, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

How does Bloom Holding position itself in the UAE property market?
The first differentiating factor of Bloom is customer-centricity. Our mixed-use developments that span the real estate, hospitality, retail, education, and healthcare sectors resonate strongly with our customers in the UAE. The second element is that we are aligned with Abu Dhabi's vision. We always consider the long-term impact of what we do, and sustainability is the cornerstone of our business. The third component that makes us unique compared to other developers is that we have successfully bridged the Abu Dhabi and Dubai markets. This helps to open the UAE market more broadly.

What are some of the ways that you are expanding and developing your service offerings?
Many of the developments in Abu Dhabi are targeted at Emiratis, and it is essential to understand what this demographic wants. Attention must be paid to privacy, seclusion, peace, and the physical environment. Bloom Gardens has been a phenomenally successful development for us. We have the opportunity to initiate phase five and ensure the original vision for that development is magnified. Furthermore, we also have Brighton College Abu Dhabi as part of Bloom Gardens and the Mindchamps nursery. We provide communities with convenient amenities, and at Bloom Gardens, we will invest in the social and physical infrastructure, such as landscaping, community centers, and support services. The aim is to fine tune our offerings to different customer groupings.

Could you tell us more about the Edition hotel, and where it is situated within Abu Dhabi's hospitality sector?
Our two hotels are highly complementary in that both are part of the Marriott International chain. The Marriott Hotel Downtown is targeted at the business segment and The Edition at the leisure segment. Due to location, our corporate client base for The Edition is growing. Many corporate customers enjoy the food and beverage offering, and other income streams have also responded positively. It is crucial to get that balance right for The Edition. The president of The Edition in the US has expressed satisfaction in how we're developing the hotel and understands that the market here is different from London, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City. The Edition won top positions in the What's On awards in 2019, which is encouraging for a hotel celebrating its first year.

What are some of the innovative technologies that you have incorporated?
Bloom Gardens was one the first unique communities on the main island, and this has been the case with Al Bateen and JVC. Technology is really important, especially when we consider facility management and optimization. This impacts the cost for both owners and tenants. The technology we adopt in buildings is proven and usually related to efficiencies such as water or lighting. At our new development, Bloom District, we are creating designs that utilize nature to create areas that are pleasant to live, work, and play in.

How have government initiatives impacted your operations?
The leadership is taking imaginative and creative steps to stimulate the market. The easing of visas and business set-up formalities is progressive, assisting both the public and private sectors. A part of Bloom's mission is to support and enable Abu Dhabi to achieve its long-term vision. Real estate is recognized as such an integral part of the economy that everyone wants the sector to succeed.

What are the advantages of having a presence in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai?
There are obvious benefits due to the diversity of the two markets. To engage in that diversity is a beneficial experience. We are anchored in both real estate and education, which provides growth opportunities. The UAE is an excellent place for Bloom to evolve, but we are also exploring opportunities abroad. What works in Abu Dhabi may not automatically work in Dubai, or vice versa. That being said, customer-centricity guides our approach to operating in both Emirates. The markets are also different in terms of what attracts people to them.