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Dubai has stayed strong amid all the global or regional adversities and geopolitical challenges, thriving on new opportunities that arise, says PNC Menon, chairman of Sobha Group.
The real estate mogul, sharing the story of Sobha Realty's growth in the UAE, and his journey in the region, told Khaleej Times that his group’s success as a sought-after property brand is a testament to the region's pragmatic vision and immense growth potential.
“The decision to establish my company in Dubai was influenced by the dynamic environment, visionary leadership, and the exciting opportunity to contribute to the burgeoning real estate sector in the Emirates,” said Menon, who is marking his 75th birthday and 47 years of business in the region, including the initial 27 years in Oman.
On the outlook of the real estate sector and how Sobha Realty has positioned itself in this dynamic market, Menon said the phenomenal growth of the sector could be attributed to factors like economic stability, infrastructure development, and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. “Sobha Realty has positioned itself by consistently delivering on its promises, creating iconic developments that resonate with the aspirations of our diverse clientele. To sum up, the outlook for the realty sector is very promising. What Dubai did in the last three years is unimaginable. Because they wanted more people to come and live in Dubai.”
“If we look at the whole world today, there are only two places that are safe to stay. First is Dubai, and second is Singapore. The crime rates are really low in these places and above all, the women are very safe here. I think the kind of assurance that’s been given by the leaders themselves to make this probably one of the best places on earth in terms of safety is remarkable,” said Menon.
The luxury segment of Dubai’s real estate market has made spectacular progress in attracting a lot of millionaires, centi-millionaires, and billionaires. Albeit known for its prominence in the luxury segment, Menon said Sobha’s projects can be classified as mid to high-range. “But we are not in the low segment as we produce everything of very high quality. Over the years, we have enhanced our capabilities to attain the current reputation we have. I embarked on my journey in this industry at the age of 21, and now I have acquired 54 years of experience in this sector. Still, I’m learning new things every day. We started our business in India and later on we expanded to Oman. The exceptional progress we made is especially due to our uncompromising attitude. We have achieved several milestones in these years, one of our major achievements is that our backward integration approach is a case study in Harvard University.”
“Perhaps, we are the only company in the whole world that follows a backward integration approach in the design, construction, and manufacturing stages of a project. We have got 250 architects and around 84 interior designers to support us. We currently have a workforce of about 14,000, which will reach 24,000 by next year,” said Menon.
Looking back at his early days in the real estate sector and the challenges he had faced, Menon said those experiences instilled resilience and a customer-centric approach in his group’s DNA while shaping its commitment to quality, transparency, and ethical business practices.
On his group’s commitment to quality and innovation, Menon said it is exemplified in projects like Sobha Hartland, a waterfront community that blends luxury with nature. Innovations like an in-house precast factory showcase the group's dedication to pushing boundaries and delivering projects of unparalleled quality.
“Staying ahead involves a relentless pursuit of innovation. Sobha Realty embraces cutting-edge technologies, sustainable practices, and customer-centric design to anticipate and meet evolving preferences. Our adaptability ensures we remain a trendsetter in the industry,” Menon said.
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