• home

    Choosing the Right Partner


    © International Trade Centre, International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2005

    Photo: Veritas Architects SDN BHD The ICON: modern, international and built on firm foundations, like the partnership between its creators, Malaysian Veritas and Dubai-based Bonyan

    What makes a good service partner? Trust and experience, says this major Dubai developer.

    The Abbasi Group has interests in several areas, including textile trading, real-estate development and hospitality. Its Bonyan Emirates Properties is a Dubai-based property developer, supervising the development of projects for commercial and residential use throughout the Emirate of Dubai.

    After helping develop downtown Dubai in the last decade, we are now positioning the company to benefit from Dubai's construction and real-estate boom in the city's newly-developing areas, where the Government of Dubai has made a strategic decision to open up the real-estate market to expatriates.

    Build personal relations

    Bonyan Emirates Properties needed a strategic international partner to enable it to bring international best-design practice, from an architectural firm of the highest repute, to Dubai. Although I met David Hashim, a dynamic young architect from Kuala Lumpur, in 1997 (through attending a Young Entrepreneurs' Organization gathering in Malaysia), it was not until 2003 that our working relationship began.

    Our first project together is a sizeable commercial property called the ICON in Dubai Internet City, a zone within the new section of Dubai dedicated to the high-tech industry and business incubation for this sector. Modern and stylish structures and state-of-the-art buildings characterize the area.

    What are the criteria that enabled our business relationship to flourish? Most important of all is trust. I had time to develop a personal relationship with Veritas's David Hashim before we embarked on a business relationship. This, I must stress, is one of the hallmarks of business in the Arab world - a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

    Another important factor in choosing a Malaysian architectural practice with which to develop long-term ties was the importance of working with a company that has experienced the full real-estate cycle. Malaysia has undergone a real-estate boom. They have learned how to manage the entire cycle - and they have learned from their mistakes.

    Ismail Akil Abbasi is Chairman of the Abbasi Group in Dubai. This article is extracted from Mr Abbasi's presentation to the 2005 Executive Forum. The full paper can be found at http://www.intracen.org/execforum/ef2005/montreux/programme.htm