Benoy Kurien, the Group CEO of Al Hamra, talks about the success of Falcon Island in his exclusive interview with Gulf News. The 7-bedroom beachfront villas each costing AED 15 million have already been sold out.
He also talks about the future possibilities of buying lands outside of Al Hamra, more towards the southern parts of the emirate for its next residential or hospitality projects.
20th July, Gulf News: Ras Al Khaimah's master-developer Al Hamra is testing the waters for luxury villa demand, with prices starting from Dh6.2 million and going up to Dh15 million at its Dh1 billion Falcon Island development. Based on the initial investor reaction, the developer seems to be doing quite alright.
“We sold the seven-bedroom Dh15 million villa before the second phase release of Falcon Island homes,” said Benoy Kurien, Group CEO of Al Hamra, the builder of the Al Hamra Village and one of the first freehold projects in the country. “There are only a limited number of beachfront villas we are selling, along with those offering canal views.”
The first phase of Falcon Island – forming part of the wider Al Hamra Village – had just over 170 units, with prices from Dh1.2 million. Those found buyers instantly when they hit the market. Ras Al Khaimah’s property market is buzzing with investor interest, and not just at the individual buyer’s level. Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi bought the Al Hamra Mall and a resort in Ras Al Khaimah as part of its portfolio diversification.
Get started on island infra
The developer expects to start on Falcon Island’s infrastructure by September. “So far, we have spent on creating the beaches, sorted out the filling and firming up of land and will soon award the enabling works contract,” said the CEO. “The villas too will start to be built from middle of September, that’s the plan.
“The schematics have already been finalised, which means we are clear about the number of homes we will have on the island, their floor spaces, etc. The rest – centered on the detailing – is going on. This ambitious development is part of our strategic five-year roadmap, from 2023-27, to drive sustained growth through projects.”
More land on the horizon?
Al Hamra is continuing the feasibility towards buying more land now that Al Hamra Village itself will soon have reached saturation on new projects. The CEO sights possibilities to buy land outside of Al Hamra, to the southern parts of the emirate where it hopes to create its next community or hotel projects.
There could also be more of the type of deals Al Hamra entered with Aldar in selling the mall. “Investor interest in both our finished assets and greenfield developments remain strong,” said Kurien. “That means we have possibilities to raise fresh funds for new land acquisitions – what that also means is we don’t need an IPO for the next four-five years to tap new capital.”