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Sat 13 Apr 2013 11:52 AM

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Tasweek to launch $140m Abu Dhabi villa project

Developer expects to make 30% ROI on 400 villa community to launch in September

Tasweek to launch $140m Abu Dhabi villa project
Tasweek CEO Masood Al Awar.

UAE developer Tasweek is to launch an AED500m ($136m) real estate project in Abu Dhabi this September, the firm’s CEO told Arabian Business.

Phase one of the development, which is in a currently undisclosed location in the Gulf state’s capital, will include 400 detached and semi-detached villas, as well as retail and community amenities.

CEO Masood Al Awar claimed that prices for the properties were 10 percent cheaper than comparable higher-end housing developments in the emirate, and the company anticipated a 30 percent return on investment on the project.

“It will be total community living,” Al Awar told Arabian Business. “Normally what has happened in the past, people have built houses, and then when they’re sold the community aspect comes. But what we’re doing is building it all simultaneously.”

Prices will start at AED650,000 for a two-bedroom property to AED1.25m for a five-bedroom villa, with sizes ranging from 150 sq m to 350 sq m.

The unnamed development is set to break ground in December and has a two-year time-span for completion, Al Awar added. The project’s AED500m cost is being financed entirely out of Tasweek’s own cash reserves, he said. Phase two of the project has not yet been confirmed, Al Awar said, although he was positive this would be the case.

Abu Dhabi’s property market suffered in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, with a report by consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) in 4Q2012 showing that real estate prices had plunged by 53 percent in the last four years.

JLL said with a pipeline of new residential stock expected to flood the market over the next 18 months, it did not expect a notable recovery in Abu Dhabi’s sector until 2014.

This recovery could be facilitated by an announcement from the Abu Dhabi government to spend $90bn on infrastructure and housing projects, as well as a new requirement for all public sector employees to live locally.

Al Awar said that Tasweek, which also buys and sells on strategic property assets, also planned to invest AED300m in real estate acquisitions over the coming year.

The company currently manages a property portfolio worth approximately $250m.

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