In the last few months, Saraya has announced real estate projects in Malaysia and Kazakhstan, while in April it rolled out Saraya Aviation, which will focus on chartering private jets to VIPs and large corporations. In September, Saraya also established Saraya Realty, a fully owned subsidiary, which will provide sales, leasing and re-sale services on all of the firm’s ongoing real estate ventures.
There can certainly be no doubting Saraya’s lofty ambitions and so it seems somewhat appropriate that the firm has chosen to enter the exclusive yet increasingly competitive world of business jets.
Saraya Aviation will be based in Abu Dhabi but will have offices in other parts of the Middle East, including Amman, Dubai and Riyadh. The fledgling carrier is set to start operating next year and it has already been busy buying new planes.
At the Paris Air Show in June, Saraya acquired three P.180 Avanti II aircraft which are manufactured by the Italian company Piaggio Aero Industries. The aircraft will be delivered over the course of next year and in 2009, while Saraya has an option for three more at a later stage.
Meanwhile, at last month’s Dubai Air Show, Saraya Aviation signed a deal for three Gulfstream G450 business jets, which can accommodate eight passengers at a time. These long-range jets are capable of flying non-stop from Amman to the likes of London, Moscow, Johannesburg or Beijing.
There is no doubt corporate jet chartering in the Middle East is a major growth industry with so many high net worth individuals now living in the region but Saraya will be fighting for market share with more than 20 other firms, including the likes of Prestige Jet and Royal Jet, which are also based in the UAE capital.
Saraya will also utilise its jet chartering business to transport some of its own customers and the firm has also set up another handy service for those interested in its property portfolio by developing Saraya Realty.
The new entity will not only provide sales and leasing support on all of Saraya’s developments but will also offer a range of tailored packages. One option will be fractional ownership which, in theory, will enable buyers to spread their investments across several of Saraya’s developments and they will therefore be able to target particular growth markets.
Saraya Realty will also work very closely with some of the region’s most well known real estate agents in order to extend its geographic reach. It has tied up with Better Homes in the UAE, the UK and Saudi Arabia, while in its domestic market in Jordan, it will work with Asteco among others.
Saraya Realty already has a string of developments across the Middle East to market but this list is fast-expanding. In September, Saraya Holdings’ urban development management arm, the Millennium Development International Company, invested $325m in the upcoming development of an international financial district zone in the South Johor area of Nusajaya, Malaysia.
The zone will be part of the Iskander Development Region and other well-known Gulf based names including Aldar Properties and the Kuwait Finance House have signed up to invest in the project.
Saraya has also joined forces with Kazakhstani real estate developer Kazemir Aktau to construct a mixed use development at Aktau City on the Caspian Sea, a centre of Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry. Saraya Aktau will comprise a five star hotel, villas for sale and rent as well as a spa on a site covering around four million square feet.
Infrastructure work should begin very shortly while the design phase is set to get underway before the turn of the year; Saraya Aktau should be completed at some point in 2011.
The fact that Saraya’s initial real estate projects are all making steady progress and generating solid sales has surely given significant impetus to its departure into completely new business sectors and its decision to venture outside of its familiar Middle Eastern environment.
Saraya launched the initial sales phase for Saraya Islands in Ras Al Khaimah, alongside those for its planned development in Muscat, just recently at the Cityscape event in Dubai and the firm was encouraged by the response. It will be hoping that, another year from now, its aviation business will, quite literally, be taking off and its new realty arm will be attracting an even healthier stream of potential customers.
Wednesday, December 5- 2007 @ 15:08 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.