ORA Developers, which owns a portfolio of prestigious projects around the world, is set to make its mark in the UAE. Hailed to be the largest real estate development in the private sector in the country, ORA’s forthcoming project is a 20-million-square-metre mixed-use development in Ghantoot in partnership with Abu Dhabi investment company Q Holding. A model for sustainable and integrated developments, the smart city will comprise residential properties, hotel accommodation, commercial units and cultural, sporting and recreational facilities.
The latest project is in line with the vision of Eng. Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of ORA Developers to build exquisite, exclusive and innovative, high-quality developments across the world.
A five-episode documentary showcases just how Sawiris and the CEOs of ORA have brought this ambitious vision to life and how they have overcome challenges and obstacles.
A global success story
Today, the business that Eng. Naguib Sawiris built up has a sales value of over $12 billion within its multifarious real estate portfolio that includes projects in Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Grenada in the Caribbean and Pakistan. In seven years, the company, which started with an investment of $16 million, has total assets worth $2.5 billion under management on its consolidated balance sheet.
Thanks to the tenacity and dedication of Sawiris and his team, ORA’s projects have successfully fulfilled the company's vision. When you look at its projects around the globe, they are all differentiated by a dedication to luxury and discerning designs.
Sawiris’ penchant for Nordic minimalism and clean lines is reflected in the ultra-sleek and ultra-modern appearance of his projects. While the location might be a top consideration, what also sets the company apart is the fact that all of its developments are sympathetic to its surroundings.
“I always make sure that wherever we build, we embrace the surrounding nature,” Sawiris explains. “For our hotel in Grenada, if you're in a boat in the sea, away from the shore, and you look at the hotel, you won’t see it.”
Materials such as wood were used to blend with the trees and green decks to emulate leaves at Silversands, its lifestyle destination in Grenada. The concept of the project was reimagining time, which has resulted in a super-deluxe iconic hotel in the Caribbean.
In harmony with its surroundings
For each of the luxury developments that ORA undertakes, it ensures to embrace sustainability and harmony.
Between colour schemes that harmonise local surroundings and high-end luxury standards, the global entity is planning for a positive and ambitious future. As an independent hotel chain in the making, ORA is targeting to deliver more than 1,600 units this year. Out of the 20,000 units, they have delivered 350, so there is a major expansion on the horizon. And one thing is for sure – that each property will have the unique Sawiris touch.
With Sawiris having a hands-on approach to the business, everything is as luxurious as the founder would like to find things himself. For the Silversands development in Grenada, for instance, he chose every piece of unique artwork. From the cutlery to the shampoo, Sawiris ensures he has a personal involvement.
“I travelled around the world because of my previous business, so I think I have good taste and a good eye,” he explains.
In the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, ORA has helped with the development of Ayia Napa Marina by delivering world-class facilities in marina services and berths, alongside luxury villas, apartments and a commercial area with restaurants and bars. In keeping with the company ethos, the $300-million project was designed to blend with the beguiling surroundings of the coast of Cyprus and its crystal-clear waters.
Other neighbouring projects include the Yi Hotel in Mykonos, which opened this year and formed another milestone for the company.
While the company saw much progress in other countries, with ORA’s Egyptian roots, Sawiris felt expansion on home territory was critical for the future of the company.
“We went into three major projects in Egypt,” he explains. “We went into Zed East, Zed West and then to our Silversands project on the North Coast. Some of them are well on their path to completion, like the one in Sheikh Zayed that we are delivering this year. The whole Egyptian operation took four years.”
One of ORA’s projects is Eighteen, a high-end project in Pakistan. This multimillion-dollar development includes luxurious apartments, villas, and an 18-hole championship golf course, located in the eighteenth district of Islamabad. Eighteen is designed to cater to residents seeking the highest level of luxury and quality.
New locations are beckoning, with many first-class projects on the go. The challenge now is for the company to meet its long-term vision, with a quick execution.
With select projects in different parts of the world, including boutique hotels and mixed-use developments, ORA wants to sell the right dream and product and firmly believes in doing that well or not at all.
“I won't be second in anything,” emphasises Sawiris. “I won't settle for a mediocre output. If you do something, you either do it excellently or you don’t touch it.”