Saudi property development company Dar Al Arkan is growing its presence in eight countries after earning a reputation for creating opulent, comfortable living spaces. Currently, co-branding is one of the biggest trends in luxury living, which is why Dar Al Arkan is partnering with some of the most famous names in high fashion: Versace, Missoni, Elie Saab, and Pagani.
It’s been a natural evolution for the company, which was launched by six families in 1994. Designers tend to start with a clothing line before branching out to accessories like sunglasses, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. Real estate is the next step in extending their designs, and Dar Al Arkan offers designers stunning spaces to further explore their brand. According to the property development company’s CEO Sheikh Yousef Al Shelash, “Co-branding is reaching cars, yachts, planes, and real estate. Co-branding with luxury brands is a big real estate and hospitality trend.”
“Co-branded real estate is the limited edition of real estate. It is a big trend because there are more and more people looking to buy a limited number of units. When you do a project in a certain city with a certain brand, you only present a limited number of units,” explains Al Shelash. “So there is a big trend around the globe right now of people who would like to buy units with limited numbers, just like they're buying watches, and they're buying jewelry — they want to buy everything that is a limited edition. This is why it is a major trend these days in real estate.”
Research shows that developers can increase their profits by approximately one-third with branded properties. Dar Al Arkan’s fully serviced, designer-branded homes help set them apart from others in the industry and act as a magnet to attract an aspirational clientele. With wealthy consumers wanting to live in designer developments with five-star amenities and restaurants, it can be an asset for developers to partner with a trusted brand.
Al Shelash confirms that the company has been able to elevate its status since proving that these well-known designer corporations enjoy successful collaborations with the company. “Partnerships elevate the image of the company by showing that the company has not only been trusted by our customers over the last 28 years but can also be trusted by mega brands,” he says. “It expanded our customer base because now we are able to deal with economic classes from the mid-economic classes to the ultra-high-net-worth.”
Liam Bailey, property group Knight Frank’s global head of research, said, “Evidence from the development of the luxury consumer goods market confirms the importance placed on brands in these markets as a means of confirming provenance, security, and trust. It seems likely that as global wealth creation expands, the demand for high-quality residential development property in key global centers will undoubtedly rise.”
People moving from houses and villas into apartments is a continuing trend throughout the Middle East. To accommodate this phenomenon, the property developer is building unique apartments in Saudi Arabia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Earlier this year, it celebrated a significant milestone at its Urban Oasis residential tower in collaboration with Italian design house Missoni.
The Missoni tower topping-off ceremony, which Al Shelash attended, proved to be a banner day for the development firm. At the time of the topping-off celebration, the 39-story building was 80% sold to homeowners and developers, comprising 45 nationalities from around the world. The magnificent high-rise is located directly on the Dubai Canal in the heart of the city. One-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments are available in the building, which is expected to be finished before the end of 2023. The penthouse apartments, which have private elevator access, are decked out with high-end Missoni decor and fixtures. The fashion house’s iconic zigzag pattern perfectly accents these amazing abodes. Al Shelash notes that this is “the very first project Dar Al Arkan did outside Saudi Arabia.”
Also in downtown Dubai is the company’s Pagani Tower. The sleek, contemporary interiors in Pagani Tower reflect the Italian race car designer's style. According to the company, “The avant-garde design concept is brought to life through the instability of lines, a strong uneven approach, transparency, and hidden balances. At the top is one of the most incredible geometric spheres that defies gravity, a stunning one-of-a-kind experience. The tower is a true geometric symphony of perfection composed of three basement levels, a ground floor, and 19 floors of residential masterpieces.”
The company is also responsible for creating the world's only villas with interiors by Versace Home. The couture Italian design house is showcased in the Upside Living limited-edition luxury villas in the Shams Ar Riyadh project in Saudi Arabia. "We could not be more proud to partner with a world-famous brand like Versace on this unique project. To have a design house of such a high caliber create the interiors of these very special homes encapsulates the high level of luxury living we are striving for with Shams Ar Riyadh,” says Al Shelash. "At Dar Al Arkan, our ambition is to elevate the real estate market in Saudi Arabia. Our close relationship with leading international designers will help achieve this and cement the Kingdom's growing reputation for outstanding architecture and design on a global scale."
The 12 Versace villas are architectural masterpieces. “The Versace Villas completely disrupt the conventional way of living; each villa has its hosting area on the first floor, its family area is on the ground floor, and both floors are connected with a cascading waterfall. In addition, the villas have smart home automation, and every floor-to-ceiling window uncovers panoramic views of Wadi Hanifa. This is the Upside Living concept, an exclusive lifestyle only for the few,” states the company.
These opulent co-branding projects are catapulting the company to the rank of a top global brand “by showing the Saudi values in delivering on promises, and delivering on quality, and delivering on time,” says Al Shelash. “This is what we strive to do in our real estate projects outside Saudi, starting with the Missoni Tower topping ceremony.”
How does the property developer decide which designers to collaborate with? According to Shelash, it “looks at the profile of potential customers, to see what kind of brands those potential customers want. Then, we look into what they like to wear and use. So if you dress up in Missoni, have some Missoni furniture, and attend Missoni fashion shows, why not live in a Missoni apartment also?”