Cityscape Abu Dhabi 'a success'
Organizers claim that 'gloomy predictions' were wrong
Cityscape organizers were upbeat at the close of this year's event today, despite low turnout in Abu Dhabi.
They pointed to the unveiling of the 2030 Abu Dhabi master plan, as well as a number of high-profile deals signed between developers and government, as evidence Cityscape's "ongoing success" in the region.
Cityscape managing director Rohan Marwaha said: “There were gloomy predictions from some quarters ahead of the show because of market conditions but, as we have continually emphasized, Cityscape today is about long-term business-to-business, joint ventures, partnerships and the like rather than the speculative investment schemes of the past."
Marwaha pointed to the high level of government support for the event, epitomized by the Urban Planning Committee's unveiling of the 2030 infrastrcuture plan at Cityscape on Sunday.
"This year's event, for example, was the platform for a series of important long-term announcements relating to Abu Dhabi's growth plans," he said.
Despite flight cancellations in Europe and ongoing market uncertainty, Cityscape hosted 255 exhibitors from 36 countries, with more than 800 CEOs and thousands of investors over four days at the Abu Dhabi National OCnference Center. It was also host to more than 70 networking forums and a major conference with over 160 speakers from 25 countries.
Major deals signed at the event included Sorouh Real Estate, the Abu Dhabi-based developer, who signed a landmark agreement with the Urban Planning Council to develop Watani, a masterplan community for UAE nationals at a total cost of AED5.4 billion and part of Abu Dhabi's 2030 plan.
Sorouh will also be developing Shamkha, an even larger community for UAE families. Both will contribute nearly 9,000 homes for Emiratis over the next five years.
An AED730 million contract was signed by the Department of Municipal Affairs with Abu Dhabi developer Aldar to provide the infrastructure for a development of around 1,045 villas, a school and other facilties in Al Ain near Jebel Hafeet.