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Envisioned as a ''City Centre'', the first phase of the $20-billion (Dh73.45 billion) Jumeirah Central in Al Soufouh area on Shaikh Zayed Road will break ground early year with the first building to be developed being a grade A office tower.
''The site clearing work has commenced and we will start work on the building infrastructure from early next year,'' said Morgan Parker, Chief Operating Officer of Jumeirah Central, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding.
The first phase will have 69 projects with 17 million sq ft of gross floor area and some 3,000 residential apartments within 13 residential buildings. It will also have a student accommodation and a residential tower.
On the hospitality and retail side, the first phase will have 14 hotels and one resort, totalling 2,800 keys, an urban mall, a souq, four community services facilities, five parks and plazas, 15,000 car spaces and three Dubai Tram stops.
''Eighteen months ago we began a collaborative process which is rather unique in its approach. We reached out to residents of Dubai in massive numbers, to businesses that operate here, tourists and investors and we asked them what made great cities,'' Parker said. ''What they thought was that Dubai needed to be an even better city than today. We simplified all that feedback into what you see in the master plan. The project is about the future as they city will grow, grow and grow as the opportunities are presented.''
No completion timeline for the first phase was given.
Jumeirah Central will overall include 47 million sq ft of gross floor area, 278 projects, one million sq ft of climate-controlled arcades, nine million sq ft retail, eight modes of transport and 25 points of vehicular access. It will be home to up to 35,000 residents.
The mixed-use features include 11,000 residential units, 7,200 hotel keys, 7.5 million sq ft of office space, 40 newentertainment attractions, 37 plazas, 33 parks. On the retail side, it will have 2.6 million sq ft of street retail, three malls, the largest stand-alone department store and a flagship row.
The transportation modes include 20km of integrated bicycle lanes, 44,000 car spaces, driverless shuttle, six Dubai Tram stops, two Dubai Metro lines, two Dubai Tram lines, 33 bus lines, aerial transportation system and airport express and check-in facility.
''The project will have Dubai Tram, which currently exists in Dubai Marina, come into this side and in a very innovative way,'' said Parker. ''It will have very close stops to make convenience a hallmark for this public transport.''
Thirty-three new bus lines will be added, with the first-ever aerial ''gondola'' system being introduced in the emirate.
Source: Parag Deulgaonkar, Special to Property Weekly