Cityscape Summit

The Cityscape Summit will take place over two days from 7th - 8th November 2021 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (Expo 2020 site).  It will cover the biggest issues driving real estate development and investment on a macro-economic level around the globe, with a special focus on the MENA region: UAE, KSA, Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain. 

The real estate summit will put the biggest issues under the spotlight; Looking at how cities, investors and the real estate industry can mitigate risks, what the road to recovery looks like for the real estate industry, how we can learn from challenges, how the pandemic changed the industry, and what new opportunities are in store for us over the next few years. 

Day 2 will see architects and designers take the stage floor in the morning whilst the afternoon sessions are dedicated to technology, AI and proptech. 

To express your interest in attending our 2021 edition of Cityscape's Real Estate Summit, please click here

Our 2021 agenda will be revealed soon. Here are the highlights from our 2020 summit.


Katie Jensen, Dubai One Presenter

Introduction to Chris Speller and housekeeping rules


Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director

Welcome and introduction to His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department (DLD)


Dubai Land Department Welcome Address:

HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department (DLD)


The Tourism Perspective: What’s next for Dubai’s tourism sector?

In Conversation With: HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing

With the disruption of the global tourism industry in 2020, we take a look at how Dubai is cementing and adapting its tourism strategies for a post-pandemic world.



Keynote Addresses:

HE Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai


In Conversation With: Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo Smart cities & rapid innovation in the construction industry 



Economy, Tourism, Investment: Spotlight on Sharjah

With the disruption of the economy, tourism and real estate sector in 2020, we look at how Sharjah will continue to build its knowledge economy and cement its diversification plans in 2021.

This interactive session, will focus around the macro-economic factors driving investment for the emirate in 2021, with a focus on tourism.

HE Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal. Executive Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority



Transparency, digitisation, decarbonization

The imperative for transparent, sustainable and resilient real estate in MENA

As governments, businesses and communities grapple with the impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic has brought

the issues of transparency and trust into an even sharper focus. 


Dana Salbak, Head of MENA Research at JLL

Thierry Delvaux, CEO, MEA, JLL


 The future of development & investment in a post-pandemic world

COVID-19 has accelerated changes in design trends and demand and supply dynamics across residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors globally. Knight Frank takes a look at the impact the pandemic has had and will have on these sectors.

Speaker: Taimur Khan, Associate Partner, Strategic Consulting and Head of Research at Knight Frank


Networking & lunch break


The evolution of real estate as an investment class

Macro-economic trends and forecasts, an overview of how the real estate industry has affected on demand and supply sides, and in-depth look at the future and what’s to come


Speakers: Samvit Kanoria, Partner at McKinsey & Company, MENA (Virtual)

Pierfrancesco Rocca, Partner at McKinsey & Company, MENA (Physical)


Fireside chat: Khatija Haque, Chief Economist and Head of Research at Emirates NBD

An in-depth look at the real estate economy and what to expect in 2021 (Virtual)


Resurgence of the real estate market post COVID-19: A look at the impact on the region

.    Key strategies/contributions used to ease the impact of COVID-19 from the point of view of the developer, the financial institution and the government.

.    New innovative products/structures/policies to introduce
.    Current status of the market and how it will look like in the future


Alexander Davies - Chief Commercial Officer Dubai Properties

Dr. Mahmoud AlBurai - Vice President - International Real Estate Federation

Francis Alfred - Managing Director and CEO - Sobha Realty

Sajid Siddique - Sr. Director - Real Estate Structuring & Advisory - Mashreq 

Moderator: Vinodh Mahadevan - Head of Valuations & Advisory at Land Sterling




Is the retail sector losing its luster for investors?

Accelerating trends that are changing the makeup of most of the traditional real estate 

real estate sectors

Occupiers’ flexibility

Brick & Mortar and its place in the future of retail


Naim Maadad, CEO and founder of Gates Hospitality

Dounia Fadi, Chief Operating Officer, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices GP

Mansour Hajjar, Country Manager for the UAE & India Chalhoub Group




The role of technology in the road to recovery

A look at how technology will be key to the road to recovery for real estate. Why the industry is slow to adopt to tech and what needs to be done in 2021


Carl Allsopp, COO at Allsopp & Allsopp

John Lyons, MD at Espace

Richard Waind, Group MD at Betterhomes

Abdullah Alajaji, Founder at Driven Properties

Moderator: Barry Judge, CEO of houza


Katie Jensen, Dubai One Presenter


Keynote Welcome Address:

Majida Ali Rashid, CEO of the Real Estate Promotion and Investment Management at DLD


In Conversation: Majid Al Marri, CEO – Real Estate Registration and Services sector, DLD


Dubai College: The long-term strategy of the developing design over the last 40 years and into the future

Jason Burnside, Partner, GAJ


Redefining the concept of smart cities post-pandemic

Can smart city technology prove able to mitigate the effects of pandemics?

How can cities be more resilient? Are cities in the MENA region rethinking their smart
city approach to incorporate pandemic preparedness.


Dr Harpreet Seth, Head of Architecture at Herriot-Watt University, architecture professor

Joe Tabet, Partner at JT+Partners

Kerem Cengiz, Managing Director LWK+PARTNERS

Moderator: Andrew Shaw, Managing Partner at AMA Architecture Studio 



Overview of 2020 and how that has impacted the RIBA and the broader architectural community (Virtual)

CEO RIBA, Alan Vallance


The tourism factor: How building resilient, healthy and ecological cities will revive the tourism industry

Steven Velegrinis, Head of Master Planning at AECOM


Is the office dead? What architects must consider as they design post-pandemic workplaces

Richard Fenne, Principal and Regional Executive Chair at Woods Bagot 


Reshaping Cities: 2020’s twin crisis pandemics & climate crisis (Virtual)

How is the pandemic and the climate crisis shaping the future of design for

What are some of the challenges? Is the industry slow to change?

What is being done in the Middle East?

 Raj Patel, Senior Associate, Architecture Design Director, Middle East, Gensler


Networking & Lunch Break


Why BIM is no longer a novelty for the construction industry but a necessity

.    Why is the industry so slow to adapt

.    Challenges

.    Overview of BIM in the region

.    Does BIM have the potential of revolutionising the property industry?

.    Is there a need for BIM standards in the industry?

.    Will we see a shift towards BIM post-pandemic?

Andrew Milburn, Associate at GAJ


In Conversation With architect Sumaya Dabbagh, ranked one of MENA’s most influential architects and founder of Dabbagh Architects.

Breaking the glass ceiling in architecture', a look at whether the last decade has bridged the gender gap within the architecture industry.



How innovative architecture will shape the design industry

Bart Leclercq, Lead Structural Enginner at Arup (Virtual)


Why developers need to adapt to technology stay relevant in 2021?

Overview of technology in real estate

.    Tech’s place in real estate recovery in 2021 and why the industry needs to adapt to stay relevant

.    Adopting new tech strategies

.    Why is the industry so slow to adopt

.    What can we expect in the next year from the region with the tech adoption


Sean McCauley, CEO, Devmark

Richard, Aybar, CEO, ThinkLab

David Agha, Head of Commercial, eiight

Moderator: Katie Jensen


The tech and AI revolution in real estate (Virtual)

Pradeep Viswanathan, Global Systems Architect, Schneider Electric