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Sat 3 Apr 2010 04:00 AM

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Park life

After 13 years of development, Dubai Investments Park has entered the final stage of development. CW discovers how an ambitious idea has been turned into a reality.

Park life
Park life
Dubai Investments park general manager Omar Al Mesmar. (ITP Images)
Park life
Dubai lagoon has entered the final phase of development according to latest reports. (ITP Images)
Park life
One of the main objectives of the park is to provide a base for industrial development. (ITP Images)

After 13 years of development, Dubai Investments Park has entered the final stage of development. CW discovers how an ambitious idea has been turned into a reality.

In 1997, way before the construction boom really took off; Dubai Investments' management took it upon themselves to lay foundations across 24 million m2 of desert and start building a mixed-use city from scratch before convincing local, regional and international tenants to invest their money into the project.

An extravagant plan at the time, but developing integrated projects has since become a popular business pursuit among ambitious developers and contractors, which has lead to the launch of schemes like, Doha's Lusail City and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City over the last decade.

Despite initial worries, Dubai Investments Park (DIP) is now attracting hundreds of occupants to its residential districts, huge industrial areas and bourgeoning commercial zones.

"When the land was bought, it was just a large patch of desert, and out of nothing we have developed an area that is today one of the most sought-after industrial and commercial destinations in the UAE," says DIP general manager Omar Al Mesmar.

Last month, the developer announced the launch of the final phase of development, which is set to become a hub for logistics services spread across 500,000m2. Construction will commence in May, with completion of this section, along with the entire development expected in 36 months.

"Earth works have already been completed and we are just waiting to get approval from Dubai Municipality, DEWA and the RTA before we can begin construction," explains Al Mesmar.

"It will be constructed in two phases and each phase will take 18 months to complete. The number of units will be build depends on the demand we get from local companies."

But, three years is a short time in the construction world, and with the completion deadline fast approaching, are all areas of the vast mega-project running on track and on time? And, what will the project offer once it is fully operational?

The scope

The development of Dubai Investment Park was divided into eight phases, each with different land sizes and dedicated amenities.

The first three phases, which have now been delivered, consist of labour accommodation, industrial units and residential areas, including the 670,000m2 Green Community, developed by DIP and Union Properties.

Around 12,000 construction workers live at the DIP labour camp zone.

Phases five, six and seven, which are now 50% complete, also consist of industrial units. In fact, the industrial zone forms the central feature of DIP and consists of facilities for manufacturing, assembling and distribution usage.

DIP has already leased more than 1.57 million m2 of this business-related area to tenants from sectors in property development, metal treatment and insulation materials, heavy duty steel fabrication, plastic, cosmetics and cold storage.

Infrastructure facilities inside the industrial zone include a sewage treatment plant, which is now operational and a second plant is under construction in the eastern side of the park. Other types of vital infrastructure including roads, electrical substations and irrigation facilities are also progressing at a fast pace, according to Al Mesmar.

"Infrastructure in phase seven will be completed by the end of this month and we will begin constructing infrastructure for phase eight as soon as we get the building permit," he says.

"One hundred and four kilometers of roads have now been delivered."

Phase eight will also have an electricity and water network, a sewage system and district cooling facilities once complete. Total infrastructure investment within DIP is estimated at US $544.47 million (AED2 billion).

Investments in the Investments ParkOverall

DIP houses around 2185 tenants who have invested more than US $79.69 billion into DIP

Infrastructure

Total infrastructure investment within DIP is estimated at US $544.49 million

Residential

DIP's residential zone has already attracted investments worth over US $5.7 billion

Commercial

DIP has leased more than 743,000 m2 of office development plots in the commercial zone at a cost of more than US $408.36 million

Industrial

DIP has leased more than 1.57 million m2 of industrial plots to tenants from various business sectors

Project round-up

Complete

Phase 1: residential villas (Green Community), industrial and warehouses

Phase 2: labor accommodations, industrial and warehouses

Phase 3: labor accommodations, industrial and warehouses

75% complete

Phase 4: industrial, warehouses, offices, showrooms, headquarters, schools, residential apartments, hotels and stuff accommodations

50% complete

Phase 5: labor accommodations, industrial and warehouses

Phase 6: labor accommodations, industrial and warehouses

Phase 7: labor accommodations, industrial and warehouses.

Still to commence

Phase 8: warehouses (light industrial units)

Phase four of the development, which is now 75% complete, includes warehouses, offices, showrooms, headquarters, schools, residential apartments, hotels and staff accommodation.

Dubai Investments has leased over 743,000 m2 of office development plots, clinics, research and development centres and laboratories in the commercial zone of the development at a cost of over $408.36 million.

