Sotheby’s, a British-founded American multinational corporation is expanding in the Middle East by establishing a new branch in Doha, Qatar, Inman reported. The new branch is owned by Alfardan Group, a premium lifestyle conglomerate renowned for its work with luxury products and services in Qatar.

When asked for the reason behind the expansion, Philip White, president, and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty told Inman, “Qatar’s high-income economy and global real estate interest is appealing to the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.”

Seran Gheorghe, a real estate veteran with over 13 years of experience in the region will take up the role of general manager of the new Qatari brokerage. According to him, the Qatari market has high-end luxury properties which attract buyers from all around the globe.

“We pride ourselves in offering the highest level of support and advice to our clients before, during and after the transaction. Aligning our company with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand will further provide our clients with unparalleled marketing, global reach, and exposure,” the new general manager of Qatar Sotheby’s International Realty told Inman.

According to Sotheby’s International Realty, currently, 22,700 sales associates are working for the company at nearly 1,000 offices in 72 countries and territories. According to reports, the company generated a record $112 billion in sales last year.

Since the 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament is scheduled to take place in Qatar and Sotheby’s decision to establish itself in the Middle East, especially Qatar, might be influenced by it.

The new branch launch also comes after Sotheby’s Canadian brokerage division was recently acquired by a subsidiary of Peerage Capital.

In February, Reuters reported that residential prices in Qatar are down about 10 per cent, office prices also saw a similar decline and rents are down 20 per cent since July 2017.

But with the World cup inching closer, experts predict long term projects to flood Qatar’s real estate market despite the decline in prices.

Also, according to Realty.com, Qatar recently passed a new law which permits greater foreign ownership of its real estate sector in a bid to draw more investment.

Founded in 1976, Sotheby’s International Realty is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp, a global leader in real estate franchising, real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.