Oman developer Sobha poised to enter UK market with London listing

Sobha Realty, a developer of luxury properties in Dubai and India, is set to enter the UK property market with a listing on the London stock exchange and joint ventures with local real estate partners.

The company is moving in to the former Foxtons headquarters in London's Park Lane after carrying out an extensive refurbishment of the building, which is due to be opened by chairman PNC Menon at the end of April.

Sobha Realty has a forecast sales volume of €360 mln in the UAE in 2019 and is aiming to grow the figure to €608 mln by the end of 2020. The company focuses mainly on residential and contractual projects.

It will use the refurbished building at 92 Park Lane, designed by Sir Edwin Luytens in the 1920s, to showcase its brand and luxury apartments to UK buyers and international visitors.

The move is part of a global expansion that has also seen the company open a sales office in Shanghai, as announced earlier this month. It aims to gain a foothold in the London property market by forming alliances with London-based real estate partners and luxury brands.

Sobha was founded by Menon in 1976 in Oman as a bespoke furniture fit-out company, later becoming an interior design business. Major commissions included the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Al Bustan Palace Hotel. In 1995 it expanded into India, before entering the UAE in 2003, undertaking projects such as the €3 bn Sobha Hartland development, a 74-hectare waterfront complex comprising apartments, villas and townhouses.

'We are pleased to announce the opening of the Sobha Global Studio on London’s famous Park Lane,' said Menon. 'Mayfair is a premier luxury brand destination so it was our address of choice. London is a world city, with last year over 40 million vistors travelling to the capital for business and leisure, so this studio showcases our brand to the world.'

Tirthankar Ganguly, chief marketing officer at Sobha Realty, said: 'Other international developers visit London and hold temporary exhibitions but the locations, quality of presentation and customer journey can be hard to control.

'We are a luxury brand therefore we chose to acquire and construct a global studio on Mayfair’s world-renowned Park Lane, providing us with a prestigious and permanent brand and product presence in the heart of luxury London.'

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