Dubai – MENA Herald: In less than a year, international real estate group Engel & Völkers has positioned itself as one of the most important names for buying and selling high-end properties in Dubai, using its innovative Metropolitan Market Centre (MMC) concept and a strategic collaboration with Nakheel.

The Dubai operation, which opened in May 2015, brings together the Hamburg, Germany-based broker’s global expertise, with the local knowledge and profile of one of the UAE’s landmark property developers. After less than a year in operation, the Dubai MMC provides a base for 200 real estate agents specialising in the brokerage of high-end real estate throughout Dubai, and achieved 200 sales transactions by end of 2015.

“Our first months of operation have clearly demonstrated the value of the Metropolitan Market Center concept,” said Cesar Latrilla, CEO of Engel & Völkers in Dubai. “The Dubai market is unique, in that many of the most exclusive properties are in planned communities dispersed across the city. A brokerage that brings all of these enclaves together under one roof is proving ideally suited to the needs of buyers at the high end of the market.”

A new concept in property sales
With around 7000 employees in 37 countries, Engel & Völkers’ success is built on a network of distinctive residential property shops. Often operated under national and local franchise agreements, they share an unmistakeable design, along with high levels of personalised client service, localised to carefully selected neighbourhoods.

The company, founded in Hamburg in 1977, has seen its commission revenues almost double in the past five years, from 206.4 million euros in 2011, to a record 409.8 million euros in 2015. More than half that increase was in 2015 alone, and the Dubai operation is part of a new direction that has helped accelerate growth.

“The Metropolitan Market Center is a concept that works particularly well in world cities of special interest to wealthy individuals, whether for lifestyle reasons or as significant business centres,” said Cesar Latrilla. “Rather than issuing franchises for individual property shops, we enter into a licensing agreement with a substantial commercial partner, to establish a single operational centre identifying and marketing elite properties across an entire metropolitan area.”

Engel & Völkers opened its first MMC in Barcelona in 2013, and Dubai was the seventh just two years later. As with property shops, partnerships and licensing agreements in the local market drives the expansion.

“A property shop franchise links our systems and processes, and our international reach, with an independent entrepreneur’s detailed local knowledge. The Metropolitan Market Center model is built on the same formula, but in this case with a partner substantial enough to offer expertise across an entire city. In Dubai, we have clearly found the right partner in Nakheel, a company widely recognised for creating some of Dubai’s most exclusive and iconic developments, and which shares our goal of achieving a high proportion of market share in the brokerage of premium real estate in the shortest time possible,” added Latrilla.