Warren Buffett’s residential brokerage expands into Middle East with Dubai office

Warren Buffett’s real estate brokerage is widening its reach into the Middle East with an office in Dubai and plans to also set up operations in Abu Dhabi.

Chairman Ihsan Al Marzouqi and chief executive Phil Sheridan will head Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties alongside a team of 30 advisers and support staff, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“Dubai has been a top priority for our network’s global expansion as it represents innovation among world leaders and is a top global centre for trade, logistics, tourism and finance,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices chairman Gino Blefari. “Gulf Properties will connect our growing brokerage network between East and West.”

The new residential brokerage network aims to triple its advisor count and open an office in Abu Dhabi this year, according to a statement.

Dubai’s growing real estate market with favourable ownership advantages including tax-free income and resident visas issued on property purchases, the hosting of Expo 2020 and an expanding population that now exceeds 3 million attracted Gulf Properties to start operating in the emirate, Mr Sheridan said

Berkshire Hathaway first acquired a stake in HomeServices of America as part of the purchase of its parent company, an energy business, in 2000. It began operations as Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices in 2013 and has about 50,000 advisors and 1,450 offices named to the brand since its launch in 2013.

Gulf Properties marks the fourth global franchisee of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices following Rubina Real Estate in Berlin, Kay & Co in London and Maggi Properties in Milan.

Last December, an insurance unit of the billionaire investor’s Berkshire Hathaway opened in the Dubai International Financial Centre, offering specialty and commercial insurance and reinsurance products with a focus on construction, energy, property, marine, casualty and executive and professional segments. The company remains bullish on the prospects of economic growth in regions from Middle East and North Africa to India, Turkey and CIS, a company official said at the time.

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