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Articles from 2020 In June

Top 3 reasons why we still need the office


Knight Frank’s Lee Elliott, Global Head of Occupier Research, maintains that the office is still necessary and essential, pinpointing three reasons why the workplace will continue to be relevant even post-pandemic.

  1. Socialization

The office remains a social setting with the ability to create and cultivate connections with colleagues, something that even Microsoft Teams and Zoom video calls can’t quite fully compete with. Post-Pandemic Elliott believes that the office and the workplace will be critical as a place for innovation and productivity.

  1. Client engagement

There is growing recognition that the future of work is more flexible and there will be multiple workplace settings in the future – the office and home being just two. That said, the office will still be an essential setting for establishing and developing fruitful client relationships and the social capital that derives from them.

  1. Education

The office and workplace play an essential role in supporting and development needs of staff. There is still the growing need for educational facilities within large office buildings

This will become ever more important in a business world requiring greater re-skilling and up-skilling of employees. According to Elliott, it is not just about formal education; a number of senior managers within the professional and legal services sectors have stated that junior staff are desperate to return to the office to gain exposure to the learning opportunities that derive from working alongside senior colleagues.

KSA and UAE real estate growth: Webinar launch on post COVID-19 real estate recovery


Informa Markets, organisers of the Cityscape portfolio for the global real estate sector, will highlight and dissect the shifting sands of local, regional and international markets caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, in a series of virtual and live events which will help the diverse sectors across real estate get back to business in 2020.

The next session, taking place on Tuesday 7 July at 1pm, ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Sector: Spotlight on UAE and KSA, will explore the ongoing transformation of the office sector and highlight how the Arabian Gulf’s two most populous nations are getting back to growth through this evolution.

During the online seminar, industry experts, Dr Chris Payne, Chief Economist at Peninsula Research and Simon Townsend, Head of Valuations and Consultancy at CBRE, will debate and discuss trickle-down topics such as economic impact ripples caused by the office of the future, the importance of technology in future workplaces, and work-life integration.

“We intend to highlight how macroeconomic conditions in the Arabian Gulf over the past few years have been the chief determinant of challenging real estate prices. Rather than follow the usual argument that there has been an over-building problem, we will stress that the real issue has been weaker demand as an outcome of fiscal constraints placed on governments by lower oil prices,” said Dr Payne, a former chief economist at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

“Given this scenario, it becomes possible to model the economic impact of COVID-19  on the real estate market in the UAE and KSA. Subsequently, and considering our conservative economic and fiscal estimates for 2020, we can extrapolate how the real estate cycle will turn.”

These models will be key to helping the region get back to business, exploring new and existing challenges and helping to identify the route to recovery for the real estate sectors.

Part of a wider programme of news, market insights and in-depth analysis available through Cityscape, future virtual sessions will explore ‘Retail: Looking Beyond Brick and Mortar’, ‘Reimagining our Urban Space after COVID-19’, ‘Impact of COVID-19 on UAE and KSA Economic and Commercial Sectors’, and ‘Re-examining Investment Strategies: Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Data Centres’.

In conjunction, a new podcast series will kick-off with special guests discussing ‘Looking beyond the Pandemic’ and ‘Industrial and Logistics: A Game Changer’. The series will culminate in the flagship live exhibition, conference and seminar programme, hosted in Dubai in November 2020. With extensive Informa AllSecure safety measures in place for exhibitors and visitors, this year’s edition has a renewed importance, as it reconnects the real estate industry to create new business following an unprecedented period for the global economy.

Chris Speller, Group Director of Cityscape, Informa Markets, said: “Much like Dubai and the UAE, Cityscape is ready for business. As a true real estate market analysis hub, Cityscape’s focus is on industry preparedness ahead of the second half of 2020 in what has been a challenging year for not only the real estate market, but the world economy. We truly support bringing the residential, commercial, industrial, hospitality and retail real estate market back to business through both virtual events and the flagship real estate live exhibition and conference in 2020.”

Registration for the Tuesday 7 July at 1pm webinar on ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Sector: Spotlight on UAE and KSA, is available at

Covid-19 Economy Impact

Are staycations the ‘New Normal’?



With travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, there’s been “pent up demand” from the market to travel due to cancelled plans and lost time. This report provides an analysis of the “importance of the staycation market” to the hospitality industry’s recovery in the UAE post Covid-19. As restrictions ease across the country, hotels can expect domestic travel or “Staycations” to lead the recovery.

To read the complete report, register and click Submit.



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Covid-19 Economy Impact

Why is there a rise in tourism interest in the Middle East?


This report provides insights into the MENA’s hotel market, specifically in KSA, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan. The review also includes an update on the market’s sentiment towards the pandemic, the expected rate of recovery, the rise in tourism interest, and an overview of the region’s tourism industry. Download below to read the full report.

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Effects of Covid-19 on MENA’s Hotel Market

Hotel Sign.jpg


Effects of COVID-19 on MENA’s Hotel Market

Tourism is big business — for some economies, it makes up a considerable chunk of their GDPs. But it is also one of the hardest-hit sectors during COVID-19, with a significant blow dealt to the hotel and hospitality industries.

In this survey conducted after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colliers International assessed the prevailing sentiment across the hotel industry in the Middle East and North Africa. Owners of existing properties in the region, as well as those that have invested in hotels still under construction, reverted with their perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry and the outlook for the hotel industry after COVID.

Of those surveyed, a substantial percentage held investments in the hotel industry in the UAE, with the remaining majority with investments in the hotel industry in Saudi Arabia and the hotel industry in Egypt. Drawing on the responses of these major players across the hotel industry in the Middle East and North Africa, this survey forms an analysis of the hotel industry in 2020 as well as the hotel industry’s forecast for 2020.

A large fraction of respondents — nearly 80% — were forced to either fully or partially shut down due to low occupancy rates across hotels, while some properties were appropriated into temporary quarantine and healthcare facilities. Salary cuts, forced leaves, heavy layoffs, and full or partial closure of hotels, were some of the common reactions across the region’s hotel industry during COVID.

But, in a promising turn, most investors with hotels still under construction do not intend to scale back development during the pandemic. While hotel occupancy for 2020 has fallen severely, investors remain optimistic about the hotel industry’s recovery after COVID-19 and the hotel occupancy forecast post COVID.

In fact, a large subset of respondents shares this positive outlook for the region’s hotel industry after the pandemic and the hotel investment market at large. Most expect the impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism in the Middle East, and the subsequent hit to the hotel industry during COVID, to shift gears into recovery by the last quarter of 2020. But many agree this will not be possible without better crisis management across the hotel industry.

This survey outlines the effects of the pandemic on the region’s hotel market, presents an overview of the responses and actions of existing hotels, those under construction, and those with development plans for future hotels, as well as addresses the market’s sentiment towards occupancy and recovery.

Click download to read the in-depth report.

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Saudi Arabia announces $4bln Tourism Development Fund

Saudi Arabia - Landmark1

  • $45bn (SAR 165bn) agreed in MOUs with private banks and further discussions underway with investment banks to create additional investment funds
  • Members of the board appointed by the National Development Fund

RiyadhSaudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism has announced the formation of the Tourism Development Fund to boost growth across the sector. The fund will launch a range of equity and debt investment vehicles, with an initial $4bn (SAR 15bn) capital and $45bn (SAR 165bn) in memoranda of understanding already signed with private banks.

The Tourism Development Fund, which has been approved by Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers, will collaborate with private and investment banks to support private-sector developments and incentivize further investment across the industry.

“The Tourism Development Fund will play a critical role in developing outstanding tourism experiences and unlocking the full potential of Saudi Arabia as a destination,” said His Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism. 

“The launch of the fund at this time, as the tourism sector faces unprecedented global challenges, is testament to investor and private-sector confidence in the long-term outlook for tourism in Saudi Arabia. The social and economic importance of the sector cannot be understated: it drives growth and diversification, attracts international investment, creates job opportunities and enhances quality of life for millions of Saudis.”

The Tourism Development Fund’s launch is part of the first phase of the National Tourism Strategy, which focuses on developing and enhancing 38 sites across seven destinations by 2022. 


Funding will be deployed to support mixed-use destinations, to address gaps in the tourism value chain, and to enable technologically enhanced tourism. Projects supported by the fund will include flagship mixed-use and hospitality developments by leading international operators and investors with the aim of enhancing Saudi Arabia’s tourism offering, supporting growth across domestic and international tourism, attracting foreign direct investment and driving job creation.

