US$2 billion City of Arabia project launched

THE ILYAS & Mustafa Galadari Group last week rolled-out its US$2 billion City of Arabia mega project, which will be based in the heart of Dubailand.
US$2 billion City of Arabia project launched
By Rhys Jones
Sun 01 May 2005 04:00 AM

THE ILYAS & Mustafa Galadari Group last week rolled-out its US$2 billion City of Arabia mega project, which will be based in the heart of Dubailand.

Occupying a site measuring 20 million square feet in Dubai’s answer to Disneyland, the new development will feature the world’s largest shopping mall, a dinosaur theme park developed in collaboration with the Natural History Museaum of London, as well as residential and office towers.

“Industry experts estimate Dubai’s retail business will be worth US$50 billion in 2010, and projects like City of Arabia are driving this amazing growth,” said Mustafa Galadari, part owner of the development. “Millions of new toursists are heading to Dubai each year, and the quality of Dubai’s shopping and entertainment are massive draws,” he added.

A key component of the project is the 10 million square foot Mall of Arabia, which is set to become the world’s largest mall. It is due to open in 2008 and will feature four levels, around 1,000 outlets, its own theatre and some 10,000 parking spaces.

“City of Arabia is the perfect leisure destination, and it has much to offer Dubai’s growing residential population too, which is anticipated to reach 2 million in the next five years,” explained Galadari.

The development will also incorporate apartments for 35,000 residents and office workers. There will be 34 tower blocks, between 30 and 60 storeys high, and a complex of five-storey apartments fronting onto a 4-kilometrecanal. The waterway will be lined with shops, cafes and restaurants in an area called Wadi Walk.

Three hotels are currently in the planning stage: a 400-room, five-star property built over the entrance to The Mall of Arabia; a boutique hotel on an island in the canal; and a 45-storey tower near Dubai’s Emirates Road. Construction of the residential buildings will start this summer. Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari has appointed Palmer and Turner of Hong Kong as overall project consultants for the development.

The City of Arabia will be ready for occupation in 2008 and will be served by Dubai’s Light Railway (DLR) network when it is up and running in seven years. The first phase of DLR is set to be complete in 2009.

The Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group is currently in the process of selling the land plots to investors. The land is worth more as a part of an active development project than pure desert outside Dubai. Thus, the group is expected to net sufficient funds to at least partly offset the construction cost of the Mall of the Emirates.

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