SkyscraperCity Forum banner

H-18 | Eighteen Islamabad | APP

34941 Views 98 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  urbanlover456
Joint venture of Egyptian, local firm to invest $2bn in housing project in Islamabad
‘Eighteen’, luxury living project, to attract investments from local and overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: A major development in real estate sector in Pakistan, a joint venture of an Egyptian and a Pakistani firm, has announced an investment of approximately $ 2 billion in a modern luxurious housing project, Eighteen at the H18 sector, in Islamabad.

Eighteen Islamabad is being developed by the highly regarded and innovative entrepreneurs from Egypt and Pakistan, Naguib Sawiris of Ora Developers and the Saif Group. They are launching “Eighteen, Islamabad” a 2.7 million square yards landscaped lifestyle destination minutes away from New Islamabad Airport with easy access to downtown Islamabad as well as the M1 and M2 motorways leading to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sharing details about the multi-million-dollar housing project, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eighteen Tarek Hamdy told Pakistan Today, during an exclusive interview in Islamabad, Eighteen would redefine luxury living in Islamabad. The project is set in the beautiful landscape to the south-west of the city and offers a mixed residential lifestyle complex surrounded by a championship standard golf course. Eighteen includes a 5-star hotel, a modern retail and business park, medical facilities, education villages, and recreational facilities but more than this it offers residents a secure, relaxing and luxurious lifestyle which they can enjoy with their family.

Tarek Hamdy said that there would be 1068 villas of different sizes, 921 residential apartments, a five-star hotel of 150 rooms and 13 office buildings catering for multinational, national corporations and local business. Additional amenities include fire brigade, community centre and a Mosque.

Talking about the major component of the mega project which would attract a range of buyers he said, the heartbeat of Eighteen Islamabad is the Club, a modernist masterpiece with a central location overlooking the 18 hole championship golf course. The Club is the home of golf at Eighteen and will also be the social and entertainment hub of the development. Beautifully situated to be both convenient and to take advantage of the very best views of the lakes and fairways at Eighteen, it will be a favorite spot for gourmet dining, drinks at sunset on the rooftop terrace, a range of leisure activities, or simply as a place to relax, unwind, and connect with friends. Exceptional sporting facilities include a cricket pitch, squash courts, a sports hall, swimming pool, pro shop, yoga studio and a cigar lounge.

In reply to a query about the comparison of the new housing project with existing societies, he said, the local housing societies largely focus on urban and densely populated areas. There is also no restriction of design in other societies whereas all our properties at Eighteen will follow the design guidelines set by the international architects,” he said adding that the major speciality of Eighteen would be the large portion of world-class amenities, and facilities.

“Eighteen Islamabad presents an array of luxurious living options suitable for families of all sizes. For couples, there are chic, city-style apartments, dramatically designed with wide-angle, uninterrupted views of the golf course. For larger families or those who desire more space, Eighteen offers lavish private villas. These four- and eight-Kanal villas are designed in an intriguing and exclusive crescent shape. They are truly extraordinary homes,” he added.

To a question, he said, the project which will use a large number of local products and resources, will create job opportunities for thousands of local people. Though the experienced international architects, designers and others project specialists would be supervising the construction process, local consultants, contractors, labour and machinery would be used for execution of the project, he said.

In reply to another query, Tarek Hamdy said the price of small housing units would be in line with market prices. At least 70 per cent of the houses would be built on half kanal land. “I will promise you, with the success of this project, we will introduce medium and small houses to facilitate the middle class,” he said.

Talking about expansion plans, he said, his company is looking at introducing a range of different housing projects in cities like Lahore and Karachi. “But for now we are focused on Islamabad and will officially be launching our first project, Eighteen on January 18, 2018,” he said

To another question, Tarek said, apart from local investors, the project, which will be completed in six years, would attract investment from Pakistani Diaspora, who for the investment in the project would send their disposable earning to Pakistan helping the overall remittances of the country.

Sharing the overall progress on the project, he said, the land has fully been acquired, site branding and gridding have been completed while links roads are under construction. He said the company will shortly be opening its site office.

Ora as a major shareholder brings with it a wealth of experience covering projects in the UK, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Cyprus and Grenada, including the Nile Towers, Pier 88 and Pyramid Hills in Egypt; SilverSands in Grenada and Ayia Napa Marina in Cyprus.

