Developers in the UAE are being warned to pay closer attention to consumer demand if they hope to sell or rent off the space in the multitude of new projects coming online in the country, senior industry observers say.

"Developers have been building 'outside in' - that is, for the look of the property rather than the efficient use of the interior floorspace," Cluttons Abu Dhabi associate director Harry Goodson Wickes told Arabian Business during the Cityscape Abu Dhabi exhibition.

"This was all fine when supply is limited and demand is high, but as more discerning occupiers look at the new supply line in the market, they will be attracted by more functional usage."