Warren Buffett’s UAE plan of expansion unhindered despite the downward spiraling property market

The real estate spur of the note-worthy investor Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has recently confirmed the news of further expansion with moving its brokerage services in the Middle East. The investor, after opening a new office in Dubai, has also shown interest in venturing out to other parts of the Middle East, within a year. The next place of establishment is expected to be Abu Dhabi.

Berkshire Hathaway has come into an agreement with local firm Gulf Properties, where Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties will be led by Chairman Ihsan Husein Al Marzouqi and Chief Executive Officer Phil Sheridan, a company statement said. They will have a strong team of 30 advisers and support staff.

“Dubai has been a top priority for our network’s global expansion as it represents innovation among world leaders and is a top global center for trade, logistics, tourism, and finance,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chairman, Gino Blefari.

According to Phil Sheridan, who will play an imperative role in the new venture, “It will not be about us only trying to get the U.S buyers interested in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. There were 16,000 overseas buyers acquiring property in Dubai between January to June 2018 for $10 billion. There will be more of them, and that’s who we will target.”

The plans of expansion come amidst a set of downturns the real estate market has been facing. The property prices have fallen more than a quarter, after being on their peak in 2014. This has, in turn, hindered earning potential of top developers, and has made the market land into a situation of a job crisis.

Prices have reportedly fallen by 25% in recent years and have taken a downward spiral since then. Dubai’s main driving force, expatriates, started leaving the country in search of greener pastures as businesses closed shop. S&P Global Ratings showed that in February Dubai residential property prices will fall another 5-10 percent this year due to a continued gap between supply and demand, before steadying in 2020.

Berkshire Hathaway is currently profiling global buyers and sellers to come together and set up an office in the Middle East. Though the market forecasted a quick rebound, the slump is likely to be prolonged, going against the predictions.

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