Face to face: Raj Sahni, RSG International

Face to face: Raj Sahni, RSG International
Published: 12 October 2017 - 8:25 a.m.
By: Fatima De La Cerna

“We are not building five or seven projects,” he says. “[In fact], this is the first time that RSG is doing three projects at the same time.”

One of these projects is Burj Sabah, a residential development that is being constructed by Team Engineering Enterprises.  Located in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), this project was originally intended to complete in December 2019, but Sahni says it may well be ready for handover one year early. Indeed, RSG, Team Engineering, and their fellow stakeholders are gearing up for a December 2018 completion.

Impressively, this timeline does not seem overly ambitious. Burj Sabah reached a key milestone in September 2017, with the successful casting of its reinforced concrete raft foundation.

The 19-storey building, which comprises a combination of studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, was designed by UAE-based Al Asri Engineering Consultant.

One of Sahni’s regular collaborators, the consultancy has had involvement in all of the projects within RSG’s portfolio, including Building No 4, a commercial property within Dubai Properties’ Bay Square master development; and the $122.5m (AED450m) Qasr Sabah residential project, which is located in Dubai’s International Media Production Zone (IMPZ).

In addition to Burj Sabah, RSG is currently working on the development of two hotels, which represent the firm’s entry into Dubai’s hospitality market. The four- and five-star developments are located on the emirate’s Sheikh Zayed Road.

Sahni tells Construction Week that the main contract for the five-star hotel, Sabah Rotana, has been put out to tender. His firm’s as-yet unnamed four-star project, meanwhile, is in the design stage.

Commenting on his decision to partner with Rotana, he explains: “For a year, we met with a lot of hotel operators, but we found Rotana very [motivated] and helpful. Hospitality is a new industry for me, so I needed someone to support and guide me, and I found that with Rotana. That is why I signed the five-star and four-star hotels with them. And I’m going to sign one more hotel with them, a three-star – but it will be under their Centro brand.

 “[RSG is also] planning to do a very big mixed-use project next year –around 2,000 units. It will be on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, but that’s still [in the planning phase].”

Sahni concludes: “We know there may be an oversupply, but that does not make a difference. [You build and] people will come. Listen, the Dubai government has thousands of consultants [carrying out] feasibility studies. If the Dubai government is building and not stopping, why shouldn’t I [build as well]?”


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