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Thousands of new villas to be built in Abu Dhabi in a five year plan

The news is regarded as a sign of growing confidence in the property market in the Middle East with developers being prepared to invest in the future after months of announcements about cancelled and delayed projects.

The developments are aimed at providing property for local people and it is being hailed as a significant move away from the kind of off-plan developments that created rampant speculation in places like Dubai and is thought to be partly to blame for the severe downturn in the emirate's real estate market.

Khamis Sultan al Suwaidi, the director general of a body established by the Urban Planning Council to ensure the buildings are developed to an acceptable standard, said that the Abu Dhabi Centre for Housing and Service Facilities Development will oversee the building of new homes.

The centre will also monitor the development of 10,500 villas South of Shamkha and a smaller 168 villa project at Al Falah.

'The Government wants locals to have a high standard of living. 'We are not compromising on quality for the locals,' Suwaidi said.

Abu Dhabi based property developer Aldar Properties has also announced it will build 5,000 villas at Al Falah which is a master planned community for UAE nationals as part of the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 directive.

Located to the east of Abu Dhabi International Airport and the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, Al Falah has been designed as a practical and sustainable community within a development area of approximately 12 million square metres.