Meet Abu Dhabi’s Top 10 Real Estate Developers

Meet Abu Dhabi’s Top 10 Real Estate Developers

In contrast to multinational Dubai, foreigners were not allowed to buy houses and apartments in Abu Dhabi until 2019. Since the rule change, the demand for real estate in the UAE’s capital is catching up with that of Dubai.

Expats currently account for less than 40% of Abu Dhabi’s population but this figure keeps growing, along with the real estate market. Prices for apartments and villas in the region have increased by an average of 8% to 10% in the last year. Despite the recent opening of the city’s housing market, there are already a number of well-known developers in Abu Dhabi. Read on to find out more about the top 10 Abu Dhabi real estate developers.

Aldar Properties

Aldar Properties was established in 2004 and has been one of the biggest developers in the UAE for almost two decades. The company’s headquarters is in Abu Dhabi and their main projects are built in the city. Aldar Properties is to Abu Dhabi what Emaar Properties is to Dubai. The artificial island of Yas built in 2007 is the greatest project in the developer’s portfolio. It cost $36 billion to build and is now the main tourist attraction of Abu Dhabi. It is home to the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World amusement parks, as well as the W Abu Dhabi Yas Island 5-star hotel, the Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi waterpark, and the CLYMB Abu Dhabi adventure hub.

Despite the abundance of large-scale projects (entire islands and big shopping centres), residential real estate remains Aldar’s main sphere of interest. Aldar has completed more than 400 properties and created more than 53,000 residential units. In the years to come, the company intends to finish several properties including apartment complexes like Louvre Abu Dhabi Residences and elite villa communities such as Saadiyat Lagoons.

Bloom Properties

Founded in 2007, Bloom Holding specialises in elite real estate in Abu-Dhabi. The developer has completed more than 5000 residential units (and almost as many are planned), 1000 elite houses, and 11 schools. The company’s mantra is sustainable development: all of their properties comply with modern quality and ecological standards. In the third quarter of 2023, the developer plans to finish Aldhay, a family-oriented townhouse community surrounded by a large green zone with pools.

Housing complex Bloom Towers

Bloom also works in other countries and built a modern office building in Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Reportage Properties LLC

In 2014, several shareholders with over 20 years of experience in construction came together and founded Reportage Properties. It is now one of the UAE’s biggest and most well-known developers. The developer’s first project was the Leonardo Residences complex in Masdar City, Abu-Dhabi, completed in 2018. It was wildly successful and completely sold out in record time: 93% of all flats were reserved within the first day of the foundation laying ceremony. Reportage also works in other cities, including Dubai and Istanbul.

Leonardo Residences in Masdar City

Among Reportage’s communities under construction, there are two that deserve special mention: a large-scale residential complex called Diva that is being built on Yas island, and the Al Raha Lofts community, a luxury residential complex in the prestigious Al Raha Beach area.

IMKAN

IMKAN was founded in 2017 and in its brief history the company has managed to get 26 successful projects under its belt. The headquarters is in Abu-Dhabi, but the company also operates outside the UAE: IMKAN builds in Morocco, Egypt, Montenegro, Sri-Lanka, and the Seychelles. Back home, the developer constructed Pixel, a modern community with top-notch infrastructure, a territory of 18 hectares, and more than 520 apartments.

In mid-2023, IMKAN plans to finish Al Jurf Gardens, a complex of luxury two-storey villas surrounded by gardens and canals.

The National Investment Corporation (NIC)

The National Investment Corporation is one of Abu Dhabi’s oldest developers. It was founded in 1999 and specialised in building shopping centres. NIC’s first property was the Marina Mall, which opened in 2001.

The company continues to develop Abu Dhabi’s coastal area, now working on residential properties. Fairmont Marina Residences, a 39-storey complex with 563 apartments with between one and four bedrooms, is the developer's most ambitious project. The multi-storey oriental-castle-style building with an arch and towers is in stark contrast with other complexes with modern and minimalist design.

Fairmont Marina Residences

NIC is currently working on their next design, Marina Walk, a 546-metre promenade. Besides a zone for walks and expensive boutiques, the developer plans to build three heliports and Abu Dhabi’s first skate park.

DAMAC Properties

One of the biggest developers in the UAE, DAMAC was established in 2002. In its 20 years of operation, it has built properties not only in Abu Dhabi but in other countries in the Middle East (Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iran), as well as in the UK. Interestingly, Damac Properties was the first Middle Eastern company in the field of real estate represented on the London Stock Exchange. The company managed to get $379 million during the IPO.

Working in the UAE, Damac Properties has been most active in Dubai where the developer built many famous properties: DAMAC Hills, AKOYA, DAMAC Heights, etc. However, the company also works in Abu-Dhabi. Marina Bay and Oceanscape are among the company's biggest properties in the emirate. Oceanscape is a tree-level complex on the bank of an artificial canal on the Al-Reem Island. Here, you can find townhouses, apartments, and boutiques for rent or sale.

SAAS Properties

SAAS Properties is a relatively new company founded by the Al Qassimi father and son in 2019. The owners say that their family business aims to create residential properties that are comfortable and durable for their buyers. They use high-quality hand-picked sustainable materials for their projects. 

SAAS Tower

The company's most famous properties are: Reem Five, Reem Nine, and One Reem, as well as the SAAS Tower complex with luxury apartments in Dubai.

SIADAH Development

In just five years since its establishment in 2018, the company has managed to grab the world's attention with two large-scale properties, Al Mahra Residence and Yas Beach Residence.

The former is a residential complex where construction began in 2019. By the end of the third quarter of 2019, 30% of all units were already sold, largely explained by the quality of construction, the favourable location and the fact that foreigners had recently obtained the right to buy property.

Al Mahra Residence

Yas Beach Residence is situated on Yas Island, which is one of Abu Dhabi’s top five places to rent out housing in terms of yield. The complex is a middle-rise building with studios, apartments with one to three bedrooms, and duplexes.

Baraka Real Estate

The youngest company on this list, Baraka Real Estate was founded in 2021 as a result of a partnership between two developers: Caphy Properties and Bin Ham Properties. Unlike many of its competitors, Baraka Real Estate works in various segments over the real estate market: it builds residential properties, commercial real estate, and entertainment centres both in the UAE and abroad.

Baraka Real Estate’s most famous properties are the Royal Rose Hotel (a five-star palace-like hotel in Al Dana) and the City Seasons Hotels in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Dubai.

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