Dubai Municipality plans to start construction of its $9.5 billion Desert Rose sustainable city project in early 2016, a senior official has revealed.
Abdulla Rafia, assistant director general for engineering and planning sector at the civic body, said tenders for phase 1 would be issued next year.
In an interview with Zawya Projects, he said: "We are planning to tender Phase 1 of the Desert Rose, a satellite city in a year's time. We will break ground 18 months from now.
"Going by today's  prices, the total cost of the project will be about $9.5 billion," he said.
The planning of the city, which will be in the shape of a desert flower, was approved by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum earlier this year.
According to officials, the Desert Rose project will include "diversified and simple sustainable housing areas" and will be linked to the Dubai Metro network.
The city, which is located south of the Emirates Road towards the Al Lusail desert area, will be developed along green development principles, will feature "convenient and eco-friendly transportation" and will aim to reduce Dubai's carbon footprint.
"We have already tendered the design works, which include infrastructure, superstructure, and sustainability. It will be done by seven companies," Rafia told Zawya Projects.
The project with a total area of 14,000 hectares will be developed in four phases, he said.
"Currently, the project will have four phases; it could be more or less [phases]. It is a long-term project and phasing can take up to 10 years," he added.
The project will also feature eco-friendly pedestrian paths with air-conditioning during summer as well as a green belt for agricultural purposes.