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Investors, Developers Quietly Confident At Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2009

Al Harbi: Changing market dynamics, falling prices present opportunities for all sectors of real estate industry

Changing market dynamics are presenting new opportunities for all sectors of the real estate industry, including investors and developers, according to UAE-based businessman, Abdullah Al Harbi.

Al Harbi was speaking at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2009, the first Cityscape event of 2009, held from 19 to 22 April 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Despite the economic slowdown and corrections to global property prices, this year’s event held a lot of promise and, according to event organisers, there was a 35 percent increase in demand for floor space, in comparison to last year.

Many analysts and experts seem confident that although the economic downturn is likely to continue to affect business throughout 2009, the markets will begin to recover as early as next year. All the more reason, says Al Harbi, to continue to concentrate on building relationships for the future.

“All markets go through cycles, and this is merely the downward side of the cycle – it is not the end of business as we know it at all,” said Al Harbi. “At a time like this, it is more important than ever to ensure that good matches are made between developers and investors to ensure mutually beneficial relationships that will last, as we work together to build an even stronger future. This – combined efforts of regional governments and businesses, which have contributed significantly to the relative stability of the region’s markets – will help to lay the groundwork for even stronger economies and markets.”

“The Abu Dhabi market, in particular, is likely to perform well over the next few years, as the emirate’s dynamic, fast-growing economy, backed by its oil wealth, presents one of the most attractive investment environments in the region. Falling prices also present savvy investors with great opportunities, and there is definite potential for the UAE’s markets – and those of the region – to build a strong foundation for even greater prosperity in the future,” Al Harbi added.

Al Harbi has a number of business interests in the region, and among the positions that he holds is that of CEO Eye of Dubai, a company that focuses on promoting the emirate across all sectors to investors, tourists and residents alike. Eye of Dubai also offers complete event management and organisation services, from organising the venue, to inviting the attendees.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi is the emirate’s premier real estate investment and development showcase, and the 2009 event brought together regional and international investors, innovative real estate developers, government authorities and other key stakeholders to discuss current market challenges and develop cutting edge strategies. This year’s event included four days of interactive conferences, workshops and new investor round table events, examining the future opportunities across the Middle East and within the key global emerging markets.

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