Europe is rapidly becoming a hub for Middle East investment after $7.9 billion made its way west in the first half of this year, up 25 percent on the same period in 2013.
A report by Colliers International found that the Middle East accounted for 13 percent of investment in Europe coming from outside of the continent.
John D. Davis, chief executive officer, Middle East & North Africa at Colliers International, said: “Middle Eastern buyers are increasingly prepared to venture outside Central London, looking at alternative asset classes such as hotels and serviced apartments in other tier 1 cities.”
“Recent examples include Qatar Investment Authority’s acquisition of five more properties to its hotel portfolio, located in Cannes, Madrid, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Rome, while Qatar Armed Forces Investment Portfolio acquired the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona for approximately €78 million.”
Middle East investors have also been busy in Central London, with China Life and Qatar Investment Authority taking a 90 percent interest (70 percent and 20 percent) in Clifford Chance HQ in Canary Wharf.
Colliers International expects this trend to continue, especially in the property market. Property consultant CBRE expects Middle Eastern investors to spend $180 billion on buying commercial property outside their own region over the next 10 years.
Europe, it is predicted, will receive some 80 percent of this sum.