Five Minutes With…Benoy Kurien, GM, Al Hamra Real Estate Development

The property development industry is all about providing value to homeowners and investors, says Benoy Kurien, general manager of Al Hamra Real Estate Development.

What is your company focusing on this year?

We have launched two new projects this year. First was Bayti, a collection of three and four bedroom townhomes that was very well received in the market with all of the released units sold within a few days. We also launched our most prestigious private island project, The Falcon Island. Falcon Island will be built on a natural island at the centre of al Hamra Village. This luxury project will feature 150 high end villas ranging from five bedroom to eight bedroom mansions. We are proud of the sustainable aspect of this development. The entire community will be powered by the latest technology in solar energy and we will use materials and expertise to ensure this is a sustainable project with the highest environmental standards.

All this will result in the home owners, enjoying better temperatures, acoustics and lower environmental impact, lesser utility cost plus off course higher home value. We also introduced some of the best home fashion brands to this project. Select homes on Falcon Island will be fully interior designed and fully furnished by Luxury Living of Italy, Fendi Casa, Kenzo Maison and for the first time in the UAE Bentley Home.

What is your strategy in the face of increasing competition in the UAE’s real estate sector?

The property development industry is all about providing value to homeowners and investors. Building good communities is much more than bricks and mortar. It is about sustainability, quality of construction and livable communities. In our Al Hamra Village community we have built over 1,000 villas and nearly 2,500 apartments. We have anchored the community with a world class championship golf course, a 200 berth marina, modern shopping centre, five luxury hotels and many leisure and dining options. I believe that communities that provide a full round of amenities to homeowners will prosper as residents appreciate being part of a community.

Are there enough regulations in the UAE’s real estate sector or does it require more?

I believe there are enough regulations however enforcement of the existing regulations can be improved. More can be done to curb speculative buying and to avoid unrealistic price increases in the market as a whole.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

We are fortunate in Ras Al Khaimah to have a growing tourism industry. We see great potential in developing more hotels, serviced apartments and leisure facilities. Clearly we believe that the property market is set for a steady growth hence our investment in new projects.

What new projects will your company launch this year?

We are studying feasibility of at least two more projects this year. Once we have completed our financial and development studies we will be in a better position to announce new projects.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

Ras Al Khaimah has experienced steady, year-on-year GDP growth; it has a ranking from international rating agencies such as S&P and Fitch. The real Estate market is booming, hospitality is growing rapidly and we see many opportunities in our home Emirate. We will continue our expansion within Ras Al Khaimah in the short term.

Will you be hiring this year?

As we expand our portfolio and introduce new projects we plan to add to our team in all areas of our business.

What’s your leadership style?

Always lead by example.

What makes the perfect employee?

The perfect employee is someone with a high level of motivation and whose integrity cannot be questioned.

Define success in five words…

Knowing you’re fulfilling your potential.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

Be an example, be humble and never give up!

When I’m not at work I like to…

Play cricket.