Sorouh MD warns developers to deliver on promises

Abu Dhabi's largest listed developer fears rogue firms undermining confidence.
Sorouh MD warns developers to deliver on promises
By Rob Corder
Fri 16 May 2008 03:35 PM

The managing director of Abu Dhabi's largest publicly listed real estate company has rounded on rogue developers that risk undermining confidence in the city's property market.

Sorouh Real Estate's Abubaker Al Khouri said that if customers' expectations of quality are not met, it will have negative impacts on the market as a whole.

"We are still in a relatively immature market, in the sense that many purchasers are yet to actually see what their money has bought. Most 'homeowners' in the UAE actually only own a promise. So what they are buying is actually the reputation of the firm," said Al Khouri at this week's Cityscape exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

"There are real estate companies in the UAE that have yet to deliver a single property," he continued.

"The ones that deliver high quality products will prosper; those that don't will damage not only themselves, but the market as a whole."

Developers must deliver exactly what they have promised when they sell off-plan, says Al Khouri or confidence could evaporate. "Consumers need to trust the development, the developer and the overall market," he said.

He identified the need for high quality management as critical to ensure confidence remains high, and revealed that it is becoming harder and harder to hire the right people.

"What makes a company qualified is professional management and resources, which is increasingly difficult to find at a high calibre, despite the generous packages offered, due to competition in the market and the global real estate boom," he said.

"There has been tremendous growth in the number of developers and that means tremendous growth in the number of professionals needed to make these businesses flourish.

"But it is not just today we should be worrying about, it is the future too. That is why developers should invest in the very best calibre of professionals, at every level of the business, including strong investment in training and development of the next generation of managers."

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