Interview with PNC Menon, Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty

By Olga_Gafurova Tuesday, 20 November 2018 5:49 PM

Interview with PNC Menon, Founder & Chairman of Sobha Realty

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Sobha Realty, the recently rebranded property developer, said it is right on track to achieve a target of doubling annual sales to Dh2.5 billion in three years on the back of an upturn in investor confidence subsequent to a series of pro-investor reforms unveiled by the government. 

PNC Menon, founder and chairman of the multinational real estate and construction giant, made a foray into Dubai property market in 2005 after making his mark in Oman, launched two iconic projects in the heart of the city in 2013: Sobha Hartland – a $4 billion mixed-use luxury project that includes villas, townhouses and apartments; and District One – a joint venture with Meydan Group, which is an $8 billion project encompassing 1,500 ultra-luxury villas.

Speaking to Aviamost at the Sobha stand at Cityscape Global Exhibition, Mr. Menon insisted that there was no way prices could go down any further, as well shed light on Dubai real estate and why it is so aspirational for home buyers nowadays.

Sobha is undergoing a brand makeover. Why did you decide to rebrand the company?

The brand transition to Sobha Realty from Sobha Group is aimed at repositioning the developer's long-enduring image as a builder with a legacy of craft and passion for perfection. The new brand identity draws from the world of arts and attempts to embody the fact that we are a brand that was home grown in this very part of the world – the GCC region.

We as a developer specialize in the mid to upper segment of the Dubai property market. We believe this sector alone accounts for around 25-30 per cent of the industry and we will be purely concentrating on this segment since there is a market for it. The biggest challenge for developers is to establish a consistent brand identity in a market that has 50 other players. With a legacy of 42 years in this region, it’s imperative that we strengthen our position as a serious player committed to delivering world-class products.

At Sobha, we are bound by an extremely strong value system, which stems from our core strengths, decades of excellence and a never-ending quest for perfection. A deep and thorough introspection reveals that the brand Sobha is built on four key pillars: a legacy of craft, passion for perfection, complete control and uncompromising. It holds true in whatever we do — be they designing inspiring spaces, executing complex designs, finishing every square inch of space in a premise to perfection, hawk-eyed precision in quality control. The Sobha signature quality is a practice that has been perfected over decades.

What kind of impact will the Dh15 billion Sobha Hartland have on Mohammad Bin Rashid (MBR) City?

The Sobha Hartland project was launched in mid-2014 and after four years I can confidently say that all the products launched in the community are on track with the completion and delivery schedule. As a company Sobha has all the key competencies and in-house resources to deliver a project from start to completion, ensuring timely delivery and unmatched quality. So far we have launched Hartland Greens apartment, Hartland Estates villas and town houses and Sobha Creek Vistas. The first set of handovers will commence shortly, which will set the benchmark for quality and these ultra-luxury products are available to investors and end users in the heart of Dubai.

Sobha Hartland is the only fully sustained waterfront community on the Dubai Water Canal and located in the epicenter of Dubai. It boasts amenities like two top international schools, retail, hotels, community mall and other leisure activities all of which are very attractive to buyers. Surrounded by 2.4 million sq ft of green and open spaces and within a 3km radius to Dubai’s top attractions, our project has an edge over any other project in MBR City.

What could you say about the real estate market nowadays?

Overall market has dropped by 30 per cent but our performance has been consistent and in fact better than last year. Real estate is a cyclical business and every two to three years, the cycle changes. Dubai is an established real estate market. It has got a sustainable future for residential real estate and yes, things are moving as planned. We have already embarked on the consolidation exercise and plan to double our annual sales volume to Dh2.5 billion by mid 2020.

How would you define your legacy?

It’s now time to raise the bar even higher. Focusing on the belief that the three key elements that make a great home are great design, unmatched service and uncompromising quality, my legacy seeks to create sublime environments that would be home to the world’s most discerning.