Abu Dhabi's Siadah eyes expansion with Dh450m project in Yas Bay

Company says it has already sold 30 per cent of Masdar City project launched in March

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Chawqui Derradji, CEO of Siadah Development in Masdar city. Khushnum Bhandari for The National

Abu Dhabi-based property company Siadah Development is eyeing expansion in the capital with a Dh450 million residential project in Yas Bay, its chief executive said.

Construction will start at the beginning of next year and the project, which will be funded through a mix of equity and bank debt, is expected to be completed by 2022, Chawqui Derradji said on Sunday.

"It is going to be one of the first projects with direct access to [the] beach on Yas Bay and will offer a unique lifestyle to residents," Mr Derradji told The National.

The project will have 400 units, ranging from studio to three-bedroom apartments, with prices starting from Dh560,000.

Siadah signed an agreement with Miral, the master developer of Dh12 billion Yas Bay project, for the purchase of two plots to develop the residential scheme earlier this year, he said.

Yas Bay is a mixed-use development featuring an 18,000-capacity indoor arena, dozens of cafes and restaurants, a pier, promenade and hotels, among other assets. The project has 35 residential plots with two sold this year, Miral executives told media during a site tour last week.

The Yas Bay development will be the second major project for Siadah after the Dh250m Al Mahra Residence scheme in Masdar City, construction for which started in March this year.

About 30 per cent of Al Mahra Residence is already sold, with the remaining units likely to be bought by the middle of next year, Mr Derradji said.

“The project has elicited good response from the investors, with 90 per cent of the buyers being Emirati nationals purchasing units for investment purposes. People from other Asian countries also showed interest in the project,” he said.

The construction of Al Mahra Residence is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2021, with the prices of units, ranging from studio to three-bedroom apartments, starting at Dh520,000.

“We are looking at other opportunities in Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the UAE but our main focus is Abu Dhabi. The company is expanding but at a steady pace,” he said on its expansion plans.

The developer is already looking at starting another project on Abu Dhabi island, details of which will be announced at the end of 2019 or early next year, he added.

The company is optimistic about the growth of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market on the back of measures undertaken by Abu Dhabi government to boost investors’ confidence, including the Dh50bn Ghadan 21 programme as well as the introduction of a new freehold law earlier this year.

“Abu Dhabi is a very attractive market for investors who are looking for steady growth. It is economically a steady place,” he said.

“Authorities related to investments and construction are supporting investors big time.”

In April, the Abu Dhabi government made changes to real estate laws allowing foreigners to own freehold property in designated zones. Foreign investors in Abu Dhabi’s real estate market were previously granted leasehold for a maximum period of 99 years.

He said there was still activity in Abu Dhabi's property market, even in a slowdown.

"There is always correction in every sector, whether in industrial or technological or sales of real estate,” he added.

He also argued that competition was healthy and helped the market's development.

“We want all developers to do well and this will have a positive impact on us, on our sales and in our marketing and in our results as well.”

The UAE property market slowed after the 2014 drop in oil prices, with tenants and buyers seeking more affordable options. According to Asteco, apartment prices dropped 4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter in Abu Dhabi, and villa prices fell 9 per cent.