Egypt - Saudi Egyptian Developers (SED) aims to complete its ongoing projects this year, bearing in mind the current economic challenges, especially the US dollar appreciation against the Egyptian pound and high construction costs, Mohamed El-Taher, CEO of the Saudi Egyptian Developers, has said.

El-Taher told Daily News Egypt that the current year carries many challenges to all economic sectors, however, the real estate cycle is long, flexible, and capable of absorbing crises.

He noted that the company achieved contractual sales worth EGP 12bn during the past year, and aims to increase its sales by 15% during the current year.

He added that the company is currently working on Central New Cairo, its latest project in the real estate market. The company intends to begin construction work during the second quarter of the year.

Central New Cairo is a commercial, administrative and entertainment project and is being built on 21 feddan, with a total investment of EGP 14bn.

El-Taher disclosed that the company aims to direct EGP 2.2bn in investments in construction works of its projects in the current year, in addition to accelerating the construction rates of existing projects.

He further added that the construction of the Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi has been completed and all services have been delivered, and it is scheduled to be opened and operated effectively after the month of Ramadan, pointing out that the hotel’s total investments amount to approximately EGP 3.7bn.

The hotel includes 256 rooms and 190 apartments, and it is part of the Nile Pearl project, and includes two towers with direct views of the Nile Corniche. The first tower is serviced-apartments and the other is a hotel, and it is managed by Hilton.

Regarding the company’s delivery plan during the current year, he explained that the Saudi Egyptian Developers aims to deliver its unit, within its projects in Damietta, Nile Tower, and Jayd in Fifth Settlement, New Cairo.

El-Taher highlighted the company’s interest in foreign markets, especially the Gulf market, clarified that the Gulf market, especially Saudi Arabia and Riyadh, is a fertile market for Egyptian properties, and added that the company is studying participation in a number of foreign exhibitions during the coming period.

The company is studying new investment opportunities during the current period in some specific cities namely North Coast and Alexandria, as well as east and west Cairo. Furthermore, the coming project will be a residential tourist resort on an area ranging from approximately 70 to 150 feddans, and it will be announced soon, he said.

The Saudi Egyptian Developers is currently developing seven projects with a total investment of approximately EGP 27bn, distributed over five residential projects, namely Jayd Compound in New Cairo, Damietta SECON Resort, Bleu Vert project in the New Administrative Capital, Dorra and Zahra projects in Assiut Governorate, in addition to Nile Pearl Towers in Maadi and a commercial project, Central.

He assumed that dollar appreciation directly affected Egypt’s real estate sector in terms of increasing construction cost, building materials price hikes, as well as rising interest rate of lending from banks, commenting that it contributed to spike construction cost by approximately 15%.

He commented that the company does not intend to connect its unit prices with dollar value, went on saying, “The company increases prices of its units gradually throughout the year so that the market can absorb this increase. I believe that the balance in construction rates of projects and sale rates provide necessary cash to complete the development of existing projects.”

The company’s CEO stated that the devaluation of the Egyptian pound is a good opportunity for real estate companies to increase their foreign sales, and to attract a larger percentage of foreign clients and Egyptians working abroad, pointing out that 15% of property companies’ total sales to foreigners.

Furthermore, the Cabinet’s decision to amend the conditions and financial procedures for granting Egyptian nationality to foreign investors is an important step that will contribute to increasing sales of real estate companies abroad, attracting more hard currency, as well as activating real estate export, he noted.

The amendments to the law included the possibility of granting Egyptian nationality in exchange for purchasing property owned by the state or other public legal persons, for an amount of no less than $300,000 transferred from abroad in accordance with rules in force in the Central Bank of Egypt. The Prime Minister, based on the proposal of the Minister of Housing, and in coordination with the authorities with jurisdiction, issued a decision specifying the buildings and lands available for sale.

He disclosed that marketing hospitality properties is more difficult than marketing other real estate products such as residential, commercial and administrative buildings; accordingly, real estate development companies must have experience in renting them, in addition to having a brand with experience in management after operation.

El-Taher stressed the importance of having a management company affiliated with the company to manage its projects, explaining that the Saudi Egyptian Developers has three companies, one for asset management, another for hotel management, and another for marketing and sales management.

The existence of a management company affiliated to the company is an important step. It acquires the character and direction of parent company, and is closer in dealing with customers, and to ensure the quality of service provided to customer and maintain the level of the company’s brand, he said, adding that it is almost the same cost to customer in case of contracting with a specialised management company.

The government move to New Administrative Capital will cause a boom in sales of real estate companies during the coming period, especially with the start of actual operation and the transfer of ministries, El-Taher concluded, expecting that sales rates will double by official moving to the city.

Last month, Daily News Egypt honoured Mohamed El-Taher, CEO of Saudi Egyptian Developers as the “Best diversified 50 landmark projects developed within 50 years” for the company’s efforts in establishing and developing integrated service communities that ensure unprecedented lifestyles following international standards that meet clients’ needs and expectations.

With around 50 years of expertise, Saudi Egyptian Developers has successfully positioned itself among the most esteemed real estate developers.

Saudi Egyptian Developers is one of the leading real estate development companies in Egypt equally owned by the Saudi and Egyptian governments and has developed 50 real estate landmark projects between commercial, touristic, residential compounds, villas, luxury housing and towers all over Egypt.

The company has a proven history of accomplishments; it delivered around 24K housing units, inhabited by more than 114K individuals and is currently working on establishing nine new projects in Egypt.

The SED has consistently sought to provide top-notch services to its customers, while maintaining its core values of delivering quality, building trust, and promoting customer-oriented and sustainable growth. Moreover, the SED has ‌created many projects in different cities such as Greater Cairo, Alexandria, North Coast, New Capital City, Maadi, Mansoura, Damietta, Port Said, Assuit, Matrouh, and New Cairo.

The inaugural Daily News Egypt annual summit and DNE Awards were held on 15 March and they were held under the auspices of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Board (ETPB).

The summit, titled “Leadership in Times of Crisis”, addressed the economic reform process in Egypt, and it shed light on the deals, ideas, and visions that have made a difference in all fields. Additionally, DNE Awards honoured the most influential people and firms in Egypt during 2022/23.

The DNE event provided a platform to listen to the leaders who challenged crises and overcame several obstacles and review investment opportunities in Egypt.

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