DUBAI — Housing crisis? Mortgage meltdown? Credit crunch?
After spending a few hours at Cityscape, this Mideast boom-town’s annual real-estate trade show, you just might forget about the financial crisis gripping much of the rest of the world.
‘People will still take family holidays,’ Nick Leibman said. ‘Dubai is still good value when you’re paying in pounds, (or) you’re paying in euros.’
The four-day event attracts the region’s biggest property developers, contractors, interior designers and investors. Never mind that many of the projects introduced here with great fanfare may never get built.
Dubai property prices have rocketed in the few years since the United Arab Emirates opened its market to foreigners. However, sky-high oil prices that have long fed the region’s economic boom are falling back. Borrowing costs have soared amid a regional credit crunch. The government has been investigating a handful of the city-state’s top real-estate and lending firms. And international and domestic investors are taking money out of the region’s once-frothy stock markets.
Still, exhibitors inside the show’s sprawling exhibition halls presented an optimistic picture.
On Sunday evening before the show, Nakheel, a Dubai- government-backed property developer, invited guests including the acting couple Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas to the pink Atlantis hotel at the tip of its man-made, palm-shaped archipelago. Read More