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Project review of Egypt’s coastal haven – Somabay

Construction Business News ME reviews the coveted Egyptian holiday resort and residences, Somabay, developed by Abu Soma Development Company, placed in the western shores of the Red Sea

Nestled at the Egyptian coastal edge, holiday resort destination Somabay has witnessed a massive growth in its projects over the course of a year.

CEO of developer Abu Soma Development Company Ibrahim El Missiri says that Somabay is the ultimate exclusive Red Sea holiday destination solely positioned on a peninsula.

Somabay’s residential developments has been designed to offer a holiday home among diverse properties including luxury hotels with exclusivity and controlled access.

In total there have been six projects in the pipeline within real estate including; Golf Townhouses, Marina Residences, Reef Villas, Bay Villas, Soma Breeze Hotel Residences and Wadi Jebal Lodges.

“Reef Villas, Soma Breeze and Wadi Jebal are off plan projects which will be ready three years from now,” states Missiri.

“We also have another real estate development till 2020 as the land is 10 million square metre.”

According to him, some of the company’s key target buyers for the properties include Egyptians and foreigners nationals (especially German, British, Italian buyers) who want an “original” vacation spot.

Real estate in Egypt

Missiri reveals that 2016 seems to be a relatively positive year for the Egyptian economy as the currency stabilises and investment returns to the country.

He observes that the fiscal and net export position will improve significantly on the back of fuel subsidy reform. “Subsidy cuts will likely be watered down if public unrest occurs on a significant scale, however the bulk of the reform will remain in place.”

While comparing the real estate market in the UAE with that of Egypt, Missiri says that Egyptian ROI is stronger than UAE.

 

Missiri clarifies that all investment opportunities in real estate markets around the world use “sentiment” as a key driver. “This is particularly true of the Dubai real estate market with views on whether prices are heading up or down are often driven by so called ‘market research’ and the media reflection of such. These are often presented as fact without any effort to scrutinise the basis and reliability of the numbers.”

He debates that latest reports on pricing trends, drawn up by consultancies use figures, more often than not, from single sources or in some even more concerning cases from listings on websites.

Though Missiri admits that there have been challenges while working in Egypt. The biggest challenge, apart from high prices of land and construction material, has been the unregulated or “unofficial”, which he claims accounts for around 70% of the market, compared to the official market that is a mere 30%.

On the flipside, Missiri says that 2015 has been an incredible year for the master development as it counts down to the 25th anniversary. Last year also marked the first entry of Westin Hotels and Resorts in Egypt and North Africa with the opening of Westin Somabay Golf Resort and Spa in Somabay in November.

In terms of 2016, Missiri says that he looks forward to many more new openings, product launches and accolades.

 

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