Florida, USA – August 24, 2017 – By Mohanad Alwadiya, CEO of Harbor Real Estate, Senior Instructor & Advisor at the Dubai Land Department.

This year’s Cityscape Global Exhibition and Conference, to be held September 11-13, is forecast to be the largest yet and comes at a time when Dubai’s Real Estate industry is expected to start entering a cyclical growth phase in the lead up to the 2020 Global Expo. 

The importance of Cityscape Global cannot be overstated. As with many exhibitions, it provides a concentrated and focused forum which allows the industry to showcase its vision and capabilities and demonstrate what shape Dubai will take in the future. But Cityscape is much more than that.

“Cityscape Global is an open invitation for all stakeholders to understand, evaluate, participate and prosper in an industry that continues to literally change the shape of Dubai. It is a meeting place of some of the biggest and brightest minds in the industry representing all stakeholders in the industry and a confluence of opinions, ideas and opportunities which are shared, debated and developed. It allows these stakeholders to gain a macro sense of industry direction and a micro understanding of the various elements that will shape the industry going forward.”

For buyers and investors, there is no better place to gain an appreciation of the myriad of opportunities that are on offer, but the sheer scale of the exhibition can become a little overwhelming, especially when you are looking to invest in the short term.

“As a general theme for this year’s Cityscape, I will be advising most of my investors to look for value opportunities in the affordable housing segment, particularly in the Dubai South areas, as this segment in this location is likely to be the subject of some very attractive easy payment plans to further enhance affordability and, to some extent, mitigate risk.”

This segment has outperformed its more luxurious alternatives for some time now and has continues to show lots of potential, even through the recent cyclical correction. Affordable properties will continue to be in high demand as Dubai’s population growth gains momentum during a period of expected strong economic growth leading up to the end of the decade. And while the value is irrefutable, the risks associated with investing in the affordable segments of the industry as opposed to the luxury segments are much lower.  Demand for this type of affordable accommodation will continue to grow as Dubai’s population swells in the run up to the Expo. As Dubai continues to grow, so does the need for affordable housing.

Yet, although I see great value in investing in the affordable segment, it doesn’t mean some interesting opportunities won’t appear in other segments as well.

So, while you might focus on identifying opportunities in the affordable segment, you need to keep an open mind and be wary of unique opportunities that may be present. 

I always advise my clients that the best way to get the most out of the event, is to canvass all the interesting opportunities on display and gradually yet efficiently establish a short list of the best opportunities.

Establishing such a list from an exhibition as huge as Cityscape is not easy and requires a disciplined approach. This is where a property asset management professional can assist and it’s a role that keeps me extremely busy with my clients over the entire period that Cityscape is open and for some weeks subsequent to its conclusion.

Why? It’s important to understand what factors are going determine the potential of any investment. For property, these factors include everything from macro level influences such as global economic performance and policies, geopolitical issues, currency rates and oil prices to more regional or local factors such as industry supply / demand levels, consumer confidence, government policy and regulatory framework, industry cycles and liquidity in the marketplace.

So, in reality, a lot of the work in ensuring that investors and potential buyers make the most of their Cityscape experience is actually done beforehand in preparing an understanding of what the overall investment environment looks like. This enables a more efficient and focused assessment of all that is on offer.

But in addition to understanding the investment environment, it’s important for the investor to understand why he or she wants to invest in property and what the investment objectives are. Too many investors formulate the answers to these questions “on the run”, once they are traipsing around the exhibition. This lack of preparation just leads to confusion and ultimately, poor decision making.

Every industry has its shows, whether it’s the myriad of Motor shows held around the world, Film Festivals, Fashion Events, Airshows and the property industry is no different. What many don’t understand is that Dubai’s Cityscape Global has established itself as one of the best Real Estate and Property events globally… and its right on our very own doorstep!

So, for those of us with a passion for the industry, it is going to be an exciting 3 days. It always seems to end too early!

About Mohanad Alwadiya

Dubbed “The Wolf of Real Estate” in the April 2014 edition of Property Times, Mohanad Alwadiya was also the front cover subject of SME Advisor Arabia’s February 2016 issue, and of the front cover exposé as “The Godfather of Property Management” in the February 2015 issue of Gulf Property. In June 2017, he was listed among the Top 100 Most Influential Business Personalities in the UAE by the prestigious Arabian Business Magazine. Considered the real estate industry’s most dynamic practitioner, Mohanad is an award winning real estate entrepreneur, author and prominent industry influencer.

As the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, Mohanad has built his reputation as “The Godfather” of managing institutional real estate portfolios, with Harbor currently handling corporate portfolios worth AED 14.8 billion (approximately USD 4 billion). Mohanad is also the presenter and content producer of Dubai’s highly successful reality-TV and radio shows “MEMAAR” (showing on Dubai TV, Sama Dubai. Dubai One and Dubai Radio 93.0), the official broadcasting channels of the Government of Dubai. The show grew into a full-blown multimedia project, with MEMAAR Live, the interactive social media weekly Q&A version being launched in 2017 across all the social media platforms of Emarat Al Youm newspaper.

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