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Christie's property division opens Dubai office

Company represents estates Armani House, Polo homes and Dubai Hills

Christie's auction house.
Christie's auction house.

Luxury property brokerage Christie’s International Real Estate has made its first expansion into the Middle East by opening an office in Dubai.

The real estate arm of the auction giant is marking the launch by putting a spectacular $99mn Arabic palace on the market as part of its aggressive expansion plans into the Middle East.

Brian Etemad has been appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of Christie's International Real Estate's new affiliate in Dubai, located on the seventh floor of the Emaar Business Square Building.

Etemad is representing estates such as Armani House, Polo homes and Dubai Hills.

He is a licensed attorney at law from New York and worked extensively with the most influential families in the region, overseeing their property portfolios.

The move is the latest stage in the rapid global expansion of Christie’s International Real Estate, which now has affiliates in 46 countries, compared with just four offices beyond the US 10 years ago.

Christie’s expansion strategies helped the auction house break half year sales records by 12% when it reached the $4.5bn milestone for the first time ever in 2014.

“Bahrain is on my list of do we expand there if yes I have a number of priorities, when do we need to be there and how do we need to be there,” said Joachim Wrang-Widén, SVP and regional director for Europe, Middle East, Russia, India and Africa.

“We have one sumptuous Arabic palace coming out which will probably be priced at about 75mn euros ($99mn) and we will have property in Dubai for sale, yes that is also the intention, but I’m not able to say what yet because in Dubai things move so quickly.”

Senior vice presidents Giles Hannah and David Branch of Christie's International Real Estate will be assisting the Dubai affiliate with development marketing and sales worldwide.

"Dubai is seen as the centre of luxury in the region. We feel that this is the right time when the market has found its footing and stability. It's the right time to launch for the local buyers and for international buyers through our network. If you compare that to 2007, we've come a long way," said Wrang-Windén. "The market in relatively buoyant and from the development standpoint it is extremely exciting. Let's hope that the market has learnt from the past and that the growth that the growth is sustainable."

The real-estate arm of rival auction house Sotheby’s opened a franchise in Dubai late last year.

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