Capital unveils Dh100b Saadiyat Island project

ABU DHABI — Abu Dhabi has unveiled plans to develop Saadiyat Island spreading over 27-square kilometres, better known for its mangrove forests, and beaches, into a bustling city to be dominated by up-market eco-tourism, offering Dh100 billion investments opportunities in real estate, hospitality and leisure sector.

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Tue 25 Apr 2006, 10:44 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:00 PM

General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, unveiled the model of the ambitious city project at a launching ceremony yesterday.

Present on the occasion were Shaikhs, Ministers and high ranking civil officials.

In his speech, General Shaikh Mohammed said that Saadiyat Island has a cherished history spread over

three centuries. "It is part of nation's glorious past and home to three leading tribes including Beniyas,"he said.

"Saadiyat Island will be the first of the many projects falling under Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC). This is an important chapter in Abu Dhabi's history," he said.

He said that the creation of TDIC ushers in a new era of economic transition for the emirate, while the

development of Saadiyat, a unique natural resource, represents one of the most vibrant episodes in the

capital's evolution. Later, Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Mubarak Al Muhairy, Director-General, ADTA, told reporters that the island would be developed in a three-phased plan to be finally completed in year 2018.

During phase-one in 2006-2010, Saadiyat's beeches, cultural district, and Al Marina would be developed. During phase two which will run from 2009-2014, community facilities will be ensured to give a feel of an international tourist destination.

Shaikh Sultan said the TDIC which has been set-up with a capital of Dh100 million and will soon undertake massive infrastructure creation activities at a cost of Dh5.5 billion to link the island with two ten-lane bridges, creating basic modern civil infrastructure. Adwea will lay sewerage, water and electricity systems with an outlay of Dh2 billion, while Etisalat will link the island with telecom network.

The private sector would later move in to set up world class hospitality infrastructure including a six-star iconic hotel, 30-35 five-star and four-star hotels on the water-front, while 50 more hotels will be built in the main city with total 7,000 room capacity.

Major development parcels will be offered to UAE and GCC investors on a freehold basis, with non-GCC investors being offered 99-year leases or 50-year renewable leases, DG ADTA said.

Mubarak Al Muhairy said that the TDIC, which will be responsible for basic infrastructure, will oversee mixed-use development, selling land to private investors who will then develop their plots in accordance with the masterplan, supporting planning regulations and design guidelines to create a new residential and tourism environment.

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