Following the huge success of The Sustainable City in Dubai, Diamond Developers has launched the second project of its kind in Sharjah, UAE, in a strategic partnership with Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), an independent government entity.
Launched by none less than the ruler of the emirate himself, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah Sustainable City is claimed to be the first urban mixed-use project in Sharjah that meets the highest standards of green economy and environmental sustainability. It is expected to be the first fully sustainable, net zero energy community in Sharjah which will be 100 per cent solar powered, recycling 100 per cent of water and waste, cultivating vegetables and leafy greens on site, and designed to encourage walking and the use of clean mobility.
The Dh2-billion ($544.5 million) project, spread across 7.2 million sq ft, will feature 1,120 eco-friendly and energy-efficient villas with a modern-meets-oriental design in harmony with the unique architectural aesthetic Sharjah is known for. The world-class mixed-use project, which includes farming areas within the city, will meet the highest standards of social, environmental and economic sustainability.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf Construction, CEO of Diamond Developers Engineer Faris Saeed elaborates on the reason Sharjah has been chosen as the venue for the second Sustainable City: “Sharjah is evolving as a leading regional real estate powerhouse. The visionary and progressive leadership in Sharjah is paving the way to placing the emirate at the region’s forefront in many domains, be it education, culture, or innovation.”
“Demand for residences will only be on an upward trend in Sharjah and the timing is right to introduce a truly sustainable prime gated community in Sharjah. It will be price competitive with very low operation and living cost due to the way it is designed and through the use of clean energy to power it,” Saeed adds.
Offering three- to five-bedroom efficient homes, the villas at Sharjah Sustainable City are built on spacious 2,035 to 3,630-sq-ft plots and are being designed to offer discerning buyers comfort, practicality and style. These smart homes will offer up to 100 per cent savings on electricity bills and 50 per cent reductions on water bills. The villas are equipped with solar panels on rooftops, LED lights, high-efficiency air-conditioning and energy-saving appliances.
Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, executive chairman of Shurooq, explains that Sharjah Sustainable City is powered entirely by renewable energy and has recycling plants that will recycle 100 per cent of the water and waste. The city will feature biodome greenhouses and outdoor gardens to support sustainable farming.
A productive landscape runs in the middle of the residential area, with farms inside eight greenhouses as well as urban farming plots to grow different types of fruits and vegetables.
In line with Sharjah’s vision to make home-ownership more accessible to locals and residents, special payment plans have been designed exclusively for Sharjah-based locals as well as Sharjah government employees (both Emiratis and expats).
Sharjah Sustainable City is strategically located near Al Rahmaniya (Um Funnain) area, 11 km from Sharjah International Airport. The project includes a number of public facilities – a community shopping centre, a venue to host social events, health clubs, swimming pools, cycling and jogging tracks, restaurants, nurseries, medical clinics and a mosque.
The project features indoor and outdoor gyms, cycling and jogging tracks, parks and children’s playgrounds, a kindergarten, and mosque and prayer rooms.
A sustainable school campus, designed for minimal environmental impact, will promote the concepts of sustainability through school curricula.
The residential project will implement best practices to reduce environmental footprint, which will be seen in the deployment of electric and autonomous car shuttle services within the city, and electric car charging stations.
Sharjah Sustainable City will also feature a ‘Sustainability Experience Centre’ – a platform to host meetings and forums by government and academic entities, NGOs, as well as school and university students, centered around promoting awareness about environmental issues and sustainable living.
Yousif Al Mutawa, CEO of Sharjah Sustainable City, notes the integrated residential project reflects the vision of Sharjah’s government to promote economic diversity and aligns with the global approach to support green investments within the sustainable development framework.
He adds that the development is a leading model of a future city. It aims to create an eco-friendly non-traditional community with world-class amenities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, and has presented a brand new opportunity in sustainable investments.
Saeed comments: “The project is the first of its kind in Sharjah, which thanks to its wise leadership, has come a long way in promoting environmental sustainability with a focus on preserving our natural resources for generations to come.”
“It is remarkable to have the opportunity to apply experience and expertise that we have gained over the years, through collaborations with international research and academic institutions, to meet the emirate’s aspirations to create a world-class sustainable community. The Sharjah Sustainable City project is being built to promote happiness and good living, and is a shining example of a successful public private partnership.”
Sharjah Sustainable City hopes to build on the success of The Sustainable City in Dubai. According to Saeed, The Sustainable City has now been in successful operation for over three years and has won numerous local and international recognitions including three consecutive Happiest Community laurels at the Gulf Real Estate Awards.
“It is the first-of-its-kind community that is built on the three pillars of sustainability: Social, Environmental, and Economic (the SEE nexus). We grow a lot of our food, harvest the energy of the sun, treat and recycle our water, are careful about the products we use, move around in the city with zero emissions, and segregate and recycle our waste.
“The proven success of our city, as demonstrated by the monitoring and reporting systems we have in place, has garnered a lot of interest locally and globally. This has no doubt inspired us to develop similar sustainable communities in the region.
“Our partnership with Shurooq offers us the perfect platform to launch Sharjah Sustainable City, which will draw on the solid foundation of knowledge and experience we have gained from The Sustainable City – Dubai,” he remarks.
Diamond Developers now intends to take the successful model further in the region and worldwide. “The interest in what was achieved at The Sustainable City has been exceptional from the UAE, GCC, and Mena in our vicinity to the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. We will soon be announcing more of our new ventures that are currently at different stages of progress. We are proud to have the first fully sustainable and functional city coming out of Dubai and the UAE to the world,” Saeed concludes.