"In the commercial zone, 21 % of facilities are complete, 48 % is under construction and 31% is yet to begin," reports Al Mesmar.

The DIP headquarters are set to be completed in August this year.

The site's $544.48 million ‘showroom zone' covers a further 278,709m2 and is least to vendors of furniture, hardware, plumbing and cooling equipment and other commodities.

In terms of residential development, Green Community and the completed Ewan Residences cater to more than 11,000 residents, while additional projects, including Ritaj are currently underway, and once complete, will accommodate 87,000 residents within 19,000 units, according to Al Mesmar.

Residential areas

Apart from Dubai Investments PJSC, other Dubai developers have invested in DIP and have started constructing their own projects within the site.

Some of these projects, however, have been delayed quite severely due to current economic conditions.

All residential units within the $815 million Dubai Lagoon were initially scheduled for completion by December 2007 are now expected to be delivered in 2011.

"There were a few delays as some of the developers postponed their construction due to financial circumstances. However, 134 projects were handed over last year," insists Al Mesmar.

"We have a large and dedicated team of professionals responsible for supervising and managing the various developmental and operational aspects of the project. These professionals work in close coordination with the DIP management, taking care of tenant needs and making sure everything is in order."

The 162,000m2 Dubai Lagoon is the flagship development of Schön Properties and consists of 4166 apartments and 51 buildings.

In February last year the developer awarded Bin Sabt Building Contracting the $136 million construction contract to build the projects remaining zones - four and seven.

Meanwhile, Dubai Investments Real Estate Company's (DIRC) Ritaj complex is "scheduled to be completed in June this year," says Al Mesmar.

DIRC, the real estate arm of Dubai Investments completed the handover of phase one of Ritaj, including six apartment blocks with 1426 units, last month. The entire development has a total built up area of 239,689m2 and includes 11 residential blocks.

"We are proud to have lived up to our promise to customers despite the challenging market situation," reports DIRC general manager Obaid Al Salami.

"Ritaj was launched to bring quality residential space within the reach of a wide cross-section of people, and the project features a range of modern facilities to provide a comfortable living environment for residents."

The second phase of the development, which has already commenced, comprises 598 apartments.

"Construction on 1.38 million m2 Palisades has also begun," says Mesmar, without revealing when the project would be delivered.

Dunes village, which includes 14 residential towers, and The Green Community West, another DIP development, which includes 580 villas, 256 apartments and six recreational spaces have been handed over.

Environmental impact

So, with so much construction going on, how can DIP sustain itself? According to Al Mesmar, the Park is an "eco-conscious" development and the park allows only certain types of industries to operate within the premises.

Tenants must observe a number of regulations in relation to air and dust emissions, trade and hazardous waste, noise control, import and storage of dangerous goods and work safety.

"Recycling bins are distributed around DIP and tenants must reserve 10% of their plots for landscaping," adds Al Mesmar.

Dubai Investments also claims that the park is the first private sector development in Dubai to offer tenants water for irrigation and fire-fighting.

Future outlook

To date, $17.69 billion has been invested into DIP and hundreds of businesses have already settled into their offices, warehouses and headquarters inside the complex development.

And, although the huge project was initially built on an empty patch of land surrounded by desert, DIP has slowly but surely come to life and neighbouring mega developments, such as the new Al Maktoum International Airport are set to open a new gateway for future trade.

DIP timeline

1997

Dubai Investments Park launched

1998

Masterplan completed and phase 1 infrastructure started

2000

Phase 1 construction completed

200

Construction on Green Community begins

2002

Phase 1 completely leased out

2003

Inauguration of phase 2 by Sheikh

Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

2004

Phase 3 and 4 construction started

2005

- Phase 3 and 4 fully completed

- Phase 5 started

2006

- 810 tenants

- Launch of Ritaj, Palisades and Dubai Lagoon projects

2007

950 tenants and 20 hectares developed

2008

- 1000 tenants

- 60% of project developed and open to subleasing

2009

- Phase 6 completed

2010

- 95% of phase 7 completed

- Construction of phase 8 begins

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The Analyst 10 years ago

http://gulfnews.com/business/property/project-cancellations-to-be-regulated-1.602365 http://dubailagoon.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=discussion&action=display&thread=1&page=169 Read these two links. One is the Gulf News article a few days ago and the other is the thread of all the owners that have been scammed by Schon Properties which was supposed to have built and deliver this project, Dubai Lagoons in DIP, years ago. Schon Properties have spent most of the buyers money. IT IS NOT all in an escrow account. RERA will not disclose this for fear of panic from the buyers. And they said that transparency was going to be key...go figure!