x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Aldar motoring ahead on two fronts

Troubled Aldar is on track to complete 2,600 new homes in the Al Raha Beach development.

Aldar Properties is moving forward with two of its signature projects just two weeks after announcing a major restructuring.

Abu Dhabi's largest developer confirmed yesterday it was on track to deliver 2,600 units in the Al Raha Beach area this year. The company also expects to open the first phase of Motor World, its collection of new and used car showrooms, in April. Aldar announced a funding plan this month under which the Abu Dhabi Government would buy Dh10.9 billion (US$2.9bn) of the company's infrastructure assets on Yas Island, Dh5.5bn of residential units and land, and issue a Dh2.8bn convertible bond.

The residential units planned for completion this year are in the Al Zeina and Al Muneera developments currently under construction. A portion of the developments are part of the Government funding plan, said a company spokesman.

The new apartments and villas in Al Raha will enter a competitive market. More than 5,000 residential units are scheduled for completion in Abu Dhabi in the next year.

The new supply is expected to drive down prices.

"It will be a challenge" to sell units this year, said Paul Maisfield, the general manager of the Abu Dhabi office of Asteco, a property management company. "The appetite for buying property in Abu Dhabi is not very strong at the moment."

Part of the new units will be held back for leasing instead of sale, the spokesman said. Housing in the completed Al Bandar development on Al Raha Beach "posted the highest rents among off-island locations with a premium of around 40 per cent over average island rents", according to a recent report from CB Richard Ellis, a property company.

Uncertainly about visa issues and ownership regulations continue to hinder the sales market, said Mr Maisfield. "There is some latent demand, but people are not willing to commit until the regulatory issues are resolved," he said, adding that potential buyers were focused on completed projects.

"There is going to be a period of adjustment throughout 2011, there is so much supply coming on line."

Motor World, near Abu Dhabi International Airport, is described as "one-stop shopping" for car buyers. The first phase will include 100 showrooms. Seventy-five of the showrooms are already leased. Al-Futtaim Automotive will soon begin construction on a 48,000-square metre showroom that will offer Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Volvo models.