His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council opens the UAE capital’s leading real estate exhibition
His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council officially inaugurated the 13th edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi today, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Chairman of the Executive Council.
His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council was briefed by Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director and representatives of various government departments on dozens of new-to-market projects.
With more than 80 leading local and international developers and real estate companies at the 13th annual edition of the Cityscape Abu Dhabi series held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) saw heavyweight developers outline their confidence in how the event directly impacts investor and consumer spending in the real estate sector.
“Cityscape Abu Dhabi is a great platform for developers to learn from and understand each other. The event provides a live market intelligence snapshot of the industry and, in my opinion, that it is the most noble element of what Cityscape offers to developers and consumers: transparency and confidence in the market,” said Walid El-Hindi, CEO of IMKAN, which is using Cityscape Abu Dhabi to showcase five developments in three countries that are due to be delivered in 2019.
As developers leverage Cityscape Abu Dhabi to reach the widest range of local and foreign investors, Muhammad Binghatti, CEO of Binghatti Developers, added: “Cityscape Abu Dhabi is the platform to meet leaders in the industry and customers from different segments. Our strategy is to attract high-net-worth-individuals looking for very investible products and Cityscape Abu Dhabi is where we target and close big deals with cash-rich investors.”
While Abu Dhabi’s mega investors represent natural targets for developers, Azizi Developments’ CEO Farhad Azizi revealed lower-priced units aimed at expatriates and UAE nationals figure prominently in the company-wide portfolio on view at Cityscape Abu Dhabi.
“We have lots of special offers for Cityscape Abu Dhabi visitors and exclusive deals for Emiratis,” said Azizi. “We kept aside some marquee units with unique views that are only available at Cityscape Abu Dhabi because it’s an unrivalled platform to reach customers – we wish Cityscape was open every day of the year.”
The votes of confidence in Cityscape Abu Dhabi come only days after investment management firm JLL released a new research report which described Abu Dhabi’s real estate market as “subdued” in Q1 of 2019.
“It’s a challenging environment but we are seeing a marked uptick in optimism following the widespread economic stimulus moves from the Government. The positive news is that Cityscape Abu Dhabi is putting this rising sentiment to the test and the industry – from developer to end-user – are responding,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director.
Conference gets underway
Development realities on the ground also came into view at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference, where officials and experts from government departments and major domestic and international real estate developers explored emerging trends and debated how the real estate sector is evolving as a productive part of the economic equation.
Following a keynote presentation on ‘Investment in Abu Dhabi: Building the Future’ by His Excellency Dr. Mubarak Hamad Marzooq Alameri, Board Member & Chairman of Real Estate Committee, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, the first panel session focused on emerging trends in the real sector and what to expect in 2019 and beyond.
The session included Maan Al Awlaqi, Executive Director – Commercial at Aldar; Sunil Gomes, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini Properties; Luann Parker, Director – Business Development at IMKAN; Noel Roberts, Head of Strategy & Business Development at ADCP, and Farhad Azizi, CEO of Azizi Developments.
Other conference topics included market-leading solutions that support the creation of smart and sustainable projects and buildings to meet the needs of future cities.
“The Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference serves as a weathervane for the wider industry to explore the latest developments in the real estate sector and anticipate future directions by providing a platform for industry experts to connect with investors and experts and discuss the most important topics related to the real estate sector and markets,” said Speller.
Two-day Cityscape Talks start on Wednesday
On the side-lines of the conference, Cityscape Abu Dhabi boasts a wide range of engineers and construction professionals at the Cityscape Forum who are dissecting the latest developments in architectural design and the best ways to benefit from design as a means to preserve cultural and historical heritage, build sustainability and maximise resources.
The Forum’s agenda includes a wide range of topics under the theme of ‘The Design Dialogue: Tackling the monumental, the mundane, and sustainability in the built environment’.
Finally, this year’s Cityscape Abu Dhabi schedule will conclude with the Cityscape Talks on April 17 and 18, which aim to create a comprehensive knowledge environment through interactive discussions.