The Middle East Takes Center Stage At Global Real Estate Event

The Middle East Takes Center Stage At Global Real Estate Event

In the latest episode of Marketplace Middle East, CNN’s Eleni Giokos visits one of the world’s biggest international property shows in Cannes.

For more than three decades MIPIM – the world’s leading real estate market event – has brought together governments, real estate experts and developers to showcase some of the most exciting trends and projects shaping the industry. When it comes to big investments, the Middle East is taking centre stage.

Saudi Arabia’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Investment Fahad Alhashem, gave Giokos a glimpse of what is in store for the future, “I think the story of the Saudi social reform is quite a magnificent one, from women enablement, to really unlocking the SME market, shifting away from oil. And I think a lot of people when we came out with these statements, were sceptical.”

He continued, “We’re showing them our ambition, our innovations, our true passion and really developing a better future not just for Saudis but for all humanity. And to be a heartbeat within the region that anybody from across the globe can come and be a part of our upcoming growth.”

The Deputy Minister said that he hopes the country’s plans will attract entrepreneurs from across the world, “We realise that in order for capital to be efficient and complement the work we’re doing, we need to attract investors and companies across the entire value chain. There is a lot of business to be done in Saudi. And we want them to come in, establish, create jobs, integrate with the local community and be a part of this upcoming growth.”

The real estate boom is also being felt in Dubai. For developers like DAMAC, opportunities across the city have been robust and abundant. DAMAC’s CEO, Hussain Sajwani, talked about his optimism for the future, “I think Dubai has a very good future and after Covid, Dubai has changed. It was a regional city, it was one of the global cities, I think today in my humble view, Dubai is a number one global city in the world, has beaten all the global cities.”

While Saudi and the UAE dominate the sector, other GCC countries like Oman want to pull ahead. Khalfan Al-Shueili, Oman’s Minister of Housing and Urban Planning discussed their strategy, “Oman has a new story. We have a new program to, number one, fulfil our youth’s aspiration. We have a very big youth population, they have their own certain way of living. Modern buildings, new lifestyles, new city spaces, and that’s what we are delivering.”

Looking ahead to the future Al-Shueili says his country’s economy is diversifying, “We’re also expanding jobs. And hopefully that journey we will be able to triple our GDP because we are also going to change the economy, based on talent, capability, skills, and maybe also the digital sector. So, there’s a lot of changes.”