Racing themed-park revived by developer Union Properties

Dubai’s Union Properties (UP) has revived plans to build a motor racing theme park in Dubailand.

In a statement to the Dubai bourse, UP said that pre-feasibility studies indicated that the project in Motor City would be worth about Dh600 million.

It said Dubai Municipality had approved a revised masterplan, including the new theme park, but the company was still waiting for clearance from the master developer, Dubailand.

The company said it would consider financing options once it had received clearance to proceed with the plan.

UP was also looking to develop its stalled Dh300 million hotel and retail development, the Link Motor City project.

It said that it would look at financing options for this project too once it had completed a detailed feasibility study.

Motor City was launched in 2005 as a motor racing-themed community that was expected to house 25,000 people.

The grand project was to be built on 35 million square feet of land gifted by the Dubai Government and even hoped to host a grand prix.

A key part of the original plans included a Formula One World theme park, which was announced in October 2005 at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai with Formula One Administration (FOA), the company that administrates commercial rights to the F1.

At the time, the project was said to be worth US$360m. Attractions promised at the time included water rides, car racing simulators, shops, restaurants and a copy of an F1 grid.

However, the project was hit hard by the global financial crisis and by February 2009, UP had suspended construction.

UP announced in 2013 that it was abandoning the theme park project, cancelling its agreement with FOA boss Bernie Ecclestone and forfeiting a $10m signing-on fee as well as other expenses incurred.

It has revised its masterplan to make the original theme park designs smaller and more affordable, reallocating around half of the land originally intended to be included in the theme park for mixed-use development.

Today Motor City is known primarily as a relatively affordable residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Dubai.

According to property agents Chestertons Mena, housing rents in Motor City fell by 7 per cent in the year to the end of September, and currently stand at about Dh62,000 a year for a studio apartment and Dh84,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

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