Sharjah unveils Dh1.2b mega mall

Sharjah unveils Dh1.2b mega mallShaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi with the scale model of Tilal Mall / Image Credit: Virendra Saklani,

Sharjah is to get its largest mall to date — a massive 2 million square feet destination at the under development Tilal City and scheduled for completion in 2019-20. Not only will the mall have ready access to a sizeable resident base at the mixed-use community, it will also use its strategic location on Emirates Road (close to Al Dhaid interchange) to tap visitors from the other Northern Emirates and Dubai, said a top official.

The cost of development of the mall is estimated at Dh1.2 billion, with Tilal City itself coming to Dh2.4 billion.

Since its launch in late 2014, Tilal City has set a marker in Sharjah's residential real estate market by generating significant demand for its plot sales. These have now reached a fairly advanced stage, whereby investors come in and acquire the plots and then build up these based on design options provided by the master-developer. These include both stand-alone properties as well as low-rise apartment blocks. (The plots are valued at Dh140-Dh250 a square foot, while the units carry a tag between Dh580,000 to Dh1.7 million,) But the launch of the mall — on the second day of Cityscape Global — comes as a true game-changer. The size of the mall is unprecedented for Sharjah. On whether it was always the plan to go for a 2 million square feet behemoth, Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman, said: ''It was... for the simple reason that there's any good retail in the vicinity.

''When Tilal City was launched in 2014, our early focus was on the plot sales. Now, since that's going on schedule, we felt it was time to get going with the mall. Construction will start mid-2017.''

Shaikh Sultan said it will be decided later as to who will manage the mall once it opens. It could be that the master-developer might assume the role, he added. The leasing partner for the mall will be decided shortly.

The emirate's retail space will now witness some major capacity increases. Majid Al Futtaim Group will build a ''City Centre'' branded destination adjoining its Al Zahia residential community.

In fact, Sharjah is recording intense activity within all of its real estate, including on industrial assets. Emerging areas are where most of these developments are headed, many of them being greenfield ventures. At the same time, some of the older parts of the city are going through a renewal programme, through the relocation of businesses from residential areas.

Shaikh Sultan said some of the plots marked for residential will be built by the company. ''We want to show the investors that we are directly sharing in the risks,'' he added. ''We will also be having a commercial/office component — Tilal City was always meant to be mixed-use.

''We will continue to use internally generated funds for the bulk of the construction and where needed get assistance from investor-partners.''

Arcadis appointed lead consultant

The Tilal City developer has appointed Arcadis as lead consultant and designer for the mall and hotel complex. The latter is expected to finalise the study during Q4-16, with the construction contract also to be awarded before the year is out.

Tilal City has 1,855 plots altogether. Both UAE residents and GCC nationals can acquire them.

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Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.comGN


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