UK property agent to sell Nurai Island properties

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UK property agent Chesterton will on Sunday complete a deal with developer Zaya to sell properties on the luxury Nurai Island development in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to Arabian Business on the sidelines of Cityscape in Abu Dhabi, Libyan born Salah Mussa, chairman of investment vehicle Mercantile Group, which owns Chesterton, said he was in talks with other developers such as Hydra, Sorouh and Aldar over similar "commercial relationships".

The agent is moving into the Middle East market by opening an office in Abu Dhabi and hopes to become the first independent international agent in the UAE, without formal strategic tie-ups with big developers.

Hamptons International, another UK property agent, was acquired by Emaar, the largest developer in the Middle East, for $153m in 2006.

“The advantage is that you can do deals with all developers. The problem with Hamptons is that they have tied themselves up with Emaar,” Mussa said.

Nurai island is 20 minutes by boat from the Abu Dhabi mainland and offers a number of luxury high-end waterfront villas.

Chesterton hopes to open an office in Libya by November 2009 and work closely with the country’s sovereign wealth fund there, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

It also has plans to extend its footprint in the Middle East and open offices in Saudi Arabia and Qatar in 2010.

Chesterton has 65 offices across the world and specialises in everything from advisory services to residential sales and leasing.

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