x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Business is booming at Abu Dhabi's Etihad Towers

Etihad Towers, the new retail, residential and commercial development on Abu Dhabi's Corniche, is proving a success for people looking for that special apartment.

The development is made up of 887 upmarket apartments, 53 floors of office space, 35 luxury retailers and a 382-room Jumeirah Hotel, the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
The development is made up of 887 upmarket apartments, 53 floors of office space, 35 luxury retailers and a 382-room Jumeirah Hotel, the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Etihad Towers, the new retail, residential and commercial development on Abu Dhabi's Corniche, is proving a success for people looking for that special apartment.

The five-tower development has a 62 per cent lease rate, with a range of one to seven-bedroom apartments, said Richard Foulds, the property manager for Etihad Towers, as the media were given a first glimpse of the entire project.

Rents start at Dh98,000 per year and the towers are currently home to more than 60 nationalities.

"We think it's a very competitive offer, given the specifications we have on offer," said Mr Foulds.

Etihad Towers was built at a cost of Dh4 billion (US$1.08bn) and is one of the capital's flagship projects, developed by Sheikh Suroor Projects Department (SSPD).

It now houses more than a thousand residents, six months after opening. "It's been a very productive few months for us here," said Mr Foulds. "It's a landmark for Abu Dhabi. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Abu Dhabi going into the next decade."

The development comprises 887 upmarket apartments, 53 floors of office space, 35 luxury retailers and a 382-room Jumeirah Hotel, the Dubai company's first in Abu Dhabi.

Announced in 2006, the project is so big, the external panes of glass used in the five towers would stretch from Abu Dhabi to Dubai if laid end to end.

The commercial tower of 45,000 square metres of office space is nearly 50 per cent leased, and SSPD announced yesterday that the consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton had taken space alongside the French Embassy; Samsung; EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company; and the Korean National Oil Corporation.

"The opening of our office in Etihad Towers marks our commitment to the Middle East region by investing in first-class facilities and a highly skilled team based in the UAE," said Donald Pressley, the senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton.

Cartier, Burberry, Versace, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels have opened stores and other upmarket brands are scheduled to open in the next few weeks.

"We have focused on something different [in retail]," said Mr Foulds. "Abu Dhabi has played, for some time, second fiddle to Dubai. What we wanted was something that would attract not only people from Dubai but from the GCC region to shop."

For Cartier, Hermès and Van Cleef & Arpels, their outlets in the complex are their first Abu Dhabi stores.

A Waitrose supermarket is to open by the end of the year, and the entire complex has 14 restaurants and other eateries, including those in the hotel.

"This is the first Jumeirah [hotel] for Abu Dhabi, and it speaks volumes for that brand, which is a Dubai brand, to come to Abu Dhabi," said Mr Foulds.

Designed by the Australian architect DBI Design, the five towers at the complex range from 54 to 75 floors, the tallest rising more than 300 metres over the city.

Sheikh Suroor has developed a number of Abu Dhabi's well-known buildings, including Abu Dhabi Mall and Abu Dhabi Trade Center.

rjones@thenational.ae

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