Hamptons sets up shop in Dubai

Hamptons International Mortgages is to open a branch in Dubai on March 30 as part of the group\'s expansion plan.

The branch will be in the Burj, which will become the world’s tallest building when it is completed next year.

A newly created role of head of operations will oversee four consultants and two case managers, with plans to expand the team in time.

Brendan Coakley, international mortgages director at Hamptons, says: “We’re expecting huge growth in Dubai. It’s a relatively new market and semi-regulation exists there but we will work to UK standards.”

Coakley says that buy-to-let deals take a significant share of the Dubai housing market, although residential deals have increased substantially as workers have relocated to the country.

He adds: “A large number of professionals are moving to Dubai, mainly because of the tax-free salaries that are available. “That’s why the market has developed so fast in the past 18 months in fact, it feels like it’s emerged from nowhere.”

Coakley claims that borrowing is considerably cheaper in Dubai than in the UK.

This is because its currency, the dirham, is pegged to US interest rates, which have fallen to 2.25%.

Hamptons plans to use a version of sourcing system Mortgage Brain in its Dubai branch, as well as its compliance and business management service, the Key.

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, says: “We have enhanced our system to quote on the Dubai market.

“Hamptons is one of the brokers that has allowed us to establish ourselves effectively in a new country in a short space of time.”

Hamptons plans to build a mortgage training school in Dubai to help staff its global branches.