The first precinct of Al Raha Beach development, one of two freehold areas where foreigners can buy property in Abu Dhabi, will be delivered by the end of next year, the company behind the project said yesterday. Tenants of Al Bandar, the waterfront precinct in Al Raha Beach, will be able to move into their units in the fourth quarter of next year, according to Aldar Properties, the largest developer in Abu Dhabi.
"Al Bandar will be the first residential district to be inhabited in the entire Al Raha Beach development," said Ronald Stephen Barrott, the chief executive of Aldar. The area is one of the development's 11 precincts, also known as Ultimate Waterfront City. Built on a 35,000-square-metre site, Al Bandar will feature five buildings with more than 500 apartments. The precinct includes a health club, a gymnasium, restaurants and retail units. The rest of the Al Raha Beach areas can be reached by sea from the precinct, as can neighbouring tourist destinations such as Yas Island. Parking for about 800 cars will be underground.
"This precinct is particularly in demand," said Malake Fontaine, a property consultant from Sherwoods. "First, because there is a view on the marina and the sea, and second, because there is almost nothing available anymore. "Al Bandar flats were sold last year at around Dh1,180 (US$321) per square foot by the developer on the primary market," he said. "You will find them today on the secondary market at Dh2,150. But reselling is rare as people tend to keep their units."
As for the stage of advancement, the formwork slab preparation is almost at the top level of the majority of the buildings, Aldar reports. Slab work is 40 per cent complete on the Podium, the main retail and recreation area. The Podium consists of a clubhouse, supermarket, kindergarten, retail shops, an open souk and leisure facilities. The plant and machinery rooms for mechanical and electrical services and water tanks are completed.
Set off the main motorway leading from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, Al Raha Beach development is being built on reclaimed land along 11km of beachfront and will house about 120,000 people. It is one of the few developments in Abu Dhabi where units are already being resold on the secondary market. The next precinct to be delivered after Al Bandar would be Al Zeina, with its series of two- to 12-storey buildings, followed by Al Munira, in two years time, an Aldar executive said. The three precincts have already been sold out, along with Al Dana precinct, the most expensive area, sold by the developer at the Abu Dhabi Citiscape property exhibition in May at Dh3,200 per sq ft. Al Dana is the area that will house Aldar's new head office next year.