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Cityscape Abu Dhabi exhibition numbers up despite global downturn

Organisers of the international property conference report that exhibitor spaces in 31% up on last year and the number of pre-registered visitors is up 22% than the same time last year.

But they are cautious about expecting the same number of visitors to the four day conference simply because last year's record breaking numbers are a hard act to follow especially in the current financial climate.

IIR Exhibitions, which specialises in everything from conferences, seminars and training for businesses, said the take up among exhibitors for the event April have been surprisingly strong given the current climate, but that the overall number of visitors could be well down on 2008.

'We are being a bit more conservative this year with the numbers. People are tightening their belts,' said Mark Goodchild, event director for Cityscape Abu Dhabi.

'We are hoping for 30,000 this year, where we had nearly 50,000 last year. We don't think there will be as much foot fall, but we are certainly hoping that the quality of visitor will be on a par with last year. We just had a massive increase of foot fall simply because of the climate and real estate excitement that was around last May,' he added.

Despite the projected lower number of visitors for the event interest is strong, as the figures show. Goodchild believes it is because a lot of institutional investors are looking at property as other potential areas dry up.

'While the global property development industry is currently facing certain challenges, Cityscape Abu Dhabi provides a timely opportunity to re-assess where the longer term returns for real estate investment lie,' he said.

Some of the regions biggest real estate companies will exhibit at Cityscape which starts on April 19.