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Optimistic About Middle East; Less So About Excel

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Cityscape Global, 2011 

Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE

This year marks the 10th Cityscape conference and tradeshow, bringing together real estate investors, property developers, financiers, urban planners, consultants, architects and other global real estate professionals.

Estate Master's Business Development Manager for the Middle East, Nicholas Brooks, reports that although this year's event isn't as big as it has been in the past, attendees are strongly optimistic about development in the region. Cautious, yet optimistic.

"There's a strong desire" says Nicholas "to make the Middle East an even more exciting place to work; somewhere people are excited about coming in order to be part of the development."

In addition, Nicholas reasons "It's great to see so many CEOs and COOs in attendance. It indicates a real confidence in Dubai as somewhere to establish a presence and from which to later expand into the growing opportunities in Saudi Arabia and Qatar."

There have been a lot of visits to the Estate Master booth over the last few days. Shannon Lyle, Estate Master Financial Modelling Manager, says people are keen to find alternatives to their inhouse custom spreadsheets for trying to manage their projects.

"The main problems with trying to do such a complex task in Excel" he insists "are the inability to properly consolidate your data across projects, lack of transparency -- which can lead to critical errors, and the problem of key personnel moving on to other positions, especially outside the organisation."

Shannon reports that at Cityscape this year he has talked to a greater number of people than ever interested in how to conduct a proper, thorough, and reliable feasibility study and then use that data to track their development. "People want a product that already has the right formulae and functions built in to assess and manage their projects. They want a better way of checking costs, getting more reliable feedback from their data, and, ultimately, moving away from Excel."

Date Published: 29 Sep 2011
Category: Events

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