Aldar Properties has completed the first 2,130 homes at its Alghadeer project close to the Expo 2020 site in Dubai as the developer banks on infrastructure upgrades to help it finally complete the long-awaited master plan.
The company has sold 100 homes at the scheme over the past six weeks for about Dh1,050 per square foot, which was lower than the original 2007 launch price, said the company’s executive director of commercial real estate, Paul Middleton.
Alghadeer was first announced as a 6,000-home, self-contained community by the Abu Dhabi-based developer Sorouh in 2007, but it fell into the Aldar portfolio after the two companies merged last year.
Initially Sorouh planned to build all of the villas, town houses, apartments and facilities in one phase, which was to be completed in 2012.
However, after selling the whole development off-plan when the global financial downturn hit the country’s real estate industry in 2008 and prices in the UAE tumbled, the developer scaled down its plans and consolidated investments from off-plan investors into 1,900 homes in what has become the project’s first phase.
Aldar is marketing the remaining unsold 130 completed homes in the project in the Eastern Region investment zone for either sale or rent, with sales prices ranging from Dh500,000 for a studio apartment to Dh3 million for a four-bedroom villa.
The development is located in the desert in Seih Sdeirah, 45 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi city centre and 25 minutes from Dubai.
The project has no shops and the nearest places to eat are fast food outlets in service stations or the distant Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai.
Mr Middleton added that the scheme would include 13 shops and cafes comprising 40,000 square feet, which would be opening later this year.
“As Dubai pushes out you can see that this will become an increasingly important area,” Mr Middleton said. “You’ve already got Kizad just down the road here, you’ve got Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum Airport and right adjacent to here you’ve got the Expo exhibition site. It’s probably the only completed development in this area. It may be a little bit isolated now, but it’s not unlike Arabian Ranches or the Green Community was 10 years ago.”
Mr Middleton said that Aldar planned to see how the current phase of development was leasing before pressing ahead with further development plans in the area
For the moment most of the tenants are likely to be tempted to move the area by the promise of cheap rents, with studio apartments in the development renting for about Dh35,000 a year and four-bedroom villas renting for Dh125,000.
Mr Middleton said that the development was attracting Abu Dhabi government employees who had lived in Dubai and wished to remain close to the city while also complying with the recent decree requiring them to live in Abu Dhabi emirate or risk losing their housing allowances.
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