Dubailand back on track by year-end, says developer

Mega-resort in talks to scale back design, says CEO of Dubai Properties Group

Dubailand, the multibillion-dollar real estate project backed by Dubai Properties Group, is in talks with developers to review their contracts under a wider restructuring plan that aims to get the project back on track by the year-end.

The mega-project was one of the most ambitious entertainment resorts planned for Dubai but was placed on hold in 2008 after the credit crunch saw the emirate’s real estate market collapse.

The development, which was originally slated to be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort and boasted tie-ups with Universal Studios and Legoland, may be scaled back to bring the project in line with new economic realities.

“Dubailand is currently in the process of evaluating new projects,” said Khalid Al Malik, CEO of Dubai Properties Group, at the 4th Arabian Business Forum on Monday.

“We are renegotiating the terms of the contracts and the other issue is the size of these projects – so we’re reviewing the contracts to make it easier for investors.”

Dubai had the world’s fastest- growing property market from 2006 to mid-2008 because of rising demand from a growing expatriate workforce and speculation fuelled by borrowing.

Prices quadrupled in the six years following the 2002 decision to allow foreign ownership of property in designated areas.

The global financial crisis sparked the collapse of the emirate’s property sector, wiping more than 60 percent off house prices and sending speculators fleeing from the market.

About 50 percent of Dubai real-estate projects were cancelled or suspended after the collapse.

Launched at the height of Dubai’s real estate bubble, Dubailand was reported to be AED335bn at its peak. The project involved dozens of developers and sub-developers and was to feature seven themed areas, residential developments and what was planned to be the world’s largest shopping centre in Mall of Arabia.

Al Malik said DPG planned to unveil a revised masterplan for the mega-project later this year.

“You will hear good news [soon]," he said. “We will have something to announce [in terms of the revised masterplan] this year.”

Dubai developer Diamond said in April it planned to build 2,500 townhouses in the entertainment complex by 2016.

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Posted by: Jay

I Saw a Model and how Universal Studios Dubailand will look like and good thing there will be Air Conditioner in the Park.But i haven't seen the design and how Legoland Dubailand will look like but im sure they will have air conditioner inside the Park.Well i hope you emirates start construction looking at the designs makes me want to visit you.And Universal Studios is my Favorite Theme park so i hope i get to here more news about how Construction is going.

Posted by: Paul King

The time for dreaming and wishful thinking is over. You need a solid plan and money set aside to realize a project of this scale. No where has been able to duplicate the US theme park model. The basis for success is in the very high calibre staff training and the constant updating of attractions. My guess is that it will never happen in Dubai.

Posted by: SJ

There is new airport planningto be an east west hub with stopver passengers - if there are reasons to stop off, like: malls, sights to see , entertainment etc then more visitors will come, more exhibitors will see Dubia as an attractive venue to hold ther events, more tourists will come back or come back for a second time.

Without a volume of toruists attraction prices are too high, the airport does not make sense, neither does the expansion in malls or any specific attraction.

To make the exisitng investments work - the metro, the malls, the airport expansion more visitors are needed - a Florida style destination, coupled with stopover tourist and expansion of exhibition traffic make sense if the cash does not run out before its complete- then Dubai will need the extra houses and the virtuous spiral of an intregrated strategy will take over from the vicious circle - these projects a pieces in the jigsaw of Dubai'- has to believe in this future there is no other on offer.

Posted by: Joe Ca

Universal Studios and Legoland are exactly what Dubai needs to get the tourists and their money flowing into the emirate. They never should have stopped building them in the first place, and instead should have stopped all these empty office and apartment towers from being constructed. If this comes to fruition, it will greatly help Dubai become a prime global tourist destination, and make it a week-long, not just weekend, stay for many. Get building already!

Posted by: waleed aslam

I Have always believed this is the best way for them to make money through tourism to become a hub for tourism this exactly the project they will need to complete and make it the best in the world i wish i could be apart of this i could definatly think of some wacky ideas but im glad and happy for dubai that there thinking of completing this soon cant wait for further news

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