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Arada awards contract for Sharjah's Zaha Hadid-designed Central Hub

Phase 1 work is being implemented by MBCC, with tendering work for Phases 2 and 3 scheduled for Q3 2019 and Q1 2020, Arada told CW

The Phase 1 construction contract for Central Hub in Sharjah's Aljada will be built by Modern Building Contracting Co [image: Arada].
The Phase 1 construction contract for Central Hub in Sharjah's Aljada will be built by Modern Building Contracting Co [image: Arada].

Sharjah-headquartered real estate developer Arada has revealed the final masterplan of the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Central Hub, a 17.7ha leisure and entertainment component within its Aljada megaproject. Modern Building Contracting Company (MBCC) has been named as the contractor for Phase 1 of Central Hub.

MBCC is already building four Areej Apartments blocks as part of Phase 1 of Aljada.

Work on Phase 1 of Central Hub, which includes Arada’s sales centre, an outdoor cinema space, a food truck village, and a skate park, is due to complete at the end of Q1 2019. Arada said it is on track “to complete the entire complex by 2022”.

READ: Sharjah's first smart homes promised at Arada's $6.5bn Aljada

MBCC has mobilised on site for Phase 1 of Central Hub, which spans 3ha. Tenders for Phase 2 will be issued Q3 2019, and tendering for Phase 3 will begin in Q1 2020, a spokesperson for Arada told Construction Week

Phases 2 and 3 will respectively complete in 2020 and 2022, and will include a 6,038m2 water-based play area, an extreme sports centre, an ‘edutainment’ complex, an 11-screen cinema, and a “giant adventure” golf course.

The car-free Central Hub is the “focal point” of Aljada, and is the size of 25 football fields, making it “slightly larger than London’s Green Park”. It will feature 6.8ha of green space, in addition to a large, landscaped community park covering a quarter of the complex.

Arada reiterated that Central Hub would be a “futuristic complex”, with its elliptical buildings designed “to channel prevailing winds […] to aid natural cooling during the hot summer months”. The complex will be irrigated by recovered and recycled water, and its lighting needs will be provided by smart solar power. Central Hub’s “tensile canopies will sustain a microclimate at ground level for gardens featuring plant species native to the region”, Arada said in a statement.

Central Hub will also feature a public square for community gatherings, such as New Year’s Eve and the UAE’s National Day celebrations, plus food and beverage outlets. A circular walkway will be designed within the project, in addition to “sizeable” retail and dining units.

Commenting on the development, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, chairman of Arada, said: “[Central Hub] will soon be a new focal point not just for Aljada, but for the whole of Sharjah and the rest of the UAE as well.

“We are working on putting together some incredible new partnerships for the Central Hub, and we will be announcing these in the coming months.”

HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, vice chairman of Arada, added: “Sustainability is absolutely central to Arada’s vision, and that has been reflected in the Central Hub’s final design.

“We are working hard to protect and encourage local native species, as well as making the most of our natural environment. We’re also doing this in a way that is cost-efficient and leaves as small an impact on the planet as possible.”

READ: Enabling works begin on Arada's $6.5bn Aljada in Sharjah

Last week, Arada announced that it had awarded the first infrastructure contract for Aljada to Dubai-headquartered BIC Contracting (BICC), formerly known as HLG Contracting.

BICC’s $28m (AED103m) deal is the first part of the $272m (AED1bn) total infrastructure package designed by engineering firm Jacobs.

Arada is currently exhibiting at Cityscape Global 2018 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

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Construction Week - Issue 747
Aug 03, 2019