CITIES WITHIN CITIES
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.
Sharjah has witnessed a boom in real estate and construction, with the sector being a main driver of growth for the northern Emirate, fueled by a cheaper real estate environment while enjoying efficient infrastructure and a business-friendly environment.
One distinguishing feature of the sector is the growing popularity of mega mixed-use urban developments that combine residential, commercial, cultural, and industrial buildings; “cities within a city." Sharjah's authorities are working with developers to launch a number of mixed-use developments, which are increasingly favored over purely residential developments due to the value-added for inhabitants and investors.
Mixed-use developments offer a “live, work, and play" environment and a more holistic culture of accommodation and elegant design, while also creating a strong neighborly character and sense of place. They allow for greater variety of housing with different degrees of affordability, meeting the needs of buyers and investors with different budgets. Another benefit is the proximity to shops, workplaces, and amenities, as distances can conveniently be traveled on foot and by bicycle. Lastly, mixed-use developments utilize the city's infrastructure more efficiently, as opposed to purely residential or commercial developments, where infrastructure can be greatly underutilized.
One of the best examples of a community within the city is Tilal City, an AED2 billion project developed by Tilal Properties, a joint venture between the government's Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate Developments. The project, still under development, extends over 25 million sqft and, once ready, will be home to 65,000 residents. Khalifa Al Shaibani, Chairman of Tilal Properties, said the idea is to create high-quality, sustainable mixed-use neighborhoods in Sharjah offering a better quality of life for residents and visitors. In line with the government's desire to make Sharjah an aesthetically beautiful and harmonious city, it reserved half of the development for public services like green spaces for the public and not just for private residents, so that the complex blends in with the rest of the city. “This is unprecedented here in Sharjah, where no project goes past 20% in that respect," he added. Haysam Jazairi, business development executive director at Tilal, told TBY, “We are proud to be leading the way in changing the real estate game in Sharjah." Investors from more than 25 countries have already bought land plots in Tilal City.
Tilal City is not the only mixed-use development on Sharjah's real estate scene. Launched last year, Al Zahia's gated community aspires to create an integrated community spanning over 1.5 million sqft and when complete will host 12,000 Arab residents.
The government's agenda also includes the 36km coastline Sharjah Waterfront City. The first phase of the project, budgeted at AED9.5 billion, is expected to be ready in 2018. Apart from a business center, the Waterfront City will consist of 24 mixed-use towers as well as a shopping mall and hospitality and tourism facilities.
A similar project is the AED700 million Al Rayyan, comprised of two residential towers, a commercial tower, and a retail complex. Originally launched in 2007, it was re-launched last year by JMS Property Developers. Lastly, joining Sharjah's list of mixed-use developments is Sharjah Investment Center. The development, extending over 32 million sqft, is a large, self-contained community that includes a business park, industrial and logistics parks, and staff accommodation areas. The project has already sold 80% of the plots allocated to the first two phases of the project.
In all instances, the projects' success in attracting investors' interest justifies the government and the developers' increasing preference for big-ticket mixed-use projects, which have become a key component in the rapidly transforming landscape of Sharjah's real estate sector.
CITIES WITHIN CITIES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article