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Interview: Chris Speller, Group Director of Cityscape Abu Dhabi
As Cityscape opens this Sunday and the property sector remains in limbo, Cityscape Abu Dhabi Group Director Chris Speller talks about why it still make sense good business to launch property projects in the region.
April 14, 2011 4:14 by Atique Naqvi
When financing is hard to come by, does it make sense to launch or announce property projects? Also, please sum up the current situation of the property and construction sector in the GCC, especially Abu Dhabi?
If a company has credible projects or news to announce then by all means, it should do so, and despite having just gone through some challenging times, the industry is gaining momentum and feeling positive. Developers have had to look at their projects, strip back the lavish, luxury plans and really listen to the demands of the market.
The general consensus from real estate professionals has been optimistic for 2011, and there is a real enthusiasm to learn from the challenges of the past few years and move forward. There are a number of opportunities within the office and retail sector, where demand for quality units still remains high. Abu Dhabi has been lucky to have fared better than many of the other emirates in the UAE, and the Cityscape Abu Dhabi Middle East Real Estate Summit kicking off with a number of sessions on the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision and looking beyond the crisis, we hope this will provide the perfect opportunity for delegates to share experiences and look at the opportunities going forward.
How much do you think the recent political and social troubles in the Middle East would affect the property and construction sector in the region?
We have been watching the circumstances unfold like the rest of the world and currently we at Cityscape Abu Dhabi have not been affected. We have been very fortunate in the UAE to not have seen much of the unrest that has been affecting the likes of Libya, Bahrain and Egypt on our own soil and Abu Dhabi remains a very stable market. There is likely to be a knock on affect from the unrest, however, what this will be is impossible to say at this moment in time.
As many GCC firms were doing business in countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Libya etc, what in your view would happen to them?
I feel it is inappropriate to comment on behalf of these businesses.
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