Sobha Group, a multinational, multiproduct Middle East based company with a strong commitment in the GCC region backed by four decades of expertise and developments and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council,has grown into one of the most respected names in the entire region. The company has investments in various countries across the Middle East including U.A.E., Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Brunei. Mr. PNC Menon, Founder & Chairman of Sobha Group, started his business in Muscat in 1976, where the company has designed and developed various magnificent projects including The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat.
The Journey: Mr. PNC Menon, Founder & Chairman of Sobha Group started his business in Muscat in 1976 with $7 in his pocket after a chance meeting with Captain Sulaiman Adawi, an Omani army officer, in a hotel lobby in Kochi, Kerala. Within 45 days later, he was in Oman, looking for business and upon landing in Oman, he and his partner borrowed 3,000 Omani riyals to start a small street-side furniture and interiors business under the name of Trade and Services Co. Initially, it was a ‘briefcase business’ — trying to fix small things, maintenance, etc — and then it developed into an interiors outfit. Slowly and steadily, they repaid the loan and began to grow their capital. By 1984, the company began to get big contracts, driven mostly by word of mouth due to its quality of work. Soon after he received a call to work for the Sultan’s office in Muscat, to work on a palace. The rest is history. His company then went on to work for the royalty of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the president of Tajikistan. He spent the most glorious part of his career designing and developing palaces, royal facilities and mosques.
Mr PNC Menon developed a strong bond with Oman, a country which provided him with a foundation that has enabled him to achieve greater success in the years ahead. In 1995, he and his family were granted Omani citizenship. This recognition symbolizes Mr. Menon’s strong and lifelong connection with the Gulf.
Some more noteworthy projects of Sobha Group in Oman include:
1. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It took 300,000 tonnes of Indian sandstone and the marquee passion of Sobha to complete it in 1993. Marked by extensive and exquisite timber ceilings, corridors adorned with decorative paintings, the main musalla (prayer hall) is square with the central dome rising fifty feet from the floor.
2. Al Bustan Palace Hotel – It occupies pride of place not just in the Sultanate of Oman but in the entire Middle East, and is easily one of Sobha’s most prestigious projects
3. VVIP Lounge, Muscat International Airport – The VIP Lounge of the Muscat international Airport was specially created to receive the royal participants of the GCC summit held in Muscat. This was also a contractual project.
4. Crown Plaza – Just 10 mins from Oman airport sits the five-star beach resort of Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah. It has all the hallmarks of Sobha as a contractor with their customized interior decoration concepts for floorings, furnishings and specialized joinery for the 153 rooms and suites, lobby, night clubs, restaurants and coffee shop of this extra-ordinary 5-star beach resort.
5. Lexus & Toyota Showrooms – The Toyota & Lexus showrooms, a contractual project for Sobha, is located in the heart of Muscat’s auto-district in Wattayah, the largest in the world.
Sobha Group is the only backward integrated real estate organizations in the world. The company is primarily focused on residential and contractual projects. Their residential projects include presidential apartments, villas, row houses, super luxury & luxury apartments, plotted developments and aspirational homes. At present there are three major projects under construction, two of which are located at prime locations in Dubai and are expected to be completed by 2020.
The Sobha Hartland project was launched in 2014, which is a $4 billion dollar, mixed-use development. The resort-style luxury housing project encompasses 8 million square feet of freehold community in Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. 30% (2.4 million square feet) of the community is only reserved for greenery.
At Sobha Hartland, residents will have access to wide selection of world-class amenities like two international schools, nurseries, malls, cafes, tennis courts, yoga centre, swimming pool, clubhouses and spas, mosques, and healthcare facilities. Moreover, the project is just three kilometers away from Dubai’s top attractions. This makes Sobha Hartland an ideal long-term investment for all nationalities, including Pakistanis.
The Meydan Sobha District One project is valued at $8 billion. It is a joint venture with Meydan Group and will develop 45 million square feet of freehold land into an exclusive destination of luxury villas and mansions surrounded by expansive green parks and lagoons within the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City. Phase One of the project will consist of 267 villas with handover commencing in the 4th quarter of 2016.
Sobha Group is also developing the Firdous Sobha scheme, a mixed-use island development that will have villas, apartments, hotels, shops and leisure facilities with a total value of around $6.8 billion. The scheme was announced in earlier this year and will cover 53 million sq ft or area.
Speaking about the company’s legacy, Mr. PNC Menon, Founder and Chairman, SOBHA Group, says: “With a legacy and track record of over 40 years, Sobha Group’s vision is to be the most trusted and respected real estate organization in the GCC and to continue to transform the way people perceive quality by pioneering innovative projects and exceeding customers’ expectations across core markets. Dubai offers a range of exciting projects that caters to every need and fancy of investors ranging from 149 nationalities. Sobha Hartland, surrounded by 2.4 million square feet of greenery and set along the Dubai Water Canal, enjoys the unique advantage of prime location. With Hartland Greens, Waterfront villas, and Hartland Estates –Townhouse community, Sobha Group continues to set a benchmark in offering world-class bespoke living experience. Our belief “Passion at Work” at Sobha Group is what motivates more than 3,500 Sobhaites today to become specialists in their field”.
In the recent past, Sobha Group has been recognized as one of the Top Real Estate Companies in the Arab World 2016 by Forbes Middle East and also ranked 9th in the Top 50 GCC Developers Rankings 2016 by Construction Week.