Chris Speller, Group Director of Cityscape.
How was the reception at the first Cityscape of 2011?
It has been a fantastic start to the Cityscape year. The Abu Dhabi event is unique in that it offers a gateway into a very fertile market, offering a number of opportunities across many different sectors. We are still awaiting the visitor numbers, but feedback from exhibitors and those here to do real business has shown that footfall has been consistent, and most importantly relevant.
What was the highlight of the event?
Each day had its own memorable moment. It was an honor to mark the opening of the event with a visit from His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We were also delighted to welcome His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who spent time touring the event and speaking with exhibitors.
In addition, two major contracts were announced during the event, which are set to help strengthen Abu Dhabi. The first was from Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, announcing that they would be responsible in managing the delivery of affordable housing for Emiratis. The project, South Shamkha, will be located just outside of Abu Dhabi city and will cover 4,000 hectares.
The Urban Planning Council also put ink to paper during Cityscape and announced the signing of new housing contracts to deliver an additional 7,500 new homes for Emirati families across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia. The new communities will be designed and built by local developers: Sorouh Real Estate, Tamouh Investments, Royal Development Company, and Al Qudra Real Estate to meet the requirements of Vision 2030.
How do you feel now that Cityscape Abu Dhabi has come to a close?
The team has worked extremely hard on the organization of this event and there is a real sense of pride and achievement now that it has closed following such a successful week.
How will Cityscape (Jeddah) follow in the wake of this event? How will it be similar or different?
Each event is unique in its audience, market and exhibitor base. The Abu Dhabi event has got the Cityscape year off to a very positive start.
How has this event fared to last year’s and were the goals set achieved?
We, as with any other business, were affected by the challenges that have dominated the market place over the past few years. Our role is to help that market find avenues and opportunities to help it rebuild itself. And this year there has certainly been a very positive attitude towards business in 2011 and the upcoming years ahead.
Cityscape Jeddah 11 – 13 June, 2011, Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events
Cityscape Global 26 – 29 September 2011, Dubai International Exhibition Centre
Cityscape Riyadh 11 – 13 December 2011, Four Seasons Hotel, Riyadh KSA