Azizi Developments bullish on the property market as it eyes expansion

The Dubai developer plans to start projects in Saudi Arabia, North America and Europe as well as other emirates in the UAE

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 25 SEPTEMBER 2019. Opening day of the 2019 Cityscape Exhibition. Farhad Azizi, CEO of Azizi developments. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Fareed Rahman. Section: Business.
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Dubai property developer Azizi is bullish on the property market and expects it to rebound next year on the back of Expo 2020 as the company looks to expand, its chief executive said.

Farhad Azizi, chief executive of Azizi, told The National the company, which has 70 active projects in Dubai in various stages of construction with plans to launch new developments in the next few years, has seen its annual revenue and profits grow in double-digit numbers since 2013.

We grew very fast from 2013 till now. So year-on-year, we are growing pretty big, one year we grew 100 per cent.

“The market will recover in 2020 and already there are growing signs of it,” Mr Azizi said. “About 25 million visitors are expected to come to Dubai and of those 15 million will be new people. When they see this place (Dubai), they want to invest and buy homes here. The event will have a positive effect on the property market.”

However, Mr Azizi is keeping an eye on oil prices and US-China trade tensions as well as an appreciating US dollar, which can influence demand.

“There are lots of things happening, probably geopolitics, trade wars [are] not healthy and it is a worry for a city like Dubai with a huge population of expatriates," he said. "The dollar has been strengthening against the rouble, pound and against the euro and oil prices too have been low.”

The UAE property market slowed after the 2014 drop in oil prices, with tenants and buyers seeking more affordable options. However, some analysts are predicting a market recovery this year on the back of government initiatives such as a Dh50bn three-year economic stimulus package and a new long-term visa system, offering residency of up to 10 years to specialists in technical fields and new real estate laws to protect investors.

Mr Azizi said the developer has Dh45 billion of projects under way, with many units delivered this year. It has also been financing projects through equity, proceeds from sales and bank loans.

“We grew very fast from 2013 till now. So year-on-year, we are growing pretty big, one year we grew 100 per cent," said Mr Azizi. "Revenues and profits have been increasing in double digits year-on-year. Sometimes, we grew in triple digits also.”

The company is looking to expand to other emirates in the UAE as well as grow internationally in Saudi Arabia, North America and Europe with plans to start projects in 2021, Mr Azizi added.

Dubai recorded Dh106bn worth of real estate transactions in the first five months of 2019, up 12 per cent compared to the same period last year, Dubai Land Department (DLD) said in a report earlier this month.

The first five months also saw the launch of 48 new real estate projects, which are expected to add 8,000 new residential units with a total area exceeding 730,000 square metres.