Dubai Holding’s planned $20 billion mixed-use scheme, Jumeirah Central, is being sidelined while the developer works on other projects, it announced on Sunday.
The Dubai real estate developer said in a statement it was “re-evaluating” plans for the huge new neighbourhood unveiled at the Cityscape conference last September, in favour of schemes that would be ready in time for Expo 2020 Dubai.
As part of this, the Dubai Holding executive Morgan Parker – who was recruited as chief operating officer to lead the project’s delivery – has resigned and is expected to leave the company by the end of this year.
Parker said in March that Jumeirah Central was attracting “significant interest” from international investors looking to enter Dubai’s property market.
Jumeirah Central was planned to be built on a 47 million square foot site opposite Mall of the Emirates in prime central Dubai, on land originally earmarked for the stalled Mall of the World project.
The scheme was to comprise 278 buildings, including 2,800 hotel rooms and 3,000 apartments, 9 million sq ft of retail and office space, 40 new entertaiment attractions, 33 parks and more than 44,000 car parking spaces.
But Dubai Holding said that, while the project was not on hold, it was being pushed back in favour of other projects that would be ready in time for Expo 2020 Dubai.
One such project is its $1.7 billion Marsa Al Arab mega-project, an island-based scheme next to the Burj Al Arab intended to boost tourism to the emirate.
A Dubai Holding spokesperson said: “Dubai Holding is prioritising projects that will be ready for Expo 2020 Dubai and those that will help draw tourists to the emirate. As a result, we are currently focusing our resources on projects such as Marsa Al Arab.
“We are still committed to Jumeirah Central but the project is currently being revaluated to meet expected future market demand.
“This decision has resulted in an organisational restructuring that will see Morgan Parker stepping down from his role by the end of this year.”
Parker joined Dubai Holding in 2015 from Rockefeller-owned private equity firm Rose Rock, where he served as CEO.
It is understood that Dubai Holding will still work on plans for Jumeirah Central internally, and the scheme’s components could be revised.
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