By Lubna Hamdan
Leading developer says looking to expand outside the GCC
Damac Properties has said it will focus on projects outside the UAE to gain market share, according to its senior spokesperson Niall McLoughlin.
Speaking to Arabian Business, McLoughlin, senior vice president, marketing and corporate communications at Damac, said the company is looking to expand outside the borders of the UAE and the GCC, with potential locations including Toronto, Montenegro, Croatia and Malta.
“We’re as big as we can get in the UAE. To get market share, we actually need to move overseas. We need to move to new markets and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.
In July this year, Damac chairman Hussain Sajwani said he is “keeping an eye” on Malta for future projects thanks to investment benefits such as favourable tax incentives for foreign investors.
So far, the company has just one project outside the region, the London Icon One residential and commercial tower in London, where McLoughlin said the firm is “actively looking for more projects.”
“In relation to London, as a global developer, you need to be in the biggest city in the world for real estate. We’ve been looking for a long, long time and it was just the question of where we could find the place that ticked all the boxes. And London certainly did that for us,” he said.
Construction on the London project has already begun and is set for completion by 2020.
In the GCC, Damac is developing a $1 billion master development project in Oman, the Port Sultan Qaboos, in collaboration with the government’s investment arm. It will include hotels, residences, dining, retail and leisure offerings.
“Oman is a very exciting project for us with the Omani government. It’s close to home. It’s within the GCC where we have a big footprint and where we know our customer base. It was just a natural road progression. We’re already in Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah and Riyadh. We’re already in Amman, Jordan. We’re already in the UAE. So it was a natural progression for Damac,” McLoughlin said.
Since January 2017, the luxury real estate developer revealed it awarded over 370 contracts worth $953 million (AED3.5bn) for construction, supplier and consultancy services across 20 of its projects.