General Manager, DTZ Qatar
EDWARD BROOKES Since we opened the Qatar office in 2005, its performance has been fantastic. It is great to see a business grow from two people to 30. This has enabled DTZ to offer a complete real estate solutions package, including an experienced evaluation team, commercial and residential sales and leasing, as well as property management. If I were to judge our growth, I am really pleased. Qatar is our group’s hub office in the Middle East. From this office, we undertake a lot of work outside the country, such as in Egypt, Kuwait, and Jordan. When we recruit, internally or externally, it is based on performance. We need to have the best possible staff here to meet the high expectations of our Qatar clients. We have a great staff retention record which also is a reflection on the type of employer we are.
MOHAMED A. R. FAKHRO Tanween started out as development management entity and is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017. In this period, we expanded our portfolio into different sectors such as property and asset management. Between 2007 and 2014, we were heavily involved in Barwa Real Estate’s portfolio; we delivered Barwa City, now called Mesaimeer City, as well as Barwa Commercial Avenue and Barwa Al Sadd. Between 2009 and 2012, we were also involved in the business planning of 17 districts in Lusail City. Additionally, we are the real estate advisors of Qatar’s largest investment in Washington, the City Center DC, headed by Qatari Diar. We ended our job in Qatar Petroleum District in 2015, which is expected to open by 2019 to house QP’s headquarters.
EB We have the responsibility to run a business and return the expected results to our shareholders; however, our responsibility goes much further than that. We are keen to bring in international best practice standards. Those include not just evaluation standards but also standards in building management as well as international leases. International companies looking to locate within Qatar rightfully expect international standard leases. This also ensures better protections for Qatari landlords than the traditional three page leases that were very common when I first arrived in 2005. It is about bringing international best practice standards into Qatar. Going forward, the most important development is going to be the opening of the metro system. This is going to promote districts to have their own identities, whereas currently you can drive through the city without noticing the change in district. DTZ has been busy and closely involved in helping to master plan land holdings around 12 stations. It is a project dear to our hearts and is going to completely transform the city.
MF Over the last few years, Qatar’s real estate market has gone through drastic changes and this has pushed us to redefine our business model. As far as we are aware, there will not be any more megaprojects such as Lusail City or Mesaimeer City; therefore, we will focus more on the property and asset management side. Currently we have under our management around 1,300 different properties and seek to grow that portfolio, especially in Qatar, although we also have offices in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. We aim to cater the residential sector by providing high-quality offerings at reasonable prices. At Mesaimeer City we manage Park Residences, 18 buildings overlooking the central park, and since 2013 we have been able to maintain a 98% occupancy rate. We ensure that all the small details are being taken care of in order to create a sense of community and a lifestyle for our tenants. Moreover, we have properties at The Pearl and seek to increase our presence in Lusail and West Bay. Overall, we are growing our portfolio in Kuwait, where we have nearly 400 units in 20 different buildings. This is a good and steady market for property and asset management. In Saudi Arabia, our focus is purely residential. We ventured into three different areas; we did development for middle income housing and have co-founded a fund with The First Investor (TFI).
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