LPS CHINA TALKS: EPISODE 1: MR. ROBERT BOOTH – DUBAI MARKET
EPISODE 1: Mr. Robert Booth | Founder & CEO | Ellington Properties
The “LPS CHINA TALKS” series that will allow some of the world’s most respected real estate business leaders to share their views and insights on the China market.
We will start this new series with Mr. Robert Booth, Founder & CEO of Ellington Group in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Robert Booth is among Dubai’s most experienced and successful real estate leaders.
Before founding Ellington Group in 2014, Mr. Booth occupied the position of Emaar’s CEO for the Real Estate business, overseeing –among many others- the launch of Burj Khalifa.
Ellington Group is fast becoming a major player in the Dubai real estate market and is currently developing twelve high-end residential developments.
Ellington Group will be participating to the 21st edition of LPS – LPS Beijing 2020, this coming December 4-6, at the Wanda Vista Beijing.
How important is the China market to your company? How do you foresee the importance of Chinese buyers on the Dubai luxury real estate market in the coming years?
China has always been a key market for Ellington Properties since our inception in 2014. While our focus was initially on our home market of Dubai and the UAE, as well as the wider GCC region, Chinese investors were among the first of our international customers. There has remained a strong appetite from Chinese investors over the years, particularly in Dubai luxury properties, in sought-after residential communities, which has offered an attractive level of yield for investors.
Strong demand from Chinese investors in Dubai’s real estate sector has been supported over the years by factors including the strengthening of ties between the UAE and China with the strategic role of the UAE in the Belt and Road Initiative as well as growth in tourism and business investments.
You have been active on the China market for about 5 years. From your experience, so far, how would you describe the profiles of your Chinese potential buyers and their specificities compared to other international buyers, for example buyers from Europe or North America? Do they really have different expectations?
Chinese investors are savvy and astute, opting for investments that hold their value and deliver strong yields in areas such as Mohammed Bin Rashid City as well as preferred locations such as Jumeirah Village Circle and Downtown. Our Chinese investors also like to buy off-plan.
They do their homework and ensure the credibility of the developers. Attractive for its lack of taxes, Dubai has even more to offer to the savviest investors – the Chinese buyers – who appreciate the fact that rental yields in Dubai are still some of the most lucrative worldwide.
Chinese investors are also keen on Dubai’s property sector for the easy accessibility that developments, such as by Ellington Properties, offers to meeting their lifestyle choices. This includes access to malls, high quality educational institutions and healthcare facilities.
Has your company taken initiatives to better serve the specific needs of your Chinese buyers? What are the main challenges that you are facing when dealing with Chinese buyers, and how do you overcome them?
We have placed considerable emphasis on engaging with Chinese investors as part of our marketing, with roadshows in key cities in China, as well as events that we have hosted in Dubai for our Chinese investors.
The main challenges are the geographical proximity of investors, but we have managed to successfully address this with our dedicated events and outreach. We’ve built strong connections in the market and these relationships have strengthened over the years. There is an element of ‘trust’ among our Chinese customers which adds to our credentials and enables us to win the confidence of new buyers.
What would you say are the most important qualities that are required for a real estate developer to be successful on the China market?
To create a compelling real estate investment opportunity, developers must first understand the aspirations and requirements of Chinese clients, as well as ensure a level of credibility and trust is built with the prospective investor. Creating the right product is key and it needs to be marketed and communicated in the right way, in a manner which will resonate with the investors.
With so many luxury real estate developments in Dubai, is it becoming harder to think “out of the box” and deliver projects that are truly different and stand out from the competition?
While fads may come and go, quality and location are two factors that continue to draw people back time and again. Our goal is to create liveable communities that are design-led, with a focus on sustainability and technology, and in turn enhance the lives of residents.
Some Chinese investors are really interested in investing in Dubai for the first time but are still hesitant because they feel they lack knowledge and experience on this market. What would you say to reassure them and make them feel more at ease with their first investment?
Dubai has appealed to overseas investors for the quality of the property developments, the geographic location of the UAE where East meets West, and a high demand in terms of the rental market and yield as well as its offering of world-class healthcare and educational institutions that appeal to Chinese customers.
In the long-run, Dubai offers attractive returns to investors. We’ve seen time and time again, investors starting out with one or two properties in Dubai and going on to diversify their property portfolio with additional properties.
About Ellington Properties:
Founded in 2014, Ellington Properties endeavours to craft beautiful environments for exceptionally high-quality lifestyles. Inspired by art and reflective of their owners’ aspirations, Ellington Properties residences are classic in feel but contemporary of vision. Ellington Properties’ current projects include high-rise luxury residences and multi-family communities in Dubai, located in the prestigious Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Emirates Hills, Palm Jumeirah or the upcoming Jumeirah Village Circle. www.ellingtonproperties.ae
About LPS China:
LPS is Asia’s largest international property expo, with annual editions in Beijing and Shanghai. Since 2010, LPS is uniting China’s elites with the world’s most respected real estate companies. www.lps-china.com