Dominic Dupont explains how ENL Property, a leading property player in Mauritius, draws on the expertise and experience gained in the luxury residential property market to develop the Moka Smart City as an integrated, high-quality project that is consistent with sustainable development efforts.
How is the luxury property market doing in Mauritius?
The residential property segment continues to expand with a significant increase of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Rs 8.895 billion in 2018. The sector continues to concentrate a large part of FDI inflows, thus contributing to boost the country’s economy. There is a growing demand, especially from Europe and South Africa, and the property market in Mauritius has considerably diversified over time.
What is your view on the development of the market since the opening up of property ownership to foreigners?
There has been a boost in foreign investment in the Mauritian market due to the combination of a broad offering, a very good quality of life and an attractive set of measures, such as access to the Mauritian residence permit and tax incentives. The residential property segment has evolved to address the rising expectations of clients, who are now more knowledgeable about the destination and the market. The latter, which initially consisted predominantly of seaside property developments, has expanded into more urban areas, including apartments, with the passing of the Non-Citizen (Property Restriction) Act and the launch of the Smart City Scheme in 2016.
The ENL Group has also broadened its offering, isn’t it?
Our foray into the luxury property segment through Heritage Villas Valriche and La Balise Marina has actually enabled us to enhance our service standards. These two IRS developments have reached a certain level of maturity – La Balise Marina is in its final phase. Over the years, we ourselves have gained a lot of maturity and honed our knowledge of the market and of specific client requirements. In addition, we have strengthened existing relationships with the relevant authorities, which are essential for the smooth running of such large-scale projects. We also remain attentive to the market and to our partners.
We have acquired extensive expertise and experience in retail, residential and office property, which allows us to keep pace with market developments. This is reflected in our significant involvement in projects such as Les Promenades d’Helvétia, the Moka Smart City’s first residential development, as well as office buildings like The Pod at Vivéa Business Park and The Dot, a brand new undertaking at Telfair.
Smart Cities require an integrated and balanced approach, don’t they?
The underlying Live-Work-Play-Care concept of the Moka Smart City involves a mixed-use development using the latest advances in urban planning and digital technologies. Such developments also require environmentally sound, responsible and integrated space planning and management. We leverage our ability to develop integrated, high-quality projects that are consistent with sustainable development efforts.
Over the past decade, ecology and innovation have been our key priorities in the development of Moka. The region is transitioning into a more sustainable and liveable city through the progressive rolling out of a concept of ‘citysmarting’. This flexible improvement process stems from a well-thought-out Master Plan. The core elements of the plan are: making optimum use of resources; offering an improved quality of life; creating real economic opportunities; and fostering engagement with key stakeholders.
Involvement in community life therefore remains an important component…
We have a strong commitment that goes beyond the social contribution required from certain property developments. La Balise Marina is also positioning itself as a key stakeholder in the Black River region with a contribution of Rs 15 million to date to promoting the empowerment of a number of people through training, employability and NGO support. All these initiatives are structured around Friends of La Balise, a platform for dialogue with the region’s socio-economic stakeholders. In the same vein, we took an innovative approach to launch the citizen collective, Moka’mwad, with the aim to develop a people-centric city. This will allow the residents to play an active role in the development of the Moka Smart City.