x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

TDIC to test the Saadiyat waters

TDIC is considering selling off around 30 plots of land in Saadiyat Marina on Saadiyat Island to developers in what would amount to a test for the Abu Dhabi development market.

The first residents have taken up occupancy at TDIC's Saadiyat Beach Residences. Delores Johnson / The National
The first residents have taken up occupancy at TDIC's Saadiyat Beach Residences. Delores Johnson / The National

Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) is considering selling about 30 plots of land in Saadiyat Marina on Saadiyat Island to developers in what would amount to a test for the Abu Dhabi development market.

The master developer, which is working on plans to develop a cultural hub for Abu Dhabi including a Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed Museum, said yesterday that it was looking at selling plots of land close to the soon-to-open, Rafael Vinoly-designed New York University campus. Speaking at a press event to welcome the first residents to TDIC's newly launched Saadiyat Beach Residences, Ahmed Al Fahim, the executive director of marketing, communications, sales and leasing, said that the plots would be for schemes of about eight storeys high and would be for a mix of student housing, homes and offices aimed at supporting the new university faculty.

TDIC said the plots could be marketed next year at prices of about Dh1,900 (US$517) to Dh2,000 per square foot. It did not disclose how large the plots would be. It added that seven of the freehold plots had already been sold two years ago under a different initiative.

"This year we are concentrating on our developments but we want other developers to build on Saadiyat too," Mr Al Fahim said. "It is not good economically for us to be developing the whole island and it is good for the market to involve other developers. It is a concept but we want to build whatever the university requires."

A TDIC spokesman added that the concept was "still in the study phase" and that "nothing is confirmed". The developer said that it had also sold 50 per cent of the plots of land it is marketing for villa development at its Saadiyat Beach Golf Views scheme.

The news came as TDIC welcomed the first tenants to move in at its Saadiyat Beach Residences scheme on the island. TDIC said the first phase of 285 flats at the scheme was now 30 per cent leased with prices for a one-bedroom flat starting at Dh75,000 a year. A second phase of 210 flats is set to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

lbarnard@thenational.ae