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  • New-look Cityscape to boost Dubai's property market growth

    After several years showcasing the emirate’s grand property plans to trade bodies and large-scale investors, the DNA of Cityscape Dubai 2022 has been altered to better connect individual buyers, consultants, and private property investors with leading developers and real estate brokers, said its organiser Informa Markets. 
    With a two-decade-plus legacy as the UAE’s largest real estate exhibition, the organiser has confirmed the flagship event will embrace its roots and focus on connecting homebuyers with their dream homes when it returns to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from November 21 to 23.
    The objective of the strategy shift, said Alex Heuff, the Exhibitions Director at Cityscape Dubai, was to continue increasing the quantity and value of real estate transactions in Dubai, which reached a record 300 billion in 2021.
    "Buying a home, especially your first, is a big moment - and it is clear more and more people are living that moment in Dubai," remarked Heuff. "With a fresh approach to this year’s edition, we will provide practical support to help homebuyers make informed decisions courtesy the expert financial and homebuying advisors that will be present to offer professional advice," he stated. 
    "With some of the region’s leading real estate developers already signed up, we will showcase the latest projects – both off-plan and ready-to-live – that are ready to purchase there and then," he added.
    Heuff pointed out that Cityscape was also doing more to cater to brokers and investors by bringing back the popular Intelligence Talks series, which will include speakers from government organisations, prominent real estate companies, and industry analysts.
    Amid a booming UAE-wide buoyant market that is expected to see 8% growth in residential properties between 2022 and 2027, and more than 550,000 new homes built in Dubai alone over the next 10 years, Cityscape Dubai has already enlisted Arada, Azizi and Sobha Realty among its major developer participants.
    "We’ve always been a big supporter of Cityscape, for us it’s been a fantastic way to showcase our brand and to showcase our communities," said Edward Attwood, the Chief Communications Officer at Arada.
    According to Heuff, the 22nd edition of Cityscape Dubai will connect homebuyers with leading developers, providing visitors endless opportunities to invest in the regions booming real estate market. 
    "Since Cityscape Dubai coincides with FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, organisers have arranged for special screenings of the games in a dedicated F&B activation area so attendees can watch their favourite teams play without missing the opportunity to look for their ideal home, apartment, or investment opportunity," he stated. 
    "It is all part of our new approach, whereby we want to offer visitors a more relaxed experience, with family activations and zones where you can relax and watch some football, while also browsing or buying your next home," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
  • Zeleros, ArcelorMittal test steel for hyperloops

    Zeleros, the European company developing the scalable hyperloop, an ultra high-speed mobility solution for transport of passengers and goods, and ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, have carried out trials to analyse the behaviour of steel grades for optimal use in hyperloops.
    A testing facility in the form of a spinning wheel that can reach linear speeds of up to 500 km per
    hour has been designed and built at ArcelorMittal’s Rail Excellence Centre in Spain, to test how
    certain steels perform in ultra-high-speed conditions, prior to testing on a scaled hyperloop
    The results provide data to further advance the selection of the best steels for hyperloop use, considering safety, energy efficiency, cost and scalability as the main decision criteria.
    Zeleros and ArcelorMittal have been working together since 2017. Since then, experts from both companies – including all of ArcelorMittal’s R&D centres - have jointly developed studies to analyse the way in which materials behave in high-speed conditions, measuring the effects of key characteristics for hyperloop technology, such as the electromagnetic properties of steels (hyperloop designs propose the use of magnetic levitation). 
    As part of the collaborative work between the two companies, ArcelorMittal’s rails business in Europe --  ArcelorMittal Europe -- long products, rails and special sections - has developed new products with improved guiding and braking performance, as part of the wider co-engineering project between Zeleros and
    “To reach Zeleros' vision of building a scalable hyperloop, including the braking, guiding and
    levitation technology in the vehicle, this collaboration is key. Thanks to the continuous improvement of steel, we can radically reduce infrastructure costs and assure energy efficiency and infrastructure viability,” stated Daniel Orient, Zeleros’ CTO.
    “The work we have been doing with Zeleros reflects the importance we place on our involvement in innovative projects using steel in infrastructure and transportation, and that contribute to reducing CO2 emissions,” said Nicoleta Popa, Portfolio Leader of Construction Applications, Infrastructures and Long Products of ArcelorMittal Global R&D.
    “The multidisciplinary ArcelorMittal team for the structural, mechanical and electromagnetic aspects, proves the strength of our approach for such complex innovative projects, both in defining new products and in developing new solutions,” said Frederic Painchault, Head of marketing of Global automotive & Mobility solutions.
    Besides hyperloop, ArcelorMittal has participated in studies of materials for other applications developed by Zeleros, such as the SELF (Sustainable Electric Freight-forwarder), conceived to move standard intermodal containers in a faster, automated and sustainable way within ports, for which the test track is currently under construction in the port of Sagunto in Spain. - TradeArabia News Service
  • Riyadh's residential market growth robust in H1 despite slowdown

