UAE: Dh8 billion forested community launched in Sharjah

Sharjah - Mega development 'Masaar' in Al Juwaiza'a focuses on active healthy living in harmony with nature.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 10:04 AM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 10:08 AM

Arada on Sunday launched a Dh8 billion mega development 'Masaar' in the Al Juwaiza'a district of new Sharjah to introduce an active healthy living lifestyle in harmony with the nature.

The 19 million square foot upscale project will include 4,000 villas and townhouses to be developed in eight gated districts linked by Masaar’s signature feature -- a lushly landscaped and walkable ‘green spine’.

Construction on Masaar will begin in the second quarter, and the first homes are scheduled to be handed over in the first quarter of 2023.

Sales for the first district to be offered to the public, Sendian, began on Sunday (January 31,2021). Sendian, which means oak tree in Arabic, consists of 445 homes, ranging in size from two-bedroom townhouses to five-bedroom Sendian Park Villas. Construction on the Sendian district will begin in June this year, with the first homes scheduled to be handed over in the first quarter of 2023.

The entire Masaar master plan is expected to take seven years to complete.

“Masaar offers a path to the ultimate lifestyle transformation, and a major addition to Sharjah’s residential landscape. It is a serene, exclusive and forested environment that also offers all the comforts of a modern urban district, offering you the best of both worlds," Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Sunday.

Forest community

Masaar, or ‘path’ in Arabic, has been carefully designed to enable its residents to transform their lives by encouraging healthy living in harmony with nature. Featuring over 50,000 trees, Masaar’s green spine will be activated by footpaths and a range of different sporting facilities, all hosted in a safe, serene and nature-filled environment. Families residing in Masaar will enjoy a peaceful yet world-class living experience, with acres of green space allowing for forest walks, picnics, running, cycling or meditation.

One of Masaar’s main attractions will be a five-kilometre looped and continuous two-lane cycling track that will be able to cater to leisure riders as well as professionals. Residents and visitors from outside the community will be able to ride through lush woodlands, with resting spots and healthy cafes located adjacent to the track.

“Masaar has been designed to make its residents happier and healthier, while at the same time providing substantial benefits for the environment," said Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Vice-Chairman of Arada.

He said the abundance of green space, and an active lifestyle will also help to reduce the stresses of urban life, especially at a time when the importance of safety and security has never been higher.

"We believe that by uniting people with nature, this community will set a new standard for living in the UAE,” he said.

Organic landscape with smart features

Each home at Masaar has been designed to bring the nature-filled surroundings inside the house, while ensuring the privacy of its residents. Characterised by straight lines that complement the organic landscape around the home, the architecture of each unit has been designed to provide a continuous flow between outdoors and indoors, using floor-to-ceiling glass. Smart features, including remote access, climate and lighting control will be a standard feature of every Masaar unit.

To conserve precious natural resources, Masaar’s green spaces will be irrigated by recycled water from the community’s onsite treatment plant. Forested areas at Masaar will be grown using a mixture of species native to the UAE and lush plants and trees, that will together create a micro-climate that contributes to a reduction in overall temperatures, thus reducing cooling costs within the community.

"Each of the eight districts at Masaar will have its own unique architectural style, with a different name and a different feel, while at the same time complementing the modern and contemporary design of the overall plan. So, for example, if buyers like the design of the villas in the Sendian district of Masaar, they should be aware that there are only a limited number of these available, and they will not be repeated in later districts," Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Arada, told Khaleej Times on Sunday.

Masaar is the Arad's third project since it was established in 2017. The introduction of Masaar brings the total value of Arada’s project portfolio to over Dh33 billion. The developer has delivered more than 1,000 homes and is on track to hand over a further 3,500 units during 2021.

"Every district at Masaar will contain approximately 500 homes, and we will launch a new district on a 10-month rolling basis, or more rapidly if demand is strong," he said.

Who can purchase

The Arada chief executive said homes in Masaar can be purchased by any nationality without the need for a visa, and as such "we expect to welcome investor interest" from a wide range of segments.

"Our previous two projects have resonated extremely well with Emiratis, Gulf nationals and citizens from other Arab nations, but we’ve also seen plenty of buyers from South Asian nationalities, European countries, the US and even further afield. I am confident that both investors and end-users from the above range of nationalities will also see the value of the Masaar community," he said.

Affordable price range

About the price of residential units, he said there are a wide range of homes in Sendian, the first gated district at Masaar to go on sale.

"These residential units suit a variety of family sizes and budgets, ranging from two-bedroom townhouses to four- and five-bedroom Sendian Park Villas, both of which have private swimming pools as standard. The starting price for a 1,730 square foot two-bedroom townhouse at Masaar is Dh1,197,000," Alkhoshaibi said.

Sharjah a resilient market

To a question, he said the UAE’s real estate sector has certainly gone through a difficult period in recent years, but not all individual markets within the country are the same.

"Sharjah has proved to be a remarkably resilient market, with demand staying very competitive even as the effects of the pandemic hit home last year. The most recent data from the Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department showed that the value of property sold in the third quarter of last year rose by 10 per cent against the same period a year before, which is a remarkable achievement in the circumstances.

"Our own results, which showed a 35 per cent rise in the total value of property sold to Dh1.75 billion in 2020, also show that demand for well-designed fully integrated communities in Sharjah remains strong," he said.

"We believe that Masaar is a first-of-its-kind project, not just for Sharjah but the whole UAE. We are aware that there is significant demand for high-quality housing in Sharjah. Masaar certainly fits that profile, and will help to contribute towards making the Emirate a more favourable place to live in," Alkhoshaibi said.

Masaar is located close to Tilal City, the Sharjah Mosque and Arada’s first project, Nasma Residences. The community has easy access to Emirates Road and Mleiha Road, and is 15 minutes’ drive from Sharjah International Airport, and 20 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport.

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