Real Estate Not for the faint-hearted

Sudhakar R. Rao says venturing into the real estate business is a tough decision to makeImage Credit: Gulf News Archives

When Sudhakar R. Rao decided to venture into real estate development in the UAE in 2014, he was sure he was on to something. “The emirate is in a very firm footing,” says Rao. “I am very optimistic and bullish about Dubai.”

His company, the Indiabased Gemini Energy Group, has around 30 years of successful business operations in various fields, including oil and gas, testing and inspection services, trading and allied fields in India, the UAE and the rest of the Middle East. He’s used to the rigors of running a business, but he admits dipping one’s toe in the real estate takes guts.

“Dubai real estate is not for the faint-hearted,” says Rao, who serves as Managing Director of the group’s real estate development arm, Gemini Property Developers. “It is for those with a long-term vision.”

Gemini Splendor is the company’s first project, a 134- unit luxury apartment building located in Mohammad Bin Rashid (MBR) City.

In an interview with PW, Rao shares details about upcoming project and plans.

What is your company’s plan for the first property project in Dubai?

Our first project, Gemini Splendor, is a 134-unit luxury apartment building located in MBR City, next to the Sobha Hartland and newly announced Meydan One. We are offering true luxury features in our development. The project consists one two and three-bedroom apartments along with some town houses and duplexes.

We have a big advantage of building in a wonderful location. Our units are spacious and will offer various options to customers, like  onebedder with or without study, two-bedder with or without maid’s room and many. We aim to cater to the preferences of a wide range families and nationalities, who desire to live in high-standard luxury that can be purchased at affordable prices.

A well-known international architecture and design company, Aedas, has prepared the concept design for this project and the master developer has already approved our design. We are in already in the possession of the land and the groundbreaking took place this month.

How do you plan to provide luxury housing at affordable prices?

Normally, luxury and affordability definitely do not go together unless we plan it intelligently. We aim to build luxury property by adopting the best techniques in planning, design and construction, and in this way we can price our units at a level that is affordable. We will offer value for money to buyers who aspire to live in a good, spacious apartment, but do not wish to stay in very far areas or compromise living in a smaller spaces.

Tell us about your property development plans.

In this project, we are only concentrating on the home segment, but we do not rule out developing commercial and hospitality in our future projects. Currently, we are working in Dubai, but might open in other Middle East countries, depending on the feasibility. The UAE itself offers huge opportunities and we are also looking at Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman. Other than that, we are also aiming to develop properties
in Mumbai, India.

When do you plan to start selling the units?

We will launch this project very soon, where we will share information about the company and our upcoming projects. However, there are no immediate plans to commence property sales. We will be completing around 35-40 per cent of construction and build our show
apartment and only then are we going to talk of selling.

We have observed that consumers lack trust in the developer community due to unpleasant experiences with some developers. We want to build our client’s trust and we want our customers to buy the product only after they see it. In our first project, we may sell nine months or a year down the line.

How is your project different from others in the market?

Our building elevation, façade, internal finishing, spaces will standout.  When compared with other luxury properties in other locations in Dubai, the market certainly offers bigger and better units, but those come with a huge price tag, while ours promises to offer customers
true value for money.

What is your group’s formula for success?

A business has many components that go into its success. These include people, commitment, sincerity, integrity, technology, innovation, idea and marketing, which are already part of our group. We are new in the market as a developer, but we have a proven record of accomplishment. Putting these components together, we are set to deliver a good product to the real estate market.

Source: Hina Navin, Special to PW


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