Real estate magnate, Donald Trump is seeking billion dollar investments from the booming economic regions of the Arabian Gulf. Rodrigo Nino, president of Prodigy International, advisers to The Trump Organization said to the press on June 29th. “I expect to see at least $2bn of investment from the Middle East in the next 12 to 24 months.”
“We’re particularly targeting Middle East investors for our $2.5bn inventory in Manhattan and $1.5bn inventory in Panama,” Nino told Zawya Dow Jones at the Dubai sales launch of the Trump Soho Hotel Condominium in New York.
Currently Trump has several real estate projects in Manhattan Island, Panama and Miami, worth about $8 billion.
With the American market stagnated, Trump is looking to offshore investors to fill the obvious gap. While the U.S is seeing some of the worst market since the Great Depression, Arabian Gulf nations are cashing in big thanks to fantastic oil prices ($130/barrel).
Dubai-based companies like Nakheel, developer of the Palm shaped islands off the Dubai coast and Zabeel Properties have already expressed interest in developing real estate projects in the US. Nino further informed on their current talks with companies from the Arabian Gulf regions.
Interest in the Gulf nations is high for residential Manhattan property as well as real estate in Panama and Miami.
Zabeel actually stated last month they were looking at property in Las Vegas, Miami and L.A.
Last week saw Trump launching The Trump International Hotel & Tower on Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah project. Nakheel is expecting to sell a penthouse within the tower for a record sum of $30 million. If this transaction comes true, Dubai will see even more unprecedented growth. Further to seeking high rollers, Donald Trump is also trying to attract Middle Eastern investors to buy units in the $800 million Trump Soho project. The project is due to open in summer of 2009. To give you an idea, one and two bedroom penthouses are priced at between $4 million and $12 million.
Last year saw a 20 percent growth of overall investors from the Middle East in the U.S. according to a February report by Washington-based Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. Along with German and Australian investors, the Middle Eastern’s dominate the market for foreign investment in the US right now.
All this development in the market somewhat helps to cushion New York’s property market from the current downturn in the US economy. Expected Wall Street Layoffs could see property prices in New York fall massively in 2008.
However, the desire to buy up Manhattan’s iconic skyline isn’t just limited to wealthy Arabs. Middle East sovereign wealth funds are active buyers.
Istithmar, an investment fund controlled by the government of Dubai, has quietly embarked on a Manhattan buying splurge over the last two years. Some of the city’s most prestigious addresses are now part of their portfolio.
- The W Hotel on Union Square
- The Mandarin Oriental at Columbus Circle
- The former Knickerbocker Hotel building at 6 Times Square
Trump is certainly seeing the bigger picture while protecting his various assest against the property market demise.