Dubai, UAE (December 10th, 2005): A two-billion-Dirham Dubai-based conglomerate, with interests in information technology and real estate, today announced the launch of a new property development company that will combine its two core areas of activity to create the most technologically advanced properties in the Middle East region.
Almasa Holdings, which consists of five different companies operating in all areas of information technology, announced the launch of its sixth company, Omniyat Property Development Corporation, which will focus on developing high-tech commercial and residential buildings and properties in Dubai and the rest of the region.
Mehdi Amjad, President and CEO of Almasa Holdings, told a press conference held at Burj Al Arab today that the new company was being launched with an initial issued capital of AED150 million, and an authorized capital of AED 300 million as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Almasa Holdings.
To be known by its trading name Omniyat Properties, the company was born out of Almasa Holdings’ five-year-old real estate division, which has implemented numerous successful real estate investment projects in the UK and Iran over the last few years, and started looking at the booming Dubai property market more than a year ago.
“We have been looking at the Dubai property market very carefully over the last 18 months as we were looking at further developing our real estate business and spinning off this in-house division into a fully-fledged property development company with its own structure and management team,” Amjad said.
Omniyat Properties, which will soon launch its first projects in Dubai and in the future expand into other markets in the Middle East, will capitalize on its mother-company’s technology base to develop high-tech properties where technology will play a major role in improving people’s lifestyles.
“Almasa Holdings is a leader in technology in the Middle East, and that’s why we have decided to capitalize on our strength in technology to offer futuristic homes and offices the likes of which have not been seen anywhere in the Middle East, and probably in the world,” said Ehab S. Shouly, Almasa Holdings’ Chief Marketing Officer.
Shouly, who is also Omniyat Properties’ Marketing Director and Senior Vice President, pointed out that Omniyat homes and offices will include futuristic features such as voice control as well as robots which will take care of daily chores such as vacuum cleaning, mopping and even pressing shirts.
“Omniyat is an Arabic word that means wishes, and that’s exactly what our new company is all about. Our slogan is ‘Live the Future’ and we want to give people in Dubai and the region the chance to live the future today and benefit from the technologies which are available out there,” he continued.
All of Omniyat’s developments, he said, will feature a technological edge, whether they are residences, offices, or retail outlets. “Our offices for example will be able to call you and read out your emails to you, or even set up your meetings. Our homes are so futuristic we’re even offering robotic family pets in some of them,” Shouly said.
Amjad, who will also serve as President & CEO of Omniyat Properties, pointed out that the newly re-branded Almasa Holdings, previously known as Almasa Group, ventured into real estate five years ago as a means of diversifying its investments as its information technology business was doubling in size year-on-year.
“We started out as an IT distribution company but as we grew and our turnover reached hundreds of millions of Dirhams, we decided to invest in another sector to spread the risk. We decided to go into real estate as we saw it as offering a safe investment and a good counter-balance to the fast-moving IT world,” Amjad said.
The vision for Almasa Holdings was born ten years ago when Amjad, then a fresh graduate, decided to set up his own company rather than join his family’s gold trading business. He set out with a capital of one million Dirhams, and a dream to establish a regional force in the field of information technology.
The group’s massive growth was aided by a major investment from Al-Mirah Group, a 25-year-old leading Kuwaiti retail firm running one of the biggest chains of hypermarkets in Kuwait, which bought a 50% stake in Amjad’s company shortly after he launched it. Al-Mirah Group’s Chairman, Ismail Janati, is also Almasa Holdings’ Chairman.
Almasa started out in computer hardware distribution but expanded into all other areas of information technology over the years, including manufacturing and assembly, software development, networking solutions, hardware repair and maintenance, software distribution, as well as online hiring solutions.
Almasa Holdings employs over 250 people with some 30 different nationalities across its six member-companies. It covers and operates in more than 60 countries, from the Middle East to North Africa, and Asia to Europe. The group has offices in 12 countries, with the biggest being its headquarters in Dubai.
Almasa IT Distribution, the group’s core company, is today the biggest IT distributor in the Middle East and North Africa, representing top international brands such as HP, Maxtor, Avaya, Hitachi, and Microsoft among others. It has just been voted the MENA region’s number one IT distributor for the second year running.
Tony Manning, Almasa Holdings’ and Omniyat Properties’ Chief Financial Officer, said that the group’s turnover is expected to reach two billion Dirhams by the end of this year, which is an increase of AED 440 million Dirhams over the previous year. “We have continued our year-on-year trend of excellent growth since our inception,” he added.
Manning noted that all six of Almasa Holdings’ member-companies — Almasa IT Distribution, Almasa Business Solutions, Performance Systems, The Hiring Solutions Company, ART International, and Omniyat Properties, which took over Almasa real estate division’s projects — have all turned in excellent performances this year.
“We expect our new property ventures in Dubai and the rest of the Middle East to make a significant contribution to our growth in the next few years. Our aim is to triple our turnover within five years. While technology will remain at the heart of Almasa, property will emerge as an equally important contributor to our revenues and profits,” he said.
Manning added that the initial Omniyat Properties capital of AED 150 million will be increased to AED 300 million to support this growth. “We expect to make further announcements in the near future regarding strategic partnerships and increases in Omniyat’s capital,” he said.
Tim Wilson, Sales Director and Senior Vice President of Omniyat Properties, pointed out that the company will enter all segments of the property development market at all levels. “We will be developing properties with residential, office, retail and probably even hotel elements. All of them will rely heavily on technology,” he said.
Omniyat Properties is also currently setting up a state-of-the-art Sales Presentation Centre from which it will be selling its properties, and giving potential customers high-tech presentations which are befitting to its image. Sales will be conducted both directly by Omniyat’s own sales force and through its growing network of agents.
The company will be launching its first projects in Dubai in the last week of January. It has already acquired plots of land in various developments in Dubai, and continues to explore opportunities in all countries in the region. “We want to be a true regional developer, and to be the developer of choice for our customers,” Amjad said.Back to Press Room Press Inquiries