UK Property Developers Woo ME Buyers

New exhibition in Dubai to feature luxury London properties that are not yet marketed even in the UK.



Middle East investors are steadily eyeing greater real estate investment opportunities in the UK, according to international property agents.

“Over the last 12 months, we have seen a steady increase in Middle Eastern investment across prime areas of London and the UK,” said Andrew Phillips, UK regional director at property agency Hamptons International.

“In January this year, Hamptons International experienced a 68 per cent increase in website traffic from the UAE when compared with the same time last year.”

Late last year, property consultant Knight Frank estimated that Middle Eastern buyers from countries such as the UAE, Egypt and Jordan spent 50 per cent more on London property in October compared to October 2011, paying an average of 3.5 million pounds.

Knight Frank said that internet traffic from the Middle East for its catalogue of homes in London’s most expensive neighbourhoods, such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge, rose 10 per cent in the year to October.

Due to the weakening of the British pound, international investors buying prime central London property in currencies linked to the US dollar – such as the UAE dirham – receive an 18 per cent discount currently, said Hamptons.

To capitalise on the regional interest, the agency is holding a two-day exhibition called ‘The Collection’ in Dubai later this month.

The event will feature high-end properties located in prime areas of London with several of them being launched in Dubai even before they are marketed in the UK, said Hamptons.

Two UK developers, Octagon and A2 Dominion, will also be launching luxury family homes and apartment schemes at the event.

“Due to current exchange rates and popularity of property in the UK for UAE investors, ‘The Collection’ event is designed to provide buyers in the Middle East with an opportunity to obtain first-hand insight and advice on where and what to buy in London and the UK,” said Phillips.