“We want to deliver high-quality projects tailored to the UAE market”: Citi Developers CEO


The UAE’s real estate market continues to rise amid higher demand from buyers and investors alike. In its quarterly economic review 2023, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) said that despite global uncertainty and tight monetary stances worldwide, the UAE real estate sector continued its good performance from July to October 2023. According to a news report by WAM, CBUAE explained that in the first nine months of 2023, the value of residential transactions in Abu Dhabi increased by 56 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to AED 67.8 billion, while the report pointed out based on Dubai Land Department (DLD) data during the first ten months of the year, the value of real estate transactions in Dubai surged by 37 per cent YoY, surpassing AED 500 billion.
In this free-wheeling conversation with Gulf Time, the CEO of Dubai-based real estate company Citi Developers, Zoraiz Malik shares insights about the realty sector in the UAE, Citi’s future vision, the differentiator that Citi brings to the market, and its innovative concepts, among others.

Excerpts from the Q&A:

Could you please take us through the City Developers’ history and its journey in the real estate development world?
With a legacy of over a decade, we proudly stand as a world-leading master developer renowned for reshaping cityscapes and enriching communities across continents.
At Citi, trust is our foundation, and experience is our currency. We understand how our residents and investors think, and we apply this knowledge in everything we do. We know that trust takes time, resources, and years to build, and we are proud to have earned and perfected it over the past decade.

What was the major attraction for City Developers to enter the real estate market in the UAE? Could you please share the opportunities that you see in this ever-evolving market?
City Developers was attracted to enter the real estate market in the UAE primarily due to the region’s robust economic growth, strategic location, and favourable business environment. The UAE has been experiencing rapid urbanisation and infrastructural development, fuelled by population growth, increasing tourism, and government initiatives to diversify the economy.
The UAE’s status as a global business hub attracts investors and developers seeking to capitalise on the growing demand for high-quality real estate properties. With its cosmopolitan lifestyle, tax incentives, and business-friendly regulations, the UAE presents a fertile ground for City Developers to establish their presence and thrive in the competitive real estate landscape.

How does your entry into the UAE real estate market align with the company’s future vision? Please share with us the main goals you aim to achieve, from now on.
Our entry into the UAE real estate market aligns seamlessly with our company’s forward-looking vision of global expansion and diversification. With the UAE’s reputation as a dynamic hub for real estate investment and development, we aim to establish a strong presence while contributing to sustainable growth. Our main objectives include building brand recognition, delivering high-quality projects tailored to the UAE market, and fostering partnerships with local stakeholders. By adhering to our core values of integrity and professionalism, we are committed to creating exceptional value for all involved while driving innovation and positively impacting the communities we serve.

City Developers is known for introducing innovative concepts in its real estate projects. What are the most significant innovations you plan to bring to your projects in the UAE?
At City Developers, our commitment to innovation drives us to reimagine the real estate landscape in the UAE. We plan to introduce pioneering concepts like the Aveline Residences that integrate smart technology, sustainable design, and mixed-use development principles into our projects.
By leveraging smart home systems, eco-friendly materials, and vibrant community spaces, we aim to create living environments that are not only efficient and convenient but also promote wellness and connectivity. Our focus on innovation extends to construction techniques, where we explore modular construction and advanced materials to streamline processes and deliver high-quality projects efficiently. Through these innovations, we aspire to redefine urban living experiences, setting new benchmarks for excellence in the UAE real estate market.

How do you ensure compliance with the highest international standards in your new projects in the UAE, and what strategies do you follow to guarantee the quality of construction and design?
Ensuring compliance with the highest international standards in our projects in the UAE is paramount to our commitment to excellence. We employ a multi-faceted approach that begins with meticulous planning and selecting reputable partners who share our dedication to quality. Through rigorous due diligence, we assess potential risks and ensure alignment with international best practices from the project’s inception.
Leveraging state-of-the-art design software and technologies, we optimise efficiency and accuracy while focusing on innovation and sustainability. Throughout the construction process, we implement stringent quality control measures, conduct regular inspections, and employ skilled craftsmen to execute the project according to the highest standards. Our commitment to ongoing compliance and quality assurance is reflected in our proactive approach to training and development, continuous communication with regulatory bodies, and responsiveness to feedback, ensuring that our projects consistently meet and exceed the highest international standards.

The Aveline project represents a starting point for your company in the UAE. What features distinguish this project from other real estate projects in Dubai?
The Aveline project marks our company’s inaugural venture into the UAE market, and it’s distinguished by several key features that set it apart from other real estate projects in Dubai. Firstly, Aveline emphasises a unique blend of contemporary luxury and environmental consciousness, with sustainable design elements integrated throughout the development. Secondly, Aveline offers residents an unparalleled lifestyle experience, with meticulously crafted residences, panoramic views, and world-class amenities that cater to the discerning tastes of modern urban dwellers.
Additionally, Aveline stands out for its strategic location, providing convenient access to key business districts, major hubs, and leisure attractions, enhancing its appeal to residents and investors. Furthermore, Aveline prioritises community-building and social engagement, with thoughtfully curated spaces that foster a sense of belonging and connectivity among residents. The human desire for connection is inherent. Like threads in an intricate tapestry or the delicate fibres in a bird’s nest, these connections enrich our life’s journey. Intentionally designed to foster connections, celebrate community living, and embrace convenience, as you step into Aveline, you step into a narrative where every detail forms the foundation for an exceptional residential experience.

How do you expect the entry of City Developers into the Dubai and overall UAE real estate market to impact?
The entry of City Developers into the Dubai and overall UAE real estate market is poised to have a notable impact. With our expertise and resources, City Developers will likely intensify competition, fostering innovation and higher standards in design and amenities. Moreover, our presence may lead to the development of new neighbourhoods, revitalisation of existing areas, and creating vibrant mixed-use spaces, catering to evolving consumer demands. This influx of development activity could also stimulate further investment, boost the economy, and create job opportunities, contributing to the overall growth and dynamism of the real estate sector in the UAE.

How do you plan to offer a unique and outstanding living experience to the residents through your housing projects in the UAE?
Our strategy for offering a unique and outstanding living experience to residents in our housing projects in the UAE revolves around innovative and sustainable design, vibrant community engagement, exceptional customer service, and a commitment to environmental sustainability. By integrating innovative technology, fostering inclusive communities, delivering premium amenities, and prioritising eco-friendly practices, we aim to create living spaces that not only meet residents’ needs but also enhance their quality of life and contribute positively to the surrounding environment.

What are City Developers’ plans for expansion in the UAE, and could we expect announcements about new projects shortly?
City Developers’ expansion plans in the UAE are set to make waves. We’re kicking off in Dubai with Aveline Residence in Jumeirah Village Circle, closely followed by Majan. But that’s just the start. Our next stop is Al Marjan Island. Each project will outshine the last, promising even higher standards of luxury and innovation. Keep an eye out for our upcoming announcements – we’re committed to delivering excellence every step of the way.

What advice would you like to give investors and individuals looking to reside within your real estate projects in Dubai?
For investors and individuals considering our real estate projects in Dubai, we advise thorough research into the location, amenities, and long-term value proposition of each property. Visiting the properties in person can provide valuable insights, while consulting with financial advisors ensures informed decisions regarding financing and investment strategy.
Engaging with our team for clarification and considering lifestyle preferences is crucial in selecting the right property. Additionally, staying informed about market trends and regulatory changes will help navigate the dynamic real estate landscape in Dubai effectively. With careful consideration and expert guidance, investors and residents can make the most out of their experience with our projects in Dubai.


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