Aldar partners with India's Anarock Group in first foray outside UAE home market

Partnership allows Indian investors to buy property in the capital following new land ownership rule

epa07509759 Visitors inspect the Al Dar section during the Cityscape 2019 Abu Dhabi exhibition, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 16 April 2019. The real estate event, an annual networking exhibition and conference focusing on all aspects of the property development cycle, runs from 16 to 18 April 2019.  EPA/ALI HAIDER
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Aldar Properties is partnering with India's Anarock Group to sell real estate in Abu Dhabi to Indian investors, extending the UAE developer's reach outside its home market for the first time.

The Abu Dhabi-based company's agreement with the real estate consultancy will allow Indian buyers to select properties from its portfolio in the capital as part of a strategy to expand internationally, Aldar said on Tuesday.

"India is a very important market for Aldar and a core part of our strategy for international sales," said Talal Al Dhiyebi, chief executive of Aldar Properties.

The announcement follows Abu Dhabi's decision to allow foreigners to own the land under their homes or offices for the first time as it seeks to attract foreign investors and boost the real estate market. Foreign companies and individuals can enter freehold agreements in designated investment zones, easing previous restrictions of a 99-year lease of the land. Aldar's partnership with Anarock seeks to capitalise on the new foreign ownership rules and easing visa restrictions.

"This strategic collaboration will enable Indian buyers to benefit from the newly introduced law regarding freehold ownership of land in investment zones and visa rules for real estate investors in Abu Dhabi, which have made our destinations even more attractive to international investors," Mr Al Dhiyebi said.

The UAE earlier said it granted thousands of permits to foreign investors who collectively invested Dh100 billion as part of its "Golden Card" permanent residency programme that offers a 10-year renewable visa.

"The favourable market environment in Abu Dhabi offers Indians a great opportunity for investment and business growth," said Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Group.

Indian residents make up the largest expat group in the UAE, where they are the biggest diaspora outside of India.

Aldar's portfolio includes Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim. Other destinations include Yas Island developments such as Mayan, Yas Acres and Water’s Edge.

Aldar Properties, builder of mega projects such as the Formula One circuit on Yas Island, reported a 17.4 per cent drop in net profit attributable to shareholders the first quarter to Dh553m.

The company expects full-year sales of Dh4bn, with first-quarter actual sales reaching Dh1bn, attributing its bullish view to the new freehold law passed by Abu Dhabi allowing foreigners to own land.

Aldar Properties, the largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, plans capital expenditure of Dh2.75bn in 2019.

It expects "very imminently" to formalise its Dh30bn joint venture agreement with Dubai’s Emaar Properties to develop UAE and international real estate projects, chief financial officer Greg Fewer said in May.