Despite the Coronavirus pandemic bringing about unprecedented global socio economic challenges, the UAE has worked tirelessly to contain the spread of the virus and bring about a normalcy in all sectors of life. Next month it will be reassuring to see the return of Cityscape Global to Dubai on November 16 and 17, albeit in a different format. With an aim to "rebound and rebuild" the property market in the region, Cityscape will host “The Real Estate Summit”. The event will be a B2B meeting place and knowledge-sharing destination to help stakeholders explore routes to revive the real estate sector.
Speaking about the UAE market, Chris Speller, Group Director Cityscape, Informa Markets, says “the UAE has always been a hotspot for local and international investors, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai consistently ranking in the top liveable cities in the Arab world. While the pandemic has forced many industries – including real estate – to adapt, we believe its resilience and willingness to cater to the needs of investors will continue to attract local and international investment into the UAE. Although times are uncertain, the real estate sector can play a major role in the region’s recovery.”
Speller believes that recent announcements and government policy changes have offered great opportunities for the real estate market as they breathe new life into the sector. The Retirement Visa programme has created a strong case for the UAE to become a new luxury retirement destination, opening the country to a new kind of investor. The UAE’s bilateral trade agreement with Israel has also opened the door to new partnerships and potential investment opportunities across all market segments. Businesses have already announced partnerships in finance and aviation and the opportunities will continue to grow as time goes on. While it is too early to speculate and assess the full impact it will have on the real estate sector, it is something we are watching closely.
Agreeing that the pandemic has brought about sweeping changes in our lives, he says, “We have adapted to working from home and creating safe-distanced workspaces, and are likely see the commercial real estate sector react to and adapt to these changes. There’s no doubt that businesses will review the way they structure and operate in commercial and private spaces. As these changes continue to impact businesses, we will see developers review their traditional approach to design and react accordingly.”
“Dubai Land Department’s support for the Cityscape Real Estate Summit is evidence of a commitment to supporting the recovery of the sector, as it means that leaders and key decision makers within the government will actively take part in conversations throughout the event,” says Speller.
According to Speller, “It is key that developers now understand the changing demands of potential investors and buyers. Offering value for money, whether it is larger units or high-end facilities, will be key to attracting buyers. Commercial real estate developers will need to offer flexible areas for investors to create the perfect space for their business as opposed to pre-structured floorspace. The success of the industry will rely on communication and an understanding of trends and investor needs, and successfully applying those learnings into the market.”