Azizi Developments considering an IPO, says chairman

Azizi Developments currently has a pipeline of projects worth $12 billion and more than 200 ongoing projects across Dubai

United Arab Emirates, September 24, 2018

Azizi Developments is considering an IPO for its hospitality and development businesses according to Mirwais Azizi.

In an exclusive interview the Azizi founder and chairman told Arabian Business: “We are waiting for the audit report at the end of the year. When this is finished we will see whether to apply.”

Azizi Developments currently has a pipeline of projects worth $12 billion and more than 200 ongoing projects across Dubai.

The developer also has plans to build the world’s fifth-tallest skyscraper, located on Sheikh Zayed Road which will be ready by late 2021 or early 2022, according to Azizi.

Azizi Developments seemed to emerge from nowhere when it launched a raft of projects across Dubai in 2013. But now, for the first time, its founder and chairman is ready to tell the backstory of his journey from war-torn Kabul to a real estate empire in Dubai, where he's now one of the city's most talked about private developers

Last year it handed over 13 projects and seven more are set for delivery from Q4 2018 onwards, adding 2,268 units across various Dubai locations to its growing portfolio.

Azizi also recently announced an important milestone at Azizi Riviera, valued at about $3.2bn, after it passed the 20 percent completion mark.

The Meydan development will eventually house over 15,000 apartments and feature an integrated retail complex that has a mix of high-street shops and leisure and entertainment amenities. Plans to build a marina on the canal are also in the pipeline.

Funding question

Azizi also revealed that the company has no plans in the meantime to go to the market for debt to finance the ongoing projects.

“Now is okay. If I feel I need it I will organise one year before, not at the last moment,” he told Arabian Business.

He added that Azizi invests in a project using “historic and current unit sales”.

Dubai Land Department (DLD) rules state that developers must have 100 percent ownership of the land and must complete 20 percent of construction before they can use offplan sales money stored in the escrow account.

“I always have three options so that construction never has to stop. Once construction has reached 20 percent, funds are released from the escrow account,” he explained.

“If further finance is required in order to keep the construction running to schedule we may use bank finance, though this is rare. And following that, and if necessary, we will inject our own money to ensure timely completion of projects. But until now I have rarely needed the second two options.”