Ahmed AlKhoshaibi, chief executive officer of Arada, the UAE-based developer behind Sharjah’s $6.5bn (AED24bn) Aljada, discusses the upcoming megaproject with Construction Week


CW: Could you begin by telling us a little about the background behind Aljada?

Ahmed AlKhoshaibi: The Aljada master plan was designed by Woods Bagot, which worked closely with the Sharjah Urban Planning Council. Arada had initially planned to launch Aljada in 2018, but brought the launch forward thanks to the success of its first project, Nasma Residences, which quickly became the fastest-selling residential project in Sharjah when it was launched in March 2017.


CW: When does Arada expect to float the main construction tender for Aljada?

AAK: We are planning to float the main construction tender for Aljada’s Phase 1 in November 2017, and we hope to award the main contract in January 2018. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2018, with Phase 1 to be delivered before the end of 2019.


CW: Do you know the approximate number of residential units that Aljada is likely to include?

AAK: The first tranche of property that we are releasing onto the market numbers 272 units, which include three apartment blocks, as well as 28 townhouses and 56 semi-detached villas. In total, we expect that the master plan will include about 800 buildings, including the residential, commercial, hospitality, retail, and leisure and entertainment segments. We estimate the future population of Aljada will be 70,000 people, of whom 40,000 will be residents and the rest either workers or tourists.


CW: Over how many phases does Arada expect Aljada to be developed?

AAK: We are planning to develop the master plan over 10 phases in total, with Aljada as a whole completed by 2025. Some aspects of the Central Hub, the heart of Aljada, will be available before Phase 1 has been handed over to homeowners.


For full details of Aljada, including what it means for Sharjah itself, check out: Everything you need to know about Sharjah’s $6.5bn Aljada project.