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Property pundits believe the 13th edition of Cityscape Global, which concluded yesterday, has boosted investor confidence in the local real estate market. All major UAE developers, including foundation sponsors Emaar Properties, Damac, Nakheel and Dubai Properties, had a commanding presence at the exhibition, which was inaugurated by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
This year’s edition was the largest in five years, covering around 31,000 sq m of exhibition space and hosting more than 280 exhibitors from 28 countries. High-spirited developers showcased their offerings, while stands were packed with visitors, reflecting the upbeat market sentiment.
Wouter Molman, Director of Cityscape Group, says the event had a fantastic start.
“In the lead-up to the exhibition, the main talk was how the market had slowed down in terms of growth and how much it was welcomed, since growth levels last year were not sustainable,” he says. “However, there is not much we can notice about a slowdown at the exhibition. From the start, all the stands were absolutely packed, which gives an incredibly positive buzz.”
According to the Dubai Land Department (DLD), which supported the show, around 6,636 properties were registered across the emirate in the first half of the year, reiterating investor confidence in Dubai’s real estate sector.
“Dubai’s real estate market is unique and offers a diverse range of products and services, meaning there are opportunities for large and small investors. The renewed confidence in the market is a sign of Dubai’s resilience,” says Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of the DLD. “It has proved that it can weather adverse conditions and can immediately respond by capitalising on an improving outlook.
“Our aim is to facilitate the market’s expansion; we enact laws and regulations to find proactive solutions to problems, while at the same time maintaining the rights of all investors.”
With Dh113 billion worth of transactions pumped into the Dubai property industry in the past six months, the DLD believes Dubai has now established itself as a prime global destination for real estate, following the implementation of new laws and regulations which safeguard investors.
Top property developers displayed their ambitious projects with sustainability and luxury being the two key factors high on their agenda. Many have planned their projects with large green areas, active outdoor lifestyle and luxurious living experience.
Lindsay Miller, Managing Director of Dubai Design District (d3) at Tecom Investments, addressed delegates at the Future Cities conference about why businesses, not residents, lie at the heart of successful city planning.
“Dubai is in such a great position right now because it has gone through an interesting cycle of announcing ambitions and developments that seemed incredible to the international community, but in fact have proven not only to be credible but commercially viable,” she said. “d3 is the logical next step as part of our ongoing commitment to developing thriving creative communities.
“It is our role to look at the full lifestyle requirements of those working within design, going beyond the standard nine-to-five requirements and integrating relevant residential and leisure components.”
Omniyat, Nikken Sekkei, Seven Tides, Sun and Sand Developers and Tourism Development and Investment Company were some of the developers and architects that launched new projects at the three-day event. Property Solutions also unveiled its prestigious project, Living Legends, the exclusive collection of high-end apartments and villas in Dubailand.
“This Cityscape could be one of the best events because it has shown very strong potential from the start,” said Saleh Tabakh, CEO of Property Solutions. “We actually managed to do business in the first 15 minutes of the event. We are also planning to expand Living Legends, since our developer, Tanmiyat, has a massive land space. We are planning to build town houses to complete the mixture of our offerings that include apartments, villas and now town houses.”
On the first day of the event, Deyaar Development presented the master plan of its Dh3.5-billion upscale development, Midtown by Deyaar.
“The project has 5.5 million sq ft build-up area, overlooking Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. It promises to give a very fine living experience to occupants,” said Saeed Al Qatami, CEO of Deyaar. “We are developing 27 buildings, two buildings on each edge of the plot, two hotels and a residential community with a lot of green spaces, giving a very luxurious lifestyle.
“It is centrally located 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai and ten minutes from the new Al Maktoum International Airport.”
The Zen development by Indigo Properties was also showcased at the event. It spreads 4.5 million sq ft in Dubai Golf City. Featuring a lush green community inspired by tropical resorts, the development comprises three-, four-, five- and six-bedroom villas and town house that range from 4,000-10,000 sq ft.
“We sold 26 villas, close to Dh200 million of business, in less than an hour on the first day,” said Dev Maitra, CEO of Indigo Properties. “What brings people to Zen is the whole environment. You are at a stone’s throw from all prime locations, yet you are in a tropical paradise. We have kept in mind child friendliness and the various parks we have planned have active sports equipment for kids.
“People want to live in a serene and calm environment, yet be in strategic point connected to the city’s prime spots.”
Other developers that showcased their projects at the event were Meydan Group, which announced the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City District Eleven and Meydan Avenue, which are mixed-use developments; and Meraas Holding, which launched La Mer, a mixed-use project in the beachfront district of Jumeirah.
In case you've missed the who's who in the Cityscape Dubai: A look at the Pundits at Cityscape Dubai
Source: Hina Navin, Special to Property Weekly