Dubai real estate developer Damac Properties has signed an exclusive deal with a Chinese property broker in a bid to target investors from the Far East.
Ziad El Chaar, Damac’s managing director, signed a deal with Beijing-based property broker 5i5j, who will promote the Dubai firm’s 37,000 pipeline of properties to the Chinese market.
“They have 30,000 sales people. They sell a unit every four minutes,” Niall McLoughlin, Damac’s senior vice-president, told The National newspaper.
“We have 22 of their senior people here. They are being inducted into Dubai and Damac on a three-day programme. They will go back to China and sell Dubai.”
The number of Chinese visitors to Dubai soared 25 percent year-on-year in 2014, to 344,329, according to the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), becoming the emirate’s seventh-largest source market.
The figure is likely to double to 540,000 by 2023, according to a report by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Oxford Economics, with the emirate remaining the most popular destination for Chinese tourists in the Middle East and North Africa for the foreseeable future.
In a recent interview with Arabian Business, El Chaar said Damac is targeting Chinese for both its hotels and real estate projects, focusing on the three largest cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as the northern city of Urumqi, home to China’s largest Muslim population.
“[The Chinese Muslims] on their way to Makkah, pass through Dubai, so they’re a growing, important part of the tourism in Dubai,” El Chaar said.
He added that the tourism industry required far more flights between the UAE and China in order to grow it further.
“One of the main things that has to happen so we can get more Chinese tourists to Dubai is we need more flights from China because the demand for hospitality is always related to the number of seats you have on planes coming from that country,” he says.
DTCM has opened three offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as hosting a recent week-long exhibition showcasing Dubai’s progress over the past 40 years. The emirate, which hosts about 200,000 Chinese expatriates, also is making a concerted effort to increase bilateral trade with China, which recently overtook India as its largest trading partner, and to increase acceptance of China's currency - the renminbi - within the emirate.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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