ABU DHABI // About 20 per cent of the villas in the Emirati community of Al Falah will be completed early next year and families will be able to move in by the end of 2012.
With almost 5,000 villas, the completed development on 12.5 million square metres east of Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road will be home to an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 people.
Al Falah will be the first development completed as part of the Emirati Family Housing Programme, a project launched by the Urban Planning Council (UPC) to provide housing to UAE nationals.
The UPC plans to construct more than 50,000 homes for Emiratis over the next 20 years - 30,000 in Abu Dhabi and 20,000 in Al Ain.
"Building on the traditions and heritage of the Emirati people, a strong emphasis is placed on family, community and privacy," said Abdulla al Sahi, the director of corporate services for UPC.
"Planning and designing for all villas has been carefully crafted with the commitment to establish sustainable, world-class communities that help to preserve our rich and unique culture and heritage."
More than 13,000 new villas for Emirati families, including Al Falah, will come on to the market in the next four years at a cost of Dh13.5 billion.
In all, the UPC is working on 11 Emirati housing projects at a combined cost of nearly Dh22bn.
The homes are provided free to Emirati families. Most of the developments are expected to be completed within the next two years.
At Al Falah, about 600 villas have already been completed, with more than 300 in the final phases of construction, said Rani Ammouri, the construction manager for Al Jaber Building. The villas come in three styles with three, four or five bedrooms and will range in size from 311 to 470 square metres. Most will be five-bedroom homes and all will come with two parking spaces.
Additional features such as pools and gardens can be added by residents at their own cost if they obtain permission from the municipality.
Al Falah, which is being developed by Aldar Properties, will be composed of five villages, each with mosques, village and neighbourhood centres, schools and shops. Petrol stations, clinics, post offices and police stations have also been allocated space in the community.
Some of the residential areas will be constructed in the style of traditional Emirati neighbourhoods. Called fareej, these neighbourhoods are built up in clusters that are designed as an interconnected network, with play areas, shaded walkways and amenities close together.
Shopping facilities are designed to be no more than a 10-minute walk from any villa. Constructed as a new town, Al Falah is intended to provide integrated retail, commercial, educational, health and leisure facilities to community residents.
"This is our contribution to the 2030 vision, and we're proud to be able to help build a community here," said Yosef al Hosani, the Aldar project manager. Mr al Hosani said the 156 kilometres of roads, 338km of storm and sewer drainage piping and 267km of water mains will be in place by the time the first residents move in next year.
A town centre, which is still in the master-planning phase, will be constructed and will feature apartments, a regional shopping mall and commercial office space.
Hospitals, clinics and 15 schools are planned for the community.
The UPC's Emirati housing programme is an extension of the Government's long-standing tradition that began under the late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the nation, of providing free residential plots and homes to Emirati families each year.
Boost for family housing projects
ABU DHABI // Along with the Al Falah development, four other projects are expected to be completed next year under the Emirati Family Housing Programme.
Nearly 500 villas on Yas Island will be constructed by the first quarter of 2012, about the same time the Al Falah development becomes available. The Yas development, built up along the waterfront, will stretch across 78 hectares and will include commercial and retail space, a mosque and a school.
Another 1,370 luxury villas are expected to be completed by December 2012 in Khalifa City A. The development, called Watani, will be a community of villas and apartments and will be built on 1.9 million square metres.
In Al Ain, the first of two phases of the Al Ghuraibah project will involve the construction of 600 villas on 1.5m square metres. Both phases of the development – the second phase will result in 420 more villas – meet the Urban Planning Council’s Estidama rating system for sustainability.
Sila’a, a 448-villa project in Al Gharbia, should be completed by September 2012. Located on a 1.3m square-metre site along the coastline, Sila’a will include a mosque, a school, retail outlets and a women’s centre.
* Jen Thomas