By Ed Attwood
Delayed megaproject three times the size of Downtown Dubai gets green light on eve of Cityscape event
Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties have signed a deal to develop The Lagoons, a 6 million square metre masterplanned city located within Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) City, near Dubai Creek.
The megaproject was originally launched in 2006 by Sama Dubai, which has since been merged in Dubai Properties Group, a division of Dubai Holding. However, after breaking ground on the site in 2008, the project was mothballed due to the credit crunch and subsequent collapse in local real estate prices.
The new agreement between Dubai Holding and the emirate’s biggest listed developer will include the Dubai Twin Towers, “a mixed-use iconic development”, as well as a central business district, luxury hotels, schools, healthcare facilities, the two companies said in a statement on Monday.
No further details as to the value of the project were provided.
The plans also include space for two “central parks” and a waterfront mall. The project will be connected to the rest of the city via direct links with the Dubai Metro’s Red and Green lines as well as “an eco tram system”, a light monorail and water taxis. All told, the area of The Lagoons is about three times the size of Downtown Dubai, the masterplanned mixed-use project developed by Emaar.
“We are thus creating a vibrant destination that will not only address their lifestyle requirements of modern retail, entertainment and hospitality, but also connect them to their Arab heritage,” said Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar and Dubai Holding CEO Ahmed Bin Byat, in the joint statement.
“This prestigious development fulfills His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision by creating a world-class infrastructure that will firmly establish Dubai as one of the Top 10 global cities by 2020.”
The announcement was made on the eve of Cityscape Global, and comes amid a spate of recent new project statements from local developers, who are returning to Dubai as the emirate’s property market rebounds.
Earlier this week, Dubai announced that it would spend $545m building a canal through its downtown area. It has also just said it will build the world’s largest crystalline manmade lagoon in MBR City.
Omniyat Properties, which was one of a number of developers that struggled during the downturn, also announced this week that it would be relaunching two towers.
Oh No! Here we go again. Has no one learned any lessons over the last 4 years? Instead of piling all this money into starting new projects how about finishing some of the old ones? For example Jebel Ali Palm. Instead of ripping up established beautiful parts of the city like Safa Park why not complete the works all around the city have have been half started and look like a bomb site right now. The problem with all this hedonism is that when it all goes wrong as in 2009 it is the common man that is left to pay the price. It is ordinary people who loose their jobs, loose their life savings etc and the overtly wealthy who are investing and making these decisions just have some of their wealth chipped away but their life is substantially unchanged.
The Lagoons is an old project, they are restarting it, as well as other old projects around the city. I am glad they are restarting them! The Lagoons were sitting empty for years, now hopefully it will finally be completed!