x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

A lavish life of luxury on Saadiyat Island – yours for Dh23m

This cavernous five-bedroom mansion at Saadiyat Beach Villas includes eight bathrooms and three kitchens, plus a 25-metre swimming pool and golf course views. And it's not even the biggest or the most expensive on the street.

The exterior of the Mediterranean Premium 5-bedroom villa on Saadiyat Island. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National
The exterior of the Mediterranean Premium 5-bedroom villa on Saadiyat Island. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National

With three staff bedrooms, three kitchens, four living rooms and eight bathrooms, this five-bedroom villa on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island is clearly designed for someone with a large household.

Anyone who spends time wandering around the lavish new homes at TDIC’s Saadiyat Beach Villas will quickly find themselves lost amid a maze of rooms, many of which appear to have no obvious use.

“This one is another reception room … I think,” says Almer Agmyren, the managing director of Rex Real Estate which is marketing the villas. He consults his floor plan and scratches his head. “Yes, another reception room.”

Rex has started a final marketing push to shift the remaining seven of the largest and most luxurious mansions at TDIC’s 344 home Saadiyat Beach Villas – a development which first began its handover to buyers back in 2011.

The 12,500 square foot villa we snoop around also includes a 25 metre private swimming pool, a gym room, an Italian style courtyard and, with a plot size of 25,000 sq ft, plenty of space for gardens or a barbecue area.

Whoever snaps up this cavernous home will have to fork out a total of Dh23.1 million.

And that’s not even the biggest or the most expensive on the street. According to Rex, the company was planning to stage its marketing event at the six-bedroom villa next door but the 15,000 square foot mansion was sold a week before for Dh27m.

Within Saadiyat Beach Villas, the most expensive property to go on sale to date has been the 32 St Regis branded four and five bedroom villas close to the hotel. These went on the market for between Dh22m and Dh25m, making them among the most expensive properties in the capital.

And it appears there may be more luxury homes on offer soon. According to master developer TDIC’s plans, by 2020 the Dh100 billion island development is expected to provide homes for 145,000 people – that’s a population roughly the size of Dundee in Scotland.

Q&A

What are the good points about the Saadiyat Beach Villas?

The fact that residents started moving into the villas nearly three years ago means the community has had a chance to bed down a bit. Driving away from the villa, you could be forgiven for thinking the quiet suburban road running through the neighbourhood was located in one of the more affluent neighbourhoods on the outskirts of a large American city. Residents are out playing tennis on the outdoor courts and in most of the large suburban porches, children’s bicycles and play equipment are carefully stashed.

And the drawbacks?

Obviously it’s a lot of money to part with. Moreover, TDIC’s ambitious development plans means that the island may remain a construction site until at least 2020. And as with many new houses in the UAE, the landscaping is left unfinished, leaving prospective buyers to design their own gardens.

What is the tenure?

Emiratis can buy the villas freehold while foreigners can purchase a 99-year freehold.

What are the development plans for Saadiyat?

When finished, Saadiyat Island, which covers 27 square kilometres and is 10 minutes from central Abu Dhabi, will eventually be home to 145,000 people and will boast Guggenheim and Louvre museums, premium hotels and a retail complex. A third phase of villas is currently underway. In July Al Jaber Building was selected by a TDIC subsidiary to build 462 new villas stretching along nearly 7 kilometres of waterfront in a project known as the Hidd Al Saadiyat villa development. It is scheduled for completion in 2016.

lbarnard@thenational.ae