Sharjah real estate developer Arada plans to build a 3.5ha smart city-style student accommodation complex called Nest in its $6.5bn (AED24bn) Aljada megaproject.
Nest has a $190.6m (AED700m) sales value, and Arada plans to commence construction in Q1 2020, the developer told Construction Week. Handover is scheduled by the end of 2021.
The project will feature 10 five-floor affordable housing blocks with 1,288 units, ranging from studios to eight-bed dormitories.
Its proximity to University of Sharjah and American University of Sharjah, which collectively have 20,000 students, will prove to be an advantage for Nest, according to developer Arada.
The developer added that the complex will set “a new standard for student housing in the region” thanks to the smart technology that will be fitted within Nest's spaces.
Each block will have laundry rooms, social areas with TVs, study areas, a communal amphitheatre, an art studio, a library, a running track, a dining hall, and a creative space.
Different parts of Nest will be allocated for men and women to provide privacy. Arada will also build male- and female-only gyms, swimming pools, and study spots.
Students residing within Nest will have access to part-time jobs in the complex's food and retail outlets, as well as the wider Aljada city. The company did not confirm the number of jobs on offer.
Chairman of Arada, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, said student housing is a relatively unexplored property segment in the region and could significantly support the diversification of a real estate portfolio.
“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,” he said in a statement.