Waha Land CEO says Al Markaz is on track

Phase one works on Abu Dhabi industrial project progress

Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital’s property arm Waha Land will focus on delivering phase one of its flag-ship Al Markaz industrial real-estate project, with commencement of phase two works depending on market demand.

Speaking to the The Big Project at Cityscape Global, Waha Land CEO Hazem Al Nowais said: “We’re focusing on delivering phase one on time and to our quality standards. Only when the demand arises in the market will we start phase two. If there is no demand, we may wait until we’ve handed over all of phase one.”

He added that residential aspects of the development were “on hold for now”. Construction of phase one commenced in December 2009 with the levelling of the land. Works were completed in the first quarter of this year. Hazem said the area was currently being prepared for the erection of the industrial units with the structural fill of plots expected to be finished next month.

“We’re going to start handing over units around May 2011 and we’re looking at the com- pletion of the first phase, including infrastructure works, by the end of next year.

“We should award two phase one packages for infrastructure and the industrial units con- struction before the end of this month. We’re just in the final stages of the tender evaluation.”

To be constructed in four phases, the project is expected to span six km2 once completed and include three asset classes: small, light industry units ranging between 250 and 2500km2 with a height of six metres; light industry units between 2500-5000m2 and 10m high, and ware- house up to 64,000m2 and 10m high.

Al Nowais estimated the cost of the first phase to be between AED 900 million and AED one billion, but could not put a price on the entire project. Previous media reports sug- gested the whole project would cost in the region of AED 12 billion (US $3.3 billion).

“Our market research has proven to us that there is quite a demand for high-end, quality industrial spaces. That is the reason we decided to focus our real estate activities on such a niche. Now we want to ensure construction is on schedule to meet the demands and the cur- rent market conditions,” Al Nowais added.


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