DIFC launches 'best of urban living' residences and expanded innovation hub

Occupants will have direct internal access to Gate Avenue

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The Dubai International Financial Centre is expanding its Innovation Hub and launching its first residential offering.

DIFC Living and Innovation Two will become a major part of phase three of DIFC’s Innovation Hub, which is currently home to more than 600 growth-stage technology companies, the centre said.

The original expansion to the Innovation Hub was announced in May 2021 by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and president of the DIFC.

It is quadrupling its size to 315,000 square feet, from 80,000 square feet, and is due for completion at the end of next year.

Phase three of the DIFC Innovation Hub includes 184,000 square feet of offices and co-working spaces and a further gross floor area of 107,000 square feet earmarked for retail use. It will also include state-of-the-art conference halls, the centre said.

There will be more than 170 upscale residences, which DIFC expects to be “highly sought-after”. Occupants will have direct internal and external access to Gate Avenue.

“To continue our mission of fostering innovation, we must provide world-class, future-proof facilities that enable companies, organisations and individuals to thrive, prosper and enjoy an environment they can both live and work in,” said Essa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC.

“For the first time, DIFC is creating a mixed-use space that includes residential units, co-working and office spaces, retail and dining. Our latest development is a response to the ever-evolving nature of workspaces and lifestyle choices.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2025.

Amenities will include several outdoor green spaces, including vertical gardens and roof terraces, while communal workspaces will allow residents to achieve greater work/life balance while interacting with their neighbours, DIFC said.

In 2019, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, gave the go ahead for the launch of DIFC 2.0, with a phased growth plan to triple the scale of the leading financial free zone in the region.

It would include an extra 13 million square feet of space being added to the complex.

A total of 537 companies joined the DIFCin the first half of this year, an 11 per cent increase from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of registered companies grew to 4,031 during the six-month period, from 3,297 in the same period last year.

Property prices and rents within the DIFC have been on the rise this year in line with the broader market recovery following the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

Apartment rents in the area were up 17 per cent year on year, according to property consultancy Asteco, while prices rose 2.1 per cent in October to Dh1,719 per square foot, putting them behind only Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah and Downtown Dubai, CBRE data showed.

Updated: November 23, 2022, 8:58 AM