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Design & planning key to retaining investor interest in the UAE

With contracts worth US$5.4 billion awarded for UAE residential projects in the first half of 2014, industry experts say emphasis on design and planning is key to sustaining major property investment.

International design, engineering and project management consultants Atkins will use the Middle East’s largest property showcase, Cityscape Global, to underline why excellent design, with a strong lifestyle emphasis, is vital to keep attracting real estate investors.

The architects behind the luxury Al Habtoor Residences on Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as a number of high profile cultural and leisure destinations currently under development in Dubai, will be among more than 250 exhibitors taking part in the 13th edition of Cityscape Global from 21-23 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

“With the restored investor confidence in the real estate market, competition between developers is fiercer than ever and the emphasis on excellent design couldn’t be higher,” said Rod Stewart, Property Managing Director of Atkins.

“The developer community is now far more mature and advanced than during the last property boom, and they need to look at a whole basket of criteria based on the context and place in which a development sits.  It’s vital that new buildings provide a desirable, user-friendly lifestyle offering.

“The level of careful planning which is going into projects to ensure they are genuinely viable in the long-term is one of the most satisfying aspects of the current real estate market resurgence. “A great deal of thought is going into getting the right mix of uses, the right systems and the correct facilities. What’s more, there is a keen eye on creating a vibrant public realm around buildings which encourage people to lead active, healthy lifestyles.”

Supported by the Dubai Land Department, Cityscape Global is an annual platform to drive growth in real estate investment and development across emerging markets globally.