Following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international tourism in 2019, tourism has become one of the country’s highest growth potential sectors.  It is expected to contribute more than 10% of annual GDP, compared to 3% today, and to create more than one million new jobs by 2030.

The National Development Fund, chaired by His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, has approved the appointment of five board members, who will bring a wealth of experience and investment expertise to the Tourism Development Fund. Board members are: Her Highness Princess Haifa Mohammed Al Saud, Vice Minister of Strategy and Investment at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism; His Excellency Ihsan Bafakih, Governor of the Real Estate General Authority; Mr. Stephen Groff, Governor of the National Development Fund; Mr. Mohammed Omran AlOmran, Member of the Board of Directors at Saudi British Bank; and Mr. Mohammed Al-Hokal, Member of the Board of Directors at the National Commercial bank (NCB).

Cityscape Dubai to be held in November

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Cityscape 2020 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from November 16 to 17.

The global real estate event is committed to supporting the GCC in re-establishing a 'back to business' approach, delivering a focused event that creates a hub for the real estate sector to network, discusses some of the most poignant topics, delves into market recovery and discover new real estate opportunities.

Broadening its horizons beyond residential, Cityscape will spotlight the rapidly growing sectors of industrial and logistics, commercial: retail & office, proptech and architecture. In an increasingly mature residential market, this gives the industry growing opportunities across these high-growth asset classes, fundamental to continuing progress in the real estate economy across the GCC.

Reaching out to new partners and associations across these commercial and industrial sectors, alongside working closely with its exhibitor community to develop a new floor plan to showcase these projects, Cityscape's participants can expect a new era of real estate to develop at this year's Cityscape 2020.

Alongside these show floor developments, Cityscape 2020 also sees the launch of the high-level Real Estate Summit, for top tier investors, government, consultants and developers. Supported by an important Investor, Government & Corporate End User Hosted Buyer Programme, Dubai will play host to this gateway for real estate networking in the MENA region.

For more information about the event, click here


Insights into Abu Dhabi's new development of mixed-use warehouses


Abu Dhabi, UAE – 17 June 2020: Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, today announced breaking ground for its new products for supporting the increasing demand for pre-built facilities in KIZAD.

The range of small-to-medium light-industrial warehousing units comprises the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh phases of the KIZAD Logistics Park and are set to be introduced to the market starting from the end of the year to cater to increasing customer demands for additional ready to move facilities.

Abdullah Al Hameli, Acting Head of Industrial Zones Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Industrial activity and warehousing demand has been quite resilient, and we are confident that launching these ultra-modern units will propel tremendous growth in Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing base. Customers are looking for flexible and asset-light options, and we are expanding our portfolio to address these needs through the launching of new modular, pre-built units in various sizes and configurations.

“With the availability of options to buy or lease warehouses based upon a business’s individual requirements, investors benefit from our flexible offers for low-cost operations at scale as well as our ability to offer the region’s lowest utility costs. This is complemented by the unique location at the industrial heart of the UAE, and its direct access to global markets via our flagship deep-water port, Khalifa Port.”

New developments in KLP 4 and KLP 5 span a total plot area of approx. 250,000 sqm and offer a range of mixed-use warehousing and light industrial units. These comprise of 26 showroom warehouse units (24 units of 795 sqm and two units of 1,920 sqm) and 88 small-to-medium light-industrial and warehousing units (76 units of 500 sqm; six units of 1,000 sqm; one unit of 1,666 sqm; and six light industrial units of 1,028 sqm).

Further, KLP 6 & KLP 7 offer dedicated plots spanning a total of 330,000 sqm, housing 20 large terraced units, each with an individual floor space of 2,500 sqm, while KLP 7 will feature 56 medium light-industrial and warehousing units.

Located in KIZAD Area A, all modules will be equipped with raised floors, open loading yard access for trucks and forklifts, ample on-site parking will include their own office area with toilets and kitchenettes.

KLP’s launch is the latest in a series of recent developments announced by the Middle East’s largest industrial zone. Earlier this month, KIZAD broke ground on a dedicated Truck Plaza, the largest in the region, to meet the needs of truck drivers and the zone’s growing industrial community.

The Plaza, roughly equal in size to 12 soccer fields, comprises shaded truck, bus and car parking spaces together with a community centre, a fuel station, and several retail outlets including a convenience store, restaurants, a car care service, and a mosque.

