UAE's Al Zorah project downsized due to real estate slowdown - Gulf Business
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UAE’s Al Zorah project downsized due to real estate slowdown

UAE’s Al Zorah project downsized due to real estate slowdown

The project is now expected to accommodate just a quarter of the residents originally envisioned

Ambitions for the $60bn Al Zorah real estate project have been scaled down as the United Arab Emirates experiences a widespread real estate slump, two executives involved in the project said on Tuesday.

Al Zorah, located along the coastline of the UAE emirate of Ajman, will aim to accommodate some 50,000 people, down from an original goal of 200,000, Oussama Kabbani, the chief operating officer of Lebanese developer Solidere International Ltd, said.

Solidere is building Al Zorah jointly with the government of Ajman, one of the smallest emirates of the seven-member UAE federation, which has been trying to catch up with more developed neighbours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Read: Al Zorah announces two new communities for Ajman development

The project’s chief executive Imad Dana said the development is offering relaxed payment plans in response to tough market conditions, and added that it will take at least 15 more years to complete the project, which was due to be finished by 2023.

About half of the land originally set aside for Al Zorah was returned to the Ajman government in 2010, Dana said.

The developers’ ambitions were crimped as property prices dropped throughout the UAE over the last year, with supply continuing to expand despite subdued employment growth and less robust demand for housing.

Read: UAE sees rents, sales prices decline across the country in Q3 – Asteco

Kabbani said the decision to downsize was prudent, given the sales slowdown throughout the sector, and added that the company will weather the real estate cycle.

Al Zorah is now exploring joint ventures with investors and other developers to fund plans for residential and commercial facilities in the project, the two executives said. They were also in talks with UAE-based company GEMS Education to build a school there.

Read: Mega Al Zorah project in Ajman to soon offer kayaking tours


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