Virtual reality is developers' new best friend at Cityscape Global

Investors interested in a property are usually ushered to the site where they shuffle around the offerings and often end up tired out by the end of the visit.

At Cityscape Global this year though, sore feet will be a thing past as companies turn to virtual reality tools in a bid to attract potential buyers.

For those keen on taking a look around Mada Residences, for instance, a 36-storey residential tower in Downtown Dubai, state-of-the-art technology is available that has never before been used at the event.

Cityscape visitors at the Artar Real Estate Development stand, the developer behind Mada Residences, will be invited to step into an “immersion cube” where they will walk around the luxury apartments available, recreated in virtual reality so that they can experience the layouts, textures, lights and materials used.

The system has taken more than six months to create, the company says, and the cube is fitted with motion sensors so that the visitor can easily move around the apartments.

“Technology is becoming more and more important when we speak to our investors,” says Artar’s chief executive, Sulaiman Abdulrahman Al Rashid.

“We have invested in creating this virtual reality world for visitors to our Cityscape Global stand so that they can experience what it will be like to walk into a Mada Residences home.

“The immersion cube will bring that space to life, right from the exhibition floor of Cityscape Global and will offer a proof point to potential investors of the quality in this development,” Mr Al Rashid says.

In addition to the five square metre cube, a core component of the Artar stand in Hall 2 of the Dubai World Trade Centre, will be a number of VR headsets that will provide a similar experience but will use technology from a newly designed mobile app called Mada Residences.

Available to download on both iOS and Android devices, the app allows investors and anyone interested in the development to “take the property home in their pocket and experience it at a touch of a button”.

“It allows the client to feel the space and understand the intelligent design of each apartment”, the company says.

“We believe that using technology in this way offers added benefits to our investors and communicates with them in a way that has never been done before,” adds Mr Al Rashid. “I expect this will be a trend we will see much more of from the industry over the coming years but we have worked hard to be one of the first to offer it in this region.”

Mada Residences is located about a minute’s walk from Dubai Mall and comprises 193 one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, which the developer says are “larger than average”. Artar is scheduled for delivery of all units in the second quarter of 2018.

Another developer taking the VR route at Cityscape is Dubai Properties (DP), a master developer and asset manager. DP’s offering provides customers with “interactive digital experiences that showcase the dynamism of its destinations”, it says.

“As new technologies are being developed, we are working very hard to ensure that our business processes are in line with market trends and the rise in consumer expectations,” says Marwan Al Kindi, the executive director for sales and sales operations at DP.

“Digital innovation is a crucial element of our real estate strategy moving forward and virtual reality is a fantastic way to enable our customers to experience our destinations.”

The 3D technologies and virtual floor plans will “bring off-plan properties, such as Bellevue Towers in the Burj Khalifa district, to life so that tenants and buyers are able to get a glimpse of the exterior design, the textures and finishing used in the developments, as well as the urban planning, landscaping and extensive amenities on offer”, the company says.

Visitors to Cityscape can also explore other DP destinations via an interactive “digital wall” at the DP stand S1E 10 in Sheikh Saeed Hall 1.

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