Established in Thailand in 2005 as the ultimate hallmark to ‘recognise the region’s finest in real estate’ in Asia, the Awards acknowledge, reward and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of developers and developments at a domestic and regional level. The Awards is a milestone event in the real estate industry calendar and is attended by key decision makers as well as esteemed trade and consumer media.
Originally launched in 2005 with the goal of setting a benchmark for recognising quality real estate in Asia, Terry Blackburn’s Ensign Media hosted the first-ever gala dinner of the Thailand Property Awards in late 2006 at the JW Marriott Sukhumvit, with nine categories honouring various real estate segments and services and boutique resort developers. Over 200 guests attended the debut event that came on the heels of the Asian Financial Crisis.
The gala dinner for the second year of the Thailand Property Awards was hosted at the Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok in 2007. The event nearly doubled the guest list from previous year to more than 350. The 13 categories largely remained to focus on emerging resort developers and outstanding real estate services. BDO, one of the world’s biggest networks of accounting and auditing firms, which supervised the inaugural awards, was formally appointed as ‘Official Supervisor’.
Conrad Hotel was the venue of the third annual Thailand Property Awards gala dinner and ceremony in 2008, which saw an increase once again in the number of attendees. Now hosting 550 guests, the lavish ceremony honoured outstanding developers from Bangkok, Phuket, Samui, Hua Hin and the Eastern Seaboard. More than 260 companies were nominated for the annual competition. British-Indian billionaire Gulu Lalvani was named ‘Real Estate Personality of the Year’.
More than 1,000 nominations were received for the fourth annual Thailand Property Awards, an exponential increase from the previous year. The 2009 edition featured bigger and more established developers in the shortlist. The judging process was more rigorous than ever, having a central Bangkok panel making the initial lists and provincial teams undertake site inspections for the condo and villa categories. The five-star gala dinner took place at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
Now an established name, the annual Thailand Property Awards celebrated its fifth year again at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok in 2010 with nearly 600 guests in attendance. The standard of competition had gotten better and better, with big-name brands, agencies and developers participating.
Top brands supported the first five years of the Awards and it had become a highly anticipated annual event in the real estate calendar. This year’s edition was dubbed the 2011 Thanachart Bank Thailand Property Awards, held in December at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Bangkok. The categories increased to 31, covering condominiums, villas, commercial and housing developments, as well as architecture and interior design. More than 1,300 nominations from the general public were received. The event collaborated with Habitat for Humanity, which conducted a fundraiser in order to raise THB400,000 for the construction of two new houses for flood victims in Lopburi, Thailand. Outside the kingdom, the first South East Asia Property Awards was held in Singapore’s Hotel Fort Canning, joined by 300 guests from around the region.
After the regional expansion of the Awards in the previous year, the Thailand Property Awards continued to grow in terms of participation, attendance and impact. Dusit Thani Hotel hosted the gala dinner in October 2012 following a nomination period that welcomed 1,400 submissions from the public. The guest of honour was Korn Chatikavanij, deputy leader of Thailand’s Democrat Party. In Singapore, the second annual South East Asia Property Awards event took place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, with over 370 guests, and the finalists from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia and Indonesia competing in 35 country and regional award categories.
The Philippines Property Awards debuted in 2013 at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati, with guest of honour Senator Franklin Drilon keynoting the inaugural event that saw 17 awards presented to honour the best developers, developments, design and real estate services. The Thailand competition was held at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center, whilst the third annual South East Asia Property Awards Grand Final returned to Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore with 300 attendees from ASEAN.
The ninth gala dinner of the Thailand Property Awards returned to Bangkok’s Conrad Hotel in 2014, the first edition that focused on developer awards. Billionaire Tos Chirathivat of The Central Group was honoured as the ‘Thailand Real Estate Personality of the Year’. Two new local editions were established for the Malaysia and China markets, with their respective ceremonies taking place in Kuala Lumpur (with 19 categories) and at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (21 categories). The region’s leading figures in real estate, architecture and design came together for the Grand Final in October at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.
