You are launching your third project in JVC soon. Why are you focusing on this area specifically?
We always do our homework, so we find that affordable luxury projects are what is needed in this market, as people are becoming more cautious on how much they want to spend and where to spend it. We can continue building because we are financially sound and solid. We do not depend on sales revenues to build our projects. In fact, our project, The Boulevard, was only sold to customers after we completed building the project. Currently, we have the Elysee project at handover stage and hopefully, there will be an announcement in the coming weeks regarding our third new project Elysee II, also in JVC.
You managed to sell all your units during the Covid-19 crisis. What is the secret of your success?
We sold more than 330 units in the last 12 months. We just follow what we call “The Pantheon Philosophy”, which is finding solutions to meet the needs of our customers. We can sell because of our principles of delivering quality as promised, and we build project by project to be able to give more attention, focus and value to what we will deliver in the end. We also build a suitable ecosystem for our employees and vendors which leads to a smooth transaction from the customer starting as a buyer, to becoming a future landlord.
Do you think we need a change in real estate regulations and requirements in Dubai? What would you like to see?
Without early measurements and regulatory procedures from Rera, we would have seen an ugly phase in the real estate market. Fortunately, these measures offered protection to both the buyer and developer which helped to keep the market afloat despite the Covid-19 crisis that affected many other sectors, such as aviation, tourism etc.
I always believe that the developer has to have a solid feasibility study in place, with solid financial resources before starting any project. Once you have that in place, it doesn’t matter what regulations are put in place. So whether the deposit is 20 per cent or 100 per cent, it doesn’t matter. A successful developer with a healthy track record can perform well under any circumstances.
What nationalities did you target for your projects?
With 200 nationalities already living in Dubai, it’s a cosmopolitan city, so our customers are from all over the world. Our apartment design and fit-outs appeal to many tastes. We have a wide mix of nationalities and they all share one objective, to deal with a developer who can deliver what he promised.
How attractive are new initiatives, such as the Golden Visa?
Such initiatives are always welcomed. The Golden, Retirement and multi visas represent steps forward that will bring happiness and connectivity to many families - but it also brings financial rewards and opportunities to companies that know how to respond to the needs of the market segment. For Pantheon Developments, the Retirement Visa provides an opportunity for us to maximise our share of this market and continue to provide the best solutions to suit the needs of the changing demographic.
Do you think that oversupply has caused a drop in the market?
There are many contributing factors to the drop in the market: some are geopolitical, others are general economic growth and decline waves. Additionally, the oversupply in the market has been a major factor in the market decline. We believe a balanced market price range is more appreciated by consumers, and high prices will not be well received under current circumstances. A slow process will not be beneficial for developers to sustain business and will not give a better service to the end user. It is difficult to assess the market until post Covid-19, when we can then evaluate what the global buyer’s appetite is for buying property in the UAE. By this time, a fair market price value will be established.