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Arada: Holistic internal approach key to sustainable development

CEO highlights involvement of specialist teams in every stage of project; outlines active and passive cooling elements and sustainable design measures implemented in the 24-million-square-foot Aljada mixed-use project

| | Aug 5, 2019 | 4:26 pm
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Ahmed Alkhoshaibi

SHARJAH, UAE, 5 August 2019: Sustainability is a core part of our vision, said Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO, Arada, adding that that the commitment towards forward-thinking, environmentally conscious developments can be observed in the strength of Arada’s executive team. “In a little over two years, we now have a staff of more than 200, many of which have experience from some of the most well-known developers, not just in the Gulf but around the world,” he said. “This team includes specialists in a number of key areas, including design and architecture, master planning, MEP and, of course, development.”          Highlighting the company’s holistic approach, Alkhoshaibi said that every specialist team is involved in every project, at every stage from concept to handover, a process that has ensured that Arada, as a developer, is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Aljada Master plan

Alkhoshaibi discussed the company’s commitment to ensure its projects are designed to be vibrant and sustainable urban environments. Alkhoshaibi said that Arada is working on developing Aljada as a fully comprehensive smart city, which includes investment and innovation in five key areas: Traffic management, waste management, the circular economy, next-generation telecom infrastructure and utilities. “This dual approach – making Aljada both a sustainable and smart city – will require considerable investment and input from an HVACR perspective,” he said. “Our in-house MEP team are currently reviewing these plans, and we are also negotiating with a number of significant external partners with a view to bringing this vision to life.”

Central Hub

Elaborating on the design measures implemented so far, Alkhoshaibi said Aljada development was designed with walkways (‘sikkas‘) to ease airflow in the area and that together with shading principles, these elements lower the need for cooling even in the summer months. “The Central Hub will incorporate the use of treated wastewater to allow vegetation in the precinct to flourish,” he added, “while the architecture will incorporate active and passive measures to lower the demand for indoor cooling.” He said that the Central Hub’s lighting requirements will also be powered entirely by smart solar power solutions.

Underlining the scope of the project, Alkhoshaibi emphasised that Aljada covers an area of 24 million square feet. In addition to an extensive residential components, which includes a student housing complex, he said that that the master plan includes the Central Hub, a 1.9-million-square-foot leisure and entertainment district containing 54,000 square feet of prime office space, in addition to four hotels, three schools, a hospital, substantial retail elements and linear parks. “At Aljada, we will hand over the first homes in the first phase in Q1 2020, with the first phase of the Central Hub in Q3 2019,” he said. “It’s worth bearing in mind that Aljada is one of the largest mixed-use projects being developed anywhere in the Gulf. We anticipate that full completion will take around 10 years from the start of construction.”

Alkhoshaibi said Arada is able to ensure sustainability and address challenges that come with such immense projects effectively, because the company, despite being relatively new, endeavours to operate in a lean manner. “We have worked hard to create an environment where decisions can be taken rapidly and enforced immediately,” he said. “We have also been able to learn from the lessons – both good and bad – from other developers in the local market, which is one of the reasons we have seen such excellent results so far.”


Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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