Ellington’s Robert Booth on taking Dubai real estate to Israeli shores





The recently signed normalisation agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel – referred to as the Abraham Accords – has sparked positive sentiment in the Dubai real estate market with Israeli investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios and leverage good rates of return in the long-term.

In this episode of Construction Week’s Expert Interviews, the managing director of Ellington Properties, Robert D Booth, tunes in from Canada to share his insights on the impact of the Abraham Accords, the investment opportunities in Dubai real estate, and the significance given to art and design in the UAE’s construction projects.

“We think the peace treaty between the UAE and Israel is fantastic news for not only the UAE, but also the region. We certainly believe that we’re going to see a lot of attractive investment coming into the Dubai market with this new peace accord,” Booth says.

In an industry-first move following the UAE’s decision to fully normalise bilateral relations with Israel, the design-led property developer Ellington Properties entered into a strategic alliance with Israel’s Keller Williams, the regional arm of one of the world’s largest real estate tech firms, to promote and drive Israeli investments into Dubai’s property sector.

The partnership will mark concerted efforts by Ellington Properties to highlight the investment environment of Dubai among Israeli investors and showcase the company’s range of design-centric lifestyle developments.
Booth explains: “Once the Abraham Accords were signed, as a developer, we began to look at the opportunities. We signed an agency agreement with Keller Williams – who have a massive presence in Israel with more than 20 offices and 350 brokers.

“I believe we were one of the first developers to go into that market and sign an agency agreement because we see a lot of future demand coming from that marketplace. This is in part because the yields in Dubai are very attractive, particularly, for our Ellington type of product, where our net yields are 7% to 8%, and we think that will be very attractive to Israeli investors.”

Ellington Properties will showcase its flagship residential developments in Dubai including Belgravia and Belgravia II, Belgravia Square, Belgravia Heights I, Eaton Place, Wilton Terraces and DT1. The residences feature apartments, villas, and townhouses.

The residences and mixed-use communities of Ellington Properties are located in popular neighbourhoods of Dubai such as Downtown Dubai – home to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Mall; The Palm Jumeirah, a well-known waterfront development; and Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), a centrally located residential neighbourhood in the emirate.

“We’re one of the largest developers in the JVC marketplace. It’s an attractive marketplace because it is at the right price point and is a fantastic location for our demographics. Similarly, we are also very active in the Meydan neighbourhood, which is 5 minutes away from Downtown and is a fantastic neighbourhood.

“We like to pick these sub-markets up that have good amenities, good access, great locations – these are the neighbourhoods we like to develop in.”

Real estate developers in Dubai have been focusing on localisation, and Ellington Properties is no exception to this trend. Rather than viewing the Dubai residential market as a single organic entity, with falling rental and sales prices, rising transactions, and a glut of properties, developers have begun to focus on sub-markets within Dubai, counting on them to buck the trend.

Booth agrees: “We look at sub-markets, and then we look at sub-markets within sub-markets. In sub-markets like JVC, even the streets matter. There are streets we like, and there are streets we don’t like, as much. I think that’s just a sign of the maturing marketplace in Dubai.

“We see similar patterns in other mature real estate markets, as well. In certain parts of North America, we can go one block away, and it’s not an attractive neighbourhood anymore, and that’s happening in Dubai, as well. In addition, the consumer is also doing more and more research and they’re also growing more and more aware of these sub-markets.”

For more insights, watch the video today! 🙂

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