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The first lot of plots (totalling 55) have been put out for sale at Sharjah's newly announced industrial park – Al Sajaa Industrial Oasis – and are available for both UAE based investors and from overseas.
There will be a further three rounds of releases, for a combined tally of 353 plots. The second release is said to be imminent.
Set on a massive 14 million square feet plus land mass in Al Sajaa, these can be used for light to medium industrial activity, mixed-use purposes, staff accommodation, retail, etc. In all, land measuring 10 million square feet will be available to investors, according to details released at a gathering of top government officials as well as prospective investors late on Wednesday.
According to the developer, Sharjah Asset Management (the investment arm of the Sharjah Government), the plots should be handed over to the buyers by October end next year. The infrastructure works have already started on-site. (The masterplan – by Khatib & Alami – has already been approved.) The formal launch was done by Shaikh Mohammad Saud Sultan Al Qasimi, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Sharjah's Finance Department.
With the project, which will have direct access to Emirates Road and close proximity to the seaport and airport, Sharjah is looking to give a significant boost to both its industrial and real estate sectors.
Real estate activities contribute 21 per cent to Sharjah's GDP, while manufacturing share is 12 per cent. ''With the extensive re-zoning that is taking place in Sharjah now, it is being reflected in the higher values for industrial land on the fringes,'' said Gregg Downer, the Chief Real Estate Officer at SAM.
With the project, the promoters are also looking to pull out industrial establishments located within the city to a dedicated location on the outskirts and with the prospect of better connectivity on all fronts. Sharjah currently host 45,000 businesses that answer to the small or mid-sized description. This is the largest such concentration anywhere in the region, according to SAM estimates.
''The need now is for Sharjah to accelerate growth in the industrial sector,'' said Downer. ''And Sharjah offers a significant competitive advantage on the pricing. The emirate has seen consistent growth on GDP and been assigned high credit ratings.''
Of late, Sharjah has been gradually opening up select real estate projects to buyers of all nationalities. On the residential side, there is the Tilal City development, where, incidentally, Sharjah Asset Management is in a joint venture with Eskan. The take-up rates by investors has been quite high. Some private developers too have been offering units on freehold in high-rise projects.
Meanwhile, industrial clusters have gained a lot of traction in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The former's Industrial City development has already won over significant investor commitments, while Abu Dhabi has its hugely ambitious flagship Kizad cluster.
In recent quarters, investors, especially from within the Gulf, have been raising their exposures to industrial and logistics assets as part of an asset diversification. This too has played out well for the UAE's industrial parks.
Four stage release of plots at Al Sajaa Industrial Oasis
The first one will have 55 plots, the second's offering will extend to 114 plots, the third will have 123, and the fourth 61. These plots can be used for a combination of activities such as light and medium industrial, offices, retail, warehousing, and staff accommodation.
The plots vary from 13,454 square feet to 53,819 square feet.
Get a glimpse on the massive waterfront project to rise in Sharjah
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com