Prime locations by the sea in Abu Dhabi see spike in demand

Prime locations by the sea in Abu Dhabi see spike in demandImage Credit: Supplied

The residential market in Abu Dhabi is witnessing high demand for units in prime areas such as Saadiyat Island as more residents look for good quality units to purchase and live in, according to Mahmoud Dandashly, commercial director at Saadiyat Development and Investment Company (SDIC).

''From our experience, we have seen good demand,'' said Dandashly. ''But even if you look at TDIC's (Tourism Development and Investment Company) villas or [units on] Saadiyat Walk, you will see that they were sold out. So there is demand for high-end products, but there isn't much supply.''

Plus, prices in Abu Dhabi are still very reasonable, he said. ''There hasn't been a price hike that will scare people away,'' Dandashly told Gulf News.

The commercial director discussed SDIC's latest development called, Hidd Al Saadiyat, which is currently under construction on the northern tip on Saadiyat Island.


The 1.5 million-square-metre development includes 453 villas and nearly 1,000 apartments, with all units having been put up for sale rather than lease. Villas are set for delivery in December 2016, whereas the apartments will be launched by the end of 2015.

The development is expected to be home to nearly 6,800 people.

Despite villa prices starting at Dh7 million, Dandashly said the units have been met with fair demand. As for the unique selling point for the villas, it is their proximity to the water as the furthest villa from sea is 300 metres away.

''Around 68 per cent of the villas have been sold. We have around 60 per cent of sales to locals, and nearly 14 per cent Arab expats — mainly those living in Abu Dhabi, whether first or second generations that call Abu Dhabi home,'' he said.

Dh7m villas

With villas ranging in price from Dh7 million to Dh38 million, the total sales value for the development is around Dh5.5 billion, whereas the construction value for the villas alone is estimated at Dh2.6 billion.

''This project is a success story in terms of how it has been handled financially, and it is cash flow positive. We are looking at around five years to get return on investment, but that's four years from the beginning of construction. So by the time we finish construction, most of the value will be returned to the owner,'' Dandashly said.

He added that residents in Abu Dhabi have also started looking into purchasing their own units rather than renting.

''Banking rates are low, almost at four to five per cent. Removing the cap on rent is also making people on their toes because they know rents can rise. And more and more people in Abu Dhabi are looking for better products and a better lifestyle,'' he said.

In addition to the villas' prime location, they are also distinguished by the fact that they are automated, with the developer working with Etisalat to allow synchronising home systems to phones and tablets.

Amenities at Hidd Al Saadiyat include mosques, two community centres, a school, a yacht club, and retail and dining.

Read about Airport Road – one of Abu Dhabi's strong spots

Source: Sarah Diaa, Staff Reporter,


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