‘Provis’ spun off from Khidmah will also be involved in property sales and leasing

Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties has set up a new entity — Provis — to pick up potential business in managing homeowners associations, property management, and even in the sales and leasing of residential and commercial properties. It follows close on the heels of Aldar acquiring 100 per cent ownership in Khidmah, the facilities management business headquartered in Abu Dhabi, last September.

These open up new revenue streams for Aldar and the other two entities, with Abu Dhabi to see a ramping up in handovers of new homes and communities, many of which are from Aldar’s own portfolio. It allows Aldar not to be overly dependent on the launch of new residential projects to generate future cashflow.

It was in September that Aldar picked up the 40 per cent that it didn’t already own in Khidmah.

We already had the specialisation gathered over years, what the launch of Provis does is consolidate all of that. We will be active across the UAE and the door is wide open to explore options outside as well.

– Sameer Barakat | Executive Director at Provis

What’s most interesting about Provis’ role is its capability to take on the selling and leasing of properties, not just in Abu Dhabi but in Dubai and elsewhere. A new office was opened recently in Dubai, at Emaar Square, to oversee the Provis operations.

But on whether Provis will have exclusivity to sell or lease Aldar’s own developments in future, Sameer Barakat, Executive Director at Provis, said: “This question was raised following the Aldar acquisition. But it was felt Aldar should have the option of going with whoever delivers the best outcomes in the market. We respect that decision.”

Within Khidmah, property and homeowner management as well as sales and leasing was generating revenues “well upwards of 20 per cent”. Now, with these operations getting clubbed under Provis, there is a chance to expand those interests further. Khidmah, meanwhile, will focus exclusively on facilities management and maintenance.

Provis currently has 13,500 units under its property management and 14,000 homes as part of the owners association portfolio.

Barakat said that Provis will not be calling in a “single additional fil” from Aldar to get the operations going. “We already had the specialisation gathered over years, what the launch of Provis does is consolidate all of that,” he added. “We will be active across the UAE and the door is wide open to explore options outside as well.”

It will be interesting to see what sort of headway Provis makes outside of Abu Dhabi. The property management and owners association space is already a crowded one in Dubai, while the sales and leasing services is saturated.

But Aldar itself will soon start building a presence in Dubai, through its joint venture with Emaar, currently in the final phase of formation. When that comes through, Provis will have the property pipeline to crack the Dubai marketplace as well, market sources say.

In a statement, Jassem Saleh Busaibe, Chairman of Provis and Chief Investment Officer of Aldar Properties said, “Provis brings a keen understanding of the market. Properties that were previously managed by Khidmah and Aldar’s asset management teams will now be taken care of by Provis.

“This creates a much more streamlined and efficient service for all our customers.”

Aldar has been reworking its business portfolio

■ Since March of last year, Aldar has struck up new alliances or gone in for acquisitions to add further muscle to its development portfolio. This includes the joint venture with Emaar to take on signature projects, the Dh3 billion plus acquisition of TDIC’s land bank and other assets on Saadiyat Island, and taking full ownership in Khidmah.

■ In between, the developer also set up a “real estate investment” subsidiary to house its residential and other property assets.

* With the launch of Provis, Aldar is seeking further synergies to its primary role as a developer.

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