The Middle East real estate industry has received a massive Dhs 100 billion (€24.4 bln, $31 bln) boost from Cityscape 2005, the Middle East's premier international property investment and development event, which recorded 17,000 visitors in its first two days.
Real estate developers exhibiting at Cityscape 2005 signed Dhs 76 billion (€18.5 bln, $23.5 bln) worth of projects prior to the three-day exhibition, which took place at Dubai International Exhibition Centre from September 17th-19th. Deals announced during the event bring the total to more than Dhs 100 billion (€24.4 bln, $31 bln), with Saudi companies alone reporting Dhs 25 billion (€6.1 bln, $7.7 bln) worth of business.
Among the key Dubai announcements were Al Sharq Development's Dhs 7 billion (€1.7 bln, $2.2 bln) Aqua Dunya theme park resort in Dubailand, its Dhs 551 million (€134.2 mln, $170.4 mln) 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 (€1.8 bln, $2.3 bln) investment, Legends, Dubailand.
The first residential tower to be built at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was also unveiled during Cityscape 2005. The deal for the construction of the Dhs 500 million (€121.7 mln, $154.6 mln) Sky Gardens was signed at the event by Arabtec and First Dubai for Real Estate Development.
Cityscape 2005 was also the platform for Nakheel's launch of the prestigious Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai and Bonyan Emirates' announcement of the mixed-use Elite Tower at Business Bay.
The dramatic impact of Cityscape 2005 on property developments elsewhere in the UAE was highlighted by the swift sale of more than 50 per cent of Sharjah's Nujoom Islands Island 1 within a few hours of the exhibition's opening on September 17th. The Dhs 18 billion (€4.4 bln, $5.6 bln) project is being developed by Saudi real estate major Al Hanoo Holding.
Among the major Abu Dhabi announcements at Cityscape 2005 was Sorouh Real Estate's appointment of Arquitectonica and Aedas as lead design architects for different components of its Shams Abu Dhabi project on Al Reem Island.
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 (€0.7 bln, $0.8 bln) mixed-use Al Areen project should be fully operational by 2008.
Meanwhile at Cityscape 2005, Gulf Finance House and Kuwait Finance and Investment Company announced the Royal Village component of the Dhs 3.6 billion (€0.9 bln, $1.1 bln) Royal Metropolis project in Amman, Jordan. Cityscape 2005 also saw the announcement by Dubai-based real estate company Asteco of its first project in Jordan, the opulent mixed-use Saraya Aqaba development on the Red Sea.
"Cityscape has become the main platform for major real estate announcements that not only impact the UAE and GCC markets, but also the wider Middle East," said Franck Dailles, Project Director, Cityscape 2005. "With more than Dhs 100 billion worth of projects announced at the show, a record 300 exhibitors from 51 countries, and record attendance figures reaching 17,000 people in the first two days, Cityscape has truly come of age."