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Mon 5 Oct 2009 09:38 AM

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Cityscape Day 1 - as it happened

Find out who made the news during the first day of four at Dubai's premier property show, Cityscape 2009.

Cityscape Day 1 - as it happened
ON TOUR: Dubais Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum tours the Cityscape event after officially opening it on Monday.


That's all folks. Our live coverage for Monday is now ending.

6.15pm: It seems fitting that the last word on the first day of Cityscape Dubai should go to its largest developer Emaar. Its managing director for the UAE, Ahmed al-Matrooshi, said its planned merger with three state-linked firms would take "a reasonable time" as regulators look into the deal.


The first photos live from the show floor are online. Click


to see who's there... or not.

3.35pm: The interview with developer Meydan is now live. Click


for the full story.


Dare I use the phrase "new launch"? Yes I dare. New Zealand company Atconz Real Estate Development is to build a 1,565 unit residential compound in a suburb of Erbil, capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq. Called New Azadi and near Ankawa, the project has a budget of $100 million and is licensed by the Kurdish regional government.


Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of cultural, residential, and tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi, has published a comprehensive progress delivery report providing an overview of 13 of its key projects. The company has also announced the completion of major infrastructure projects and has unveiled its new corporate brand identity.


Development of Dubai’s Meydan City, the mega-project surrounding the new racecourse, may be scaled back due to the downturn, the developer has told our man Alex Delmar-Morgan. Full story to follow soon.


Soren Billing has been wondering around the exhibition halls and has come to the following conclusion. "It's nothing like last year. I just walked by the restaurant/cafe area and there were seats available. I remember having to stand last year to eat my lunch. Don't get me wrong, it's by no means empty and there are plenty of people about but the vibe is different." He says it took 10 minutes to get to the World Trade Centre today, last year he was trapped in traffic chaos for two hours.


Our friends at Reuters have just polled a number of analysts at banks, investment firms and research units and the result is... more bad news for Dubai house owners. Prices appear poised to fall another 10 percent in 2009 and have a 20 percent chance of picking up before 2011, says the results of the poll. Read the full story




The CEO of
Tasweek Real Estate Marketing and Development

, an Abu Dhabi-based property advisor, has been talking this lunchtime about plans to create a $250m realty portfolio targeting Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets. Masood Al Awar was addressing 50 CEOs from across the real estate industry, including Cityscape Dubai 2009 managing director Rohan Marwaha.


"There's a lot to be said for controlling the press," a Royal of Scotland banker tells our reporter Soren Billing while having lunch on a neighbouring table. He blames the media for exacerbating the global financial crisis. "He obviously doesn't realise I am a reporter," says Soren with a grin.


There's a French feel to part of Cityscape this year with Europe's largest business district showcasing its projects in Dubai. It's here to show off innovative architecture, expand its network of contacts and court new investment, says Phillipe Chaix, CEO of Paris La Defense (PLD) in comments to our colleagues at Construction Week Online.


The award for the most used word at this Cityscape goes to... handover! Here's yet another announcement about units being delivered: Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority announces that 400 of the total 1,047 units at Cedre Villas are now available for sale and lease to investors.


News from
Waha Land

, not the neighbour of LaLa Land, but the wholly owned real estate arm of Waha Capital. It's showcasing its inaugural multiuse project, Al Markaz, which will be home to 28,000 construction workers.

Al Markaz, which is located in Abu Dhabi, will house complexes of warehouses, and light industrial structures. It will also have integrated complexes of skilled labour housing units working on the project as well as the workforce of a number of companies that are in need of specialized housing units in Abu Dhabi. His Excellency Hussein Al Nuwais, chairman of Waha Capital tells us that the company is aiming to complete the first phase by the third quarter of 2010 with a budget of AED4bn.


Alex Delmar-Morgan is out of his interview with Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality and the company has told him it will look to raise debt through syndicated loans to fund construction of its multi billion dollar Sowwah Square project. Full story to follow here soon. Our on the spot reporter is now off for a chat with Meydan, the developer of the new racecourse project which will host the Dubai World Cup next year. Log on a little later to find out what is happening there.

12.22pm: Just been over to the

stand. It’s an impressive 390m sq ft, with fancy meeting rooms. Good to see the company has completed something on time.


From our colleagues at Reuters:
Dubai's Union Properties

, the Gulf emirate's third largest developer, says it is expecting to post "remarkable" net profits in its third quarter results. Its new general manager Khalid al-Jarwan said at Cityscape that third quarter profits would be driven by new units in the process of being handed over to customers.


Dubai Properties Group (DPG), the real estate arm of
Dubai Holding

, announces that it will complete and start the handover of five new developments in 2009. DPG says it will deliver projects including The Executive Towers and Vision Tower at Business Bay, Shorooq Mirdif, and Al Waha and The Villa at Dubailand.


