Live with the flamingos at Al Zorah in Ajman

Al Zorah offers residents a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Dubai, yet is conveniently located off Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed RoadImage Credit: Courtesy of Al Zorah Development Company

A new community is taking shape in Ajman that is expected to set the standard in modern waterfront living in the emirate. Al Zorah, a lifestyle and leisure destination being built along the emirate’s shores, will be surrounded by natural mangroves, a vast seafront and an 18-hole golf course with manmade lakes. Its developer says it is on track to become one of the most sought-after destinations in Ajman.

A flagship project of Al Zorah Development Company, in collaboration with the government of Ajman and Solidere International, Al Zorah is spread across 5.4 million sq m. The development includes a protected area of more than one million sq m of natural  mangroves, which is home to more than 58 bird species, including the elegant pink flamingo.

The mixed-use and hospitality project, which has 12km of waterfront and a 1.6km beach, is a freehold and free zone development that allows 100 per cent ownership of business, land, villas and apartments by expats. Imad Dana, CEO of Al Zorah Development Company, tell us more about the progress of the project and how it stands to change Ajman’s property development landscape.

Give us an overview of the project.

There are five districts within the project: Gateway, Beachfront, Peninsula, Creekside and Golf Course, spread across a 5.4-millionsq- m area, of which 60 per cent is devoted to protected mangroves and public space.

The Gates is the entrance of Al Zorah from Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road, where the highway transforms into a landscaped boulevard with retail amenities. The Shores will accommodate high-end resorts and serviced residences, a beach club and boardwalk, beachfront residential serviced apartments and villas.

The Avenues, connected by a pedestrian retail and leisure spine, comprises an entertainment complex, a marina, Al Zorah souqs and a retail centre. The Coves has a residential and hotel quarter planned as a calm highend neighbourhood with direct access to the waterfront promenade and magnificent views of the creek and mangroves. The Fairways is set within coastal dunes and the mangrove wetlands. It also boasts a clubhouse, wellness spa and upscale residential villas as well as apartments.

What sets this development apart from the rest?

Al Zorah has been designed and developed to meet the requirements of investors who seek the best in life. The development has the benefit of being close to Dubai, yet away from the bustle of city life. The wide range of outdoor pursuits further defines the appeal of the project. Being a free zone and freehold project, it provides an added incentive for an extraordinary investment opportunity for investors from around the world.

Tell us about the design and architecture that inspired the construction.

Featuring rooftop terraces and set on the Al Zorah Golf Course, the Golf Villas is a distinctive gated community within the destination. Residents will enjoy the sheer delight of a high-end golf course with magnificent views as well as access to other sports and leisure activities within Al Zorah. A key feature is that residents will have the golf course as their backyard, unlike other developments that simply overlook the course. The entire community is interconnected with the course and the mangroves, which further highlights the feel of living in natural surroundings.

The elegant white architecture of the villas contrasts with the custom-designed green surroundings that offer rolling outdoor views over the golf course. Semienclosed courtyards provide secondary open-air living spaces. Work on the golf course is expected to be completed by end of this year, which means that the Golf Villas residents will move to a fully functional golf course.

Phase one has 42 villas, all of which have been sold, but these were just a preview. We will have more phases. Construction of the villas is well under way and is expected to be completed by middle of next year.

Tell us about the property’s golf course

It’s an 18-hole course designed by Nicklaus Design and is located within a naturally preserved environment of native sandy areas and mangroves. The 72-par landscaped green has extensive practice facilities and is crafted with generous fairways and wide corridors around two large lakes that enrich the challenge of the course and enhance its variety and playability. Switzerlandbased Troon Golf, the world’s leading high-end golf development company, will operate and manage the project. The clubhouse will feature a state-of-the-art gym, restaurant with beautiful views over the golf course, swimming pool, children’s pool, coffee shop, multipurpose conference room and a youth club.

How do hotels fit in as part of the development?

Al Zorah will include six world-class resorts and boutique hotels, of which two are currently being developed as part of phase one. The flagship hotels in the integrated mixed-use development will be the Oberoi Al Zorah, which will feature 113 suites, 290m of beachfront, a wellness spa, restaurants and swimming pools, and Lux Al Zorah, which will feature 193 rooms, suites and villas with 260m of beachfront as well as a number of entertainment options.

What is the current status of construction?

Construction of phase one is on right now. At this point we are proud of the various milestones achieved, including the four marinas that are completed. The golf course is on its way for completion and will be finished by the third quarter of this year.

The two hotels are also under construction and are expected to be finished by next year. The clubhouse will be completed next year and the Golf Villas phase one by middle of next year.

Source: Ashutosh Gupta, Special to PW

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