06 May 2019 - Algeria (Algiers)
I am in Algiers in Algeria.
There was a push last year prior to the ousting of President Bouteflika, to complete some of the major totemic Algiers projects. The only one which is completed is the new airport extension, which is currently mainly being used for French flights. There are plans to make Algiers more of a travel hub for Sub-Saharan Africa, and to compete with Casa and Addis. There is also talk of relaxing visa regulations to promote tourism.
The new mosque in Algiers is nearly complete (works are now being finalised internally) and the landmark Trust Center at Bab Ezzouar is well advanced. Lights are on at the new Marriott and there are billboards across Algiers advertising the forthcoming opening of the Marriott Residences (promoted as Algiers’ first serviced apartment building). I would reckon that the Marriott is maybe 2-3 months from opening.
Generally there is a lot of hotel construction here in Algiers, and I have found that, combined with less people coming because of the political uncertainty, there is already a softening of room prices for the branded hotels.
There are a lot more rooms coming. The owner of the Eden Roc in Oran has a large construction next to the Bab Ezzouar Centre Commercial branded Eden Stop. Also at Bab Ezzouar there is the Tulip Inn Maya which looks as if it may be about to open, and behind the Ibis there is Novotel where construction is being done by CSCEC. The Radisson Blu is now open at Ben Aknoun, and the refurbishment which closed the Hilton at Pins Maritimes for the past several years will be completed in September.
I am here for an office project, focused on the areas of Hydra, Ben Aknoun and El Biar, but also looking at the areas to the east of the city out towards the airport. Office rents remain pretty stable because of the low level of development in this sector at around DZD 3,000 /sq m /month for prime. However, there remains a high level of owner-occupational development of HQs particularly banks at Bab Ezzouar (BEA, BNA and Societe Generale have all recently started building).
There is very nice weather here this week. Sunny but not too hot. It is an interesting time to be in Algeria because of the current political disruption, and with change coming. For a period it will make due diligence relating to landlords and business partners generally more difficult, as many of the major property and business owners will have connections with the old regime, or will be assumed to have.
Marriott at Bab Ezzouar
Grand Mosque comstruction
Al Qods at Cheraga