Urban renewal and new launches go hand in hand

Shaikh MaktoumBin Mohammad BinRashid Al Maktoum,Deputy Ruler ofDubai, with Saeed AlTayer, Chairman andCEO, Meydan, at theMeydan One projectafter officially openingthe Cityscape Globalconference.Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The Big Bang launches were not there, but Dubai’s developers did just as well with a focus on urban renewal projects that are just as ambitious as the launch of a new master-development or a flagship property.

Meraas showcased a project that will give an entirely new look to one of Dubai’s oldest landmarks — the waterline opposite the consulate area in Bur Dubai. Replacing it would be an amalgamation of heritage with the contemporary as the location becomes a magnet for future tourists.

The gargantuan proportioned Mall of the World is also, in effect, finding new uses for an established part of Dubai — Al Suffoh and where the Police Academy is situated now. The Academy will now be transplanted to a new location for the Mall developer to get on with the business of creating a destination that will stand the test of time and right in the “centre of Dubai”, as a top official put it … succinctly.

Further down in an emerging area of the city, Dubai South came up with the ‘villages’ — self-sufficient communities where the focus is on the individual.

But there was also a reaching for the skies, a space where Dubai’s developers are quite comfortable with. DMCC, the free zone operator, lifted the lid on the concept design for the Burj 2020, a super-tall structure and with aspirations that could take it all the way to being the tallest stand-alone commercial tower in the world. And is the design bears the sharp cuts and edges of a diamond, it was no coincidence.

Nakheel added another community to its portfolio in the shape of Jebel Ali Gardens that can be home to more than 40,000 people. It will have nearly 10,000 apartments across 42 buildings and an overall built-up area of more than 19 million square feet.

It was not completely a show for Dubai’s developers — for Sharjah there was the ‘Waterfront City’, entailing billions in development costs and across years.

The market may not be seeing that many transactions happening, but, clearly, UAE’s developers are not waiting to sit out the decline. They have an eye on tomorrow and a confidence in what the future will offer up.

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com


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