Mipim makes a busy start

Tim Harrup

The world’s largest international real estate exhibition, Mipim, opened its doors at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Tuesday. Despite the uncertainties caused by events such as the global economic slow-down and, more locally, the ongoing series of French strikes, the show appears as popular and well-attended as ever.

Exhibitors from all over the world are present, and once again the sheer numbers mean that the exterior of the Palais and the first section of the Croisette are hosting large marquees for those unable to find space inside. As an example, these include ‘Greater Paris’ with a marquee of around 1,000 m²… Organisers RX France have instigated a number of innovations this year, each with a space within the Palais. These in particular include a ‘Road to Zero’ theme with presentations, a ‘Propel’ (proptech) zone and a start-up area.

The Belgian Pavilion is once again in place with not only an entrance from inside the Palais, but a dedicated and well indicated direct entrance from the exterior of the building alongside the main entrance. The Belgian conference and presentation programme includes a number of cities and organizations from Brussels and Wallonia, but again there is no official Flanders presence and no stands. Further news of the presentations will be given on this site in the coming days.

Returning to the wider picture involving the city of Cannes, this is quite an important week. Mipim, to begin with, is reputed to be even more financially important to Cannes than the Cannes Film Festival. This gives an idea of just how important the exhibition is. On top of this, the city’s most recognizable landmark – the Carlton hotel – opened its doors again on Monday following a two-year renovation costing several hundred million Euros. Thirdly, the Mayor of Kyiv (Ukraine) was present in Cannes yesterday for a meeting with the Mayor of Cannes among others. And, as an unwelcome reminder of the terrorist attack in Nice a few weeks ago, on Monday evening a motorist failed to stop as requested by the police following a number of infractions, and sped away the wrong way down a one-way street (the Rue d’Antibes for those who know Cannes). This ended with an accident and gunshots being fired but there has been no indication that it was a terrorist incident.