A landmark year for the Awards, the tenth anniversary of the programme in 2015 coincided with the launch of local editions in Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, where billionaire Candra Ciputra was named ‘Indonesia Real Estate Personality of the Year’. The 10th anniversary gala dinner in Thailand with 600 guests was its biggest ever and was hosted at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok (a Royal Meridien Hotel), with American-born Thai mogul William “Bill” E. Heinecke of Minor Group named as the ‘Real Estate Personality of the Decade’. The ASEAN countries of the awards programme convened at the regional Grand Final held once again at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. The closing event of the year at JW Marriott Hong Kong presented the ‘China Real Estate Personality of the Year’ title to Dr. Allan Zeman, the ‘Father of Lan Kwai Fong’.
The next decade introduced a rebranding as the programme officially joined the PropertyGuru Group in early 2016. Now known as the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, the series kicked off with the newly-added Cambodia Property Awards held at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. The event was televised live on the Cambodia News Channel and welcomed more than 300 guests, including the Secretary of the State, H.E. Dr. Pen Sophal. Other local editions continued to flourish, with the Philippines Property Awards naming former Senate President Manny Villar, founder of Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc, as ‘Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year’. The regional Grand Final in Singapore grew even bigger with 400 guests. Thailand’s former deputy prime minister Suwat Liptapanlop was the guest of honour at the 11th anniversary ceremony in Bangkok. The final gala dinner of the year was hosted at the JW Marriott Hong Kong, joined by billionaire Chao Sze-Tsung Cecil.
Singapore’s first stand-alone gala dinner, dedicated solely to local developers, took place at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre as the first night of the Grand Final. The second night, hosted at the same venue, welcomed the city’s former master-planner and architect, the legendary Dr. Liu Thai Ker, as the guest of honour. In addition, diplomats from Vietnam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka were present to witness the finale. The other local editions also welcomed top VIPs, such as: Senior Minister Chea Sophara of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (Cambodia); Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo (Philippines); Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, Tunku Ali Redhauddin ibni Tuanku Muhriz (Malaysia); Director-General U Aung Naing Oo of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (Myanmar); and Deputy Governor Srisuda Wanapinyosak of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (Thailand). The 12th anniversary gala night at Bangkok’s Plaza Athenee Hotel crowned the kingdom’s richest woman, The Mall Group’s Supaluck Umpujh, as the ‘Thailand Real Estate Personality of the Year’.
The 2018 series is the largest-ever for the Asia Property Awards that journeyed through nine countries, beginning in Cambodia in March and ending in Singapore in October, where each local ceremony hosting their largest gala dinner to date. The biggest guest lists were for the local events in Thailand (600), Vietnam (500), and Indonesia (420), which also welcomed its first government VIP guest, the Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita. Each local edition also introduced new categories for Public Facility to expand the scope of the programme, as well as awards selected by CARE, the event’s charity partner in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand (known locally as Raks Thai). Other distinguished guests at the respective local events included: Dr. Prayoth Benyasut, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce in Thailand, and the Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, M.P., Minister of Megapolis & Western Development, who keynoted the inaugural gala dinner in Sri Lanka hosted at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo. The iconic Grand Final took place in Thailand for the first-time ever, with 500 guests and developers from 15 markets –– including Japan and Australia –– making the finale. H.E. Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community, was the culminating event’s guest of honour.
On its 14th year, the Asia Property Awards launched a broader scope of categories to better reflect the dynamism and diversity of real estate segments, including regional prizes for achievement in urban planning and sustainable development, and special accolades for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainable development, and design and construction. Spanning across 11 countries, each local event received an increasing number of nominees vying for their respective titles. Malaysia and Cambodia hosted their biggest event yet, with each respectively boasting 500 and 370 senior industry figures present. Among the distinguished guests at each local event included Thailand’s Minister of Labour, Mom Ratchawongse Chatu Mongol Sonakul; the Political Secretary to the Malaysian Minister of Housing and Local Government, H.E. Zuraida Kamaruddin; and Cambodia’s Secretary of State of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, H.E. Dr Pen Sophal, who keynoted the exclusive gala dinner in Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. The much-awaited Grand Final capped off the series of events by honouring CapitaLand Vietnam’s Chen Lian Pang with the Icon Award, the second-ever to receive the title in the programme’s history.
