What are some of the recent residential developments in Dubai South?
The residential district is a major component of the bigger puzzle, complementing the airport at the center of the master-planned city. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved thus far, and have big plans for the future. As one of the eight key districts of Dubai South, the residential district is an innovative concept of urban living that aims to create a city based on the happiness and well-being of the people. Dubai South's master-planned communities will be distinguished by their world-class design, superior build quality, and a wide range of lifestyle amenities. Another unique aspect that makes Dubai South's residential district noteworthy is the fact that it addresses key concerns of residents. Together with our partners, we are building a unique community that is distinct from the downtown area. We took the initiative of developing our own piece of real estate called the Pulse. This is almost 1,600 units with townhouses and one- to three-bedroom apartments with handover beginning in December 2019. Notably, we offer something for every segment of the market. Our aim is to attract people and create a community and city of the future. We want to make sure we have state-of-the-art infrastructure. We are doing a major landscape project and building parks. We are also creating a great retail space and dedicating plots for schools and hospitals. We do not want to compete with the private sector when it comes to retail. We want be partners and develop a curated retail experience.
Are you still inviting third-party developers to contribute to the Dubai South's residential community?
Some plots have already been sold to third parties. Some are under construction, and others are entering the construction phase. We are willing to sell more, but we want to distinguish ourselves from other middle-income housing by being selective. We have some studios as part of the mix, but we will control that number as our primary demographic is families.
How does Sakany, the staff accommodations, add to the sustainability of the ecosystem?
Sakany is a community concept built around employee happiness, well-being, and productivity. The first phase comprises 10 buildings that are currently home to more than 6,000 staff and high-skilled laborers. Expanding on current capacity, we are building six additional buildings to be delivered by the end of 2019. We manage all the services for them. We provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner with food choices catered to their preferences. We have landscaped the area for activities, including a football and cricket pitch. The internet is a key aspect of modern life, and in the new phase, free internet will be provided across Sakany. As of now, we also have a temporary retail space in Sakany, and by April 2020, we will have a full retail center.
Are there other developments within Dubai South's residential district in progress?
This is a huge master plan, with 140km of space. Third parties are necessary and will be crucial to making this place a success. We will be at the forefront to make sure this ecosystem works. There is a need for mid-income housing, and people from Dubai will not come here unless the right product is offered. That does not mean we will not do high-end projects. We have a distinct edge in this segment because we have the expertise and team for high-end, as well as the synergies to offer such quality at a lower price point.
What will Dubai South look like in five years?
Dubai South is set to become a mature development with an appealing landscape and cohesive community. It will be a great place for people who want a break from the hustle of Dubai. Our location is unique, especially our proximity to the airport and logistics hub. Being next to the airport will always be an advantage, as will being close to the Expo.