Abu Dhabi 3

Living in Perfect Balance – Aired April 2008

The property market in the Arabian Gulf has seen an unprecedented boom over the last few years.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, has announced fantastic development plans for at least the next 2 decades.

What does Abu Dhabi’s real estate market have to offer the potential buyer?

For those seeking leisure alongside their investment, we look at the tourism opportunities in the emirate.

Join Asia Business Channel as we explore what is on offer through the portfolio of one real estate developer.

The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, lies in the heart of the Arabian Gulf. A federation of 7 neighbouring emirates, the UAE was formed in 1971, after the British pulled out of ruling the area.

Today, the country has an open economy, and its currency, the Dirham, is stable.

The largest, the richest and the most heavily populated emirate is Abu Dhabi. It accounts for over 60% of the UAE’s GDP, with enough oil reserves to last another century. Both the political and business capital of the federation, Abu Dhabi has a per capita GDP that is higher than that of several European countries. In just the last 5 years, the city has reportedly grown to thrice its original size.

As one of its leaders highlights, the city already has a strong vision.

The government of Abu Dhabi has come up with a long-term plan for the city – The Urban Structure Framework Plan, also known as “Plan Abu Dhabi 2030”. It outlines a way to take advantage of the economic opportunities at hand, without sacrificing the character of the city.

There are many incentives that make Abu Dhabi a favourable place to invest. Apart from a tax-free environment and physical security, the rate of return available in the city is one of the highest in the region. The government is also keen to make investors feel very welcome.

With its stable economy, open markets, and a sound regulatory framework, Abu Dhabi offers many concrete investment opportunities.

Property development in Abu Dhabi is a sector that is primed for major expansion.

The Managing Director of Sorouh, one of the key developers in the emirate’s real estate sector, tells us why foreigners should seriously consider investing.

Launched in September 2005, Sorouh is the largest Abu Dhabi-based, public-listed, real estate developer with an initial capital of 2.5 million dirhams.

The CEO of Sorouh tells us more about the company’s vision.

Sorouh boasts employees from around the globe. The company also has about 45,000 shareholders in the UAE, which makes Sorouh one of the most widely-held issues in the country. Its market cap is close to 16 billion dirhams.

To date, Sorouh has launched projects valued in excess of 45 billion dirhams in sales value.

The Executive Director of Projects at Sorouh gives us an insight to how masterplans are drawn up in the company.

In a spirit of giving back to the community, Sorouh has also started a corporate sponsorship programme called Sorouh Faces. The company has set a new Guinness World record for the world’s biggest poster. Now, they aim to fill that space with a million faces. For every face that they receive, Sorouh will donate US$1 to the UAE Red Crescent.

To take part in this campaign, log on to www.sorouhfaces.com

Sorouh aims to increase the value of the Abu Dhabi real estate market by providing high quality property options on some of the most desirable sites in the emirate. With the clear vision of life in perfect balance, Sorouh ensures that each of their developments cater to the desires of all residents.

SHAMS ABU DHABI

Shams Abu Dhabi is Sorouh’s flagship development on Reem Island. Located a few hundred metres northeast of Abu Dhabi, it offers spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and Abu Dhabi city. Work has already started on this landmark project.

Once completed, Shams Abu Dhabi will be a unique urban location, offering the perfect combination of modern comfort and natural living.

The Central Park, with its extensive recreational and educational offerings, will undoubtedly become a favoured destination. Around the edges of the landscaped open space, will be over 17,000 square metres of retail space.

A unique attraction will be the canals and coastal paths. Water taxis will make the canals an important part of the transportation network.

The theatre district will create a 24-7 entertainment hub. Designed to be filled with cafes, clubs, cinemas and other outlets, the area will surely become a prime entertainment destination.

The Marina district aims to become the elite yachting centre of the Southern Gulf. Residents will be able to wander around the local hostelries and chandlers, and enjoy the bubbling yet relaxed atmosphere at the waterside.

The 74-storey Sky Tower will offer panoramic views of the Gulf and Abu Dhabi Island. It will incorporate technological features, the latest in security and energy conservation techniques. It will also offer residents state-of-the-art sports and leisure facilities, as well as a shopping mall.

Sas Al Nakhl Village

Sas Al Nakhl Village is a beautifully designed compound offering spacious living with modern facilities. There are about 600 3 to 5-bedroom villas with a private garden and parking.

Set amidst lush landscaped gardens, the village has superb leisure and recreational facilities with the safety and convenience of 24-hour security and maintenance.

Located in the newly developed area of Sas Al Nakhl, it is just 30 minutes away from Abu Dhabi town centre, 15 minutes from the Abu Dhabi airport, and 40 minutes from Jebel Ali free zone. It is also conveniently situated close to the Abu Dhabi Golf Course and the Cricket Stadium.

Khalidiya Village

Khalidiya Village is a new residential community located in the heart of Khalidiya, one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in Abu Dhabi. Its 150 beautiful villas offer modern-style living with superb facilities in an upscale locale. There is a choice of 4, 5 or 6-bedroom villas.

Just a 15 minute walk from the Corniche, the residential community offers close proximity to schools, shopping destinations, hospitals and the beach.

Al Oyoun Village

Al Oyoun Village is a luxurious and traditional residential community that blends timeless Arabic architecture with modern features.

Villas range from 3 to 5 bedrooms characterized by town houses, semi-detached and detached styles. There are also extensive amenities and clubhouse facilities designed for a luxurious lifestyle.

Located on the outskirts of Al-Ain, Al Oyoun Village offers spectacular views of Hafeet Mountain.

Golf Gardens

Still undergoing construction is the residential community of Golf Gardens. Once completed, it will offer luxurious homes that are complemented by the placid greens of the Abu Dhabi Golf Course.

There will be excellent recreational and sports facilities for residents, as well as sprawling gardens and beautiful boulevards.

Conveniently located, it is just a 15-minute drive from the heart of Abu Dhabi and a 45-minute drive from Dubai.

Until recently, Abu Dhabi remained an undiscovered jewel on the international travel map. Today, more and more foreign visitors are discovering this unique and captivating destination.

At the Heritage Village, one can discover the local culture and heritage. In this dedicated setting, past crafts such as carpet-weaving, sword-making and leatherwork are all re-enacted. Scenes of traditional village life have been re-created to give visitors a glimpse of what life was like.

A stone’s throw away from the Heritage Village is the landmark Emirates Palace Hotel. With the distinction of being only the 2nd 7-star hotel in the world, the enchanting landscaped grounds are a wonder to behold. Reputed to be the most expensive hotel ever built, much of the interior décor is in gold and marble. From the materials used to the technology available, no luxury has been spared.

A popular way to see the desert is an organised half-day desert safari. After a visit to a camel camp, there is a thrilling ride down the desert sand dunes. This is followed by dinner at a campsite, where the revellers are entertained by a belly-dancer late into the night.

About an hour’s drive away from the city of Abu Dhabi is the oasis city of Al Ain. Featuring rugged mountain scenery and lush green oases, Al Ain is a perfect get-away from the big-city feel of Abu Dhabi.

The emirate’s offering of year-round sunshine and the strong tradition of desert hospitality continues to welcome every visitor.

With a strong foundation already in place, Abu Dhabi’s position as a prime and safe location in a booming region looks set to climb, and she will remain a popular choice for many investors. This is definitely one emirate to keep an eye on as it moves towards sustainable development.