Writing by: Ola Noureldin
Interview by: Farah Montasser
With the summer approaching, Invest-Gate sits with Projects Real Estate Development’s CEO Hossam Bahaa to learn more about their North Coast development, Blues Tiffany, as well as how second home destinations can be turned into a first home destination, and areas they are eyeing for their upcoming projects.
What do you think of Egypt’s real estate investment climate?
Egypt has one of the highest return on investments (ROI) in the world, therefore, we expect great willingness from foreign investors to pump money into the country; however, what we are waiting for now is for the country to handle some administrative matters to make this possible.
In general, Egypt’s investment climate is very attractive. There are various projects being implemented at diverse places such as the New Administrative Capital, the North Coast, South Sinai, and the Red Sea cities as Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Land is available across the country, yet I believe foreign investors will only be lured into putting their money in such projects once they see that Egyptian investors themselves are benefiting and there are no obstacles.
Do you see the market opening up to foreigners interested in investing in homes?
The market will open up to foreigners, who seek real estate investments, sooner or later. If we want to effectively export real estate then I believe we will have to efficiently legalize foreigners’ residential ownership. For security reasons, unfortunately areas such like Sinai are temporarily excluded from this matter. But there are still other places that foreigners find extremely attractive like the North Coast, New Al-Alamein, and Marsa Alam. I think in the next period, foreigners, be it Arabs or Westerners, will be eyeing developments at the North Coast for its impeccable weather and sea.
Which locations is Projects eyeing in the upcoming period?
We are currently studying three locations. There are two potential projects at the North Coast. We are also keeping a very close eye on Mostakbal City, as well as, the New Administrative Capital. With the urban expansion of 6th of October, there is also a project we are currently studying at the area.
What about the projects that are currently being implemented?
We are working now on Blues Tiffany. It is an EGP 10 bn project that comprises four phases on an area of 248 acres at the North Coast. It is located at 204 kilometers on Alex-Matrouh Road. The sales of the first phase have started, and we are planning to launch a phase every year. Unit areas in this project range between 48 square meters up to 260 square meters for twin villas. The project also features a retail aspect, as we would like to ensure that our residents investing in the first phase would have all their services and facilities nearby. Our aim is to make them feel entirely at home, making their second home feel like a first, or even be one.
What would make the North Coast destination be considered a first home?
It is a package. From the developers’ side, services and facilities must be well integrated within resorts all year long and include pharmacies, clinics, and restaurants. No doubt that the mindset of Egyptians also has to change.
It will take time for Egyptians to alter their long-term plans and put their children at schools and universities at the North Coast, for example. But before that could happen, we have to be ready. There has to be reliable and accessible educational and medical facilities for such change to effectively take place.
Many real estate developers are currently taking initiative to develop educational facilities and not wait by for the state; will we see Projects taking that step soon?
We aim to work in all fields, be it real estate, industrial or educational. It is in our vision to delve into different sectors of the Egyptian market. We hope to develop educational services such as schools and universities, but not necessarily at the North Coast, and as soon as we find the right opportunity we will not hesitate to start planning it out.
Ramadan is almost upon us, how is the real estate sector’s performance during the holy month?
Ramadan is definitely a low season for the real estate market, however, people keep a close eye on the market for when Ramadan ends. Right after Eid, we always witness a boom in the market due to the countless advertisements during the holy month via television and social media. I think Ramadan is the time when clients research and make decisions on where they will be investing in the summer.
What do you think of this year’s Cityscape exhibition?
Cityscape is the largest real estate exhibition in Egypt and the Middle East, gathering all the leading real estate developers from the region. It was very important for us to be part of it this year. Hopefully next year, we will have more projects to showcase