Arabic drama Ood Akhdar adds appeal to Dh12.6 million Saadiyat villa up for sale

To viewers of MBC Arabic drama Ood Akhdar, this villa on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi may appear familiar.

The show – which revolves around Hanin, a girl who lost her mother at seven and struggles to cope with loneliness when her father remarries – was filmed extensively at the five-bedroom villa in the Saadiyat Beach Villas neighbourhood.

“The film crew were very keen to shoot in a villa on Saadiyat and when they came to see it they took one look and said it’s perfect,” says Andrew Clout, the owner, from South Africa.

Mr Clout, the managing director at SinoGulf Investments, is now hoping that the villa’s central role in the drama will help him find a buyer after he placed it on the market last week for Dh12.6 million as his oldest two children are heading off to university.

The film company found the Clout family through Abu Dhabi media zone twofour54. The crew stayed for a week initially and then returned several weeks later for 10 days. The show later aired during Ramadan last year.

“It was a lot harder having them here than we had imagined,” says Mr Clout, who lives at the house with his wife and three children. “But watching the show afterwards and seeing our house feature in it was great fun.”

Certainly a quick look around the five-bedroom villa, just a few minutes walk from the sea and the Saadiyat Beach Club, reveals just what the makers of Ood Akhdar found so appealing.

The villa includes a courtyard-style garden, patio and large swimming pool, five bedrooms, all of which are en suite, a large kitchen, two reception rooms, a balcony, double garage and accommodation for a maid and a driver. The master bedroom comes with a large bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe.

“This is very much a family home,” says Mr Clout, opening the door to his son’s bedroom, which contains a loft bed and many toys. “We’ve had five very happy years living here and we’ll be sorry to leave. Every time I drive over the bridge to Saadiyat I feel like I’m on holiday.”

q&a leads directly to the sea

Almer Agmyren, founder of Rex Real Estate, which is marketing the property, tells Lucy Barnard more about the five-bedroom villa:

Why is this villa a good investment?

This villa actually has a better location than some of the premium villas on Saadiyat Island that are being sold for twice as much. It is in a quiet cul de sac, which leads directly to the sea.

Aren’t there several villas being built on Saadiyat Island?

At the moment there are villas being built by SDIC at Hidd Al Saadiyat at the far end of Saadiyat Island and a couple of projects being built by TDIC.

Are villa prices in Abu Dhabi falling at the moment?

There is some truth to that. This same villa would probably have sold for Dh13m to Dh14m if it had been on the market two years ago. However, there is still a shortage of freehold villas available for expats to buy in Abu Dhabi.

What about reports that many top executives are being let go from Abu Dhabi companies as firms cut back due to low oil prices?

We are seeing some executives leaving Abu Dhabi but these people have got contingencies. Rather than take a hit on a villa sale, most people in this position would choose to rent it out rather than sell. Standard four-bedroom villas are still leasing for as much as Dh390,000 a year and a villa like this could lease for as much as Dh500,000.

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