We have had the honor to sit down with both the owners of one of north Cyprus’ main construction company Evergreen Developments. We went out to one of their resorts, Aphrodite Beachfront Village, on the west coast and interviewed them over a delicious dinner at Joya Restaurant, their on-site restaurant.
Yuval Michaely and Amikam Marhoom both came here from Israel in 2003. By coincidence they met here in north Cyprus, and soon they began a collaboration that would lead to something big. They were among the first to invest in north Cyprus and to see the potential in the country. Today they are well established and have built up and finished 15 projects spread across the island.
When asked why they ended up in north Cyprus Yuval replied: “We were both looking for a place to settle down and open a business, and when we found north Cyprus, we knew it was right. Here it is quiet, people are friendly, it’s safe, easy access to Europe, untouched, it was just meant to be for us. ”
“People here are living in a unique balance, and they are very tolerant. It gives us pleasure to build properties here and give the opportunity to people to create a life here. ”
“We ourselves have very good relationships with the local people, they appreciate us and we them. The north side is not as exploited as the south. Here it is not the tourists’ culture, it is the local’s culture. We are guests and we feel very accepted.
When we built Aphrodite Beachfront we did not want to create a feeling of all-inclusive, we wanted the doors to be open for local people. On the beach, we even have signs that informs that everyone is welcome here, not only guests who live at the site.
Many local people have bought apartments from us, doctors, physicians, lawyers, diplomats and professors. Some live here full-time and others are using their homes as get-aways. ”
“A place is very good if the locals decide to stay there,” Yuval adds, “they know the island well and if they choose to settle here it shows that it is a great place. They understand the value of staying here. ”
“Our fundamental rule when we build is: Everything is about Lifestyle! We do not only build villas and apartments, we create a comfortable lifestyle for the people choosing to live here.
We also have what we call `the Evergreen culture ‘- which means to be service oriented, emotionally present, familiar and to create a good atmosphere.”
“Other mottos we have is that we not only sell the buildings themselves” says Amikam, “but we’ll take care of everything around. Only here at Aphrodite we have 30 permanent employees to help our guests with everything you can imagine. We also have 24/7 emergency help if an accident should occur. And people living here can also get help to buy food at the supermarket Lemar. ”
“We want our guests to enjoy their life here and therefore we only have top facilities at our sites. We also want to improve ourselves all the time and are constantly working to expand our offerings. Here at Aphrodite we have just built a mini golf course with 18 holes, we have a spa with massage, sauna and beauty salon, yoga rooms, an indoor pool, kite-surfing shop and more obvious amenities such as outdoor swimming pools, gym, etc. ”
“Over the seasons we offer yoga classes, swimming camp, kite surfing camps and other fun things.
Aphrodite suit everyone, with activities for young couples, it is safe for families, and seniors who are moving here are getting clean air plus all the support that they can imagine from our top management team. ”
“In total we have 600 units over the island and we own a lot of land with many exciting projects in the pipeline.”
“One of our major projects is being built right now, here at Aphrodite actually. It was an early dream for us to create a landmark on this island, and six years ago, we came up with plans for Aphrodite Tower. A 13-storey tower with 90 luxury apartments, just 300 m from the beach with all the comforts and conveniences you could wish for. “
“Out of all our projects is Aphrodite definitely our favourite, our baby if we can express it so. We are like a family here and we all care about each other. We get visitors from all over the island who come here because our reputation. “There’s a reason why the three of Evergreen’s top executives live here,” added Amikam.