Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) grants detailed approval on 27 major real estate projects and master plans in Q4 2015 spanning almost nine million m2 of GFA; total GFA approved for 2015 up 26%.
ABU DHABI, 12 April 2016: A major retail development on Al Reem Island has been granted detailed approval by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) in Q4 2015. The 27 projects and master plans approved in Q4 brings the total number awarded detailed approval in 2015 to 101, with a gross floor area (GFA) of 13.58 million m2 – 26% more than in 2014. The approvals were given in line with the objectives of Plan Capital 2030, Plan Al Ain 2030 and Plan Al Gharbia 2030.
For the quarter, two approvals were given for projects and master plans located in Al Ain, four in Al Gharbia and 21 in the Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Area – with 11 projects on Abu Dhabi Island and ten on Abu Dhabi Mainland.
Three urban development projects given the go ahead in Abu Dhabi Metropolitan Area are located on Al Reem Island. The first is for Reem Mall. The development will span 185,000 m2and feature 450 retail units, including 85 restaurants and cafes, and a range of entertainment features across three storeys, including the world’s largest indoor snow-play park and a multi-screen cinema – providing high-quality leisure facilities for those living on Al Reem Island and in neighbouring communities.
Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director, Urban Development and Estidama Sector, UPC, commented: “The creation of a high-quality mall in Abu Dhabi City will provide much needed retail, leisure and entertainment amenities for residents of Abu Dhabi City and visitors to the area. Al Reem Island is a central component of Plan Capital 2030 and it gives us great pleasure to give approval to such an important project – we look forward to watching the mall become a focus for residents of and visitors to the island.”
The second approval is for Najmat Towers, a two-tower residential complex, one comprising 244 units over 40 storeys and the other comprising 330 units over 41 storeys all in the form of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, duplex apartments and townhouses. The development will feature retail outlets, swimming pools and recreational areas, gym and children play areas.
The third project located on Al Reem Island is Shams Meera, two identical residential towers in the Shams District. The 408-unit development, which is targeting a 2 Pearl Estidama Rating, will span 67,000 m2of GFA and incorporate recreational areas including a pool, children’s play area, gym, BBQ and community lounge.
Located between the two major leisure, tourism and cultural growth hubs of Yas Island and Saadiyat Island, the Al Fahid Island master plan aims to create a unique, sustainable and complete residential community, targeting a 2 Pearl Estidama Rating. The development is split into five phases, of which Phase 1 has received detailed planning approval. Residents will live in a resort-like setting along the waterfront, which is conveniently located 16 km northeast of Abu Dhabi Island’s Central Business District (CBD).
The largest master plan approved by the UPC in Q4 is the Al Khrair Emirati Housing project, located in the Al Khrair area in the eastern side of Al Ain City. With a GFA of 3.3 million m2, this residential project represents one third of the GFA approved in the quarter. The residential community will comprise 3,017 single-family villa plots supported by a comprehensive range of community facilities and services in line with the UPC’s suite of Complete Sustainable Communities manuals and guidelines.
Al Khadar stated: “The increase in the amount of GFA approved in 2015 vs. 2014 reflects the long-term demand for quality real estate development across Abu Dhabi. We will continue to progress our Tawasul developer outreach initiative with the development community throughout 2016 to ensure our processes and policies are as efficient and effective as possible to further enhance approvals in the future.”
The UPC is responsible for approving large-scale projects and master plans as well as managing the Emirate’s mandatory Estidama PRS for sustainable design, construction and operation.
In parallel, the UPC announced that by the end of the fourth quarter, 203 projects have been awarded an Estidama Pearl Design Rating throughout the Emirate. The figures show that a 1 Pearl Design Rating has been awarded to 90 villas and 38 buildings, while a 2 Pearl Design Rating has been awarded to 40 villas and 34 buildings. A 3 Pearl Design Rating has been awarded to one building. Since the Estidama Pearl Rating System was launched five years ago, the Estidama team has reviewed many projects – a total of 12,266 villas and 1,097 buildings have been awarded a Pearl Design Rating – this translates into a total GFA of 18.3 million m2.
Meanwhile, 505 people attended the eight Estidama training sessions held over the Q4 period, 75% of whom represented the private sector. In total, 1,724 people received training throughout 2015.