Preview: Cityscape 2013

This year's Cityscape is set to be the biggest for four years

ANALYSIS, Business, Cityscape, Cityscape 2013

This year’s Cityscape is set to be the biggest for four years, say the organisers, with developers queueing up to announce a new wave of projects

In recent years, Cityscape was a shadow of the huge spectacle it became during the height of the property bubble that began to deflate in Dubai towards the end of 2008, with mixed opinions in the sector as to whether this was a good or a bad thing.

Although it clearly lost some of its ‘wow’ factor through the lack of major project announcements (or indeed much activity at all during some of the leaner years), there are some that would argue a correction was necessary – like Dubai’s property market itself, it had become too big and a downsizing merely took some of the less serious firms and investors out of the market.

The organisers of the 12th edition of Cityscape, which starts on 8 October, have said that it is growing in size once more, though, and is set to host over 200 exhibitors for the first time in four years.

Informa Exhibitions says developers including Omniyat, Tanmiyat, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Union Properties are returning to the event for the first time in several years with new projects to announce.

Meanwhile, Diamond Developers, SKAI Holdings and Sobha Group are among the group of newcomers.

Established players in the market including Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group, Meraas and Meydan are also taking space, with many also expected to announce new developments at the show.

Exhibition director Wouter Molman argued that this year’s event is a continuation of a return to confidence which began last year, when visitor numbers were up 25% on 2011 to 25,000.
“We anticipate that exhibition space will increase by 50% this year for the second year running, while visitor numbers will match this growth,” he said.

Molman added that he expected to see most of the potential investors coming from Britain, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia.

“Based on the latest report by Dubai Land Department (DLD), Dubai attracted nearly $15.9bn in investments in 2012, making it a defining year for the real estate market,” said Molman.
“Investors from India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and the UK accounted for 39% of that figure, investing a combined $6.2bn in Dubai property.”

“The indications in 2013 and beyond are that this increasing confidence will continue, and at Cityscape Global this year we expect a very strong turnout of visitors...in particular from these countries.”

According to the Land Department figures, Indian nationals invested $2.4bn in Dubai real estate in 2012, while Britons invested $1.3bn, Pakistanis $1.1bn, Iranians $826m, and Russians $640m.

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