A Dh3 billion project to reclaim land and create a showpiece marina in Ajman is under way. Emirates Business spoke to Azad Nouri, general manager of Ajman Marina. Nouri (pictured above) outlined plans for the 244,409-square-metre project being built behind the Ajman Kempinski Hotel, which will comprise commercial, residential, retail and leisure space – all with great views of the water.
He also described where the project stands in terms of its recent search for consultants and its projected phases before the project is completed in 2015.
What is Ajman Marina?
Ajman Marina is a mixed-use residential, commercial, leisure and retail waterfront development being built at an estimated preliminarily cost of more than Dh3bn, covering an area of 244,409 sq m. The project consists of a marina, residential and office towers, a five-star hotel, shopping mall and a range of retail leisure and waterfront facilities along a promenade. The project will offer a recreation area and entertainment facilities for indoor and outdoor activities in addition to a fascinating fountain promenade. The marina bay occupies a 119,422 sq m area that can handle 300 boats.
Is it a joint venture project?
Yes indeed, the project is a joint venture between the Government of Ajman and Tanmiyat Investment Group (Tanmiyat) but I am not permitted to reveal the shares. For the purpose of establishing the project, the Ajman Marina company was set up.
How many towers and buildings will the project offer?
The project will deliver a total of 30 buildings – some are high-rise towers of up to 60 floors, and the low-rise buildings will be of nine floors. The total saleable area of Ajman Marina residential district will be 795,852 sq m. The residential complex will include three-, two- and one-bedroom apartments as well as studio apartments and penthouses. More than 65 per cent of the project’s built-up area is made up of residential space. There are approximately 5,161 high-end housing units in both high-rise towers and low-rise buildings that will cater to about 14,000 residents.
What about commercial buildings? Is there a need for office space in Ajman?
There is a severe shortage of office space in Ajman. Therefore, offices will form about 23 per cent of the project – 273,695 sq m has been planned to cater to 1,400 companies and 38,692 users.
What phase is the project in now?
We have finished preparing the project’s master plan, which was carried out by HOK, an international company specialising in marina projects. It is also the company that planned Dubai Marina. The master plan took some time but we ended up with a plan that is very accurate. Ajman Marina, the joint venture, will be tasked with constructing the whole project. We are not going to sell land to developers and the project will be carried out in three phases.
What is the schedule for each phase, and when is the entire project scheduled for completion?
Phase one will start this year and be completed in 2010. Phase two will begin in 2011 and is scheduled for completion after two years. Phase three will start in 2013 and is expected to be complete in 2015.
Have you started any work?
We have already started reclaiming land from the sea to shape the marina. The area to be reclaimed covers 50,091 sq m. Next month, we will restart building the quay wall. The Marina bay and the promenade stretch for 1.7 kilometres. The marina bay can accommodate up to 300 boats. This phase will take up to 18 months.
Has consultation work begun for the first phase?
Yes, we have asked a selected list of consultancy companies for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for designing phase one and the award will be decided by the end of this month. The buildings and towers will be designed in accordance with our specifications. The designs are expected to be finalised in five months.
Have you specified any prices?
Not yet because it is very difficult to do that at this time when the prices of building materials are so unstable. We will closely watch the costs of building materials. However, the prices will be competitive.
Have you addressed parking facilities and internal roads in the design phase to help avoid traffic congestion later?
Yes, in fact we have studied parking needs very carefully to help avoid such a problem. There will be special blocks for parking for the high-rise towers. The low buildings will have underground parking. The total parking area that will be offered will be about 541,849 sq m. And the roads will have two lanes in each direction.
The Ajman Government is working on a property law and intends to implement regulations similar to those in Dubai. Strata laws for common community management are part of these laws. Are you considering assigning a company for managing the properties?
Residential units and office space will be available to all nationalities on a freehold basis offering 100 per cent ownership and residency for home owners and free zone regulations for operating firms. The project, which offering tourism-friendly regulations, will be managed by a special company called Ajman Marina Facility Management.
Describe the look of the project.
The buildings at the front of the marina bay will be low rise, while those behind will be the high-rise towers. All the high-rise towers will be located in such a way that all will have a sea view whether they are on the bay side or the seashore side. Ajman Marina will be served with district cooling, automated solid waste collection systems, a piped gas network and smart technology infrastructure on top of the basic utility provisions for water, power and sewerage. The whole project will apply green development concepts. At the end edge of the bay, there will be marina facilities for those who cannot use the internal berths.
Can you give us any more details about the planned hotel? Have you assigned a company to operate the hotel?
It will be a five-star hotel with 210 rooms and 15 suites, and luxury hotel apartments that include 100 serviced apartments. In addition to that, the hotel will provide 68,000 square metres of retail space. We have not yet assigned an operating company.
Will the project be open to the public?
Yes, anyone can enter the area and enjoy views of the marina waterfront and the fountain. The walkway covers more than 50,000 sq m and contains more than 40 food and beverage outlets in addition to the mall and indoor retail areas. There will be a total of 24,000 sq m of shopping outlets, a park and a children’s playground.
Can you describe the project’s entertainment and leisure facilities?
The project will offer a spa, gym and health club. A multi-purpose centre will be open to both residents and visitors. There will also be a yacht club, which will offer fuelling and servicing facilities apart from the usual water sports facilities.
PROFILE: Azad Nouri,General Manager of Ajman Marina
Azad Nouri started his career as an engineer and was a project manager with leading construction firms in the UK.
In 1994, he joined Sharjah-based Arabian Profile Company as project manager. In 1997, he moved to Dubai-based Aseel Construction Systems, and in 1999 to Sharjah’s Tiger Profiles and Insulation. From 2000 to 2007, he was with Corus Kalzip Systems Middle East as GM for the Middle East. Nouri holds a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Bristol Polytechnic.