By Andy Sambidge
Al Barari chief says looking to launch top-notch villas in kingdom.
The developer behind a luxury villa project in Dubai where a home can set up back as much as $27m is in talks to build a similar development in Saudi Arabia, it was reported on Monday.
Al Barari, which is building 287 villas in Dubailand costing from AED28m to AED100m, is aiming to launch a residential venture in Jeddah, chairman Zaal Mohammed Zaal said.
“We are in negotiations with a group of developers in Saudi Arabia. We will invest our own money. Unless I have a majority shareholding in a project, I don’t do it,” he said in comments published by UAE daily The National.
He told the paper that despite steep drops in prices and a rash of buyers defaulting on their purchases, the Dubailand project had held up relatively well.
“We have zero debt and our buyers are staying with Al Barari. A lot of projects were shelved, but people still want something with quality,” he added.
About 20 percent of the villas remain unsold but a time when many developers are scaling back, Zaal said he wanted to start new projects.
Deutsche Bank estimated recently that Saudi Arabia will have a shortfall of 300,000 homes by the end of 2015.
Zaal said he was also looking the Western Region Municipality of Abu Dhabi for a “very private, exclusive resort” accessible only by an air strip.