Posted on October 05, 2019

Delegates to the invite-only Cityscape Qatar Conference, which will run at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre on October 22, will get a multi-sector overview of the country’s real estate market and expert insights into the gross yields within its residential sector.

The overview and insights will be delivered by Pawel Banach, General Manager and Anum Hasan, Senior Market Research Analyst of ValuStrat, the region’s leading advisory, valuations and research consulting group. The two will present a comprehensive overview of the current market covering the entire property spectrum including residential, commercial, office, retail, hospitality and industrial. They will then drill down into gross yields within the residential sector and examine the issue of leasing versus buying apartments in the context of The Pearl and Lusail. 

“All sectors have different trajectories and are in different stages of development,” explained Banach. “In every sector there are assets which are performing better compared to the others. For example, in the residential sector apartments in prime locations are performing better in terms of occupancy, as rents in these locations have reduced to make them affordable to a larger section of the population.” Banach says the Qatari market is now benefitting from pro-active public sector initiatives including the recently released freehold zones law, which increased the number of freehold zones, allowed non-Qataris to own freehold property, enabled 100% foreign ownership and 100% repatriation of profits across all sectors.

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“Government spending and policies have been key in encouraging foreign direct investment in Qatar real estate. Robust government spending has been crucial in driving investor confidence and has also aided economic diversification and private sector development. Moreover, the government continues to introduce policies and laws which encourage foreign investment and augment capital flow,” added Banach. Banach also contends that new financial incentives will also help spur the market. “Recently banks have started offering very attractive interest rates to encourage home ownership. Moreover, developers are also now offering payment plans over 3-5-year period not only on off plan properties but also handed over properties in The Pearl and Lusail in order to augment buying opportunities,” he says.

One of the speakers at this year’s conference, Edd Brookes, Head of the Middle East from commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield Qatar, has dubbed the local market as: “Probably one of the most stable in the region with demand slowly converging towards equilibrium, assisted in no small way by a flight to quality and more affordable property costs for occupiers.” Brookes says the market is benefiting from positive sentiment accrued from scaled-up transport options and great ownership and incomes security. He identifies the medium cost housing sector as the best performing asset, especially in locations outside Doha but which are now commutable thanks to the Metro network.

The powerful Cityscape Qatar Conference has been designed for institutional investors, private, investors and semi-government officers and C-level executives from the real estate, finance, legal and associated sectors. A combination of high-level presentations and expert panel discussion will deliberate trends impacting the market. Invites are available by registering online. “The invite-only format underlines our policy of curating content specific to senior leadership,” explained Carlo Schembri, Exhibition Director. “It ensures delivery of a forum where invitees can network with the world’s wealthiest investors and industry professionals in Qatar and the region.”

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Meanwhile the free-to-attend Cityscape Talks series will return to the show floor of Cityscape Qatar on October 23 and 24, with a wide choice of presentations. “Attendees will hear expert views on how to maximise their real estate investment, discuss market trends, get keen insights on which to base better informed buying decision and network with potential business contacts,” explained Schembri. “There will also be industry sessions focusing on key themes for real estate brokers, architects, engineers, and other professionals. These sessions will enable professionals to exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues looking to develop their skills and establish closer links with the key governing bodies of each domain.”

Cityscape Qatar, the only real estate exhibition and conference of its kind in the Gulf state, is set for a successful showing this October 22-24 with exhibitor and visitor feedback from last year’s event promising a high international turnout. The event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. Cityscape Qatar is supported by Qetaifan Projects as Platinum Exhibition Sponsor, Qatari Diar as Gold Exhibition Sponsor, and Barwa as Official Strategic Sponsor.