Abu Dhabi, UAE,  April 17, 2018.  
CITYSCAPE Abu Dhabi 2018.  Ahmed Al Khoshaibi, CEO of Arada.
Victor Besa / The National
National
Reporter:  Sarah Townsend
Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, chief executive of Sharjah real estate developer Arada which is building the Dh24bn Aljada mega-project and plans expansion to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Milan and the UK in the coming yeShow more

Sharjah’s Arada targets Dh2bn of sales by 2019 as it plans Dubai debut



Arada, the Sharjah-based real estate developer backed by the son of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is targeting Dh2 billion of revenues by next April, as it progresses unit sales on two schemes in Sharjah and ramps up plans to expand in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Europe over the coming years.

"The founders of Arada set out a 5-10-year roadmap, where the focus was to become the leader in Sharjah," said Arada chief executive Ahmed Alkhoshaibi in an interview with The National. "The next step is Dubai, with multiple projects, then we'll be going to Saudi Arabia, then London or Milan or both."

Arada is a joint venture between KBW Investments – a firm controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal – and Basma Group.

It unveiled the 2.2 million square kilometre Aljada mixed-use community last year as Sharjah’s largest-ever scheme to date with a projected sales value of Dh24bn. The company has sold 90 per cent of phase one residential units and started sales for the second phase at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi event last week.

The project, which has ten phases, is due to be completed in 2025, while deals to appoint operators of a hotel and hospital are expected to conclude in the coming weeks. Arada is also building the 800-home Nasma Residences scheme in Sharjah, scheduled for completion in 2018.

UAE real estate prices have declined in the past two years due to low oil prices and muted demand, but developers have launched several tourism, housing and mixed-use projects in Sharjah in recent months as the emirate seeks to raise its profile and compete with its neighbour Dubai.

Mr Alkhoshaibi said Arada was experiencing no such downturn in “resilient” Sharjah, where the company closed Dh150m of sales last month, bringing its total sales value since last April to Dh1bn.

“My target for the next 12 months is Dh2bn of revenue – with this growth trajectory we are not seeing a downturn.”

The wider UAE market will bottom out in 2018, he added, with prices rising thereafter fuelled by Expo 2020 and other government initiatives. “We’re entering Dubai soon – we’re going to announce that we’re launching our first project in Dubai so we’re confident it’s a good time to be coming in,” he added.

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The first Dubai project will be a "signature" residential tower in the upper-midscale bracket, located in Dubai Marina or fast-growing Business Bay. Arada's shareholders own several parcels of land in Dubai, but the company is in talks to acquire other plots more appropriate for a first launch.

Arada plans to enter Saudi Arabia from around 2020, most likely Riyadh, depending on market conditions. “From a residential point of view, Saudi is suffering and we need to come in at the right time,” Mr Alkhoshaibi said. Average villa and apartment rents in the kingdom declined by 5 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, and average sales prices by 4 per cent, according to consultancy JLL Mena.

Beyond that, Saudi Arabia is going through a more fundamental social and economic transformation underpinned by Vision 2030. “They are going through a transition and you need to know where to position yourself in that. Foreign investment laws are changing so we are studying what is happening,” he said.

Mr Alkhoshaibi is also group chief executive of Arada's co-owner KBW Investments, and says the private equity firm is targeting its first partnership acquisition in the next three months, after talks to acquire Middle Eastern contractor Habtoor Leighton Group broke down in 2017. "I was confident we'd close it but during the due diligence process we were not aligned," he told The National.

KBW is eyeing two other acquisitions before the end of this year, with one likely to be in the aviation services sector. “It’s a market that has a good growth trajectory overall and there are synergies with our existing portfolio companies,” he said.

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5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

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Engine: 4.4-litre, twin-turbo V8
Transmission: eight-speed auto
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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

BACK TO ALEXANDRIA

Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

Chef Nobu's advice for eating sushi

“One mistake people always make is adding extra wasabi. There is no need for this, because it should already be there between the rice and the fish.
“When eating nigiri, you must dip the fish – not the rice – in soy sauce, otherwise the rice will collapse. Also, don’t use too much soy sauce or it will make you thirsty. For sushi rolls, dip a little of the rice-covered roll lightly in soy sauce and eat in one bite.
“Chopsticks are acceptable, but really, I recommend using your fingers for sushi. Do use chopsticks for sashimi, though.
“The ginger should be eaten separately as a palette cleanser and used to clear the mouth when switching between different pieces of fish.”