As the COVID-19 pandemic prompted real estate businesses across the globe to close and forced the public to practise social distancing, the Awards programme served as a beacon of light to the now struggling sector as we push forward with the events to celebrate the strength, resilience, and determination of the industry and its leaders during such an unfortunate time. For the first time in 15 years, Asia Property Awards seamlessly transitioned from hosting exclusive physical events across all markets to embracing virtual and hybrid events accessible to thousands of investors and property buyers all over the world. The virtual galas proved to be historic, with the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau) garnering over 220,000 global views and the 10th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) amassing over 150,000 global views. Meanwhile, the 15th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final — with over 70,000 global viewers — reached another milestone as it presented the PropertyGuru Icon Award title to its first female winner, Thippaporn Ahriyavraromp (Chearavanont) of MQDC in Thailand.
The unprecedented onslaught of the pandemic introduced a variety of challenges for the sector and the series, but the rapid implementation of vaccine mandates and health measures enabled the programme to transition to hybrid events in some markets, including Vietnam and Indonesia. The rest of the markets, however, remained cautious to maintain control over the spread. The second year of gala broadcasts has allowed the organisers to produce more illustrious virtual events that showcase the continued strength and determination of participants throughout such a trying time. Nearly half a million viewers from all over the globe tuned in to watch the gala events, with the New Markets and Grand Final presentations receiving the most views at 125,400. The culminating event presented the much-anticipated Icon Award to its first recipient in Singapore: the group chief executive of UOL Group Limited, Liam Wee Siam.
As the Awards series celebrates its 17th year, its parent company, PropertyGuru Group, listed publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. The Group has also successfully joined forces with Housing.com in India, REA Group Ltd in Australia, ThinkofLiving in Thailand, and iProperty in Malaysia. As for the Awards, the programme resumed its much-anticipated face-to-face events, streaming to countless viewers from around the globe. Australia and India markets celebrated its first awardees of the Real Estate Personality of the Year honour, respectively Mayrin Group’s William Wu and Max Estates Limited’s Sahil Vachani. The culminating event also crowned its first PropertyGuru Icon Award recipient from Indonesia: the CEO of Ciputra Group and president director of PT Ciputra Development Tbk, Pak Candra Ciputra.
The Asia Property Awards series covers key markets in the Asia Pacific region via a series of domestic gala ceremonies, each hosting up to 600 senior industry figures annually. To date, the Awards have opened the competition to recognise real estate excellence in Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka/Maldives, Japan (Greater Niseko), Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Mainland China/Hong Kong/Macau, Mongolia, India and Australia.
With its unparalleled reputation for being credible, fair and transparent, the Asia Property Awards offers a free-to-enter system and is an unrivaled showcase of the region’s real estate industry, boosting awareness and highlighting top quality developers, projects and innovations. It rewards the high calibre work within the Asian real estate industry, encompassing construction, development, architecture and interior design, as well as green and sustainable building practices.
Boasting a professionally run and fully transparent judging system, which is supervised by HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, it has helped celebrate and promote the region’s real estate industry on the world stage.
All entrants are nominated by a third party, including peers, professionals and consumers, and, if eligible, are rigorously and fairly judged by an independent panel of industry experts. Shortlisted companies can therefore be extremely proud of the huge achievement of setting the benchmark for their nation’s real estate sector and, if successful, will go on to represent their country at the regional Grand Final, which takes place at the end of year in Thailand, the home of the Asia Property Awards.