Interview: Mr. Khurram Noor, Chief Executive Officer EMAAR Group Pakistan : ‘Pakistan is an investment haven with great potential’

Mr. Khurram Noor, Chief Executive Officer EMAAR DHA Islamabad Limited, country’s leading real estate player, expressed his satisfaction on recent political developments. Mr. Noor said Pakistan has undergone its first peaceful transition from one democratically elected government to another. The increased political stability has significantly earned the country considerable investor trust. The present government and the ones before them have always had the interests of foreign and local investors sitting on top of their priority list. During the last few months several delegations have exchanged visits, giving way to bi-lateral trade, Pakistan has been carrying out trade and projects in collaboration with KSA, Bahrain, China, Turkey and UAE. 
While explaining the key elements that have positioned Pakistan as one of the largest economies in South Asia, Mr. Khurram Noor commented that Pakistan stands as a lucrative market for various sectors to invest in. Being a developing nation, with increasing purchasing powers and an ever curious market willing to experiment with new product introductions, Pakistan has been able to comfortably place itself as an investment haven in the South Asian region.
The smooth transition of power from one elected government to another elected government has encouraged local and foreign investors towards making investments in various sectors of the Pakistani economy. The real estate sector, in particular, has seen major inflows from overseas Pakistani settled in United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While commenting on the economic and market potential of Pakistan, Mr. Khurram Noor added:
Demographic: A comparatively open market, with limited trade restrictions and the availability of cheap skilled labour reduces the initial set up cost and the extensive paper work that companies would have to go through elsewhere. The 200 million people that call Pakistan home, provide for a market pie that very few countries have to offer.  
Diversification of economy: He said, Pakistan is transitioning from an agrarian economy to a more tertiary and services based economic model, showing signs similar to those of comparatively developed nations of the world. 
Geographical Placement: Mr. Noor was of the view that Pakistan sits at a key location connecting countries through land and water. Pakistan at present provides sea access to landlocked countries like Afghanistan and indirectly to Central Asian Republics (CARs). Pakistan is blessed with abundant natural resources, home to all four seasons and beautiful landscapes, including rivers, mountains, plateaus, plains and deserts.
 In reply to a question on potential of growth of the Construction & Real Estate Sector, Mr Noor commented: Narrowing the scope down to the real estate sector, extensive urbanization as a result of increased internal migration from villages to cities has given way to increased real estate business. An overall increase in purchasing powers coupled with the desire of high standard living is yet another factor augmenting the performance of the real estate sector in Pakistan. 
While commenting on the projects that Emaar has undertaken in Emaar, Mr. Noor explained: Emaar currently has two landmark projects underway in Pakistan. In Karachi, Crescent Bay, the seafront wonder, is a vibrant community of high-rise towers set along three crescent shaped man-made bays. Whereas, in Islamabad Canyon Views is an expansive gated community, offering superb villas, and town-homes with the finest architecture, facilities, security, views and green open spaces available in the capital.
Crescent Bay Karachi is a mega project entailing the construction of luxurious apartment towers along crescent shaped man made bays spread over an area of 108 acres, accommodating more than 40 towers. It is planned to be a construction marvel for Pakistan and for the world to see. The magnificence of Crescent Bay has already surfaced itself on Google Earth, making the project visible through satellite images. The Crescent Bay Development Project has been planned to enhance the Karachi skyline by providing a unique and quality residential, commercial and retail community in an exclusive sector of the city. It is Emaar’s vision to provide high quality buildings and communities in Pakistan to match the best of International standards throughout Pakistan.
Canyon Views Islamabad, on the other hand, is an exclusive gated community spread over 350 acres of land, accommodating over 3000 units. The community projects a mix of natural attractions combined with exceptional architecture and the finest leisure facilities. The project is serving as a benchmark in developing master-planned communities. The site is located in Islamabad, at DHA phase II, approximately 15.3 miles south of downtown Islamabad, and approximately 9 miles from Islamabad International Airport. It is situated at the junction of the Islamabad highway and G.T. Road, which borders the site to the south. 
Both the projects are a testament to Emaar Pakistan’s commitment in providing luxury and better real estate options in the country.
When asked about his personal success story, Mr Khurram Noor said: My success story takes its foundations from my MBA in Finance from IBA Karachi, and BE in Mechanical Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, Pakistan. To further add to my educational credentials I have been also certified in post-graduate courses in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, USA. The diverse set of skills, ranging from Engineering to Business Administration, has allowed me to hold key positions at multinational organisations. 
I have worked across numerous sectors including real estate and financial institutions. Prior to joining Emaar, I have had the opportunity of working with UAE-based Mazyood Giga International FZE, Dubai, UAE (Giga Group) as Group Head of Investment Management, in addition to serving as the Director of Operations for the group’s joint venture with the Al Ghurair Group. 
I have always been and always will be positive about the future of Pakistan. Pakistan has successfully made its presence known to globally as a strong developing market and economy. We have immense potential in terms of economic growth, human capital, natural resource and we have the persistence and spirit of a united nation. We have learnt to stand together in adversity and are determined towards building an even brighter future of the country.

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