x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Aldar sales rise on Al Raha beach buys

Aldar Properties has registered a trickle of new sales in a sign that there is a market for finished homes in the capital.

Some 22 families have moved into their apartments at Aldar’s Al Naseem and Al Bandar sections near Yas Island.
Some 22 families have moved into their apartments at Aldar’s Al Naseem and Al Bandar sections near Yas Island.

Al Naseem and Al Bandar units to be delivered to buyers Bradley Hope Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's largest developer, has recorded the first rise in property sales after 18 months of subdued activity in the capital's property market. Rami Nasser, the director of sales and commercial leasing at Aldar, said the company had "sold or are in final discussions" on about 20 finished apartments in the Al Raha Beach project.

The Al Bandar and Al Naseem sections of the 680-hectare project along Sheikh Zayed Road and near Yas Island are the first to be delivered to buyers. Already 22 families have moved into their apartments and the total is expected to rise to 150 by the middle of next month. The projects were 90 per cent sold out, leaving 70 units available for sale. "We have made our first sales," Mr Nasser said of the area.

"Almost everyone is yearning for the completed developments in Abu Dhabi." About 10 per cent of Al Bandar units are for sale, as well as larger apartments in the Al Naseem section. These sales mark a milestone for the property sector in Abu Dhabi, which has seen limited activity since prices began declining in late 2008 and early last year. Al Raha Beach is one of three major developments that are coming online by the end of the year. The other two are Marina Square and the Sun and Sky Towers on Reem Island.

The delivery of units will help spur sales, said Peter Samaha, a director of Quest Property Services. "I think it will make a big difference to the number of sales when people can get inside those buildings," he said. "A lot of people are definitely interested in these finished properties on Reem Island and Al Raha Beach. It hasn't translated into a large number of sales yet but I think they will come."

The residents of the newly completed buildings at Al Raha Beach will soon have access to shops such as the supermarket chain Spinneys and restaurants. John Bullough, the chief executive of Aldar, said yesterday the company was fully focused on finishing its projects and handing them over as part of its transition from a "pure-play development company" into an "asset management company". He said Aldar's revenue was increasingly coming from recurring sources, such as hotels, restaurants and project management. "We're in transition," Mr Bullough said.

"You will see a much more diversified revenue mix from Aldar," he said.

bhope@thenational.ae