The total floor area of developments given the green light more than tripled in the second quarter of the year, according to figures released yesterday by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, UPC.
The UPC announced that 26 development projects spanning a total gross floor area (GFA) of 2,327,073 m2 were approved during Q2, compared with 708,999 m2 in the previous quarter. The number of projects given the go-ahead was up by just under 25% from the 21 approved in Q1.
On Abu Dhabi Island, a mixed-use tower development in a prime location facing the Abu Dhabi Corniche was approved. The development has been designed with a distinct lower five-storey podium that has three 24-storey towers emerging over it. The irregular L-shaped profile of the plot has enabled the three towers to be positioned diagonally so as to achieve maximum views of the Abu Dhabi Corniche from the high-end residential apartments, which will be housed in three towers from levels 2 to 24. Four basement levels and two podium levels will provide the overall parking required for the building, and the site is flanked by roads on two sides which provides valuable frontage for retail and commercial establishments.
Also on Abu Dhabi Island, two residential tower building projects were given the go-ahead. The first tower will have a GFA of 10,406 m2 over 24 storeys on a plot of 1,098 m2, while the second tower, similar in design to the first, will have a GFA of 12,508 m2 over 24 storeys on a plot size of 1,354 m2. The project design is a tower block rising from the surrounding environmental deck located on the podium roof, which will enable the apartment blocks to be elevated to have better surrounding views. Facade glazing has been reduced carefully to provide living and bedroom areas with plenty of natural light, and balconies projecting from the building also act as solar shading. Parking will be located in the basement and in the podiums.
Located on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, close to the Corniche Hospital, the Saraya residential tower, comprising 49 storeys and three basement floors for underground parking, was also approved.
On Abu Dhabi Mainland, the Burjeel Medical City project in Mohamed bin Zayed City, a 300-bed specialty hospital covering a GFA of almost 82,000m2, was approved. The development consists of a main hospital podium, with four towers, a basement floor and a rooftop with a helipad to provide helicopter access for urgent cases.
Also on Abu Dhabi Mainland, the Abu Dhabi University will see an expansion of the existing female student accommodation building where four typical floors will house 21 residential units and, once complete, the expansion will provide 93 additional residential units for female students at the university.
In Al Ain, the Remah Emirati Housing Stage 2 residential project, consisting of ten villas and including a mosque, was approved. The development has a total GFA of 5,350m2 and a maximum height of ten metres (two storeys).
In the Mirfa area of Al Gharbia, a mixed-use project comprising 186 residential units and commercial units was approved. The project includes 192 car park spaces and a well-designed courtyard for residents, and covers a total GFA of 15,252.86 m2.
In parallel, the UPC announced the number of Estidama Pearl Ratings that have been awarded in Q2 2015. The figures show that 1,017 villas have been awarded 2 Pearls, 41 buildings have been awarded a 1 Pearl Rating, and 22 buildings 2 Pearls, making the total number of Pearl Ratings for Q2 1,080. In addition, nine Estidama training sessions have been held with 567 trainees in attendance.
To date, the UPC's Urban Development has delivered 440 projects and master plans with a total GFA of 73.6 million m2. Since the Estidama Pearl Rating System was launched four years ago, the Estidama team has reviewed many projects – a total of 11,878 villas and 1,004 buildings have been awarded a Pearl Rating.