Francis Giani, Chief Community Management Officer - Nakheel tells REM Times that the new focus ties in with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan
Nakheel, the Dubai-based world-leading master developer, recently unveiled a compelling positioning and new brand promise for its next phase of growth. Supporting the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which aims to enhance people’s happiness and quality of life, Nakheel will focus on ‘building happiness and prosperity’. REM Times caught up with Francis Giani, Chief Community Management Officer · Nakheel to further understand the developer’s stance on this re-brand and the plans for the Community Management division.
1) What does this new identity for Nakheel aim to convey? How does it echo the brand’s values?
Nakheel’s new brand promise focuses on ‘building happiness and prosperity’ by developing vibrant and inclusive communities. We are focusing on the well-being and quality of life for citizens, residents, and visitors, enhancing communities and building for Dubai’s future, whilst curating meaningful and rewarding experiences. Our community management approach is community-focused, customer-centric, and technology-driven – all three pillars fit very well with the overall Nakheel brand values.
2) How does this identity align best with Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan?
Nakheel supports the goals of Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan to enhance people’s happiness and quality of life, reinforcing Dubai as a global destination of choice and positioning the emirate as the best city for living in the world.
Through the new identity, Nakheel will continue to focus on delivering the highest standards of urban infrastructure, supporting economic activity, and establishing Dubai as a global lifestyle and investment hub. We will foster a sense of belonging among our residents, creating vibrant and healthy communities.
3) How has the vision for NCM evolved over the years?
When Nakheel Community Management was first established in late 2020, even before Nakheel’s new brand promise was conceptualised, we started to focus on our three core pillars of being community-focused, customer-centric, and technology-driven, all of which align with the new brand. Over the years, we have delivered and will continue to deliver, on our promise to provide experiential living and fulfill the dreams of all who choose Dubai as a home or a destination. We want to ensure that we create a sense of belonging in each community and that residents feel that they have truly found a ‘forever-home’ in Dubai.
In the coming years, we will be placing our attention on technology and sustainability while ensuring that our residents are genuinely enjoying life in our communities. This is what we aspire to and most of our hard work has already come to fruition. As a real estate developer, Nakheel has a vision, and a dream and delivers quality.
4) NCM is the first management company to receive the certification from WELL Health-Safety Rating for its entire portfolio. Can you shed some light on some of the health & safety practices that were implemented and led to this recognition?
We are honoured to be recognised by the International WELL Building Institute which assesses the health and safety of buildings. This certification is a testament to our commitment to implementing the highest level of health and safety practices across all of our assets, ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all our residents. Although the movement for our health and safety has always existed, COVID was the catalyst for its genuine growth. In a record amount of time, we were able to surpass the health and safety rating requirement of 15, achieving a score of 17.
We implemented several policies and protocols to enhance the health and safety of our buildings. We conduct assessments of all air quality data across all our buildings and ensure corrective measures are in place if the air quality is below standard. We adopted colour coding for tools to ensure no cross-contamination and we also increased the cleaning frequency of all the high-touch surfaces.
5) Since its inception, NCM has always been on par with Industry Trends. What are some of the challenges one still needs to overcome in the industry today?
Like many industries, currently, inflation is a significant issue that is affecting our sector, with rising costs across the board. The maturity of assets is another significant difficulty that the industry will encounter in the upcoming years.
It is important that we educate customers about reserve funds which can be confusing. Reserve funds, sometimes called ‘sinking funds’, are funds that are set aside on a yearly basis for capital replacement of assets. Should there be an insufficient amount saved over a period of time, it can lead to a situation where a ‘special assessment’ is needed to collect additional funds.
This can be avoided if enough has been set aside over the past few years in a ‘special savings account’. To help ease some of these challenges, we maintain constant communication with our owners, ensuring full transparency around issues such as necessary repairs and maintenance of our buildings.