ONCE AGAIN THIS YEAR, THE LEADING REAL ESTATE COMPANIES OF THE WORLD ORGANISED A MEETING OF THEIR AFFILIATES WORLDWIDE TO SHARE EXPERIENCES AND THE LATEST NEWS IN THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR. THE CHOSEN DESTINATION WAS DUBAI, A CITY IN CONTINUOUS EVOLUTION, WITH AN INFECTIOUS ENERGY, CAPABLE OF TRANSFORMING EVEN THE MOST FUTURISTIC ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTS INTO REALITY. THE STORY OF UELI SCHNORF AND PHILIPP PETER, OWNERS OF WETAG CONSULTING.
Wetag in Dubai, I imagine it was a rewarding trip...
"It is always a great pleasure to be able to participate in these seminars, mainly because you never stop learning, but above all because they are an opportunity to compare notes between experts in the field at a global level. The choice of Dubai this year was a very good one: after the problems posed by the pandemic, it is important to believe in the future and to focus further on our customers, both local and international".
As Wetag, you work with several networks, not only Christie's but also Luxury Portfolio, Leading RE, European Real Estate... I imagine it is a commitment...
"Certainly, but it is inevitable if we want to work with the best in the world and guarantee an excellent service. Our staff, like us owners, are always under pressure because our name is linked to important names, which means that those who turn to Wetag expect the utmost seriousness, quality and professionalism. On the other hand, we can boast a wide range of contacts and properties, so those who choose our real estate company know that thanks to our synergies they can also reach international clients or sought-after and perhaps little-publicised properties, also known as "off market".
In such an international environment, with very large companies employing thousands of people, does the small Swiss Wetag matter or is it just a grain of sand in the desert?
"Honestly, we asked ourselves this question when we were elected by this organisation 15 years ago. But the focus is on the quality of the participants, not the size, and that is why we were able to gain an important position within the structure. In 2020 in Palm Beach we were elected Christie's "Sharp of the year" and this year in Dubai Ueli Schnorf was one of the speakers at the conference, as he has been several times before. In short, everyone knows us as the Wetag of beautiful Ticino in Switzerland (laughs)".
How were your days in Dubai organised?
"During the day we had numerous meetings dedicated to real estate. This year, in general, there was a lot of talk about the coronavirus and the strategies put in place to overcome difficult months of uncertainty. In any case, despite the fact that some agencies have had to close and others have had to reduce their staff, luxury properties have not lost value. A concrete example brought to the table, in addition to our own, was that of Miami, where prices are rising, but Dubai itself, where construction is taking place 24 hours a day and in a matter of weeks the morphology of the city is changing at a glance, arouses great interest, especially at European level".
Were the companies that had to make major cutbacks also present?
"We have to imagine that there are agencies around the world with as many as two or three thousand employees, which is a different number than we are used to here. These companies had to act in such a way as not to lose the most valuable salespeople and those most loyal to the company. It turned out that the need to remain a united group and the fight against time were common factors worldwide.
Did you manage to get into any dream properties?
"Yes, but no villa this year.... we visited a property that is not very suitable for those who suffer from vertigo! We went up to the 108th floor of the Burj Khalifa, a real tourist attraction, the structure has 160 floors, a crystal tower with a record height, costing one and a half billion dollars - here we entered the highest penthouse in the world. It was really impressive, it's a pity that the construction was unfinished, because the owner was arrested before living in this extra luxurious flat'.
But what attracts so many people to Dubai?
"Undoubtedly the tax factor: you don't pay any, but also the job opportunities. We're talking about young businessmen and women, but also entire families who choose Dubai to live there, partly because it's a city that currently offers everything, like New York. We went to a neighbourhood where there are exclusive clubs, where alcohol is served without restriction".
But if one of your customers wants to buy in Dubai, can he turn to you?
"Certainly, this is the strength of our network, but not only for Dubai, but this also applies to the whole world".
Shall we conclude with a picture of what you have done in your spare time?
"It is important to take advantage of the free time available to get to know the place, the traditions, the culture. In Dubai, we went on an incredible excursion into the desert, we were in the middle of nowhere with an impressive difference in temperature between day and night, from forty degrees to twenty. They told us chilling stories... In the past, when the first Europeans chose the Emirates for their business, there were cases of people being kidnapped or disappearing in the sand, it was a way of guarding their land and spreading terror. We also visited Expo 2020, which was postponed until this year because of the coronavirus, there were so many halls, but we focused on the Swiss one which was a mix of high technology and tradition. It was really worth it.
Culture, traditions, history are part of the richness of a region and we, as Ticino, can boast incredible tales and legends. But this can be the starting point for the next Wetag article.
Luxury Real Estate for sale in Ticino, Switzerland
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