Aldar buys Al Fahid Island for $680m to develop new waterfront project

Abu Dhabi developer to build 4,000 homes on island as it seeks to boost portfolio

The latest acquisition bolsters Aldar’s development strategy, the company said. Sammy Dallal / The National
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Abu Dhabi’s largest listed developer Aldar Properties has acquired Al Fahid Island, a 3.4 million square metre land bank, for Dh2.5 billion ($680 million) as it seeks to create a new waterfront development.

The acquisition consideration will be paid over five years, Aldar said in a statement on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange where its shares are traded.

Al Fahid Island’s gross development value is Dh26 billion and the transaction "further bolsters Aldar’s development strategy, which sees the company bringing diverse products to the market that cater to the demand of local, regional, and international investors and homeowners", it said.

“This latest land acquisition is a particularly significant one for Aldar as we continue to develop Abu Dhabi’s most strategically located and desirable destinations," said Talal Al Dhiyebi, group chief executive at Aldar Properties.

Located between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island, the development will feature mangroves and more than 11km of waterfront.

It will have a mix of more than 4,000 residential units, a school, as well as leisure, retail and hospitality amenities.


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The first phase will be launched to buyers towards the end of this year, the company said.

The development will have a “strong focus on preserving nature and habitats on the island as well as sustainable design and construction”, it said.

Aldar has played a significant role in developing both Yas Island and Saadiyat Island in the capital.

Last week, it hit the Dh1 billion mark for sales at its Sustainable City project on Yas Island. A total of 512 homes were available during the first phase of the development.

The UAE property market has continued to recover from the coronavirus pandemic on the back of government initiatives, higher oil prices and other measures to support the economy.

Aldar plans to launch a dozen new projects this year amid the property market recovery and will continue to look for acquisitions to boost its portfolio, Jonathan Emery, chief executive at Aldar Development, told The National in an interview earlier this month.

Major developments it has announced in the past year include Yas Gate, Saadiyat Lagoons, the Grove District on Saadiyat Island and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Residences.

The average price per square foot for villas on Saadiyat Island increased 12.7 per cent annually in 2022 amid a steady demand for waterfront properties, according to a report by property portals Bayut and Dubizzle.

Apartments on Saadiyat Island also appreciated by 13.2 per cent, while prices for villas on Yas Island rose 6.1 per cent in the same period.

"Al Fahid Island presents a robust pipeline of development activity for our business," Mr Emery said in the statement.

"With strong appetite for ultra-luxury products in Abu Dhabi’s premier locations, alongside the growing demand we continue to witness for beachfront properties from both international and local buyers, the acquisition of this island allows us to bring unique properties to the market while also targeting a wide range of customers across the upper market, with touchpoints across the resident, second-home owner, staycation and investor segments.”

Updated: February 01, 2023, 6:34 AM