Bright prospects building up

ABU DHABI — Hundreds of property developers and industry leaders from around the country visited Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011, where regional and international real estate companies are showcasing their various portfolios of property projects.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Mon 18 Apr 2011, 11:55 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:33 AM

The show, which was opened by Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE National Security Adviser and Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, will run until Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, and attracted a large number of industry stakeholders on the first day.

A large number of property investors were seen talking to their developers on the projects they have invested. However, since no new property project was expected to be launched for bookings, the investors shied away from the show.

Arlene Jimenea, a senior research analyst at CB Richard Ellis Limited, said the previous property show focused on selling and marketing.

However, she said that “this show is focusing on information dissemination and updating investors on projects’” construction phase. Hazem Al Nowais, Chief Operating Officer of Waha Land, a unit of Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Holding said that “Cityscape is more than an exhibition... it’s a gathering of industry leaders and stakeholders... it’s not a sales forum.” He said that people should not expect thousands of property investors visiting the show. “We have gone to the essence of the exhibition,” he said. Giving his thoughts about the fifth edition of Cityscape, Al Nowais “in general, we are seeing that there is an increase in projects in the real estate sector.” Asked about his impression on the projects displayed in the property show, Al Nowais saw a positive outlook this year.

“Definately, there is an interest in the mega infrastructure projects... I think these projects will pave the way for these developments to be properly developed,” he said.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011, Al Nowais said, brings together real estate investors, developers, consultants, architects and all other senior-level real estate professionals from the region and abroad to network, create joint venture partnerships and discuss the opportunities and challenges the current and future market will bring. The opening day also saw the commencement of the Middle East Real Estate Summit, with the opening keynote speech from Ahmad Shareef, Undersecretary of the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality Chief Executive Officer Peter Wilding followed with his view on “Placing Abu Dhabi Real Estate Investment and Development on the World Stage,” which led into a discussion on looking “Beyond the Crisis” with Fergal Harris, Head of Commercial Real Estate Middle East of Standard Chartered Bank’s Strategic Client Coverage Group.

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