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Cityscape a 'continuing success'

Abu Dhabi, April 23, 2010

Cityscape Abu Dhabi, one of the largest gathering of real estate and investment professionals, was declared  a 'continuing success' despite gloomy predictions ahead of the event and volcanic ash disruption.

“A fundamental reason for the success of Cityscape Abu Dhabi has been the 2030 infrastructure plan for the capital of the UAE which is aimed at delivering world-class residential and business areas to attract global industries and financial institutions,” said Rohan Marwaha, managing director, chief executive officer of Cityscape.

“Continued development, combined with careful planning and timely execution of projects are key to the increased international status of Abu Dhabi on show this year at Cityscape,” he added.

“There were gloomy predictions from some quarters ahead of the show about its prospects because of market conditions but, as we have continually emphasised, Cityscape today is about long-term business-to-business, joint ventures, partnerships and the like rather than the speculative investment schemes of the past," he remarked.

"This year's event, for example, was the platform for a series of important long-term announcements relating to Abu Dhabi's growth plans and the show received a high level of support from the government," he added.

The expo witnessed the presence of over 255 exhibitors from 36 countries with more than 800 CEOs and thousands of investors despite the flight disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud which forced a number of exhibitors from Europe and the Americas to miss the show.

In addition, there were more than 70 networking forums and a major conference with over 160 speakers from more than 25 countries.

Cityscape comprised an exhibition, conference, investor round tables and related events bringing  together regional and international investors, developers, government and investment authorities, architects, designers, consultants and senior professionals involved in the design and construction of real estate.

The high profile visitors included General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

In a statement later, Sheikh Mohammed expressed satisfaction in Cityscape Abu Dhabi, saying the overwhelming attendance of international investors, designers, developers and decision makers was testimony to its success.

A scale model of Abu Dhabi’s urban landscape as envisioned in its Capital 2030 plan was the main attraction at Cityscape, unveiled  by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency responsible for the future of the emirate’s urban environment.

Sorouh Real Estate, the Abu Dhabi-based developer also signed a landmark agreement with the UPC at Cityscape to develop Watani, a masterplan community for UAE nationals at a total cost of Dh5.4 billion and part of Abu Dhabi's 2030 plan.

Sorouh will also be developing Shamkha, an even larger community for UAE families. Both will contribute nearly 9,000 homes for Emiratis over the next five years, making substantial inroads into the demand of approximately 60,000 homes required for national families.

In addition, a Dh730 million contract was signed by the Department of Municipal Affairs with Abu Dhabi developer Aldar to provide the infrastructure for a development of around 1,045 villas, a school and other facilties in Al Ain near Jebel Hafeet.

The importance of Cityscape was also underlined by Dewan Architects and Engineers, one of the region's leading consulting firms. Chairman Mohamed Al Assam, said: "At Dewan we firmly believe in the importance of the Cityscape events...We have a lot of confidence in the region's property market, particularly that of the UAE capital where we have a number of projects underway."

Falconcity of Wonders, mega-project with the Dubailand master plan, took part with a 300-sq m stand. "Falconcity is not only promoting itself but the entire country as well. The UAE is undoubtedly the regional destination for tourism and investments," said its chairman Salem Al Moosa.

Another participant from the neighbouring emirate was Dubai Silicon Oasis which showcased its Dh1.55 billion Cedre Villas project. “Every year Cityscape Abu Dhabi brings together thousands of visitors, investors, developers and industry leaders. We are delighted to be part of this key industry event,” said Muammar Al Katheeri, senior vice president of Engineering Management.

Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort, a multi-faceted leisure and learning destination, was showcased at Cityscape. Construction of the 900 hectare park is already underway and will be completed in three phases.

The park will include wildlife safaris, a world desert zoo and botanical gardens, resort hotel and residential areas. A conservation and breeding centre will be part of the park.

Cityscape was not just about new developments. UT Technology, a subsidiary of Etisalat, showcased smart home applications. Their Smart Home technology is deployed as standard across the Al Reem Island project, described as the first “smart community” in the UAE.

Harrods Estates, the luxury real estate division of the famous Harrods brand of London, were among overseas participants and exhibiting for the first time in the Middle East at Cityscape.

Shirley Humphrey, sales and marketing director of Harrods Estates, said: “We are participating at Cityscape Abu Dhabi as we have recently seen a surge of inquiries from the region.”

Running alongside Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010 was CityBuild Abu Dhabi, an international trade show for the building and construction industry bringing together suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers, importers and procurement decision makers.-TradeArabia News Service




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