DAMAC Properties has been at the forefront of the Middle East’s luxury real estate market since 2002. At the recently held Cityscape Global 2016, it announced the launch of several exciting projects such as its inverted XV Villas at AKOYA and 1,350 units in its flagship master development AKOYA by DAMAC which will be delivered to investors during October 2016. Last year, DAMAC had a big tie up with leading Chinese real estate company, Woaiwojia. Aviamost Chinese met DAMAC’s Managing Director Ziad El Chaar during the event to know about its plans for its Chinese investors and the impact of the new visa on arrival for Chinese visitors
Congratulations on the launch of your new projects. How is 2016 compared to 2015?
A company like us we make a net profit of AED 2 billion end of June and so far we have launched 10 projects worth AED 13 billion. So this gives a very good indication that that the market is very positive. If it was not so, we would have launched one project and stopped.
Do you feel the oil situation is affecting the market?
I don’t think it has to do with oil. The market is very dynamic in all its aspects, retail, commercial, residential, hospitality and you have eagerness from everyone to develop the market. From time to time we have a situation where the supply does not meet the demand but this passes after a few months. More importantly, what you have from the Govt. side is motivation with continuous investment in infrastructure, in bringing more visitors and motivating more companies to set up in Dubai. And this gives a huge boost to other sectors real estate retail etc.
Many of your projects are on the hotel management side. Is there any reason for this or are we going to see residential projects?
Because 60% – 70% of the investors in Dubai are non-residents and they would like to buy something and that the developer will manage it for them. So the hotel room comes with a management contract.
How’s the Chinese market?
There’s a big slogan in our office says “Here comes China!” We conducted a test and it was very positive that’s why we were putting our own offices in China. We have offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Last year we announced a big tie up with Woaiwojia (a property consulting group based in China) and our projects are commercialized by them and Qfang. Woaiwojia mainly focuses on Beijing and has some exposure in Shanghai. Qfang is mainly working on Shenzhen and Guangzhou market.
We have a product which really caters to what the Chinese investor wants, which is, basically you buy a hotel room or hotel apartment, and DAMAC will manage it for you. So we know that what the Chinese investor is really interested in is a managed, real estate product. We have 71 Chinese property consultants in our company.
And now with visa on arrival, I’m doubling my team in China. The visa on arrival is going to make a big impact in the market. It will open up many doors, for tourism as well as investment opportunities.