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Cityscape Abu Dhabi sets the Real Estate Agenda for 2011

Cityscape Abu Dhabi is about to close, following four days of debate, discussion and announcements from the regional and international real estate industry. The show floor has been a hive of activity, with several large-scale announcements made, all of which reflect the developing market place in the region and the shift in focus for developers.

Urban Planning Council announced on Monday that it had signed new contracts for the delivery of 7,500 new homes specifically for Emirati families in Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.  The contracts were awarded to Sorouh Real Estate, Tamouh Investments, Royal Development Company and Al Qudra Real Estate, as part of the Emirati Family Housing Programme and will bring the total number of villas developed specifically for this sector to over 13,000.

Abu Dhabi general services company, Musanada, also revealed new projects this week, including the awarding of a contract by Abu Dhabi government to manage the delivery of a residential project in South Samkha, around 45km from Abu Dhabi city.  The development is scheduled to provide homes for around 130,000 Emiratis.

The importance of this market was further highlighted in the Middle East Real Estate Summit, with several sessions focussing on affordable housing and making such projects attractive for developers and investors.  One of the new elements at this year’s event, Post Conference Workshops, was also dedicated to this topic.

Wael Tawil, CEO of exhibiting company Baniyas Holding. commented on his company’s week at Cityscape, he said, “The importance of Cityscape lies in the fact that it is a platform to exhibit various products in the market, showcase different projects in the pipeline and introduce long term plans, regulations and governance.  This year, the event attracted distinguished exhibitors offering yet another opportunity to connect with the investors and end users.  The newly launched Andalusian villas within Phase III of the award winning Bawabat Al Sharq received a good response over the past couple of years, which resulted in booking more than 60 per cent of these units.  We are extremely satisfied with the turnout so far and we expect the same response today.”

Chris Speller, group director of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, said, “This week, the agenda for real estate here in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and indeed the region, has been set.  The projects being announced and the discussions that have taken place during the Middle East Real Estate Summit has highlighted the changes taking place in the industry at the moment and the clear shift in focus.  Developers are looking to provide for a market that is in demand and the majority of that market lies in the middle-income sector."