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Royalty visits Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2011 today.  He spent time visiting exhibitors and liaising with attendees on day two of the event.

In addition, the Real Estate Summit, taking place concurrently to the exhibition, saw hot debate on the topic of affordable housing:  “Deliver property for the market, not a market that does not exist,” said Christopher Sims, the CEO of Naseej, at the panel discussion.  The debate highlighted the need for strategic delivery and government intervention in order to deliver sufficiently to the middle-income market.

The importance of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) was also emphasised by the panel, with Gurjit Singh, CEO of Sorouh; R Lakshmanan, CEO of Sakana; Sami Asad, CEO of ALDAR Properties PJSC; and Jonathan Herps, Advisor to SBK Holding, Abu Dhabi Capital and the Private Office of Highness Sheik Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; joining Sims in the discussion.

“There are three parts to a real estate project: plan, construction and finance,” continued Sims.  “The margins in affordable housing are quite small and so costs have to be at an attractive rate, and so the government has to take initiative to speed up the process.”

Running concurrently to the conference, the exhibition floor was a hive of activity.  Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, announced that it has been awarded a contract by Abu Dhabi government to manage the delivery of a new infrastructure residential development in South Shamkha worth over AED7 billion.

The development will include 12,460 plots, which have been allocated for Emirati local housing. The South Shamkha project will include plots for shopping centres, health, educational, commercial and recreational facilities to serve an expected total population of 200,000 people. The master plan encompasses all aspects of a self-sufficient community including an extensive public transportation system including a metro system, which will be connected to the capital.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi is taking place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until Wednesday.