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Ayana Holding to establish new property division to target investments outside the GCC

Growing investment opportunities across global property markets, especially Europe and South East Asia, combined with the increasing wealth among GCC investors are driving investments from the region.

Ayana Holding, a UAE-based real estate focused conglomerate, says it is setting up Ayana Properties to target individual and institutional investments into the UK and other growing markets.

“Diversification, the growing number of the wealthy from the GCC, the potential long-term gains from property investments in key global centres are all fueling investments from the region. With Ayana Properties, we plan to leverage on our global presence and connections to facilitate some of the best deals to our clientele from the region,” says Hamid Kerayechian, CEO & Founding Partner of Ayana Holding.

Ayana Holding has a presence across numerous markets including the US, the UK, Russia, Turkey and Thailand.

Investments from the GCC and China continue to lead the UK property market. According to a recent Knight Frank Wealth Report 2019, the selected GCC countries will witness a 15 per cent increase in the number of Ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNWI) over the next five years.
Knight Frank’s proprietary Prime International Residential Index (PIRI) states that 74 per cent of Middle Eastern UHNWIs own second homes outside their country of residence – the highest proportion in the world, with London being the top destination of choice.

“What started off as institutional investments into the hospitality sector in the UK is trickling down to individual investments into second homes and stable assets that lead to long-term returns,” says Mandana Dabbagh, Director, Ayana Properties. An expert in the UK property market, Mandana also has more than a decade’s experience working in the UAE.

“There has been a decline in the pound against the dollar and the UAE dirham and with the current uncertainty concerning Brexit, it is the right time for GCC investors to get better deals in the UK, especially as the local and regional investments into the property sector there is strained. People with US$ spending power are benefiting in a big way on property purchases in the UK,” she adds.

Phuket in Thailand is another market that has witnessed increased attention from investors in the GCC.

“Phuket is currently offering a very high yield, almost 7 per cent plus, and also allows the investor to use the property for four weeks in a year. So it is like a holiday home and you get your returns as well. Prices in Phuket start at a range of $150,000, making it more affordable to individual investors,” she adds.

Ayana Properties, she says, will kickstart with the UK market. “That’s our foundation. We want to develop in countries where there is an appetite from the GCC. We will be providing GCC investors with an end-to-end and streamlined experience when it comes to selecting and completing the transaction in a market that is otherwise less familiar to such investors,” she says.

According to Mandana, investors from the GCC have an increased preference for London and Manchester, owing to a relatively stable property market in these locations, long-term prospects for investments and new residential and commercial zones away from traditional centres that are more affordable and offer better value for money. “The UK especially is a market for those who want to send their kids to college, a second home etc., Investors are looking at a long-term investment strategy and goes beyond any short-term Brexit-related issues,” she says adding that expatriates from Europe, South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan are among the active clientele for Ayana Properties.

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