By TBY | UAE | Jul 08, 2015
With Dubai positioning itself as a tourism and leisure hub with a target of 20 million tourists in the build up to World Expo 2020, developers are looking to expand […]
With Dubai positioning itself as a tourism and leisure hub with a target of 20 million tourists in the build up to World Expo 2020, developers are looking to expand the Emirate’s tourism offerings to appeal to different customer segments. Since the 2008 financial crisis, many tourism projects have been put on hold, including Dubai Properties Group’s Dubailand project. Originally launched in 2003, by Dubai’s ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the project was delayed due to the fall out of the real estate market and financing challenges. However, due to the resiliency of Dubai’s economy, the development of Dubailand is picking up speed and on track for completion prior to World Expo 2020.
Envisioned as a regional and global tourism hub, Dubailand is spread over 3 billion sqft and hosts a number of sports, leisure, entertainment, and shopping attractions that are either operational or under development. Currently, Dubailand attracts over 13 million visitors a year from the UAE and overseas. Dubailand is a growing district of Dubai with sporting, entertainment, and shopping, and residential communities. The destination will continue to draw and host diverse attractions scheduled to open in the coming years to reinforce Dubai’s position as an international hub for family tourism. It is 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport, 20 minutes from the newly opened Al Maktoum International Airport, and 60 minutes from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Dubailand is managed by Dubai Properties Group (DPG) and offers investor management, destination management, and infrastructure development services, in addition to developing its own portfolio of properties within the district. Dubailand is also attracting developers and investors in the aforementioned sectors to develop tourism, leisure, and residential projects that will benefit both residents and visitors to Dubai.
Currently, international investors are beginning to develop the key aspects of the project. Saudi Al Hokair Group has revealed that the Al Sahara Kingdom hotel and entertainment project in Dubailand should open in 2016. The Al Sahara Kingdom has been master-planned over a 50 million sqft area in Dubailand. The project was to include two four-star hotels to be run by Al Hokair-owned MENA Hotels & Resorts, an indoor theme park, restaurants, residential areas, and a retail souk. Tanmiyat Global, the developers behind Living Legends, a $1.9 billion mixed-use property development spanning 14.4 million sqft, say that 88% of villas in the development are now sold, while 33% of the apartments are still available. Tanmiyat Global said its landmark Dubai project is buoyant following the Dubai Property Show in London, where Living Legends confirmed that most of the villas in the development are now sold, while two-thirds of apartments have also been snapped up by investors. The development will include 500 villas and 12 apartment towers, along with a community clubhouse, 9-hole golf course, shopping mall, boutique hotel, schools, and clinics. Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, has signed a land sale agreement with Dubai Properties Group (DPG) to establish a new mixed-use residential development in its Dubailand district. The land sale agreement, which involves the purchase of a total area of approximately 1.2 million sqft, aims to establish a high standard of residential, commercial, and retail space and facilities within Dubailand. The new development includes both separate and adjacent villas and housing groups on some 830,000 sqft in addition to integrated-services residential apartments on another 75,000 sqft. The development is slated to be complete by 2019.
Dubailand will play a crucial role in the development of the tourism sector in Dubai and will help the Emirate achieve its goal of 20 million visitors by 2020. It is very encouraging that property developers and investors have been engaging Dubailand post-financial crisis and there has been demand for the developments by buyers and investors. With its continued success, Dubailand will make a tremendous impact on the tourism market and continue to transform Dubai into an international tourism hub.