In a statement published on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) website, Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company announced the appointment of Mr. Ziad El Chaar as Chief Executive Officer of the company as of June 1, 2017.
Based in Riyadh, Dar Al Arkan is the largest listed real estate company in the Saudi stock market with a capital of SAR 10.8 billion ($2.88 billion) and total assets close to SAR 25 billion ($6.6 billion). Recently, Dar Al Arkan closed the issuance of the fourth tranche of USD denominated international Islamic Sukuk Program, raising SAR 1.9 billion ($500 million). The issuance listed on the NASDAQ Dubai and received significant interest with the order book equal to 2 times of the amount issued.
Dar Al Arkan’s Chairman, Mr. Yousef Al Shelash said: "Our decision to appoint Mr. Ziad El Chaar was based on his distinguished career and extensive experience in the real estate, financial and leadership fields. Mr. El Chaar’s professional background corresponds with the company’s current directions to pursue a real-estate development strategy that contributes to the growth of profitability, the enhancement of financial position, the achievement of high returns on company’s assets plus sustainable revenues. Such objectives coincide with the reduction of cost, the rationalization of spending, and the active dealing with the strategic changes experienced by the Saudi economy in general and the real estate sector in particular, within the framework of Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020”. Al Shelash explained that El Chaar has previously occupied many leadership positions in major companies, and most recently he was the Managing Director of Damac Properties in Dubai, which makes him qualified to lead Dar Al Arkan at this stage.
"Utilizing the experience of foreign CEOs with a high professional profile has been a recurring phenomenon in many countries and yielded impressive results even in developed countries. Dar Al Arkan has carefully selected talents of promising Saudi expertise looking to gain more experience under the management of Mr. Ziad El Chaar, who will be an added value to the company's success and achievements, as well as being an active factor in supporting its strategic directions,” added Mr. Al Shelash. He stressed that the company is currently focused on recruiting best talents, improving the skills of Saudis, and relying more on national staff.
Al Shelash pointed out that in the coming period, Dar Al Arkan seeks to expand inside and outside the Kingdom, and provide all real estate products that meet the different needs of customers and the aspirations of real estate investors. The company will, also, strive to address the housing problem in the country by activating the role of the real estate sector in enhancing the local content in GDP, along with an active contribution to creating more job opportunities for citizens.
For his part, Mr. Ziad El Chaar, the new CEO of Dar Al Arkan, expressed his pleasure for joining the company, the pioneer real estate developer in the Kingdom. “I feel optimistic about the future of Dar Al Arkan, where I will devote the best of my expertise to meet the expectations of the board of directors and the shareholders as well,” said Ziad El Chaar.
"Dar Al Arkan is a large and distinguished company that enjoys competitive advantages, a strong financial position, and a real estate portfolio that is the largest, best, and most diversified in the Kingdom. Moreover, the company is operating in a promising and vibrant market that is marked by a growing demand for real estates, particularly the residential products. All such factors increase the rates of optimism and success," added Mr. El Chaar.
Speaking about the company’s next stage, Mr. El Chaar explained that Dar Al Arkan owns a vast portfolio of assets that generate sustainable financial revenues. “The company holds sufficient capabilities to seize the currently available opportunities to start a range of new projects, considering the low cost of building and construction materials, and the increasing demand for housing projects. Today, Saudi Ministry of Housing (MOH) is mainly counting on developers to realize the desired balance between the supply and demand for the housing products. Through the partnership program and the terms and conditions of “Wafi,” the off-plan sales program, MOH is planning to meet the purchasing power of middle-class and low-income citizens. “Wafi” program requires developers to have strong financial and technical capabilities coupled with a land portfolio in the high demand areas such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Eastern Province. Such qualifications will enable developers to provide high-quality housing units at prices that match the range set by the MOH for the lists of beneficiaries, and all such requirements are already available to Dar Al Arkan,” said Mr. El Chaar.
It is worth mentioning that Mr. Ziad holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the American University in Beirut. He led the management of mega and versatile projects. His impressive track record includes many real estate achievements and successes, both in the residential communities, commercial, hospitality, and retail complexes, and in the mixed use sector in the Middle East.