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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Gulf Sotheby’s acquires majority stake in SPF Realty

The  will increase Gulf Sotheby's broker count by 50 per cent

With the merger Gulf Sotheb's says it will be the largest real estate agency in the UAE  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
With the merger Gulf Sotheb's says it will be the largest real estate agency in the UAE Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, a franchise of Sotheby’s International Realty, bought SPF Realty, increasing its current broker count by 50 per cent, the company said Sunday.

George Azar, chairman of Gulf Sotheby’s, said acquiring the household name of SPF was a pivotal move for the company’s expansion plans and will anchor it as the largest real estate company in the UAE with over 100 brokers.

“The merger ultimately stems from the decision to continue leading the UAE luxury property sector and to extend our global expertise to a new generation of luxury home buyers from South Asia,” Mr Azar said, adding "the integration with SPF Realty’s team will enable us to extend our offerings to the Indian subcontinent’s prime property buyers."

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SPF which has widened its reach into India, opening its second office in the country last year, will as part of the acquisition agreement be integrated into Gulf Sotheby’s, boosting its portfolio of Arab, Western and south Asian customers.

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“The complementary strengths and synergies of two well established entities will bring in a new dimension of service for all clients and accelerate growth for the real estate industry as a whole,” said Kalpesh Sampat, chief operating officer of SPF. “This next step of merging with the Gulf Sotheby’s will prove to be a game changer for the UAE real estate industry.”

The move does however come at a time when the region’s real estate market has been slowed as a result of a three-year glut in oil prices.

Residential sales in Dubai will continue to decline this year as a result of low oil prices “denting investor confidence in addition to a strong local currency reducing the purchasing power of key international source markets such as India and the UK,” global consultancy Deloitte said in its Mideast real estate market predictions report.

"Larger is not always better. But if you want to compete in this market you either need unique exclusive content or be very good at what you do,” said Lukman Hajje, chief commercial officer of Propertyfinder Group. “Brokerages offering generic freehold stock and below average customer service are struggling to attract quality brokers and clients."

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