Where Passion Meets Perfection
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Richard Thomas
Sobha Group has internal expertise and international acclaim in abundance, and is looking to leverage this perfect balance via a plethora of high profile projects in the Middle East and India over the coming years.
The multinational, multiproduct Group’s more-than 40 years in the real estate domain has given it almost unrivalled experience across geographies and sub-sectors; growing to become one of the most respected names in the industry.
“The organisation is one of the fastest growing and foremost backward integrated real estate organisations in the region, primarily focused on residential and contractual projects,” introduces Sobha’s Chairman, PNC Menon. “Sobha Group has developments and investments in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Brunei and India, and growing from origins in 1976 as an interior decoration firm, the Group as a brand now stands and strives for benchmark quality, customer-centricity, robust engineering, in-house research, uncompromising business ethics, timeless values, and transparency across numerous business spheres.”
Subsequently recognised as a trusted brand where “quality meets excellence”, recent footprint expansions and the development of its Sobha Hartland brand - a mixed-use development in Dubai - continues to reaffirm the Company’s status in the market.
Menon continues: “Sobha is an organisation where technology meets aesthetics and passion meets perfection. It expanded its footprint in 2003 to Dubai, the business capital of the Middle East, and Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, sustainable economic growth and access to international talent has made this an ideal location to establish Sobha Middle East, a privately held Company with plans to diversify across GCC and some other regions in Asia and Europe; all with a focus on luxury residential development, education, hospitality and furniture manufacturing.”
Founded in 1976, Sobha Group is one of the largest real estate organisations in India and the Middle East. Today, we have presence in 24 cities and 13 states across India and throughout the Middle East. As one of the largest and only backward integrated real estate developers, the Company’s reputation remains focused on delivering the highest levels of quality, with no compromise.
Built on excellence
Nobody knows the evolution of Sobha Group better than Mr PNC Menon, who has overseen the meteoric rise since incepting the business in Muscat all those years ago, with just $7 and lofty ambitions to speak of.
“It started after a chance meeting with Captain Sulaiman Adawi, an Omani army officer, in a hotel lobby in Kochi, Kerala. 45 days later, he was in Oman, looking for business and upon landing in Oman, he and his partner borrowed 3,000 Omani riyals to start a small street-side furniture and interiors business under the name of Trade and Services Co,” Menon recalls. “Initially, it was a ‘briefcase business’ - trying to fix small things, maintenance, etc - and then it developed into an interiors outfit.
“By 1984, the Company began to get big contracts, driven mostly by word of mouth due to its quality of work. Soon after, he received a call to work for the Sultan’s office in Muscat, to work on a palace.”
And the rest is history. Sobha Group soon went on to work for the royalty of Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, as well as for the President of Tajikistan; spending the most glorious years of Menon’s career designing and developing palaces, royal facilities and mosques.
“With a legacy and track record of more than 41 years, Sobha Group’s mission is to continue to disrupt existing standards of product quality and luxury across its core markets, which include Dubai and multiple cities across India,” Menon emphasises in line with the Company’s modern day philosophy, “all the while maintaining Sobha Group’s foundations which have been built on excellence in design, engineering, development and interior services.”
The foremost backward integrated Company in the world
At present, Sobha has three major projects dominating its remit, two of which are situated in prime locations in Dubai with expected completion set for 2020.
“The Sobha Hartland project was launched in 2014 as a $4 million mixed-use development,” Menon details. “The resort-style luxury housing project encompasses eight million square feet of freehold community in Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City where 30 percent of the community is reserved exclusively for greenery.
“Meanwhile, the Meydan Sobha District One project is valued at $8 billion and is a joint venture development with Meydan Group across 45 million square feet of freehold land.”
The end result regarding this latter project is an exclusive destination set aside for luxury villas and mansions, once again surrounded by expansive green parks and lagoons within the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City area.
“Sobha Group is also developing the Firdous Sobha scheme in agreement with the Umm Al Quwain Government, a mixed-use island development that will have villas, apartments, hotels, shops and leisure facilities with a total value of around $6.8 billion,” Menon adds.
It is through projects such as these that Sobha Group has set itself apart from the crowd over the years, becoming a unique real estate entity with all the competencies and in-house resources available to deliver a project from conceptualisation to completion.
Primarily focused on residential and contractual projects moving forward, the Company can now look forward to even more concerted success on these multiple fronts in the future.
Menon concludes: “The Company’s residential projects include presidential apartments, villas, row houses, super luxury and luxury apartments, plotted developments, and aspirational homes. With a reputation for unmatched construction and interiors, Sobha Group has delivered more than 91.32 million square feet of both residential and commercial projects since inception, and it still has 71 ongoing projects with a developable area of 101 million square feet at present; making it the foremost backward integrated Company in the world.”