DAMAC Appoints Seven Stones as A Real Estate Partner in Indonesia

Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Marketing of DAMAC Properties Dubai, a leading international luxury real estate developer, speaks about the recent appointment of Harcourts Seven Stones as their first real estate partner in Indonesia.

DAMAC Properties is a leading international luxury real estate developer based in Dubai, specializing in residential, commercial and leisure properties in the GCC, the wider Middle East and the United Kingdom.

The company is ranked number one on the Forbes Global 2000 List of Growth Champions, making it the fastest growing company worldwide among the top 2,000 listed by Forbes. They have recently appointed Harcourts Seven Stones, part of the Harcourts Indonesia network, as the first DAMAC real estate agency partner in Indonesia.

Why have you appointed Harcourts Seven Stones as your first Real Estate agency partner in Indonesia?

In recent times we have noticed an inflow of interest from the Indonesian markets for property in Dubai, especially since the markets in Dubai and Indonesia share similar synergies.  We wanted to use the opportunity to showcase our diverse portfolio to the Indonesian markets, and decided to partner with one of the foremost real estate agencies in the country. After due diligence, we chose and approached Harcourts Seven Stones, who have a great reputation and a fantastic story. We’re delighted that this partnership has materialised.

Are you planning to develop luxury real estate in Indonesia, Bali or some of Indonesia’s eastern islands?

DAMAC, a home-grown Dubai brand, was established in 2002, and has since grown to have presence in seven international countries. Our teams are constantly on the lookout for development opportunities overseas, and if a viable opportunity presents itself in Bali or in the eastern islands, we will definitely consider it.

Artist's Rendition of DAMAC Hills boutique villa interior. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.
Artist’s Rendition of DAMAC Hills boutique villa interior. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.

Dubai is gearing up for the UAE’s Expo 2020, do you see opportunities for Bali’s high-end property segment at events such as this?

The Expo is an opportunity for countries to showcase their industrial, scientific, technological, and artistic achievements. It is also a platform to introduce the rest of the world to innovations in various industries. With considerable excitement around the introduction and use of ‘proptech’ like virtual reality and artificial intelligence in the real estate sector, the Expo will certainly be a relevant platform.

As the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia has a lot of potential to develop Halal Tourism, especially in places like Lombok. What are your thoughts on this?

There has been an increase in demand for living experiences and property offerings that consider specific lifestyle preferences. Halal tourism and Sharia compliant living are some of the concepts that are gaining in popularity around the world. In fact, as a leading developer of differentiated, luxury living, we very recently handed over our first Sharia compliant residential product in Dubai, featuring luxury serviced apartments.

Artist's Rendition of Akoya, Just Cavalli Villas. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.
Artist’s Rendition of Akoya, Just Cavalli Villas. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.

Why do you believe green is the new black and develop with eco-solutions and sustainability in mind?

Several industries around the world are directing their focus to incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable solutions in their operations. The reliance on carbon based resources for energy is at an all-time high, and it is negatively impacting the world, and much faster than was previously predicted. Also, more and more people today are aware of their energy footprints and wish to lead a sustainable lifestyle. We fully support and endorse this shift, and we strive to incorporate sustainability and green-living in our properties as well. The development of our largest master communities, DAMAC Hills and AKOYA, is centred around these principles.

You spend time and money on philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility and focus on learning and skills development, why is this important to you?

The Chairman of DAMAC Properties, Hussain Sajwani has always maintained that a large portion of DAMAC’s success in attributed to a forward thinking government, a visionary leadership, and a supporting community. DAMAC’s CSR activities are a reflection of its Chairman’s desire to give back to the community that gave DAMAC all its success.

Artist's Rendition of DAMAC Hills, DAMAC Villas by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, Dubai. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.
Artist’s Rendition of DAMAC Hills, DAMAC Villas by Paramount Hotels & Resorts, Dubai. Image Supplied: DAMAC Properties Dubai.

Investing in educating and enabling the youth of a nation pays in more ways than one, securing the future of the youth, as well as that of the nation. The One Million Arab Coders programme, supported by the Hussain Sajwani DAMAC Foundation, came as the perfect opportunity to give back with maximum impact. This is also our way of supporting the government’s vision to develop Dubai as a knowledge based economy.

What would you like to see changed in the industry in the next 5 – 10 years?

The UAE government is introducing several progressive reforms that are aimed at welcoming talent from all over the world into Dubai. Over the next 5 to 10 years, I’d like to see Dubai become a centre for knowledge and excellence.

It would also be wonderful to become the largest, most inclusive metropolis in the world that offers people an unparalleled lifestyle in a country that they can call home. We are hoping that EXPO 2020 is the first step and a catalyst towards this exciting future.

How do you best help buyers and investors?

We have a robust customer support team that provides support to our customers across the span of their customer journey. This starts from the moment someone makes an enquiry on any of our channels, and carries through till they start living in their new home. Our properties are also managed by an expert facilities management team who cater to the needs of our resident community.

