By Thomas Shambler
Ibrahim Al Soqabi: Group CEO Al Mazaya Holding
Al Mazaya has a large portfolio. Which development stands out the most?
Al Mazaya has been involved in countless projects over various sectors, and each project has its own qualities that make it unique. If I had to pick one, however, it would be the recent project in Ritim. It's been our most successful development – a US$400 million collaborative project set on almost 40,000 square metres of land on the Asian side of Istanbul. It took us a little over three years to develop the land, which in itself is a huge success.
Where's the company going in the future?
We have our sights set on expanding globally into new markets like the US and Europe. Currently, we are studying these markets closely. But we are also continuing development in this region. We have projects worth more than US$200 million all beginning construction in the 3rd quarter of 2016.
What does it take to run a large company like Al Mazaya?
It takes a combination of a few factors – a clear vision, determined mission, a supportive board, a strong team and analysts and researchers with strong market knowledge. Property development is not an easy field to break into. Making sure that early profits gained are re-invested into future projects is vital; and it should never be used to declare personal gains. Getting to know your investors and building a mutually beneficial relationship with them is also a crucial element.
Doesn't that take up a lot of time?
If you find yourself dedicating 'too much time' to work, you're probably on the right track. Seeing a project through to completion takes conscientiousness and - sometimes – round-the-clock work.
What would you say to aspiring executives in property development?
I would tell them to stay up to date with regional and global forces, as changes in the industry occur every second. To be successful, you need to surround yourself with people who have the same goal as you. Stay on top of both these things, and you will progress nicely in your career.