(MENAFN - Arab News) Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the Middle East's leading real estate development and investment event, has opened at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, vice-chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, toured the exhibition halls.
The four-day event is the annual barometer for the Abu Dhabi and wider GCC real estate market, where thousands of investors gather to learn about the latest market trends and updates of many of Abu Dhabi's master developments.
An anticipated highlight this year includes the latest developments of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council's (UPC) emirate-wide urban development strategy, Vision 2030, and the Emirati Housing initiative, where 7,500 new homes for Emirati families across all three regions of Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain and Al-Gharbia will be showcased.
Falah Al-Ahbabi, general manager of UPC, said: "With Abu Dhabi's 2030 Urban Vision taking shape across the Emirate, we are keen to acknowledge and update stakeholders on how the UPC is implementing its various plans and initiatives."
"By updating the public on the emirate-wide urban development strategy we move further forward with establishing Abu Dhabi as the region's catalyst for a truly sustainable, modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan and world-class Arab Capital for the 21st Century."
Some of the other key developers taking part this year at Cityscape Abu Dhabi include Tamouh Investments, Sorouh, Aabar Properties, Mubadala, and the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), which will provide updates about the progress of its most prestigious developments, with a major emphasis on Saadiyat.
The premier island destination will be featured in a totally new setting showcasing the actual experience and lifestyle of the island growing community.
The master developer of major tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi will also showcase Abu Dhabi city projects such as Eastern Mangroves complex and will start registering bookings for its residential component in preparation of the actual launch.
"TDIC is looking forward to showcasing its most prestigious projects at this year's Cityscape Abu Dhabi," said Ahmed Al-Fahim, TDIC executive director for marketing, communications, sales and leasing.
"We particularly look forward to highlighting our highly sought-after residential communities, and visitors to our stand will have a unique opportunity to learn more about these."
Aldar Properties, another headline exhibitor, revealed its latest plans this year at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, including the announcement of Al-Muneera and Al-Zeina as the first beachfront residential developments in Abu Dhabi now available for purchase by national and international buyers.
Prices for the two waterfront Al Raha Beach communities will start at just under AED700,000 for a one bedroom apartment.
A regular feature and highlight of Cityscape Abu Dhabi is the Middle East Real Estate Summit, where a panel of more than 35 industry leading speakers currently active in the Middle East will share their collective experience and tackle the major challenges facing the regional real estate sector.
Among the highlights of the two-day conference include the latest analyzes, trends and economic indicators of the Middle East real estate market from Farouk Soussa, chief economist for the Middle East at Citi, UAE; and new deployment strategies of building a balanced, profitable real estate portfolio in regional markets by Faisal Khan, principal at Abraaj Capital, UAE.
Tariq Ramada, Chairman of Tharaa Holding, UAE, and Joseph Bonner, chief investment officer at Mubadala Pramerica, UAE, will also highlight how to develop increasingly sophisticated deal structures to increase real estate market activity and regional growth.
Also returning is the Cityscape Awards for Real Estate " MENA today, rewarding the latest cutting-edge projects shaping modern city skylines across the Middle East and Africa.