Dar Al Arkan’s global unit plans to launch $2.5bn worth of projects to support expansion

Exclusive: London-listed Dar Global plans new projects with the Trump Organisation as well as other partners, its chief executive says

Dar Global is teaming up with the Trump Organisation to develop a resort that will feature villas, a hotel and a golf course in Muscat. Photo: Dar Al Arkan
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Dar Global, the global unit of Saudi Arabia’s biggest developer Dar Al Arkan, aims to expand globally with a pipeline of close to $2.5 billion worth of projects planned in the next two to three years.

The company, which currently has $5 billion worth of projects under development in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Spain, Bosnia and the UK, is planning new projects with the Trump Organisation as well as other partners as part of its growth strategy, Ziad El Chaar, chief executive of Dar Global, told The National in an interview.

The new projects will be designed for “the international market, for the international buyers, projects that we can take to our big database of international buyers, to our 4,000 brokers across the globe. They will be mainly in the form of second homes or vacation homes", he said.

It mainly plans to launch new projects in markets where it is currently present, with future expansion planned in Morocco, Greece and Maldives.

Dar Global was established in 2017 to manage the Saudi developer's international assets. Last month, it raised $72 million from its listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, which focuses on developing premium properties, such as luxury second homes and holiday homes, currently has 11 projects in six countries.

The new projects with be funded through a mix of debt, equity and proceeds from off-plan sales, Mr El Chaar said.

"The first form of funding is the equity of the company. Although we are a company which is young, we are also supported by our mother company Dar Al Arkan in Saudi for any potential funding needs.

"The second thing is we rely on our relationships with local and international banks. And the third form of funding is usually collection for customers."

It also aims to raise money through the issuance of a bond or sukuk.

Rising interest rates to curb inflation globally have not affected sales so far but funding is becoming more expensive, he said.

"You need to plan properly [for] the selection of your projects, as funding is twice as expensive as it was last year."

The company has teamed up with the Trump Organisation to develop a $4 billion complex that will include residential villas, a hotel and a golf course in Muscat.

The Trump Resort will be located at Aida, a 100-metre-high hilltop development by the sea. Oman Tourism Development Company, better known as Omran, is also involved in the project.

Dar Global will continue to look for opportunities to join forces with the Trump Organisation and other globally recognised brands, Mr El Chaar said.

“Within all the partners that we have, be it Trump, be it Pagani, be it Ellie Saab or Missoni … during our expansion we always try to expand with them because they believed in us, they worked with us in the existing projects.

“So every time we expand into a new project or a new city, we always try to bring our existing partners with us. You can expect more projects with all our branding partners, including Trump.”

Last year, the company also unveiled the first branded residential project in Qatar, with interiors by Elie Saab.

It is currently building three residential projects in Dubai — Dar Al Arkan Pagani Tower near Dubai Canal, Urban Oasis by Missoni and W Residences in Downtown Dubai.

“We had very good success in the launch of these three projects [in Dubai]," Mr El Chaar said.

“The W project is sold out. The Urban Oasis with interiors by Missoni is approximately 80 per cent sold out and we are delivering that project in December. Our Pagani project, which we have launched in September, sold close to 40 per cent.”

The company is also planning to launch another project in Dubai very soon, he said.

Property transactions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi surged last year amid higher demand from buyers.

The performance of the Dubai property market last year was described as "exceptional" by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, as the value of deals reached a new high of Dh528 billion ($143.7 billion).

The value of transactions was up 76.5 per cent annually, while the number of transactions, at 122,658, rose 44.7 per cent year on year.

The fundamentals of the UAE property market remain very strong, Mr El Chaar said.

“People are moving to the UAE because they are convinced of the viability of the area and the viability of the country and the security and the safety and the connectivity. People who are buying these days are not the same speculators that we used to see in 2009. These are people coming and buying and many of them are end users.

“Many projects that were opened in Abu Dhabi on the tourism side ... they are also adding to the attractiveness of Dubai and now you can see people combining these two destinations in one.”

Updated: March 23, 2023, 3:41 AM