If you visit

's stand you'd wonder if you'd imagined the whole global crisis. It's good news all the way, according to their press releaseto announce their presence at Cityscape. "This year's stand at Cityscape offers visitors a look back at the successes of the past year, and sets the stage for another year of progress," it says without a hint of irony.


Read Claire Ferris-Lay's full story about the future of Trump Tower




Construction on the
i-Rise Office Tower is moving ahead

with a delivery date in 2010 slated, developer Realty Capital Middle East has announced. Showcased at Cityscape on Monday, i-Rise will be one of the largest office towers in the region, with 37 storeys of corporate and executive offices, incorporating a total built-up-area of more than 1.9 million square feet, an extensive retail area with restaurants, as well as ample parking for office tenants and retail customers summing up to 2,300 parking bays.


Alex Delmar-Morgan is just off to interview John Thomas, executive director of
Mubadala Real Estate and Hospitality

. Its projects include Sowwah Island, Abu Dhabi’s future financial centre, Sowwah Square, and Mina Zayed Waterfront in Abu Dhabi. Check back later for news from the interview.

11.30am: Good to see our sister website
Construction Week

with the big stories first. Their 11.25 "exclusive" about Trump Tower was here 25 minutes earlier at 11am!


Cityscape's PR

team is on the offensive. Our reporter Soren Billing has been cornered by one with the request: "Please write something nice - for once!" Tough times in the real estate industry...

The Trump Tower

Dubai, the
$600m joint venture between Nakheel and the Trump Organisation

for Palm Jumeirah put on hold by the state-controlled developer in light of the global crisis, will not happen any time soon.

Trump Jnr says it will be completed but only when it makes business sense to do so. Says it could be in the next two years. "When it makes sense, we'll go ahead with it."


Hydra Properties

is devoting its whole stand at Cityscape Dubaito a ‘customer zone’ in which investors in the company’s many developments can get updates on construction of their properties, finalise paperwork and learn about financing options. Judging by our previous coverage of Hydra and its flagship project Hydra Village, they could be busy!


Trump Jnr bigs up Dubai! "Dubai had a head start compared to other emerging markets...they've created something different. Some of the things that made Dubai so great was some of its excess - without that Dubai would never have needed that level of sheer extreme to put it on the map," he says.


Early indications are that there are not many visitors at the exhibition yet. "Very quiet compared to last year," says reporter Alex Delmar-Morgan.


is showcasing its AED4bn Central Park project which includes a 45-storey commercial tower, a 47-storey residential tower and exclusive retail outlets. The Dubai developer says construction is under way, with 64 percent of the project already completed.


Still with Trump Jnr, he perhaps sums up in one phrase what Cityscape 2009 is all about. "It's time to get realistic," he tells his audience.


"When demand does return, we're going back to fundamentals...Location becomes what it is - you'll see that in Dubai because they [locations] are great" - Trump Jnr.


Still at the conference,
Donald Trump Jnr, vice president of the Trump Organisation

, is making his keynote speech. He's currently talking about the impact of the global crisis and is also making the case for Dubai as a long term real estate investment. He's also discussing how excessiveness in real estate in Dubai and the rest of the world helped to create the current downturn.


The Cityscape Conference begins with a speech from Blair Hagkull, managing director of
Jones Lang Lasalle

. Comparing this year's event to 2008, he says this year could well be the "new normal".


Bloom Properties, the Abu Dhabi-based developer

, announces that it has signed a financing agreement with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), offering up to 25-year financing solutions on residential properties in its flagship development, Bloom Gardens.


Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai has officially opened the show.

Under the agreement, which was announced during Cityscape Dubai 2009, the three Abu Dhabi-based banks will be offering up to 80 percent financing for interested clients, with as low as 10 percent of upfront equity prior to bank financing.

9.50am: Welcome to our coverage of this year's Cityscape Dubai show, which is expected to be rather different when compared to the excesses of 2008. Gone are the huge multi-billion dollar launches, replaced by developers focused on delivery their existing projects.

But despite the lack of razzmatazz, the show should still have plenty of news to tell and our reporters will be on the spot to bring it to you during the exhibition's first day of four. The show is scheduled to open at 10am and Donald Trump's son is delivering the keynote opening speech so we'll let you know what he has to say a little later.

deyaarpark-loser 10 years ago

congrats to Deyaar on announcing their CENTRAL PARK project running into billions of they can get a fresh influx of investors...! What about DEYAAR PARK...what happens to those investors other than the project being on hold since last two years... Such hypocrisy...!

Paolo C 10 years ago

No traffic, just curios people, but one thing has not changed, the best lies and excuses are at full speed. Come back to reality.

Jon H 10 years ago

Finally I got my Deyaar Park property swapped with a DSO property that is ready to be leased to someone somewhere, now the 65000 dhs a year question, is there anyone who is willing to lease it from me?? where are the customers?? it's a sad sad situation, sorry seems to be the hardest word, what am I gonna do to make you rent my apartment??