Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, accounts for over 80 percent of the UAE’s total land area and is home to 2.7 million people. Despite being considered by many to be Dubai’s less ostentatious sister city, Abu Dhabi’s impressive skyline has continued to grow – and so has its reputation as an attractive choice of residence for both locals and expats.
Types of Villas in Abu Dhabi - Villas for sale in Abu Dhabi are typically quite spacious, even those of just 2 or 3 bedrooms. And as Abu Dhabi often caters for large expat families, there are many 6 or 7-bedroom villas of upwards of 5,000 square feet on the market. Life in a villa comes with all kinds of perks. Abu Dhabi villas for sale in compounds often have a pool or a hot tub, and the newer villa complexes usually offer a shared gym facility, a shared pool if there isn’t a private one, a kid’s play room and tennis or football area. Independent villas that are not part of larger compounds will often have more extensive gardens and more overall space but will lack in these shared facilities. When living in a villa, street parking is expected with garaged parking being a less frequent bonus. The parking space outside the villa can usually accommodate more than one vehicle (or even a boat).
Popular Areas in Abu Dhabi - Considering that 80% of Abu Dhabi’s population is comprised of expatriates from around the world, it was decided in 2005 that expats be allowed to buy freehold property in Abu Dhabi. While both expats and nationals are free to buy property in Abu Dhabi, the former are limited to property from designated zones known as “investment zones”. Of these investment zones, the most popular areas with villas and townhouses are Saadiyat Island, Reem Island, Al Raha Beach, Al Reef, Yas Acres and Hydra Village. Saadiyat Island, while not yet completed, will be arguably one of the grandest residential and cultural resorts in the world, home to three major museums, a performing arts centre and space for up to 150,000 residents upon its completion in 2020. Another popular area, Al Raha Beach, is made up of three communities: Al Bandar, Al Muneera and Al Zeina, each one set on the waterfront facing Yas Island and with excellent links to both Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai.
Potential for Return on Investment in Abu Dhabi - In alignment with the government’s 2030 plan, expansion plans are occurring across the emirate and with average returns on Abu Dhabi property at over 7%, real estate is a very stable asset. Property prices and returns in A.D. are linked to population and supply, and as the government’s expansion plans are anticipated to raise the population significantly, villas will only gain value. Additionally, the fact that rent is paid upfront for the year, in either one cheque or two, gives the landlord security of income and protects them against the possibility of a tenant absconding.
Lifestyle and Community in Abu Dhabi - Living in Abu Dhabi can mean an idyllic life for both local and expat families. Not only is the UAE one of the safest countries in the world, but there are also more than a hundred nursery schools in Abu Dhabi alone, with curriculums based on Arabic, British, American, French and Indian models. Children can be taken by some schools up to 5 days a week from as young as one-month old. There is year-round warm weather, perfect for days spent in swimming pools, water parks and swing parks. And with such a large expat community, expat kids in Abu Dhabi will never struggle to make friends. Their parents, on the other hand, will certainly not be short on things to do either. Between malls and hotels, Abu Dhabi is a hub of shopping destinations coupled with cinemas, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and museums.