IIR Middle East, the organisers of Cityscape exhibition, has forecast a 50 per cent growth in net exhibition space for 2006 following the huge success of this year's show, held last month.
An additional 5,000 m² of exhibition space has been booked for the fifth annual Cityscape, due to take place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre (DIEC) on December 4-6, 2006.
Franck Dailles, project director, Cityscape 2005, said: "We were absolutely overwhelmed by the response from exhibitors during and immediately after the show. An amazing 80 per cent of exhibitors and have expressed a keen interest to exhibit again next year."
Cityscape 2005 was inaugurated by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence of the UAE. Other VIPs in attendance included Steven Forbes, former US Presidential candidate and President & CEO of Forbes Inc who was a guest of Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company; HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, Secretary General of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler Of Ras Al Khaimah, who came to support RAK Properties, the premier real estate development company of Ras Al Khaimah; HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Nakheel; Mohammed bin Jawar Al Kwari, Member of the Board of Directors Of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Charles Jamieson, Victorian Government's Special Envoy to the Middle East.
Cityscape's growth curve shows no signs of leveling out, hardly surprising given that over Dh100 billion ($27.22 billion) projects were announced during this year's show. Saudi Arabian companies accounted for more than 25 per cent of the projects. Al Hanoo Holding announced developing the Dh18 billion Nujoom Islands off the coast of Sharjah. The sale of this project saw 50 per cent sale in just a few hours of the opening ceremony.
Among the key Dubai announcements were Al Sharq Development's Dh7 billion Aqua Dunya theme park resort in Dubailand, its Dh551 million 70-storey tower on Sheikh Zayed Road and a hotel and residence on the crescent of The Palm, Jumeirah. Tanmiyat Investments Group chose Cityscape 2005 to launch residential units at its Dhs 7.3 billion investment, Legends, Dubailand.
Manal Shaheen, general manager - VIP Sales at Nakheel, said: "Cityscape is a very important exhibition for the property industry. It's an excellent show and a good opportunity for us to showcase our latest projects. Cityscape is also a good opportunity for investors and even end-buyers to see where the market is going We've been amazed to see such a large number of participants - over 20,000 people. You can't meet all that number in an office during working hours!"
The significance of Cityscape 2005 on the Middle East property market was underlined by the announcement by Bahrain's Al Areen Holding Company of three key deals with investors from the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait. The Dhs 2.7 billion mixed-use Al Areen project should be fully operational by 2008.
Meanwhile, Gulf Finance House and Kuwait Finance and Investment Company announced the Royal Village component of the Dh3.6 billion Royal Metropolis project in Amman, Jordan. The event also saw the announcement by Dubai-based real estate company Asteco winning its first project in Jordan, the opulent mixed-use Saraya Aqaba development on the Red Sea.
New records were being set at Cityscape 2005, with more than Dh100 billion worth of projects announced at the show, 300 exhibitors from 51 countries, and 17,000 visitors in the first two days. We are more than confident that even our aggressive targets for the 2006 show will not only be met but exceeded", commented Dailles.
Running along side the exhibition was the Cityscape Conference, which attracted 80 acclaimed international speakers, over 50 presentations were made to an audience of over 600 delegates. The additio