Northern Emirates

The Boulevard featuring 600 units ... unveiled in September.

The Boulevard featuring 600 units ... unveiled in September.

Arada builds on Sharjah success

Among the UAE’s newest developers, Arada is spearheading the development of two mega projects – the $6.53-billion Aljada and its maiden project Nasma Residences – and has already delivered the first batch of homes.

November 2019

Merely two-and-a-half years since Arada launched its first project, the UAE developer has recorded a steady pace of both sales and construction milestones in its short history – among which was the handover of its first ever homes in May this year.

The company is now gearing up to issue tenders for a student housing complex  and school and hospitality projects.

Over the past 12 months, Arada has awarded a series of contracts as it aims to deliver on its commitments to a growing number of buyers in its Sharjah projects.

Nasma Residences ... the first homes were delivered in May.

Nasma Residences ... the first homes were delivered in May.

At Arada’s first project, Nasma Residences, construction is now under way on all five phases of the community, which consists of almost 1,000 villas and townhouses. The project, which is now 80 per cent sold out, is scheduled to be completed by the end of Q2 2020, Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Arada, tells Gulf Construction.

Situated in the heart of ‘New Sharjah’ close to the junction between Maliha Road and Emirates Road, the community features a retail hub, Nasma Square, a leisure and retail complex, Nasma Central, a GEMS international school, a mosque and three landscaped parks.

Arada started handing over its first homes in May when Phase One reached completion, and has also started the delivery process for units in Phase Two. The work on Phase One was carried out by Intermass Engineering and Contracting (Intermass), which is also working on Phases 2A, Three and Four. Work on Phase 2B is being carried out by Klampfer Middle East, while work on Phase Five is being conducted by Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al Kharafi and Sons.

Other key players involved at Nasma Residences include Khatib and Alami (masterplan and infrastructure design), Corodex (sewage treatment plant), Arcadia Middle East (villa design and supervision) and Darwish Engineering Emirates (infrastructure construction).  

Earlier this year, Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department, the government regulator for the property sector, named Nasma Residences as its Best Community for 2018.


Areej Apartments ... being buit by MBCC.

Areej Apartments ... being buit by MBCC.


Work is also continuing at pace at Aljada, the Dh24-billion ($6.53 billion) project adjacent to University City.

Aljada was launched back in September 2017 as Sharjah’s largest-ever mixed-use megaproject. It was unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during a special ceremony in the emirate.

Alkhoshaibi comments: “Aljada is a transformational project and the first of its type in Sharjah. It is an all-encompassing 24-million-sq-ft ‘city within a city’, where residents, workers and visitors can live, work, relax and play all in the same space.”

The Central Hub .... an artist’s impression

The Central Hub .... an artist’s impression

Being built over a significant number of phases, Arada expects the entire project to be completed in 10 years.

The Aljada masterplan is carefully designed with walkability and wide green spaces in mind, allowing residents, workers and visitors the ability to live, work, play and be entertained within a fully integrated and sustainable community.

“Aljada has exceptional connectivity to surrounding areas and comprises considerable retail, leisure and entertainment options, in addition to a wide range of residential and commercial offerings,” he says.

Last November, Arada awarded two major contracts to build residential buildings at Aljada. The first, for three Areej Apartments blocks, was won by Modern Building Contracting Company (MBCC) – a major contractor with extensive experience in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“These buildings are based in Phase One and together include 366 units. The firm is already working on the first four Areej Apartment blocks, where construction began at the end of July 2018,” says Alkhoshaibi.

Areej is the most advanced of the residential areas and is slated for handover in Q1 2020, he adds.

Also based in Phase One of Aljada is Rehan Apartments. The contract to build the first three Rehan Apartments blocks was won by Intermass.

The sales centre at the Central Hub

The sales centre at the Central Hub

Among other developments, Arada announced in March the launch of Nest, a student housing complex located just a few minutes’ walk from University City. The site consists of 12 five-storey buildings with a wealth of amenities. Construction at Nest will begin in H1 2020 and will be completed by 2021-end.

Then in June this year, Arada partnered with Sabis, the global education network and schools provider that operates the International School of Choueifat (ISC) institutions in the Middle East, to open a new K-12 international school in Sharjah.

Located on a 670,000-sq-ft plot on the south-eastern corner of the project, adjacent to the East Village residential community, the school represents just the latest high-profile partnership that Arada has brought to Aljada, Alkhoshaibi says. It will cater for children from KG through Grade 12.

He adds: “With a capacity of 4,000 pupils and preparing students for success in both American- and British-based external exams, the school will offer a top-quality education in an emirate that is already globally renowned for the quality and range of its academic institutions.”

Construction work on the school is scheduled to begin in January 2020, and it will welcome its first pupils in September 2021. Staff housing will be provided elsewhere in the Aljada complex.

In September, Arada launched The Boulevard at Aljada. Situated at the edge of the ultra-contemporary East Village district of the city, The Boulevard comprises three apartment blocks, all built with a wealth of amenities and surrounded by lush green landscaping. The nine-storey blocks are located next to Aljada’s main avenue, an elegant tree-lined street complete with shops, restaurants and cafes,” says Alkhoshaibi.

The Boulevard will have around 600 units in total, ranging from one- to three-bedroom apartments and covering a wide range of sizes and floorplans, which are targeted at singles, young couples and families. The complex also includes a fully-stocked health club and a shared swimming pool, as well as a number of cafes and retail outlets at ground-floor level.

Characterised by distinctive architecture and thoughtful design, these New York-style apartments boast floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular panoramic views, alongside hand-selected fixtures and stylish materials offered as standard, continues Alkhoshaibi. Each home also features state-of-the-art Arada Smart Home technology, providing residents with comfort, ease and efficiency.

The Nest ... a student housing complex launched in March.

The Nest ... a student housing complex launched in March.

Furthermore, Alkhoshaibi says, the last 12 months have seen a number of highlights on the Aljada jobsite, including the completion of a million safe man-hours without a lost time injury (LTI).

“The safety milestone is a remarkable achievement, involving close cooperation and communication between a number of different teams working across the site,” he remarks.

He says Arada’s site team has introduced a number of initiatives that have helped it reach this landmark, including the creation of a health, safety and environmental (HSE) committee, monthly random tours across the project, daily HSE meetings and bi-weekly consultant HSE site visits.

Construction is taking place at a number of points across the Aljada site, and contractors are currently working hard to deliver the first homes in Phase One in Q1 2020. “In total, this phase contains some 1,400 units, spread over 14 apartment blocks and a townhouse community, and is a major undertaking in its own right,” Alkhoshaibi notes.

However, the first part of Aljada to be completed will actually be the first phase of the Central Hub, a new entertainment and leisure district, which has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. This is scheduled to be completed by the year-end, and will include Arada’s experiential sales centre, food truck village, children’s play area and events area.


Other highlights

Other highlights for Arada over the course of the last 12 months have included the conclusion of a Dh1-billion financing agreement with Mashreq to fund construction at both projects. The company will also open new offices in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the coming months, and is planning its first project outside Sharjah, in Saudi Arabia. An announcement will be made in early 2020.

As of mid-October, Arada has now sold over 4,200 units across both projects. Future tenders that can be expected from Arada include the construction contracts for the East Village district, the Nest student housing complex and The Boulevard buildings, as well as the second and third phases of infrastructure, says Alkhoshaibi.

“In addition, the company will also be floating tenders for the construction of the Sabis school at Aljada and the first of the hotels that will be operated by Emaar Hospitality Group,” he concludes.  

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