Seeking the Island Dream in Abu Dhabi

Sun, 22 Jan, 2012


Demand for property on Abu Dhabi’s natural Al Reem Island, is outstripping other parts of the Emirate as people seek the ‘island dream’ according to luxury real estate developer DAMAC Properties.

The view is supported by real estate advisory firm CB Richard Ellis, which recently singled out Al Reem Island as being amongst the best performing areas in Abu Dhabi, with prices starting from AED1,050 per square foot.

“The minimum square foot price for Al Reem Island is nearly double the lowest price per square foot on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Prices on Al Reem have certainly held firm, even throughout the downturn.

Reem is a natural island paradise, with excellent connectivity to the CBD and excellent long term growth potential” said Niall Mc Loughlin, Senior Vice President of DAMAC Properties.

While there has been some speculation about further declines in Abu Dhabi’s real estate prices, Al Reem Island is well positioned to avoid any significant re-pricing.

“The full vision for Al Reem Island is still a work in progress, but it is now beginning to take shape, and fortunately, investors have been patient. When it’s complete, the island will be an idyllic refuge. It’s for people who want to be close to work, but outside of work hours, feel like they are miles away” Mc Loughlin commented.

Abu Dhabi is benefiting from a surge in oil prices this year, with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development saying the Emirate is on track to achieve four per cent GDP growth this year. Separately, inflation is expected to average below three per cent.

With strong growth, the government is remaining firm on its commitment to invest Dh1.83 trillion in industry, tourism and culture to boost non-oil revenue to 64 per cent of the economy by 2030. It recently announced that work will begin on its Dh 25 billion expansion of Abu Dhabi International airport in the second quarter of next year.

“DAMAC Properties supports the view that Abu Dhabi’s property sector will be buoyed by government spending on infrastructure projects in the mid to long term.

“With the expansion of the airport, the development of world class facilities such as the Formula One track at Yas Island, and a commitment to culture and the arts, the Abu Dhabi government is creating the type of community which is extremely attractive for residents in the long term” said Mc Loughlin.

“The government is helping to create an environment in which people want to live and that is a very strong positive for the future outlook for Abu Dhabi’s real estate market” he added.

There is, however, a flight to quality. According to a recent report by Asteco Property Management, Abu Dhabi’s real estate market is being buoyed by existing residents upgrading to higher quality accommodation. The volume of sales is corresponding with the delivery of newly completed projects.

DAMAC Properties is currently constructing two projects on Al Reem Island, Marina Bay Abu Dhabi and Oceanscape. Marina Bay was recently topped out, with Oceanscape due to be topped out before the end of the year.

Al Reem Island is considered one of the most luxurious locations in the UAE. It’s a natural island 600 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi Island, and has attracted interest from foreign nationals due to it being one of the first free zones in the capital.

DAMAC Properties is an internationally recognised, luxury-focused, high-end developer. With a proven track record for delivering some of the most luxurious residential properties across the Middle East region, the developer is well capitalised and has the vision and momentum to provide solid investment opportunities for customers across all the markets in which it operates.