Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO of Aldar Properties during the media roundtable at their Al Dar head quarters in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Aldar Properties on Monday announced the launch of a new Dh10 billion Al Ghadeer mixed-use master plan close to the border of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Seih Al Sdeirah.

The project consists of 14,408 units including 449 villas, 2,174 town houses and 11,785 maisonettes which will be delivered over a period of 15 years. It will also include office space, retail, hospitality, education and community facilities.

Maisonette prices start from Dh290,000, town houses from Dh899,900 while villas will start from Dh1.5 million.

The first neighbourhood of 611 homes will go on sale at Cityscape Abu Dhabi beginning on Tuesday, Talal Al Dhiyebi, chief executive officer of Aldar said on Monday.

“The construction of 611 homes is expected to start in the second half of this year and is scheduled for completion during 2021,” he said.

The new project is in addition to 2,130 existing homes within the Al Ghadeer community.

According to Al Dhiyebi, the location is quite strategic with a lot of interesting things happening around.

“Last year, we [saw] the completion of Mohammad Bin Zayed highway that provides ample accessibility into the site. This area also includes major job-creating projects such as Expo 2020 Dubai, Kizad, Al Maktoum International airport, among others,” he said.

When asked about the target customers for the project, he said both expatriates and Emirati investors were on their radar.

Funding for the project will be done through a mix of the company’s own cash and debt, he added.

“Aldar is a business with an extremely strong balance sheet. It is a company which is well-funded to deliver our three- to five-year business plan. We’ve been out in the market launching new projects and acquiring new assets,” he said.

“Three months ago we acquired International Tower. We are out in the market seeking new opportunities to acquire income-producing assets. The strength and resilience of our balance sheet allows us to go and do that.”

Speaking on the property market, he said it had yet not plateaued yet and opportunities still existed.

“You need to work hard to earn your bucks,” he said adding that job creation is happening in Abu Dhabi with new projects taking shape, such as the nuclear power plant by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and continued spending by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to boost economy.

“There are some job losses but at the same time there is also job creation. Our residential and office portfolio has a 90 per cent occupancy.”

Aldar Properties, with $10 billion (Dh36.73 billion) in assets and a 75 million square metre land bank, is listed on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange and has a number of buildings to its name including the firm’s headquarters in the Al Raha Beach development, the Gate Towers in Shams Abu Dhabi on Al Reem Island and Yas Island’s F1 circuit.

The company recently raised the foreign ownership limit from 40 per cent to 49 per cent as it embarks on a growth strategy within Abu Dhabi and beyond.

In the box

Aldar is planning to take up more projects in a joint venture with Emaar in future, Aldar’s CEO told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

“As we work closer together, I am sure more opportunities will come in and we will assess those opportunities, whether within the UAE or in some of the key international markets, we are open to that,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi.

He did not specify which international markets they will be targeting but said they are looking at different markets.

“Wherever the opportunities exist and make sense we will go. At the end we are both commercially driven entities and we are there to deliver long-term sustainable profits and returns for our shareholders. [If] going into the markets is going to help us deliver those sustainable earnings then we will definitely consider.”

Aldar and Emaar properties last month announced a joint venture partnership, with a targeted investment of Dh30 billion, to develop new projects in the UAE as well as in international markets.

The firms will initially focus on two main projects — the Emaar Beachfront in Dubai and Saadiyat Grove in Abu Dhabi.