Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) will rent out some of its luxury St Regis villas on Saadiyat Island rather than sell them.
The original plan was to sell all 32 beachfront villas, which are part of the St Regis resort on the island and offer residents access to five-star hotel services such as butlers and chefs.
Six of the villas, which have sale prices starting at Dh17 million (US$4.6m) have been sold to date, TDIC said yesterday. It is now offering annual leasing prices starting at Dh630,000 for a four-bedroom villa.
"We received a significant amount of interest from potential tenants wishing to rent large units such as four and five bedrooms," said Ahmed Al Fahim, the executive director of marketing, communications, sales and leasing at TDIC.
Twelve of the villas are available for rent, while TDIC still hopes to sell the remaining properties.
It emerged last October that work on Saadiyat Island's major museums - the Louvre, the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim - had been delayed.
TDIC yesterday announced that it was releasing the second phase of its St Regis apartments for leasing after the first 75 apartments, which came on to the market in November, were rented in one month. Tenants have already moved in, TDIC said.
A studio at the complex is going for as little as Dh75,000, while a one-bedroom apartment starts at Dh117,000, and a two-bedroom apartment starts at Dh146,350, TDIC said. The delayed St Regis hotel opened last month.
Developers in Abu Dhabi have become increasingly flexible with payment options.
"We have set the leasing rates of the St Regis Apartments at a highly-competitive level for the Abu Dhabi market and we're offering tenants flexible payment terms, which range from one to four cheques," Mr Al Fahim said. "We're also offering a number of private mortgage leasing options."