Abu Dhabi: Organisers of the International Real Estate and Investment Show (IREIS) are set to bring the event back to Abu Dhabi after it had been put on halt since 2009 due to the global economic crisis.

The sixth edition of the show is set to kick off on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) with 80 exhibitors from 20 countries showcasing residential units for lease and sale in their respective countries.

At a press conference held on Monday, organisers said they had been waiting for years for the property market to pick up, adding they find the market in good shape now.

“The real estate market was affected by the financial crisis, but now the market is prospering and ready for this event. Plus, prices are reasonable and have not yet hiked up like they did in 2008 and 2009,” said Antoine Georges, managing director of Dome Exhibitions Company, the event organiser.

Speaking to Gulf News, Georges said the residential market has been picking up slowly but steadily.

“[The residential market] reflects the performance of the economy. A lot of investors want to diversify away from the stock market and into real estate, and it’s a very good time to purchase. There’s a lot of interest from people who want to purchase whether in the UAE or in their home countries,” he said.

Georges further said he expected demand to grow further especially with various new projects on the way across Abu Dhabi, and the city being promoted as a tourism, and investment destination. He added that there has already been a 10 to 15 per cent increase in the market a year.

Nick Maclean, managing director at CBRE Middle East, a global real estate adviser, said the government has been placing emphasis on creating more integrated mixed-use developments, and expanding infrastructure. Such emphasis boosts interest from buyers.

“The overall market fundamentals in the UAE have significantly improved, and the economy of the Emirates has witnessed robust growth in recent times. On the back of this positive growth, real estate assets continue to attract significant interest from local and international investors,” he said.

Maclean added that a lot of the demand in Abu Dhabi’s residential market has been generated from corporate clients in the medical, educational, and hospitality sectors with bulk deals.

The three-day event is expected to attract 10,000 visitors including major investors, and high net worth individuals. Exhibitors include real estate developers, financiers, property advisers, real estate consultants, architects, and regional and international investment promotion authorities.

Along with highlighting investment opportunities and facilitating deals, industry experts will discuss the latest developments in the real estate market, and the best time to purchase property. Participating countries include the UAE, the USA, the UK, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, among others.