Cityscape Dubai opens with an international flavour

More than 60 per cent of the exhibitors are from outside the UAE at the three-day property event

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Cityscape Dubai opened its doors on Monday against a backdrop of soaring property prices in the emirate, and strong performances in the sector across the UAE.

This year's event has more of an international flavour.

As well as local developers such as Azizi, Sobha Realty, Damac and Arada, more than 60 per cent of the exhibitors are from outside the UAE.

This league of nations, which included developers from the likes of Tunisia, Germany, Georgia, Bali, Canada and England lent the event an Expo 2020 feel.

The overseas developers have flocked to Dubai this week to attempt to capitalise on its growing number of high-net-worth individuals.

“With Dubai recording an 18 per cent rise in high-net-worth individuals in the first six months of this year and being named the richest city in the Middle East and Africa by global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, its reputation as an investment source market is growing fast,” said Cityscape exhibition director Alexander Heuff, of event organiser Informa.

“This reputation, enhanced by Dubai’s growing millionaire and billionaire population, which now amounts to almost 68,000 and 13 respectively, has become a magnet for those looking for inward investment into their own overseas projects.”

Tunis, Sports City on display at Cityscape. Antonie Robertson / The National

In previous years, the event has played host the announcement of projects.

This year's event shows more conventional villa developments and apartment blocks, pointing to a more mature market with a return on investment amid rising rents and prices proving a big attraction to buyers, rather than offers including free cars, which developers have offered in the past.

The UAE's property market made a strong rebound in 2021 as it recovered from the coronavirus-induced slowdown and the trend has continued this year as the country's economy remains on a strong growth trajectory.

Arada was among the UAE-based developers to make an announcement, with its Dh2 billion Jouri Hills project ($544 million) in Dubai unveiled with 294 high-end villas and town houses to be constructed in Jumeirah Golf Estates.

This is the first project for the Sharjah-based developer in Dubai.

Sustainability is a key theme at this year's event, which saw decent crowds make their way to the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dubai-based developer and contractor Inspire Home Contracting is planning a floating villa scheme on Dubai's World Islands with sustainability at the heart of it in a bid to keep the ocean ecosystem untouched.

Meanwhile, in Fujairah, Rawasi Real Estate said its Naseem AlBahar Villas are completed and on sale in what is the emirate's first sustainable residential project with a 2 Pearl Estidama rating.

The event also heard how drones could be used to improve sustainability standards.

“Drones allow us to collect fast, high-quality data,” said Mohamed Shawky, chief executive of Dubai-based Gis Drones.

“We can use this to inspect issues with buildings in which every centimetre can be scanned and then analysed, giving you a full insight into issues within a matter of hours rather than weeks. We have drones now that can work in GPS-denied areas as well, such as tunnels or staircases. All of this technology saves time, increases safety and is energy efficient.”

Updated: November 21, 2022, 2:53 PM
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