Nakheel unveils master plan for Dubai Islands development

The project, with 20 kilometres of beaches, will help in meeting the growing demand for waterfront properties in the emirate

Nakheel says Dubai Islands will redefine the concept of waterfront living. Photo: Nakheel
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Nakheel, the developer behind The Palm Jumeirah, unveiled a master plan for Dubai Islands as the emirate’s property market continues to recover amid a strong economic rebound from the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

The project, formerly known as Deira Islands, is aligned with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, the company said on Monday.

Nakheel chief executive Naaman Atallah said the project was an integral part of the “future vision for the emirate”.

“Dubai Islands will add to the Nakheel portfolio of residential, retail, hospitality and leisure developments, offering another destination within a destination,” he said.

The development has urban infrastructure and amenities, he said.

Dubai's property market has continued to rebound over the past year on the back of the UAE's broader economic recovery.

The emirate's property sales in July hit their highest level in the past 12 years, according to Property Finder data.

The market recorded 7,092 sales transactions at an overall value of Dh21 billion ($5.7bn) in July, an 88.4 per cent year-on-year surge.

The prime market has been particularly strong, with demand intensifying, according to a report by property consultancy Knight Frank.

Demand for waterfront properties is growing, with a sharp rise in the number of buyers recorded this year.

On The Palm, villa prices have increased by 51 per cent over the past 12 months and by 68 per cent since the start of the pandemic, Knight Frank data shows.


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The strong demand for the city’s most desirable districts, combined with restricted supply, has helped to drive record price growth.

During the first six months of 2022, Knight Frank recorded 82 ultra-prime deals — homes priced at more than $10m. This compares with 93 ultra-prime deals in 2021.

The emirate this year also set a record for the most expensive home in the city at Dh280 million. The record is expected to be broken again before the end of 2022, brokers told The National.

Steps to improve the ease of doing business in Dubai — allowing it to attract foreign investors and wealthy people — and the success of the emirate's golden visa programme also bode well for big developments such as Dubai Islands.

Dubai's economy, which made a strong rebound from the coronavirus-induced slowdown last year, has carried the growth momentum into this year, supported by the resurgent real estate and tourism sectors.

The emirate’s economy grew by 6.2 per cent in 2021, according to preliminary data from the Dubai Statistics Centre.

In the first three months of this year, Dubai’s gross domestic product expanded 5.9 per cent, according to government data.

A sharp rise in the number of tourists has also supported the non-oil economic growth of the emirate.

Dubai hosted 7.12 million international visitors in the first half of 2022, about three times the 2.52 million tourists recorded in the same period last year, the emirate’s Department of Economy and Tourism said earlier this month.

Nakheel announced the redevelopment of Jebel Ali Village earlier this year and unveiled plans to build villas and town houses in the famous community.

It is not only developer encouraged by the strong economic rebound to revive expansion plans, acquire portfolios and launch projects.

Earlier this month, Damac Properties announced a range of penthouses and luxury units at three of its most upscale developments in Dubai.

Emaar, Dubai’s biggest developer by market capitalisation, said on August 11 that it was fully acquiring Dubai Creek Harbour from Dubai Holding in a Dh7.5bn cash-and-share deal that would make Dubai Holding the second largest shareholder in Emaar.

Nakheel, which has an extensive residential and commercial properties portfolio, said the Dubai Island project was designed to enhance the well-being and lifestyle of residents and visitors.

The development, comprising five islands spread over an area of 17 square kilometres, reinforces the emirate’s position as a “global destination of choice for residents, visitors and investors”.

Each island will have its own unique offerings, with cultural centres, recreational beaches and beach clubs.

The islands will be home to more than 80 resorts and hotels, including luxury and wellness resorts, and will support Dubai’s ambition to boost its tourism and hospitality sector by increasing the number of hotel rooms.

The project has more than 20km of beaches, about two square km of parks, as well as open spaces and premium golf courses overlooking the Arabian Gulf.

Located along Dubai’s northern coastline, Dubai Islands are a short distance from the Dubai International Airport, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah and Downtown Dubai.

Updated: August 22, 2022, 10:58 AM