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Mon 17 Aug 2009 07:36 AM

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Cityscape Dubai rates rise despite crisis

EXCLUSIVE: Cost of exhibiting at Dubai real estate show rises by up to 15%.

The cost of exhibiting at this year's Cityscape Dubai show has jumped by up to 15 percent, despite the impact of the global economic crisis on the Gulf's real estate industry, Arabian Business can reveal.

Less than a year ago, the Cityscape Dubai exhibition drew record crowds, and troubled developer Nakheel unveiled plans for a tower that was to be more than 1km tall.

Since then, activity in Dubai’s real estate sector has ground to a halt and prices have crashed by up to 50 percent from their highs in the fourth quarter of last year.

But in one part of town, prices are still rising - the rates for Cityscape 2009 are up by approximately 7.5-15 percent from the year before, even as real estate developers slash their marketing costs after sales all but dried up.

“The price increase was initiated before the 2008 event took place in October, sometime before the market started to decline,” said Rohan Marwaha, the event’s managing director.

“Cityscape has made a significant marketing investment to build the brand further in international markets and drive more quality investors and professionals into Dubai for its flagship event.

“We believe in the value our brand represents to the global real estate community and look at developing our offering over the long term.”

The size of the increase depends on how many years each exhibitor decides to commit to. For example, a company that commits to taking part this year and next would only get a 7.5 percent increase per year, since the total is split over two years.

The property show has cut sponsorship costs for exhibitors by 25 percent this year.

This year's edition will also feature a series of "not-for-profit" events, such as investor round tables, a CEO networking luncheon, and a seminar on investing in India.

Last week, Arabian Business revealed that demand for meeting rooms at the Dubai Novotel World Trade Centre, which have long been a popular place for completing multi-million dollar deals at the event, has fallen dramatically since last year.

Only one meeting room was booked in mid August compared with all eight rooms at the same time last year.

Ziad Haddad 10 years ago

Exhibitors should not sign up for this year's event as prices for cityscape must come down following the financial crisis, Cityscape organizers are living in a fantasy land and think real estate prices are gone up 50% since last year's event. This is ridiculous.

R. 10 years ago

I think the organizers should re-think their strategy with their customers (developers) & the local real estate market. How much they spent on the brand and their marketing effort dose not come close to what Dubai and Abu Dhabi developers and governments had spend in making this event successful. It was clear during the past events that without the regular visits of the Ruler of Dubai and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi the media attention would have been lower, and without the huge spend in media and advertising locally and international by the leading developers the visitors number would have been less. I remember when local developer use to buy full pages in all the news papers inviting people to visit their stands, they use to spend huge a mounts of money on PR, media and invitations. I would like RERA to interfere in this and regulate the real estate exhibitions industry, the prices are very high compare to any other international show.

Raymond James 10 years ago

hahahaha....yes all the City Scape's exhibitors are 6 year old kids!

HZ 10 years ago

I am not so sure what the objective of a property show when the off plan market is dead. With lots of developers cancelling and/or postponing projects and laying off employees, I think they would be better off not participating in these events and maintaining their good employees. Frankly, I am extremely provoked to see that Cityscape is raising its rates by 15%! I sure hope the property developers realize that this is not the right time to participate in this event and let the greedy organizers sit in empty booths.

Christian 10 years ago

Wake up you! if your the organizer ou do the same they have to come they have to sell. you think they will sit on the side line and wait! what ever they ask they will pay as they have no other choice. Its the only place they might sell and its a last straw.

Raymond James 10 years ago

sooo you think realters have a better chance in selling thier units at the exhibition? you must be ignorant or you are the orginaiser posting here. I am heading one of the b2b events companies in the country and instead of raising prices this year as we do every year, we actually maintained or tailor made packages to retain the clients and guess what we had almost a 90% rebooking rate. do not squeeze your clients because business is always done onlong runs and not hit and run like city scape is doing.

Anonymous 10 years ago

I feel good about myself. My comment on the last cityscape article : See related news. Turned into a full article sometime later.