There was a bustling, vibrant atmosphere on the opening day of Cityscape Global, the largest real estate exhibition in the Middle East, which opened at Dubai World Trade Centre yesterday.
The packed halls and serious business meetings across the stands was visual proof that the Dubai property market is seeing steady growth and there are keen investors ready to inject cash into the right projects at the right time.
It was Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, who officially inaugurated the 11th edition of Cityscape with an expected crowd of visitors ready to head into the halls. And they weren’t disappointed.
Major announcements across the day included a number of new projects, including two from the Meydan Group, developer of the Meydan Racecourse. Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid is a new 190,000m2 housing scheme in Nad Al Sheba which will feature canals and lagoons, incorporating English, French and Japanese landscaping. The company also re-launched its stalled 72-storey Meydan Tower in Sheikh Zayed Road which will contain homes, offices, shops and hotels.
The focus was also, as expected, on serviced hotel apartments with leading developers drumming up strong support for this relatively new investment vehicle.
DAMAC Properties, the Middle East’s leading luxury developer, announced it would have 4,000 units under development or management by the end of next year at that its first serviced apartment project, Burjside Boulevard would complete mid-2013. The company boldly stated it was taking a leadership role in bringing hotel apartments to the fore in Dubai.
On a lighter note there were a few projects announced which reminded us of the heady days back in 2007/8.
The Taj Arabia project, which was first announced more than five years ago is now set to be become a reality according to the developers of the 3.8 million sqm Falcon City of Wonders. The ‘city’ is also looking bring many other replicas from around the world, including The Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While there was some of the glitz and glamour of old, it was much more subdued and there was much more a feeling of serious, long-term strategy to provide investors with a sustained growth rather than a fast buck.
More is expected today and you can keep up to date with all of the news from the show here and on Twitter @dxbpropinvest