Abu Dhabi's new building rules could lead to cheaper villas

Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities is reducing the minimum size stipulated for bedrooms, kitchens and majilis

New legislation to regulate the construction of private villas in Abu Dhabi was issued by The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities. The National 
New legislation to regulate the construction of private villas in Abu Dhabi was issued by The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities. The National 

A new legislation regulating the construction of private villas in Abu Dhabi has been issued by the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities (DPM), which is expected to reduce costs for landowners and speed up the delivery of housing projects.

Under the law, the minimum size specified for a bedroom, kitchen, dining area and majlis (seating space) will be reduced and landowners will no longer have to construct a hallway in new homes. The maximum height required for side fences has also been lowered to four metres, from six metres.

“The legislation will lower building costs for landowners, providing practical and modern solutions that can be easily applied, speeding up the delivery of housing projects and improving quality of life for residents,” said Mohamed Al Ahmed, executive director of the strategic affairs sector at the DPM.

“Compliance with the legislation will help stimulate business, investment, community development and enhance lifestyle, while increasing the emirate's competitiveness,” he said.

Landowners will also be allowed to build extensions to properties overlooking a street.

“This is in response to feedback from landowners requesting for more flexible spatial requirements,” DPM said.

The development comes as Abu Dhabi focuses on boosting the property market with a new real estate law that allows foreigners to own freehold property in designated zones. Previously, ownership of property within these areas was only allowed for UAE and GCC nationals.

In the first six months of this year, Abu Dhabi's real estate sector recorded 10,000 transactions worth Dh31 billion, according to a report by DPM. Most transactions processed were for Reem Island, with Dh4.37bn worth of deals completed.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi government launched the Dh50bn Ghadan 21 initiative that is expected to have a positive impact on the real estate sector in the capital. Long-term visas are also being granted to investors in a move that should boost the real estate sector across the UAE.

Updated: September 1, 2019 01:41 PM

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