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SAUDI ARABIA - Real Estate & Construction

Mohamed Abdel Fattah

CEO, Eight Developments

Bio

Mohamed Abdel Fattah is CEO of Eight Developments.

"As a developer, we have a unique approach in providing a life and investment solution based on scientific references and market surveys, which is why we are statistics-based."
TBY talks to Mohamed Abdel Fattah, CEO of Eight Developments, about growth in the Saudi market, innovation, and priorities for the company.
What is the approach and focus of your development company?

As a developer, we have a unique approach in providing a life and investment solution based on scientific references and market surveys, which is why we are statistics-based. In 2022, we found out that most of our clients are from the GCC in addition to the US, while 20% of our clients are based in the KSA.

With your background in different fields, what motivated you to join a developer?

In banking, I was responsible for lending people money. I love what can be done with money, which is why we are life-changers and money makers. We usually focus on how to make the peoples’ lives easier, and how to give them financial freedom by making a gap analysis. We noted that there is high desirability for real estate but low affordability. At Eight, we are a young group of people, and we believe in scientific references and surveys; therefore, we created an R&D department from the outset. They know exactly what the market wants and work to meet it, which is why life in development is totally different because we are starting from the market needs and the people who might want it.

What specific gaps in the market have you identified and plan to capitalize on?

There are in fact several gaps in the market currently, including the need for more investors and lowering costs in times of economic difficulties. Many people want to buy real estate but are unable to because of the high costs. Developers typically plan for the best product or project instead of looking at how the end customer can afford it. We actually start from the end and typically look at the needs of customers and the market. There is no such relationship currently with market demand, which is why more than 80% of our projects are built from scratch so that buyers can look the at the unit, live in it, plan how they want to furnish it, measure out the space, and so on. The second issue is that the Egyptian real estate market is not an easy one. It is not easy to construct more than 80% of a project first because it costs us EGP1.2 billion. Generally, most people tend to seek short-term investments, even though the new capital is a medium to long-term investment. For our newest project, the land plot measures 15km and is located a few minutes from Dahab, overlooking the Mountain View. It is an extremely accessible location.

In exploring the Saudi market, which opportunities do you perceive as the most promising, and what strategies do you have in place to successfully enter and establish a presence in that market?

Our statistics for the previous year reflect that 20% of our transactions come from KSA, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates, but 20% is a huge amount that is why it is worth starting to verify the market. Saudi Arabia is one of two markets we intend to penetrate. KSA is one of the G7 countries and in the process of diversifying its economy, not just through tourism but also the booming real estate sector. It also has an open and promising market. We have unique methodologies, and having proven our strategy in Egypt, we can reflect its success there because maybe we have something different to add.

What are your long-term priorities in Saudi and in Egypt?

In Egypt, as well in Saudi, we are responsible for the development of people’s lives by providing solutions. There will be problems, but there must also be development. In Egypt, before the end of 2023 we plan to announce a project in the new capital as well as a new coastal resort. In Egypt, we aim to be a leading developer that exports its solutions. We aim to drive the Egyptian economy forward by acquiring the largest market share. Meanwhile, in terms of our overseas operations, Saudi will be the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa.

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