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Mon 14 Apr 2014 04:49 PM

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Largest US real estate franchise to launch ops in Dubai

Palm Jumeirah investor IFA Hotels & Resorts inks deal to bring Keller Williams to the region

Largest US real estate franchise to launch ops in Dubai
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR), the largest foreign investor on the Palm Jumeirah, announced on Monday that it has been awarded the first Middle East master franchise agreement from Keller Williams, the largest real estate franchise in North America.

As part of the deal, an IFA HR-backed group of business leaders will soon open a Keller Williams office in Dubai, a statement said, with the venture being led Werner Burger, who also serves as CEO of IFA Hotels & Resorts South Africa, regional director Piaras Moriarty Alvarez, and Keller Williams Dubai CEO Zhann Jochinke.

Khaled Esbaitah, CEO, IFA Hotels & Resorts Middle East, said: "With more than 2,000 keys handed over and more than 1,000 units still under development on the Palm, we have an in-depth understanding of the UAE real estate sector.

The franchise agreement for KW Dubai is a joint venture between IFA HR and a South African company that has already successfully introduced Keller Williams into the Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape.

Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise in North America with more than 97,000 associates and is based in Austin, Texas. The company began expanding beyond North America two years ago.

Since then, it has awarded master franchise agreements in dozens of countries, including Austria, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and Vietnam.

"We are constantly looking for the right business leaders to share the Keller Williams mission, vision and culture around the world," said Chris Heller, president of Keller Williams Worldwide. "We are excited by the opportunity to work with IFA HR and its talented team to help real estate professionals in Dubai grow their business and serve clients at the very highest level."

Burger added: "KW Dubai is a great strategic fit linking Africa and the Middle East.We're seeing increased client movement between the regions and anticipate strong cross-selling and marketing opportunities.

"I firmly believe that the Keller Williams model is going to change the world of real estate in the Middle East."

The longterm goal is to roll out KW franchises across the Middle East through strategic partnerships in key markets, the statement added.

Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is the largest real estate franchise company in North America, with approximately 700 offices around the world.

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