Among the signs of improving sentiment over Q1/2012 :
• The first Cityscape Egypt took place in late February with the participation of most of the major real estate developers and the announcement of several new projects by developers including the Amer Group.
• While many development projects have been delayed, there are a number of major projects near completion. Cairo Festival City will deliver its first office phase in mid-2012 and Damac is looking to open its retail and office project opposite Dandy Mall in 2013.
• Construction has recommenced on a number of projects that had previously been suspended (eg: Qatari Diar's major mixed use development on the Nile Corniche).
• The residential sector has seen returning confidence and increased sales activity. SODIC has recently announced that several future stages of their West Town project have now been 'Sold Out' off plan
• Tourist visitors to Egypt have increased by 40% in the first quarter (compared to Q1 2011), providing a major boost to the Cairo hospitality sector.
• There remains active demand for up to 10,000 sq m of office space from international occupiers, although many of these groups have scaled back their requirements in light of portfolio optimisation strategies and delayed decisions until after the results of the presidential elections are known.
Retailers continue to open new stores with recent examples including Go Sport who signed the contract for their first store in Egypt at Dandy Mall. First IMAX cinemas has also signed a contract to open in the Sheikh Zayed neighbourhood by 6th October.