Turnstar Holdings, a public listed company which one of its flagship projects in Botswana include Game City mall, is looking to grow its portfolio in Dubai, albeit in a cautious approach.
Speaking to Funds magazine this week after the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), Gulaam Abdoola said the company is shopping for more opportunities in the Dubai after venturing into the Middle East market in 2017.
The Dubai market was the company’s first exposure outside the African continent and Abdoola says they will be careful in buying assets as the company is not looking to go full force there.
“We have positioned ourselves for the small property initially to test the market and feel the market. We have been happy and we know the space that we want to play, we want to remain a small player and look for opportunities, of which currently we are assessing a few,” said the Turnstar Managing Director.
However, Abdoola noted that they will be interested in penetrating the Dubai market a little more as they happy with what they have achieved so far.
While he says the market in Dubai is currently suppressed, he says opportunities are still available in Dubai.
“A lot of people are still going into Dubai, the population is growing, the government there is attracting people all the time and it is easy to get residence in Dubai,” Abdoola said, saying the Dubai government is very bullish in keeping its market intact.
Besides having properties in Botswana and Dubai, the company also has properties in Tanzania where it has invested in shopping malls just like in Botswana.
Turnstar has made a bulk of its fortune from the local market where it owns a number of properties, including in residential.
But now Abdoola says the local property market has become increasingly difficult to invest in again.
“This is because the economy is in such a bad state, unemployment is on the rise and we can see companies retrenching people. Government keeps on inviting and inviting investors, but the fact of the matter is they make it difficult for people to do business in this country, it’s a mixed signal.”
Abdoola feels the country is ranked low in terms of the ease of doing business in the world and for this change he suggests that it will great for government to make it easy for the right people to come and invest here.