By Andy Sambidge
Dubai's deputy ruler approves construction work on new hotel, mixed used buildings
Work will shortly restart on the construction and remasterplanning of Dubai Trade Centre District, a 146,000 sq m site between the current Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Emirates Towers, it has been announced.
Approval for the work has granted by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The approval extends to the construction of the first phase which includes a mid-scale hotel of 588 keys and three buildings located immediately adjacent to Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the remasterplanning of the remainder of the district.
Construction will begin in the third quarter of this year, with a target completion date for the first commercial building in the final quarter of 2015 and an opening date for the hotel in early 2016.
Construction of the other two buildings in this phase - both designated for mixed-use purposes - are expected to commence construction in 2014 and 2015 and be completed within 30 month timelines.
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, said in a statement: "In the late 1970's the building of Sheikh Rashid Tower - the premier building of DWTC - was the catalyst for the development of the Commercial Business District (CBD).
"There is now demand for prime office space in the area, particularly from large multinational corporations looking to consolidate and companies who are outgrowing their existing offices.
"Occupancy rates in business hotels are similarly high, demonstrating a requirement for more supply. This first phase of Dubai Trade Centre District will cater to this dual demand."
Office space in the CBD - the area between Sheikh Rashid Tower and Burj Khalifa - represents approximately 13 percent of the total office space in the city.
Current occupancy levels are at approximately 85 percent, a figure already significantly higher than the wider Dubai market average and which is forecast to rise above 90 percent in the next year.
Construction of the Dubai Trade Centre District has been on hold since early 2010 and with construction of the first phase recommencing, the remainder of the site will be remasterplanned to ensure it fits with the changing requirements of the local economy, the statement added.
Almarri said: "Just as this first stage is designed to satisfy clearly defined opportunities, revising the wider masterplan and adopting a multi-phased approach gives us the flexibility to ensure that plans for the Dubai Trade Centre District are able to respond to evolving market dynamics."