Lugano in Switzerland is known for its share of picturesque locations. Talal Al Gaddah of MAG wants his new project to fit just right in. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The Dubai developer MAG is taking a ticket to build luxury residential in Switzerland – its first move into Europe.

The project, set to be announced shortly, will see MAG recreate some of the uber-luxury focus it has been giving to its Dubai launches of late, through the ‘Keturah’ branding. The Swiss venture will be located in the Lugano district, famed for its share of eye-catching nature spots such as the Lake Lugano, the Olive Grove Trail and Monte San Salvatore mountain range.

All of which is some distance removed from MAG’s strengths building upscale homes in Dubai, which include Dh200 million mansions near the Creek. 

But Talal Al Gaddah, Senior Executive Vice-Chairman of MAG, is supremely confident about expanding the company’s development footprint to Switzerland, itself one of the costliest places to build and sell in the world.

“What works creating and building luxury homes in Dubai can be taken to other markets – selectively,” said Al Gaddah. “MAG has the proof of concept of what we can create in Lugano, which will be a niche residential community. There will also be a hotel, hotel apartments and retail."

“Yes, we will take the ‘Keturah’ branding that we developed in Dubai for the new Swiss project, which we are ready to launch soon. I think the time is right for MAG to launch overseas.”

Talal Al Gaddah of MAG reckons that the formula behind building luxury homes - whether in Dubai or overseas - has its common meeting points. He's putting that to the test with upcoming launch in Switzerland. Image Credit: Supplied

Venturing overseas

Some of the biggest developers in the UAE have been striking out abroad, whether that’s Damac and its Chairman Hussain Sajwani – in London, the US and elsewhere - or Aldar, through its joint ownership in the Egyptian master-developer Sodic. Of course, Emaar already owns a constellation of overseas projects.

Helping their cause is the fact that global investors have come to know about these companies and their track record, with many of them buying into their UAE projects through the years. “So, if a UAE developer says they are building a project overseas, there is already a buy-in of interest,” said a market analyst.

MAG and Keturah

MAG caught the luxury investor spotlight through its Ritz-Carlton Residences, where the top end homes had those Dh200 million tags. The developer went heavy on the wellness and ‘bio-living’ aspect of it, with the homes featuring designs and concepts that will offer something more than a living space for the owners.

“I want to create an identity where if someone hears about a Keturah home, they won’t think twice about buying it,” said Al Gaddah. “We want to make Keturah a ‘fashion’ brand for real estate.

“We showed that to investors in Dubai, and we are confident about our chances in Switzerland.”

Another 'Keturah' for Dubai too
While the Swiss venture takes up quite a bit of its attention, MAG is laying the ground for a third 'Keturah' branded project.

This one will be a high-rise, at more than 450 metres high. "There will be one apartment per floor in a tower that's half of Burj Khalifa," said Talal Al Gaddah of MAG. "We are not launching another residential tower in Dubai, but a "private members' tower"."