ravings, rantings and ramblings
Today is the second day of Cityscape, the annual real estate fair. Quite a time to host this especially since Dubai has had a real estate crash; pun fully intended. But am not going to speculate future trends here or try to interview a realtor honcho. Everybody else does that. Till about last year, I was doing that when I was following the onset of the economic downturn on my radio show. This year, things have changed. I am at Cityscape doing what I do best – people watching!
So I sit myself down in a coffee shop, chicken sandwich on the side with my favourite brew and a vantage view of the registration desk and foyer. Sitting with food is important. It is a good distraction and of utmost importance to me!
I notice the trickle of people walking in. A traditionally dressed Arab was offering Arabica to all guests walking in. His rejection rate was pretty high, higher than potential buyers, I dare say.
The gents participating in the event looked as elitist as Emperor penguins; a blur of dark business suits in all hues of blue and grey. The women, also turned out in business suits, albeit a bit more on the colourful side and a lot more variety of hair-dos. In fact I could safely call it the FTV invasion! My mood perked up, as did it for the Emperor penguins! What a remarkable display of healthy calves! With each rhythmic tic toc of heels on the shiny floor tiles presented a fresh batch of model-like women delegates in extremely fancy footwear. Clumps, stilettos and what-have-you’s in delicious styling and character. Probably that was the only happy highlight of the event.
I was doing my regular neck exercise following one set of people walking and another set walking out.
The business to business exhibition was tucked inside the large conference halls. The number of people walking out from the halls to the foyer to grab a coffee or to have a relaxed smoke, spoke of a different story this year. With not much business happening, most were merely representing their companies. This event, in past years always saw registration queues, people jostling for space, lavish displays and futuristic spreads of real estates. This year had a different story to tell. Industry insiders whispered another beating. And outside was a partially empty floor, and half empty coffee shops.
I went back to people gazing.
This time I saw some stall attendants and restaurant staff. Most looked sleepy and grumpy. Others looked concerned. Frown-tiers on foreheads matched a triple-decker sandwich. You could tell the concern from behind curled eye-lashes and deep red lipstick.
Take the exterior of suits and make up away and you would see the worries and the frowns and the nods of dismay. The people and the city bore the same look.