x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Apartment with quirky features at Reem Diamond Residence in Abu Dhabi

Features include a large balcony designed to include a glass roof on which water ripples; an outdoor dining area and a lavatory offering views of the Arabian Gulf.

Above, Reem Diamond Residence at Reem Island, Abu Dhabi’s newest apartment block. Ravindranath K / The National
Above, Reem Diamond Residence at Reem Island, Abu Dhabi’s newest apartment block. Ravindranath K / The National

With flats that feature an outside dining room and a “loo with a view”, Abu Dhabi’s newest apartment block, Reem Diamond Residence, is certainly on the quirky side.

The 10-storey block of 48 flats in the Shams area of Reem Island, opposite Boutik Mall, was officially handed over to buyers last month by its developer, the Hong Kong construction conglomerate Chun Wo Development, at a Chinese New Year-themed party.

Facilities include a private beach (currently under construction), a gym with its own water feature and a rooftop infinity pool with seating and barbecue area.

“Everyone who lives in this block will be able to hire the whole rooftop once a year for free for a private party,” said Anthony Poon, director of property development at Chun Wo, as he showed visitors around the development. “People will see you having fun up here and they will be jealous.”

Certainly with most of the plots on Reem Island still empty, under construction or stalled because of the financial crisis, a rooftop party could well be visible for miles around. However, looking from Reem Diamond’s infinity pool to the far larger health complex on neighbouring Sun & Sky Tower next door, one gets the feeling that the waves of jealousy could well be flowing the other way.

Nonetheless, Mr Poon was undaunted as he showed off the show apartment in the block, displaying a large balcony which has been designed to include a glass roof on which water ripples, throwing light on to the people underneath; an outdoor dining area; and, most surprisingly, a lavatory offering views of the Arabian Gulf.

“We like to design so that indoors and outdoors are all connected,” Mr Poon said. “Here you can sit and relax and just enjoy the view.”

All that relaxation and enjoyment comes at a price. Chun Wo said that it intends to retain a number of the apartments and is offering them for rent at Dh95,000 a year, while others are being offered for sale with prices available on application.

The developer said that overseas investors, especially from China, had already booked a number of the apartments.

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Developer sticks to the task

What is Chun Wo?

Hong Kong-based Chun Wo Development has been undertaking construction projects for 44 years. Among its key development and construction markets are Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Vietnam and China. The company has a presence in 11 major cities in five countries, and is involved in large-scale core infrastructure works and construction projects for the Hong Kong government.

Why is it developing flats on Reem Island?

Chun Wo is one of hundreds of sub-developers which signed up to develop blocks of apartments and offices there when property prices in Abu Dhabi were rising sharply before the financial crisis hit. However, unlike many of these sub-developers it has pressed ahead with developing Reem Diamond Residence.

Does it have other UAE schemes?

Chun Wo bought a larger plot in the Shams area of Reem Island for a 30-storey, 200,000 square feet block of flats it has christened Le Cube. Chun Wo has been looking for a partner to make the project a joint venture.

What else is planned for Reem?

A master plan that was put together in 2005 by the island’s master developers at the time (Sorouh Real Estate, Tamouh Investments and Reem Investments) envisaged that the 6.5 million sq metre natural island, 600 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi island, would one day be home to 200,000 people, have seven schools, four hospitals, 10 mosques and two police stations. But with infrastructure work only just completing, only a handful of developments have been completed.

lbarnard@thenational.ae