This compound of villas with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments is an indication of good things to come.
On the Market: A new compound and flats with plenty of promise
A new compound of 72 one-, two- and three-bedroom properties to rent in Al Matar, Abu Dhabi. This is the area of new development visible from Salam Street near the Park Rotana hotel and Khalifa Park, and behind Al Bateen Airport.
One-bedrooms are currently leasing at Dh100,000 per annum; two-bedrooms at Dh140,000 and three-bedrooms at Dh170,000.
The compound consists of avenues of terraced villas, with each unit containing three apartments.
Each has a covered car porch for two vehicles (the spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis) and all the apartments are accessed through a communal front door. The two-bedrooms are on the ground floor, the three-bedrooms on the first floor and the one-bedroom apartments on the second.
All the apartments have an open-plan lounge/diner/kitchen layout and guest washrooms, and come equipped with an electric cooker, refrigerator and washing machine. Utility bills are included in the rent and each property is designated one covered parking space. Pets are permitted. The compound has a sizeable open-air swimming pool and children's play area, and a gym and convenience store are under construction.
"Luxury apartments within a gated community. Facilities include 24-hour security, beautifully landscaped gardens and ample parking. The apartments offer modern finishing with spacious layouts, ample storage and high-quality appliances."
An attractive village-style development with bright, contemporary properties at a good price. The two-bedrooms have two bathrooms and a small patio and garden - impressive for a new island development - while the one-bedrooms each have a huge roof terrace. Puzzlingly, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartments, which would probably appeal most to families, don't have any outside space aside from tiny Juliet balconies. The developers have clearly aimed for a high-end contemporary finish, with recessed lighting, marble worktops and stainless steel wall fittings.
You can move straight in. There are no bill accounts to set up or electricity connection issues to deal with, plus your appliances are already installed. (If you already have your own, you can take them but the agents say this won't mean you get a discount on the price).
There is a lot of storage space, especially in the three-bedrooms, where we counted a dozen built-in cupboards. All the apartments also have a large double cupboard that conceal the refrigerator/freezer and cleaning equipment - a thoughtful consideration in an open-plan layout. There is also plenty of recessed space behind doors and in holding area for bookcases, shelves, etc.
The location: it's just a 10 to 15-minute walk to Khalifa Park, one of the capital's most overlooked green spaces and the restaurants and amenities of the Park Rotana complex are within easy reach.
The proximity to Salam Street means you also have a fast route into the city. The swimming pool is a decent length - great for serious swimmers.
You will need a car or a cab driver you can call on. The compound is a good five-minute walk from the nearest road that runs behind Al Bateen Airport (not a major thoroughfare) and we don't rate your chances of hailing a cab quickly.
Until the compound convenience store is built, your nearest shop is in the next compound, again a five-minute walk. Other shops and amenities, including the Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society on Muroor Road, are a five-minute drive away.
One niggle about the one-bedrooms: although there is room for one, the bathrooms have no bathtub, though the double-size walk-in shower you do get is impressive.
The compound gym, shop and other amenities look some way off completion - there were still building materials lying around in the area next to the pool.
In the properties we were shown, some of the finishing in the bathrooms and kitchens - the grouting, sealing, etc - was disappointing.
An impressive and refreshing addition to the Abu Dhabi rental market. Al Seef offers spacious, stylish properties within a pleasant, relaxed environment and at a price that reflects Abu Dhabi's falling rents. An encouraging sign of things to come.
Available to rent through Better Homes, 02 667 8722, www.bhomes.com