It has been an eventful year for Arada, during which it displayed exceptional resilience and cemented its position as the largest developer in the Northern Emirates with projects under development valued at a total of AED33 billion ($8.98 billion).
The Sharjah-based developer is now keenly eyeing new project opportunities in the region and expects to launch yet another project in the first quarter of 2022, its CEO tells Gulf Construction.
Over the past 12 months, Arada has marked the launch of its third project in the emirate and achieved a number of major construction milestones, deliveries and its sales launches on its two earlier projects Nasma Residences and the mega AED24-billion Al Jada project.
Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Arada, comments: “Since our launch in 2017, Arada has grown by about 30 per cent every year, and we are on track to replicate that performance in 2021, with projected sales coming in at around AED2.3 billion. We continue to be supported by the excellent performance of the Sharjah property market, where demand has remained resilient even during the most difficult periods of the pandemic outbreak last year.
“Our faith in our offering and the strength of investor interest in our products was such that Arada was the first UAE developer to launch a major new off-plan project following the pandemic, and I am delighted to say that demand for that project has been exceptional.”
“The coming year is exciting for a number of reasons. We will begin construction on the first residential district at Masaar, and will also push forward at a number of different areas at Aljada, which is becoming one of the most complex mixed-use jobsites in the region. We are also consistently and aggressively looking for new project opportunities in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, and hope to announce at least one of these in the first quarter of 2022,” he adds, without divulging further details.
In January this year, Arada launched its third project, Masaar, an AED8-billion forested community in the Al Suyoh district of Sharjah close to Tilal City, the Sharjah Mosque and Arada’s first project, Nasma Residences.
Construction work has already begun on the project and so far three contracts have been awarded. The infrastructure design and supervision services contract was won by US engineering consultancy Parsons, while ASGC has secured the deal to build the Masaar Experience Centre and show villa. In September, the design and construction supervision services contract for the first residential phase comprising 431 villas and townhouses was won by Dewan Architects + Engineers.
The first residential construction contract is expected to be awarded by the end of the year.
Designed as a ‘post-pandemic’ community focused on active, healthy living in a nature-inspired environment, Masaar spreads over a 19-million-sq-ft plot located in New Sharjah and will feature 4,000 villas and townhouses separated into eight gated districts, all clustered around a ‘green spine’ containing a host of outdoor and sporting facilities and boasting 50,000 trees.
Sales for the first district, Sendian, began in January, while sales for the second district, Kaya, were launched last month (October). Construction work on Kaya, which will boast 421 townhouses and villas, is expected to begin in the second half of 2022 with the first homes to be ready by the end of 2023 (See also Real Estate in Gulf Construction’s Digital Edition).
At Nasma Residences – Arada’s first project which was launched in 2017 – all homes in the first five phases have been completed and handed over. The remaining homes in the sixth and final phase are under construction, with the first homes in this phase scheduled to be completed before the end of this year. The two main contractors working on the final phase are Intermass and Mohammed Abdulmohsin Al-Kharafi & Sons Contracting.
Darwish Engineering Emirates has almost completed infrastructure work at the project.
The landmark achievement at Nasma Residences over the past year has been the completion and delivery of Nasma Central, the community centre at the project. This was handed over in May 2021, alongside Nasma Central Park, which contains a host of sporting and family-friendly facilities for residents and visitors, including a man-made hill.
Early this year, Aljada – Sharjah’s largest real estate development project – marked the completion of its first homes. Spread over a 24-million-sq-ft area, Aljada is a true ‘city within a city’, featuring extensive residential, entertainment, retail, hospitality, cultural, commercial and educational offerings.
These first 210 homes are located within three Rehan Apartments buildings, and were built by Intermass. Since then, Arada has also completed seven Areej Apartments buildings, with Modern Building Contracting Company as the main contractor, and the first phase of the Sabis International School – Aljada, which was built by Al Zamalek Contracting. Last month, the developer began the handover process for 101 high-end townhouses and semi-detached villas in the Sarab community and 273 high-end homes at the first two Misk Apartments buildings.
Over the past year, a number of main contracts were also awarded including a AED367-million deal to build Nest, Aljada’s student housing complex, which was won by Intermass; and a AED180-million contract to build The Boulevard, a collection of three apartment buildings, won by Al Ashram. Further contracts signed include the Sarab 2 villa community, which was secured by RAQ Contracting, and the second and third phases of Sabis International School-Aljada, which was won by ASGC. In addition, Arada has just awarded the first contract for the second phase of Madar, Aljada’s family entertainment district, to Proscape. The second phase of the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Madar will be fully completed by September 2022.
Major sales launches at Aljada included Naseej District, a new creative neighbourhood that will include a showpiece museum. In addition, the Vida Aljada Residences were also launched.
Naseej District will comprise 17 residential blocks, containing nearly 2,000 premium apartments, including Vida Aljada Residences, Sharjah’s first-ever branded residences – where the first homes are to be handed over in the first quarter of 2023.
Vida Residences Aljada are being developed in partnership with Emaar Hospitality and comprise two branded residences buildings, one serviced apartments building and the Vida Aljada hotel.
Construction work for Vida Residences Aljada and the adjacent Vida Aljada hotel is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.
Arada has continued its strong sales trajectory over the last 12 months, recording an 85 per cent increase in first-half sales in 2021 to AED1.15 billion, compared to the same period a year earlier. In total, the developer sold 1,173 homes as investor interest in Arada’s two megaprojects, Aljada and Masaar, continues to gather pace.
So far in 2021, Arada has completed more than 1,200 units and is currently developing some 5,000 units on the Aljada jobsite alone.