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Aldar Properties has been taking a destination-led approach in Abu Dhabi, with much of its development being focused across its land banks in Yas Island, Al Raha Beach and Shams Abu Dhabi. On the opening day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi last week, Aldar unveiled plans for Yas Acres, a Dh6-billion project of 1,315 new villas. The project is being built on the northern shores of Yas Island, alongside a golf course, club house, parks and schools.
Abubaker Seddiq Al Khoori, Chairman of Aldar Properties, said, “Abu Dha-bi’s economic fundamentals remain solid, built upon a long-term vision for economic diversification. In order to play a key role in the emirate’s growth plans, this development is an example of Aldar committing to the delivery of only the highest-quality homes to the market.”
Yas Acres is compelling for investors looking to buy into the steady returns and future growth of Yas Island, says Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO of Aldar Properties. “We have designed a complete, sustainable community and are confident buyers will be eager to gain access to these new quality homes,” he says. The master plan of Yas Acres and the development model were displayed and prospective buyers were shown a range of floor plans at Cityscape.
In an interview with PW, Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Development Officer of Aldar Properties, says there is demand from Western and Arab expatriates who are interested to purchase properties in key investment areas. “Especially for Yas Island because of all the great components it has - the theme parks, mall, golf course, Formula One track and all the concerts and activities there,” says Al Dhiyebi. “A lot of expats have purchased apartments here and also want to buy villas.
“For Yas Acres, we are targeting Western and Arab expatriates who have lived long in Abu Dhabi and who want to buy villas and town houses at the price points that we are able to offer.”
Al Dhiyebi says the project also targets investors from the GCC. “Gulf nationals are always looking for villa and town house properties because of the lifestyle aspect,” he says. “When they come here on a holiday, they can enjoy all activities at Yas for the whole family, across age groups.”
The Yas Acres project, Al Dhiyebi explains, is being developed in line with the new real estate laws and available for purchase by all nationalities. He said the initial feedback from the first day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi has been very good and there have been many registrations for the project. “We are quite excited. We want people to come in and really understand the product and then we will announce to the market when we will be opening sales, over the next few weeks. The off-plan project will be implemented in phases starting from 2019.”
A new easy payment plan structure for Yas Acres has been developed “to suit our customers, starting from a down payment of only 5 per cent, and thereafter quite spread out until the next payments,” said Al Dhiyebi.
“While prices for units within Yas Acres will start at Dh2.9 million for two-bedroom town houses, it will go up to around Dh8 to Dh9 million for the luxury four, five and six-bedroom villas with luxury finishing and occupying more than 1,000 sq m, with beautiful views of the golf course. All the premium units along the edge of the golf course are called Royal Oak,” he said.
Talking about the appetite for real estate investment, he said, “What we see is a resilience in the market. In our built properties, we see there is high occupancy across our residential, hotel and office portfolio. We are still selling 70 per cent to 80 per cent of all the products that we have launched. Our customers are paying on time. It’s all about having the right product and making sure that you are delivering projects to people’s expectations. We are still optimistic of the long-term outcome of what Abu Dhabi can have in terms of real estate.”
Work in progress
Aldar’s other residential projects in West Yas, Mayan, and Ansam are scheduled for completion in 2017 and 2018, Al Dhiyebi said. Works are advanced and on schedule on all those projects. “On West Yas, the infrastructure works are very well advanced; on Ansam, the structural works are almost complete; and on Mayan, which was only launched in late 2015, we have already started enabling works,” he said.
Upon completion, Yas Acres will be home to 15,000 residents. Its villa clusters will include landscaped parks, running and cycling tracks, community pool areas along with playgrounds and sports facilities. In addition Yas Acres will be home to five mosques, two schools, one retail centre and a full service Adnoc petrol station.
Source: NP Krishna Kumar, Special to Property Weekly