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Gulf real estate expo highlights affordable housing shortage

People look at an architectural model of a housing development at the Cityscape Global exhibition, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tens of thousands of luxury projects were on display at Dubai's premier property show on Monday, but missing from the glittering mock-ups and pipeline of housing dreams being rolled out were more affordable housing projects for the region's large and burgeoning population of young and aspiring home owners. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Middle East’s premier real estate event showcased thousands of new luxury apartments and villas for the Gulf’s moneyed investors, but lacking from the glistening mock-ups were projects to address a growing and urgent need for more affordable housing.

On Monday, regional developers showed off new luxury projects in the pipeline at Dubai’s Cityscape real estate event. There, property analysts said governments across the Gulf must ensure more affordable housing projects also appear on the market soon.

Once awash in oil revenue, Gulf governments have had to work to offset the impact of lower oil prices for the past three years. To boost state revenues, governments have lifted subsidies on energy and food products, and are introducing new taxes, but this has also increased people’s cost of living.

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