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Emerging property markets no longer seen as a bargain, Trump tells Cityscape Dubai

Donald Trump Junior, executive vice president of the Trump Organisation and son of property tycoon Donald Trump, told the opening day of Cityscape Dubai property conference that emerging markets need to aim for more transparency and regulation as these are still major areas of concern.

‘It’s a question of risk versus reward.

The potential reward for investing in mature markets has improved significantly over the last couple of years, whereas the risk has if anything reduced,’ he said.

‘On the other hand, emerging markets, whilst they still represent good reward, their risk element – transparency, regulation – is still a concern.

Therefore funds that would normally have been earmarked for emerging markets are now finding their way into the more mature real estate,’ he added.

Trump, who is due to speak in Egypt and India after the conference, said there was still clear potential for emerging markets, but the global fall in prices meant there was more opportunity for real estate investors to do deals in their own back-yard.

‘I’ve just bought a new apartment in New York which was twice the price two years ago,’ he explained.

While he stressed the values that characterised Dubai's boom – the excess, drive and momentum – were not lost in the recession, he recognised the challenges of reconciling the increased supply that's now coming onto the market.

‘Its Dubai’s greatest asset that was also its greatest liability.

But in terms of opportunity, now is the time to be looking at real estate here.

When things normalise, Dubai is going to be in a lot better position than a lot of other cities,’ he said.
‘But the days of relying on foreign buyers turning up with briefcases of cash are over,’ he warned.

He also confirmed that building work on the cancelled Trump International Hotel and Towers will not happen ‘any time soon’.

He said he hoped work could resume in two years.

In May it was reported that work on Trump International Hotel and Tower, the first project in the region for Donald Trump, had been delayed indefinitely.