The Gulf property event may be radically less gung ho than last time, but the mood is still upbeat

The atmosphere here at Cityscape Abu Dhabi could hardly be more different from the frenzied buzz of the previous, identically named event in Dubai in October.

We now know that the feverish crowds of investors, consultants and developers' salesmen at last year's gathering of Gulf property people heralded the dying days of the construction boom.

So what's the significance of the lack of crowds and generally calm atmosphere at this week's event? Well, people here say they are still doing business – it's just a bit less gung ho.

There are fewer sales people about, and a greater number of smaller consultants who believe they have a good chance of picking up smaller contracts. I've bumped into Space Craft Architects, for instance, a London firm of around 20 staff, which is hoping to win work linked to Abu Dhabi's carefully thought-out infrastructure plan.

Big developers' stands are considerably less outlandish than those we saw in Dubai a few months back. However, the presence of Falcon Aviation Services, a VIP helicopter charter and maintenance company, is adding a bit of bling to proceedings. Not least when its stand showed real live falcons today…

Still, there's definitely a more sober vibe. It's also noticeable that lots of the schemes being shown off are being built outside the UAE, as the following snippets from stands show…

Sowwah Square in Mubadala's Sowwah Island
Sowwah Square, the heart of Mubadala's Sowwah Island – Abu Dhabi's new central business district

Iskandar's Waterfront scheme in Malaysia – exhibit at Cityscape April 2009 in Abu Dhabi
Iskandar's Waterfront scheme in Malaysia

Aldar's Ferraris World exhibit at Cityscape April 2009 in Abu Dhabi
Aldar's Ferraris World exhibit