New Reem Island projects approved by Abu Dhabi city planners

Abu Dhabi planners have approved a slew of new projects that includes a hotel apartment development on Reem Island.

Aldar’s planned Shams Marina serviced apartment and apartment scheme was one of a number of projects signed off by the city’s Urban Planning Council in the final quarter of 2016. Shams Marina is expected to comprise a complex of four housing and hotel apartment towers located next to a new marina on the east side of the Shams neighbourhood of Reem Island.

Plans for a marina in Shams were included in the original master plan when it was drawn up by Abu Dhabi developer Sorouh in 2005.

According to consultants working with Aldar, the vast Shams Marina project will include two blocks of branded residences and two blocks of hotel apartments. Amenities will include beach side retail, food and beverage and a beach club.

The UPC said that it had awarded Shams Marina an Estidama pearl 1 rating – the lowest of its five levels measuring energy efficiency. An Aldar spokesman confirmed that the project comprised apartments and serviced apartments but declined to elaborate further before an official announcement.

The UPC said that Shams Marina was one of 24 projects and master plans it had approved during the final three months of 2016 – down from a total of 27 projects a year earlier.

Other consents given by the UPC include a five-star Rixos hotel project on Saadiyat Island and approval for the detailed general plan of the Al Sad residential project in Al Ain.

“Development projects approved by the council, and assessed according to the Pearl rating system from the Estidama programme, reflected a growth in long-term demand that requires the establishment of high-quality real estate and development projects throughout Abu Dhabi,” said Mohamed Al Khadar Al Ahmed, the executive director of urban development and Estidama at the UPC.

In June 2015, the UPC approved a revised master plan for Reem Island drawn up by the island’s three master developers – Aldar, Tamouh and Reem Investments.

It included homes for up to 210,000 residents, 10,000 hotel rooms, 1.4 million square metres of office space and 850,000 sq metres of retail.

An initial master plan was created for the island 10 years ago, when a total investment of more than US$30 billion was envisaged.

The news comes amid a continued slowdown in the Abu Dhabi property market.

On Sunday, the property broker CBRE reported that average apartment rents in the capital had fallen by 7 per cent in the final three months of 2016 compared with the same period a year earlier. It said that also over the same period hotel occupancy was down 3 per cent, while prime office rents fell by the same measure.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter