Ajdan: CEO Mohammed Al Otaibi Shares his Perspectives on the MIPIM 2022 Real Estate Event

Ajdan recently took part in the MIPIM 2022 exhibition in Cannes, a real estate event dedicated to assembling the most influential players from all sectors of the international real estate scene, including investors, developers, advisers, brokers, and other professionals in the industry. Interviewed during the event, CEO Mohammed Al Otaibi shared his perspectives and discussed real estate investments in Saudi Arabia.

Interview with Mohammed Al Otaibi, CEO of Ajdan

Mohammed Al Otaibi, CEO of Ajdan

What are your expectations regarding the MIPIM 2022 event? What can the meeting bring to a company like Ajdan, in the context of the whole Saudi delegation?

Saudi Arabia is not well known for being a premier real estate destination. Part of the group of companies that exhibit in the MIPIM 2022 event came to give the right idea and perception about the Saudi real estate market and the current status of our development, especially since Saudi Vision 2030 was established a few years ago. We can now see the fruits of that vision coming to light in just five or six years. We came here to benchmark ourselves to international developers, showcase the successful projects that we did in the past, as well as establish and launch the new projects that we are going to do in the future. The idea is to get some attachment and feedback from investors and developers. It might even be beneficial for us to hear a critique of our projects. We might get positive feedback and constructive criticism. This is why we joined the efforts of Invest Saudi and MIPIM 2022.

The first step is for investors to be interested in Saudi Arabia or the region. Have you already set up a number of meetings with them to tell them to come?

Together with the Ministry of Investment and the sister companies that we are working with here, we have set up invitations for around 200 entities to give them an idea about our projects, get their feedback on the viability of these projects, give them an overview on the new regulations of Saudi Arabia in terms of international investments coming from outside, as well as the regulations of plan sales, the enforcement of the legal contract between landlords or developers and tenants or buyers, etc. A lot of things have changed in the real estate market. It became very institutionalized. The mission of the Saudi envoy to MIPIM is to give a new picture on the Saudi real estate investment field, present the new rules and regulations, and the products and projects we have delivered. There is an actual tangible return that you can gauge, and you can come and invest in these projects in the future. Personally I have met with a few investors. Three or four of them are from the Far East, and one of them is from the UK, but based in Hong Kong. There is definitely going to be some attraction coming from this exhibition.

When a developer or an investor comes, he wants technical information as a first level of information, but he is already thinking about investing in Saudi. What is your approach on that?

We are not trying to sell products here. The investment numbers are there. We have investment briefs about every destination that we have. It is very easy to market the project, but what we need to gauge is the seriousness of the investor. We would like to share profiles between us, get to know who are the owners, who are the board of directors, and what type of investments they are looking for. Are they quick win investments or long-term investments? Are they looking for income generating assets, or are they looking at single family homes they want to sell? Are they looking at industrial and logistics? We do not push our products in the face of the investor. We gauge the investor, we get a feeling of what they are preferring, and then we share the full information about the project with them.

What is your perspective on the event? Do you see interest from the people you have talked to? Do you feel that being in combination with other companies here and Invest Saudi brings you strength?

All credit goes to Ministry of Investment in Saudi Arabia. They created a very nice vehicle for us to come in MIPIM and promote our products. I do not want to be the guy to give the feedback on my own pavilion or my own participation. However, I have been through all of the pavilions and this is one of the best pavilions that we have here in MIPIM when you look at the quality of the finishes, the elegance of the pavilion itself, it is an experience-based theme. One of the main things that we are very proud of, is that every product from every company looks beautiful and amazing, even exceeding international levels that I have seen in other pavilions. Again, all credit goes to the Ministry of Investment and we would like to come with them again in the next years.


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