|15 January, 2020

Dubai's Azizi Developments eyes Saudi, UK markets; bets big on business diversification - CEO

The two preferred choices of Saudi nationals, according to the developer, are Riviera and Mina

Azizi Developments announces first project in Dubai Sports City and three buildings at Meydan Avenue Image used for illustrative purposes

Azizi Developments announces first project in Dubai Sports City and three buildings at Meydan Avenue Image used for illustrative purposes

Azizi Developments/Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya

Azizi Developments, one of the leading private developers in the UAE, is training its sights on Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom for further expansion as well as looking into diversifying its business into facility management and brokerage services, CEO Farhad Azizi told Zawya in an interview. 

However, Azizi noted that the company doesn’t yet have a pipeline of projects in these countries: “While we are also researching opportunities for projects in these markets (other emirates, neighbouring high-growth markets such as Saudi, and more mature markets such as London), with no specific projects in the pipeline yet, we are looking into launching presences and sales activities in other emirates, the KSA, London and Nigeria.” 

Azizi Developments, which has a BB- rating with a stable outlook by Fitch, expects its geographical expansion based on new projects or sales offices to complement this year’s drive for better profits.

“These could be either offices or other sales activities, depending on the market, local laws and regulations, and other considerations,” Azizi explained. “Launching presences in these markets allows us to better establish our brand and to reach those seeking properties in a more convenient and efficient manner. It allows us to create bigger profit centres in the markets that are showing high and increasing demand.”

The developer, whose properties are mostly in MBR City, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Healthcare City, Al Furjan, Studio City, Sports City and Downtown Jebel Ali, has stated that it currently has 54 ongoing projects that are to be delivered between 2020 and 2023 and over 100 projects in planning that are projected to be delivered between 2023 and 2025.

Last year, the developer rolled out a fly-in programme aimed at attracting international investors, offering them customised five-star travel packages that comprise flights, all-inclusive hotel stays, and transportation across the emirate. Azizi is betting big on investors from Saudi Arabia and said that Saudi nationals are known to be knowledgeable and shrewd investors.

“Location, infrastructure, amenities and, most importantly, the resulting yields and value appreciation are the determining factors in their purchase decision-making processes,” he said, adding, “We are seeing a strong demand from both investors and end-users, with Saudi nationals forming our second biggest customer demographic after Emiratis.”

The two preferred choices of Saudi nationals, according to the developer, are Riviera, a 71-building, French Mediterranean–inspired flagship master-planned waterfront community project in Mohammed bin Rashid City, and Mina, a luxury development on the east crescent of Palm Jumeirah.

Business diversification is key for Azizi Developments in 2020. Leveraging its massive portfolio in Dubai, landbanks as well as strategic partnerships with key master developers, Azizi is looking into expanding vertically into hospitality, leasing, facility management, brokerage services.

“Some of the master plans around the lands we own also allow us to look at retail, commercial and hospitality facilities. We have not yet decided whether or not these will be separate brands or legal entities. We will have more announcements on this in due course,” Azizi said.

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

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© ZAWYA 2020