Cityscape - Perfect timing

Will Cityscape provide a much needed momentum to Dubai’s property market?Mohanad Alwadiya

Cityscape Global is just around the corner. Having been a real estate professional for over a decade now, I take great pride in Cityscape Global as it showcases to the world what has been made possible in Dubai real estate. This year’s event is especially interesting keeping in mind the cyclical slowdown the industry has experienced over the last two years, and also because of the opportunities that abound as the emirate accelerates towards the World Expo 2020.

I am often asked about the significance of the event as it relates to  current market conditions — will it provide a boost or momentum to the market going forward, and who will eventually benefit most from such an event?

The intrigue that surrounds Cityscape Global lies with the state of today’s real estate market. Dubai’s economy experienced a significant post-recession boom and its real estate industry, a major beneficiary of Dubai’s rapid growth in tourism, trade and commerce, experienced a boom of its own.

So much so that it attracted the attention of the International Monetary Fund and various central banks, which began voicing concerns about asset bubbles developing as the market became too hot. However, things have cooled a little over the last two years. The slowdown was eyed nervously by some, while many others, including myself, considered it to be a healthy correction, not a recession. We all knew that the growth rates of more than 30 per cent experienced in 2013 were unsustainable. So, in that regard, a slowdown has been welcomed in the interest of a more sustainable and profitable future.

High interest

So next week’s Cityscape can be regarded as a very interesting time for the industry. We all know that the industry is cyclical in nature and, as the industry matures as it has done so rapidly over the last five years, the peaks and troughs of cyclical fluctuations become shallower and cycles are characterised by corrections, not boomand-bust scenarios. What is pleasing is that the industry has shown itself to being much more resilient to global economic and geopolitical influences and events.

Therefore, it can be considered that the industry is actually at the bottom of its first true correction of this century. I say this because I do not consider the events of 2008-09 to be cyclical but rather an anomalous event.

I think this year’s event, while dynamic, rich in content and exciting, will definitely be surrounded by a heightened level of intrigue and discussion as to where the market will be going for the remainder of the decade. Regardless of mood and sentiment, Cityscape Global 2016 will play an important role in allowing participants to debate and determine what the future opportunities are for Dubai’s real estate industry and how they can participate, contribute or help shape its realisation.


It is likely that keynote speakers will highlight the positive outlook for  Dubai’s property market, promoting investment in the emirate while the city is at the bottom of its cycle. No doubt, the positive effect that the World Expo will have on the industry will be explored exhaustively.

So, for those of us with a passion for the industry, it will certainly be an exciting three days. My personal interest and intrigue goes way beyond the concepts on display — to harnessing and evaluating the thoughts, opinions, concerns, visions and ideas of those assembled in one of the most diverse and informative real estate forums in the world. Let the show begin, again! 

Source: Property Weekly


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