Abu Dhabi's real estate 'shows signs of maturity'
Dubai, April 15, 2014
With all sectors of the Abu Dhabi property market gaining momentum in making a healthy recovery, industry experts say the real estate sector shows strong signs of maturity, as the emirate looks towards achieving its 2030 vision.
The sustainability of such momentum is still, however, under debate, while the role of both private and public sectors to support the capital’s new health continues to unfold.
That will be one of many topics discussed at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Market Overview closed door forum, taking place on the first day of Cityscape Abu Dhabi on April 22 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
The half-day forum will put a spotlight on Abu Dhabi’s most recent economic indicators, while a dedicated panel discussion with industry experts will tackle how the local market can assure the current health continues to grow at a sustainable rate.
David Dudley, the regional director of JLL and headline speaker at the Market Overview event will be revealing the recent performance of each real estate sector for the first quarter of 2014 to key industry players.
Examining JLL’s outlook on future short, medium and long term performances, Dudley believes the Abu Dhabi property market is maturing and a more measured approach has been taken following the 2006 to 2008 boom.
“The purchaser market has become savvier this time round. Many investors got their fingers burnt previously and I would hope that they continue to ask the right questions,” he said.
“We expect that many of the schemes being launched by developers at Cityscape Abu Dhabi will be more modest in scale, more focused on end-user requirements, will be in locations that have gained momentum and have infrastructure in place and will impose restrictions on purchasers to prevent such things as short-term flipping, thus ensuring a more measured approach this time round.
“There is a tendency for memories to be fairly short during property cycle upswings, but I would hope that this improved maturity continues. The residential sales market witnessed 25 per cent growth for prime product during 2013 and such price growth is not sustainable.”
Anthony Mallows, the director of Masdar City and a panelist at the Market Overview discussion on the “Ways for Abu Dhabi’s property market to help the capital achieve its short-term goals”, will be drawing on the principles at Masdar which he believes distinguish their community from others in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
“Developers often focused on high-end buildings, however we believe that building attractive and reasonably priced, inclusive communities represents a better way forward for Masdar,” he said.
"Our approach is more socially and economically sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable as it combines live, work and play in a single integrated place, rather than segregation of different life activities. Creating an attractive, reasonable priced offering with a range of price points and asset classes attracts a larger market including middle and higher income buyers who value the community and walkability of Masdar," he stated.
"This ensures that the market for Masdar will be maintained throughout the real estate cycle, and therefore ensures Abu Dhabi will continue to develop sustainably rather than a boom and bust cycle, said Mallows.
With sustainability playing a vital part in Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision, strategic planning agency the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, will place a special emphasis on their Estidama programme, designed to promote sustainable living in Abu Dhabi, when they exhibit at the three day show.
Falah Al Ahbabi, the general manager of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, who will be speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day event said: "Estidama is a vision and a desire to achieve a new sustainable way of life in the region and we hope that by exhibiting at Cityscape Abu Dhabi we can promote and share this vision with others, particularly as our stand will feature an Estidama Villa Experience Centre to showcase sustainable building components."
"Through careful design, construction and operation, the mandatory Estidama Pearl Rating System can help residents and developers design and construct attractive buildings with longer lifespans and reduced ongoing operating costs, which are both in their best interests and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as a whole," he added.
Christopher Taylor, the CEO of Abu Dhabi Finance; Gurjit Singh, the chief development officer of Aldar Properties and Faris Mansour, the director of Mubadala Pramerica Real Estate Investors will also be taking part in the forum, which is officially supported by Masdar City.
Welcoming more than 120 exhibitors from across the Middle East and further afield, the eighth edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi will run till April 24 and additionally feature a VIP Networking Reception.-TradeArabia News Service