It's that time of the year. In Dubai, Cityscape defines the moment of truth for the real estate sector. Every year, investors, buyers, sellers, bankers, owners, tenants, the curious and the doomsday sayers all wait for this event. And, each year, it just gets hotter. Except this year, as I write, things are really, really on the edge.
Funnily enough, most every one I know in the ad industry also holds their breath. Someone who has a fair grasp of the industry here i the UAE told me that most agencies are '30% deep in real estate'. Meaning, around 30% of their revenues, in one form or another are real estate related communications related. Thus you see, if there's a spiral headed south, the ad industry here is not going to sit back and sigh and say 'There but for the grace of God...'
What I don't get is this wild wind of panic sentiment. When every stockbroker around is fighting for survival, when every market is in turmoil, hasn't the long standing sentiment always been to rely on real estate? To fall back on things like brick and mortar? But I guess the panic that's hit the money markets are drifting across the real estate segments as well. Although, even in the hardest hit markets, the strong real estate corners are holding steady. Let's just hope sense prevails. We wait and watch.