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Last month saw the launch of Sharjah’s first residential project after the emirate opened its real estate to foreign investors. Tilal City is a mixed-use development, spread over 25 million sq ft and consisting of five separate zones that have 1,880 plots of land, potentially offering housing to around 65,000 residents.
The Dh2-billion master development belongs to Tilal Properties, a joint venture between Sharjah Asset Management and Eskan Real Estate Development. PW met Haysam Jazairi, Executive Director of Business Development at Tilal Properties, to find out more.
Tell us about Tilal City.
We specialise in land development and our company has been established to create projects such as Tilal City, which is the first of its kind in Sharjah. It is divided into five zones, featuring commercial, office and retail areas, as well as residential (apartments and villas). Villa types are semi-detached, detached and town houses.
There’s going to be plenty of greenery, not to mention assigned spaces for schools, mosques, hospitals and clinics. All zones come with their own facilities and services. Additionally, each piece of land in the building area comes with assigned parking. So you have everything you need.
When it comes to real estate, have you implemented any regulations for the buyers?
We are a land developer and not a real estate developer; however, we do have guidelines in place for each zone so that it’s all coherent. There are both architectural and general guidelines — these include specifications, permitted colours and any building codes that have been decided by the local authorities. It’s essential to enforce the architectural requirements so that you achieve a unified look externally. But inside the buildings or villas, it’s completely up to the buyer.
We looked at Sharjah as a whole and realised that the emirate comprises a lot of individual buildings; there are no communities as such. So we wanted to introduce something of the kind, with a high-end specification.
Additionally, we wanted to open up opportunities to the smaller investor and owner. It’s important to have something for everyone.
Space is also very important. In Tilal City, 45 per cent of the land consists of utilities, water features, street lighting and wide roads. We have made it spacious to accommodate all types of families. We already have interest from institutions wanting to open schools. Plus there will be a mall. Essentially, everything is on your doorstep — from education to health care.
In terms of connections, the community is only 10km from Sharjah International Airport and about 27km from Dubai International Airport.
You mentioned the importance of offering opportunities for smaller investors. What is the minimum plot size available?
Sizes range from 5,000-14,000 sq ft. Our terms of payment are very attractive; investors have the time to pay right until we deliver the plot. The response from buyers has been very positive, because even the regular employee is finding that they might be able to afford it.
Will you allow companies to purchase land for bulk staff housing?
We’re trying to limit it. We’re not stopping it, but we’re trying to limit it. We would rather have individual buyers.
In your opinion, what are the advantages of purchasing a plot of land as opposed to a property?
Ready-made property comes with a lot of financial add-ons that continue right up to the point you collect your key. With land, you are getting what you paid for right from the beginning, and then it is up to you what you do with your property in terms of the quality and how you want to build it.
It’s do-it-yourself and you have complete control over costs. You are taking it from zero—as long as you follow the guidelines, you can do what you like with it. Two bedrooms, three bedrooms or one massive apartment, it’s up to you.
Once you have the property, you decide whether to live in it, sell it or rent it out. Or you could even live on one floor and rent out the other floors.
Source: Raches McArthur, Special to Property Weekly