Culture Village project’s developer is going full tilt on construction

Dubai: Dubai’s developers are inching closer to the expanding waterfront to derive maximum benefits for their lifestyle-themed projects.

Mix the water element with the right retail and residential settings and the “liveable” factor gets an immediate spike, according to a top official at Dubai Properties.

Just weeks after launching the Dh1 billion Marasi Business Bay, with its 12-kilometre waterside promenade, the master-developer is throwing the full spotlight on the 6-kilometre stretch that will anchor the retail offerings at Culture Village. (The master-development is also the location of the signature Palazzo Versace hotel and residences as well as the D1 Tower.)

“Retail will be placed alongside the walkways and promenades of Culture Village and this instantly scales up the development’s lifestyle attractions,” said Masoud Al Awar, Chief Commercial Officer at Dubai Properties.

In fact, the original stretch of Dubai Creek is being reworked to meet today’s requirements.

Meraas Properties, another Dubai Government owned developer, is completely redoing a stretch on the water’s edge in the Consulate area of Bur Dubai and turning it into an upmarket tourist and entertainment attraction.

Off Maktoum Bridge, the massive Jewel of the Creek project featuring multiple hotels is being built by the Dubai International Real Estate Group. (On the Shaikh Zayed Road side of the Water Canal extension, developers are already targeting the upscale investors, through Damac’s Aykon City and Dubai Properties with Marasi.)

Within Culture Village, located off Al Jadaf, Dubai Properties has two mini mixed-use clusters — Dubai Wharf and Manazel Al Khor — as well as an upscale Anantara hotel. (Manazel Al Khor and Dubai Wharf together account for 278,000 square metres.)

“The infrastructure works are mostly ready for the overall development and we have just awarded the landscaping contract for a Q4 completion,” said Al Awar. “The first of the handovers at Dubai Wharf should happen by year-end or Q1-17. Manazel Al Khor is 82 per cent complete.”

Between the two mini-clusters, anywhere up to 3,000-3,500 people could find a home there.

According to industry sources, the first-half could see Culture Village as a whole emerging as Dubai’s next residential and hospitality hot spot. That would be the time when many of the privately developed high-rise projects would have gone past completion, said Balaji Parthasarathy of Radiant Star, which is a shareholder in the $88 million Riah Star tower development there.

“There are more than 15 towers shaping up … and with the Palazzo Versace as the gateway, there’s a lot of investor attention that Culture Village can pull in. Closer to completion, we expect a perk up in sales and values too.”

DP’s Al Awar declined to say whether the master-developer had further launches in mind or what the status was in regard to progress with existing sales. “Culture Village will be a jewel on the Creek — we have taken a phased approach to construction in line with market demands,” he said. “And the construction cycle in many ways will be a decisive in driving investor decisions.”

There will be three phases in total. The three main access roads will be those from the Al Jadaf Metro station, one leading to the Palazzo Versace Hotel and another that is centrally accessible. A new access from Shaikh Rashid road has been approved by RTA.

Lots of lifestyle and high culture

* Private developers with projects at Culture Village are looking for a major lift in values and demand as soon as investor demand turns itself around. “From Q1/Q2-17, the resident base will start to move in and that added to the stature of Palazzo Versace will immediately up the destination’s profile,” said Balaji Parthasarathy of Radiant Star.

“Currently, there are about 18 high-rise projects, with D1 being the most prominent. The prices range from Dh1,200 a square foot to around Dh2,000, depending on the profile of the project.

“We believe some price boost will be had once we move closer to delivery mode. In fact, we are in talks with a second developer for a partnership and complete the project.”

Culture Village

· It will have a 6 kilometre waterfront promenade and a centrally located marina directly connected to Dubai Creek.

Dubai Wharf

* The 222,967-square-metre development will have 582 residential units and 110 retail and F&B outlets. Super-structure works are 100 per cent complete. Towers 1, 2 and 3 are to be completed by Q1-17. Tower 4 and retail/mall are to be completed by Q3-17.

Manazel Al Khor

* The low-rise mixed-use residential development is spread on 557,000 square feet.

Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel

* The hotel will have 290 rooms. Pilling is 92 per cent complete with completion to be complete by Q2-2019. The contractor is to be named next quarter.

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