Aldar sells Dh600m of villa plots in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa City

Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s largest listed property developer, has sold more than Dh600 million worth of land plots at its latest housing project.

Aldar sold 281 villa plots at its 690,000 square metre Al Merief master-planned community to be built in Khalifa City close to Masdar City and Al Raha Beach.

The developer said that it had sold all 281 of the plots, which are only eligible to be sold to Emiratis, in one week via off-market sales. It said that buyers made down payments for the plots worth between 50 and 100 per cent of the purchase price. The purchases will generate Dh600m for Aldar as the sales complete.

Aldar said that the plots varied in size between 1,000 and 1,500 sq metres, and cost an average of Dh2.1 million.

“We are seeing unprecedented demand for infrastructure-enabled land in Abu Dhabi as the emirate continues to develop and the economy grows,” said Mohammed Al Mubarak, the Aldar chief executive.

“Al Merief marks the next phase of Aldar’s development plan and furthers our strategy to monetise our land bank, and de-risk our developments”

The Al Merief project is Aldar’s first sales launch this year, and will include low-rise apartment blocks as well as a school operated by Aldar Academies, shops, parks and a petrol station.

Last month Aldar said it was planning to press ahead with the construction of 7,300 homes in the capital over the next five years. There are some concerns that falling oil prices could delay government projects and reduce housing demand in Abu Dhabi.

According to the property broker Knight Frank, with about 51 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s GDP dependent on the oil sector, the capital is far more exposed than Dubai to short-term oil shocks.

Oil prices slumped from more than US$115 a barrel in June to a low of US$46.59 on January 13, before recovering to above $55. The Brent Crude price stood at $55.11 at 4pm UAE time.

As oil prices slumped at the end of last year, Aldar’s shares also fell, hitting Dh1.98 on December 16 from Dh4.12 on September 18, before substantially recovering at the start of 2015. The company’s share price rose 3.9 per cent to stand at Dh2.35.

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Lucy Barnard

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