According to him, two years ago, Ora Developers and the Saif Group had a vision of bringing a new and international way of living to Pakistan. Together, they assembled the best in design, construction and sustainable living to create the ultimate lifestyle destination. Today, their dream is a reality, and they proudly present a rare and exceptional development which you can make your home.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 20 of 99 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: 2
  • Like
Reactions: 4
  • Like
Reactions: 4
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Great Work Tabeb....i can assure from my sources, this thread is going to get traction soon
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Naveed Ahmad Khan


The world-class lifestyle destination development, Eighteen Islamabad, was announced today. The US$2 billion real estate project is a partnership between Ora Developers and Saif Group, in conjunction with Kohistan Builders & Developers. At an event held in Islamabad, on the 22nd December 2017, the management team introduced the partners, unveiled the branding and confirmed the date of the commercial launch as the 18th January 2018.
Eighteen is a 2.77 million sq yard (2.2 million sq m)gated community being developed in the 18th District, to the south-west of downtown Islamabad. It offers the highest quality of design and construction, which will set new standards for Pakistani real estate.
At the announcement Mr Naguib Sawiris, Chairman of Ora Developers, commented: “Today we have shown a wonderful master plan for a development which I believe will revolutionise real estate projects in Pakistan.
Ora, working with these highly respected partners, will be creating a new lifestyle destination in a world class capital City. I am very pleased to be involved with the project and very excited by what we will achieve.”
Eighteen Islamabad has been designed around a championship golf course and will consist of 1100 villas and 900 apartments as well as an iconic Golf Clubhouse, a shopping Mall, 5-Star boutique hotel, medical facilities and a business district.
The master plan was conceptualised by Calisson RTKL and developed by renowned architects and urban planners WATG. The unique and challenging golf course has been designed by IDG in the UK. The project is being led by CEO, Tarek Hamdy, who explained why the scheme is so unique: “All the villas and apartments have been carefully located with views over the golf course and are linked by wide parkways and open streets.
The feeling is of space and privacy which will give a select group of people the homes they have always dreamt of.
The amenities are second to none, delivered in a safe, secure and exclusive location.”
At the event Mr Sawiris was joined by Mr Anwar Saifullah Co-Chairman of the Saif Group and by Mr Malik Adeel, Chairman of Kohistan Builders& Developers along with the management team from Eighteen Islamabad.
Eighteen, is ten minutes away from the new Islamabad International Airport and is the ideal development for local and overseas Pakistanis who enjoy luxury living and state of the art amenities. Eighteen will be the benchmark for all future real estate projects in Pakistan.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
There is no main artery in their master plan..
There is no main artery in their master plan..
There are two roads from both sides of the master plan. The reason one doesn't do down the middle is because of the golf course.
Master Plan, Amenities and Villas.

  • Like
Reactions: 3
ISLAMABAD: It takes 12 years for a traditional schooling system to prepare you for college.

This is also how long it took one Egyptian billionaire and his Pakistani friend, a well-connected political figure and successful businessman no less, to launch a real estate project in the country
“In Egypt, it’s a nightmare to get a building permit. It’s not very different here either. Laws are not clear and this leaves many grey areas, which officials are able to exploit. There needs to be a revolution in Pakistan’s real estate. It took us 12 years to buy the land (for Eighteen Islamabad).”
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Ground wotk has started
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Eighteen’ set to mark its presence

Following a rousing reception from buyers and investors in Islamabad and Karachi, Eighteen showcased its $2 billion project at Expo Centre Lahore. A joint venture of Egypt-based Ora Developers, Saif Group and Kohistan Builders (KBD) in Pakistan, Eighteen’s product line includes luxurious villas, gated community, beautiful apartment complexes, a retail hub and a business complex. Eighteen CCO said: “I was delighted to see the overwhelming response at the Zameen Expo Lahore where we showcased our master plan of the project underway in addition to the extended product line. It enabled us to connect with both, potential customers and investors.” The Pakistani real estate market is ready to host world class developers.
See less See more
the biggest problem will be the surrounding brick kilns which will emit their black smoke in all directions...not sure y they cant put filters...a few have them..
actually wanna move here and live my best Defence Auntie who hosts brunch on Sunday life.
  • Like
Reactions: 3
BR Research: What is this project all about? What is its scope and scale?

Tarek Hamdy: The ‘Eighteen’ real-estate project is spread on about 2.7 million sq. yards of land. It will be a mixed-use residential project, offering a new lifestyle built around a very nice 18-hole golf course on a nice topography. The scenery is enjoyable as we have about 13 natural water reserves running through the project area. Between the two 9-holes, we will build a very nice clubhouse, which will serve both the inhabitants and the golfers.

Around the golf-course, we will build around 1,068 residential units – basically a mix of half-kanal, one-kanal, two-kanal, four-kanal and eight-kanal villas. Overlooking the golf-course from the North side, which is closer to the highway, we will build about 970 apartments, which will be low-rise buildings. The buffer in front of the highway will be occupied by thirteen sophisticated buildings in a modern business park that will provide smart and energy-efficient office space to both large and small businesses.