    It's boom time for residential market in Saudi capital Riyadh with demand for housing units, particularly in the affordable segment, continuously on the rise despite the recent slowdown, according to KPMG, a leading provider of audit, tax and advisory services.
    The growth is being mainly driven by a large and growing population, coupled with growing urbanization, declining household size, and government measures, stated KPMG in its 'Riyadh Real Estate Market Overview' report. 
    In its first ever interactive report, KPMG has highlighted the indicative investment opportunities, market trends, and market performance for the first half of 2022 in the saudi capital, covering four core real estate sectors - residential, retail, office, and hospitality. 
    On the residential market scenario, KPMG said the government was continuously working on the provision of affordable housing units for Saudi nationals to increase home ownership, which stands at just above 62%, as per the latest published statistics in line with the kingdom's Vision 2030.
    "The residential market remained resilient during the pandemic which can be attributed to strong demand fundamentals and has witnessed a positive trend in KPIs in the first of 2022," remarked Rani Majzoub, the Head of Real Estate Advisory at KPMG Professional Services. 
    "The demand for apartments and/or smaller units is soaring at a relatively higher pace mainly due to affordability, an influx of expatriates, and increasing market acceptance for these types of units, particularly among Saudi households," he added.
    On the office scenario, KPMG pointed out that Riyadh, as the capital and commercial hub, benefits from overall commercial activities in the region. 
    The primary demand drivers including macro-economic indicators, population, and workforce are expected to remain affirmative, hence a positive outlook for office space demand is anticipated, it stated.
    Contrary to its historical performance, Riyadh office market has witnessed a healthy upsurge in the rental rates of both Grade A & B segments in the first half of 2022. The market is likely to witness the same positive trend, particularly in the Grade A segment, during the medium term as international companies working in the Saudi Arabia would move their headquarters in the kingdom by 2024 under Regional Headquarters Program (RHQ), hence, additional uptake of office space is foreseen.
    "The ongoing economic recovery coupled with improving demand drivers of various sectors is likely to have a positive impact on the overall real estate market of the capital city, noted Majzoub.
    On the retail sector scenario, KPMG said as the largest market in the GCC – and characterized by a strong consumer base with high disposable income – Saudi Arabia has managed to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic. Retail sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% between 2022 and 2025, which is likely to have a positive impact on the intake of retail space in the kingdom. 
    After witnessing a subdued performance in 2020-21 due to the pandemic, the retail market had shown signs of stability in the first half. However, it will take some time to be back on the growing pace mainly due to increasing competitiveness in the market which is exerting pressure on rental rates, stated the industry expert. 
    "Mixing up retail with other complementing real estate components such as entertainment, hotel, office or residential could be a commendable idea to generate a certain footfall," remarked Majzoub. 
    "As Riyadh is positioning itself as a prime tourism destination, an influx of inbound and domestic tourists can be expected. Hence, future developments should focus on the needs of both residents and tourists," he added.
    On Riyadh's hospitality sector, KPMG said it continues to show signs of improvement owing to a robust increase in demand generated by tourists during post-Covid recovery period. Despite the dwindling performance in 2020-21 due to the closure of borders and tourist attractions, the market is witnessing an upsurge in occupancy rates. 
    The long-term market outlook is likely to be positive, backed by the government’s initiatives to increase the industry’s contribution to the economy, stated the advisory group in its report.
    KPMG expects healthy performance of budget hotels (3 and 4 star) in the upcoming years, owing to the current market dynamics. Hence, it is an investment opportunity that can be explored further with gradual recovery and an expected increase in the number of tourists, it added.
  • Dubal Holding eyes more green investment opportunities

