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Cityscape Dubai sheds light on real estate recovery

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on November 16, 2020

While market actors wrestle with the short-term threats, it is critical to take a step back and take a fresh look at real estate as an investment class, experts said

The 2020 Cityscape Real Estate Summit opened today at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with a focus on tackling the challenges facing the real estate sector.

Experts at the event, a one-off edition of the annual event organised by Informa Markets and held in partnership with the Dubai Land Department, will also highlight several topics covering the residential, commercial, industrial, retail and hospitality sectors.

The event was inaugurated by Mattar Al Tayer, director general, and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Assuming a primary role in the conference, and spearheading discussions on positive and lasting change for the industry, officials from Dubai’s Government will host pivotal keynote presentations led by Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of DLD; Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of DTCM; and Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director general, GDRFA.

“The pandemic has affected real estate, with challenges yet also opening up or expanding new opportunities,” said Pierfrancesco Rocca, associate partner, McKinsey & Company’s Middle East office. “While market actors wrestle with the short-term threats, it is critical to take a step back and take a fresh look at RE as an investment class. How is it expected to evolve, in the mid- and long-term? How should investors best position themselves against it?”

Rocca said the pandemic has caused sudden shifts in our lifestyle and fast adoption of new habits. “This has reflected in a significantly different consumption of real estate. Different real estate asset classes have responded differently: some have faced significant headwinds, for example retail and hospitality, while others such as industrial and telecom are still seeing strong tailwinds.”

“On these grounds, real estate is witnessing an evolution in its risk-return profile, especially when looking at asset and sub-asset class level. Understanding the future evolution of real estate as an investment class will require to look at its fundamentals and stress-test each of them,” he added.

Amer Waleed Mohammed, CEO of Tiger Properties, noted that the event offers an ideal opportunity for developers to strengthen their connections with industry stakeholders including government entities and important players across the entire sector ecosystem. “Participation at this event allows us to get together with the entire real estate community, to forge stronger networks and stay up to speed on developments within the industry while also exploring and widening our local and international market reach.”

Similarly, Devmark Group, the Dubai-based real estate advisory group providing expertise and insight into real estate advisory, investment, marketing, and proptech solutions, will use Cityscape’s Real Estate Summit to showcase its latest launch, SalesLab.

The web-based sales hub will empower real estate professionals, using cutting edge proptech solutions such as virtual tours, 3D and live inventory to better showcase their properties and create an engaging customer experience.

Sean McCauley, CEO of Devmark Group, said: “Property developers need to embrace digital transformation and have a strategic plan on how to identify and engage with their potential clients. Our core objectives are to interreact with the relevant stakeholders and showcase our integrated real estate ecosystem of products and services which add value along the entire real estate value chain.”


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