The UAE’s newest leisure destination, Madar, will open its doors to the public for the first time this Thursday during a launch weekend that will be packed with entertainment and excitement. Located in the heart of the Aljada megaproject in the Muwaileh district of Sharjah, Madar contains a cluster of family-friendly attractions all spread around a beautifully landscaped 600,000 square foot park. From the Arabic word for ‘path’ or ‘orbit’, the name Madar represents the free movement of people around the site, and also reflects the original design by Zaha Hadid Architects that incorporates a striking series of elliptical buildings surrounding a central point.
The first phase of Madar will also play host to a full calendar of engaging events that will draw different parts of the UAE community to Aljada every weekend. Featuring live performances from artists, sportspeople and musicians, the theme of the first weekend will be ‘cultural fusion’, while later events will focus on areas such comedy, music, food, gaming and film, with a wide range of activities for all ages.
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said: “This is the first opportunity for members of the public to experience a taste of Aljada, a project that is truly transformational for Sharjah. This destination is a new place for families, for lovers of culture, for those who are looking for excitement and for those who are seeking to learn. We want the Sharjah community to be a part of Aljada’s progress, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Madar.”
HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Vice Chairman of Arada, said: “The launch of Madar at Aljada is an important step in our mission to build a sustainable and smart city that represents a new future for Sharjah. With more than 5,000 trees planted in this area alone, Madar shows how Aljada is set to become one of the greenest destinations in the region.”
The first part of Aljada to be completed, Madar is free to enter and will be open to the public from 3pm on Thursday 27 February. The complex will subsequently be open between 10am and 10pm on weekdays, and between 10am and midnight on weekends, with plenty of free parking for visitors. Attractions on offer at Madar include:
Zad, a new address for the UAE’s food lovers, which has 15 different brands selling a wide range of cuisines in a colourful and contemporary setting. Each outlet is housed in a redesigned shipping container, with brands ranging from popular coffee startup Saddle to gelato café Amorino, and from Sushi Station to vegan burger outlet The Vurger Co.
Surrounded by greenery, Zad’s two zones consist of a drive-thru space and a more social picnic area, with extensive seating. Zad truly comes to life at night, when brightly lit facades combine with different artworks to create an interactive space that is always changing.
YourSpace has been designed as a fully-fledged events hall to benefit the entire Aljada community, with individuals and corporates able to hire either all or part of the venue. When not booked out, YourSpace will host studios, exhibitions, markets and conferences.
For outdoor events, Madar’s Amphitheatre has a maximum capacity of 500 people and can be used to host film screenings, markets, parties and musical performances.
Featuring tower frames, swings, embedded trampolines and slides, Playscape is an immersive and exciting children’s adventure zone. The site also includes a climbing wall and activity nets and is sure to be one of the most popular parts of Madar. Located adjacent to Playscape is Madar’s Skatepark, a new home for adventure sports enthusiasts.
Designed by the students from the American University of Sharjah, based in nearby University City, the AUS Pavilion is a sweeping architectural structure designed to provide shade and a communal area for residents and visitors to Aljada.
The centerpiece of Madar is the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Aljada Discovery Centre, an elliptical building that showcases all the elements of the city’s master plan, as well as providing prospective homeowners with an opportunity to find out what living in Aljada is all about.
Featuring a large open space lit by natural light coming through double-height glass facades, the Discovery Centre also features an immersive, coil-shaped ‘experience room’, that will allow visitors to experience different parts of Aljada from a 360-degree perspective, using next-generation digital technology. The Discovery Centre also features a show apartment and the Aljada café, where visitors can relax and enjoy views of the community.
To be completed over three phases, the full Madar masterplan is over 25 football fields in size (1.9 million square feet) and is the focal point of Aljada. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Madar is defined by lush green space and many water features, and is fully walkable, even in the summer months.
When fully completed, Madar will incorporate a large range of facilities and attractions including a large public square, an extreme sports centre, an ‘edutainment’ complex, two retail zones, an 11-screen cinema and a large community park.
Located in the fast growing Muwaileh district in the heart of New Sharjah, Aljada is a master-planned destination with a sales value of AED24 billion that is set to transform the future of the Emirate, and was unveiled by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during an exclusive ceremony in September 2017. Construction on Aljada began in 2018 and the first homes are scheduled to be handed over to owners later this year.
Aljada is ideally situated on the last major plot of undeveloped land in the heart of the city, and is an all-encompassing district that comprises considerable retail, leisure and entertainment options, in addition to a wide range of residential and commercial offerings.