ONE country, seven emirates: that’s a formula that’s finally beginning to pay off for the UAE, where developers are now looking beyond the lead cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the northern emirates of Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain.
Several residential and mixed-use projects have been announced in these areas.
Tameer Holding is developing the vast Al Salam City, an integrated residential, commercial and entertainment area, expected to hold approximately half a million residents, at a cost of Dh30 billion ($8.1 billion) in the neighbouring emirate of Umm Al Quwain.
Two projects are coming up in Ajman, the Dh15 billion Emirates City, launched by promoter R Holdings, and the Dh1.2 billion Al Ameera Village, spearheaded by Ajman’s crown prince.
Emirates City will include 72 residential and commercial towers of between 20 and 50 floors each, as well as five-star hotels, a shopping district, mosques, five-star hotels, educational and medical facilities. To be built in a phased manner, the project will be freehold and available to all nationalities to invest in.
The Al Ameera development, expected to be completed by the end of 2007, is also being developed by Tameer Holding, and has been designed to include 50 traditionally designed residential buildings, hotel apartments, a mall, several sports centres, mosques, parks and more. Both are located half an hour’s drive from Dubai International Airport.
Fujairah, the sudden star of the emirates, is likely to see ten hotels open by the end of the decade, with JAL Hotels making its UAE debut and the Rotana both opening their hotels next year.
Over in Ras Al Khaimah, the Dh10 billion Mina Al Arab and the Dh3 billion La Hoya Bay Residence lead developments. The former is being developed by RAK Properties as a major tourist and residential beachfront community with several themed resort hotels providing an estimated 3,500 rooms.
Also being developed in Ras Al Khaimah is another Dh1 billion project, the Al Qasr Island within the Al Hamra Village, by Saudi Arabia’s Wesam Al Madani Group. This will comprise a five-star hotel and several residential buildings.
The Ras Al Khaimah government has said it wants 25 hotels in the emirate.
In Sharjah, work continues on the $4.9-billion Nujoom Islands. Developer Snasco has just launched the Sharjah Investment Center (SIC), a 32 million sqft project that is the first mixed-use industrial development that will include large industrial, commercial, and residential communities, logistic support areas, hotels, leisure services and a commercial centre. Initial investment is expected to be Dh2 billion ($544 million).