Self-made Irish millionaire who sold Dubai’s most expensive house at 24 tells rags-to-riches story

A 24-year-old man who just sold Dubai’s most expensive villa has told his incredible rags-to-riches story.

Conor McKay of Derry says he’s always “loved making money,” including having people work for him while he was in school, and was inspired to get into real estate after watching a reality show featuring young real estate agents who they were selling luxury properties in Los Angeles. .

At the age of 19, while working in the car sales industry, he made the life-changing decision to move abroad, determined to become a millionaire.

READ MORE: Irish actor Gabriel Byrne’s former home for sale in Dublin for €1.65m has a very unusual feature

He now holds the record for selling a custom-built 33,300-square-foot mega mansion earlier this month for AED 280 million (€70.5 million).

The previous long-standing record of AED 185 million (€46.6 million) has not been broken since 2015. While many transactions have approached that amount in the intervening years.

Speaking to MyDerry, he made no secret of how he made it out of a housing estate to become one of Dubai’s leading luxury property brokers.

“I grew up like any other person really,” he said. “I was really into sports when I was a kid, but I always liked making money.

“I had three or four people working for me at school, selling energy drinks, candy, chocolates, and after that I started running Golf Store NI on eBay. I always had an interest in making a lot of money.

“Then I got another job in a bar and I enjoyed doing it at the time, but I didn’t really make any money from it.

“That’s when I decided I would try to sell cars.”

After work, Conor would go home and watch Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, a reality show featuring young real estate agents selling luxury properties in Los Angeles. It was then that the thought came to him: “He wanted to be exactly like one of them.

“What impressed me about it all was the way they lived. It was like something I had never been exposed to before. They all had good business acumen, made good profits and lived luxurious lifestyles.”

“I was absolutely in awe to see these properties and the commission they would receive, which was always on screen. I thought, if they can do it, then so can I.”



McKay has become one of the leading luxury real estate agents in Dubai and has been listed in the top 10 agents in the UAE

The entrepreneur recounted how he initially tried to move to the US before settling in the Middle East.

“I had every intention of moving to the US and trying to start there, but it didn’t work out because it’s not an easy process to get into the US and that’s when I came across Dubai.

“I had never been to Dubai, I had never gone on vacation and the brokers kept turning me away because there were no people my age doing the work I wanted to do. It was unheard of.

“A company after I harassed them for quite some time gave me a chance. Fast forward to today and I am living my absolute dream.

“Now it’s easy for people to look at social media posts and think it was easy to get here, but I can assure you it’s not.

“When I finally got a job, I initially had nowhere to live, I stayed in a hotel for seven days and then I ended up having a maid’s room, which was very small.

“I had no idea what I was doing either, I had to learn as I went and I knew I would have to work harder than anyone here.

“When I started and even to this day, there are some days where I start at 8am and don’t finish until midnight. It’s a lot of work and that’s what it takes if you want to make it.”

Conor, who now works for Belleview Real Estate, now holds the record for the sale of the most expensive villa in Dubai.

It has emerged as one of Dubai’s leading luxury property brokers and has been listed in the UAE’s Top 10 Agents by PropertyFinder, as well as being awarded by UAE Property Portals as the best agent on multiple monthly occasions.

The 24-year-old is also one of only three real estate agents in Dubai to have been named PropertyFinder’s #1 Agent two years in a row.

“I actually talked to the people in Los Angeles who were part of the reality show and negotiated a deal from Dubai for a property in Los Angeles.

“If someone had told me several years ago that I would set the kind of record I have, I probably wouldn’t have believed it myself.

“Everyone has doubted me, I even doubted myself at times, but now I have put the sky as the limit and I want to be known as the reference real estate broker in the entire planet in the next ten years.”

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