New Zealand real estate agents Trevor & Margaret Lyall have opened Harcourts Real Estate Group’s first office in the United Arab Emirates.
The Dubai office, opened on 1 October, is owned by the former Harcourts Wairoa husband & wife team, son-in-law Mohammad (Moe) Abeidat, a Jordanian-Canadian, and local Emirati businessman Mohammed Salem Al Shamsi.
Mr Lyall said: “Having worked under the Harcourts brand in the past, it was a natural fit for us to align ourselves with Harcourts in Dubai.”
The Lyalls have been selling real estate since 1999 and set up their own agency at Wairoa in 2007, then took on the Harcourts brand in 2010. They sold it in March ahead of the move to Dubai, “because we can’t resist a challenge and an adventure”.
Mr Lyall said part of the attraction in Dubai was that real estate represents 25% of gross domestic product and demand still outweighs supply, despite over 400,000 residential properties and 40-60,000 newly built units coming onto the market each year.
“The property market in Dubai is driven by demand for high quality apartments & villas, with a gradual shift in focus to meet an increased demand for more affordable housing for middle income earners.”
Mr Lyall graduated with a diploma in valuation & farm management in 1969 and spent over 20 years as a registered valuer, farm supervisor & manager with Lands & Survey and Landcorp in New Zealand, before shifting into the tourism industry and then real estate. He also worked for Foreign Affairs as an aid advisor in Papua New Guinea for 3 years and did property consultancy in Eastern Europe during the transition of ex-communist states to capitalism.
Attribution: Agency release.