Cityscape Dubai 2018

12 October 2018
Georgina Reilly

Cityscape Dubai kicked off its main property event with a Global Conference located at the Intercontinental Festival City, with its main theme around happiness and wellbeing, within the real estate industry. We were given some highly relevant and interesting presentations. A few messages are filtering through, AI being one of them, which is fast becoming a tool which we are seeing and using in our modern working lives. Chatbots which can answer physical questions about the property, virtual tours which can show developments without the need to view, a Robot which can answer enquiries and source properties specifically linked to your search requirements. The question being, are we concerned these automated systems are going to render real estate agents out of a job? Well, we know it will have an impact, but we also know that human interaction provides the softer skills, the persuasive skills, the ‘real’ element, we are told people buy from people and people do business with people they like. For the most part, buying a property is an emotive purchase. We have to engage with it, see it, feel its tangibility or at least the concept of it, ask opinions around it. So for our immediate future, we need to think about how we interact with technology, how we integrate it and seeing it as a tool to make us better at our jobs.

We are good at what AI is not, and AI is good at what we are not… Kai-Fu Lee CEO of Sinovation Ventures.


Flexible Workspace was also a hot topic, something which we are all embracing in our working lives, to differing amounts depending on our location. As office space becomes expensive, with extensive leases and rigid structures and less adaptability for a global, technologically driven world, we are increasingly looking for more fluid spaces to work. These flexible workspaces talk of improving our wellbeing, means our smaller companies, start-ups and sole traders can work in an environment with all the mod cons and one which is community lead, our larger companies can use additional space for a specific project or time period and with these spaces popping up worldwide, it means we can tap into this hub wherever we go. We know that flexible workspace is growing, and will continue to do so in the future and perhaps this ties in with the growth we see in AI.   


Blockchain made the stage, as it should, with the general consensus being that this will have the greatest disruptive impact in the years to come on every industry, including the real estate industry. We see the opportunities but also recognise the threats; and the need for regulation of these systems and solving the vulnerability of fraud.


The conference resumed with the discussion about making happy real estate developments, namely in terms of the services, the facilities, the transaction process, but most of all, in terms of developers building what they say they will and in being consultative real estate agents. This latter comment is exactly where I see Select Resorts Properties and Select Portfolio sitting and continually striving to act in a professional, consultative, informed way when speaking and transacting with those who work with us.


Over all, a well-attended conference with some topical conversations and food for thought for the future.

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