In addition, we have invested in enabling an experience-based, seamless buying journey with the adoption of virtual reality, digital customer support solutions and more. For international customers, we partner with the likes of Harcourts Seven Stones in various geographies to help connect customers to their dream DAMAC homes.

What advice do you have for people looking to invest in real estate and property?

The time is right to invest in markets like Dubai and the UK. They are both currently buyer’s markets. Both countries have shown the remarkable ability to gentrify and support the evolving needs of their population. Apart from world class lifestyle, Dubai also offers great return on investment owing to a growing population and maturing economy. Our advice would be to grab the opportunity and invest now with a well-established, market leading developer.

First published in Gapura Bali.

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Andrzej Barski

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Andrzej is Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia. He was born in the UK to Polish parents and has been living in Indonesia for more than 33-years. He is a skilled writer, trainer and marketer with a deep understanding of Indonesia and its many cultures after spending many years travelling across the archipelago from North Sumatra to Irian Jaya.

His experience covers Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Training for 5-Star Hotels and Resorts in Bali and Jakarta, which has given him a passion for the customer experience. He’s a published author and a regular contributor to local and regional publications. His interests include conservation, eco-conscious initiatives, spirituality and motorcycles. Andrzej speaks English and Indonesian.

Terje H. Nilsen

Director of Seven Stones Indonesia

Terje is from Norway and has been living in Indonesia for over 20-years. He first came to Indonesia as a child and after earning his degree in Business Administration from the University of Agder in Norway, he moved to Indonesia in 1993, where he has worked in leading positions in education and the fitness/ wellness industries all over Indonesia including Jakarta, Banjarmasin, Medan and Bali.

He was Co-owner and CEO of the Paradise Property Group for 10-years and led the company to great success. He is now Co-owner/ Founder and Director of Seven Stones Indonesia offering market entry services for foreign investors, legal advice, sourcing of investments and in particular real estate investments. He has a soft spot for eco-friendly and socially sustainable projects and investments, while his personal business strengths are in property law, tourism trends, macroeconomics, Indonesian government and regulations. His personal interests are in sport, adventure, history and spiritual experiences.

Terje’s leadership, drive and knowledge are recognised across many industries and his unrivalled network of high level contacts in government and business spans the globe. He believes you do good and do well but always in that order. Terje speaks English, Indonesian and Norwegian.

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Ridwan Jasin Zachrie

CFO of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Ridwan is one of Indonesia’s top executives with a long and illustrious career in the financial world. He holds several professional certifications including being a Certified Business Valuer (CBV) issued by the Australian Academy of Finance and Management; Broker-Dealer Representative (WPPE); and The Directorship Certification for Directors and Commissioners, issued by the Indonesian Institute of Commissioners and Directors.

His experience includes being the Managing Director at one of the top investment banking groups in the region, the Recapital Group, the CFO at State-owned enterprises in fishery industry and the CEO at Tanri Abeng & Son Holding. He’s also been an Independent Commissioner in several Financial Service companies and on the Audit and Risk Committee at Bank BTPN Tbk, Berau Coal Energy Tbk, Aetra Air Jakarta as well as working for Citibank, Bank Mandiri and HSBC. His last position was as CFO at PT Citra Putra Mandiri – OSO Group.

Ridwan has won a number of prestigious awards including the Best CFO Awards 2019 (Institute of Certified Management Accountant Australia-Indonesia); Asia Pacific Young Business Leader awarded by Asia 21 Network New York USA (Tokyo 2008); UK Alumni Business Awards 2008 awarded by the British Council; and The Most Inspiring Human Resources Practitioners’ version of Human Capital Magazine 2010.

He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Law, Trisakti University, Co-Founder of the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and actively writes books, publications and articles in the mass media. He co-authored “Korupsi Mengorupsi Indonesia” in 2009, which helps those with an interest in understanding governance in Indonesia and the critical issue of corruption. Ridwan speaks Indonesian and English.

Per Fredrik Ecker

Managing Director of Seven Stones Indonesia, Jakarta

Per is the Managing Director of the Seven Stones Indonesia (SSI) Jakarta office and has more than 25-years’ experience in Indonesia, China, and Western Europe. He previously worked in senior management positions with Q-Free ASA, Siemens AG, and other companies in the telecom sector. Over the last six years, he has been the Chairman of the Indonesia-Norway Business Council (INBC) and recently become elected to be on the board of EuroCham Indonesia.

His most recent experience is within Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS), Telecom, and other sectors within the Indonesian market. He is today through his position in SSI and by representing Norway Connect, promoting Nordic and European companies that would like to explore business opportunities in the Indonesian market. He’s also playing an active role to help create the Nordic House concept in Jakarta that will provide an excellent platform for Nordic companies entering Indonesia, where they’ll find a community that can offer support with trusted information and affordable services to enter this market.