IFA Hotels & Resorts Brings North America’s Largest Real Estate Franchise to Dubai
Keller Williams Aims to be Leading Real Estate Company in the Middle East
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (April 14, 2014) — IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR), the largest foreign investor on the Palm Jumeirah, announced today that it has been awarded the first Middle East master franchise agreement from Keller Williams – the largest real estate franchise in North America.
Building on their joint success in growing Keller Williams (KW) real estate offices in South Africa, an IFA HR-backed group of business leaders will soon open a Keller Williams office in Dubai. The venture is being led by a team that includes Operating Principal Werner Burger, who also serves as CEO of IFA Hotels & Resorts South Africa; Regional Director Piaras Moriarty Alvarez; and Keller Williams Dubai CEO Zhann Jochinke.
Khaled Esbaitah, CEO, IFA Hotels & Resorts Middle East, stated: “With more than 2,000 keys handed over and more than 1,000 units still under development on the Palm, we have an in-depth understanding of the UAE real estate sector. From our first investment almost a decade ago, we have honoured our commitment to help Emirates build one of the world’s most desirable real estate markets. The introduction of Keller Williams to the region furthers this goal by providing training and technology, as well as proven models and systems that will elevate real estate practices across the region.”
The franchise agreement for KW Dubai is a joint venture between IFA HR and a South African company that has already successfully introduced Keller Williams into the Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape.
Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise in North America with more than 97,000 associates and is based in Austin, Texas. The company began expanding beyond North America two years ago. Since then, it has awarded master franchise agreements in dozens of countries, including Austria, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and Vietnam. After a record-breaking year for growth, productivity and profitability, the company is on pace to become the largest real estate franchise by agent count, transactions and volume across the world.
“We are constantly looking for the right business leaders to share the Keller Williams mission, vision and culture around the world,” said Chris Heller, president of Keller Williams Worldwide. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with IFA HR and its talented team to help real estate professionals in Dubai grow their business and serve clients at the very highest level.”
Werner Burger, CEO IFA Hotels & Resorts South Africa, brings to KW Dubai more than two decades of experience in real estate management and development. In addition to his role with IFA HR, he serves as the operating principal for Keller Williams’ South African market centers in Zimbali and the Western Cape.
“KW Dubai is a great strategic fit linking Africa and the Middle East,” Burger said. “We’re seeing increased client movement between the regions and anticipate strong cross-selling and marketing opportunities. From my experience leading IFA HR’s global expansion and sales and marketing during my time in Dubai, I firmly believe that the Keller Williams model is going to change the world of real estate in the Middle East. Keller Williams and IFA HR is a perfect match in terms of culture and strategy. We’re both growth-oriented and committed to being the market leader in everything that we do.”
Piaras Moriarty Alvarez, who will also hold dual roles with IFA Hotels & Resorts and Keller Williams Dubai, is exploring opportunities to grow the franchise beyond Dubai.
“Dubai’s extraordinary growth and strong economic outlook make it an ideal fit for the most innovative real estate model in the business,” Moriarty said. “We expect KW Dubai to emulate the same trajectory of success achieved in every country the company has entered to date. Our longterm goal is to roll out KW franchises across the Middle East through strategic partnerships in key markets and to transform the manner in which real estate is sold.”
About IFA Hotels & Resorts:
IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) develops, licenses, operates and manages luxury residential, hotel and resort projects for international investors and owners across emerging markets. The company has dozens of projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America and the Indian Ocean. Each of the company’s operational assets is managed by its wholly owned subsidiary, Dubai-based IFA Hotel Investments. As the largest foreign investor on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, IFA HR is an established market leader in development and sales. Listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, IFA HR has a market capitalization of approximately US$1billion. The company’s main shareholder is Kuwait-based International Financial Advisors. For more information, visit (www.ifahotelsresorts.com) or (www.ifahi.com).
About Keller Williams Realty, Inc.:
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is the largest real estate franchise company in North America, with approximately 700 offices and 97,000 associates in more than a dozen countries around the world. The company has grown exponentially since the opening of the first Keller Williams Realty office in 1983, and continues to cultivate an agent-centric, education-based, technology-driven culture that rewards associates as stakeholders. The company also provides specialized agents in luxury homes and commercial real estate properties. For more information or to search for homes for sale visit Keller Williams Realty online at (www.kw.com). For more information about Keller Williams Worldwide, please visit (www.kwworldwide.com).