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Sharjah 2020 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

Al Thuriah specializes in offering turnkey solutions by combining real estate development, construction, leasing, and facilities management into one seamless service.

Georges Khouzami
BIOGRAPHY
As the COO at Al Thuriah, Georges Khouzami has used his more than a decade of experience in real estate development to help the group become one of the most renowned real estate and construction brands in the region. Khouzami aims to make the experience of owning a home a pleasant and simple process. He has a degree in business administration from the American University of Beirut.

What recent economic and market trends have you noticed in Sharjah and how have they impacted the construction and real estate sectors?

Al Thuriah specializes in offering turnkey solutions to institutions and investors by combining real estate development, construction, leasing, and facilities management into one seamless service. The real estate sector in Sharjah remains healthy in terms of demand and supply; however, the price volatility of the neighboring Emirates has an immediate effect on Sharjah's market. We have noticed that end-users and investors have numerous choices in terms of payment schemes and limited time offers, but at Al Thuriah, we decided to focus our efforts on better living standards. All our projects feature superior living spaces that are 50% more than the usual market sizes along with premium finishes and amenities. In turn, our products fulfill the requirements of modern living. Notably, Sharjah recently granted foreign nationals the right to buy long-term leasehold properties, and it has proved to be a great stimulus for our industry.

What is the status of your La Plage Tower and Sahara Tower 6 projects?

La Plage Tower and Sahara Tower 6 are the only projects in our portfolio that are for sale as individual apartments. Sahara Tower 6 is the final jewel of the Sahara Complex, which turned out to be a success for residents of Dubai and Sharjah. Sahara Tower 6 is designed with deluxe spaces and the highest standard finishes. The final tower in the series means all the improvements learnt throughout the years were incorporated in its design and execution to create our best product yet. Sahara Tower 6 is due for completion during 4Q2019, 60 days ahead of its official completion date. On the other hand, La Plage Tower was designed to set a new benchmark in high-rise residential living. The tower offers 90 different floor plans that will cater to various cultures and tastes. The concept of exclusivity was the foundation of our approach and design. The tower is split into three sections that are slightly different from one another. The project features 2m-wide terraces and 1.5m-wide windows to ensure optimal utilization of space and offer the best views. La Plage Tower is on sale now and slated for completion in 4Q2022.

How are you working to increase sustainability in your projects?

Sustainability is a subjective word. At Al Thuriah, sustainability means keeping the same standards throughout a project's life cycle. To achieve this, our facilities management subsidiary weighs in during the design stage for valuable insights and recommendations. Furthermore, we keep a sinking fund that accumulates yearly for every project in order to take immediate action in case of wear and tear. Keeping a hands-on approach with a preventive mindset is the key to ensuring long-term sustainability.

How will the change in visa and investment opportunities for foreigners benefit Sharjah?

The approval to allow foreigners to invest on a long-term leasehold basis opened a new pool of end-users and investors. Our target market increased 10-fold overnight which greatly benefited all developers and the Emirate as a whole.

What kind of AI or machine learning solutions are you using?

Real estate is a long-term business which requires short-term and long-term analyses. Machine learning does not help in creating future assumptions; however, it does help in comparing current data with historical data to establish a baseline.

What are your goals and expectations for 2019?

Our primary goal is to complete our transition to an international Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which will create a coherent journey for our customers and reduce the operating time to complete tasks. The ERP system will also allow all our companies to share data on a single platform and improve our processes, resulting in greater efficiencies and customer care. We have a healthy backlog of projects, but we will continue evaluating new projects and partnerships in the near future.