Event aims to help youngsters develop technical and soft skills
It's official. The iconic DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah has been sold at an astounding price of Dh810,000,000.
Global real estate consultant Knight Frank Middle East announced Thursday on their official LinkedIn page that Andrew Love, partner and head of capital markets and commercial agency, is responsible for brokering what is probably one of the largest hotel deals ever recorded in UAE real estate history.
Acting exclusively as the sell-side broker on behalf of a private family office, Love sold the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan in RAK for a whopping Dh810 million. Love brokered the deal with legal support from Al Tamimi and Company and Clyde and Co.
Located at Marjan Island near the Al Hamra area of RAK, the hotel provides 650 metres of private white sandy beach, villas with furnished balconies and unparalleled views of the Arabian Sea.
Meet Andrew Love
Speaking exclusively to Khaleej Times following the deal, Love said, "I am delighted to get this one across the line. Over a year of hard work and if not the largest hotel transaction in the UAE, it is the largest of my career."
Love commented on the challenges he faced while brokering the deal, "Transactions of the size are always complicated, especially when it involves hotels. Unlike buying other asset classes, hotels are sold as operational entities. Therefore, you must factor in and account for other items as a part of the sale, such as staffing and accommodation, fixtures and fittings, and reserve funds for future refurbishment."
Love said he believes it is vital before going to market with such a deal that all the information is ready and uploaded into a virtual data room.
"We have pre-empted what a buyer may request to avoid any future delays in the transaction; in deals like this, time can be a killer; if the deal drags, then it has more chance of falling out of bed," he said.
What makes a successful real estate broker?
Love has transacted over Dh10 billion worth of commercial property in the UAE since 2012 and is a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) chartered surveyor with over 15 years of experience in the UK, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.
Love commented on why Ras Al Khaimah is an exciting place for commercial investments, "The government of Ras Al Khaimah have done a fantastic job differentiating themselves from other Emirates; for example, they have focussed on adventure tourism."
Love explained, "They have an amazing long coastline, affordable hotels, scenic mountain range, many amenities and a growing airport. Add affordability into the mix along with good air routes. It makes RAK a desirable proposition, especially considering the price of stays at beachfront resorts in Dubai."
Is it a good time to invest in commercial property?
Love said the UAE's hospitality sector has genuinely recovered, with many of Knight Frank Middle East's clients achieving record trading results.
"In terms of transaction flow, we are seeing a strong appetite for this asset class, and it's an opportune time for any sellers considering an exit," he said.
A career in real estate came naturally to Love. Born and raised in the historic city of Edinburgh in Scotland, Love's parents worked in hospitality, interior design and property development.
"Real estate has always been a big part of my life. I attended the University in Aberdeen and completed a Masters of Art in Planning and Development, Economics and Property, which led me to start a career as a chartered surveyor," he added.
He experienced working during the 2006-2007 real estate boom and moved to Dubai during the 2008-2010 recession.
What's the secret to his consistent success?
Love has transacted over Dh10 billion worth of commercial property in the UAE since 2012, where a majority of this time has been filled with economic ups and downs.
"The ingredients to success and striking deals in our industry is not rocket science; there are four guiding principles I would offer to all agents entering the market, or for ones who might be struggling at the moment," stated Love.
"First, work hard, educate yourself and know your market inside out – don't spread yourself too thin and try specialist – this may be an area of town or an asset class - off plan, apartments, villas, warehouses, land, etc.," he said.
Love said networking plays a crucial role in his consistent success. "I have not had a single listing online or in my name for over six years, but I am constantly on the lookout, speaking on the phone or meeting people in the industry. All my deals come through referrals or repeat clients. The more people you speak to, the more referrals, stock, leads or ideas you generate," he advised.
Third, believe in what you are selling. "If you don't believe in what you are selling, then don't sell it! In other words, don't put your short-term financial gains over your client's best interests," he said.
"Linked to this is the time in the market. If you develop trust and a good reputation, this will pay dividends over three, five, ten, or in my case, 12 years," he added.
"Last but not least, if you're passionate, find something which you are passionate about, which might not be real estate. I still work crazy hours, but it's because I love it," said Love.
Teaching commercial real estate
Love is also a lecturer and a course content contributor for the Innovation Experts – Real Estate Institute (IEREI).
Regarding how he finds the time for both commitments, Love said, "Commercial real estate is very different from residential and having sat through many RERA courses geared towards residential, I saw the desperate need for a commercial offering."
He explained, "Thankfully, the officials at the Dubai Real Estate Institute (now called the IEREI), which is the education/training arm of the Dubai Land Department, were very supportive. We now offer a course for those wishing to learn more about commercial real estate."
The programme covers all aspects, from property measurement to investment analysis. "This is an alternative option for those who have worked in the industry and don't want to sit the traditional broker's course, required every two years to renew your license," said Love.
He added, "Unfortunately, the last year it's been very hectic, and so I have to admit I've not done as much teaching as I'd hope."
Love is also the father to a seven-month-old baby boy. "I have a new family member, so this has kept me busy, but I love sport, particularly padel tennis, golf and squash. My wife and I used to love travelling, but with a seven-month-old, the thought of travelling over hours has changed our perspective," he laughed.
Event aims to help youngsters develop technical and soft skills
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