Interview with Eman Al-Mannai
Eman Al-Mannai is a well-known figure in the Real-Estate sector of the Bahrain for more than a decade. Gulf Insider meets with Eman Al-Mannai, the General Manager of Royal Ambassador Premiere Residential Apartments, at her artistically designed office in the Fontana Towers. Eman Al-Mannai details her journey in the challenging sector during the evolving times.
What are your views on the career prospects in the Kingdom?
I always believe that if any Bahraini complains of the lack of a profession he/she has to be blamed not the Government. The government is providing the people with the best opportunities. You can start a home business with the support of the Government or a business through the social media for free. There are ample opportunities around.
When I had resigned from the Pegasus Group in 2009, I had started two business. I started to grow restless after a month of my resignation.
I had great relationships and contacts, which was the foundation of any successful business. I also had a passion for interior designing. With this idea in mind, I visited the construction companies and availed a CR from the Government for 20 BD. I also completed four courses with the support of Tamkeen.
One of my friends gave me an opportunity to design her house, even though I had no prior experience in the field. I launched my company on 09-09-2009 and ran a successful business in this field for 5 years. During my career, I designed villas in Amwaj, Riffa Views and at the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. One of my clients invited me to Riyadh where I designed the Coffee Shop Tango, located at the Diplomatic Area.
I also started a high-end Belgian chocolate shop on 07-07-2012, whose customers were members from the Royal family. I closed the Belgium Chocolate shop only in the first week of July 2017. This is because, I got admission for a certification programme from the Cambridge Institute as the Internationally Certified Real Estate Trainer. I want to focus on the programme and the Real Estate Sector. The shop was taking plenty of my time and I don’t regret my decision.
When you end a business at the peak of your success, this is another success indeed.
What other certifications do you have and why do you think that they are important?
I would always suggest that specialized certifications that will enhance your skills and improve your value.
I am the First Bahraini in the Real Estate sector to receive the CIPS certificate from US in May, 2015, which entitles me to sell properties in 62 countries. This certificate is held by 2500 people all over the world. I am also a member of the International Relator UK, International Relator US and Certified International Real Estate dealer. I also got certifications on ‘How to establish a Committee’, ‘How to evaluate a Property”, and “Level 4 Certificate from ISMM.
My dreams will not stop with my current success. I am constantly improving and in competition with myself. I dream to have a residential tower of my own after 15 years with my family name that is –Al-Mannai Tower!
I realize that this dream cannot be achieved in one day. You have to climb the steps one by one. You have to get the experience and knowledge.
I have trained many people into Sales. Many of them were without any history in the field of Real Estate sector. Even after they have joined different companies, I am getting the feedback that they are breaking records in Sales with their current employers. I am very proud of them!
I believe that a leader shouldn’t create followers but must create new leaders.
Eman Al-Mannai on the Real Estate Sector of the Kingdom!
What is your view on the real estate sector in the Kingdom?
I believe that people in Bahrain should be educated about the investment opportunities in the real estate sector.
People, who have money are still scared to invest in the real estate sector. They may be willing to deposit their money in the banks for 2% return in a year. However, a good investment in the real estate sector will give them 30% return in a year. With the Government support in the Bahraini real estate sector, the risk of losing your investment is almost zero percentage.
The Kingdom also provides ample opportunities for the expatriates in the real estate sector. The Free Hold Property rule entitles any people from nationalities, to buy a property in the Kingdom and whoever spends more than 50,000 Bahraini Dinar will be entitled for the residence permit. They have easy access to education, residence permit and the work permit.
Over and above, the Bahrain real estate sector is the most reliable one for expatriates. GCC has faced many major crisis in the past decade and due to the 2009 recession, Dubai real estate sector is still struggling to come back. Oman is a close market, Kuwait in terms of Free Hold development is very slow, and Saudi Arabia in terms of rules for free hold properties are in the beginning stage. do not provide free hold properties. This is why, Bahrain becomes the best GCC country for investments in the real estate sector.
The prices are reliable and there are no crazy evaluations to hold a property. The real estate market in Bahrain well planned after a research. Each project is competing among themselves. There is no repetition of projects. For instance, Durrat Al Bahrain, Diyar, Al Areen, Abraj Lulu, Bahrain Base and Royal Ambassador each have uniquely designed projects. This will give an appreciation to the value and if you are doing an investment in the Bahrain, the investor is making most of the profit.
Do you believe that Property Shows play a vital role in the development of the real estate sector in the Kingdom?
A good real estate market will definitely create a good reputation in the Property Shows.
A good property show will bring together all the great leaders in the sector. This a hub where you can learn from your competitors. You will come to know what the new trends are! It will be an international gathering where you get a chance to interact with diverse expertise in terms of engineering, developers, and various customers. You can learn from them for your future developments.
Bahrain invites not only Bahrainis but foreign companies to participate in the property shows. Many foreign companies are in the real estate sector longer than their Bahraini counterparts. This will be an ideal place for Bahrain real estate sector to learn from them their success techniques and to avoid the mistakes that they have done. Bahraini real estate sector can save years of research and study in this realm by participating in one such exhibition.
The Exhibition organizers should get the support from prestigious developers to conduct the exhibition. This is because any wrong information can drive away a prospective investor. They should also do a well-planned advertisement campaign. They are getting a huge sponsorship and they should do their marketing in accordance to that. Even if the prestigious developers are there, the customers won’t come without proper awareness. They have to promote the exhibitions all over the media to educate the public.