I have to start by mentioning the impressive new Qatari Stand showcasing their pioneering $5.5. billion, 31 hectare project for the revival of Doha’s commercial and cultural hub combining the uber modern with Qatar’s traditional architecture and heritage.
Their ambitious mission statement aims to ‘fundamentally change the way people think about urban living.’ Cars will be banished to the basements and a dedicated tramway will transport visitors.
I was discussing with the managing partner of one of our leading architects yesterday the global transferability of design skills, so I was pleased to see a number of our household name architects and other service providers listed in the credits.
This stand - actually the last word in luxury pavilion - must be seen. As well as the leading edge interactive technology which at the slightest touch will show the effects on the development of light and shade, wind levels, temperatures etc, they have set up a museum dedicated to showing Doha and it’s culture through the ages.
What a remarkable transformation is being wrought! Bang on cue the Mayor of Nice arrived complete with entourage for a photo opportunity. Definitely a touch of ‘rock star’ about him, he could almost be competition for our ‘yellow haired mayor’. But I have to say he didn’t cause quite the furore engendered by Boris on the London Stand last year.
Clearly funding will not be an issue for the Qatari Doha project but for other MIPIM attendees this topic is unsurprisingly (along with the weather) the major topic of conversation. Whether it is about availability of money, or the terms on which it is a available it continues to be a major concern.
Those who have uncovered potential new sources of finance are for obvious reasons keeping very quiet about the identity of their new found saviours as money on the right terms is in short supply.
On the subject of money, could the London Stand please invest in new stairs for next year. With all the time and money invested in the exhibits and panel sessions in the London Pavilion, access via the rickety staircase doesn’t really give the right impression and is downright treacherous for someone wearing high heels - I appreciate that effectively eliminates most MIPIM delegates but all the same….!
On to a great lunch hosted by Simon Jouning and David Atkinson on the cool new Baoli Beach opposite the rebranded Marriott (also still known as the Noga Hilton which was two brandings ago). The Ott rose flowed in the largest bottles I have ever seen. I was even serenaded by the irrepressible Peter Bell who I have to say sings extremely well so deserves a mention in dispatches.
The finale to MIPIM and always a major highlight is the James Andrew/Coutts party which this year was in a new and larger room to accommodate the huge gathering. The room was packed with the glitterati of the UK property industry who could for first time in many MIPIM years actually get to the smoked salmon. A big thank you to Harvey Soning and Alan Ditton for laying on this exceptional spread.
I have to report on a strange incident on the way to dinner at L’Affable. I couldn’t find the restaurant so consulted the doorman at the Marriott. Only he wasn’t the doorman at all!
He didn’t take offence and kindly offered to drive me and my companion there. The other passenger in the car was an Australian who politely asked what brought me to MIPIM.
I explained I was a property lawyer, occasional Property Week columnist etc. With no other clues he asked if I was at Mishcon de Reya. When I confirmed this he announced that although we had never met he was one of my twitter followers!
Cards were exchanged, restaurant was reached and contact will be established back in London. Evidence if you needed it of the power of twitter!
After dinner and another sprint up the Croisette for the annual Citigrove/ Doherty Baines ‘Boat that Rocks’ party complete with live music, dancing and karaoke until the early hours.
Another fabulous party so thank you to our generous hosts. Finally I have to commend the British and Spanish for chivalry beyond the call of duty and send grateful thanks to my long suffering MIPIM friends, Christopher Whalley and Hector Gonzales for ensuring that I didn’t have to negotiate the Croisette unaccompanied.
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12 March 2012
9 March 2012
9 March 2012
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7 March 2012
6 March 2012