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Work under way at first residential project on Abu Dhabi’s Al Maryah Island

The Taiwanese developer Farglory is bullish about the Abu Dhabi property market as it starts work on an ultra luxury residential project on Al Maryah Island.

It is in talks with developers in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai for various projects in the next three years as it looks to stay in the UAE market for at least 10 years, said Jack Hu, the managing director of Farglory Middle East, based in Abu Dhabi.

In the long term, Farglory also expects to work with Mubadala in the Asia Pacific region as sovereign wealth funds look to emerging markets for investment, he said.

The speculative nature of Dubai’s property market and the overcrowded landscape mean the Taipei-based developer is taking it slow in the emirate. Most of its projects in the UAE are in Abu Dhabi.

The lack of quality real estate and the fact that “Abu Dhabi is in the infancy of the development cycle” also make the market more attractive to the developer.

“Abu Dhabi is a demand-driven [market] and the speculative element in Dubai is something we as a newcomer to the region tend to shy away from,” Mr Hu said. “The momentum of Abu Dhabi will pick up from the end of this year and next year.”

The developer is working on its US$1 billion ultra luxury waterfront Maryah Plaza project on Al Maryah Island located close to Cleveland Clinic in the capital. It will comprise three residential towers and one mixed-use tower with serviced apartments, a hotel, offices and retail space.

Launched at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the first tower in Sowwah Square comprises 144 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments besides penthouses, each of which come with four levels. The units start at 90.09 square metres. The developer has sold 15 per cent of the units, and is looking to Cityscape Dubai for further sales.

At Dh3,500 per square foot, the price is almost double of comparable properties nearby. The investor money will go to an escrow account with ADCB, and can be withdrawn in phases.

Maryah Plaza is the only ownership residential project on the island, which is expected to be home to 12,000 people after the financial centre is complete. It will be home to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, while Rosewood Hotel offers serviced apartments.

While work on the project started in June, the main contractor will be named by the end of the year, Mr Hu said.

The first tower is expected to be ready by June 2017, with the entire project complete by 2020 in time for Expo2020.

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