BACS finishes valuation for Abu Dhabi road project

Surveyor wraps up agricultural review of Sheikh Khalifa Interchange

Sheikh Khalifa Interchange is one of many major UAE infrastructure projects.
Sheikh Khalifa Interchange is one of many major UAE infrastructure projects.

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British Arabian Chartered Surveyors said it has completed a valuation survey of the potential agricultural impact of the upcoming Sheikh Khalifa Interchange project in Abu Dhabi.

The real estate property consultancy, which specialises in project valuation, was mandated by Abu Dhabi Municipality to assess 254 mainly small holdings affected by the construction of the Interchange on the main Abu Dhabi highway.

“This is the first instance of a valuation for compensation purposes that we have come across on this scale in the region,” said Richard Sweetman, managing director of the consultancy, adding that the team had gained valuable experience from its work on the high-speed rail link through the English Channel tunnel.

The holdings typically comprised of crop farmers growing herbs and vegetables, as well as some cattle farming, he added.

Independent and accurate valuations of properties are integral to the real estate market and are the basis of home loans and pricing, as well as risk management and performance analysis. The Gulf’s market, as with other emerging regions, is still developing this discipline in comparison with western territories, and has yet to develop a national legal framework.

“Because there is no statutory framework, the area is pretty much virgin territory,” Sweetman told CW on Sunday. “This now is an import of principles from the UK, that a dispossessed party must be no better or no worse off than if the project was not going ahead. Then, it is up to the government to decide if there will be added compensation."

Abu Dhabi’s property market has seen high levels of construction activity despite a still-modest buying market. This has been a combination of private developments and initiatives from the government to provide for UAE citizens. In August HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE president, ordered the emirate’s housing allocation committee to draw up a shortlist for the potential tenants in the Al Falah residential district, a 1,250ha neighbourhood that will comprise 4,857 villas, situated off the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road east of the city’s international airport.

Developers such as Aldar Properties – builder of the Al Falah project - and Sorouh Real Estate have forged ahead with developments on Yas Island and Reem Island as well as the central district of the capital.

British Arabian Chartered Surveyors offers valuation and other services to British standard across emerging markets, including East Africa and Kazakhstan. Sweetman added that he would be “delighted” if further similar projects required such services as this area develops.



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