The Abu Dhabi property market is entering a period of radical change, with developers finding new ways to sell homes and buyers demanding more equitable contracts.

The atmosphere in the market had taken a '180-degree turn' since Cityscape Abu Dhabi last April because of the global financial crisis, said Alan O’Donnell, the managing director of Pure Real Estate.

'I bought an apartment with a handwritten receipt last year,' he said. 'I then sold it for 100% a few months later. That is not going to happen now.'

On Sunday, Cityscape will host its 2009 conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. And whereas last year buyers stormed the stalls for the chance to buy a new home, this year’s event will be devoted to finding strategies to survive in a more depressed market.

The National