Dubai: The master-developer Arada has signed up Emaar’s hospitality division to manage three of the four hotels at its Dh24 billion mixed-use community Aljada. The identity of the operator for the fourth hotel — expected to be an international name — would be announced next year.
Emaar will put up three of its hospitality brands — the upscale Address and Vida, and mid-tier Rove — on the three properties at Aljada, a 24 million square foot development near the airport, the Saif Zone and University City. The three hotels will create a combined capacity of 625 rooms plus another 270 serviced residences. The latter will be placed for sale in the fourth quarter of this year.
The management contracts for the three hotels are for 20 years each.
For the Dubai developer, the deal represents an expansion of its interests to other emirates. Recently, it confirmed a joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s Aldar for a project on Saadiyat Island.
“We will be working closely with Emaar to develop all three hotels in line with market demand,” said Ahmad Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Arada, created by an alliance between KBW Investments and Basma Group. “We expect to begin construction on one of the hotels in January next, with the other two following shortly afterwards.
“Our aim is to complete one hotel in 2020, with the second the following year and the final property in 2022.”
In a statement, Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, added: “With our three hotel brands marking their entry to Sharjah for the first time, we are not only expanding our footprint in the UAE but also contributing the strengthening the tourism sector of the emirate.” (The entire project is expected to be completed by 2025.)
The Address-branded hotel will be part of the Central Hub, a leisure and entertainment destination within Aljada. (The design contract for the Central Hub was earlier awarded to Zaha Hadid Architects, the first time the firm has associated itself with a project in Sharjah.) The Vida Aljada Sharjah will be located close to the Central Hub, while the Rove Aljada Sharjah is to be within the Business Park cluster.
“The Aljada masterplan features four hotels … located around the site,” the CEO added. “We are currently in talks with international operators and hope to be in a position to announce the operator of the final hotel by the end of next year.”
He further said that Arada’s plan has always been to “provide a wide range of hospitality experiences for visitors” to Aljada. “In particular, our plan is to offer luxury, upscale and midscale options to consumers, allowing consumers to price their stays according to their own budgets,” Alkhoshaibi said, adding that the “three brands within Emaar Hospitality Group’s portfolio target different visitor segments at different price points.”
On the residential side of things, the first homes are to be handed over late next year. Sales are progressing with a batch of new homes being released at frequent intervals. The developer had earlier said it will not be adding some price mark-up on future releases, which would also act as incentive for investors who had got in during the first few rounds.
“Although the Phase 1 of Aljada will be delivered to homeowners by the end of 2019, these units will not be the first part of the project to be completed,” Alkhoshaibi said. “By the end of this year, the first phase of the Central Hub will be finished, in line with our promise that Aljada residents will be able to enjoy the benefits from the first day they move in.”