Exclusive: Cayan Group chief on Europe expansion

February 11, 2016 9:41 am

Marbella, Spain.

Cayan Group, a Saudi Arabian real estate developer and an industry leader in the Middle East, announced that it is commencing a project in Spain’s Marbella, marking its first expansion into the European market.

The project, in partnership with Spanish developer Sarena, will be situated on the Coral del Sol region in the Mediterranean city.

In an exclusive interview with AMEinfo, Ahmad Al Hatti, president and chairman of Cayan Group, shared more details about the joint venture, saying that it will be a residential project comprising villas that can be suitable as vacation homes.

“We got a very good opportunity in Spain – it is a very nice location in Marbella,” Al Hatti noted, adding that his company is looking to start selling by the end of the quarter.

“Our strength as Cayan comes from our clients. We have a very good number of clients who are very loyal; they like Cayan and they have been buying from Cayan for several years,” he added, noting that this set of loyal clientele is the group’s priority.

However, the choice of Spain might be a shift away from the capital of London, regarded as Europe’s most desired destination for real estate developers from the GCC.

“Most of the [clients], in addition to [those from] Dubai and Saudi Arabia, are interested in Europe and the priority is in London,” the group’s chairman said.

“However, if you look at reports of the European markets in 2015 – and here we’re talking mainly about the British, French, German, Spanish and Italian [property markets] – most reports state that Spain has the highest potential for growth,” he added, explaining the choice of location.

“The British market has appreciated a lot and is very secure… But the retain in it is not very high [anymore], so we are looking for the opportunity in London and I’m still open. We are studying several projects here and there,” he added.

Al Hatti is a personal fan of Marbella and this might have been the reason behind his decision to invest there.

“I always follow a place where I enjoy doing business and this is what I keep sharing with my team – we want to enjoy what we are doing,” Al Hatti said.

Earlier this year, Cayan Group announced the launch of several funds with Saudi financiers, to develop different projects in Saudi Arabia.

The developer, which has offices in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, is mostly known for its iconic Cayan Tower in Dubai Marina, which gained international accreditation for its spiraling, twisted design. Today, the developer is working on another project in Dubai, Cayan Cantara, comprising residential units and hotel apartments.


By Hind Mustafa
Hind Mustafa specializes on the business of luxury in the region; she also covers hospitality and technology sectors. With more than four years' experience, she brings depth and clarity to the region's business news and views.