Sorouh: More emphasis needed on customers

Slowdown puts focus on quality, standards and transparency, says real estate official.
Sorouh: More emphasis needed on customers
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 18 Nov 2008 07:45 AM

Quality, standards and transparency have been highlighted as key areas for improvement for the real estate sector in the UAE as the global financial crisis continues to bite.

Gurjit Singh, chief property development officer at Abu Dhabi-based Sorouh Real Estate said the economic slowdown offers positive opportunities for developers to press ahead with implementing improvements, news agency WAM reported.

In a speech to the Working Buildings Middle East conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Singh added: "Real estate has a long term investment horizon and with the current global re-pricing of risks, developers are restructuring their approach and placing stronger emphasis on the delivery aspects to its customers.

"In Abu Dhabi, we are particularly fortunate to have some strong fundamentals underpinning the real estate sector."

The fundamentals, he said, included continued population growth and the planned development strategy based on the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan.

Singh said developers should focus their efforts in two areas: on coupling both existing customers and potential end user occupiers with liquidity.

He said: "This is a good time for developers to press ahead with projects which will bring new residential units to the market over the next two to three years for end user occupiers. There is clear demand for them in spite of the global situation.

"And well capitalised developers which have adequate funding in place, should continue invest in core infrastructure to ensure this is in place in the medium and long term to take advantage of the next real estate cycle."

Singh said Sorouh was pressing ahead on all its projects despite the global financial situation.

The company's share price, like many in the real estate industry in the UAE, has suffered during 2008 and is currently down 65 percent in the year to date.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.