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Thu 11 Oct 2007 10:51 AM

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Is it too late to get rich from the Gulf property boom?

Billions have been banked by people that bought early, but is the Gulf property boom coming to an end?

Freehold developents in Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE have made millionaires out of ordinary businesspeople that took the plunge and bought property off plan.

As Cityscape opens its doors in Dubai, dozens of brand new mega developments will be announced. Scale models of projects across the GCC will be unveiled, and once again investors and the general public will be invited to stake their claim to property before a shovel-full of sand has been turned on far-flung building sites.

There is evidence today that the best way to make money is to buy and sell property just before projects are completed. People are prepared to pay a premium for villas and apartments that can actually be lived in.

So will the mega projects announced this week be sold out before the end of Cityscape? Or will developers have to take a longer term view?

Will it be possible for developers to fund their towering ambitions with money generated by selling off plan? Or will they have to resort to more traditional ways of raising money: bank loans, bonds or even investing their own profits in organic growth?

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