Rise of a lifestyle development giant shaping global destinations

Zed, Egypt. ORA Properties currently operates in Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Pakistan, and Grenada, offering mixed-use developments. Supplied Photo

Global developer ORA has come an impressively long way in a very short space of time.

And the Egyptian company is about to make a huge impact in the UAE with one of the largest construction projects in the country.

ORA was established in 2016 by Engineer Naguib Sawiris, chairman and chief executive, with a vision to seek out fresh opportunities in under-developed locations, and create unique lifestyle destinations.

That outlook has since been realised with impressive results with the company making an indelible impact around the world over the past seven years, creating landmark projects in countries including Cyprus, Pakistan, Grenada, as well as Egypt and Greece.

The development of Ayia Napa Marina, situated on the popular southeastern coast of Cyprus, began a journey that has extended to some diverse worldwide locations.

Under the visionary leadership of the Egyptian businessman, the company has evolved to deliver luxury lifestyles through its ORA Hospitality and ORA Properties verticals.

The group has dramatically reshaped about 8.3 million square metres of land as flagship new addresses.

ORA’s story has been one of humble beginnings and swift growth to create bold, world class projects which have seen the firm recognised as a leading name in the design and execution of luxury lifestyle destinations in unique locations.

This rapid, epic rise has been encapsulated across a series of five engaging and aspirational documentaries, under the collective title A Journey Through Time.

Episode One: Past, Present, Future: Reimagined sets the tone by delving into the beginnings of a company created out of Engineer Sawiris’ professional restlessness.

Having sold his previous company, Orascom Telecom, in 2011, he sought to extend his passion for building his own villas and apartments, inspired by his extensive travels as a successful businessman.

The inspirational documentaries - the remainder titled Building A Timeless Legacy, A Gateway To Timeless Moments, Always Moving Forward, and A Team Ahead Of Its Time - explore not only the founder’s motivation but also his inspiration, and his management team’s talent for galvanising some of ORA’s most strategic success stories.

With Engineer Sawiris’ 360-degree approach - often right down to finer points such as artwork and cutlery - at the heart of ORA’s undaunted mission, the company says it has prospered through “world-class expertise, exceptional attention to detail and visionary ideas” which have informed every landmark project it has, and is, working on.

“If you do something, you either do it perfectly or you don’t touch it,” says Engineer Sawiris.

Naguib Sawiris, chairman and chief executive of ORA. Supplied Photo

ORA says it is committed to bringing happiness one step closer to communities by rethinking the way we live with exquisitely curated developments that aim to fulfill clients’ highest expectations.

The company seeks to pursue the perfect balance between the environment and human needs, so it can deliver meaningful impact for society.

ORA Properties currently operates in Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Pakistan, and Grenada, offering mixed-use developments such as ZED, Pyramid Hills, Solana, Ayia Napa Marina, Eighteen, and Silversands.

ORA Hospitality, meanwhile, operates in Greece and the Caribbean island of Grenada offering four-star and five-star hotels, named Yi Hotel and Silversands Resort, with future expansion plans for Greece, Egypt, Pakistan, and different parts of Africa, and in the UAE. In total, the segment has a total of 200 hospitality rooms.

ORA chief financial officer Mohamed Sheta sums up the successful journey so far.

“ORA started with $16 million of investment,” he says. “We now have total assets under management in our consolidated balance sheet of $2.5 billion in seven years.”

With several development milestones reaching fruition in 2023, this is proving to be a year of delivery for ORA that will further define its international reputation going forward.

ORA Properties currently operates in Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Pakistan, and Grenada, offering mixed-use developments. Supplied Photo

These projects include Egypt’s ZED Towers in Sheikh Zayed, phase one of the plush Eighteen residential community in Islamabad, Pakistan, and the iconic Ayia Napa Marina Towers, in Cyprus, part of a state of the art Marina and Commercial Village already drawing visitors to 20 new F&B outlets in this famous Cyprus setting.

The fourth quarter will witness the spectacular Beach House resort open in Grenada, complementing ORA’s existing Silversands Resort Grenada, at Grand Anse. The latter has been enticing guests with its minimalistic yet luxurious villas and accommodation options since going fully operational in 2019.

One of ORA’s largest projects yet, however, is set to be realised with the group’s entrance into the UAE market.

In partnership with Q Holding, ORA will develop a smart and sustainable city in Ghantoot, on the Abu Dhabi border with Dubai.

The Ayia Napa marina, Cyprus. ORA Properties currently operates in Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Pakistan, and Grenada, offering mixed-use developments. Supplied Photo

As well as being the company’s largest development, and the first footprint in the UAE region, it represents the largest real estate development in the history of the UAE’s private sector.

ORA envisions an up-scale, sustainable, and comprehensive “city of the future” with a total area of 20,000,000 sqm - almost the size of Beirut.

The mega-project will target both residents and tourists seeking a luxurious live-work-play community.

ORA is the only developer possessing such a scale of land in the UAE private sector; located at a unique and central location, on a sandy stretch of beach between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The company sees the waterfront development as providing an opportunity to create a destination that bridges both key UAE cities.

Updated: September 08, 2023, 10:13 AM