Muhammad Binghatti received three awards at this year’s Gulf Real Estate Awards Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

It’s impossible to miss a Binghatti building when walking past one. Muhammad BinGhatti, CEO and head of architecture at Binghatti Holding, tells Property Weekly how art has influenced his designs and the demand for reasonably priced high-quality products in the market.

Does your interest in art help you in your business?

Yes it has shaped the way we do our business. The idea has been to display art in everything we do. We want to create a brand in real estate very similar to the strategy used by luxury fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, or those like Lamborghini and Ferrari or Rolex. In such cases, you recognise the brand without even seeing the logo. That’s exactly what we wanted to do with property.

You’re a design-led developer. How do you balance that with sustainability?

A lot of the people who look at our buildings ask why the balconies look that way. It’s because we study the solar impact on our buildings. The balconies provide passive shading for residents, which allows us to create more comfortable interiors. The paint we use has a high reflective solar index, which again helps with the sustainability of the building. Also, the geometry of the building is commensurate with the direction of the sun and the region’s climate.

What kind of units are in demand now?

Customers are looking at the best ticket size, which makes them prioritise price points rather than things like location. Smaller unit types such as studios and one-bedroom apartments are moving faster than larger unit types.

Are you still committed to the mid-market segment?

Yes we are still committed to this segment. When we say mid-market, we mean property that’s value for money. Affordability is subjective. In Business Bay, the average price is between Dh1,500 and Dh1,600 per square foot and we’re priced at around Dh1,350 on average. Therefore, we’re providing affordability relative to the area.

What are your growth plans?

We’re expanding in mid-range areas. We’ve acquired a land bank of around four million sq ft in the same areas where we’re building, including Al Jaddaf, where we plan to develop around 1,000 apartments, a total GFA of one million sq ft.

How do you integrate green building standards in your developments?

We have a full in-house sustainability and green building department consisting of eight members. Their sole job is to ensure we are integrating green building standards and going above what’s required from authorities. We’ve won awards for this and received LEED certification in many of our developments.