Property hot spots in Abu Dhabi

abu dhabiAbu Dhabi is now a giant construction site with projected investments of Dhs600bn between now and 2030. But what are the hot spots for those aiming to buy?

The Urban Development Council claims a population of 3.1 million in Abu Dhabi by 2030 (compared to the current 930,000). But where will these residents live?

Al Lulu Island

Developed in line with Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, Al Lulu Island caught the public attention when it was unveiled at Cityscape Abu Dhabi.

The man-made island covers an area of 1,400 acres and consists of residential, resort and retail areas. The island is said to host a Disney theme park, this, however, hasn’t been confirmed by the developer, Sorouh Real Estate.

Al Lulu is located 500 metres offshore from Abu Dhabi Corniche, and will be home to around 200,000 people. Transportation to the island would be free of charge, led by four boats, designed to transport 25 people, along with a sea bus that is capable of transporting 60.

The boats would go from Abu Dhabi Breakwater next to the Heritage Village. Once in the island, the public can make use of a train or a bus tour.

At this time, no further information is revealed on the cost and phases of the project.

Al Reem Island developments

Developments on Al Reem Island are scheduled for completion in 2012, by which time the island will host 280,000 residents.

The project is located on the northern coast of Abu Dhabi and has four sub-projects; Shams Abu Dhabi, Najmat Abu Dhabi, Marina Square, and Addax port. Early phases of the four sub-projects are expected to be completed by 2009.

Shams Abu Dhabi, developed by Sorouh, is the biggest of the projects occupying 25% of the island. And while Addax Port is made up of only five towers, Shams Abu Dhabi will have a total of 100 towers and 22,000 residential units, expected to be available between 2009 and 2011.

Two outstanding tower projects on Shams include the 74-storey Sky Tower, which has reached its 40th level, and the 65-storey Sun Tower, at its 36th level today. The first phase of Shams Abu Dhabi will be completed by 2010, while the full completion of the project is scheduled for 2013.

The Dhs30bn Najmat Abu Dhabi covers the space of 20 million sqf and will have 16,000 residential units, and more than 3,000 commercial units. Three marinas – Bay Centre, Residential Marina and Resort Marina – linked by a canal will also be built on Najmat Abu Dhabi. These should allow future use of boats and water taxis in the project.

Made up of 14 high-rise towers, the Marina square will incorporate a shopping arcade, eight Cineplex, retail outlets, restaurants, a marina, a five-star hotel facing the marina, private beach access, and sports facilities. Marina square is scheduled for completion in 2009 and developer Tamouh Investments has said that work is going on schedule.

Al Raha Beach

Aldar Properties is creating its beachfront development along the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. Al Raha Beach Development is a Dhs54bn project covering an area of 12 million sqm. Accommodating 120,000 residents, the project will be divided into eight residential and commercial districts, each with a special theme.

Khor Al Raha district will be dedicated to freehold luxurious apartments, townhouses and villas, while more contemporary apartments, family townhouses, and villas can be found in Al Seef. Residential peninsulas very close to the waterfront make up the Al Rumaila district, designed to have a traditional feel, with private marinas and waterways.

The premium residential area in the whole development will be Al Lissaily, designed with a series of heritage waterside homes, in a way that makes the area accessible from all the other districts. Residents from all the districts will have their entertainment and leisure facilities in Al Bandar.

Developed exclusively for commercial use, Al Wateed district is described as the civic heart of the project. However, exhibition buildings and centres are built in another district, Al Nakhl, also dedicated for walkways and landscapes.

And for those with a creative nature who are looking for an inspiring environment, Aldar has introduced the Al Razeen district, the site of an existing theatre, where homes are built around a central marina hosting eight-to-14 storey waterfront apartment towers.

In addition to that, Aldar has announced the development of Al Dana, meaning ‘the mother pearl’ in Arabic, at the centre of Al Raha Beach development.

Like most of the other developments, this is a mixture of commercial and residential complexes complemented by a variety of entertainment, dining, leisure and yachting facilities.

Yas Island

Also developed by Aldar, the Yas Island covers an area of 6,000 acres – almost one third of the size of Abu Dhabi Island. Designed to boost Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry, the $40bn project will host the Ferrari theme park, a world-class motor sports racetrack, and a retail space of 356,000msq.

The theme park, five-star and boutique hotels, a water park, links golf course, three marinas, restaurants, various entertainment facilities and luxurious residential property will also be key attractions on the island.

Recently, Aldar has announced completion of over 30% of the infrastructure of phase 1. The company said the remaining part will be completed before the 2009 Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Khalifa City expansion

Abu Dhabi Municipality has announced another enormous development in May that will expand Khalifa City and its community of 5,000 villas. This also comes in line with Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 and will divide the city into two districts – A and B.

With the spotlight being on Khalifa City A currently, the municipality is expected to spend some Dhs6m on developing the district that is located on the main highway adjacent to the Al Raha Beach development. Seven hundred residential apartments designed for middle and high income groups is already under construction.

The plan also involves developing a new ministries complex in the city, along with a shopping complex, social facilities, a multipurpose recreational area, and of course a business district. Development of the whole city is set to be accomplished within the next five years.

Saadiyat Island
One more major development in Abu Dhabi is the Dhs100bn Saadiyat Island, located 500 metres offshore.

Scheduled for 2009-2018, this 2,700 hectares natural island will host seven districts integrating high art through the Guggenheim and Louvre museums, waterfront resorts, regional corporate headquarters, extensive residential development of 38,000 apartments and 8,000 luxury villas, and a vibrant Marina district including a retail and commercial spaces.

With a budget of $27bn, Saadiyat is said to be one of the most expensive projects in the emirate and will be targeting high-income groups, with 150,000 residents.

Mussafah area developments
Going inside Abu Dhabi into the Mussaffah area, we find the $4bn residential development of Mohammed Bin Zayed City.

The city is scheduled for completion in 2012 and expected to be home to more than 50,000 people through 10,000 projected residential units. One good thing about this development is that it will address low-income groups, with around 267 mid-rise residential and commercial towers.

This would come as an answer for recent complaints that most developments target high-income groups.

Also in Mussaffah, Al Showayba City is now seeing the construction of its 11,000 residential units and the 220-room Between the Bridges hotel. Originally, the project was scheduled for completion this year.

Billions are being spent on other commercial, touristic and infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi.

Based on the announcements surrounding Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, $275bn will be spent by 2012 on infrastructure alone, comprising a road network, public transport, the airport, and a 2km long beach Corniche. Estimated investments in real estate are expected to reach Dhs600bn between now and 2030.

Source: AME Info

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