$1b potential for timeshare market in Gulf region: study

DUBAI — A major research will be unveiled at a leisure real estate industry symposium in Dubai to be held on April 29, which will confirm that shopping is the number one priority of Gulf Arabs when they go on a holiday.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 28 Apr 2006, 11:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:01 PM

The malls of the region are flourishing and increasing in parallel with the number of mixed-use real estate developments.

The research was commissioned by RCI Middle East, part of the global RCI Global Vacation Network, the largest vacation exchange and vacation rental organisation in the world and conducted across a sample of nationalities including Saudi Arabians, Kuwaitis, Emiratis, Iranians and Egyptians.

According to Vivienne Noyes-Thomas, Managing Director of RCI Middle East: "The main purpose of the research is to quantify the potential pan-Arab market for luxury timeshare, fractional ownership and other types of shared ownership in leisure developments in the region. There are numerous superb projects in the planning stages, but now we can qualify what the consumer is really looking for and what this product can deliver in increased returns for developers and operators."

A preview of the findings reveals that the potential value of this market, Arab nationals purchasing various types of shared ownership, is conservatively estimated at well over $1 billion.

"The research is still being finalised so it's too early to be fully precise at this stage," said Noyes-Thomas. "But this news will be welcomed by the many industry delegates already signed up for our Symposium, 'New Horizons in Shared Ownership' taking place at the Burj Al Arab."

Whilst more familiar timeshare models are well represented in the research, other new products are also explored. Possibly one of the most exciting of these is the new trend for what is known as religious timeshare.

A number of major projects are already underway in Makkah and Madinah and the research indicates these are likely to be highly popular amongst Muslim pilgrims.

Other more broadly based examples include the new Fractional Ownership category.

Typically this is characterised by upscale properties such as exclusive villas, apartments or even yachts that appeal to discerning buyers seeking longer periods of ownership.

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