is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC
This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Major league developers and property consultants readying to take part in Cityscape Global 2021, the region’s pivotal authority on real estate, property development and investment, say the international, regional, and local real estate business has been forever changed by the Covid 19 pandemic.
Forecasts from Key One Realty Group, KEO International Consultants and Land Sterling point to a positive future with technology and reconfigured buyer and investor wish lists driving the industry across the GCC.
All three consultants will take part in Cityscape’s virtual investor intelligence summits and online seminars in the lead up to the 20th edition of the flagship live, in-person event taking place in the heart of the Expo 2020 site – the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) – from November 7-11.
The consultants are bullish about the impact of Expo 2020 on the local industry. UAE-based Key One anticipates it will drive up demand for residency throughout the UAE. “It will make people visit Dubai but actually help them understand the country, appreciate it, and want to live in it,” explained Diana Magariu, Key One’s Group CEO.
Regional consultant KEO believes Expo 2020 will deliver both opportunities and challenges for the development and real estate industry. “Though there is some time before the true impact of Expo 2020 will be clear,” commented Darryl Custer, Executive Director of KEO’s Design Division. “While long-term gains are yet to be determined, history has been kind to host nations of previous world expos. Indeed, economic change can already be seen throughout Dubai as infrastructure projects flourish and business demand experiences growth.”
Land Sterling says it is already reaping some benefits from the Expo 2020 interest. “We have noticed an increase in international enquiries relating to
various real estate services such as sales and acquisition of residential units, opening of new offices and obtaining new development land for potential hospitality projects. The enquiries have come from countries with which the UAE has recently signed treaties and where Dubai has promoted FDI incentives,” explained Hamza Betraoui, Managing Director of Land Sterling.
“The event has allowed us to realign our expansion strategy, where we are looking at setting up more local offices to cater for new business, strengthen our marketing team and forging future strategic alliances with foreign companies.”
The re-envisaged GCC marketplace is lifting Cityscape Global into a new phase of essential following, according to Chris Speller, Group Director of Cityscape at event organizer Informa Markets.
“The transformative nature of the industry now makes Cityscape a vital knowledge platform for all in the sector, whether suppliers, developers or investors,” he said. “Those who fail to keep up with the emerging trends and the technology and innovation needed to address and leverage them will be left behind. Now, perhaps more than ever, Cityscape Global will be the place where the industry’s future is accurately foretold and its constituents enabled to forge the partnerships that will take the sector into a reshaped era driven by technology, changing lifestyles and reassessed living values.”
“Although real estate transactions will continuously increase over the next 6-12 months, I believe that there will still be a price decline which will make Dubai’s residential property attractive to investors. Villa prices are going to be more stable as people continue to look for bigger homes and we expect the secondary market transaction volumes to increase even more. Investors are back, however, to trigger recovery, we believe that a cutback on supply of housing is necessary,” added Magariu.
According to Custer, the COVID-19 crisis has also imposed significant changes to the design and development industry particularly in how projects are programmed and built.
“In terms of design, we see a growing need for built-in flexibility of spaces, especially in public areas,” commented Custer. “Another change is the need for a higher
level of built-in “future proofing” in preparation of new and future technologies all of which are meant to anticipate unknowable change. In terms of programming and getting projects built, we are seeing a higher need for integrated thinking between designers, related governing agencies and developers to work together on more holistic solutions. “
Key emerging development trends identified by KEO include a focus on Net-Zero design and decarbonization as part of climate action, sustainable cities and communities with good health and well-being for the users, sustainable infrastructure innovation as well as responsible sourcing and production of materials which encompass the benefits of circular economy, recycling, and sustainable resources.