10 things we learnt at Cityscape 2012
If you missed the news at this year's Cityscape get the lowdown on the biggest deals and newest projects
Dubai-based developer Meydan Group announced two projects during the first day of Cityscape. The company behind the world’s largest horse-racing complex launched its Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid project, a new 190,000 sq m housing scheme in Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba. The ‘green’ project will feature canals, lagoons, horse riding trails and resemble gardens in Europe. The group also re-launched its stalled Meydan Tower scheme, a 72-storey tower it originally proposed in 2009. Crystal Lagoons, the US-based company behind the world’s largest man-made lagoon, said it expects to announce up to $3bn worth of deals in the GCC within the next few weeks. The firm said it is in talks with developers and investors in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi and plans to open two new regional offices in Cairo and the UAE to cater to the demand. Barwa Real Estate, Qatar’s largest listed property developer, said it is looking to invest in the London property market before the end of the year. “We're looking for a few investments in Europe, mainly London. We're interested in hotels, business towers and hope to finalise an investment before year end," Ahmad Abdulla al- Abdulla told Reuters. Dubai’s Emaar Properties launched its Boulevardi project in Turkey, a mixed-use development made up of more than 1,000 luxury homes and a 190-room five-star hotel. The firm also said it plans to build a retail and entertainment complex outside Cairo in an $820m tie-up with UAE property firm Al-Futtaim Group. Iraq’s construction and housing minister also confirmed the Dubai-based developer will establish a new joint venture with the Iraqi government to develop housing in the war-torn country. Dubai-based Falcon City announced its new project, the Land of India and the Taj Arabia, will include a replica of the iconic Taj Mahal. Set to be themed as the “New City of Love” and due to be completed by end of 2014, the developers behind Falconcity said it has already attracted interest from Bollywood producers eager to use the venue as a movie backdrop. Qatar’s Katara Hospitality announced it had entered into an agreement with the Gambian government to develop a QR730m ($200m) resort near the capital city of Banjul. The resort will cover an area of 18 hectares located in Bijilo Forest Park on the Western African coast and will be a joint venture between the Gambian government and the Doha based hospitality firm. Abu Dhabi-based developer TDIC said its Saadiyat Island project is “booming”, with 98 percent of its St Regis apartments currently leased and 80 percent of it Saadiyat villas sold in time for the November 2012 handover. Damac said it planned to have 4,000 hotel apartments under development by the end of next year as it moves to focus on the hospitality sector. The Burjside Boulevard, a 50-storey luxury tower in the Burj Area of Dubai, will begin handover to owners during mid-2013 and will include one, two and three bedroom fully furnished and serviced hotel apartments. Property developer Deyaar said it is predicting a profitable 2012, pinned on a recovery in the real estate market and increased revenues from sales. The firm, which was hit hard by the economic downturn, is focusing on completing existing real estate projects and selling more than 400 units from old projects. Saudi Arabia’s Injaz Development Company said it is in talks to purchase a SAR1.8bn ($480m) plot of land on which it plans to build 2,000 residential units. The firm also said it is eyeing sales of around SAR200m-1.3bn for two clusters of land in its Damman-based Al Marina project and will launch sales for 1,100 plots of land in its Al Gamra project within in the next three months.