Addressing the need of lower priced properties in Abu Dhabi

More affordable homes are to be built in UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi to combat the issue of soaring rents and property prices, it has been announced.

The Urban Planning Council (UPC), the agency that oversees the Abu Dhabi emirate’s long-term development, will allocate land – most likely in the planned Capital district between Musaffah and Khalifa City – to developers to build new housing for low and mid-income families.

It will also work with developers to increase the amount of affordable housing in projects already underway, including in the special investment zones where expatriates are eligible to purchase property, UAE daily The National reported on Thursday. “We are working with developers willing to build affordable housing and we will help them,” Falah Mohamed al Ahbabi, the council’s general manager told the paper.

A recent report by property services company Asteco revealed that rents in the city had rocketed by 49 percent in the last year and across the UAE, skilled expatriates are beginning to think again about moving to the region because of the rising cost of living.

The announcement on affordable homes comes after property consultants Colliers International claimed most of the 140,000 housing units due to be completed between 2011 and 2013 were luxury developments.

A study commissioned last year by Al Rayan, a real estate developer focusing on building lower-cost homes, found that 350,000 people in the emirate on low or middle-range incomes needed more affordable housing.

By Andy Sambidge, Arabianbusiness, 28 August 2008


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