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Wed 16 Jan 2019 10:07 AM

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Azizi Developments eyeing 'iconic' projects in Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia

Azizi Developments CEO Farhad Azizi said he personally spent much of 2018 traveling abroad to 'test' international markets

Azizi Developments eyeing 'iconic' projects in Europe, Canada, Saudi Arabia
Azizi Developments CEO Farhad Azizi

Dubai-based Azizi Developments is currently exploring opportunities in “iconic” developments in markets including Saudi Arabia, Germany, the UK and Canada, according to company CEO Farhad Azizi.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Azizi said he spent much of 2018 traveling to a number of different countries to examine potential opportunities for the company.

“I personally had to do that. You can’t assign somebody to do that on your behalf. You have to personally go,” he said.

“I was in London, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Canada. Now I am here full time,” he added.

Azizi added that the company has had internal discussions about “iconic” developments in these markets, rather than the sort of “mass developments” that the company is known for in Dubai.

Mature markets

At the moment, however, Azizi said that no projects have been finalised in any of the markets that he was exploring.

His experiences abroad, Azizi added, gave the company “a taste of how a very mature, very seasoned market behaves and reacts to new developments.”

“One of the things that is a big support in those markets is how the banking industry is a machine running the whole development. Banks are involved from day one. They are very strategic partners,” he said.

“[In the UAE] they are going down that path as well, it will take some time. Banks here have been a bit more conservative.”

The Azizi Group's Germany-based company, Main-Tür GmbH, recently attained an official developers license in Germany after a nine-month vetting process and has several projects in the pipeline. 

The chief executive said, however, Azizi Developments “hasn’t started so many projects” in Germany. 

“I was testing out the market, and it turned out to be pretty positive,” he said. “But nowhere close, in terms of returns, to Dubai. The rate of return here is relatively higher for the developer, and the clients. Every market has its pros and cons. None of them are perfect, including Germany, England and Toronto.”

Meilenstein, a UAE-headquartered company whose managing director Jawad Azizi is Farhad's brother and the son of Azizi Group chairman and founder Mirwais Azizi, also has operations in Germany. The company, which announced a foray into Dubai in October, is not part of the Azizi Group.

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