In just under a month’s time, Cityscape Global — one of the biggest events on the world real estate industry’s calendar — will take place at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Essentially, the aim of the three day event is to drive growth in real estate investment and development across emerging markets globally.
For those of us who work in the industry here, it offers the chance to network with clients and promote new products, while keeping abreast of the latest developments and international trends. It also allows individuals to meet with investors and peers to exchange ideas.
However, this mammoth showcase hit the skids post-recession and unfortunately visitor and exhibitor numbers dwindled as developers and investors worldwide licked their wounds.
Worried that the event may suffer a terminal blow, some people even called for the Dubai show to merge with Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which takes place each April.
But you can rarely keep a great convention down and organisers rallied through the tough times by thinking a bit wider and rebranding the event from Cityscape Dubai to Cityscape Global. It opened its arms to key developing countries in order to spark some new streams of business and pique the interest of the region’s top players.
This ‘bigger vision’ tactic looks set to pay off as, for the first time in the event’s 11-year history, international exhibitors will take up more than 50 per cent of floor space. This year, overseas delegates will exhibit in pavilions representing Iraq, Iran, India, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and the Americas, to name just a few.
And as we countdown to the opening day, Informa, the company behind Cityscape Global, say they expect the number of delegates to increase by as much as 25 per cent on last year due to more overseas companies taking part.
You could say that this is a classic case of when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Simply by thinking broader, Cityscape will now create an international real estate hub right here in Dubai.
All the big UAE names will be there in October, including Emaar Properties, Dubai Properties Group, Nakheel and Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), which clearly shows that despite a turbulent couple of years, people are still very much interested in what this event can do for business and want to get behind it.
For more than a decade, Cityscape Global has been the annual meeting point for this industry and has facilitated some major deals and inspired a generation of real estate professionals.
The 2012 installment could very well turn out to be the start of an interesting new chapter in its history. See you there.