Checking the pulse of the Middle East real estate market

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Equity-rich Middle East property developers see increasing real estate opportunities in spite of uncertainty in the global markets, say the organisers of Cityscape Dubai 2008 which opens today (Monday 6 October 2008) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Now in its seventh year and bigger than ever, Cityscape Dubai has been extended over four days until Thursday 9 October with the exhibition and its associated conferences expected to break all previous records with more than 60,000 participants from over 150 countries.

“As the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development event in the world, Cityscape Dubai has played an integral part in presenting the changing skyline of the Middle East,” said Rohan Marwaha, Managing Director of Cityscape.

“The sheer scale and intensity of the iconic projects in one of the most impressive property booms in modern history has kept the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, in the headlines worldwide for the best part of a decade. Now, as the world faces up to market uncertainty, we enter a new era in which Middle East developers are expected to maintain and even increase their presence throughout the world.

“The debate will no doubt go on about how much, or how little, the Middle East real estate industry is escaping the volatility in the global markets. But with over 1,000 exhibitors, industry professionals from around the world are turning their attention to Cityscape Dubai this week to check the pulse of the changing local and regional market.”

The Cityscape Dubai conferences will kick off with the Real Estate Leadership Strategy Summit bringing together the shrewdest real estate investors from around the world to address the trends, strategies and opportunities in the global market place.

Following on from the summit, The International Real Estate Investment and Development Conference, Cityscape Dubai’s main conference, will feature three days of analysis of the macro-economics of real estate development and financing options; as well real estate marketing and branding in the region.

The World Architecture Congress, also part of the Cityscape programme, is designed for architecture and urban planning professionals and is chaired this year by former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

The second Cityscape Dubai Hotel and Tourism Investment and Development Conference will host key speakers such as Jan Laverty Jones, the former Las Vegas mayor. For the first time, the Middle East Facilities and Asset Management Conference comes under the Cityscape umbrella at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, adjacent to the Exhibition Centre.

Cityscape Dubai also hosts the Cityscape Architectural Awards held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, on Monday, 6 October 2008. Meraas Development is the exclusive associate sponsor of the Cityscape Architectural Awards and is also sponsoring the new Young Architect Award category. The ceremony will honour excellence in architecture and design in emerging markets across the globe.

Cityscape Dubai, organised by IIR Middle East, is the flagship event of a brand developed in Dubai that has achieved international recognition and success. “A key strength is the access Cityscape has to some of the wealthiest and most liquid property investors in the world,” said Marwaha.

This strength led to the introduction of Cityscape Asia, in Singapore, Cityscape Abu Dhabi and Cityscape China in Shanghai, all of which are now approaching their third year.

The international reach of Cityscape achieved a new level in September with the inaugural Cityscape USA event in New York. The second Cityscape Latin America will follow hot on the heels of Dubai with a show in Sao Paolo in November and the second outing for Cityscape India takes place in Mumbai this December.

“But the growth of Cityscape doesn’t stop there,” Marwaha added. “We are launching new shows next year in Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Russia.

“It emphasises that while the world may change we at Cityscape remain intent on a strategy of showcasing emerging real estate market opportunities to an international audience wherever they may be.”

The Cityscape exhibition has attracted a series of high-level sponsors. Platinum sponsors are: Nakheel, Aldar, Dar Al Arkan, Qatari Diar, Saraya, and Tanmiyat. Gold sponsor are: Abyaar, Aqaba Development Corporation, and Tameer. Silver sponsors are: Al Qudra Real Estate, MAG Property Development, and Iskandar Financial District.

The conferences are also backed by leading sponsors. Associate sponsor of the World Architecture Congress are Al Fajer Property and headline sponsors are Groho, Arup, Timelinks and Move In. Diamond sponsors of the Hotel and Tourism Investment and Development Conference are Bawadi, platinum sponsors are Group RCI and silver sponsors are SNASCO. Gold sponsor of the Facilities and Asset Management Conference are Wasl.

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