10/06/2009 05:45 PM
Dubai: While everyone's attention was firmly on the opening day of Cityscape on Monday, Donald Trump Junior, executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, gave Dubai a glowing report.
It was inevitable that visitor numbers would be down from last year and the exhibition space has also shrunk slightly, but the mood among developers and visitors was generally upbeat.
All the big names were there, Emaar, Dubai Properties, Damac and Nakheel, proving perhaps that there was nothing to hide and sentiment was positive.
Despite the current slowdown more than Dh3.3 trillion worth of projects are still active in the UAE according to Proleads, a regional projects research firm.
Trump gave the keynote address in which he highlighted the continued popularity of Dubai.
Trump said the "herd mentality" of investors prevalent in the past was now a distant memory and the focus going forward was on location.
"A great location will always be a great location. It'll always pay back and we'll see that in Dubai (where) certain areas will come back before others," Trump said.
Due to the price correction in some areas, Trump and analysts across Dubai, have said now is a good opportunity for serious, long term investors.
In reference to the delayed projects on Dubai's landscape, Trump said the government was right to postpone them as it would have been wasteful to throw good money after bad.
"The days of 100 per cent foreign buyers, arriving with suitcases full of cash are over. It's not the reality today.
"The things that plague a lot of emerging markets is a lack of transparency... Dubai has to become more open to the world, it's not just a government issue but developers have to realise that no one's buying the story that everything's great," Trump added.
Before the market can really move forward, the excess supply of units needs to be gotten rid of and a way to do this would be to kickstart the secondary mortgage market.
"[This year] it's about transparency. It's not about launching grand schemes it's about developers delivering," said Chris Speller, Cityscape group director.