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Abu Dhabi rents to fall 13% more

Abu Dhabi's Sorouh Real Estate will continue to focus on the delivery of existing projects in its home market in 2011 and has no plans to expand abroad just yet, its chief operating officer said.

The emirate's second-largest developer by market value has "sufficient funds" to develop future projects, Gurjit Singh said at a real estate and infrastructure conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

"Our 2011 will be pre-occupied with deliveries," Singh said. "Any other market would bring in many different types of risks and, at this moment, we can do with less of those."

Most Abu Dhabi developers have been focusing on completion and delivery of existing projects.

Sorouh expects to complete projects worth Dh13 billion ($3.54 billion) with delivery of some 7,000 units by 2014.

Singh said residential rents and prices in the UAE capital could decline a further 10 per cent over the coming 6-to-12 months as supply continues to hit the market, while funding for the sector remained tough.

"Real estate is not the darling of the financial institutions," he said but added that interest rates for borrowing had eased to a "more palatable level".

Rents in Abu Dhabi are expected to fall a further 13 per cent more in 2011 and another 10 per cent in 2012, a Reuters poll in April showed.

Sorouh reported a 42 per cent drop in first-quarter profit had no land sales in the first quarter and made less money on property handovers.

It won Dh2.89 billion worth of contracts awarded by Abu Dhabi's Urban Planning Council (UPC) in April.

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