    Dubal Holding, the investment arm of Dubai Government, looks for opportunities to invest and capitalise on innovative initiatives that encourage the transition of the UAE into a sustainable green economy.
    As a step taken in this direction, Dubal Holding has become one of the sponsors for the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2022, in line with its commitment to foster advancement of sustainable technology and help the UAE attain a green economy.
    Investing in sustainable projects
    Dubal Holding has been investing in numerous sustainable projects since 2014 to encourage the development of sustainable technology and aid in the creation of a circular economy, in accordance with the directives of the UAE’s leadership to enhance economic diversification.
    The World Green Economy Summit 2022 is organised by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the World Green Economy Organisation, on September 28 and 29, 2022, at the World Trade Centre. 
    As a silver sponsor of the eighth WGES, Dubal Holding supports the manifesto of the forum, which provides a platform to strengthen climate partnerships and synergise international efforts to achieve climate goals.-- TradeArabia News Service
  • SEE Holding unveils diversified sustainability portfolio units

    SEE Holding, the mastermind behind The Sustainable City brand, unveiled its diversified portfolio of subsidiaries under the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic at the ongoing utility exhibition Wetex 2022 organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). 
    The holding company that established Diamond Developers -The leading sustainable developer – has been investing and operating exclusively in sustainable ventures that fall under the three pillars of sustainability for the past 20 years. 
    Operating under the holding company, Diamond Developers will continue building future-proof and self-sufficient cities under The Sustainable City brand. 
    While other newly formed subsidiaries under the environmental arm will harness intelligent technology and data driven know-how from the working proof-of concepts to enable urban food production, implement the production and exporting of renewable energy, reuse and recycle water, provide the best possible mobility solutions, assess the lifecycle of the products, and manage waste where it is all recycled, re-used and, where possible, transformed into energy.
    Also, under the SEE Holding portfolio, Education and Wellness will be a core component for the newly established entities, by enabling the sharing of information and relevant know-how through a variety of avenues to maximize impact and influence, thus paving the way to a better tomorrow for generations to come. 
    SEE Holding will also uphold an inclusive ethos through embracing wellness in all its dimensions.
    Speaking at the event, Group Chairman Faris Saeed said: "We believe that leading by example is the only way to make a real and long-lasting change. In SEE Holding we have dedicated our resources to creating a complete ecosystem of services and solutions for every entity and every individual to reduce emissions footprints and we are committed to sharing this essential knowledge and reversing the climate crisis."
    "This new stage of growth underlines our continuous transformation allowing us to stay at the forefront of the global movement towards a net zero emissions future. We go beyond building cities, we commit to a promise of building a world where humanity can live, work, thrive side-by-side and in harmony with the ecosystem," stated Saeed.
    "By reinforcing its commitment towards sustainability and ensuring the resources for the generations to come, the holding company diversification is planning to further solidify the commitment towards achieving a future-proof, intelligent and sustainable global economy, by spearheading the way towards a net zero emissions future; For the benefit of the people and the planet, for generations to come," he added.-TradeArabia News Service 
  • World Geospatial Industry Council inks partnership for top US event

