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Site visit: Meera, Abu Dhabi

by Fatima De La Cerna on Sep 2, 2017

The project is valued at $148.6m.
The project is valued at $148.6m.

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Aldar Properties has built a reputation within the Abu Dhabi property market that is difficult to ignore. After all, the developer lays claim to having as its headquarters one of the emirate’s most distinctive buildings – a circular structure that teases the imagination, looking as though it got caught mid-roll but could resume motion, if only someone would give it a hard push.

It was awarded Best Futuristic Design in 2008, at the Building Exchange Conference held in Spain.

More than its striking HQ,  however, the developer is recognised for maintaining a foothold in a number of sectors.

On the commercial side of the spectrum, Aldar is known for variety, having introduced and completed projects that range from hospitality to retail, such as Yas Viceroy and Yas Mall. Meanwhile, at the residential end, the developer’s reputation is largely associated with high-end, premium products.

But change is afoot. This exclusive association may soon begin to shift, as Aldar turns its attention to the affordable real estate segment. This trend first became apparent in June 2015, when the firm launched Meera, its inaugural mid-market development.

A $148.6m (AED546m), G+27 project with a total built-up area of 76,328m2, Meera consists of two identical towers, each comprising 204 units. These units are a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, with prices starting at $250,000 (AED900,000) and going up to $545,000 (AED2m).

Meera is currently under construction at Shams Abu Dhabi, which is also home to Aldar’s Sun and Sky Towers. The developer’s experience in the area gave it insight into the market, resulting in the decision to pursue more pocket-friendly ventures.

Talal Al Dhiyebi, Aldar’s chief development officer, explains: “As we’ve stated numerous times to our investors, the whole affordable market segment is underserved and undersupplied.

“[At Aldar], we see the market segmented into multiple income brackets,” he continues. “Meera was targeted at people belonging to the $5,450 to $8,300 (AED20,000 to AED30,000) salary bracket, and we have been quite successful with it, as the property is sold out.”

Meera started construction in August last year, and is expected to complete in Q3 2018. Aldar is confident that it will meet the deadline because, as Al Dhiyebi puts it, the contractor is “doing a phenomenal job in terms of progress”.