In Gulf first, Arada brings direct student accommodation offering to investors via the launch of Nest at Aljada

In Gulf first, Arada brings direct student accommodation offering to investors via the launch of Nest at Aljada

News: 12 March 2019

  • Complex to feature 10 buildings, with space for 2,600 beds in total
  • Developer opens up product portfolio to embrace segment that has witnessed significant success in established markets
  • Investors in Nest are guaranteed 10% ROI annually for five years

Arada is introducing a new investment opportunity to the Gulf by announcing the launch of Nest, the UAE’s premier integrated student accommodation complex, which will be based at the heart of the developer’s record-breaking lifestyle megaproject, Aljada. The move will enable individual real estate investors to purchase directly in the student housing segment in the Gulf for the first time, an area that has seen major interest in traditional markets such as the United States and Europe.

Located just 10 minutes’ walk from one of the Middle East’s fastest-growing education hubs, Sharjah’s University City, Nest offers unrivalled facilities and amenities, all set within a smart technology-enabled space that sets a new standard for student housing in the region.

Spread over a 35,000 square metre area on the University City side of Aljada, Nest features a total of 10 five-story buildings, all of which have been carefully designed with internal courtyards and spaces that provide meeting spaces for residents. Each block contains a selection of studios and two-, four-, five- and eight-bed dormitories, alongside laundry rooms, shared TV rooms and study areas. Different parts of the community have been allocated to accommodation for men and women, ensuring comfort and privacy for every tenant.

Nest’s lengthy list of facilities includes an art studio, a music hall, a library, a state-of-the-art running track that surrounds the complex, an amphitheatre and a central dining hall, while tenants will also be provided with access to male- and female-only swimming pools, gyms and study areas.

Arada has also committed to providing Nest residents with a number of part-time employment opportunities at local retail and food and beverage outlets, both in the complex and in Aljada as a whole. In total, there are 1,288 units and 2,600 bed spaces in the Nest complex, all of which will be delivered fully furnished and ready to let out. Leasing will be arranged by fully licensed onsite management teams, who will also oversee all facilities management and provide 24-hour security.

HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said: “The UAE has made education one of its highest priorities and a key platform for the development of the country. We are proud to support this critical industry through Nest, a state-of-the-art home for the region’s future leaders. At Nest, we are dedicated to providing facilities and a living experience for our students that is unmatched anywhere in the Middle East, and where security and safety are top of mind.

“Student accommodation is still a relatively new investment segment here in the Gulf and we’re happy to offer this opportunity in Sharjah for the first time. We believe student housing is an excellent and hassle-free way to diversify your real estate portfolio, and we hope that the stable and steady guaranteed returns on offer at Nest will be of significant interest to local and international investors.”

The first purpose-built student accommodation in Sharjah, Nest taps into a real estate segment that has seen significant investor interest in other global markets, but which is still in a nascent phase in the Gulf. Buyers in Nest will be rewarded with a guaranteed return on investment (ROI) of 10% annually for a period of five years after their units have been completed. Arada is planning to hand over the entire community by the end of 2021.

Nest benefits strongly from Aljada’s location adjacent to University City, which contains two of the region’s largest and most distinguished higher education institutions, University of Sharjah and American University of Sharjah (AUS), which between them host some 20,000 students alone, plus an additional eight other colleges and institutions.

Sharjah itself is already well known as an international education hub, drawing in students from around the Middle East and beyond. Some 80% of those studying at AUS come from outside the UAE, and the university was recognised by the World University Rankings in 2018 as having the world’s most diverse student body, ahead of the London School of Economics (LSE).

Nest is also ideally located to serve the more than 60,000-strong student body in nearby Dubai. The complex is a 20-minute drive from Dubai International Academic City, the largest higher education free zone in the world, which has 27,500 students enrolled at its universities during the current academic year.

Aljada, a master-planned destination with a sales value of AED24 billion that is set to transform the future of Sharjah, was unveiled by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during an exclusive ceremony in September 2017.

Sharjah’s largest ever mixed-use community, Aljada is ideally situated on the last major plot of undeveloped land in the heart of the city. The 24 million square foot megaproject has exceptional connectivity to surrounding areas, and is an all-encompassing district that comprises considerable retail, leisure and entertainment options, in addition to a wide range of residential and commercial offerings.

Construction on Aljada has already begun, with the first homes scheduled to be handed over by the end of this year. The first phase of the Central Hub, the UAE’s newest leisure and entertainment destination, which has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, will be opened in September this year. Containing Arada’s experiential Sales Centre, as well as events spaces, children’s play areas and a food truck zone, Sharjah’s newest community space will be complemented by a packed calendar of family-friendly activities.