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A new real estate sector is about to enter the market, and it is already piquing interest among investors looking to diversify their property portfolios.
Sharjah’s Aljada master development near University City will offer individuals the opportunity to directly invest in student housing units for the first time. Ten buildings have been designated for the purpose, according to a recent news report in Gulf News.
In all, there will be 1,288 room properties and 2,600 bed spaces at the “Nest” – collective name for the 10-building cluster. The buildings are estimated to be ready by late 2021 and are situated right next to campuses with around 26,000 students on their rolls. The units are priced from AED 310,000, and available in studio and two- to eight-bed dormitory formats.
The launch comes at a time when student housing opportunities are rated as having some of the best returns in the current real estate market. Developers and specialist funds in Dubai are also starting to come on board, with Academic City along the Dubai-Al Ain road and the surrounding area being prime.
“Until now, property investors needed to pick up an entire building designated as student housing and not individual units,” said Ahmad Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Arada, the developer of Aljada, which will occupy a 24 million sq ft on completion. “We are opening up that market to individuals to come in and pick up single units or more.”
The American University of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah campuses are in close proximity to the project. According to Arada’s pre-launch survey for the Nest, 80 per cent of those at AUS come from outside of the UAE, which translates to sustained demand for student housing.