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March 2017

Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference speakers discuss newinvestment opportunities as foreign interest continues to rise


Abu Dhabi, UAE, XX March, 2017: Improving the transparency of the marketand creating free zones will be key to attracting foreign investment into theAbu Dhabi real estate sectors says industry expert.

With the growth of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the Emirateincreasing by 7% last year according to the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi(SCAD), the government is making extensive efforts to improve standards, regulationsand buying opportunities, motivating foreign companies and individuals tocontinue investing in the local economy.

Supporting the creation of new investment environments will be one ofthe key topics debated at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference next month, takingplace on the first day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which runs from 18-20 April atthe Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

With more than 25 free zones in Dubai, compared to Abu Dhabi’s five, CraigPlumb, Head of Research at JLL and moderator at the conference, believes theconcept of free zones needs to be developed further to enhance the capital’sresidential, office, commercial and warehouse real estate sectors.

“The concept of free zones is more advanced in Dubai and in order toredress this balance between the two emirates, Abu Dhabi needs to develop itsexisting free zones more aggressively and consider launching additional freezones for those industries that it seeks to promote under the 2030 vision, saidPlumb.

“Free zones will attract additional investment and employment as theycreate hubs of similar activities and generate a simplified regulatoryenvironment, with lower operating costs and greater freedoms.

“Currently the market is going through a cycle, which is perfectlynormal for any real estate industry worldwide. For buyers who are looking at theproperty sector as a long term investment now is the perfect time to buy.  As the UAE market grows and matures thevolatility of the sector will decline, making returns more stable andpredictable, which in itself will attract more investors,” added Plumb.

The Cityscape Abu Dhabi conference, hosted in collaboration with JLL, willalso explore emerging trends that are redefining investment opportunities inAbu Dhabi’s hospitality sector, with a particular focus on upcoming landmarkprojects that are creating new avenues for stakeholders and investors.

Omar Al Busaidy, Abu Dhabi Experience Development Unit Head at Abu DhabiTourism & Culture Authority will deliver a key note speech and provide anexclusive insight into destination Abu Dhabi and how building new investmenthotspots and creating long term management prospects is key to creating anattractive hub for local and international real estate investors.

“Partnership with the private sector is one of the guiding principles inour tourism growth strategy, and the development of a set of distinct districtswith clear value propositions for tourists across all three regions of theEmirate focusing on cultural, leisure and nature offerings has been identifiedas core deliverable to achieve this,” said Al Busaidy.

“Implementing a zonal tourism development model to develop attractionsand experiences in harmony with or emphasising the area’s business,geographical or natural assets acts as a catalyst for SME business development opportunitiesand our Tourism Investment Promotion service allows us to foster partnershipsbetween international investors and local entrepreneurs.”

David Dudley, Regional Director of JLL and headline speaker at the CityscapeAbu Dhabi Conference will reveal the recent performance of each real estatesector for the first quarter of 2017 and discuss the best investmentopportunities with key industry players.

“Abu Dhabi’s market experienced a very major upswing from 2013 to 2014,led by the residential sales market, with prime residential prices growing at25% per annum, the pace of which was unsustainable,” Dudley said.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi will provide the perfect platform for investors to findopportunities across all price points in the region, as well as the latestinternational developments, as more than 130 exhibitors from around the world cometogether to showcase their latest projects. 

“Investment opportunities remain, particularly for existing incomeproducing assets – and we continue to see keen interest from investors taking alonger term view on the future growth potential. Key opportunities are toacquire income producing assets or to enter in to build to suit arrangementswith corporate tenants – targeting functional real estate in establishedlocations which will sustain high occupancy levels,” Dudley added.

Other prominent speakers at the conference include Maan Al Awlaqi,Director of Aldar Properties, Mohammed Al Fardan, Director of Masdar City FreeZone, Ann Boothello, Senior Marketing Manager at Dubizzle and Sean Magee,Senior Legal Counsel, TwoFour54.

For the full speaking agenda and more information about Cityscape AbuDhabi, or to be involved as an exhibitor, sponsor, or visitor, go to www.cityscapeabudhabi.com or call +9714 336 5161.


Caption:          Cityscape Abu Dhabi Conference panellistswill gather on the opening day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, 18-20 April at ADNEC

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