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Middle Eastern investors into UK real estate not put off by BREXIT

A government-driven delegation of UK investors and developers are looking to visit the Middle East to strike deals with Middle Eastern investors.

Taking the BREXIT decision into consideration this is fantastic news for the UK: it is noticeable at just how much these investors really do invest into the UK.

All of those involved will be attending two set-piece events that are aimed to influence investment and trading connections between the regions. Between the Middle East and the UK, the international investment levels are high: it topped AED 15.1 billion in 2016, so this is something that the UK real estate market just can’t let go of.

Usually, Middle Eastern investors are pulled towards residential property in London. The AED 18.4 billion top up this month of an AED 229.5 billion real estate and infrastructure investment plans for the UK – owned by the Qatari government – demonstrates the level of attention the UK is receiving from Middle Eastern investors.

Former deputy mayor of London and now Chairman of the government’s Homes and Communities Agency, Sir Edward Lister, leads the delegation and said:

“The Emirates have always been strong investors in the UK, not just in London, but throughout the country and we have always welcomed that investment.

“In spite of Brexit, the lying property dynamics in the UK remain unchanged. The demand for all types of property is absolutely enormous.

“The UK government target for housing is 250,000 homes a year, and in a good year we are only achieving 170,000 so the pressure is on for housing across the country and we need with that modern office accommodation as well as industrial and distribution warehousing.

“In a country where property is so well protected by rule of law, the UK always makes a sound investment.”

Sir Edward has emphasised just how much he is looking ahead to speak to experts from the Middle East so that he can understand how innovation is being implemented. This counts especially for the methods of the next generation – in relation to construction –, which could be of a great benefit to the UK.

The relationship between the Middle East and the UK is a strong one. It goes as far back as two centuries ago and this is reflected in the rising trade figures that continue to improve.

Trade between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has boomed too – by 185% between 1999 and 2015 – and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the UK’s third biggest export partner outside the circle of Europe. Not only that but they are the 11th largest trading partner for the UK as a whole, which shows their significant relationship and just how meaningful it is.

Now that BREXIT has occurred, the relationship on an international scale is only set to improve even more.

Head of Research at Cluttons, Faisal Durrani, said: “We already know that London residential property is a favourite asset class among the region’s wealthy, as has been reflected in our Middle East Private Capital Surveys for a number of years.

“London’s nickname as the ‘eighth emirate’ is further substantiated by the tremendous volume of investment it attracts from the Middle East and the GCC states in particular.

“As well as Qatar’s multi-billion-dirham investment into the UK, Kamco of Kuwait and Rasmala of Dubai recently completed an AED 248 million deal to acquire an Amazon distribution warehouse near Edinburgh that is responsible for 3 of 8 Amazon parcel deliveries in the UK.

“And Abu Dhabi Investments acquired an AED 1.4 billion share of a shopping mall in Liverpool recently.”

All of this evidence truly highlights the success rate between UK real estate and Middle Eastern investors. It is strong and wealthy and only good things can be expected this year for investments into the UK housing market. And the good thing is…BREXIT will not even affect this.

Written by Gemma Smith

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