Cityscape: Abu Dhabi market strong despite oil plunge, says Cluttons

New projects to be unveiled this week at Cityscape Abu Dhabi

PHOTO: Rents across Abu Dhabi’s main freehold submarkets grew strongly in 2014, Cluttons said. Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi’s drive for economic diversification is helping strengthen its property market despite low oil prices, Cluttons has said.

The real estate consultancy pointed to growth in sectors like healthcare, aviation and education in a report released ahead of this week’s Cityscape 2015 exhibition.

The demand for office space in the UAE capital remains centered on prime stock, which is in short supply, Cluttons said.

While falling oil prices might negatively affect short- to medium-term take-up of office space, the imminent opening of the Abu Dhabi Global Marketplace, the city’s new financial free zone, is poised to boost the banking and financial-services sector, it added.

Meanwhile, rents across the city’s main freehold submarkets grew strongly in 2014. Apartments outperformed villas, with 3-bedroom flats seeing a rental surge of 22% in the last quarter of 2014. The best performer among Abu Dhabi’s submarkets last year was Saadiyat Island, Cluttons said.

Saadiyat Island, developed by Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) will see the addition of another residential community, the Jawaher Saadiyat, in the Saadiyat Beach District. The new community will be comprised of 83 units, including four-bedroom townhouses as well as four, five and six-bedroom villas, TDIC announced.

A mock-up of the development will be revealed at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, which runs from 21-23 April at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The push to go green

Alongside the projects to be revealed by developers at the exhibition, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) will announce new developments that have been given the go-ahead in the first quarter of 2015.

The UPC will also showcase a range of sustainable products at Cityscape, through the Estidama Experience Centre, one of many interactive components at its stand.

These include demonstrations of how installing solar water heaters and insulating windows, walls and roofs can lead to energy savings.

Since the Estidama programme was launched four years ago, 11,881 villas and 921 buildings have been awarded a Pearl Rating in Abu Dhabi, the UPC said in a statement.

“Abu Dhabi is developing at an incredible pace and we, as government entities, must be proactive in developing the kind of platform required to support this growth,” said Falah Al Ahbabi, the UPC’s Director General.

“This growth should not comprise the sustainability of the emirate. Therefore, Estidama is at the heart of any urban plan or development in Abu Dhabi, whether it be residential, commercial, community or mixed-use.”


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