By Beatrice Thomas
Dubai conglomerate eyes opportunities related to emirate's victory in race to host prestigious event
Dubai conglomerate Al Habtoor Group is the latest developer to make public interest in projects around Expo 2020 with CEO Mohammed Al Habtoor saying it would look at development deals.
Al Habtoor, who is also vice-chairman of the group, said after the opening of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai on the Palm Jumeirah next week, it had three hotels under construction in Dubai – St Regis, W and Westin – which were expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
He said after that, it would look at opportunities around Expo2020.
“We are building another 1,600 rooms on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is there in the heart of Dubai, so I think that also will help for the growth,” he said.
“2020, that’s five years later, so between 2015 and 2020 we might have some agreement with the government to build more.”
Al Habtoor suggested development opportunities could be “around the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens”.
The gardens, which will form part of the mammoth Mohammed bin Rashid City project, were first announced in 2008 as a $54.4bn parks project stretching 82 sqkm and to be developed by Dubai Properties.
Located between Al Khail Road and Emirates Road, the idea was for a community of 250,000 people with almost three quarters of the total area - roughly 60 sqkm - dedicated to green space.
“They will require also some development there,” Al Habtoor said of that area. “We might agree on something, but so far we’re concentrating on what we have.”
Emaar Properties last week said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai World Central to develop an integrated urban centre and golf destination at the home of the Expo 2020 site.
The project is the first of the key infrastructure development projects to be announced following the UAE's winning of the World Expo 2020 hosting bid.
The development will be spread over an area of 13.63 sqm with the first phase of the project to include a golf-course villa community, several hotels, a high-end shopping mall, leisure attractions, and a business hub that promotes youth entrepreneurship.
Habtoor group has completely ignored its investors, regarding its real estate branch. People invested money into projects promoted by them and never saw neither the property built or the money returned. What is worst they never replied to any queries. No wonder powerful and rich institutions / individual will always get more powerful and richer and bend the justice. But believe me those days are coming to an end.