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PRINCETON, NJ-NAI Global will open an office this month in Dubai, making it the company’s first office in the United Arab Emirates. NAI will team with the Al Rafi Group to open the Dubai office.

The expansion into Dubai is part of NAI’s expansion. “We’ve been expanding rather significantly around the world for the last three to five years,” says Jeff Finn, president and chief operating officer for NAI Global. “And we have been watching Dubai for the last two years very closely, have had discussions with clients in the market and have been able to clearly identify the demand for real estate services there.”

The company expanded into Kuwait and Qatar earlier this year but “the structure and formalities of the process pushed the start back,” for Dubai, according to Finn.

NAI will take advantage of both Dubai and US capital looking to be invested. Finn says there are a number of Dubai firms looking to invest in the US real estate market and US firms have expressed a great interest in entering Dubai. NAI Dubai/UAE, as the company will be called, will have a running start when the office opens as it is already looking into several opportunities for interested investors.

Plans to expand to other emirates are in the works. Finn says NAI is looking at Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia as potential new locations. The company remains focused on the gulf region, where “we have found a safe haven in a tumultuous region.”

Finn describes Dubai as a “first generation” real estate market, a fact that he sees a lot of potential in. “I would think in the not too distant future most of the primary global service companies will want to be in Dubai,” Finn says. “How they get there will be different but the opportunity has been identified and most people have been circling and figuring out ways.”

The Al Rafi Group has over 30 office and industrial properties and four million sf of office space currently under construction in the UAE.

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