    The World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) has announced a strategic partnership with Geo Week - a major event for the geospatial, 3D, and built world sectors tha kicks off on February 13 next year at Colorado, US.
    As part of this collaboration, WGIC will actively participate in the three-day event and enrich the Geo Week 2023 conference with insights from WGIC Members and Partners.
    During the event, WGIC will host a joint Plenary Session with the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS), a WGIC Partner Organization. Registration for Geo Week will open in October, said the organisers. 
    Further, WGIC will also deliver additional conference content aligned with their mission to strengthen the geospatial industry’s contributions to society and the global economy in the geospatial and built world industries.
    As part of the deal, WGIC will collaborate with its partners and Geo Week to contribute to the conference programme, exhibit at the event and participate in additional Geo Week education and events. Additionally, Barbara Ryan, Executive Director of WGIC, is on the Geo Week Advisory Board.
    Announcing the tieup, WGIC President Ken Mooyman said: "WGIC is delighted to partner with Geo Week conference. Our ability to demonstrate the value of geospatial data and solutions to climate change and sustainable infrastructure and in other areas fits well into Geo Week’s program agenda. We are excited to be at Geo Week 2023."
    WGIC, he stated, is a global not-for-profit trade association of private sector companies working in the geospatial ecosystem. 
    It collaborates with multilateral organizations, public authorities, and user industry communities to strengthen the geospatial industry’s contributions to society and the global economy, he added.
    Lee Corkhill, Group Director at Diversified Communications, organizer of the event, expressed delight at the strategic partnership with WGIC. 
    "The partnership will continue to strengthen and advance the global geospatial community and add additional expertise and industry advocacy to the event," he added.-TradeArabia News Service 
  • Empower unveils Za’abeel district cooling plant model at Wetex

    Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) has unveiled its Za’abeel district cooling plant model at the 24th Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (Wetex 2022) in Dubai. 
    Operating with a production capacity of 50,000 refrigeration tonnes (RT), the new Za’abeel plant is scheduled to be connected to Empower’s Dubai International Financial Center plant, bringing the total production capacity to 112,000 RT. 
    The new plant will serve the existing and upcoming significant  real estate projects, most notably the buildings of the Dubai International Financial Center, the Dubai World Trade Center, the Emirates Towers, the Wasl1 mega project, and the One Za’abeel tower, said senior company officials on the sidelines of Wetex 2022, which kicked off yesterday (September 27) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center.
    During his tour of the exhibition halls, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE), unveiled the new Za’abeel district cooling plant model at Empower stand.
    Za’abeel plant has captured the attention of the participants and visitors of Wetex 2022, remarked Empower CEO Ahmad bin Shafar, during his briefing on the plant model and its operation to Sheikh Ahmed and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) Managing Director and CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.
    "It belongs to a new generation of district cooling plants that leverage artificial intelligence solutions, and comprises advanced Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems to enhance energy efficiency during peak hours, he stated. 
    "The plant is also equipped with cutting-edge technologies that contribute to reducing consumption of potable water and preserving natural resources by adopting Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) water in its operations. In terms of the architectural structure, it has a unique and iconic design that meets the highest international standards in construction and design of buildings, as well as the standards of sustainable green buildings, and modern urban developments in Dubai," explained bin Shafar.
    He pointed out that Empower's participation and strategic sponsorship of the Wetex stems from its global position as one of the leading companies striving for the development and dissemination of the latest technological means in the field of district cooling globally.
    "In addition to the presentation of the Za’abeel plant operation model, it also shed light on our latest achievements in the adoption of environmental initiatives and rationalization of energy consumption, as well as the exchange of ideas and best practices aimed at achieving best energy efficiency," he added.
    -TradeArabia News Service
  • ADQ, OIA identify $8bn investment opportunities in Oman

    ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, and Oman Investment Authority (OIA) have identified preliminary investment opportunities worth over AED30 billion ($8.17 billion) in new projects within Oman.
    ADQ and OIA officials discussed areas of joint investment collaboration on the sidelines of the visit of UAE President HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Oman, said a statement.
    The investment opportunities are across a variety of sectors including hydrogen, solar and wind power generation, green aluminum, and steel, as well as water and electricity transmission lines.
    ADQ and OIA recently entered into an AED10 billion partnership agreement to facilitate investments between the UAE and Oman in sectors of mutual priority and interest. 
    Additionally, ADQ and Oman Information, Communication and Technology Group (ITHCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of the OIA, signed an MoU to establish an AED592 million venture capital fund to invest in high growth technology companies in Oman.
    ADQ is also exploring investment in other sectors that include but are not limited to food & agriculture, logistics, technology, and healthcare. This is in line with ADQ’s ambitions to expand its power, water, and industrial platforms throughout Oman to capture synergies that achieve long-term and sustainable value creation for both nations. 
    Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at ADQ, said: “As part of the UAE’s longstanding bilateral relationship with Oman, we discussed several potential strategic opportunities that can unlock significant synergies and value through joint collaboration across key industries in the sultanate."
    "Today’s engagement builds on our recent efforts and commitment to develop tangible investment partnerships in key markets, such as Oman, that complement our investment strategy and growth aspirations. We are confident that this visit reinforces the significant economic potential of ADQ’s partnership with OIA,” he added.
    Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, President of Oman Investment Authority (OIA), said: “Our partnership with a like-minded institution, such as ADQ, showcases our shared commitment to building long-term sustainable relationships. Our discussions today will not only create a platform to enable us to explore mutually beneficial co-investment opportunities, but facilitate knowledge sharing to strengthen our respective organisations’ investment platforms.”
    As a strategic partner to the government, ADQ undertakes value accretive co-investment programs with key regional partners through its Sovereign Investment Partnerships platform. These partnerships accelerate investments that unlock mutual value across ADQ and its portfolio businesses. – TradeArabia News Service
  • Etihad Rail sets up new $3bn Oman railway network JV

