By Beatrice Thomas
Mixed-use development to be launched next month as Sobha Lifestyle
Dubai-based Sobha Group will break ground on its $3bn urban, mixed-use development in December with the project to be launched next month as Sobha Lifestyle.
In what is looming as a key month for the developer, the company also confirmed to Arabian Business that it would start major infrastructure works in December on its $5.7bn joint venture with Dubai’s Meydan Group.
Both projects are part of the mammoth $100bn Mohammed Bin Rashid City project.
Sobha Lifestyle will cover 743,000sqm and comprise 280 villas, 13 high-rises, entertainment, a shopping mall and two schools.
Sobha said the villas would range from four bedrooms to six bedrooms and G+8 units with apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms.
In March it said it hoped to break ground on the project within two months, but this had now been revised.
“We will break ground on this project in December 2013 once all our approvals are in place,” the company said in response to questions from Arabian Business.
“The first phase of the project is scheduled to be delivered late 2016, early 2017.”
It said plans for its first hotel property, which it previously said would be built under registered hotel brand Strada, would launch in late 2016 as part of Sobha Lifestyle in Mohammed Bin Rashid City.
However, after earlier this year saying it would break ground on the hotel by the end of the year, it had now pushed this back to early next year.
Sobha and Meydan were announced in May as joint venture partners in the 4m sqm District One phase of Mohammed Bin Rashid City.
Sobha said it had started works on its location sales office and nine show villas, which display different categories and villa sizes on offer, as well as landscaped parks and the feature water body next to a series of lagoons.
While declining to reveal when it planned to announce its contracts for the project, it said “we will break ground on infrastructure works and villas in December 2013”.
“We have our team in place for an end of year commencement of construction.”
The first of four planned phases in District One is set to be completed in 2016, with Sobha founder and chairman PNC Menon previously saying he believed that District One would take about seven years to finish at the earliest.
Construction could take as long as 12 years, with the timeframe for each phase depending on residential sales of the previous phase, he said.
“Each phase is three years. There could be an overlap depending on the [property] sales,” he said. “[The way the phases] are divided is clear-cut, there is 375 villas in each phases. We expect the whole thing to be finished in seven years, that’s the total time frame.”
The mammoth project announced in November by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum will include the world's biggest shopping mall, more than 100 hotels, a Universal Studios franchise and a public park larger than Hyde Park. Located on Al Khail Road, adjacent to the Meydan Racecourse, it will also feature 1,500 luxury villas, 7km of manmade lagoons and beaches, as well as retail, leisure and sports amenities.
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