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Sharjah's Waterfront City project is expected to boost the emirate's tourism industry

The conception for the Waterfront City project in the UAE's Sharjah was recently unveiled at the Cityscape Global conference. With a host of features from a water theme park to shopping malls, luxury hotels and restaurants the project is expected to generate a lot of interest in Sharjah among holidaymakers in the coming years.

Sharjah's Waterfront City project is expected to boost the emirate's tourism industry

Hayssam El Masri- the President of Sharjah Oasis Real Estate recently unveiled the Sharjah Waterfront City project which will feature a mix of residential apartments, hotels, villas, a shopping mall, restaurants, coffee shops, schools and other key facilities all spread across 36 kilometres of coastline.

The city will also be home to the elaborate, one of a kind Crystal Lagoon water theme park. The Waterfront City and Crystal Lagoon were launched earlier this month at Cityscape Global- the world's largest property development conference and exhibition. Tourism officials at Sharjah will undoubtedly be keen to see the project brought to life as it is expected to increase the number of travellers and families interested in Sharjah.

The theme park will feature up to 40 attractions including a wave pool that can generate waves as high as three metres, waterfalls and a roller coaster that would go underwater. Danny Lee Schultz, the Business Development Director at Jack Rouse Associates a planning and conceptual design services firm stated:

"It is very unique to have a water park and dry park together. There will be… many levels of interactivity for families, teenagers and people of all ages."

At the Cityscape Global conference El Masri expressed confidence that the project would be key in supporting the emirate in achieving its target of attracting 10 million visitors by 2021. Echoing these sentiments was Sheikh Abdullah Shkara, the Chairman of Al Hanoo Real Estate Company, a major shareholder in the project, who explained:

"We have invested a lot in this project and believe this project will be the heartbeat of the city's tourism 2021 vision."

Already, the city has secured deals with two top international hotel brands. Construction of a five star Dusit hotel and a luxury Shaza hotel (a Kempinski affiliate) is expected to start in the last quarter of 2016 with both hotels to be launched in 2019.

Currently the developers are securing the funding for phase one of the city project with Sharjah based Invest Bank. Phases one and two are scheduled to be competed by Q3 2018. The project is estimated to cost between Dh18 billion and Dh20 billion.

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