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Abraham Group Partners in New Middle East Real Estate Company

11/13/06

Grubb and Ellis/Gulf Estates Realty Advisors begin operations; Firm to be headquartered in Doha

The Peninsula

DOHA, QATAR • Daffa International Company yesterday announced the formation of Gulf States Realty Advisors, a joint venture which includes the US-based $450m Grubb and Ellis Company and the Abraham Group, an international strategic consulting firm.

The newly-formed company will operate as Grubb and Ellis/Gulf Estates Realty Advisors.

Yesterday's announcement was made at the Rydges Hotel by Daffa International Chairman and CEO Bader Al Daffa, a former Qatar ambassador to the US, Grubb and Ellis Management Services Executive Vice-President and Gulf States Realty Advisors General Manager David Flynn and Spencer Abraham, a former US Secretary of Energy.

The company is to be headquartered in Doha and will start its operations from today itself. Speaking yesterday, Bader said: "This firm is being founded in response to the growth in the residential and commercial markets in Qatar as well as the Gulf."

The company is 51 per cent owned by Bader Al Daffa with the balance owned by Middle East Real Estate Services, a newly-formed US-based entity, which in turn is 67 per cent owned by Grubb and Ellis Management and 33 per cent owned by the Abraham Group.

Abraham spoke on the tremendous amount of growth in the region with real estate, both commercial and residential, a thriving sector.

Flynn stated: "Our goal is efficient management, preservation of building and property value. We will be bringing in world-class practices and protocols. Not too many cities in the world are experiencing the level of development as in Doha."

Grubb and Ellis is a 50-year-old firm which controls around 160msq feet of commercial real estate, 95 per cent of which is in the US. The new firm has already lined up its first client, said Bader.

"One of Qatar's leading real estate owners has asked us to handle his property, both existing and ones to be developed," he said.

It's not just the booming real state sector that has attracted such a high-profile group to the region. "Rapid economic growth within the Gulf region, set against a backdrop of increased commercial transparency and liberalisation, is now attracting rising volumes of corporate and institutional capital from across the region and around the world," officials said.