Residential Communities,Cultural Attractions Drive Growth for Saadiyat Island

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  • Saadiyat Island to have increased appeal as a popular residential, hospitality and commercial destination with upcoming artistic and educational assets
  • Report covers Jawaher, Mamsha and Saadiyat Reserve; residential communities by Aldar Properties aimed at investors and owner-occupiers
  • Cultural attractions including The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and The Abrahamic Family House to be delivered over the next five years

Cavendish Maxwell, a leading property consultancy and chartered surveying firm in the Middle East, released a special focus report on Saadiyat Island, the cultural mainstay of Abu Dhabi, with emphasis on three residential investment opportunities being developed by Aldar Properties: Jawaher, Mamsha and Saadiyat Reserve.

The report provides a macroeconomic and demographic overview of Abu Dhabi and aims to highlight the key differentiators and yield profile for Saadiyat Island as an investment destination.

In addition, it provides an analysis of the real estate market performance of Bilbao, Spain and neighbouring Downtown Dubai which have similar development profiles across culture, education, retail, leisure and tourism. The establishment of cultural and tourist attractions like the Guggenheim Museum and the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Bilbao and Burj Khalifa and Dubai Opera in Downtown Dubai have been instrumental in making both locations preferred investment destinations with favourable yield profiles. Similarly, a positive impact in the form of real estate appreciation is being witnessed at Saadiyat Island at Aldar Properties’ new and upcoming developments.

Commenting on the report, Aditi Hariharan, Associate Partner, Strategic Consulting and Research at Cavendish Maxwell, said:

“With world-class offerings such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and New York University Abu Dhabi, and more to come, Saadiyat Island is shaping up to be equally attractive for investors and owner-occupiers of residential properties. Abu Dhabi’s latest move to open up the market to foreign buyers will further drive demand for one of the most sought-after destinations in the emirate providing a superior lifestyle. This combined with the government’s efforts to reduce various fees, offer long-term visas and diversify the economy will result in positive results over time.”

Key market insights

Abu Dhabi’s real GDP in 2018 recorded an increase of 1.9% from 2017. The Department of Economic Development expects Abu Dhabi’s real GDP to grow to 3% and forecasts non-oil growth at 3.9% in 2019, driven by increased private sector participation.

According to Cavendish Maxwell’s real estate intelligence platform Property Monitor, the average sales price for villas in Saadiyat Island was AED 15,705 per sq m and AED 15,156 per sq m for apartments in

Q2 2019.

Demand for the location, particularly Aldar Properties’ residential developments Jawaher and Mamsha, is driven by various factors such as convenient location and accessibility, proximity to cultural and educational assets, and larger-than-average property sizes.

Upcoming developments such Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, The Abrahamic Family House and Saadiyat Grove, a mixed-use development by a joint venture between Aldar and Dubai’s Emaar Properties, are set to further enhance the appeal of the island.

Saadiyat Reserve is Aldar Properties’ first residential land community in the heart of Saadiyat Island. Spread over 422,370 sq m, it will offer 306 villa plots of sizes between 600-1,400 sq m. This is the first land plot development to be launched on Saadiyat Island since the government announced new laws in April 2019 allowing foreign buyers to own freehold property within 15 designated investment zones in Abu Dhabi. This initiative is expected to increase real estate investments by expats and stimulate the economy. Previously, Abu Dhabi only granted a leasehold of 99 years to foreign property owners.

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