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Abu Dhabi Cityscape less glitzy and more business like

There were no glitzy tower developments announced during the four day show, which finished today and a more business like atmosphere.

General opinion was that there is demand from investors but they are old fashioned investors who are looking at the long term rather than the flashy speculators of recent years.

'Demand is still there but there is no positive sentiment at the investor level and occupier level,' said Peter Wilding, deputy chief executive of developers Capitala.

The sentiment is shared by global property consultants Colliers International whose latest report shows that average prices in Dubai dropped more than 40% in recent months. 'It is only professional investors left in the market looking for income-property,' said Colliers regional director Ian Albert.

The show tended to centre on previously discussed developments but it did highlight the opportunities in the emirate which hasn't had the same kind of publicity as neighbouring Dubai.

Two major Abu Dhabi projects, the zero emissions Masdar City and the new Capital City District, took the top places at the Cityscape Awards for Real Estate in the Middle East for their unique contributions towards architectural excellence and sensitivity to the environment.

In the development category the Masdar City project won the best sustainable development award. The judges were looking in particular for innovative use of new materials, products and construction methods which deliver energy efficient, high performing green buildings.

In the architecture category the best urban design and master planning award went to Capital City District, Abu Dhabi, by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. The award recognises an outstanding project which best encourages or promotes a sense of place or significantly benefits an entire neighbourhood, town, city or region.

The best built waterfront development award went to the Fahaheel Waterfront project by Tamdeen Real Estate and Dar Al Omar. A future waterfront project, Les Cotes des Anges, in Tunisia, nominated by Halcrow Group was also awarded. The judges were looking for world class and distinctive waterfront developments which show sensitivity and maximise water as a resource.