Ajman's mega city in the sand
US $15 billion Al Zora development will span 10 million m2 and put the emirate on the map.
Ajman is planning to build a new ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“city within a city' at a cost of around US $15 billion (AED50 billion), Construction Week can reveal.
Ajman Development and Investment Authority (ADIA), along with Ajman-based Aqaar Properties, will develop the Al Zora project.
Plans to build the development have been in the pipeline for more than five years, but nothing has materialised until now.
It is set to become one of the largest developments in the small emirate and will span an area of 10 million m2 on the coast of Ajman, from the Ajman Kempinski hotel to Al Hamriya Port.
The masterplan for the project includes residential buildings and villas, a commercial office district, a marina, a golf course, entertainment projects, hotels, hospitals and schools.
A highway connecting the development directly to Emirates Road will also be built, in order to allow investors in Al Zora to commute to the other emirates.
Rami Dabbas, head of real estate development, Ajman Investment & Development Authority, CEO of Aqaar Properties, said: "We are trying to recreate another Monaco. The project will spread across an area of about 10 million m2 of existing land.
"We are not reclaiming any land and even if we do, it won't be much, as we have enough space to develop. Al Zora is definitely going to put Ajman on the map as a world destination."
Aqaar Properties has tied up with Lebanese developer, Solidere, which is managing the project. Solidere has been appointed for the reconstruction and development of Beirut city centre in Lebanon.
"Construction work hasn't started yet but we have done our survey, including the water flow modelling, for example," said Dabbas.
"That is very important as it gives us an indication of how the water flows, where it circulates and where we need to be flushing. We have many consultants on board for different aspects of the project - right from an infrastructure consultant to an urban planning consultant. When we have finalised all the details for Al Zora we will announce the entire team of consultants and people working for us."
Dabbas added that the infrastructure packages for the project would be tendered within the next five months.
"The most important thing for Al Zora is the infrastructure since it is beside the coast and will have the day-to-day functioning of a city. The first thing we will be dealing with will be the infrastructure, and I think that will take about four or five months."