Damac launches Akoya Drive retail project in Dubai

Real estate developer Damac Properties on Sunday announced the development of Akoya Drive, a shopping strip located off the Umm Suqeim Expressway in Dubai.

Construction of the project is expected to start in two months' time and completion is set to be by 2018.

Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director of Damac Properties, did not divulge the value of the Akoya Drive project, but El Chaar said it is part of the $6 billion Akoya by Damac master plan development, launched in June 2013. The project will be located near Dubai Motor City.

Stretching 1.3 kilometres, Akoya Drive will have retail outlets, including food and beverage, which will account for the majority of the outlets, fashion and convenience, such as pharmacies and laundry services. Also, it will feature four areas, including an outdoor ice-skating rink, an outdoor cinema, a children's play area and a golf putting green.

The company is in discussions with a number of retail groups, El Chaar told Gulf News in a phone interview, declining to name them. He added that the lease agreements with the retailers are expected to be signed close to 2017. The company is also in the process of signing deals with the suppliers of the materials to be used in the development.

El Chaar said that Akoya Drive will not be competing with other retail strips, such as The Walk at JBR and CityWalk, since it will be catering to an underserved area, adding that it will compete with shopping malls.

He pointed out that Akoya Drive's attractions are not offered by other shopping strips.

Covering an area of 42 million square feet, it includes mansions, villas, apartments and a retail centre. The villas are expected to be delivered starting from the end of 2015.

The design of the project has been finalized. However, the company is still finalizing the number of retail outlets.

The shopping strip is expected to serve the residents around Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, specifically the area between the Jumeirah Gold Estates roundabout and the Al Ain turnoff.

Damac Properties has delivered around 10,000 units to date and currently has a development portfolio of over 25,000 units at various stages of progress and planning as of the end of March.

The company is developing the $1 billion Damac Towers by Paramount, a hotel and luxury serviced residences in Dubai, which is expected to open in two years' time.

Source: Sarah Algethami, Staff Reporter, gulfnews.com

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