Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Sharjah to build Dh2bn solar-powered sustainable city

Shurooq and Dubai’s Diamond Developers aim to complete the project in three to five years

Shurooq and Diamond Developers to develop Sharjah Sustainable City project. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Shurooq and Diamond Developers to develop Sharjah Sustainable City project. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Sharjah has become the latest emirate in the UAE to plan a solar-powered community, after the state-controlled investment fund said it will develop a Dh2 billion sustainable city in partnership with a Dubai real estate developer.

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers, will build the city over the next three to five years. Spread across 668,902 square metres, Sharjah Sustainable City will be completed in four phases. Located 11km from Sharjah International Airport, the city will rely partially on solar power and recycled waste and water.

“Construction will start in the next three months and the first phase, which covers nearly 25 per cent of the residential area, will be finished by the last quarter of 2021,” Faris Saeed, chief executive of Diamond Developers, told

The National. “Remaining phases will be completed in the next one to two years.”

The planned development will include residences, a “sustainability experience centre”, mall, farm, school, mosque and sports facilities.

Financing will be a mix of three elements — equity, bank loans and off-plan sales, said Mr Saeed.

“Diamond Developers and Shurooq will provide the initial seed money. We are in touch with a few banks to decide the course of future

financing.”

Residences will include 1,120 three, four and five-bedroom villas on sale for between Dh1.2 million to Dh2.7m. They go on the market today.

Shurooq’s executive chairman, Marwan Al Sarkal, acknowledged a challenging real estate environment, due to an increase in supply and oil price slump that began in 2014 and lasted three years, but he said “the real estate market in Sharjah is a bit different”.

Mr Al Sarkal said: “There are not many communities in Sharjah, so we have planned to create a community for the future.”

Mr Sarkal said the target audience is both UAE nationals and foreign residents and also buyers who want to take advantage of the long-term UAE visa through investment.

The UAE Cabinet approved a plan last year, under which foreign nationals aged 55 or above are eligible for a five-year retirement visa if they own property in the UAE worth at least Dh2m.

“This will be the first fully sustainable, net-zero energy community in Sharjah. We will be cultivating vegetables and leafy greens on site and it will be designed to encourage walkability and the use of clean mobility,” said Mr Sarkal

Diamond Developers also constructed Dubai’s Sustainable City, the region’s first green development. Mr Saeed said with the Sharjah project, the aim is to prove that sustainable development is also for a middle-income buyer.

“We have the statistics and data from our Dubai project. We know what could go right or what could go wrong. With Sharjah Sustainable City, we have proved that customers don’t need to pay any extra premium for sustainability.”

Dubai’s Sustainable City has been operational for more than three years, and has about 3,000 inhabitants.

Updated: March 27, 2019 08:47 PM

SHARE

SHARE