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BIG DINING, SPORTING DESTINATION

Arada unveils masterplan of UAE's newest leisure hub

SHARJAH, October 2, 2018

Arada, the UAE's newest developer of key residential properties, has unveiled the final masterplan of the Central Hub, the focal point of its ground-breaking mega development, Aljada, in Sharjah.

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), it is a bold new leisure and entertainment destination for the emirates and also cements Aljada's role as a transformational project for Sharjah. The leisure destination will be completed by 2022, said the company in a statement.

According to Arada, work has already started on the first phase of the Central Hub following the awarding of the main contract to Modern Building Contracting Company (MBCC).

Phase One will boast a state-of-the-art sales centre, an outdoor cinema space, a food truck village, skate park and other family-friendly facilities. It will be completed by the first quarter of 2019.

Over 25 football fields in size (1.9 million sq ft) - or slightly larger than London's Green Park - the Central Hub is defined by its lush green space and many water features, and is designed to be fully walkable, even during the summer months.

In total, there will be 732,000 sq ft of green space in the Central Hub, including a large landscaped community park that covers a quarter of the complex, which will be home to thousands of specially selected trees and plants, it stated.

A car-free zone, the Central Hub will include a public square in its centre for large community gatherings, such as New Year's Eve and National Day celebrations, which will include a showpiece water feature as well as dining outlets and cafes built round a stunning waterfront setting.

In addition, a circular walkway will allow residents and visitors to Aljada to explore the complex. As well as the many entertainment, leisure and sporting attractions, the Central Hub will also include sizeable retail and food and beverage (F&B) components, bringing many exciting new concepts and brands to the destination, it added.

Announcing the project, chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: "Our plan has always been to build extraordinary, engaging and life-changing communities. That is reflected in the bold final design of the Central Hub, which 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," he added.

The design of the futuristic complex conceptualises the first moment a water droplet strikes the Earth's surface, captured in an array of elliptical buildings that are designed to channel prevailing winds into public spaces and courtyards to aid natural cooling during the hot summer months, remarked Al Qasimi.

Arada's dedication to sustainability and smart technology is reflected elsewhere in the Central Hub, with the complex's entire natural ecosystem irrigated by recovered and recycled water, he stated.

Meanwhile, tensile canopies will sustain a microclimate at ground level for gardens featuring plant species native to the region, while the Central Hub's lighting requirements will be entirely provided by smart solar power, he added.

Vice chairman Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal said: "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," he added.

Covering more than 328,000 sq ft in size, the first phase of the Central Hub includes:
*Arada's state-of-the-art experiential sales centre, alongside the Aljada Community Centre, which will feature pop-up events, exhibitions, community ceremonies and markets.
*A food truck village set in lush green surroundings.
*A children's play area, outdoor activity zone and skate park catering for toddlers through to adults.
*An outdoor event space to accommodate film screenings, pop-up events and markets.

The second and third phases of the Central Hub are scheduled to be completed in 2020 and 2022, respectively. The extensive facilities and attractions in these two phases include:
*A waterplay area, 65,000 sq ft in size, that will provide entertainment for the whole family.
*An extreme sports centre, which will include a skatepark and climbing wall, as well as a host of other indoor/outdoor sports activities and a café.
*A large family-focused 'edutainment' complex, which features a virtual reality zone, a science experience directed at families, a kids' 'driving school' and an entire building set aside as a children's discovery centre.
*Two retail zones, one of which will be anchored by a 5,000-sq-m hypermarket, while the other will feature a food hall, where events such as farmers' markets will be held.
*An 11-screen cinema, featuring 1,500 seats and luxury VIP experiences.
*A giant adventure golf course spread over an outdoor and indoor area.
*A large community park, over 340,000 sq ft in size, featuring hundreds of species of trees and plants as well as a number of outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, and a 'waterplay' area.

Johannes Schafelner the project director, ZHA, said: "Aljada’s Central Hub stands as an example of how conscious design can work with the environment to create a truly unique and inspirational focus for its community."

"It is a defining project for Sharjah and the UAE, and we are proud to work closely with Arada to bring this development to life," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Masterplan | Arada | newest entertainment hub |

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