Realism enters real estate market

Published September 16th, 2009 - 01:18 GMT

Study for Cityscape Dubai examines impact of economic shakeout on 3,000
key regional projects valued at US$1.5 trillion

Preliminary details from the most accurate and up-to-date analysis yet of the impact of the global slowdown on the real estate industry in the Arabian Gulf are published today ahead of next month’s Cityscape Dubai.

The study has been carried out for the Cityscape organisers by research house Proleads and forms part of the “Cityscape Intelligence Focus On Dubai Report.” The study is based on data with a claimed accuracy of 90% and takes the pulse of more than 3,000 projects valued in excess of US$1.5 trillion in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The fifth in a series of special reports, Focus on Dubai – available in electronic format only to those attending Cityscape Dubai - will provide an in-depth look at the state of business-to-business real estate in emerging markets with key trends and statistics from the Financial Times and Proleads. Cityscape Dubai takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 5-8 October 2009.

The report also examines infrastructure development, changes in the regulatory environment in the UAE as well as the outlook for the Dubai banking sector and what needs to be done in order to stimulate a recovery.

The Proleads study covers projects with individual values of more than US$10 million in the key commercial, hospitality, residential and retail sectors.  The study – accurate to mid September 2009 – not unnaturally confirms the UAE as the hardest hit in the region. Nevertheless, it also shows the UAE retains an extraordinary level of construction activity across all sectors. The total value of UAE projects in the study comes to around US$900 billion.

“In the worldwide shakeout, no region has been immune and, as a result, a strong element of realism has entered the real estate investment landscape,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director. “That is exactly what we expect to see reflected at Cityscape Dubai this year.

“Thousands of participants from more than 100 countries have registered to find out what the future holds and this latest study provides the most accurate snapshot yet of where the region’s industry currently stands and what the picture holds for the immediate future.”

A breakdown of the preliminary Proleads study of UAE projects shows:

• In commercial, a total of 340 projects are under construction or in bidding process with147 cancelled or on hold.

• In hospitality, 288 projects are in construction or bidding with 118 cancelled or on hold. 

• In residential, 495 projects are in construction or bidding with 217 cancelled or on hold.

• In retail, 249 projects are in construction or bidding with 84 on hold and no cancellations.

After he inaugurated Dubai’s landmark Metro earlier this month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said in the aftermath of the economic downturn the emirate would be studying the viability of projects more closely in the future.

“This realistic and more careful approach is clearly being illustrated in the latest figures,” said Speller. “However, while some of Dubai’s ambitious plans are among the UAE projects that have been dropped, the Proleads database shows a continuing high level of activity in the emirates which would be the envy of many economies elsewhere.”

Across the rest of the Arabian Gulf, in the four sectors of commercial, hospitality, residential and retail, the impact of the economic downturn has been decidedly less marked and further illustrates that the region continues to be a global hotspot for real estate projects:

• In Saudi Arabia, with total projects worth more than US$387 billion, 442 are in construction or bidding with 106 cancelled or on hold.

• In Kuwait, with total projects worth more than US$114 billion, 90 are in construction or bidding with 18 cancelled or on hold.

• In Qatar, with total projects worth more than US$42 billion, 124 are in construction or in bidding with seven cancelled or on hold.

• In Oman, with total projects worth more than US$38 billion, 95 are in construction or in bidding with eight on hold and no cancellations.

• In Bahrain, with total projects worth more than US$36 billion, 148 are in construction or bidding and 54 cancelled or on hold.

Alongside the main Cityscape Dubai event is the World Architectural Congress from 5 – 7 October at which renowned architects and visionaries will share their outlook on architecture in a global recession.
    
The Cityscape Dubai Facilities and Asset Management Conference is on 4 – 8 October for delegates in the design, build and post-occupancy of buildings. There will also be a Cityscape Dubai Green Day on 7 October which will include green communities, green construction methods, energy saving issues, financing green buildings, regulations, whole life costs and new materials and products.

Dubai Properties are the Foundation sponsors of Cityscape Dubai 2009. Platinum sponsors are Tanmiyat and Silvers sponsors are Aqaba Development Corporation. For more information about Cityscape Dubai, please visit www.cityscape.ae


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