We will also have a 150-room boutique hotel, in the shape of a resort. For that, we have received interest from Best Western and Shangri-La. The project will also include a large mall having a retail space of 600,000 sq. feet, besides both onsite and underground parking. There will be large square in front of the mall, focusing on entertainment. There will be 24/7 on-site clinics for inhabitants as well as outpatients.

BRR: Where is the project site located and how accessible is it from Islamabad city center?

TH: The project site is about ten-minute drive from the New Islamabad International Airport, a distance which is beneficial for us in terms of businesses and tourists. It’s about twenty minutes away from downtown, as it is on the Kashmir Highway, which is luckily being rebuilt and revamped. Good news is that the CDA has enforced building of the interchanges on the Avenues 13, 16 and 17. Avenue 17 is just 1km drive away from us. So the access to the project site is now fully available from both sides.

BRR: What is the breakup of residential villas?

TH: About 70 percent of our product is tailored as the half-canal houses, for there is a big demand for middle-class housing in Pakistan. We are creating a lifestyle destination, not some niche resort for rich people. It’s a new district. The malls and the office space also will accommodate small businesses.

BRR: How much is the project worth and who all are sponsoring it?

TH: The overall value of this project is $2 billion. It will be completed in between five to six years, in three distinct phases.

The shareholders of ‘Eighteen’ are the same as the ones that previously launched Mobilink in Pakistan. This is a partnership between Ora Developers – which belongs to the telecom guru Naguib Sawiris and has real estate projects in Cyprus, Egypt, London and Grenada – and the local Saif Group. Majority project equity – about 60 percent – is with Ora Developers and the rest is with the Saif Group, which itself is in partnership with developers, Kohistan Builders. It’s a good mixture of experience.

BRR: So far, how much equity has been put into the project?

TH: The land that this project owns – about 4,839 kanals – is selling in the market today at between $60,000 and $70,000 per kanal. So the collective worth of the land that we own is about $300 million. We have this land’s clean title deeds as well as full possession. So you can say this landholding is a major part of our equity. The company formed for this project, ‘Elite Estates Private Limited’, owns the land.

BRR: So, to be clear, at this stage, you have some land on which you plan to build residential and commercial facilities. Now, if it’s a $2 billion project, with the land totaling roughly $300 million, where would the rest of the financing come from to develop the land

TH: We are injecting a lot of capex ourselves. We are financing phase one of the construction, which will start this year, with full equity of our own. This phase would include the building and construction of half of the villas, most of the apartments, components of the office buildings, parts of the mall and the square, and probably the hotel as well. This will be a very heavy phase as we will also be building the full golf course, which on its own is a $30-40 million investment. We recognise that we need to build the golf-course and the clubhouse early on to attract potential customers.

BRR: Still, there must be some bank financing involved?

TH: We are not counting on much financing from the banks. We haven’t tapped the banks for more than $20 million so far. We are quite solid financially as well as in terms of development. Also note that a part of capex may also come from the buyers, who will be offered a four-year payment plan. But still, the main infrastructure network – like the golf-course and the clubhouse – and services and amenities – like the main fiber optic network and all the utility installations – we will have to build ourselves.

BRR: In the development phase, where are you going to source the materials from?

TH: We intend to use 70 percent of materials from local sources. We intend to employ local contractors to do the job. We have very strong technical supervision to ensure quality control. We are going to be offering 15,000-20,000 jobs to the locals. To illustrate, Pakistan has some fantastic woodworks and carpenters, who we will be using for the wardrobes and kitchen appliances.

BRR: Let’s turn to competition. You are not selling plots; you’re only selling finished villas. That’s one differentiator from the rest of the prominent housing societies in Pakistan. But what else really separates you from the competition?

TH: We have looked at this market and it is very exciting. If you ask me, I think Pakistan is a luxury market. For instance, everyone in the Pakistani middle-class wants en-suite bathroom, which is quite a treat in the West. So we have developed our product to suit Pakistani aspirations.

As for the competition, the idea of a large developer coming in is not new in Pakistan. You have had some very successful local developers. And you have had some unsuccessful ones. We looked at the things that this market lacked. That’s where we are striving to be different. How? I will explain one by one.

First, a lot of the developers here can only offer you an allotment letter; they can’t offer you a title deed. We would be extending ownership to the owners. Not only will this make the potential buyers more comfortable, this will allow them, at a later stage, to use the property for other purposes like mortgage refinancing.

