TECOM Investments has confirmed demand for its Dubai Design District (d3) is outstripping expectations.
Since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in June last year, d3 has received over 500 expressions of interest.
As a result, dozens of licenses to operate under the d3 free zone are already either in process or have been approved, Construction Week Online reported.
Construction work is well underway on the first phase of d3, the $1bn development at the core of the 15.5m sq ft site, including offices and workshop spaces, which are expected to be ready for tenants in early 2015.
The second phase of the development will focus on d3's waterfront area and will include substantial F&B, retail and entertainment elements to ensure it operates 24/7.
The d3 site, located just minutes from Dubai Mall, will boast a 1km waterfront twice the length of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR). This will feature international and niche hotels, a pop up shop area, and a convention centre.
The property options on offer will include residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate, and the area will be characterised by distinct public spaces, unique street furniture, and shaded walkways.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO at TECOM Investments, said: "I am delighted that d3 has attracted so much interest from the design community. We undertook extensive research and planning to ensure we create an environment that provides global brands better access to regional talent and the growing GCC markets, as well as being a platform to promote emerging Arab talent internationally.
"Luxury brands like Hermes, apparel brands such as Nike, and educational institutions focused on the industry like ESMOD, are already doing business in TECOM's other free zones, and the significant level of interest d3 has garnered shows others from the industry are keen to join them."
More than 100 design-related organisations already operate in TECOM's other free zones locations.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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