Riyadh International Urban Development & Real Estate Investment Event - Cityscape Riyadh 2010 posts huge visitor turnout

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 04:00 GMT
Cityscape Riyadh
Cityscape Riyadh

A huge number of visitors converged at the inaugural edition of Riyadh International Urban Development & Real Estate Investment Event – Cityscape Riyadh 2010 in a strong show of support for Riyadh's urban development plans and full confidence in the Saudi real estate sector. Running from December 12 to 14, 2010 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, the event featured the premier offerings and services of over 70 exhibiting domestic and regional real estate firms.

The event was highlighted by visits from prominent officials including His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Special Adviser to the Amir of Riyadh, and H.E. Naser Bin Abdulaziz Daoud, Undersecretary of the Riyadh Governorate and Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, Chairman of projects and planning center at Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) who came during the second day and were highly impressed by the professionalism and scope of the trade show. Exhibitors took advantage of the projected 200,000 annual demand in Saudi residential units through 2014 to strategically position their development and investment services. With more than 70 per cent of the Saudi population living in urban centers such as Riyadh and 68 per cent under the age of 30, the Kingdom offers huge housing opportunities particularly in developing urban areas.

"Danat Realty is the region's foremost independent full service real estate company and so we are capable of delivering comprehensive solutions ranging from marketing and property management to appraisal," said Mr. Saud Al Rashudi, CEO, Danat Realty. "This event enabled us to reinforce our presence in the capital and throughout the Kingdom and increase awareness on our new projects, particularly our 2 million sqm Msaya Resorts which is just 20 kilometres north of Riyadh."

"The Saudi real estate market is booming since the prices of its houses are less compared to those of surrounding countries regardless of the Kingdom's average income. The upcoming national mortgage law will lead to a further increase in demand and influence a competitive increase in prices," Al Rashudi added.

"During this exhibition we have been offering Shariah-compliant financing for villas, apartments and land under the supervision of Saudi Home Loans' (SHL) Shariah committee headed by the well-known scholar Sheikh Abdullah Al Manea," said Omar Malik, VP originations, Saudi Home Loans. "SHL is the first specialized Shariah-compliant home financing company in the Kingdom and has financed over 2,500 units worth over SAR 1 billion. We enjoy a nationwide presence and a solid partnership with National Bank, Dar Al-Arkan and International Finance Corp., a division of the World Bank."

"SHL's management has both local and foreign expertise and can thus offer leading home financing packages to both Saudis and expatriates. We can provide a no-fee rate of as low as 3.75 per cent on our Ijara home financing product," Omar Malik added.

Many of the region's top real estate names participated in the event, including Mawten Real Estate Company which showcased its ongoing Al Bawaba Industrial City project. Mawten is one of the main partners of Al Mashaied Arabian Company, the owner of the development which is expected to enrich Riyadh's property sector. Other major Mawten projects in Riyadh include the Bella Casa Compound and the Grand Miraj Hotel. The company is also the developer of the Al Ehsan Royal in Mecca.

DAMAC Properties, the Middle East's largest private luxury developer, also presented its award-winning regional development portfolio. The company revealed its progress amidst a challenging market and outlined its growth plans. Over the past 12 months the developer has awarded new contracts worth SAR 1.75 billion covering projects in the UAE and the KSA. DAMAC Properties' core focus for 2011 will be the construction and delivery of its MENA projects with a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction.

Another key industry player, GHESA Fuentes, offered its expertise in technologically complex real estate developments. One of the world's leading turnkey organizations in the design, project and installation of ornamental and cybernetic musical fountains and multimedia shows. It is currently at work on what will be the largest multimedia floating fountain in salted water in the Middle East and possible the world.

Finally, RW Armstrong, a global engineering consulting and design firm with offices in the US and the MENA region, also offered its multi-disciplinary expertise in building services, planning and urban design, aviation and transportation. The company recently received the UAE's prestigious 'Interior Design of the Year' award at the 2010 Commercial Interior Design Awards held in Dubai.

"We managed to gather some of the top developers and financial services providers to offer a one-stop-shop for all of Saudi's real estate needs and a key platform for advancing Riyadh's urban development agenda for the next few years. The success of this inaugural show portends more regional and global interest in Riyadh's growing property business in particular and the Kingdom's in general," concluded Deep Marwaha, Director of the Riyadh International Urban Development & Real Estate Investment Event – Cityscape Riyadh 2010.

The three-day show included an exhibition, a high level conference, and Investor Round Tables. Over 40 expert speakers and more than 150 delegates discussed the challenges and opportunities surrounding Riyadh's growing property market.

The conference agenda on the first day covered a State of the Market Address on real estate investment and development in the Kingdom, a session titled 'The Investor Challenge', which covered the critical role of the investment community, 'The Developer Challenge' session that covered the importance of delivering relevant and sustainable developments, and a session tiled 'Effective Partnerships' which focused on public-private partnerships in real estate and infrastructure projects.

The second day of the conference included topics titled 'Focus on Housing', 'The Off-Plan Game Plan' and 'The Big Debate' which featured a discussion on the Kingdom's mortgage reform. The final day featured a Brainstorming session, a Legal Clinic and a Master Planning Master Class.

A special thanks goes to the sponsors of the event Emaar Middle East (Principal Sponsor), National Commercial Bank (Silver Sponsor) and Working Buildings (Silver Sponsor) that are among the top industry names who fully supported the event. 

Background Information

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