Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took a tour of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which opened yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
Shaikh Mohammad expressed his satisfaction with the positive signs in the Abu Dhabi's real estate development sector in particular, and the UAE in general. Shaikh Mohammad described what he has seen is a source of optimism and confidence for the UAE community. "The UAE will always remain a pioneer in all fields regardless of challenges facing its march," he said.
Shaikh Mohammad described the potential challenges as a test for the capabilities of the country's youth and organisations.
The fifth edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, a four-day real estate event featuring the participation of more than 300 regional and international companies, was opened earlier by Shaikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The event is taking place under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
One of the region's most premier events for the real estate industry, Cityscape Abu Dhabi is showcasing the latest projects and upcoming developments from across the real estate industry.
The opening day also saw the commencement of the Middle East Real Estate Summit, with the keynote speech by Ahmad Sharif, Undersecretary of the Department of Municipal Affairs. Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality CEO Peter Wilding followed with his view on ‘Placing Abu Dhabi real estate investment and development on the world stage', followed by a discussion on ‘Beyond the Crisis' with Fergal Harris, head of commercial real estate Middle East, Strategic Client Coverage Group, Standard Chartered Bank.
The key talking points at this year's Cityscape Abu Dhabi include affordable housing, the UAE and Qatar real estate markets, identifying profitable investments in new infrastructure projects as well as navigating the legal hurdles related to property matters. The focus is also on Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, which provides the roadmap for future projects in the emirate.
Infrastructure projects in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, currently valued at $452 billion (Dh1.65 trillion) can spearhead the growth of the regional construction industry, according to report released on the eve of the real estate event.
"Massive investment in infrastructure, 80 per cent of this in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, is likely to put the other segments of the construction sector, in particular buildings and energy back on track by 2012," said Ventures Middle East, a market research specialist in the report.
"The major spending by GCC countries to meet an increase in demand through a healthy rise in population, has also been used as a weapon to combat the economic slowdown and diversify into non oil-based growth for long-term sustainability," it added.
Overall, in 2010 the report reveals that construction contracts worth $196 billion were awarded in the GCC.