Eqarat.com's Kuwait roadshow attracts investors

Eqarat.com, the UAE online real estate site, has concluded its first road show since its soft launch in May 2001

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  June 10, 2001

Eqarat.com, the UAE online real estate site, has concluded its first road show since its soft launch in May 2001.

The recent road show in Kuwait provided positive feedback from potential investors who expressed an interest in real estate projects, according to Ali Al Rahma, founder of Eqarat.com. “Certain investors expressed an interest in investing Dhs 40-50 million while other investors voiced their interest in forming a consortium of investors with a capitalisation of Dhs 200 million,” said Al Rahma.

Eqarat.com has completed its first real estate transaction estimated at Dhs 11 million and is currently exploring a partnership with an online financial entity to partake in projects and share in the financing along side investors. Eqarat will launch its Arabic site by August and feature two major real estate partners. According to Al Rahma next on the agenda is a road show in three major cities in Saudi Arabia followed by a project on marketing real estate in Bahrain.

Although online transaction initiation is not integrated in the platform, the company aims to broker deals between buyers and sellers within the GCC region and facilitate cross border commercial and residential property acquisition. Eraqat.com displays properties ranging from Dhs 1 million to Dhs 300 million. The company intends to generate revenue by charging a 1% fee of the transaction’s value to both buyer and seller.

The launch of Eqarat.com in May 2001 coincided with recent legislative reforms related to ownership of property and a 10-15% decline in the real estate market in the region. New investment laws permit non-GCC nationals to purchase property in Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE. However, the scope of the marketplace is limited. In the UAE for instance, property can be acquired in the Emaar or Al Nakhla projects.

Eqarat.com intends to expand its offering beyond the Middle East, foreseeing operations in the Far East and North America.

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