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Firdous Sobha, the joint venture between the Sobha Group and the Government of UAQ, will transform the natural mangrove-lined island of Al Seniyah, just off the emirate's coast, into an integrated resort and residential development.
''We're going to create a global destination that not many places in the world will be able to match. Umm al Quwain (UAQ) is a great opportunity for us. Firdous means paradise and we're leveraging on the existing paradise,'' said PNC Menon, Founder and Chairman of the Sobha Group.
Plans are to offer a living environment affordable to all. There will be luxury villas along a golf course and the waterfront, as well as mid-income homes, including low rise apartments.
A marina, wellness and entertainment facilities, hotels ecological zones, a kids' club, and an array of water sport offerings have been added to the master plan.
''The project will become a holistic community to live, play and work. We'll have some offices. For a project of this size, you need to have around 200,000-300,000 square feet, as some people would like to live and work there at same time'' said Menon. There will be a 1.2km bridge connecting the natural island to the mainland.
Future residents will share their home with the existing residents of Al Senyiah, including the falcons, turtles and gazelles. The developer is eager to preserve the environment, building in canals, lagoons, and ecological zones.
''We're gearing our project towards eco-tourism, rather than coming up with high rises,'' said Shaikh Rashid Bin Saud Bin Rashid Al Mualla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain and Chairman of Executive Board.
''The UAQ and the federal government have been working on a strategic plan for years now to make sure the necessary infrastructure is available in the emirate,'' he added.
According to Menon, the island's land area, measuring 53 million square feet, would make this project three times the size of Palm Jumeirah.
''We are studying the needs of the market and will have clarity to announce what is in the first phase within the next six months,'' said Menon.
The developer expects to break ground by end of April next year, and launch residential sales by September 2017.
Did you know that Hidd Al Saadiyat is on track for year-end delivery
Source; Nicole Walter, Special to Property Weekly