While it has been a challenging period for all, Jyotsna Hegde, President of Sobha Group, says the crisis has reinforced the importance of innovative thinking and the need to be solution driven. Here she talks about the company’s plans and what it has in store for homebuyers.
The land for Sobha was purchased in 2011. Now, almost 10 years later, how do you see Sobha Hartland?
We launched Sobha Hartland in 2014. From a vacant land plot 10 years ago to over 8 million sq ft of luxurious living in the heart of Dubai, we hope to bring a well-recognised and sought-after community to the city. Our chairman PNC Menon always had a very clear vision: to redefine the art of living through exquisite craftsmanship, immense attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to quality.
While the global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted industries across countries, it is heartening to see companies and organisations striving to navigate these challenges and continue on their trajectories to success. Over the past few months, we have prioritised the safety, health and well-being of our staff as we continued to fulfil our promise to our customers. Today, we are proud to say that we have managed this challenging period with minimal disruption to our construction operations and are on track to achieving our targets for 2020. This crisis has reinforced the importance of innovative thinking and the need to be solution driven, values that are ingrained in the Sobha culture, and we remain optimistic towards Dubai’s real estate sector, which continues to show resilience and attracts buyers from around the globe.
What measures have you taken to bolster buyer confidence in this market?
Although a pandemic may seem like the most uncertain of times for large investments, it has, in fact, never been more an ideal time to explore real estate investments. The ecosystem around real estate in Dubai continues to be attractive, and recently the government made mortgages more lucrative, where you can finance up to 80 per cent of your unit (85 per cent if you are an Emirati).
Additionally, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has further simplified its processes, adding more convenience to new and old homeowners. Additionally, this past year properties in Dubai saw ROI averaging an attractive 6-7 per cent, which is one of the highest worldwide.
With this context in mind, I strongly advise prudent research for buyers and finding value for money and choosing quality above all — this is especially important as a home is a long-term investment. Over the past few months, we have been offering the opportunity for customers to take a tour of our homes through our Virtual Property walk-throughs, which proved to be an effective means during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now our sales offices are also open in line with social distancing and safety measures and buyers can visit the Sobha Hartland destination and our residences to experience it firsthand.
How are you incentivising brokers to sell more?
We are always working closely and collaborative with our channel partners and have so far seen positive results through our long-term relationships with them.
What value adds are there when purchasing a unit in Hartland?
Buyers can benefit from a number of added values the community has to offer. For one, Sobha Hartland is strategically located in the heart of the city, a few minutes away from key attractions, while at the same time offering a green, serene haven. The community is equipped with a number of amenities from gyms, cycling and walking tracks, yoga spaces and a community centre.
How do you differentiate yourself in this market?
At Sobha Realty, we have always prided ourselves on timely handovers, without compromising on quality. Sobha Hartland offers more than just a home. We have created a community surrounded by lush greenery, vast landscapes, world-class amenities and a unique living environment in the heart of the city.
For a family with kids, what does Hartland have to offer?
In addition to the reduction on school fees at two of the most renowned educational institutes in Dubai, the community offers a haven for families and a place for children to explore outdoor living and immerse themselves in nature. The vast green spaces within Sobha Hartland are a perfect place for families and children to enjoy, along with our amenities, including a cycling track, play areas and much more.
Additionally, Sobha Hartland is located five minutes away from Dubai Mall and the Ras Al Khor wildlife reserve, and as such offers an accessible location to many of Dubai’s attractions.
There is a need for space and social distancing with the pandemic. How does Sobha Hartland cater to this?
A trend that has been noticed in the UAE real estate market is how more buyers are looking to purchase town houses and villas with a plot of open space, such as a garden or backyard. This in large can be in correlation to the events of the last few months where the value people place on their home and space has increased. Our Sobha Hartland community offers apartment high-rises as well as a vast selection of villas and town houses, therefore, buyers have the option of choosing the units and layouts most convenient to them. Many of our apartments are also equipped with a separate study, which we see as a developing trend and will be beneficial for those working from home. As a developer, we are intuitive about our design and focus on maximising living spaces to ensure residents enjoy the utmost levels of comfort and convenience.