A number of Spanish developers are looking to foray into the growing Middle East real estate arena, with the UAE topping the destination list, according to an expert.
"A negative realty scene in the Spanish markets has further led to diversification of Spanish interests into other emerging countries. From a development perspective, a number of Spanish developers could be looking towards the Middle East and the UAE in particular," Frances Reynolds, President, Reynolds Ventures, told Emirates Business.
"Spaniards are the second largest investors in Latin America, just after the United States and there is no doubt large construction companies and real estate funds of Spain are looking closely at other markets at this time and Latin America and the UAE are two interesting destinations for them at the moment," she said.
Reynolds Ventures is involved in major investment projects in Latin America and Spain. At the Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the company showcased projects worth more than Dh700 million from Latin America and a €2 billion (Dh11bn) project in Madrid, in a bid to promote these assets in the UAE.
At the Cityscape, the company was looking to close deals for joint venture partnerships with leading firms in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. "We want to focus on the land surrounding the museums and cultural areas of Abu Dhabi. We will discuss them more once we finalise the deals," said Reynolds, refusing to comment on the turnover or working capital of the company.
"Reynolds Ventures has for a while been involved in guiding and managing top-end investments in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa and we have developed an awareness which allows us to identify and make business opportunities in such locations," she said.
"Of all the countries in South America, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay are the most profitable territories promising good conditions for investments." Many countries in Latin America have benefited greatly from a commodity boom, which has seen regional trade grow at a rate of 10 per cent annually since 2005, fuelling demand for property.
"Over the last four years, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have matured into attractive destinations for foreign investors.
"A large percentage of foreign investment capital has been dedicated to Punta del Este and to the most exclusive areas of Buenos Aires.
"In Brazil, important investments have been made by venture capital funds and international funds in the areas of biodiesel, agriculture as well as energy,"said Reynolds.