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Real estate 'among Bahrain's top 5 job creators'

17-09-2019

Real estate is one of five major sectors that the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is focusing on for future development as part of its mission to attract and direct investments in order to create jobs in the kingdom, said Ali Murtaza, the Director of Real Estate and Tourism at Bahrain EDB.

Murtaza was addressing some of the leading global industry experts during a special session at the GCC PropTech Time Summit 2019 held in Manama today (September 17).

The event put spotlight on the latest real estate construction technologies amongst the GCC countries.

According to experts, PropTech - the technology that is transforming the real estate and development eco-system - is pegged to be the next game changer after FinTech.

Leading experts showcased the technologies dedicated to the real estate industry in this digitalised era which will support positive growth rates all with the help of innovative technology, real estate market professionals, investors and industry experts.

It was organised by Bahrain EDB and HexGn, with sponsorship support of Diyar Al Muharraq and in partnership with JLL, RICS, and Arabnet.

The summit saw some interesting insights come out through the round tables and also witnessed an array of innovative startups pitching for funds during the event. It served as a platform for the unveiling of the results of a PropTech Survey conducted by HexGn as well.

The event kicked off with a keynote address by Ahmed Alammadi, the CEO of Diyar Al Muharraq, setting an exciting pace for the rest of the summit.

"We are pleased with our participation in this prestigious event which was a great platform for leading experts, officials and decision makers from the real estate and technology sector to network, develop business relationships, enhance communication and exchange knowledge," stated Alammadi.

"Our participation was in line with our commitment towards the Kingdom of Bahrain to elevate the standards of technology in the real estate sector," he noted.

The summit, a first-of-its-kind event in Bahrain, has activated a new proptech energy within the Bahraini ecosystem, sparking growth and conversations around proptech in the kingdom, said the organisers.

The GCC PropTech Time 2019 featured the unveiling of an insightful report based on a survey conducted by HexGn. The report identified the key technologies that have the potential to disrupt the real estate industry in the next five years.

While currently proptech solution in sales and leasing, planning and design, and property management are the most sought after by the industry, technology advancements in new building materials, AI & Big Data, IoT & Sensors, and drones are considered to have the most impact in real estate industry, according to the report.

In general, the majority of the real estate professionals across the lifecycle segments believe that the industry will face disruption due to technology in 4-7 years.

Further, the HexGn report also found that almost 80% of the industry considered proptech as an opportunity that is yet to be fully tapped, but only half the industry seems to be ready to embrace technology with a documented plan and allocated budget.

Among the segments, Asset Managers, followed by Advisor/ Consultants and Construction Managers are most ready to adopt proptech solutions, it added.

Murtaza said Bahrain had time and again proved to be fertile for businesses especially for the tech-driven industries and was doing the same for proptech.

"The Bahraini ecosystem can help proptech players grow at an unmatched rate, as it has no dearth of any of the startup-essential resources," he stated.

According to Murtaza, the entrepreneurs planning to be a part of the Bahraini proptech segment are being offered several benefits.

"The country has been the friendliest to those in business among all the places in the region. For startups, there is an ample availability of local talent as well as a robust digital infrastructure for leading their tech-based quests in the Bahraini ecosystem. Some of the top talent in the Mena region reside in Bahrain, offering startups here one of the biggest resources for any business – quality human capital," he stated.

"That aside, Bahrain is among the most expat-friendly place in the Mena region. The standard of living and working here is unmatched. In most sectors, foreigners can enjoy a 100% ownership rights making it one of the most appealing places in the Gulf for doing business," he added.

Bahrain’s ecosystem and business landscape had an edge over the other hubs in the region as per the findings by HexGn.

"The investment and revenue flow in the proptech segment can be expected to see an impressive growth in the coming years. The GCC PropTech Time Summit 2019 has further propelled this growth," stated HexGn CEO Jappreet Sethi.

Bahrain, he stated, was a hotbed of innovation and the top proptech destination in the region.

"The proptech scenario here is getting fueled continually with the help of the government, academia, and international players. The country's academia has been contributing significantly by setting up smart campuses in a bid to make their education system more advanced and to transform it into a source of inspiration for innovation," added Sethi.

Diyar Al Muharraq CEO Engineer Ahmed Alammadi said:

Eman Al Mannai, VP Sales & Marketing at Golden Gate, highlighted the importance of such conferences and workshops on the importance of technology and its integration with Real Estate – which is one of the most vital sectors of any modern economy.

"We at Golden Gate are in constant pursuit of the latest developments in Real Estate technologies that seek to improve the value of this sector. We are delighted that Bahrain has been selected to host such events and it stands as a testament to the geographical, economic and strategic importance of the kingdom both historically and in modern times as a regional hub for international trade," observed Al Mannai.

"Golden Gate commends the support of the Government, the EDB and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) for facilitating such seminars and workshops that facilitate creating global partnerships between local and international developers for the benefit of Bahraini citizens and the global investor in the Kingdom of Bahrain," she added.

According to Sethi, local talent was being shaped to help Bahraini ecosystem increase its dependency on homegrown talent by offering courses in entrepreneurship, blockchain, and much more.

Additionally, agencies like Tamkeen are already giving impetus to entrepreneurial ventures in Bahrain through an array of schemes and services for easy-hiring of locals for various fields, he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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