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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Abu Dhabi launches rental index to boost transparency

Index aimed at stakeholders including developers, but not the general public

A new rental index for Abu Dhabi was launched at this week's Cityscape Global exhibition by the Abu Dhabi Department for Urban Planning and Municipalities. 
Victor Besa / The National
A new rental index for Abu Dhabi was launched at this week's Cityscape Global exhibition by the Abu Dhabi Department for Urban Planning and Municipalities. Victor Besa / The National

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities launched the emirate’s first real estate rental index, compiling rental values from across 100 areas of the capital, as part of the government plans to increase transparency in the property market and attract investors.

The online portal, Ejarat Abu Dhabi, “will enable developers and investors to get easy access to a huge array of valuable information about the rental market”, the department said in a statement on Wednesday during the Cityscape exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The index is only intended for real estate developers at present, but the department plans to open the index to the public at a later date.

The new portal is part of the government's plans to increase digital engagement with different residents and stakeholder groups, the statement said.

“As part of our latest digital transformation, the department is providing a vast number of its services on digital channels, to ensure convenience for its users and ultimately achieve happiness and positivity for everyone in Abu Dhabi,” said Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities.

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Rents in Abu Dhabi - and the wider UAE - have declined in recent years due to the three-year slump in oil prices that dented the job market, led to cuts in housing allowance which increased the appetite for cheaper options in the property market.

Average apartment and villa rents in Abu Dhabi declined by 10 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, in 2017 compared with 2016, while apartment and villa sales prices declined 10 per cent and 4 per cent year-on-year, according to consultancy Asteco’s fourth quarter 2017 market update.

Rental information will be provided through an interactive map including Abu Dhabi city and the Al Ain and Al Dhafra areas.

The map will also include information on the location of community facilities, as well providing investors and developers with reliable data from real estate experts.

The department said it will organise workshops for stakeholders, to demonstrate how the index works and how they can benefit.

During Cityscape this week, the department also showcased key planning approvals for major developments that it said reflect development progress made in the emirate.

Earlier this week Aldar unveiled the masterplan for its latest mega-project – the Dh10 billion Alghadeer community close to the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border.

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