UK-based Clear Property Investment is expanding into the Middle East with the launch of a brokerage business in Dubai that aims to offer off-market, bespoke commercial investment packages
UK-based Clear Property Investment is expanding into the Middle East with the launch of a brokerage business in Dubai that aims to offer off-market, bespoke commercial investment packages for private and fund manager clients in the UK and Ireland.
The new business, which will initially focus on the United Arab Emirates but is subsequently intended to expand into Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, has evolved from the UK commercial dealings of partners Iftikhar Ahmed, Naeem Sattar and Kashif Iqbal.
The trio has a history of business ventures in the UK, covering residential property, buy-to-let and commercial investments. Over the past two years, they have invested more than GBP50m with companies including Redrow, Taylor Wimpey and Dawn Homes and spent a further GBP5m acquiring commercial properties.
The Clear team has more than 10 years of experience sourcing investment property for friends and business contacts in the Middle East. It now plans to turn this low-key involvement in the Middle East market into a specialist service finding off-market deals for clients and guiding them through the complexities of the market. The venture has already secured its first client, an Irish-based high net worth individual.
‘The Middle East, and Dubai in particular, is one of the most exciting and dynamic commercial property markets in the world,’ Sattar says. ‘With a booming economy and massive levels of inward investment and migration, there is an acute shortage of commercial space driving rising rents and resulting in commercial property yields of up to 10 per cent and even higher. The UAE looks an increasingly attractive investment opportunity, particularly with current uncertainty in the UK and European property investment markets.
‘It is, however, a complex, rapidly evolving market, with many potential pitfalls. Negotiating with local developers and agents can be extremely difficult for investors – language barriers and different business cultures and ethics can make it very hard for overseas investors to negotiate good deals. It is certainly not unknown for local developers and agents inflate the price to outsiders who do not have the right contacts or know how the local market works.
‘Over the past 10 years, we have built up a vast network of contacts as well as an in-depth market knowledge. We will provide investors with a completely personal and bespoke service. We will find individual investments or portfolios that exactly match their risk and reward criteria or other investment requirements.’