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Abu Dhabi’s largest listed developer, Aldar Properties, launched a Dh722 million residential project on Saadiyat Island on Sunday to tap into demand for land in the capital’s property market.

The project, named Saadiyat Reserve, has 306 infrastructure-enabled land plots available for sale to all nationalities. The project’s launch follows three earlier successful land plot sales, at Alreeman, Alreeman II and Lea, which generated sales of Dh2.4 billion for the company.

“With the launch of Saadiyat Reserve, we wanted to cater to this demand and the increasing interest in land plot sales in Abu Dhabi. We believe that this project offers an exciting opportunity for potential buyers who are looking to own freehold land and design bespoke homes minutes away from some of the capital’s most inspiring cultural and educational landmarks,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, chief executive of Aldar, in a statement.

“Saadiyat Reserve strongly complements our existing portfolio of high-quality assets on the island, such as Mamsha and Jawaher, and will benefit from the wide-scale infrastructure work we were recently awarded by the Abu Dhabi government.”

The 422,370 square metre community offers plots of various sizes, ranging between 600 to 1,400 square metres for the construction of 4 to 6 bedroom houses. Plot prices start from Dh1.6m, with payment plans available.

Work on the project is due to begin in the first quarter of 2020, with handovers scheduled for mid-2022, the company said.

The UAE property market slowed after the 2014 drop in oil prices, with tenants and buyers seeking more affordable options. The fall in residential sales and rental prices has slowed this year and some analysts are predicting a market recovery as government initiatives such as a Dh50bn three-year economic stimulus package and a new long-term visa system, offering residency of up to 10 years to specialists in technical fields, are expected to contribute to the recovery of the real estate market.

In April, the Abu Dhabi government also made changes to laws allowing foreigners to own freehold property in designated zones such as Saadiyat Island. Foreign investors in Abu Dhabi’s real estate market were previously granted leasehold for a maximum time period of 99 years.

“From a macro context, we continue to see the increased positive sentiment from Ghadan 21 and most recently, the Dh600m fund to attract business and entertainment events to the capital,” Maan Al Awlaqi, Aldar’s executive director of commercial, told The National.

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism set up a Dh600m fund in July to attract entertainment and business events to the emirate, as part of wider plans to spur economic growth, draw foreign investors and boost tourism.

“That immediately drives interest in Aldar given our successful destination strategies and in this case Yas Island, our entertainment island which will see — and has seen — increased footfall.”

In the second quarter of 2019, Aldar Properties reported a 5 per cent year-on-year jump in net profit attributable to shareholders of Dh470.4m.

The company also saw revenue in the second quarter climb 10 per cent to Dh1.66bn, boosted by rising sales and strong development activity.

Originally published on The National on 08/09/2019

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