Could you brief us on the theme for the show this year?
This year the overarching theme for the Cityscape Global Conference covers the facets of happiness. In perspective, the theme of the conference seeks to expand on the aspects of happiness throughout the entire event in coordination with the Ministry of Happiness. The theme of the event will be "stepping into the urban future: happiness, innovation, and technology." This will entail three sessions: the Built Environment Programme, Architecture and Design, and Market Overview.
What's new at Cityscape Global this year?
Some initiatives will be introduced this year, allowing our visitors access to multiple sessions that will feature keynote presentations. Topics such as innovation in design, regional economies, facilities management, and real estate finance will be introduced through the course of the show. Unlike previous years where we dedicated our focus on high-level investors, this year's event entails the on-site sale of properties and real-estate deals to local and international visitors.
What are your thoughts on the property sector in the UAE? What are the growth drivers in the market?
Some of the growth market drivers in the region are the adoption of green space designs and Blockchain technology in the real estate sector. These drivers provide consumers with integrated data, a clearer picture and more accommodative options that guide their buying and selling choices. The technologies include Virtual Reality, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence. Besides, the governments' ongoing efforts to promote increased transparency has increased investor sentiment through Dubai Lands Department and its recent announcement permitting foreigners to operate outside the region's free zones, enabling them to own 10-year residency visas.
Please share visitor numbers expected at the show this year as well as a number of exhibitors, please share last year's figures as well.
This years' edition of the Cityscape conference is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors. Primarily, they will be expected to take advantage of the critical programmes, which will be run daily featuring valuable market insights delivered by keynote industry experts.
Tell us about the anticipated launches at the show?
Though most companies keep the information on the projects to be launched tightly wrapped for the exhibition dates, prominent UAE developers such as Bloom Holding, Damac, Meraas, Mag Lifestyle Development amongst others will be on the exhibition floor showcasing their most recent projects. International developers from the UK, China, Turkey, Malta, Georgia and most importantly Egypt, will also be showcasing their unique projects. Most notable, however, are projects that will be launched by Malta dubbed "Pavilions" spearheaded by Malta Property Foundation and Egypt's first projects under the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.
Which are the big-ticket projects to be showcased?
Several real-estate organizations within the UAE will showcase their latest projects and vacant deals on the remaining units. The organizations include Bloom Holdings, Binghatti developers, Meydan and Tilal properties, Damac properties as well as Jumeirah Golf Estates. The center stage will showcase Egypt, covering 2000sqm of the Centre's exhibition space. However, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai will have a strong representation in the local real estate market. Companies will introduce their novel exhibits and initiatives that aim at creating happy communities within UAE. In so doing, most projects that will be showcased will highlight projects incorporating the philosophy of happiness through green space designs, and improved community facilities such as recreational parks, golf courses, running tracks, retail outlets, and gyms, all aiming at improving the social lifestyle of their clients and residents.
Which countries are you getting the exhibitors from?
Having grown over the last sixteen years, the show has immense influence representing emerging markets such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Korea, and Egypt as well as promising investor nations like China, Europe, and the UK. Though some exhibitors have made changes in the manner in which they participate in the shows, this year a few are scaling down as others grow their space. Some developers will also showcase initiatives run by Malta's government from the show floor. Developers will include unit sizes and new payment plans that will be more friendly and manageable to accommodate families or individual buyers. The Danube, for instance, will showcase projects targeting people on the AED10, 000 per month plan. Such affordable payment plans have never been heard of as most projects, in previous years, targeted high-level investor and buyers. With an ample exhibition space of more than 42000sq, the conference will be hosting approximately 300 exhibitors from 16 nations.
Share some details on the conference line-up as well as the key speakers at the show.
The first day of the conference will focus on institutional and private high-level investors as well as buyers. The show will occupy nine halls throughout the Dubai World Trade Centre- the Trade Centre Arena, The Sheikh Saeed Halls 1, 2 and 3, as well as Exhibition Halls 3-7. The key highlights for Cityscape Global 2018 will kick off with three sessions under the key theme. The sessions include Architecture and Design, Market Overview, and Built Environment Programme. Roundtable discussions and keynote speeches will be presented by local and regional industry speakers such as Craig Plumb, The MENA Head of Research, The Global CEO of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sean Tompkins, and the Executive Chairman for Orascom, Mr. Naguib Sawiris. The Cityscape Talks will feature a host of different sessions covering regional economies, real estate finance, property markets, facilities management and innovation in design. Tackling sessions through panel discussions and conference presentations such as 'Practical building for wellbeing health and happiness,' 'how effective design can foster well-being and happiness,' and 'Factoring in the human element.'
Any other details you wish to share on the show is welcome
The theme of the event has a lot to do with happiness, adding value to the vision of the government in promoting and prioritizing the happiness of its people. It is in this regard that Cityscape Global 2018 delights itself in supporting the Real Estate industry of Dubai by aligning our goals and objectives to government strategy that entails growing the Emirates brand at international levels. The invitation area will be used to primarily foster and boost relationships between government officials, VIPs, real estate professionals, and investors. The high-level institution investors will receive exclusive invitations from the Cityscape Group who will be treated to sessions lasting between one and two hours accommodating up to 30 people. Investors and buyers are encouraged to grace the event as they stand to benefit from onsite property purchases once again with transactions and sealing of deals happening right from the exhibition stand. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with property developers presents investors with first-hand information which would otherwise have taken months to gather when considering high-level investment through informed processes. Moreover, visitors will have exclusive access to the deals offered by property developers who will be showcasing their novel properties and projects.
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