The REA Group purchased 51% of Propertyfinder.ae in October 2007 with the objective of driving strong growth on online real estate advertising in the Gulf Region.
The sale contines the retreat of the REA Group to its core Australian business. Last year the REA Group closed its New Zealand operations and entered a marketing agreement with realestate.co.nz. This year, the REA Group closed its UK print operations in April and is finalising the sale of Propertyfinder in the UK to Zoopla.
In a statement from REA Group announcing the sale of propertyfinder.ae, Greg Ellis, CEO of REA Group said:
“This decision has been taken in line with our strategy to focus on the Australian market and international markets where our market position is strong and the market size and market dynamics are attractive. We wish the PropertyFinder UAE team well for the future as they continue to develop the site and the business.”
The sale of the Dubai business is not surprising as the REA Group announced in May that it had written down the value of its Dubai and Hong Kong businesses. The question is whether the Hong Kong business is the next to be sold or closed.