Increased demand from expats in Qatar and UAE

Ryan Bembridge

July 21, 2016

Sultan Choudhury

Al Rayan Bank has reported surging demand from British expats working in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The sharia-compliant bank, which offers mortgage-equivalent ‘home purchase plans’, also reported interest from other countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Al Rayan Bank has seen a 141% increase in expat property financing since 2013 when it started targeting the expatriate market.

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Sultan Choudhury (pictured), Al Rayan Bank chief executive, said: “British Expats seeking to buy a home to come back to in the UK or for investment purposes have for a variety of reasons found it difficult to secure property finance.

“Al Rayan Bank identified the expat market as an underserved sector in 2013, targeting resource towards it accordingly. As a result we have experienced significant growth in this area of our business.”

Al Rayan Bank offers an ‘expat’ buy-to-let purchase plan, where the expat customer purchases a property in the UK as an investment; a ‘holiday home’ home purchase plan, where the expat customer purchases a property for their visits to the UK; and a ‘split family’ home purchase plan, where one of the customers named on the plan lives overseas, but the family reside in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistic 4.7 million British born people live abroad.