REM’s CEO, Michael Baker, discussed the benefits of long term investment and partnerships in UK real estate projects in Birmingham on 28th March.
Hosted by the State of Qatar and the UK Government’s Department for International Trade, the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum was the largest Business and Investment Forum for the two countries held in the UK to date. The event showcased investment opportunities in the UK, approaches to delivering world-class sporting events in Qatar, and best practice in areas of mutual interest including healthcare, security, education and finance.
Michael Baker highlighted the fundamental factors that drive overseas investments into the UK and a few of the favourable trends that show why longer term investment approaches will have a more competitive advantage. The London Bridge Quarter development is a great example of a long-term strategy.
““Increasingly the properties or projects which offer the most attractive long-term returns are ones that require a good understanding not just of the regulations, but also an ability to work well with local communities and public sector bodies.””
The Shard development required working with two of the UK’s major transport bodies – Transport for London and Network Rail, who have themselves been developing London Bridge Station simultaneously.
The Shard is now almost fully let and has attracted global and domestic occupiers across a range of sectors and disciplines. The adjoining building is occupied by News Corp and work continues with residential development Shard Place with close relationships with Transport for London and the wider community including Guy’s Hospital and the London Borough of Southwark.
““Despite initial scepticism within the marketplace, The Shard has proved to be a catalyst for the regeneration of London Bridge. The Shard is a beacon for modern London and has put Southwark on the map.””
The London Bridge Quarter development has been made possible by the benefit of continued investment by the State of Qatar. It has taken over 10 years from planning to completion but since then the investment value growth has been over 60%.
The Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum was attended by British Prime Minister, the Rt Honourable Theresa May MP, and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, along with UK Ministers including the International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, senior government representatives from Qatar and the UK including and the Minister of Finance His Excellency Ali Shareef Al-Emadi and hundreds of high-profile businesses executives, council leaders and academics.
Qatar has invested approximately £35bn in the UK, and there are over 600 UK companies currently operating in Qatar.