It will oversee look and feel for three of the four phases totalling 700 hectares

Dubai: A revamp of the Jumeirah Golf Estates’ master plan involving areas not built could be done by late this year or early next and which would be in sync with the changing needs of Dubai’s property market. Currently, only one of the four phases is in full development mode. This phase occupies 375 hectares out of 1,119 hectares available to it.

“We have the Metro connection announcement that would link JGE and 2020 is also close on the horizon,” said Abdul Aziz Bukhatir, Executive Director — Corporate Services. “The start of this year was a bit slow and we had taken a cautious approach on new launches. What we did was adjust ourselves with the pace of the market.

“But you see the expansion of New Dubai taking place all round and we will soon have to start coming up with new development plans. There are lots of developers actively buying up land in the neighbouring areas. Others like Nshama and Dubai Properties are building big chunks.

“Where JGE has an advantage over all others is that we don’t need to buy up any new land … we already have a huge piece that can be developed.”

That the current master plan needs tweaking has been on the master-developer’s agenda. The big question is how much of it should be completely new. And whether it still makes commercial sense to retain some of the older elements. When the decision entails more than 700 hectares, the plan in the making has to look at all the angles.

“The original plan has provisions for four golf courses of which two (Fire and Earth) have been delivered,” said Bukhatir. “Do we still need to have the other two or are two enough?

“Another factor a new master plan has to look into is provisioning for hotel elements. As of now, JGE has limited hotel capacity and we are in constant discussions with our top management for further study to set this right.”

Even as it awaits a decision on what future components might be, there is still a lot happening to keep JGE in the spotlight. The profile built around the year-ending European Tour championship is as high as it gets. The latest event attracted more than 65,000 visitors over the four-day period.

And there is the fact that more than 700 families have homes at JGE as their address. “As recently as in 2012 nobody was living here,” said Bukhatir. “So, we have cleared that first challenge — of making JGE a proper residential community. Now we are addressing the second challenge — that of creating the lifestyle amenities that will add further value to the living spaces.”

For the retail component, JGE has brought in third-party investors to take up one of the components available. A similar deal could also be struck on another chunk in one of the mini clusters making up Phase A.

“We have not decided whether it should be a joint venture to build and manage the retail portion or it should be an outright sale,” said Bukhatir. “There is a need for retail and entertainment options within JGE and it’s also possible that these could even tap some interest generated from neighbouring developments as the Sports City. With the kind of scale this location offers, the catchment area can be quite a wide one. And that turns it into a win-win for everyone.”

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