DAMAC brings in HSBC real estate chief to build UK and European opportunities

Richard Choi has joined the Middle Eastern property developer behind the Versace-branded AYKON scheme in Nine Elms as Senior Vice President of Business Development

Luxury Middle Eastern property developer DAMAC has recruited HSBC’s former Head of EMEA and Americas Real Estate to “accelerate expansion opportunities in the UK and Europe”.

Richard Choi, DAMAC’s new SVP of Business Development

Richard Choi joins the firm behind the 50-storey Versace-branded AYKON London One residential tower in Nine Elms as the London-based Senior Vice President of Business Development. AYKON has, according to the latest company reports, pre-sold around 45% of its resi units.

Choi been in London since 2000, and has racked up over 22 years in the investment banking and real estate arenas. He’s overseen more than $40bn-worth of property deals across Europe, the US and Latin America.

At DAMAC, Choi’s remit is “to spearhead expansion opportunities in the UK as well as in gateway cities across Europe”.

The business has delivered over 18,500 resi units so far – principally in the Middle East – with another 44,000 at various stages of development. Last week, the firm was chosen by the Government of Oman to redevelop its Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat, a US$1bn project to deliver “an integrated tourist port and lifestyle destination that includes hotels, residences, as well as a dining, retail and leisure offering”.

Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC: “DAMAC International Limited has enjoyed phenomenal growth by selectively choosing expansion markets that have helped position it as a major regional and international property developer. The success of our AYKON London One development in Nine Elms clearly indicates the company’s ability to deliver the right product to the right market, and Choi’s appointment further extends our reach into the UK and Europe moving forward. We are pleased to have him onboard.”