Sheikh Mohammed launches Jumeirah Central project in Dubai

Dubai Holding has announced the launch of a major new city district fronting Sheikh Zayed Road that will have up to 35,000 new homes, 9 million square feet of retail space and 7,200 hotel rooms.

The Jumeirah Central project will contain 47 million sq ft of gross floor area along Sheikh Zayed Road, which Dubai Holding has said will “introduce new international standards in city planning”.

It will have “smart, world-leading infrastructure” including a multi-modal transport network that includes aerial gondolas, more than 1 million sq ft of climate-controlled arcades and a cycling network that will spread through 33 parks and open-air spaces.

There will be 25 points of access into the district, which will also contain schools, offices and parking for 44,000 cars. The hotels will all be built within a new tourism destination known as Jumeirah Central.

The project was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at a private event that was attended by a number of senior Dubai Holding officials, but work on developing the project has involved 19 government and private agencies over a two-year period.

“As our vision for future cities evolves, Dubai will continue to set the benchmark for city development across the globe,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“Jumeirah Central is a clear milestone in our journey towards building the city of the future and the creation of engaged and happy communities.

“We will not stop investing in our economy, and these projects are tools to expedite that journey of growth. We are confident in the strength of our economy and are optimistic for the future of our nation.”

The chairman of Dubai Holding, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, said the company expects to start developing work for Jumeirah Central soon.

“All project plans and designs have been endorsed by government authorities in Dubai and we expect to start development in the coming months,” he said.

“Jumeirah Central is a result of extensive research into future urban development and the creation of more cohesive societies.

“The uniqueness of this project will not only be a model for advanced urban development, but will also play a key role in enhancing the quality of life and in shaping future generations.”

Dubai Holding is the parent group of several major Dubai entities, including the Tecom Investments business parks operator, the developer Dubai Properties, the Jumeirah Group hospitality business and Emirates International Telecommunications, which operates the du brand.

Dubai Holding is also delivering the Mall of the World project, which had also been due to be built alongside Sheikh Zayed Road. But on Wednesday it was announced that the Dh40 billion project was being relocated to a site adjoining Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, with the group’s vice-chairman Ahmad bin Byat saying this would deliver greater tourism benefits as well as allowing it to “further expand as needed in the future, according to market needs”.

Janus Rostock, the Middle East head at architecture firm Atkins, told The National recently that Dubai is evolving to become a less car-centric city, which is also changing its approach to buildings.

“In the past, Dubai was designed for a city of people driving cars. If you look at most of the development on Sheikh Zayed Road, it’s designed for people arriving at 120kph, so the architecture reflected that.

“When you then go from being a 120kph city to a 5kph city, it changes. And there are several good examples – City Walk is one of these, The Beach [at Jumeirah Beach Residences] is another.

“This is the next step in terms of Dubai’s evolution into a world-class city.”

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