October in Dubai means one thing: event season, and the first major event of the 2013/14 fixture list is almost upon us. Cityscape Global, the region’s biggest real estate gathering, starts Tuesday, October 8th.
Despite the Dubai Land Department reporting that more than Dhs50 billion was invested into Dubai real estate in 2012, the elephant in the room at last year’s Cityscape was a resounding one: has Dubai and the region’s property market returned to rude health? The answer was mixed.
While the week was certainly busy and abuzz with big names, there was a dearth of major announcements. Wouter Molman, exhibition director of Cityscape Global, thinks the sheer volume of exhibitors this year, the event’s 12th edition, means it will not suffer for a lack of news.
“With Cityscape Global being the barometer of the local and international real estate market, we were always anticipating continued growth of the show. The demand for exhibition space that we have received over the last couple of months in particular, however, has been quite overwhelming,” said Molman.
“There is definitely a heightened buzz about the exhibition this year which has resulted in the difficult decision to turn away exhibitor requests because we simply don’t have any more space to accommodate them.
“The good news is that those companies which were ready early and confirmed their space will have a global audience of more than 25,000 participants to showcase their latest property developments and peripheral real estate products and services.”
Molman added that he expects a large number of major announcements to be made by participating exhibitors during the three-day event.
New launches are expected from local real estate powerhouses Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group, Meraas, Dubai World Central and Meydan.
As well as the seasoned pros, several local developers will be exhibiting for the first time while some old names will be returning after an extended hiatus since the 2008 crash.
MAG Group, Omniyat, Tanmiyat, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Union Properties return for the first time in several years while Diamond Developers, SKAI, and Sobha Group are some of the newcomers.
With more than 200 international and regional exhibitors aiming to grab the eyes and wallets of investors this year, Cityscape has been forced to grow its space. Held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, this year’s event will cover more than 25,000 sq metres – an increase of 50 per cent on last year and its largest size in four years
For the first time since 2008, all sectors of Dubai’s real estate market are now on the upswing. According to a Jones Lang LaSalle report, 2,200 units were added to Dubai’s residential stock inventory in the first quarter of 2013, bringing the total inventory in the emirate to 357,000 units, with a further 42,000 estimated to be delivered in the next two years.
2013 has also seen several major projects reminiscent of pre-2008 days announced for the UAE, including Mohammed bin Rashid City, several developments between Damac and Paramount, Dubai’s canal project and a major tie-up between Aldar and Sorouh.
But the UAE’s developers can expect to face competition from overseas exhibitors. Turkey will once again be the largest of eight international pavilions, with over 30 companies representing the country.
Qatar is also expected to have a large presence with Msheireb Properties, Mall of Qatar, Barwa and United Development Company all among the Gulf state’s headline developers.
As Molman says, “The global showpiece continues its increasingly significant role as the barometer of the local and international real estate market.”