Alex Avery, CEO of Benoy sister company Pragma, on the appeal of the Middle East

Alex Avery black and white

Contact Alex Avery, CEO Pragma Consulting

As the CEO of Benoy sister business Pragma, Alex leads the development of the team and proposition, and oversees project delivery. He has long-standing experience of supporting leading investors, developers, operators, and brands improve the commercial performance of retail assets.

Alex’s key strength lies in using a combined understanding of consumer behaviour, trading performance and the built environment, to develop strategies that create a positive experience and enhance the commercial value of retail developments.

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Why you are excited about the Middle East market?

The Middle East market continues to present incredible opportunities to push the boundaries of real estate innovation, supported by the pioneering vision and aspirations of the leading investors and developers in the region

Never one to stand still, the impressive growth in the region presents opportunities to work on the full spectrum of development typologies, from city-scape masterplanning, to local community centres

For Pragma, this presents exciting prospects to support a range of asset classes from regional shopping centres, to office and educational environments, leisure resorts, and airport developments

The region continues to gain increased awareness and exposure around the world, demonstrated by events such as the first Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021, the Dubai Expo, and later this year, the 2022 FIFA World Cup being hosted by Qatar, opening up the regional culture, warm hospitality, and leading development innovations to a new global audience 

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What are some interesting challenges about this market?

With such a young and dynamic population who are increasingly well-travelled and globally aware, there are exciting challenges to create the best commercial experiences that capture their attention and provide relevant reasons to engage

The fast pace of the new development pipeline and increased competition, combined with changing workplace and consumer behaviours, creates challenges for existing commercial developments to stay relevant to their target audience

How can Pragma’s expertise help overcome these challenges in the Middle East market?

Over the course of Pragma’s 30+ year history of working in the Middle East, we have seen how trends, behaviours, and customer requirements have continued to evolve, and as the market becomes increasingly competitive, we are well placed to help ensure that both new and re-purposed developments create relevant and distinct propositions, that balance customer appeal with commercial potential

With our combination of global experience and local understanding, we are able to help investors, developers, and operators take learnings from global best practice whilst tailoring the experience to the unique requirements of the local community

A key challenge for real estate in the Middle East, is providing an appropriate proposition that can simultaneously appeal to a wide variety of purposes. With Pragma’s specialist commercial planning expertise across retail, leisure, workplace, and transport developments, we are able to help investors and developers to better match the commercial proposition to end-user requirements

As both consumers and investors in the real estate market are increasingly aware of the impact of real estate developments on society and the planet, our approach to commercial analytics and understanding of the asset lifecyle allows us to help developers gain a more balanced view of the impact of their assets across commercial and social parameters

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