It’s not just a hype!

Since the crash in 2008, Cityscape hasn’t been the same as the previous years with a clear dip in number of visitors and exhibitors. However, there seems to be an upward movement in the market now, so what are the expectations from the show?

There is a lot of excitement surrounding Cityscape Global 2013. The excitement mirrors the recovery of the market in Dubai and reflects the confidence that developers, investors and other industry stakeholders globally have in the Dubai real estate recovery. Exhibition space has been sold out for well over two months now and e show is said to be 50 larger than the previous event. Over 200 exhibitors will be present with some, such as Diamond Developers, SKAI, and Sobha Group participating for the first time. Established local developers such as the MAG Group, Omniya, Tanmiyat, Jumeirah Golf Estates and
Union Properties, returning after an absence of several years, are expected to showcase new developments and current project updates. Dubai’s mega developers, including Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Properties Group will again showcase their vision and capabilities and are expected to once
again underpin what is really one of the world’s premiere real estate and property exhibitions. International developers will once again be well represented. Turkey continues its strong presence with more than 20 developers including Agaoglu, Eroglu, Vadistanbul, and NEF showcase their latest mega-projects in .the country’s property market.

Where exactly is Dubai’s market at the moment? Is the positivity a reality or just hype?

No, the numbers speak for themselves. With transaction prices up between 15 and 30 depending on asset type and area and rental returns showing similar growth characteristics, Dubai’s real estate recovery has been underway for at least two years now, reaching a total of AED89 billion invested in the first half of 2013 alone. The increase in levels of demand can be demonstrated by the number of sales transactions which have grown by over 40 during the same period so the growth the industry is growing in both volume and value per unit of area. This is a good sign.

How do you think Cityscape Global 2073 will affect the current scenario in the market especially with a lot of off plan projects getting sold out on record time recently?

We must remember what Cityscape is about. It allows the industry to showcase its vision and capabilities and demonstrate what shape Dubai will take in the future. It’s an invitation for the various stakeholders to understand, evaluate and participate in the emirates’ growth. It is a meeting place of some of the biggest and brightest minds in the industry representing all stakeholders in the industry. It allows these stakeholders to contextualize the current situation in a framework that depicts the future and Cityscape Global 2013 will play an important role in allowing participants to determine what the future opportunities are for Dubai’s Real Estate industry and how they can participate, contribute or help shape its realization.

Will we get to see project launches at this year’s event? Please explain.

Yes … we expect to see new projects show cased from a variety of developers. It will be intriguing to see in detail some of Dubai’s recently announced projects in addition to a number of surprises by some developers who will use Cityscape to launch their projects. Some of the larger projects are awe inspiring in their size and magnificence. Of special interest will be Mohammad Bin Rashid City. Featuring the world’s biggest shopping mall, more than 100 hotels, a Universal Studios theme park and a public park larger than London’s Hyde Park this project has an estimated $ 100bn of residential projects and has already attracted the attention of the industry worldwide. Emaar has already announced plans for the Dubai Hills Estate, which is part of the wider Mohammad Bin Rashid City project and Dubai developer Meydan, with the Sobha Group, will be developing the 4 million square meters first phase of the city. Then there is the 6.5 million square metres Dubai Creek Harbour project, complete with business, shopping, sporting and entertainment facilities, which is an exciting joint venture between Emaar Properties Dubai Holding. Meanwhile, Damac revealed plans for Akoya, a residential project which will include an 18-hole Trump International Golf Club in addition to the planned $ 1 bn Damac Towers with Hollywood film studio Paramount in Downtown Dubai.
Bluewaters Island project by Meeras Holdings will be located just off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence and will include the world’s tallest Ferris wheel will join other coastal developments such as SKAI Holdings’ plans for the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah and Nakheels Pointe at Palm Jumeirah.
There are niche developments like the Andalusia Collection by National Properties. Located within phase 3 of the sought after “The Villa” project. This development consists of only 69 luxury Villas but offer exclusivity, unique design and a superior level of quality and fit and finish that sets this collection apart from any other villa within The Villa project. Almost like a community within a community. Other projects include the Dubai Design District, Dubai Trade Centre District development along with a number of other developments which will be launched in anticipation of Dubai’s continued resurgence.

Cityscape promotional materials point to a clear increase in the number of exhibitors. Do you think there will be an increase in number of visitors as well? And do you expect to see overseas visitors as well?

Definitely. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this year’s Cityscape attract over 30,000 visitors with a strengthening contingent from the overseas community. This is because property investors and developers are looking allover the world for opportunities and Dubai, with its resurgent industry has been leading many of the world’s real estate markets in terms of recovery and rebounding from the devastating effects of the Global Recession. Dubai ‘is back in on the consideration list.

Tell us about Harbor Real Estate’s new initiatives. Also are you preparing yourself for the good times ahead?

We will always welcome good times but, to be honest, we have been enjoying good times for some time now. There is always much excitement and hype around new projects and Harbor has enjoyed being involved in bringing many new projects to life and eventually to market. But we have also been busy developing new concepts and approaches in the area of Strategic Planning, Asset or Property Portfolio Management and Investor Strategy Development and Counseling. The demand for these areas of expertise have been growing steadily since the global financial crisis and Harbor is fast becoming the first port of call for an increasing number of Investors and developers as they seek greater margin from their activities.
We have enjoyed considerable success in creating success for our clients and are excited in continuing to develop our business in this area. In addition, we are continually expanding our capabilities in the area of property management services. This area of our business has grown tremendously due to the increasing awareness among property owners of the importance of properly managing and maintaining their real estate investments.
We are pleased that an ever increasing number of both institutional and individual clients have placed their trust in Harbor and consider Harbor to be the most effective, efficient and innovative services provider in the industry today. We are proud of our record in this important area of the business.

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