Better Homes founder was among the winners, which also included Emaar Properties and Danube's Rizwan Sajan
Better Homes’ chairperson and founder Linda Mahoney led the winners at the prestigious Arabian Business Real Estate Awards held in Dubai on Sunday night, taking home the Legend Award 2019.
The gala event, which took place at the Le Royal Meridien Beach and Resort & Spa, honoured Mahoney’s more than three decades of dedication and commitment to the emirate’s real estate sector.
Mahoney grew up in Montreal, Canada, and originally trained as a nurse. In 1981, she moved to the United Arab Emirates to set up a surgical clinic. Seeing the need for a property agency to help expats in Dubai find places to live, she left medicine behind after 25 years and in 1986, she set up Better Homes.
The company has gone on to become one of the leading real estate agency in the UAE with over 400 staff.
“Linda Mahoney began Better Homes from a temporary desk in the corner of a dining room and was one of just a handful of agents in town. Since then, we've seen it all. Because before the Burj Khalifa, before the Burj Al Arab and before the Marina, there was Better Homes,” the company says on its official LinkedIn account.
In her remarks at the awards, Mahoney said that "it has been a long challenge but a wonderful ride" since the company began operations in 1986.
"I think it's quite easy to start a company, but sustaining it is what's so difficult," she added. "I think that over these last 30 years it hasn't been an easy thing to do. The only way you can is with a great team, and I think that's what we have."
Other big awards on the night included Rizwan Sajan from Danube Properties, who was honoured with the Real Estate Visionary Award for his innovative approach to the affordable housing market, while Emaar Properties was awarded Best Master Developer, having reported a 53 percent surge in sales in Q1 this year, one of its highest ever.
Talal M. Al Gaddah, CEO of MAG Lifestyle Development, was awarded Best Property CEO, Wasl Gate, by wasl properties, won Best Project of the Year, Best Developer of the Year was awarded to Azizi Developments and the Young Real Estate Personality Award was presented to Zeeshan Imran, the 21 year-old founder of rightdoors.com.
The other winners honoured on the night include:
When people think of Dubai they almost automatically think of property. Where else in the world do you have headline-grabbing global icons like the Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Khalifa or the Burj al Arab? From the watercooler to the digital chatrooms, people in Dubai love to talk about property, in the same way they talk about the weather in London or Trump in Washington.
If you believe what you hear, people would have you believe real estate is over and we are in a downturn. But, don’t believe everything you hear, that’s not the full story: Contrary to popular belief, the value of real estate transactions in Dubai actually rose 33 percent to $9.26 billion in the first five months of this year, according to official statistics.
To further prove the point that things aren’t as bad as some make out, property sales remained steady during Ramadan and were consistent with the last four years, according to a local property portal.
So, what’s changed? The Dubai land Department says it is largely a result of government policies to encourage investment and boost the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate sector, including a permanent residency system for some expats, offering residency to foreign retirees, a 10-year residence visa for investors and 100 percent foreign ownership for companies in the UAE.
“Here at Arabian Business we believe it’s really due to the people in this room, those who have made the real estate sector what it is today, have nurtured it, have developed it and have pushed it to the limits not seen anywhere in the world,” Shane McGinley, Editorial Director of Arabian Business Group, was quoted as saying.
The sponsors of the Arabian Business Real Estate Awards 2019 included Gold Sponsor Tilal Properties, Exclusive Car Sponsor RAM and Social Media Partner TINT.