Meydan Sobha launches third phase of MBR City District One in Dubai

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Meydan Sobha, the joint venture behind the Mohammed bin Rashid City District One development, has launched the third phase of works at the Dh25 billion project.

Meydan Sobha said that phase three will contain 217 four, five and six-bedroom villas and will be delivered by the end of 2018. Unusually for Dubai, these properties will also contain basements.

The Meydan Group chairman Saeed Al Tayer said that phases one and two of the project have both sold out.

Phase one is set to be delivered this year, and will include 267 villas, a section of crystal lagoon as well as landscaping and other community features. Phase two contains 347 villas and mansions and is due to be completed by the end of 2017.

“There are currently over 9,000 workers on site and if you drive around Al Khail Road you can see the project coming to life,” said Mr Al Tayer. “At the end of 2015, we delivered a new 8.5 kilometre cycling and running track – a significant milestone.”

Meydan Sobha is both developer and contractor of District One, which was the first project within Mohammed bin Rashid City to be announced when it was launched in 2013. It is a 45 million square feet site that will contain cycling and running tracks, a 7km long lagoon surrounded by 14km of man-made beaches, parks and a large clubhouse. It was scheduled to house 1,500 villas delivered in four phases, with each one containing 375 properties. However, it has subsequently been broken up into five phases, with a total of 831 homes announced within the first three phases.

“We are extremely proud to be adding towards Dubai’s status as one of the most desirable cities in the world,” said Mr Al Tayer. “This project is a statement of our confidence in Dubai, and in the future of this country.”

The Sobha chairman PNC Menon said that the project’s third phase would be funded from “internal cash flow” generated by home sales and investment from its partners. “There’s no funding needed from the bank,” he said.

Mr Al Tayer added that the partners were also looking at potentially delivering affordable homes, but not on the District One plot.

“We think of affordability at a higher standard and quality than what’s available in the market,” he said. “But we are still studying that. We will announce, inshallah, when the opportunity arises.”

A recent report by the property broker Cavendish Maxwell found that villas dropped in price by an average of 8 per cent during last year, although some areas such as The Springs suffered drops of as much as 18 per cent as buyers chose homes in newer communities and developers offered better payment terms and incentives to buy off-plan homes.

Cavendish Maxwell’s research manager Dima Isshak said this resulted in “limited activity in the secondary [completed] villa market”.

The firm’s survey of real estate brokers in Dubai also found that 57 per cent also predicted further falls in villa values during the first quarter of this year.

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