Jebel Ali is set to emerge as Dubai’s latest residential quarter, with as many as 4,000 new apartments to be tendered within months.
Nakheel, the palm islands developer, aims to build 80 apartment buildings on the site of its old Dubai Waterfront project, which ground to a halt after the 2008 property crash. Tenders are expected to be issued by the end of March.
The development, which could take about two-and-a-half years to build, will be aimed at the middle income segment, according to Ali Rashid Lootah, the Nakheel chairman.
The addition of so many new homes in a part of the city that is more associated with industrial warehousing than residences could benefit thousands of people working in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai World Central, along with Abu Dhabi-bound commuters seeking a shorter drive to work.
Originally conceived more than a decade ago, the Manhattan-sized Dubai Waterfront was once envisaged as a vast beachfront city developed on land reclaimed from the sea that would be home to a population of more than 400,000 people.
It was the largest of Nakheel's projects to be put on hold as the financial crisis hit.
Now the developer is advancing plans to develop smaller projects around the Waterfront site.
Matthew Green, the head of research and consultancy at CBRE, expects more developers to target the area as Dubai World Central expands and businesses in Jebel Ali Free Zone add more staff.
“We have not seen much in terms of residential development in Jebel Ali in the past, but we will start to see a lot more development coming through,” he said.
Nakheel is set to launch 66 villas and townhouses for lease at its Veneto community in Jebel Ali and another 53 at Badrah.
The developer also awarded the contract for a community centre at its Badrah development.
CBRE has highlighted a rising number of developer enquiries about hotel apartment projects in the area, in which visitor demand is expected to increase in the run up to Expo2020.
Damac has already completed a two-tower serviced apartment development called Naia adjacent to Jebel Ali Port, while Dubai Investments is also targeting a raft of residential development in the area.
JLL expects another 22,000 residential units to be delivered in Dubai this year, with completions expected to halve to about 11,000 next year.
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