Hilson Moran’s commercial director muses the approach of the emirate's annual property event

Hilson Moran is once again looking forward to attending what is now a focal point in the region’s built environment calendar. With the peak summer months and Ramadan now behind us, Cityscape Dubai serves as a launch pad for our activities over the coming year in the Middle East – and we are keen to gauge the mood at the event.

Having attended the Dubai Cityscape periodically in the lead-up to the opening of our office in the UAE in 2006, it has now become an annual fixture for us, together with the Abu Dhabi Cityscape event which takes place earlier in the year in April. These events not only provide a barometer for the construction industry in the region, but also a place where we can meet up with key clients and fellow professionals to discuss project opportunities and update them on our business strategy.

The event attracts developers and professionals with activities throughout the UAE and surrounding Middle East regions and we are expecting to see some new project launches this year, as well as hearing about some of the up-and-coming development opportunities. The exhibition stands are a good place to get a flavour for the various activities going on and being planned.

Given the economic challenges of the last 12 months, it will be interesting to observe the mix of attendees, from real estate investors through to developers, as a measure of positivity, depending on their presence or whether they choose to stay away.

Cityscape Dubai also serves as a valuable platform for knowledge exchange. This year’s programme features a one-day conference – Green Day – which will be dedicated to sustainability issues. The conference, at which Hilson Moran’s director of sustainability Matthew Kitson is a contributor, offers a way for us to play a part in best practice and policy development through our experiences and will include a look at the methodologies that may be applied to new masterplanning and development initiatives in creating sustainable communities in the future.

So will Dubai Cityscape still have that element of glamour we come to expect and, more importantly, will the event provide the basis for an exciting year ahead? Look out for my post-event update on the latest news from the region.