“The best part of this market upturn is that our inventory levels keep dropping – for a developer, can there be anything better than that?” said PNC Menon, Founder and Chairman of Sobha Realty Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai-based Sobha Realty will by mid-2022 launch a 200-acre development in MBR City, right next to its Sobha Hartland, which too comes up to a just as impressive 183 acres. The ‘Hartland Sanctuary’ will cost $4 billion plus to build.

“We will finish using up all of the Hartland area for our development in the next four years,” said P.N.C. Menon, founder and Chairman of Sobha Realty. “That requires us to be well prepared with another sizeable launch – Hartland Sanctuary - well before that – the 200 acres should keep us busy for 10 years.”

There are other pressing reasons why Sobha wants to press ahead with a project of that scale. The developer will close 2021 with booked sales of $900 million and hopes to clear $1 billion next year. This is primarily from its Hartland inventory and also projects on Shaikh Zayed Road.

When the current upturn showed up late last year, Sobha was one of the handful of developers – Emaar, Damac, Majid Al Futtaim Properties and Nakheel, etc. - that had sizeable ready properties, especially of in-demand villas and townhouses.

“By July next, we will be ready with the designs, the approvals and everything needed for the new project – and we will then launch offplan as well,” said Menon. This too could serve the developer, going by current trends, where offplan sales are zooming up the charts and could soon overtake sales of ready homes once again after a 12-month gap.

Not a delay

Menon dismissed suggestions that the new project’s sales could have been done even now, because of the sheer investor appetite that’s building up for villa/townhouses in MBR (Mohammed Bin Rashid) City and elsewhere.

“This Dubai recovery has got strong legs, and will continue well into 2022 and beyond,” the Chairman added. “We maintain a consistent pricing policy (irrespective of market movements) and we are confident that we can deliver something to match the Hartland.”

Stock - Sobha
The Sobha Hartland has proved to be one of the standout performers in the rapid recovery Dubai’s property market has seen since Q4-2020.

Hartland and the Emaar backed Dubai Hills Estate have been the two prominent relatively newer residential destinations that caught buyer attention from late 2020. The Palm continues to score major wins, while Nakheel’s Nad Al Sheba community too saw steady transaction volumes.

In the coming days, the Jebel Ali Village from Nakheel could be another strong contender, especially in the luxury villa space.

Not buying – more land

Sobha will not, however, buy more land. “We have enough to take care of our needs for the next 10 years,” said Menon. “That’s more than enough for now.”

A skyscraper too

The developer is also taking a project detour – by launching a 240-metre high, 60-storey super-luxury mixed-use tower on Shaikh Zayed Road. Billed as ‘The S’, the project will, when completed, house Sobha’s corporate headquarters. Offices take up much of the space. The tower – with an overall sales value of Dh1 billion plus - will likely see a 2024 completion date.

“The best part of this market upturn is that our inventory levels keep dropping – for a developer, can there be anything better than that?”

The Sobha Realty Chairman P.N.C. Menon has ruled out an IPO for the Dubai-headquartered developer. “The idea was suggested, but the board has reached the decision that we should remain private,” he added.