UAE Real Estate reflects optimism in 2013

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Building constructions on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Photo – Noel Reynolds

Statistics reveal that the UAE real estate market, though facing major challenges in terms of oversupply, will be showing positive signs of recovery with major projects in infrastructure and real estate in store.

According to lan Robertson, CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle MENA, “The foundations are being laid for a recovery from 2014, with a number of major infrastructure projects scheduled to start later this year. We also expect the real-estate in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai to benefit from increased economic activity between the UAE and East Asia, specifically China and South Korea, as well as sub Saharan Africa and Australia.”

Real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle’s Q4 2012 Dubai Real-Estate Overview reported promising signs of recovery from the end of last year in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with upward prices in the residential, retail and hotel sectors. These were coupled with stimulus packages, as well as UAE Central Bank mortgage loan-to-value caps to curb market fluctuations.

According to the latest figures from Ventures ONSITE, the UAE has a value of projects planned, under tender, under construction or on hold, of $900,953m. Likewise, project values for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are $673,490m, Qatar $108,063m and Kuwait $142,924m.

This positive outlook sets the platform for the world’s leading business-to-business real-estate event Cityscape Abu Dhabi and ecoConstruct Expo 2013 – held concurrently over three days from 16 -18 April at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Both events will be providing opportunities for key industry decision makers, international investors, developers, architects, designers and consultants to source sustainable building/construction solutions.Local and international suppliers will be able to showcase their eco-friendly building and infrastructure products which also reduce costs, increase output and raise overall building efficiency.

“Being the region’s leading event focusing on green sustainability, ecoConstruct Expo has a crucial role to play in what is an ever-increasing priority for the building industry,” offered Chris Speller, Commercial Director, Informa. “Together with Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the Expo is perfectly aligned to provide a holistic view of one of the region’s key economic sectors,” he added.

Sustainability is gaining pace within the construction industry in 2013, continuing from 2012, with Abu Dhabi taking the lead. According to recent reports, developers across the region are turning their attention to the impact of sustainability and green construction concepts on their profits and cost savings targets. Energy audits have shown that energy bills can be reduced by up to 20% through good design and the use of sustainable materials.

Meanwhile, the industry as a whole is realising that the lifecycle costs of these buildings can be reduced with minimal cost measures and a payback period of just 12 to 18 months. As such, 2013 is set to be a year of massive growth in the green building market – not least for developers looking to ensure the longevity of their assets.

Adnan Sharafi, Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates/GBC) Chairman explained, “The construction industry in the region is witnessing robust growth, and emerging from the challenges faced in the last few years, the sector now has a renewed focus on sustainability and quality. Industry stakeholders seek materials and processes that will not only help optimise resource use efficiency, but also contribute to cost and energy savings in the long run. Through our participation at Cityscape Abu Dhabi and ecoConstruct Expo 2013, Emirates Green Building Council is underlining its commitment to promoting best practices in sustainability in the built environment, in line with the green vision for the UAE.”

As steady growth is being witnessed within the industry, this focus on preservation and quality will benefit everyone from the Developer to the end-user.

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