The Taiwanese developer Farglory, which is working on a luxury residential project on Al Maryah Island, is bullish on prospects in the capital, a top executive from the company said yesterday.
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, said Jack Hu, the company's managing director in the Middle East.
"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.”
Farglory, which is in talks with developers in the capital and Dubai to launch more projects, in the long term also expects to work with Mubadala in the Asia-Pacific region as sovereign wealth funds look to emerging markets for investment, he said.
The company yesterday held a meeting with property agents to market its US$1 billion waterfront Maryah Plaza project comprising 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 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Prices start at Dh3,500 per square foot, almost twice that of comparable properties nearby. The developer said that it had sold 15 per cent of the units and was looking to Cityscape Global in Dubai next month for further sales.
Farglory's move comes on the heels of Aldar's off-plan sales on Yas Island earlier this year.
Analysts say that buyers this time around are more careful after the last development boom and crash.
"Developers able to demonstrate a strong local or international track record will achieve greater success,” said David Dudley, the regional director and head of JLL's Abu Dhabi office.
"The sales market remains strong because of positive investor sentiment from economic growth as Abu Dhabi follows Dubai's market recovery, the U.A.E.'s safe-haven status to regional investors, and increased demand from end users [with] greater levels of job security and purchaser appetite post-downturn,” he said.
Maryah Plaza is the only ownership residential project on the island, which is expected to eventually be home to 12,000 people and will also include the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange after the financial centre is complete.
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.
In the capital, residential sales prices for prime apartments and villas increased 27 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to the consultancy JLL.
Source: The National