Affordability takes centrestage at Cityscape Global

By viji Monday, 31 August 2015 11:31 AM

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Developers at Cityscape Global will showcase cost-effective options for investors

Sixty per cent of investors expect Dubai's real estate market to grow over the next 12 months, says the results of a new survey conducted by global market research company YouGov.

With over half of home buyers (54 per cent) feeling positive about the continuing growth of the Dubai real estate market and a further three-fifths (58 per cent) expecting an increase in sales and rental prices over the next year, all indications point towards a buoyancy in the Dubai residential market.

These figures emerge as thousands of investors from around the world prepare to descend upon the Middle East's largest property showcase, Cityscape Global, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from September 8 to 10. More than 100 local developers will participate in the 14th edition of the event next week to showcase their projects.

The YouGov survey has shown that location is a significant factor in determining where investors purchase properties in the UAE. According to 861 UAE residents, properties near public transportation are the most attractive and in demand (56 per cent), followed by those close to grocery stores (44 per cent), shopping malls (41 per cent) and mosques (37 per cent).

Conducted for Informa, the organisers of Cityscape Global, the study also revealed that studios and one bedroom apartments are growing in popularity in the UAE real estate market, with investors shifting their focus to smaller, affordable residential options.

Jumeirah Golf Estates will capitalise on this opportunity as it showcase its new development, AlAndalus, which offers end-users affordable luxury.

Yousuf Kazim, chief executive officer (CEO) of Jumeirah Golf Estates, said: "Jumeirah Golf Estates has had a productive first half of the year and is continuing to reinforce the growth momentum plans for ongoing development. As the progress of construction continues, we are continuing to partner with businesses to ensure our residents are provided with the ideal living community."

Showcasing their Botanica project in Jumeirah Village Circle, Sky View Real Estate Brokers and Myra Real Estate Development will also offer end-users and investors an affordable option.

Kash Kanjwani, director at Sky View Real Estate Brokers, said: "For any mature market, there has to be a balance between luxury properties and affordable properties. Previously, developers had tried to launch affordable properties. However, due to speculators and high demand, some of these properties appreciated at such a high rate that they reached the same price point as luxury properties.

"With new regulations in place, the speculation of properties has been controlled and because mortgage LTV (loan-to-value) has been limited at 50 per cent for off-plan projects, most developers are offering easy payment plans and the right pricing. Demand for affordable housing is now greater than ever and we look forward to showcasing our next project at Cityscape Global."

Emirates NBD will be joined by four other banks offering competitive mortgage rates and advice at Cityscape Global. These include Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Lara Al Barazi, head of real estate research at YouGov, said: "The study highlights positive sentiment across the board. Investors, potential home buyers as well as real estate professionals are expecting growth to continue in the Dubai real estate market in the coming year. The most positive news is the extent of trust investors place in the residential property market, which reveals the high potential this sector has and the importance of understanding what appeals most among prospective buyers."

Welcoming more than 300 exhibitors from around the world, Cityscape Global has been extended by two additional halls - four more halls since the 2013 event - covering more than 40,000 square metres of space.

The Cityscape Global Conference will be staged the day before the exhibition at Conrad Hotel Dubai.

YouGov will present findings from a 1,500-strong study of UAE Real Estate Market Sentiment, looking specifically at the future outlook from investors, real estate professionals and potential home buyers during the conference.

The new format is expected to facilitate more than 800 senior real estate professionals and government officials who will explore opportunities and find solutions to key challenges affecting the industry today.

Also running in tandem with the exhibition is the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets. The awards attracts hundreds of entries from developers and architects across emerging markets globally. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Conrad Hotel on September 8.


Since 2002, Cityscape Global has established itself as the region’s largest and most influential international real estate development and investment event. With over 47,000 visitors expected to attend, Cityscape Global is an ideal platform to identify real estate investment and development opportunities across emerging global markets.

Cityscape Global brings together key real estate investors and developers, regional and city investment promotion authorities, institutional investors, and service providers to network and discuss critical issues affecting business decisions in the international market. Over 5,000 investors attended last year’s event, and visitors are sure to take advantage of multiple networking opportunities to develop lucrative relationships across the industry and around the world. 

At last year’s conference, major developers announced over 27 large-scale projects during the three-day event. With 280 Exhibitors from over 30 countries, the 2015 event is expected to be even larger. There are also several dedicated conference programmes including the Global Real Estate Summit, Real Estate Brokers Summit, and Future Cities Conference.