‘Keep Calm There’s No Bubble’: Propertyfinder.ae’s CEO talks about ‘cheeky’ ad
Michael Lahyani responds to negative criticism of large advertisement.
November 12, 2013 11:41 by Muhammad Aldalou
If you’ve driven down Sheikh Zayed Road recently, there’s a chance that you would have noticed an enormous, half-finished advertisement on one of Dubai Media City’s oldest buildings, Al Shatha Tower.
The building, which directly faces the highway, sports a bright red ad by Dubai-based real estate portal Propertyfinder.ae that reads: Keep Calm There’s No Bubble.
The poster, which covers an entire side of the building, has sparked conversation (and confusion) among residents. When Kippreport posed the question of whether residents had noticed the advert on social media and what they thought it meant, many of the responses received were negative.
One resident suggested (perhaps jokingly) that the reason it has remained incomplete for the past few days is because the company has run out of money, while another said that it’s the kind of ad that only goes up when the exact opposite of what has been proclaimed is happening.
When Kippreport contacted Michael Lahyani, CEO of Propertyfinder.ae, to address some of the public’s doubts and concerns, he said that the company is not trying to make any statement, or appear smarter than everyone else or predict the future in any way.
“All we’re trying to do is kick-start a conversation around a popular subject that’s been on everyone’s lips these past few months regarding surging real estate prices and whether or not we’re heading towards a bubble,” he says.
Anyone who sees the advertisement and believes that the company is trying to give a statement or lesson to the market simply doesn’t understand the touch of sarcasm or sense of humour, Lahyani adds.
“In no way are we trying to convince everybody that there’s no bubble,” he says. “We’re just being a bit cheeky.”
Lahyani goes on to say that people need to understand that Propertyfinder.ae is not a property broker and doesn’t benefit from surging prices. If anything, he says, it will be the first to take a hit if there is a bubble. “As a property portal, we don’t want a bubble. We want steady, sustainable growth,” he says.
As for why the completion of the ad seems to have been put on hold over the past few days, Lahyani adds: “It’s been very windy for the past two or three days and it’s taking the guys a little bit longer to finish the work. And no, we haven’t run out of money.”