The future looks bright for Abu Dhabi real estate

As Cityscape 2017 arrives, we take a look at what the future of Abu Dhabi real estate has in store

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Abu Dhabi is ever expanding, so events like the annual Cityscape exhibition are vital for the real estate sector. Bringing together developers, investors, government agencies and real estate professionals, the event offers insight into future projects while giving potential buyers the chance to view investment opportunities.

Projects on display this year include residential developments such as Marina Sunset Bay, Lamar at Al Raha Beach and Fairmont Marina Residences, as well as lifestyle projects such as the Marina Mall extension and The Souq project in Al Ain.

Here we get a glimpse into upcoming developments from newly announced residential projects to soon-to-open suburbs.

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Jawaher Saadiyat

Launching after Cityscape 2017, this Saadiyat development by the Tourism Development & Investment Council is an exclusive gated community featuring views of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. The modern development features four- to six-bedroom villas as well as four-bedroom townhouses. Visit: tdic.ae

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The Souq

Located in the Al Faqaa area of Al Ain, this 17,000 square metre project is inspired by a traditional souq and will be located within the Wahat Al Zaweya development, an eco-friendly, self-sustainable, mixed-use community that covers 22.7 million square metres.

Taking into account local heritage and architecture in its design, The Souq will feature ‘edutainment’ centres, heritage retail areas, a Friday market, falconry stores, food and beverage outlets and more. Further details are yet to be announced.

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Shakhbout City 

Previously known as Khalifa City B, Shakhbout City’s master plan includes additional housing for residents and community facilities such as parks, schools, mosques and hospitals, including the billion-dollar Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, scheduled to open this year.

Located 30km from Abu Dhabi island, the suburb will be home to an estimated 80,000 residents in the future, and according to the Urban Planning Council, is part of plans to create attractive and sustainable neighbourhoods in the emirate. Visit: upc.gov.ae

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Lamar

Located within Al Raha Beach’s Al Seef complex, this waterfront development will feature apartments and town houses. The development also includes a waterfront promenade with a leisure deck, gardens, food and beverage outlets, a games room and children’s play area. Visit: aabarproperties.com

Yas Mall Hotel

Following Aldar’s recent announcement of a three billion dirham investment programme, a four-star hotel is one of four new projects for the property development company. The hotel will be attached to Yas Mall and is aimed at the family segment with 349 units, including 70 serviced apartments. Visit: aldar.com

Maysan

Maysan, composed of twin 40-storey residential towers, is another exciting complex coming to the capital. Located on Al Reem Island in Marina Square, the towers will have views of the Marina Canal, the Gulf and the Abu Dhabi skyline. Maysan will have a gymnasium and swimming pool as well as direct access to Al Reem Mall, which is set to open in 2018. Contact: aabarproperties.com

Al Hadeel

An exciting addition to Al Bandar in Al Raha Beach, Al Hadeel will be the latest residential complex in the waterfront community. It will feature ocean views, with the majority of homes overlooking the water. Al Hadeel will offer a choice of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments as well three-, four- and five-bedroom townhouses and duplexes.

Amenities include restaurants, jogging paths along the promenade and a barbecue area as well as a children’s pool and play area and an adult infinity pool on the tenth floor. Visit: aldar.com

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Meera Shams

Located in Shams Abu Dhabi, an investment zone on Al Reem Island, Meera will comprise two symmetrical towers with 204 private apartments. The buildings are intertwined with a public garden and within walking distance of a public beach, park and marina.

The apartment complex also features resident-only amenities, which include a sun terrace, swimming pool and gymnasium. There are one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments available, all designed according to the capital’s Estidama pearl rating system, which gave the energy-efficient design a two-pearl rating based on sustainability. Apartments are already available to purchase and are scheduled for handover in Q2 2018. Visit: shamsmeera.com

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Market movements

Alan Kaye, head of sales and leasing at District Real Estate, gives us the lowdown on the property market…

n the first quarter of 2017, the market has continued on a slow downward path waiting to plateau and then climb. We, at District Real Estate, do not now expect this to start to happen until the first quarter next year.

In the rental market there is now supply in almost all areas of Abu Dhabi with only a few mainly higher end areas where supply is short.

These include The St. Regis apartments on Saadiyat Island, Nation Towers on the Corniche and Saadiyat townhouses, although the rental price has reduced to AED 300k from an average high last year of AED 340k.

At Mangrove One at Khalifa Park, which is an expat-only area, there is still only limited supply with rental rates the same over the last two years.

Never has it been truer that the three most important aspects of a property are location, location, location.

There is clearly a demand for good quality properties with good facilities and management.

It is middle- and lower-range apartments in particular where prices have shown the biggest falls, which reflects the large number of redundancies in middle management, particularly in the oil and gas industries but also in banking and allied industries.

On Al Reem Island in particular there have been a number of new buildings released in the past three months, which has had the effect of further reducing already reduced prices from a year ago.

Landlords are also offering rent-free periods and no commission deals to induce tenants to lease their properties.

We have one-bedroom apartments at AED 68k and two-bedrooms at AED 87k. A year ago these were AED 80k and AED 100k, respectively, so clearly the market has moved in favour of tenants.

Other areas that have shown marked falls in rental prices include Rawdhat, opposite the Grand Mosque, Sas al Nakhl, Golf Gardens, Mangrove Village and Al Raha Beach and Gardens.

We have, however, observed a marked increase in interest in buyers looking to purchase properties.

This has been, in particular, fuelled by the new off-plan projects from the key Abu Dhabi developers: Aldar, TDIC and Bloom Properties. They have all come forward with new projects with very attractive payment plans, which has had a knock-on effect of kick-starting interest in available properties.

The prices need to be realistic but clearly there is a demand and buyers are committing. This is a trend that we see continuing with new projects being launched at this year’s Cityscape on Saadiyat, Al Reem and Yas Islands.

Ready properties due to be handed over in the next few months include Hadeel at Al Raha Beach, Ansam and Mayan on Yas Island and Hidd al Saadiyat villas.

Some of these properties will be for owner occupation but some will be for rent or immediately returned to the market for resale.

This will have the effect of creating further interest, which hopefully will be good for the overall market in 2017.

NEED TO KNOW

What: Cityscape 2017
When: 18th-20th April
Where: Adnec, off Khaleej Al Arabi Street
Tickets: Free. Pre-register at cityscapeabudhabi.com

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