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Al Zorah set to soar in Ajman

Al Zorah, the multi-billion-dirham coastal development in Ajman aims to preserve the natural topography during and after the construction process. Shikha Mishra goes on site to get an update of the project.

An artist's rendering of Al Zohra City, Ajman
An artist's rendering of Al Zohra City, Ajman

From billions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects to residential and commercial developments, Ajman is getting up to speed with construction in Al Zorah city.

The total value of the Al Zorah project is pegged at US $59.8 billion (AED220 billion) and it is being developed by the Al Zorah Development Company, a joint venture between the government of Ajman and Solidere International Limited.

The project is located on the road from Ajman City Centre, a major mall in the emirate, and will consist of 12 million m2 of coastal and reclaimed land, providing it with an extended waterfront of 12kms.

The project is in its initial stages with the backfilling work on the roads currently under progress.

Al Zorah will develop the infrastructure, including the wastewater treatment plant, the district cooling plant and a power station before selling plots to developers who are required to adhere to standards set by the project.

Natural beauty
“Developers will conform to the master plan requiring them to leave the natural beauty of the project location unharmed and employ energy-efficient construction methods as well as materials,” says Imad Dana, CEO of Al Zorah Development Company.

The first residential project in Al Zorah city, Al Zorah Riviera, was announced during Cityscape Dubai in October. Designed by Axel Schultes, Al Zorah Riviera will comprise of six towers offering 1400-1500 freehold residential units.

Investors in the past have been put off from putting money into Ajman because of the lack of power, but the developers have made provisions so that the problem does not plague Al Zorah.

“The first coal-fired power plant in the UAE will be operational in Ajman in the coming three years, supplying power to Al Zorah city,” says Dana.

The project will be big on sustainability and will adopt the best practices of environmentally friendly construction and living. The area is also surrounded by natural mangroves which will be left undisturbed during the construction and will add character to the final landscaping design.

“Ajman Investment, Marketing & Services (AIMS) has been contracted to carry out the bulk earthworks. The initial bulk earthworks include the raising of the five major access roads of the project as well as the canal area to a level of approximately +4m, thereby enabling the future infrastructure works to commence for the construction of services and road construction. A total of 13kms of major road network is required with a total volume of material to be imported of approximately  3 million m3,” says Dana.

 

The project, once complete, will encourage people to leave their cars at home with an integrated network of walkways and canals that will link all areas.

The city will also promote conservation and outdoor life by providing an integrated network of walkways, canals, waterways, bicycle paths and public transport facilities, jogging tracks and an equestrian centre.

Construction will be restricted to 21,832,214.40m2 with the remaining expanse reserved for beaches, green spaces, and open squares, an approach that will provide more than 60% of the total land area for public spaces. Overall, the project will have 16kms of waterfront, including three kms of original white-sand beaches.

Of the built up area, residential buildings will make up 52%, offices 22%, retail stores 11%, hotels 8%, with warehousing, storage and infrastructure making up the remaining 7%.

The government of Ajman has granted free zone and freehold status to the project to facilitate investments and ownership. An 8.5km highway will link Al Zorah directly to Emirates Road which will make it easy for residents to commute to Dubai and Sharjah.

“The major road network will allow access throughout the site for construction traffic in addition to achieving the required design levels for the final road construction. With works currently underway, we will be able to complete the various construction phases of the project as per the contract schedule and meet the deadline set for hand over,” says Dana.

The Al Zorah’s master plan has been produced and managed by Solidere International and the concept design stage has been completed by Dar Al Handasah and Cowi. These two consultants are now working on the preliminary design stage which will soon move to the detailed design stage.

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