InterviewsReal estate

Gasser Bahgat Chairman and Managing Director of Madaar Development (Azha).

Madaar to launch new phase in Azha project by year-end.
Company eyes EGP 1.3bn sales in Azha project in 2020.
I expect a great boom in real estate sector in Q4.
Company has directed investments of EGP 1.3bn in Azha project so far.
Amaken is developing projects in North Coast, Tanta and New Administrative Capital.

Gasser Bahgat Chairman and Managing Director of Madaar Development (Azha) and Founder and Chairman at Najma Properties & Amaken development believed that property market in Ain Sokhna will be evolved, especially after the operation of the New Administrative Capital.

Bahgat said that Azha’s sales in 2019 approached EGP 1bn and he expect achieving EGP 1.3bn in 2020.

Azha — named after one of the brightest stars in the sky — is a high-end waterfront resort designed to be a luxury destination with international standards, bringing together an active casual lifestyle with 5 Stars comforts in Ain Sokhna.

The development spreads on an area of nearly 1.6 million square meters (400 feddan) with a waterfront stretching approximately 700 meters on the clear waters of the Suez Gulf branching from the Red Sea. Azha comprises a total of 20 villages and 2,712 housing units, and 4 hotels.

Realty Catalogue sat down with Bahgat to know more details about the company’s projects and expansion plan as well as, his vision to Egypt’s property market.

What are projects are being implemented by Madaar?

Madaar is developing Azha project since four years ago. We have delivered first phase in February after four years where we managed to deliver the units although there were challenges in economy especially the floatation of Egyptian pound. Every delivered phase, its inhabitants make use of its units and enjoy the sea.

Tell us updates regarding Azha project.

We are delivering a phase every two months.

What is the value of sales in 2019 and expected sales in 2020?

The sales in 2019 approached EGP 1bn and we expect achieving EGP 1.3bn in 2020, which is lower than the planned due to the current circumstances, however, I expect a great boom in the sector in the last quarter (Q4) of the current year.

What is the value of investment has been directed to the project?

We have pumped investments of EGP 1.3bn in the project so far, and we intend to direct investment of EGP 700m in Azha project in 2020.

Will Madaar launch a new phase or new projects in the current year?

We may launch a new phase in Azha project by the end of the year. Over and above, we own two projects in cities of Sixth of October, west Cairo and Hurghada, Red Sea will be developed soon.

What are Amaken’s current projects?

Amaken, a sister company to Madaar, is developing its first project in North Coast and we are waiting for competing procedures and legal documents to acquire the land.

The second projects are being developed in Tanta with another investor, and have begun construction works. Additionally, we have an administrative project in New Administrative Capital, besides, an administrative commercial project in Fifth Settlement, New Cairo. Moreover, there is several investment opportunities are being studied in the current period.

Do you except a price hikes in real estate market in the current year?

I do not believe that there is a price spikes in the real estate market except the normal increase, which is about 5-10% because of current circumstances. However, I think there will be increases in summer season.

Do you plan to debut a project in New Administrative Capital?

As Azaha, we do not plan in the current period to have a project in New Capital, however, Amaken has a small administrative project as I mentioned.

What is your vision towards the current circumstances and its effect on real estate industry in Egypt?

COVID-19 has no effect on the local industry; meanwhile, Egyptian expatriates may be able to have the chance to come Egypt to buy property. I mean purchases that depend on expatriates or Arab clients will be postponed. Moreover, the effect may be in holding exhibitions due to fears of gatherings areas. I expect a boom in the market in the Q4 of the current year.

Do you expect second home market will turn into first home especially after the operation of the New Capital?

I think Ain Sokhna and North Coast markets have the potential to be first home as the government is operating the New Capital, which is very close to Ain Sokhna. As well as, North Coast also is very qualified to be a first home because the state seeks to operate New Alamein city within the North Coast throughout the whole year and provide all job opportunities in it.

Accordingly, I think property market in Ain Sokhna will be evolved, as people will consider the New Capital is “Cairo” and Ain Sokhna will be “New Cairo”.

What is your point of view towards mortgage finance initiative for middle-income people?

The Central Bank of Egypt’s mortgage finance initiative is excellent. Nevertheless, I think that the initiative will be very useful for property stock that are ready for immediate delivery.

Do you think that Egypt’s property has potentials to be exported?

Our target clients are Arabs, who are form GCC area or Arabs who have political issues in their countries such as Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Therefore, residency in return for buying local property is very important incentive in that case. In addition to, good vibes on Egypt’s mega projects may encourage foreign clients to buy property in the country.

What are legislations and decisions needed to promote property market?

Old rent law is important to be reconsidered.

How do you see applying sustainable development in architecture and buildings?

Theoretically, it is important to be implemented in Egyptian property and architecture, but practically, it is difficult to be implemented even in other markets such as UAE markets because it is costly and takes time. However, there are alternatives; for example, there are services to be offered to developers and clients in design and construction phases to establishing smart home services. Besides, serve competition between developers will compel them to be creative and innovate new ways in smart home services and provide sustainable alternatives to their homes to attract a larger base of customers who have become aware of the importance of sustainability and eco-friendly architecture.

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