Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Tuesday inaugurated District One of the AED30 billion ($8.16 billion) Mohammed bin Rashid City.
Sheikh Mohammed unveiled a plaque at the urban, mixed-use, leisure and sports development which will span more than 54 million square feet, with District One alone stretching four million sq ft. The MBR City project is scheduled for completion in 2018-19.
The ruler viewed a model of the mega project and was briefed by Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Meydan Group chairman and CEO, who said about 600 hectares of open and green space, waterways, and woodlands would be included.
The first phase of the project will be developed by 50/50 joint-venture of Dubai’s Meydan and Sobha Group.
He added in comments published by news agency WAM that District One will also feature 7km of lagoons and 14km of manmade beaches, alongside retail zones, leisure and sports attractions.
Al Tayer said the "green heart" of the development will be surrounded by 1,500 luxury villas - to be delivered in four phases before Dubai Expo 2020. He added that it would create one of the lowest-density residential environments in any major international city.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Emirates Group, and a number of senior officials, heads of government departments in Dubai, and the team supervising the project.
In June, it was announced that two of Dubai's real estate developers, Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding, had formed a joint venture to build a huge residential and commercial area near the city's downtown as part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid City project.
They plan construction of a commercial centre, low- and mid-rise residences, an 18-hole golf course and other facilities over 11 million sq m, it was reported.
Dubai Hills Estate, the first phase of MBR City, will also have high-end retail centres and varied leisure amenities plus educational institutions, healthcare facilities and mosques.
MBR City will also include the world's biggest shopping mall, more than 100 hotels, a Universal Studios franchise and a public park larger than Hyde Park.