Site visit: Abu Dhabi Marina, UAE

Bloom Properties takes Paromita Dey behind the scenes at Abu Dhabi Marina, a lease-only, waterfront project that the developer says is sailing smoothly towards completion

Site Visits

The UAE’s real estate sector has undergone a period of turbulent development over the past decade, suffering a massive shock during the global financial crisis of 2008-09. But, like its neighbouring Dubai, Abu Dhabi’s property market has slowly and steadily rebounded from this setback. High occupancy levels amongst the capital’s premium residential developments helped to keep overall prices steady in the third quarter of 2015, according to a recent report from property consultancy, JLL.

Six years ago, Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) initiated a large-scale makeover of Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen district in a bid to transform the area into a ‘signature’ destination. The waterfront community has since grown into one of the most sought-after locations in the city. Ultimately, the destination will boast numerous high-end residential properties, and luxury hotels and resorts – many of which are under construction.

One such development is Abu Dhabi Marina, an upscale, mixed-use project by the Abu Dhabi-based developer, Bloom Properties. The Bloom Holding subsidiary boasts a growing portfolio of projects that span the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and even the United States.

Bloom Properties says Abu Dhabi Marina will feature luxury properties, serviced apartments, and a hotel. The development will also offer views of Abu Dhabi, the Marina, and the Arabian Gulf.

Imad Mroueh, director of construction at Bloom Properties, tells Construction Week: “[Abu Dhabi Marina] will be a one-of-a-kind project within the capital, due to its location and inspired offering to customers. The project will emerge as an all-encompassing destination in itself.”

Construction work at the project site started in April 2014, with the final delivery date slated for the third quarter of next year. Impressively, the development has already been awarded 2 Pearls under the Estidama Pearl Building Rating System.

The main contractor, Al Shafar General Contracting (ASGC) completed the structural work for the project in August 2015. Khatib & Alami (K&A) is handling the development of the concept design – devised by HOK and Atkins – through to the stages of engineering design and construction supervision. Facades and aluminium work is being conducted by Alico, and the electromechanical package was awarded to National Projects and Construction (NPC). Elevators for the project have been supplied by Kone, whilst landscaping works have been carried out by Bloom Landscaping.

Bishoy Magdy, projects manager at Bloom Properties, says: “Around 70% of the whole project is currently complete, with around 2,000 construction professionals working round the clock to complete the project within the stipulated time period.”

Ultimately, the project will feature 225 residential apartments ranging from one- to four-bedroom units, a five-star hotel comprising 200-keys and 57 executive serviced apartments, and a waterfront retail zone.

The project will occupy an area of 41,797 sqm and comprise a total built-up area of 150,000 sqm. It will also offer a total of 850 parking spaces for the convenience of residents and visitors.

Abu Dhabi Marina’s one-bedroom apartments span 75 sqm. Its two-, three-, and four-bedroom units are 100 sqm, 140 sqm, and 180 sqm, respectively. All apartments boast sea views, high ceilings, and modern contemporary designs, according to the developer.

In addition to the hotel and the residences, the project will comprise 3,000 sqm of waterfront retail and mid- to high-end food and beverage (F&B) outlets. “We are very picky in choosing the retailers because we know that our residents [will] look for unique value propositions,” mentions Mroueh.

Interestingly, units at Abu Dhabi Marina will only be available on a temporary basis – a choice, it could be argued, that adds to the development’s air of exclusivity.

“[Abu Dhabi Marina] is not a freehold project; it is only available for leasing,” Mroueh points out. “[Bloom Properties has] not started the leasing of the residential units yet. We will soon open our gates to customers.”

Encouragingly for the developer, this lease-only waterfront complex is just one of many in its current project portfolio. In addition to Abu Dhabi Marina, Bloom showcased a selection of other UAE properties at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2015.

Park View, for example, is a mixed-use development situated opposite the NYU Abu Dhabi campus on Saadiyat Island. It will offer 234 residential units and 217 hotel apartments.

Bloom Central, meanwhile, is a 25-storey, mixed-use development that will consist of two properties: the five-star, 315-key Abu Dhabi Marriot Hotel and the 64-key Marriott Executive Apartments. Both will be managed and operated by Marriott International. The project will also feature 49 two- and three-bedroom residences and a selection of 7,000-sqm office spaces.

The developer has also opened Bloom Business Centre in Al Maryah Island’s Sowwah Square. Located in Sila Tower, the facility offers ready-to-use offices, commercial spaces, meeting rooms and conference facilities.

Bloom Properties has also revealed that Phase 2 of Bloom Gardens – a residential community located within the eastern mangroves of Abu Dhabi Corniche – will complete ahead of schedule in December this year.

Down the E 11 in Dubai Marina, Bloom’s 52-storey Stella Maris Tower project has been designed to blend in with its urban surroundings. It will offer retail and F&B outlets, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool, as well as other amenities. Also in Dubai, the Dubai Eye project overlooks both the marina and the Arabian Gulf. It will feature 313 residential units ranging from one-bedroom apartments to townhouses and penthouses.

Commenting on Bloom Properties’ overflowing portfolio, Mroueh says: “We are offering exclusivity with each of our projects across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“All our offerings are one-of-a-kind; we create destinations where people can come and relax,” he concludes.

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