Monday, 8 January 2024, 18:19
Kuwait is to host its first ever Marbella Real Estate Expo this spring, which will see more than 75 property developers, agencies, banks, designers and lawyers specialising in the sector taking part in the exhibition. Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the three-day fair.
"When Kuwaitis come to Marbella they don't waste their holiday time looking at houses or the formalities involved because they are going to enjoy themselves, but an exhibition where they have all the information about the properties, fiscal responsibilities and the processes to follow is very attractive to them because they have a real interest in investing," the event's organiser, Genoveva Rincón, together with the company B Management MVM, told SUR.
Although the fair will focus on the luxury sector it will also be open to general real estate companies wishing to participate. "We are not going to limit the companies that want to come to make contacts and do business, as many entrepreneurs in the sector can internationalise and even set up something in the country," added Rincón.
The love affair between Kuwait and Marbella dates back to the early 1980s when Kuwaitis first started investing in Spain. Every year hundreds of Kuwaiti tourists spend their summer holidays in the town and the number of Kuwaiti property buyers is increasing year on year. "Of the Kuwaiti tourists who have come to Spain this year, 90 per cent have come to Marbella," the exhibition organiser told this newspaper, adding that "Kuwaiti buyers now own more property in Marbella than any other Middle Eastern community".
Marbella town hall, the Chamber of Commerce and the Spanish Embassy in Kuwait are involved in the organisation of the event and promotional activities linked to the event include a visit to Kuwait by the Spanish Luxury Association. "The feedback is unbeatable", Marbella's director of tourism, Laura de Arce, told SUR.
Mayor of Marbella Ángeles Muuñoz received the deputy ambassador of Kuwait, Mohammad Lafi Alshohomi, just over a year ago when the pair discussed ways to work together to attract investment and boost tourism in the town. The improvement of the country's air connections with Spain has also helped to increase the flow of tourists.
The luxury and quality of Marbella's exclusive services are the main attraction for Kuwaitis as well as tourists from the Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who have started returning to the town since the end of the pandemic. In fact tourism from those countries grew by 10 per cent in 2023 compared with 2022.
Tourists from the Middle East “travel mainly in the summer months and move to the most exclusive places," said De Arce. Their holidays often exceed seven days meaning they tend to stay longer than other tourists. The most popular hotels among these visitors are Hotel Don Pepe Gran Meliá, Villapadierna, Puente Romano and Marbella Club.
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