Although it has become a strong contributor to economic diversification, Abu Dhabi’s real estate sector is being put under pressure by slower growth, brought on by low global oil prices that started in 2014. Spending cuts since 2015 have been reflected in capital value, with rental rates declining to their lowest levels since 2013. However, the slowdown has masked encouraging developments in the sector, with a series of Abu Dhabi government reforms unveiled in 2015 with a view on protecting against the emergence of another property bubble. Private developers are becoming more responsive to market demand with regard to product offering, and have begun exploring alternative projects, such as real estate investment trusts and joint ventures.
This chapter contains interviews with Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO, Aldar; and Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman, Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities.