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Official Cityscape figures confirm lack of confidence in Dubai real estate market

Before its opening the organisers said they expected a 30% fall in numbers but the figures reveal a much worse turnout with just 38,000 people attending the four day show.

It is a bitter blow to the Dubai real estate sector which shows no signs of recovery with prices, sales and rents continuing to tumble.

The number of exhibitors to Cityscape was also down to 218 compared with 340 last year when lots of new developments were launched amid a show of glitz and ostentatiousness.

But now the real estate industry has tumbled and all recent reports from analysts make depressing reading with no one predicting a turnaround in the coming months and the outlook for 2010 depressed.

Rohan Marwaha, managing director of Cityscape Dubai, tried to remain upbeat and said that Cityscape held up well by international standards.

‘We saw a shift back to market fundamentals at Cityscape Dubai this year.

The speculators and other amateur investors were conspicuous by their absence as were any hint of unrealistic or dazzling developments,’ he said.

‘The mood was sober and professional. However compared with other real estate events in Europe and Asia, Cityscape by comparison was very well supported.’

He added that international participation increased as a year-on-year percentage, with stands from Sudan, Angola, Paris, and companies from Canada and Australia, complemented by a healthy regional presence which extended across the GCC and Iraq.

He also revealed that the changing dynamics of the industry may well lead to changes to Cityscape for next year.

‘We will continue to tailor this event to meet the requirements of real estate professionals, whether locally, regionally or internationally,’ he explained.

Property prices in the emirate have fallen by up to 50% from their 2008 peaks and many developers who exhibited at Cityscape believed prices still had further to fall.

Figures also show that 472 commercial, residential and hospitality projects have been cancelled or on put on hold.