Monday, 22 January 2018 04:15 GMT

Qatar- Gwadar hogs limelight at Cityscape property show

(MENAFN - Gulf Times) As the second biggest presence at the sixth edition of Cityscape Qatar, construction giants from Pakistan made it count with big time investment opportunities.
Opened by Ambassador Shahzad Ahmed on Day One, the dedicated Pakistan Pavilion was the scene of hectic exploration from hordes of expatriate Pakistanis, and both inquisitive locals and foreigners wanting to be acquainted with investment opportunities in what promises to be one of the world's standout economic regions, especially with the coveted US$46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) taking root.
Major league players like the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and premier marketing and construction houses like Star Marketing and Fast Marketing led the show with an array of dream builders. Athar Marketing Network, DHA Bahawalpur, DHA Multan and DHA Peshawar, Buch Villas Multan, Gulistan Marketing combined to offer more than 50 projects from Pakistan at the showpiece event.
Talking to Community, Qamar Choudhry, CEO of Mass Com Solutions — the Exclusive Partner of Pakistan Property Pavilion at Cityscape Qatar — said a lot of work went into its organisation, singling out a survey that was primed for expatriate Pakistanis who aspire for easier access and reliability in terms of investment.
'We conducted a survey some time back to find out what were the problems that expat Pakistanis faced particularly in the area of housing; some of the outstanding issues included the lack of time and requisite knowledge of where, when and how to invest. We came to the conclusion that the best solution lay in bringing the most renowned real estate entities under one roof. Hence the idea of this pavilion at the Cityscape Qatar, he said.
'We have an exclusive arrangement with Cityscape Qatar and as part of our endeavour to offer the best possible investment opportunities, we invited household names back home. With Pakistan assuming a high profile as an economic destination, especially with the launch of the CPEC, we were keen to respond to the interest of foreign investors. We've already done a road show in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before coming here, Choudhry noted.
'There were more than 50 projects here, which meant people (investors) had a decent spread to choose from. And then, there were multiple options in all forms and range; be they commercial and residential plots, apartments, shops, farm houses, villas and homes, even medical facilities, Choudhry said.
Similar property shows have already been conducted in Britain and the US, with more GCC countries and Australia next in line.
Asked what explained the sudden spurt in investment in Gwadar despite development plans which were still some distance from materialising, the property expert said, the idea was rooted in the trade potential given its strategic location.
'The development is in full swing with the laying down of the Motorway, and the port becoming operational recently. Consider the CPEC linkage and it's a cinch the port will be the future hub of maritime trade and a gateway to Central Asia, Choudhry expounded, and added, 'Do you know that the property prices in the last one year in Gwadar have increased 100 percent?
It was hard to disagree given the beeline of visitors at Cityscape Qatar making inquiries about Gwadar. He also believes that it has a lot to do with how locals as well as expat Pakistanis in the Gulf have benefited from phenomenal economic growth in GCC capitals, especially the ones lined by sea ports.
'Let me tell you, this is just the beginning. With Gwadar effectively becoming the gateway to Central Asia when all development projects are up and running, the sky would be the limit in terms of windfall, he said.
Talking specifically about the interest of expat Pakistanis, Salman Rasheed, Marketing Manager at Mass Com Solutions, told Community that there was huge interest in properties on offer from all urban centres. 'There is a massive demand for housing units in Pakistan so it still remains the number one investment option for expatriates. We enabled them to get direct leads into the best of the lot and invest in a safe and secure environment, he said, citing plenty of interactive sessions that followed such explorations.
Asked to spell out preferences in terms of investment and centres where these were sought, Rasheed said, it would be difficult to pin this down for the simple reason that people tend to look for proximity, especially when looking for housing needs. He did however, name northern Punjab and Peshawar as magnets for most visitors, probably, because of their ethnic roots.
Responding to a query about how the local real estate market has been affected by the documented property tax regime taking hold last year, Rasheed admitted that while this did create an initial downturn, it nevertheless did not — and will not — cancel out the quintessential boon that property investment provides in Pakistan because of the obvious demand-supply gap. 'No other investment offers the kind and scale of returns that the real estate market delivers, he pointed out.


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