Dubai: A newly created joint venture — named Arada — will develop freehold residential communities in Sharjah and thus try and fill a major gap that exists in the emirate’s real estate space. The promoters of the new entity are Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid Bin Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud, founding Chairman of KBW Investments, and the Sharjah’s Basma Group led by Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi.
Arada’s development focus for the time being will be on “accessible” residential options, Prince Khalid said. It will target “those looking to invest properties that offer tremendous end-user value,” he added. “Looking ahead, we will stay committed to playing a pivotal role in supporting the government’s mandate and efforts to promote the sustainable cultural and environmental principles of Sharjah … in both emerging and new locations.
“In the immediate period following the launch, we will be targeting well-connected destinations that boast a strategic location and provide ease of access to residents coming in and going out of Sharjah.”
The first project in the company’s portfolio is to be revealed shortly. “The current shortage in urban communities in Sharjah is causing a real and burning demand not only from families residing in Sharjah, but also from others who want to relocate from other emirates in search of a value proposition,” Prince Khaled added.
Sharjah’s property market had been experiencing a mini-boom of sorts in recent years, though 2016 proved more difficult because of the soft economy and the lag from the market correction going in Dubai at the time. But there was enough activity still taking pace from investors getting interested in developments such as Tilal City as well as freehold being allowed on select high-rises. At the top of the boom cycle, Majid Al Futtaim Properties entered a joint venture with Sharjah Government to create top-notch gated communities.
The stage is thus set for more — and this is what Arada’s promoters are gunning for. “Figures from 2014 revealed a 20 per cent growth in Sharjah’s real estate market transactions when compared to 2013, with total revenue from the market growing 57 per cent over the same period,” Prince Khaled said. “In fact, the developments underway since 2014 on a regulatory level have spurred more demand for these type of projects.
“Sharjah’s real estate sector has witnessed progressive growth over a period of years, with the last two to three years seeing a particular high degree of take-off.”
Land for the maiden launch has been “secured … the project itself is already in motion and is active across all fronts including pre-construction planning.”
At the time of the launch, “we will be discussing more about project value and product mix that will be offered,” he said. “Given the consumer appetite, we expect a very favourable market and consumer reception, and we look forward to a strong market entry.
“We are launching in the right place at the right time. Sharjah will in fact be our key focus following the launch given the consumer demand for the mid-market segment. However, we remain open to exploring opportunities in leading property markets further afield.”
In a statement, Shaikh Sultan said: “The property sector remains highly attractive … especially in the residential segment. We are confident that it (Arada) will play a pivotal role in closing the gap in the underserved sector of urban communities.”
It was in 2014 that the Sharjah Government approved a law allowing expatriates to own property. That year, the Sharjah Urban Planning Council was set up, with the mandate to create residential communities.