The Cornell Baker Program in Actual Property lately welcomed a distinguished speaker from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Excellency Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, to share with us his expertise main the transformation and financial diversification of the emirate of Sharjah.  Mr. Al Sarkal is at present the Managing Director of Chapter 3 LLC and the previous Government Chairman of the Sharjah Funding and Growth Authority (Shurooq).  For twenty years in Shurooq, he was the driving power behind the investments, cultural progress, and growth of Sharjah through the use of actual property growth and strategic partnerships to spur Sharjah’s transformation.  Because the Managing Director of Chapter 3, he’s captivated with advancing the expansion for each establishments and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) firms, and nurturing connections for catalytic progress with a concentrate on expertise, mobility, and the general way forward for the area.


Map of United Arab Emirates

Sharjah is among the seven emirates within the UAE, situated simply east of the emirate of Dubai.  Because the third largest emirate within the UAE, Sharjah is a major industrial and cultural hub for the nation, producing $35bn of GDP.  The emirate flaunts an array of remarkable vacationer locations specializing in the theme of tradition, historical past, and schooling.  Underneath the imaginative and prescient of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi and Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi and the stewardship of Mr. Al Sarkal, Sharjah was topped because the ‘Capital of Islamic Tradition’ and a ‘Distinctive and Distinguished Vacationer Vacation spot’.  Moreover, the emirate was additionally given prestigious recognition because the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’ by UNESCO.

Within the early planning and ideation phases of Sharjah, the municipality needed to brainstorm methods to make the most of actual property as technique of financial diversification and transformation.  The emirates’ geographical location presents each a possibility and a problem, as Shurooq needed to produce developments that provide distinctive vacationer experiences that complement Dubai’s and leverage different emirates’ merchandise.  Not solely that, however Shurooq needed to additionally produce actual property funding alternatives which are distinctive from that of the opposite emirates and plan for a metropolis that may change into a supply of satisfaction for the folks of Sharjah.

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Shurooq developed a three-pronged actual property growth technique to satisfy the aforementioned objectives and constraints.  The methods are (1) goal area of interest choices, (2) construct transformative icons and (3) enhance product breadth.  Moreover, actual property developments below all these three methods are chosen with authenticity and sustainability in thoughts.

Underneath technique (1), Mr. Al Sarkal shared with us how Shurooq revitalizes and reimagines present belongings and ideates differentiated hospitality and tourism choices.  Some key examples embrace the Coronary heart of Sharjah and Moon Retreat.  Each developments have been beforehand underleveraged websites that remodeled into distinctive cultural and eco-destinations.  These developments leverage present belongings and therefore are famous to be much less capital-intensive and generate outsized direct and oblique returns.  The Kalba Eco-Tourism Undertaking is one other vacation spot that have been saved and preserved to offer new sustainable experiences for guests to indulge within the pure choices of Sharjah.

Al Bait

Al Bait Sharjah, a sustainable luxurious resort situated within the Coronary heart of Sharjah

The Home of Knowledge in Sharjah is an iconic monument that redefines the idea of a library and a cultural middle.  The monument was constructed below technique (2), to construct transformative icons, and goals to advertise and ease entry to information.  Constructed to create an area that evokes a sense of belonging, the event offers all kinds of facilities together with cafés, galleries, e book collections, occasion areas, and extra.

House of Wisdom

Home of Knowledge

Lastly, below technique (3), Mr. Al Sarkal additionally mentioned with us varied initiatives he undertook to extend the product breadth choices of Sharjah.  One notable mission was the Maryam Island, an ongoing AED 4.5 billion (US$1.2 billion) mixed-use growth situated in Downtown Sharjah.  The objective of Maryam Island was to create an upscale however reasonably priced regenerative actual property growth.  The 460,000 sq. meter website will embrace elements equivalent to waterfront residential items, stores, 4- & 5-star resorts, and seashore entry for its occupants.

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Maryam Island

Sharjah efficiently attracted greater than $220 billion of international investments in 2020.  This movement of investments was made doable by the beforehand talked about methods and insurance policies, equivalent to the true estate-backed financial free zones.  Dubai was famous to be a pioneer of the free zone mannequin, which affords international companies engaging concessions and several other funding incentives, together with one hundred pc possession of a subsidiary and nil taxation.

Earlier than concluding his presentation, Mr. Al Sarkal reminded us that our objective shouldn’t simply be to change into a developer, however an entity that creates transformative change.  Mr. Al Sarkal enjoys exploring, studying, and creating new concepts that encourage the folks round him and plans to proceed doing in order the Managing Director of Chapter 3.  On behalf of the Cornell Baker Program, we want to lengthen our gratitude to Mr. Al Sarkal for imparting helpful studying alternatives and information on the modern actual property methods of Sharjah to our college students.

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