Second, if you look at other developers, there is no consistent design guideline or architectural vernacular. That’s because they allow you to build a home the way you want. So the result is that the facades of the houses may look very nice but you will not feel that you are in a destination because the colors and the skyline look so different. We have finalised a detailed master-plan with the help of WATG, UK, through which we have created very strong design guidelines that are all consistent and look very nice together.

Third, the access is convenient. When you move within most housing societies in Pakistan, the feel is that of a city atmosphere. You have those bumps and barriers. We are creating a gated, secure community that is very green and has walkways where children and the elderly can have leisure with safety. We are also looking at smart ways to build things up.

And the fourth one is real convenience. The number one reason why expat Pakistanis don’t invest in real-estate back home is that the facilities and amenities here are inconsistent and the properties are not safe. We are going to ensure proper facilities management, utilities’ supply, and safety & security of their properties.

BRR: Do you have a brand strategy to communicate your USP?

TH: ‘Eighteen’ is a local brand that is building up over time. Our brand strategy is developing. We have started with awareness. Now we are trying to bring in more of tactical message, which is about payment features – like the four-year payment plan and title ownership over time. Our brand recognition will take place through our colors. The ‘Eighteen’ brand has seven colors, each of which is an identifier of a sub-brand like the villas, the apartments, the hotel, the golf-course, the clubhouse, etc.

We did not want to go aggressive with our brand before access issue was resolved and ground-breaking was done. We are now in full control, as ground-breaking will take place in late March and construction will start in April.

BRR: You seem confident of internal capabilities to complete the project within time. What kind of challenges do you currently have, or foresee, in the external environment?

TH: We have already overcome two kinds of challenges. One is the planning consent, the so-called No Objection Certificate (NOC). We got the NOC from the RDA in November 2017, which was just a month before our formal launch. Second is land acquisition; it took us about six to seven years just to acquire the land, because you have to buy pockets of lands from individuals. Another challenge was the site access, but that issue has been resolved. Now the clients can access our site easily.

The main challenge that we have right now is the difficulties in paying our consultants abroad. The central bank has strict regulations on sending US dollars abroad. When we do a concept, we want to go for the best. So we contracted a firm like WATG to get the concept perfectly right. That contract would exceed $2 million. Now when we have to pay them, we must do so from our equity that we have brought in from abroad. But even if it’s a $100,000 contract, it takes two months for the SBP to give their approval.

This has to change and the regulator must allow a percentage of the equity to be spent in US dollars. If we bring in $300 million of equity, a good $10 million being spent on external consultants’ services is not too much.

Besides that, I think that the customs’ authorities are sometimes ridiculous in terms of the percentages they charge on imported goods. I wonder, for the goods that are not being produced in Pakistan, why are they charging so much customs duty?

BRR: Let’s turn to sales. How much of a role will you allow dealers and brokers to have in this project?

TH: We are very client-oriented. We don’t mind using real-estate brokers or dealers or agents. But these people will be there to help us sell more. And we are the ones controlling all the pricing. So we won’t be allowing them to buy the units and re-sell them. Agents that we work with will be few. They will work with us on a commission-basis and not on a bulk-deal basis. We will be selling directly to individuals, who can come in and reserve their homes through their CNICs. We are trying to build a community, so we won’t sell one individual more than two to three units.

BRR: Then, how will the pricing work?

TH: As for pricing, people who buy it first will find favourable pricing. As clusters go ahead and time elapses, they will still get the same payment plan, but at higher prices, like 2 percent more. But we want people to feel comfortable that they are not going to find six prices on the market.

BRR: How much sales have you recorded so far?

TH: We have secured reservations for about $100 million worth of properties so far. That’s almost 107 units of different sizes, with the price tag ranging from $300,000 per unit to a good $4 million per unit.

BRR: Are you open to expanding this project’s scale?

TH: Any decision to expand the project site will not be made until the end of this year. Yet, any decision to buy adjacent land will not divert us from the fact that we are building the entire infrastructure around the golf course. Adding too much land might stretch the project and it will not have the same proposition as the land facing the golf course.

For tactical reasons, we might end up adding 200-300 kanals on the North and South sides. But please note that we have made all our financial and technical calculations based on what we currently own.

BRR: Are there any plans to launch such mega projects in other cities?

TH: This is our flagship project. When they called me to offer this job, I was in London for twelve years, very well-placed and working for a large developer as a special projects director. I accepted the offer in less than ten seconds. The reason is that I like the Pakistani culture and I understand the market gaps. Besides, I have come here because the owners have told me to do one project of many.

We will think of Karachi; we’ll think of Lahore; we might even think of other towers here in downtown Islamabad. The owners have expressed interest to re-invest their profits into other projects here. So we are just waiting for the first year after our launch and then we might be announcing more projects.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 20 of 99 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.