Cityscape Abu Dhabi a sucesss

ABU DHABI: The recently-concluded Cityscape Abu Dhabi continued to play its role as a strategic platform to  exhibit the viability of real estate markets in the Middle East.

This was despite gloomy predictions ahead of the event amid air travel disruptions due to Iceland's volcano  eruption.

“A fundamental reason for the success of Cityscape Abu Dhabi has been the 2030 infrastructure plan for the  capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is aimed at delivering world-class residential and business  areas to attract global industries and financial institutions,”  Cityscape  managing director and chief  executive officer Rohan Marwaha said in a press release posted on Cityscape Abu Dhabi's website.

Rohan added that progressive development, combined with careful planning and timely execution of projects were   crucial to raise the status of Abu Dhabi at the event, one of the world’s largest international business-to- business real estate investment and development conference and exhibition.  
Cityscape Abu Dhabi was held from April 18 to 21 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. This year’s event  drew 255 exhibitors from 36 countries, and over 160 speakers from more than 25 countries.

During the conference, industry experts said a sense of stability had returned to the real estate investment  market, although recovery would take time.  

Government entities had showcased 30 projects at the event. The Department of Municipal Affairs in Abu Dhabi,  along with the Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality and Western Region Municipality, displayed plans for  infrastructure and landscape development.

They also gave an overview of the highly-anticipated Abu Dhabi Green Building Codes to be implemented this year.

Of great interest was the scale model of Abu Dhabi’s future urban landscape under the Capital 2030 plan by the  Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), the government agency responsible for the development of the emirate’s  urban enclave.

“Our participation at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010 was designed to provide citizens with a comprehensive perspective  of all major planning and sustainability initiatives which illustrate the variety of the urban development  initiatives undertaken by the UPC,” UPC general manager Al Ahbabi said.

Public-private collaborations were highlights of Cityscape Abu Dhabi. A landmark agreement between UPC and  Sorouh Real Estate PJSC  was signed at the event to develop Watani, a AED5.4 billion (RM4.7 billion) real estate  project for UAE nationals.

Sorouh will also develop Shamkha, a residential job involving some 9,000 homes over the next five years.

Meanwhile, Aldar Properties PJSC signed a AED730 million contract with the Department of Municipal Affairs to  build infrastructures for a mixed development comprising 1,045 villas besides educational, health and retail  facilities at Al Ain near Jebel Hafeet.

Making its debut at Cityscape Abu Dhabi is UK-based Harrods Estates, the property arm of Harrods Ltd.

“We are participating at Cityscape Abu Dhabi as we have recently seen a surge of inquiries from the region,”  Harrods Estate sales and marketing director Shirley Humphrey said.
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