Development in Dubai is back on track according to exhibitors and visitors to the Cityscape which took place this week.
Models of how the city could look in the future – including a giant observation wheel – were some of the major attractions at the event.
Exhibitors and delegates also said there was a feeling of positivity in the air.
“It seems like the optimism is back and it’s certainly a busier event that in recent years,” said New York-based Edward Mayer of FXFowle Architects who worked in Dubai for six years. “My hope is that any boom or growth is at a sustainable level. Last time around that was not so. You really could do anything.
“Now there are regulations and a structure in place which should act as a curb to excess.”
A major new development for the UAE was one of the main features at the show.
The Viceroy Dubai Palm Jumeirah hotel complex offers “five star living by the sea” and is set to open in 2016.
Nadia Zaal co-founder of Abu-Dhabi based Zaya, a luxurious real estate developer, said the focus of the project was to “reflect the dynamism of Dubai”.
“We are focusing on the vistas and the Dubai skyline,” she said. “The setting on The Palm is close to where the yachts come in and where the skydiving takes place.
“It will have the feel of an urban resort as it is right on the beach.
“The entrance will feature a wooden sculpture inside a glass case. It will be in the form of a double helix which obviously resonates with everyone – after all it is our DNA.
“It will also reflect the traditional arches of this part of the world
“It will capture a sense of place with a reflection of what I feel proud of in the Islamic tradition – but with a contemporary feel.” Work outside the UAE was also emphasised with many firms from Turkey taking stands.
“Business is booming back in my home country,” said Idris Demirhan of Istanbul-based architect firm Agaoglu. “We are seeing people from the UAE moving to Turkey – for Arabs it is seen as a second home in my view.
“They have specific needs which we can cater for to give them what it is they most enjoy about their home nation, even though they are living in a different country.”
Other showcases included the Dubai Akoya development by DAMAC, which is being run in conjunction with US real estate mogul Donald Trump. It featured an artificial grass putting green as well as designs and models of the project. Another stand showed the Mall of Qatar and its nearby sports facilities and China also had a large number of businesses exhibiting.
Business opportunities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were also on the increase for architects, said many of the companies at the event.