Abu Dhabi developments to target gaps in market
Cityscape panel discusses selective growth in property market
Developers have pointed to the need to attend to the gaps in Abu Dhabi’s real estate market – in the housing, schools or mid-tier hospitality sectors.
David Dudley, regional director and head of JLL’s office in Abu Dhabi, noted that from a residential point of view, “while there is market-wide vacancy, there remains a shortage of quality residential stock (in terms of quality of design, parking, amenities, management, etc.) across all price points”.
Speaking at a panel discussing ways for Abu Dhabi’s property market to achieve its short-term goals at Cityscape, Dudley stated that developments need to be carefully phased and they need to be more aligned with end users.
“We need to see more residential stock coming forward to help prevent any spike in prices,” Dudley said. “We’re saying: let’s not go crazy there and let’s make sure that it’s the right work for end users.”
Anthony Mallows, director of Masdar City, added that from his end, he is looking for opportunities within the gaps in the market. For example, he points to a shortage of schools in Abu Dhabi.
“There is a shortage of schools in Abu Dhabi right now," said Mallows. "One of my strategies is to get those schools built – quality schools – but then negotiate what other facilities are needed. Not only negotiate with private school developers, but also look at their full needs, such as housing.”
Gurjit Singh, chief development officer at Aldar, added that there is a gap in the market for mid-tier retail and housing projects.
“There is a gap in the mid-tier market not just for housing, but also retail and hospitality," he said. "This is grossly lacking and I think that’s where for us, we are in the market at every point. The market has to respond because people in the mid-income track are finding it difficult when prices are escalating too fast.”