MATCH INFO

Quarter-finals

Saturday (all times UAE)

England v Australia, 11.15am 
New Zealand v Ireland, 2.15pm

Sunday

Wales v France, 11.15am
Japan v South Africa, 2.15pm

In numbers

Number of Chinese tourists coming to UAE in 2017 was... 1.3m

Alibaba’s new ‘Tech Town’  in Dubai is worth... $600m

China’s investment in the MIddle East in 2016 was... $29.5bn

The world’s most valuable start-up in 2018, TikTok, is valued at... $75bn

Boost to the UAE economy of 5G connectivity will be... $269bn 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The biog

Place of birth: Kalba

Family: Mother of eight children and has 10 grandchildren

Favourite traditional dish: Al Harees, a slow cooked porridge-like dish made from boiled cracked or coarsely ground wheat mixed with meat or chicken

Favourite book: My early life by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah

Favourite quote: By Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, “Those who have no past will have no present or future.”

BABYLON

Director: Damien Chazelle

Stars: Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart

Rating: 4/5

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

UAE Warriors 45 Results

Main Event : Lightweight Title
Amru Magomedov def Jakhongir Jumaev - Round 1 (submission)
Co-Main Event : Bantamweight
Rany Saadeh def Genil Franciso - Round 2 (submission)
Catchweight 150 lbs
Walter Cogliandro def Ali Al Qaisi - Round 1 (TKO)
Bantamweight
Renat Khavalov def Hikaru Yoshino - Round 2 (TKO)
Flyweight
Victor Nunes def Nawras Abzakh - Round 1 (TKO)
Flyweight
Yamato Fujita def Sanzhar Adilov - Round 1 (submission)
Lightweight
Abdullo Khodzhaev def Petru Buzdugen - Round 1 (TKO)
Catchweight 139 lbs
Razhabali Shaydullaev def Magomed Al-Abdullah - Round 2 (submission)
Flyweight
Cong Wang def Amena Hadaya - Points (unanimous decision)
Middleweight
Khabib Nabiev def Adis Taalaybek Uulu - Round 2 (submission)
Light Heavyweight
Bartosz Szewczyk def Artem Zemlyakov - Round 2 (TKO)

Profile Box

Company/date started: 2015

Founder/CEO: Mohammed Toraif

Based: Manama, Bahrain

Sector: Sales, Technology, Conservation

Size: (employees/revenue) 4/ 5,000 downloads

Stage: 1 ($100,000)

Investors: Two first-round investors including, 500 Startups, Fawaz Al Gosaibi Holding (Saudi Arabia)

The Color Purple

Director: Blitz Bazawule
Starring: Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo
Rating: 4/5

PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

1 Man City  26  20 3 3 63 17  63 

2 Liverpool  25 17 6 2 64 20  57 

3 Chelsea  25 14 8 3 49 18  50 

4 Man Utd  26 13 7 6 44 34  46 

----------------------------------------

5 West Ham  26 12 6 8 45 34  42 

----------------------------------------

6 Arsenal  23 13 3 7 36 26  42 

7 Wolves  24 12 4 8 23 18  40 

8 Tottenham  23 12 4 8 31 31  39  

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

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6.30pm: Emirates Holidays Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (Dirt) 1,900m
Winner: Lady Snazz, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer).

7.05pm: Arabian Adventures Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
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7.40pm: Emirates Skywards Handicap (TB) Dh 82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Rich And Famous, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer.

8.15pm: Emirates Airline Conditions (TB) Dh 120,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Rio Angie, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson.

8.50pm: Emirates Sky Cargo (TB) Dh 92,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Kinver Edge, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

9.15pm: Emirates.com (TB) Dh 95,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Firnas, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer.

SPECS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh974,011


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