    Oman Rail, the sultanate’s national developer, has signed an agreement with UAE rail network developer Etihad Rail to set up a joint venture company, Oman-Etihad Rail Company, at a total investment of $3 billion, that will design, develop and operate a railway network connecting Sohar Port to the UAE national rail network.
    Under this agreement, Oman-Etihad Rail will lay the groundwork and workplan for the project, including its financial mechanisms and schedule. 
    The company will also handle the design, development, and operation of the rail network, which connects Sohar and Abu Dhabi, in line with the standards of the two countries.
    Built on the historic and strategic relations between the two countries, this major joint venture is an extension of the longstanding collaboration of Oman Rail and Etihad Rail, who both seek to create new prospects in the infrastructure, transport, and logistics industries by connecting the two countries via rail, said the statement from Oman Rail.
    Oman Rail, part of Asyad Group, was represented at the signing ceremony by Engineer Abdulrahman Salim Al Hatmi, the Group CEO of Asyad, and his counterpart Engineer Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail. 
    Underlining the impact of this landmark agreement, Al Hatmi said: "Adding a new railway capability to our logistics sector will offer trade and logistics companies outstanding investment opportunities and empower manufacturing and industrial activities to quickly expand beyond borders."
    "The envisioned network will complement our comprehensive set of ports and logistics assets, augment our competitiveness and open faster access to global markets," he stated.
    The 303-km railway will primarily link Sohar to Abu Dhabi and will feature the best international safety, security, and environmental standards, to provide faster and safer passenger and freight services. 
    The passenger trains are designed to reduce travel time from Sohar to Abu Dhabi to 1 hour 40 minutes, and from Sohar to Al Ain to 47 minutes, travelling at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Meanwhile, the freight trains will run up to 120 km/h.
    The two parties aim to unlock new opportunities by strengthening commercial exchange and social cohesion, connecting key urban centers, facilitating travel between communities and providing seamless transport solutions between economic and industrial zones in Oman and the UAE, he added.
    On the economic benefits and opportunities, Al Hatmi said: "Employing cutting-edge transport and rail technology, the new Oman-UAE network will boost the growth of the national economy in both countries. It will also improve the efficiency of supply chain, facilitate cross-border trade by linking commercial ports to the railway network as well as enhance market competitiveness and cut the total cost of supply chains."
    With multiple stakeholders set to reap the benefits of this mega project, the railway will provide a host of investment opportunities and support contracts to the private sector, stated the top Omani official. 
    The new transport system will create job opportunities across sectors, develop the national human capital of both countries and kick off a new age of innovation, he noted.
    On a wider scope, the project will stimulate tourism activities between Oman and the UAE, strengthen the competitiveness of the two countries in global trade and solidify their positions as logistics hubs for import and export to regional markets, he added.
    Malak said the new partnership with Oman Rail comes in line with the vision and directives of UAE's leadership heralding a new chapter of collaboration and prosperity between both countries. 
    "The agreement outlines a strategic roadmap for a sustainable project which will contribute to bolstering the solid relations between the UAE and Oman, and will play an instrumental role in facilitating national and regional trade by connecting the UAE national rail network with Sohar Port," he added.-TradeArabia News Service 

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