Three banks to finance buyers at Bloom Gardens

Three banks in Abu Dhabi have agreed to provide finance to buyers of units at the Dh2 billion Bloom Gardens project, Dr Hani Shama, CEO of Bloom Properties, said yesterday.

"The finance provided by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ranges between 70 and 75 per cent of the purchase price," he added.

Asked whether it would be possible to increase the level of finance to 90 per cent, he said: "Obtaining 90 or 95 per cent finance, which was available before, is difficult. It is associated with speculators who are not serious buyers. The company is currently keen to raise the finance rate to 80 per cent."

He said the construction of Bloom Gardens would begin in June. The project's cost has dropped from Dh2.5bn to Dh2bn due to the falling cost of building materials.

The project, to be built on Abu Dhabi's Eastern Corniche, will consist of 640 villas and apartments set in a landscaped environment.

"The company has decided to reduce the prices of units by 20 per cent to 25 per cent," said Dr Shama. "The project will be executed over three years. The first phase is due to be completed and the units delivered in the first half of 2011."

He said the company would offer units at its luxury Abu Dhabi Marina project in Al Butain district for sale at the end of this year or at the beginning of 2010. Details of a mid-level project at Khalifa City are due to be announced next year after the completion of infrastructure.

Dr Shama, when asked if the company would shift its emphasis from luxury projects to mid-range ones, said: "We will not stop building luxury homes because there are locations in Abu Dhabi, especially sites overlooking the Gulf, that cannot easily be dedicated to mid-level housing. However, we will expand in the mid-range sector in the coming period.

"The most important result of the international financial crisis is the disappearance of speculators and speculation. The market currently contains only serious or final buyers and we are keen to meet their requirements. Some buyers need luxury accommodation and others need mid-level homes. Our projects are aimed at all categories. The company's project in Algeria, Mena Park, is ongoing and there has been no delay in its development," he said.

"But the Bloom project in Romania was frozen because banks there stopped financing real estate projects."

Dr Shama was speaking at an event to announce the establishment of two new schools in Abu Dhabi in partnership with United Kingdom's Brighton College.

The first school will be built at Bloom Gardens and the second at Khalifa City.

The college achieved the best A-level grades of any co-educational school in England in 2008. Chairman Lord Robert Skidelsky said: "Brighton College has a history of combining the best elements of both tradition and innovation."
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