Warehouse - Original PR



Covid-19 Economy Impact

Key trends that will shape the future of real estate in the Middle East and beyond

Real estate report.jpg


Buoyed as it is by strong demand, high rental yields, and a growing population and GDP, real estate has long served as the dependable choice for investors in the Middle East. But with the continuing volatility of oil prices, a mutable regulatory landscape, brewing trade wars, and the economic downturn spurred into motion by the COVID-19 pandemic, are real estate investments in the Middle East still a preferred asset? And how will the ongoing, widespread economic, social, environmental and technological upheaval shape the future of the real estate market in the Middle East?

The forecasted prolonged stretch of low oil prices will require regional governments to continue working on their diversification strategies, which will in turn stimulate a slew of mega projects in the MENA region — already multiple high-profile infrastructure projects in the Middle East have entered into their design, planning and construction stages. Over the next few years, the MENA real estate market will experience heavy growth and will present several attractive opportunities for investments.

But the building and construction sector accounts for a sizable chunk of the world’s carbon emissions — as high as 39% in 2018. Since the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, are set to witness strong growth in construction, the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) and the adoption of smart and sustainable building technologies will emerge as one of the key trends to shape the future of the Middle East’s real estate sector.

The region’s real estate sector is also likely to benefit from growth in the vertical farming industry. In a bid to drive up self-sufficiency, vertical farming in the Middle East, and particularly vertical farming in Dubai, is on the rise, which will have a positive impact on the demand for warehouses.

The recent upswing in Chinese investments in the Middle East will also have long-term implications on the Middle East’s real estate market. Egypt was the largest recipient of funding from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and Chinese funding is pivotal to Oman’s development plans for its industrial zones. Stronger China-Middle East economic relations will boost growth in the region’s real estate sector.

This report investigates the recent trends in the real estate sector, and how these shifts will impact real estate in the Middle East, as well as the future of real estate after COVID.

Download the full report to know more.

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Covid-19 Economy Impact

COVID-19: The urgent demand for multipurpose accommodation facility

Prefabricated Homes

Abu Dhabi, June 22, 2020 - Al Masaood Bergum (AMB), one of Abu Dhabi's leading modular and prefabricated building solutions providers and part of the Al Masaood Group of Companies, has revealed the successful construction of a specialized accommodation facility that can be best used as a temporary and multipurpose accommodation facility, isolation wards, hospital bed-spaces, mobile laboratories or as medical centres. The newly built facility, which was built in a short span of time, features modules that can be affixed anywhere with short notice and can be utilized as makeshift hospital infrastructure and for quarantine purposes.

Al Masaood Bergum has the capacity of producing more than 25000m2 of buildings per month. The specialized accommodation facility produced during the challenging short period measures around 15,000 square meters of building space to address urgent requirements brought about by the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This has resulted in the demand for facilities that can serve as both medical and isolation areas to hold those affected by the virus. The evolving situation with regards to the spread of COVID-19 has once again highlighted the endless advantages of modular and offsite construction.

In light of the COVID-19 situation, the company has also been able to design, fabricate and install a portable full-body disinfection tunnel at the entry of the facility. The walk-through enclosure is designed for personnel decontamination purposes that can render multiple persons at a time upon entry. The portable system is also equipped with sanitizer to assure the safety of all AMB employees and related personnel using the facility.


Ghias Ur Rehman, Country Manager, AMB, said, "We have successfully been able to construct a specialized accommodation facility that can be best used for quarantine and medical purposes. Our company is backed by exceptionally talented and skilled individuals that lead in our building of world-class, high-quality products. We are proud to be able to partner and collaborate with various entities, providing them with top of the line modular and prefabricated building solutions. Our swift and efficient delivery of turnkey solutions has made AMB a top choice and key partner to our clients in the UAE."

The company has reportedly led the implementation of fast track projects in the emirate, which includes the fabrication, delivery and installation of a multipurpose facility for more than 500 people in a two-week timespan. The firm has also built a number of prefabricated accommodation units accompanied by dining halls, rooms, toilets and kitchen facilities. AMB has also fabricated, delivered and installed an ablution facility with all the required toilets, shower and washbasins within 24 hours which generally takes 5 days.