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19 April 2024

Female investors keen on Abu Dhabi properties

By Sue Brattle


An all-women real estate company says female investors are buying into the property boom in Abu Dhabi now that they can see developments taking shape.

The company, Aztec Properties LLC, is looking to tap into the growing investment power of businesswomen, who, according to recent studies, collectively manage portfolios worth more than Dh140 billion in the Gulf.

Managing partner Monika Benning said: “For a long, long time there has been nothing to see at some of the construction sites, but now developments are reaching the 10th or 11th floors and investors are getting interested.”

Benning, who staffed a stand at the recent Abu Dhabi Real Estate and Investment Show, said the cost of real estate rose as the exhibition progressed because demand was so high. “The forecasts all under-estimate what is going to happen,” she said. “There is absolutely no doubt that the real estate sector will grow and grow.”

She said most interest is being shown by people who want to buy somewhere to live. But she added: “In Abu Dhabi there is a small group of women in powerful positions, with their own businesses.
They are investing in property. That group will grow in the future.”

In the UAE, there are more than 11,000 businesswomen managing almost Dh15bn worth of portfolios. Benning’s business partner Edna Toner, said: “There is a growing enthusiasm among these women to have a more prominent role in the region’s economic progress.”

So will they be putting money into apartment blocks or stand-alone villas? Benning said: “The cultural development on Saadiyat Island will be like a magnet. That will attract top-end marina and villa lifestyle developments.

“It will cost a lot of money to live in them and they are expensive to maintain, but that is where investors will go.”

In Dubai, a women-only investment firm that was launched a year ago raised Dh250 million with its first two investment funds. Forsa, part of the Dubai World holding company, was set up to enable women across the GCC countries to invest around the world.

Its asset management division is partnered with The National Investor, whose Chief Executive Officer Orhan Osmansoy said: “Women’s investment companies globally are a success, but women remain under-represented in this region. The high number of wealthy Arab women are an untapped source.”

The number

Businesswomen in the UAE who manage almost Dh15 billion worth of portfolios