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Dubai to build new district with $20bn

4 September 2016 20:59

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The UAE’s fastest-growing and most popular emirate Dubai has announced an ambitious plan to build a new district with an estimated investment of $20 billion.

The plan has been announced by Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler.

This is already seen as an indication that the emirate plans to keep growing rapidly despite the impact of low oil prices on the region.

Nevertheless, officials emphasized that the project would be built in phases in response to market demand. They said financing arrangements had not been finalized.

The first phase of Jumeirah Central, estimated to cost 24 billion dirhams ($6.5 billion), is to include 2,800 hotel rooms and 3,000 apartments, Reuters reported.

“We are in extensive discussions with all the usual prospects” to build the district, Jumeirah Central’s chief operating officer Morgan Parker told reporters.

Jumeirah Central will be located on land that was previously earmarked for the giant Mall of the World, which was to include 8 million square feet (745,000 square metres) of shopping space connected to a theme park and 100 hotels.

That project was announced in mid-2014, just as oil prices began falling sharply, the report added.

Last week, Dubai Holding said it had decided to relocate Mall of the World, but officials declined to answer questions on Sunday about the fate of that project.

Although Dubai’s economy is coping better than its neighbors with cheap oil, thanks to the emirate’s tourist and business services sectors, real estate prices have been dropping since last year and some residential and retail projects have been suspended or cancelled, Reuters added.

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