Earlier this week, Arada launched what looks set to become the largest real estate development in Sharjah’s history.
Unveiled on 6 September in the presence of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Aljada – the Arabic term for ‘avenue’ – is a master-planned megaproject that will feature a diverse array of residential, commercial, and retail offerings, not to mention its own business park and a dedicated entertainment and leisure precinct. Make no mistake, Aljada is not only large within the context of Sharjah’s real estate landscape; it would represent an immense development in any market. Yet, to all intents and purposes, Arada is a start-up. The UAE-based developer is less than a year old, and Aljada is only its second project.
Established in 2017, Arada is a partnership enterprise that was formed jointly by KBW Investments and Basma Group. The former was founded by HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, while the latter is chaired by HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, a member of Sharjah’s ruling family.
In March 2017, less than two months after its formation, the developer launched its inaugural project, Nasma Residences, which is also located in Sharjah. With a gross development value (GDV) of approximately $408m (AED1.5bn), this 800-unit residential community could hardly be described as a typical debut development but, when it comes to sheer magnitude, Arada’s follow-up project is in a league of its own.
Occupying a total area of 2.2km2 (220ha), Aljada will boast a GDV of $6.5bn (AED24bn) and a total population of approximately 70,000 people. Upon completion, the district will include a combination of stand-alone and semi-detached villas, townhouses, lofts, and apartments, which will be complemented by schools, healthcare clinics, and mosques.
Arada’s chairman, Sheikh Sultan, said: “We want to offer residents and investors upscale living experiences that are currently unavailable in the market, and ensure a better life for everyone who visits, lives, or works in Aljada. We are confident that this development will raise interest in Sharjah even further, while strengthening its position as a secure and sought-after investment destination.”
Encouragingly, Aljada appears to have all of the necessary fundamentals to achieve these goals. Boasting direct access to Al Dhaid Road and easy access to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, the development is located just five minutes’ drive from Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone). But it is not only Aljada’s location that is expected to attract investment; the development’s master plan, which was designed by Woods Bagot in close collaboration with Sharjah Urban Planning Council, has been designed with walkability and green spaces in mind. Moreover, the district’s entertainment and leisure precinct, the Central Hub, will feature an urban piazza replete with cafés and restaurants, and a musical fountain display as its centrepiece.