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Sharjah Waterfront City Project

A new multi-billion-dollar freehold waterfront city is taking shape in Sharjah that will house around 200,000 residents after its completion.

The Sharjah Waterfront City development will spread across 36km of coastline. The project will become the largest commercial, residential and tourism development in the city with total area of around 60 million sqft and will consist of 10 islands interconnected by natural canals. The initial cost of the first phase of the development will be Dh9.35 billion, according to its developer, Sharjah Oasis Real Estate. The project will be launched during Cityscape Global 2015 next month in Dubai.

Responding a question about the total cost of the entire project, the company said: "We cannot comment on the total cost of the project as it will vary depending on market conditions and future prices."

Construction of the first phase, which spreads across three million sqft, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018.

The first phase, the company said, will include 200 towers for residential and commercial purposes, 95 apartment buildings, many multi-level hotels and service apartments, more than 1,100 waterfront and park-side villas, marine clubs, a world-class water theme park, one large shopping mall including a hypermarket, two main entertainment centres, several mosques, schools, banks, stores, coffee shops and restaurants.

"Our objective is to develop Sharjah Waterfront City as the epitome of privacy, luxury and status," Hayssam El Masri, president of Sharjah Oasis Real Estate Development, told Khaleej Times.

El Masri believes the project can significantly add value to the emirate's overriding goal of establishing itself as the cultural capital of the UAE. He claimed that the development is set to change the face of emirate's tourism landscape. The waterfront city will become the heartbeat of the city's tourism 2021 vision.

Earlier this year, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority disclosed plans to attract 10 million visitors to the emirate by 2021 - falling in tandem with the UAE's 50th National Day celebrations. Families, including those with young children, have been recognised as the key demographic for this growth, with Sharjah boasting a more family-friendly environment, cultural significance and calm atmosphere. The emirate is well on its way to realising its goal, with more than 42,000 occupants from Saudi Arabia alone checking into Sharjah hotels in the first two months of this year. According to reports, the emirate's hotels enjoyed 100 per cent occupancy during the spring-time break in Gulf schools.

However, achieving the target of 10 million visitors isn't going to be an easy task for an emirate that, up until this point, is still considered to be under-developed compared to other emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

But that might all be about to change, as Sharjah Waterfront City made by nature reveals its blueprints to the world and begins construction on the largest development the emirate has ever seen.

Sharjah Oasis Real Estate Development will be expanding its operation to the whole GCC within the coming years. All required approvals have been obtained and infrastructure construction is going on in full swing on the project, claimed the company.

Visitors can expect to see more than 60 per cent of the area covered in landscape such as beaches and parks to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere that's aesthetically pleasing as well as spacious, unlike many of the major developments undertaken in the UAE.

Moreover, Sharjah Waterfront City is a freehold project and boasts excellent links to the city's airport, Hamriyah Free Zone and other key attractions, making it an appealing prospect for investors looking to purchase or develop property on the islands.

Talking about the key developments of the waterfront city, El Masri said that master plan for all the ten Islands is completed. All the required approvals have been obtained and the project is ready to start construction, he informed. Reclamation of land, canals interconnecting ten islands and piling has been completed. Drawings for the roads and utilities and full infrastructure design have been completed.

Darwish Engineering has started construction work for interconnecting islands through bridges. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is executing traffic impact study for the Sharjah Waterfront City. World-renowned designer firm Jack Rouse Associates is preparing the master plan and preliminary concept design for the Crystal Lagoon Water Theme Park.