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Video: Construction Week In Focus | The future of real estate
S02E16 of Construction Week's exclusive YouTube series reviews how tech- and consumer-focused strategies are helping the GCC's property developers succeed in 2018

Is a real estate downturn under way in key GCC markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia? Construction Week's forecasts suggest otherwise.

Property developers that have previously delivered projects as well as have commendable land banks – such as Dubai's Emaar, Damac Properties, and Azizi Developments, and Abu Dhabi's Aldar – have reported notable growth so far this year. Particularly interesting is the case of Azizi, which has promised numerous early handovers as well.

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READ: H1 profits surge 68% at Emaar Development

Over in Saudi Arabia, Dar Al Arkan reported profit growth of 892%, an impressive record for the real estate developer's performance.

Developers, led by those in Dubai and the UAE, are increasing their focus on end users. For instance, Majid Al Futtaim is implementing neuroscience studies to understand what its residents and tenants most appreciate in a community. It is expected that initiatives like these will help developers sell their products and make them more appealing.

Space sizes are also taking centrestage, with complaints of small units now being addressed by designing and developing larger and more livable spaces. Home technology is also gaining traction, with a greater understanding of the need for high-speed internet and better connectivity.

In this episode of Construction Week In Focus, Neha Bhatia and Oscar Rousseau, editor and deputy editor of Construction Week, explore how the real estate sector has performed in the Gulf this year, and what 2019 might hold for property owners in the region.

This video kicks off the countdown to Construction Week's Top 50 GCC Developers 2018 list, designed to recognise the Gulf's most influential property powerhouses for their role in shaping tomorrow's built environment. 

The list will be revealed across Construction Week's print, digital, and social channels by 29 September, 2018. 

READ: End-user needs driving Dubai project decisions

Familiar faces in this year include Emaar's Mohamed Alabbar, Aldar Properties' Talal Al Dhiyebi, Dubai World Trade Centre's Gurjit Singh, and Al Mazaya Holding's Eng Ibrahim Al Saqabi, while new entrants include Mirwais Azizi from Azizi Developments. 

Collectively, the leaders that will be featured in this year's list are behind some of the region's most notable projects, such as The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour (Emaar), Deira Islands (Nakheel), The Avenues – Riyadh (Mabanee), and Water's Edge at Yas Island (Aldar).

For details of who made it to the Top 50 GCC Developers 2017 list, please visit developers.constructionweekonline.com.

Construction Week In Focus is a weekly bulletin of the Middle East's top news from the real estate development, contracting, MEP, facilities management, and equipment sectors.

Subscribe to the Construction Week channel for the latest from the region's construction sector.

Construction Week In Focus episodes are published each Tuesday at 9am.

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$136bn bank debt lent to UAE and Saudi real estate sectors in 2017
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