Expo 2020 will catalyse Dubai’s infrastructural change


Dubai winning the bid for hosting the Expo 2020 triggered a wave of optimism and opportunity, and the effect was seen in major industries, including real estate. Being the first ever exhibition of its size in the Middle East, the numbers are huge. An expected 25 million visitors, including world leaders and decision makers from more than 200 countries, visiting Dubai during the course of the exhibition is a huge opportunity for the city to further prop up its international image, attract foreign investments and strengthen the core economy.

The spending on the overall infrastructure required to host the event runs into millions of dollars. All this investment is expected to bring short and long-term benefits to the diversified economy before, during and in the years to come after the event.

The Expo 2020 site will be the biggest ever built and span across 438 hectares. It will not just be an exhibition venue, but also a stimulation of a knowledge-based economy which will continue to attract visitors, students and businesses. After the event is over, the Expo site will be transformed into an ecosystem to connect businesses and to foster innovation and meaningful partnerships for a diversified economy.

Previous expos
The economic benefits of the past Expos have been witnessed by many host countries. The Expo Milano 2015, considered to be the largest food event in modern history, attracted 22 million visitors who returned to their countries to consider new food policies and systems. The theme of the Expo was ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ and it ran for six months, with 145 participating countries and 22 million visitors from all over the world. Undoubtedly, the event was highly successful and established Milan as a global capital of food policy. During the Expo period alone, food products worth billions were sold and the host city was thrown into the global spotlight.

Post the Expo Milan 2015, Italy’s agro business was pushed to a record high. Export and foreign sales rose significantly and the city witnessed a massive growth in visitor numbers proving that Italy’s business centre was able to reap the beneficial effects of the event. And there was no post Expo decline; in fact, the city has been able to capitalise on the international visibility created by the event by investing in “services, cultural offerings and attractions.

Dubai’s vision post Expo 2020
For host countries, expos act as a catalyst for accelerating infrastructural transformations and have a powerful impact on the branding of the city, and of the country at an international level. The Dubai Expo 2020 is an event that will bring remarkable changes to infrastructure, and is a well thought out plan for long-term economic growth and development. The infrastructure development for Expo 2020 is not just confined to the event but also part of the city’s continued development and to cater to the increasing growth of the tourism, aviation and other sectors.

The goal of the expo is not just to become a remarkable event but to also create a legacy of development that will empower all major sectors, thus cementing Dubai’s status as a hub for investment, trade, tourism and transport.

The investment in infrastructure for the Expo and beyond is a clear picture for the long-term growth strategy. With the world’s largest airport that will accommodate up to 220 million passengers per year, Dubai will solidify its position as a global aviation hub. A number of large-scale development projects scheduled to be ready after the Expo will ensure continuity of economic growth and foreign investment and the action will continue even after the mega event.

How driverless cars will impact real estate


There is a strong buzz about driverless cars and how they’re going to affect our transportation. The question being asked is – when will the fully autonomous cars become a reality? The fact is that driverless cars are not a futuristic thought and the race to build perfect driverless cars has already started.

Technology companies are pouring large investments and deploying huge resources into research to shape the car of the future, that will be driverless, energy-efficient, understand traffic patterns and situations and most importantly keep the passengers safe in case of a machine failure or during bad weather. While some prototypes have already been tested, there is a long way to go before they become ready for serious production.

With all the focus of large companies in honing the technology, experts believe that complete adoption of driverless vehicles won’t happen before 2030, but some vehicles with self-driving capabilities are expected to hit the market by 2020. The technology needs to be perfected before it’s adopted by the masses because its influence is not only limited to transportation, but also real estate developments, infrastructure and the global economy.

Historically, as modes of transportation evolved, it changed real estate developments. Before the invention of the automobile, cities clustered around ports as ships were the only available mode to transport people and goods. The introduction of the automobile liberated people to live and work at major distances and the distance kept growing ever since as demand for residential property increased, with an increase in population.

The advent of the driverless car will enable people to travel and commute while being connected and engaging in productive work, thus increasing the willingness to live farther away from the workplace.

Location, location, location
As we know, the most important factor of determining real estate price is the location and this importance will blur and will be taken over by other factors such as size of the property and other facilities. Real estate developers can plan communities away from the city centre and focus on amenities and quality of life of the inhabitants.

