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You are young and single and have just moved to Dubai, a city that offers immense possibilities. You have plans to settle down, grow in your job and call this city your home. Here's a real estate offering from the government-backed developer, Dubai South, that makes sure you can live in its residential district from the time you come into Dubai as a young professional and as you advance in your career.
In an exclusive interview to Property Weekly, its acting CEO Ahmed Al Ansari highlighted the unique identity of Dubai South's residential district where someone earning Dh10,000 a month can actually own a home. ''Our real estate offerings cater to the entire midsegment spectrum,'' says Al Ansari. ''It is geared to capture buyers who are young, single and perhaps just moved to Dubai and will stay here until they grow to be a CEO in their 50s.''
Al Ansari adds: ''Typically this buyer could start living here in a studio and then slowly move to a nicer two-bedder, eventually get a promotion and move to a stacked town house and finally as the kids are growing up, move into a nice three bedroom town house.''
The Residential District in Dubai South is divided into five phases for the development of infrastructural works. The developer recently awarded contracts worth Dh1 billion for numerous infrastructure projects in the residential district. Al Nasr Contracting Company is already working on the first phase of the Residential District's infrastructure, which will be completed by the fourth quarter. A contract worth Dh300 million was awarded to Tristar Engineering and Construction to deliver infrastructure works of phase two of the Residential District by the fourth quarter next year.
The developer is now working on the master planning and design works for phase three, which will be followed by phases four and five. ''This proves that there is a healthy appetite for investment,'' says Al Ansari.
The Pulse and Villages
While the concept of The Villages in the residential district was introduced last year as an intelligent urban community set amid green open spaces, the developer has launched The Pulse, a vibrant urban community, at this year's Cityscape Global.
''It is centred around a 70m-wide, six-lane boulevard and is a novel integrated lifestyle concept that brings together retail, hospitality, leisure and all modern requirements within a very urban environment,'' says Al Ansari. While the three different products being released for sale in The Villages include town houses and apartments, The Pulse will include The Pulse Residence, The Pulse Boulevard Apartments and The Pulse Townhouses. As Al Ansari reiterated, these will all ''target people in the income group of between Dh10,000 and Dh50,000''.
Explaining the difference between the two communities, he says, ''The Villages is a relative low-density community designed for active living, with walkability at the heart of its design. The residential units here are also more spacious, catering to the upper mid-market demographic. The Pulse, on the other hand, is more dynamic and youthful. It is a denser development, surrounded by open spaces. Its stacked town houses are attractively for singles, couples and those with small, young families. The Pulse includes a retail mall, hotels and a park.''
The developer also announced the amenities that will be available in the residential district at Cityscape. ''You cannot have a community without getting any services, so there will be a school, hospital, gas station, mid-size retail centre, mosque and a community and sports centre and people are going to witness the construction immediately after Cityscape,'' Al Ansari says.
A total of 87 million sq ft of real estate will be developed in the Residential District, of which approximately 75 million sq ft is purely residential and the remaining includes hospitality and retail.
The concept behind Dubai South's residential district is rooted in the societal themes of the Dubai Plan 2021. Its urban ecosystem is based primarily on the happiness and wellbeing of its residents. ''Today most city layouts are designed with many of life's essentials not located within easy reach,'' says Al Ansari. ''For example, most of us spend a lot of time travelling to school and workplaces, thereby adding to our stress levels. We are creating a model city for urban living with happiness at its centre.''
''We had conducted a survey in the past to see what made people happy and we found that people were always looking for spaces where their kids could play safely, where they could pursue their hobbies and where they would be surrounded by different amenities,'' says Al Ansari. ''We have kept all these in mind while designing this community.''
Even the buildings in the residential district have been designed keeping in mind the privacy of the residents. ''We have made sure that people on the ground floor are not visible to the people on the second floor. The balconies will be facing different directions, so if those living on the ground floor face the west side, the ones on the floor above will face the east side. Therefore, both occupants will be able to enjoy the greenery without disturbing each other's privacy.''
Dubai South has drafted its own green building guidelines, based on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) and international best practices. These guidelines address various aspects of new projects such as the lighting systems, electrical low voltage systems and mechanical and heating ventilation systems to ensure they are best in class in terms of performance and energy consumption.
''This year we invested significantly for LED retrofitting of all existing buildings in the Business Park. Based on the fundamental pillars of smart cities, Dubai South will be the hub of the entire city operations and enable us to connect all the buildings or facilities to a central location. This will allow us to monitor, control and optimise each building's performance in terms of energy, CO2 footprint reduction, and safety,'' says Al Ansari.
An attractive investment
The residential district will support the large workforce required to deliver an amazing World Expo experience. ''This is why our real estate products are such an attractive investment option because come 2018, when we will begin handing over, there will be a captive tenant base,'' says Al Ansari.
Dubai South is also building several hotels and other hospitality products. ''With the expansion of the passenger terminal at the Al Maktoum International Airport, and also for Expo 2020, the need for different hospitality options around the airport has never been greater. As of now we have brought on board six major hotel brands that have already begun construction. The Hilton, Staybridge Suites, Aloft, Studio M, Millennium and Holiday Inn will together offer more than 5,000 rooms by 2020.''
Al Ansari says the company's topmost priority is to bring to life the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The integrated ecosystem of Dubai South will ultimately provide more than 500,000 jobs and create residences for 550,000 people.''
Source: Esha Nag, Editor, Property Weekly