Shapoorji Pallonji set for UAE innings

Shapoorji Pallonji set for UAE innings
The Imperial Avenue in Downtown Dubai is a 45-storey residential tower consisting of 424 apartments, eight shops and five levels of parking.

dubai - Indian construction firm plans to develop 20 million square feet of housing in UAE



By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Tue 18 Oct 2016, 2:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Oct 2016, 4:16 PM

The oldest Indian construction company Shapoorji Pallonji is the latest player to enter the affordable housing segment in the UAE by announcing plans to develop 20 million square feet of residential space across major cities.

shapRayomand Dastur, director of sales and marketing, SP International Property Developers - a subsidiary of SP Group, said Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Private Ltd (SPCPL) is one of the leading real estate companies in India with a pan-India portfolio of residential and commercial developments and experience in the affordable housing sector.

"The Shapoorji Pallonji Group has forayed into the affordable housing segment with the launch of its new brand - Joyville. The company plans to build 20 million square feet of residential affordable space in the next six to seven years across all major cities in the country," Dastur told Khaleej Times during an interview.

Shapoorji Pallonji has a rich legacy of more than 150 years delivering iconic projects. Today, the group is present in over 45 countries globally, including 20 in the Middle East and Africa. With annual revenues in excess of $2 billion, Shapoorji Pallonji has worked closely with leading UAE property developers such as Emaar and Damac.
"We are hopeful to bring the affordable housing segment to Dubai real estate in the future, which is an area we are well-experienced in," Dastur said.

The Imperial Avenue
Sharing details of the company's first real estate project in Downtown Dubai, he said the Imperial Avenue is a 45-storey residential tower consisting of 424 apartments, eight shops and five levels of parking that emphasises on larger living spaces to provide residents with high-quality living.

The Imperial Avenue will also feature one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments besides extravagant four- and five-bedroom penthouses, exquisite three-bedroom villas and four- and five-bedroom villas with private pools at the podium level.

Scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2019, the residents of this luxury tower will get to enjoy a host of facilities including a family pool on the ninth floor, a rooftop infinity pool, private decks to each apartment, squash court, an exclusive, private AV room and a private function hall and designer bathrooms.

"Our current project, the Imperial Avenue, is our first project in Dubai. We have plans to launch more projects in the region in the near future," Dastur said.

"Currently, we are in the final stages of closing a deal for another development, which will be announced shortly. Our primary focus is to strengthen our presence in the residential real estate market, and we are hopeful to develop five million square feet in the next five years," he said.

To a question about the outlook for the Dubai real estate market, he said the sector has gone through a downturn that has brought maturity to the mindset of developers and investors. In addition to that, some important changes in rules and regulations have been put in place in favour of buyers.

"In a mature market, the valuations of real estate will be good, and individuals and companies will begin to invest in real estate for long-term returns and improvement of their asset values. Keeping this in mind, we believe it is the best time to enter the real estate market, considering the current market conditions and potential in the UAE."

Expanding Gulf presence
Dastur said Shapoorji Pallonji International Property Developers has a long presence in the region, first entering the Gulf in the 1970s through their contracting arm and working on some of the region's most iconic landmarks. Shapoorji Pallonji has built trust with customers in the Middle East through its 150-year-old legacy entering the engineering business for the first time in Oman in 1971 and expanding to Dubai in 1975.

"Although our first real estate project outside India will be constructed in Dubai, we have plans to launch projects in other Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the future," he said.

About the outlook for Indian real estate in the wake of recent reforms in the industry, Dastur was quick to cite a report indicating India's real estate sector is expected to create 75 million jobs by 2030. Referring to another report jointly released by Naredco and KPMG, he said the real estate and construction sector in India is expected to be the third largest globally by 2030, contributing over 15 per cent to India's GDP.

Technology and innovation
Today, technology and innovation go hand in hand with real estate. From sustainability to delivering quality projects at reduced costs, Dastur said developers are constantly seeking new technologies to support their construction activities.

"Building Information Modelling [BIM], particularly 6D BIM, is widely used in the construction industry to increase efficiency and design quality while also focusing on waste reduction, environmental performance and cost management," he said.

Referring to a recent study, he said the international BIM market is expected to reach $11.7 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 21.6 per cent from 2016 to 2022, which is gathering momentum in the Middle East.

"At Shapoorji Pallonji, we value technology and innovation, and are constantly looking to better our offering by adopting new technologies that will not compromise on quality, but also remain friendly to the environment and save time and costs. This is why we have introduced 6D BIM, a transformational technology, for the first time in the MEA in our Imperial Avenue project."

Regarding new technology features in the company's real estate projects, he said: "Aside from 6D BIM, we are also looking to transform the real estate sector with distinct features such as solar panels, greywater treatment plants and high-speed elevators that have been introduced in our flagship project, Imperial Avenue."

"We also plan to introduce electric charger for cars in the future," he added.

Today, he said people are more sensitive towards the environment and are looking for sustainable solutions that do not harm their surroundings. Moreover, customers expect maximum space at lower maintenance costs, which can be achieved through latest technologies such as 6D BIM and solar panels.

"The technologies we have introduced have the potential to reduce service costs by approximately 15 per cent to 18 per cent," he said.

To a question on how advanced technologies will put an additional burden on developers' budgets, he said: "We have considered four to five per cent of the total cost as a buffer for additional burden on the budget."

- muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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