Exhibitors Optimistic About Return Of Investor AppetiteWednesday, September 28, 2011
Dubai: As Cityscape Global 2011 began, optimism remains high on the back of increased business and demand seen in the lead-up to the event. Taking centre stage in the exhibition halls are the usually heavyweights: Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group, Meraas and Deyaar. However, this year also sees an increased presence by international exhibitors. Over 50 per cent of exhibitors are international, spanning 28 countries. This year the exhibition covers three halls and houses just over 150 exhibitors, half the size of the Cityscape event in 2008 when 300 companies exhibited.
DSA Architects, which has been involved in the urban design planning of projects like Old Town, Madinat Jumeirah, Royal Mirage and the One and Only on the Palm, has said while the exhibition space remains small, there is more optimism this year compared to last year. "The market has stabilised a lot, the more serious developers have weathered the storm and they have consolidated themselves and are regrouping and refocusing. We're hoping to get some more clients from this exhibition. We want to show property developers in the region and those who don't know us what we're about and that we are positive in the region and in the area," said Zinon Marinakos, deputy managing director, DSA architects. This year also sees the return of a number of exhibitors who have been absent from the previous Cityscapes. Better Homes, will be exhibiting for the first time in three years.
"Over the last eight to nine months we've seen an increase in institutional investors. Because of the unrest in the region we have seen more and more interest from the GCC investors," said Porush Jhunjhunwala, head of commercial at Better Homes. "We have also seen more international corporations considering Dubai as their regional hub and are looking to get their headquarters established. Even local companies are expanding and improving the efficiency of their space," he said. In 2011, Better Homes sold and leased one million square feet of commercial space. Because of this increased demand, Better Homes is putting only their commercial property up for display.
"The first day has been a little busy and we have gotten inquiries which we will follow up and see how it goes," said Jhunjhunwala. Deyaar, which was absent last year, is back displaying their latest residential units in Business Bay. "Since the start of 2011 we have delivered five projects and still have a couple more to come this year. So far at Cityscape, I can see there is an overwhelming response. It tells you that there is an interest among investors. It might not be as strong as what we witnessed before but at least it's a stable interest. What we are trying to do is test the investors' appetite. We've already had a few serious requests," said Lina Anani, vice-president of corporate communications, Deyaar.Source: Gulf News