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The real estate market in Abu Dhabi has been relatively steady in the second quarter with prices and sales seeing little movement. In the villa market, Aldar announced the handover of the first phase of its Al Ghadeer development, while Musanada announced the completion of the Watani national housing development, with villas being handed over.
Around 22,000 additional units are due for delivery later this year, with the majority of this supply located in master planned areas such as Reem island, Saadiyat island, Danet and Rawdhat.
For non-UAE nationals, there are many freehold property choices in investment zones located off island. In the past, expats had a relatively limited range of options, but we are now seeing a lot of new properties being built in investments zones. The secondary market in Abu Dhabi is a good place to buy because rental yields can reach 8-10 per cent. Popular new developments to consider include Oceanscape, Al Reef, Al Raha and Saadiyat island.
For those who fancy Saadiyat island's impressive development portfolio, we asked Ahmed Al Fahim, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, Sales and Leasing at Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), to explain why this development is an attractive option for property buyers.
- Can you give us a brief overview of Saadiyat?
TDIC's flagship project is a 27-sq-km island development located just 500m off the coast of Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat is fast-growing into a destination of high end residential, leisure, hospitality and cultural offerings. Its development was carefully planned around an environmentally sensitive philosophy and low-density master plan.
- Can you give three unique selling points of Saadiyat?
Saadiyat is becoming renowned for several key elements, and three of them are the stunning natural landscape, top-range developments and the three world class museums.
The island is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise waters that are teeming with marine life, including dolphins that beachgoers regularly see just off the coastline. Saadiyat Beach also welcomes Hawksbill turtles during their annual nesting season. There are also many free-roaming animals around the island, such as Sand Gazelles on the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club's expansive course and various bird species.
Saadiyat is also home to a range of flora indigenous to Abu Dhabi. These natural inhabitants live harmoniously alongside TDIC's high-quality developments, enhancing the experiences of visitors and residents alike.
Saadiyat Beach District, the first district to be developed on the island, features luxurious hospitality, residential, retail and leisure elements. Among its popular attractions are the St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, The Collection, which is a dining and retail venue in the St Regis complex, Saadiyat Public Beach, and the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club with its Gary Player-designed course.
Moreover, all of the developments feature top quality finishes and design elements that set them apart and have made them highly sought-after by both residents and visitors.
Finally, Saadiyat is set to be the home of three world class museums: Louvre Abu Dhabi to be completed next year, Zayed National Museum in 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017. Louvre Abu Dhabi's construction is being monitored closely by art lovers around the world, and once the museum and its sister institutions open they will transform the island into a hub of art and culture, further enhancing its appeal as a global destination.
- What are the nationalities living on Saadiyat?
Residents on Saadiyat come from various regions, including the GCC, the Levant, North America, Europe and of course from the UAE.
- What are your plans for the future?
TDIC will continue to develop Saadiyat into a world class destination. In the next four years, Saadiyat will become home to three world class cultural institutions, a number of five-star hotels, high-end residential developments and many more.
- How important are schools in the development of Saadiyat?
Education is a vital feature of any residential community and TDIC is proud to offer academic institutions from preschool to a university on Saadiyat. Redwood Saadiyat Nursery, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and New York University Abu Dhabi all offer high-quality education that ensure students are exposed to an expansive range of subjects and activities in a motivated environment.
Redwood Saadiyat Nursery and Cranleigh Abu Dhabi are the latest educational developments on the island and are due to open soon.
Click on Saadiyat Islands and get the latest market trends of this community development
Source: Gregory Lewis, Special to Property Weekly
The author is a senior negotiator at Knight Frank with more than six years experience in the Middle East residential real estate market