Driverless cars will also have a significant effect on the usage and demand of parking spaces. Imagine being dropped at work and the car parks itself on a multilevel parking far away from your workplace and comes to pick up when needed. These multi-level parking can have refuelling, charging and maintenance facilities, freeing up space occupied by stations at prime locations. This will eliminate, or at least diminish, the need for parking spaces within commercial and residential buildings and the space can be utilised for more productive and efficient use of real estate.

Predictions are that autonomous vehicles will eradicate the need for up to 90 per cent of parking spaces in the span of the next 15 years. For new construction, developers can save on building parking spaces and pass the economic benefit onto the buyer or the tenant.

Street parking in commercial and residential areas can be utilised to build more lanes and ease the flow of traffic. Searching for a parking in major cities is in itself a challenge and a stressful exercise. According to a recent survey, an average UK motorist spends 106 days of his/her life looking for a parking slot. Saving this stress will come as a bonus apart from the economic benefits of using an autonomous car.

Autonomous cars are likely to bring a number of economic and cultural changes and have a significant effect on real estate developments. This is going to happen a few years from now. While it’s difficult to predict all the transformation it’ll bring into our daily lives, and how quickly we would be able to adopt the changes, it’s easy to say that the change is going to be dramatic and we need to start preparing for it.

As the impact is going to be well beyond our imagination, we need to make our cities ready to accept this technical marvel. The convenience, cost benefits and safety are enough reasons for adoption of this new technology, and with the right planning, we can enlarge these advantages to create better real estate developments, cities and a more sustained future.

Real estate sector adopts innovations in technology


Technology has revolutionised the way we live, work, study and do business. Whether it’s a desktop, tablet or the smartphone, the adoption of technology permeates every aspect of our lives. The face and pace of business significantly changed after the first computer buzzed in an office and it has been changing ever since.
As new technologies are being developed, they effect and change how business processes and transactions take place, and how the seller interacts with the buyer. All businesses have to constantly adapt new technologies to stay competitive, keep up with the market trends and rise to consumer expectations.
Technological advancements have had an effect on all major industries and real estate is no exception. Though the real estate industry was late than others to adapt new technologies, innovation is now apparent in the way homes are being designed, built, advertised and sold.

The home buying process
Internet is the first place home buyers go to start their research; they can search for property listings anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night, research about the area and the kind of property they are interested in before they choose a broker to guide them in the buying process. Consumers also use the Internet to research about brokerage companies and their reputation and rankings in the market.
Technology is empowering the consumer to make better decisions. Many property portals, brokerage websites and tools provide access to real time information about prices, transactions and easy-to-understand infographics that give tremendous insight of what’s happening in the real estate market.
3-D floor plans, property videos and 360-degree tours make it literally feel like you are inside the property without being physically present. Realtors are leveraging social media to widen the sphere of influence and connect to potential buyers. Smartphones have accelerated the entire real estate process as it provides a communication channel between the seller, buyer and the agent.

Big data
We all have heard of the term ‘big data’, but what exactly is it and what significance does it have in real estate?
Data is being created every time we buy grocery, shop online, surf the web, search for property online, watch TV, swipe a credit card or even just drive to the office. Almost everything we do creates data, and this data is collectively referred to as “big data”. This acts as a raw material for business intelligence and when processed and analysed using analytical tools and software, creates insights to understand consumer needs, behaviour and helps in creating new and improved products, services and to take better business decisions.
As the real estate industry takes lessons from technology, “big data” is playing a role in creating better communities, designing real estate that suits the end user, providing useful and easy-to-understand information to home buyers and insights to real estate companies about who is buying what, where and when and what tools they require to reach out to the target audience.

Smart home devices
Just as mobile technology has completely transformed how we communicate and share information, smart home devices are changing the way we live and interact with our homes. These devices are already creating a buzz as they have the ability to manage security, temperature control, lighting and energy from a cell phone application. Some of these devices can also record data and based on this, take operating decisions and predict our needs, thus providing convenience and total control even when you are away.
Technology has completely transformed our way of living, and as far as real estate is concerned, there is not a single form that is exempted from the its exponential growth.
There is no stop to exciting innovations, and with a lot more concepts on the buzz in the real estate industry, we look forward to the use of virtual reality wearable for property viewings, drones for capturing aerial view imagery of properties, 3D printing for construction of property and online crowd funding platforms to find and invest in real estate. While some of these technologies have made their way into the market, we don’t need to wait for long to see these becoming a standard.
As technological advancements are likely to bring newer tools and overwhelming information that will persist to impact the real estate industry, the goal, however, remains the same: to help people find the right property and add value to their lives.