The CEO of the Saudi-Egyptian Construction Company Darwish Hasanen, said that his company will offer new units in its administrative capital project (Bleu Vert) within the next couple of weeks, noting that his company has acquired the ministerial decree for the project.
“Before the end of 2018, we will start construction. The process will take four years on three phases,” Hasanen told Daily News Egypt, adding that his company will construct the project alone without partners.
DNE sat down for an interview with Hasanen to discuss the latest updates of the company’s projects in Egypt, as well as the recent developments that the Egyptian market is witnessing nowadays. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:
Have you decided the price of the new unites in your project in the New Administrative Capital?
Actually, I cannot reveal the prices right now, we will have a board meeting shortly, and then we will announce the prices in details. However, the project’s investments are expected to reach EGP 6bn. We received a ministerial decree for the project.
Would you please elaborate more about your new project in the administrative capital?
About 70%of the project area will be residential buildings, while the other 30% will be residential villas. We will construct about 60 residential buildings and about 98 residential villas. Our buildings are fully finished and our villas will be semi-finished with three kinds of villas as followed, stand-alone, twin villas, and town house villas.
What about the numbers of the ongoing projects? And the total amount of their investments?
We have four ongoing projects, the first in New Cairo on 65 feddans, where we finished about 60% of the construction process, which include 120 housing units with a 1,983 apartments. We are about to finish the second phase from the three planned phases of the project.
Our second ongoing project is in New Damietta. It is a housing-tourism project, where we finished about 70% of the construction process on 16 feddans land area. After a careful study with specialists we decided to construct a 4 stars hotel there and we agreed with Hilton to manage it with Hilton Garden In franchise, and it will contain 110 key between rooms and suites, we will begin establishing the hotel after six months.
The third ongoing project is in Assiut on 10 feddans acre land area. We constructed about 55% out of 460 units of the total construction works of the project.
Finally SECON Nile Towers, a mixed residential and hotel development, one of whose two towers is to be dedicated to a five-star, 256-room hotel complete with restaurants, business facilities, and a health club that will be operated under the Hilton brand. The second of its 23-storey towers will feature 190 housing units spread across 19 floors, all with deluxe finishing.
In the New Damietta hotel, when will you likely inaugurate it? Why did you think of a hotel in this place?
It is a 16-feddan tourism project in New Damietta with a four star Hilton Garden Inn, and multiple seaside residences and with a unique location near the seaport and the economic region, which makes it special also.
It is expected to be finished construction wise in one and half years from now.
In the Maadi hotel, when will you likely inaugurate it? What is the targeted percentage of occupancy? Why did you think of a hotel in this place?
We are in a construction process of other hotel and a residential tower in Maadi, Cairo with EGP 2.3bn and we expect to finish construction during 2019. It will be a five star hotel with 256 rooms. We also agreed with Hilton to manage it.
As well as promising to become an iconic feature of the El-Maadi skyline, the SECON Nile Towers project has one other very big claim to fame.
Would you please give me a brief about the company’s history in Egypt?
The Saudi-Egyptian construction company is one of the largest companies operating in the real estate market, which has been responsible since its inception to address all categories of customers and was to choose their sites the direct impact on continuity through the market is always moving and needs new variables.
Being jointly owned by two governments gives us a great advantage when we are marketing our projects within the countries of the GCC because they trust our products and the contracts we offer
SECON’s full name is the Saudi Egyptian Construction Company and is the joint property of the authorities in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Established at 1975, SECON is one of the largest real estate companies operating in the Egyptian market and has also made a name for itself through its attention to detail and its focus on its customers’ needs
How many projects have you constructed in the Egyptian market over the years?
Over the past 44 years, SECON has nearly completed 40 projects widely including high rise building, compounds, and commercial buildings, our strategy was to spread all over Egypt from Cairo, up to Alexandria, passing through Southern Egypt in Assiut and in Damietta.
Will you plan to have projects in Suez Canal Corridor, Alamein, or other new cities?
Unfortunately, it is not in our present plan, due to our busy situation with other projects, but it may be in our near future plans.
On May 2018, SECON received a high level delegation from the Ministry of Housing and the National Company for Housing from the Saudi Arabia to continue discussions related to boasting the bilateral cooperation, investment opportunities, and sharing experience, according to previous announcement of Hasanen adding that his company participated in important fairs in Saudi Arabia over the last period.
Hasanen noted that the Saudi delegation who visited some of the company’s projects and met with officials from Egypt’s Housing Ministry, adding that his company still considering investing in Saudi Arabia to establish major projects, as the ones that they implemented in Egypt over the past 40 years.
How do you assess the Egyptian business climate right now?
I think we are running towards one of the best investment times for Egypt and confident in the progress already made and the promise of more to come.
How do you see the new real estate taxation?
The new real estate taxation system has a positive perspective because it is going to enhance the governmental incomes, moreover those kind of taxes is normal in most of the world.
How did the flotation reflect on the construction industry?
For sure flotation has affected the construction costs and budgets, but we totally recognise that it is essential for the economy’s growth of our country.
How many offices do you have in Egypt?
We have four offices in Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, and Assiut.
What about your CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities and future plans in this regard?
Our company aim to spread wide with the country with its projects, putting into consideration the quality we seek to the client, the variety of cultures we address.
The commitment we make high quality products to acquire the client needs and requirements, and what we agreed for.
The company’s chairperson of the board of directors is Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Harhad, while the board’s vice president is Mohamed Essam el-Din Ramadan. The board of directors include Mohammed bin Faisal bin Muammar, Assem Abdul Hamid al-Butcher, Bandar bin Abdul Halim Taashkindi, and Sherif Selim, according to the company’s website.