Expo City Dubai will begin selling homes priced from Dh1.2 million ($330,000) as developers look to transform the former world's fair site into a bustling residential district.
Construction on the site in Dubai South has begun with plans to complete the first phase of villas and apartments by January 2026.
The first phase of Expo Valley will consist of 165 units — a mixture of five-bedroom villas, four- and five-bedroom semi-detached homes and three- and four-bedroom town houses, with prices starting at Dh3.4 million.
Villas built along a nature reserve, featuring wildlife and hiking trails, and accessible only to Expo Valley residents, are expected to sell from Dh12 million.
“Expo Central and Expo Valley will redefine sustainable urban living, taking our high standards and everything you loved about Expo 2020 Dubai to create happy, connected communities”, said Ahmed Al Khatib, chief development and delivery Officer of Expo City Dubai.
Expo Valley, featuring lakes and wadis on what is currently desert, will be adjacent to the main Expo site.
It will feature car-free lanes and dedicated tracks for bicycles, with access to all the attractions of Expo City via a corridor for pedestrians, cyclists and autonomous vehicles.
All villas, townhouses and apartment blocks in Expo City Dubai will have underground parking for cars, accessible via underground tunnels, so that the residential area is completely pedestrianised.
Expo Central is being built in the heart of the World Expo, with apartment clusters overlooking Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park and within a five-minute walk of attractions such as the Surreal water feature.
Mangrove Residences will be the first cluster to launch, with three towers comprising 450 residences, priced from Dh1.2 million.
These will include one- to three-bedroom apartments, four-bed loft apartments and three-bed town houses with access to podium level gardens and sky terraces.
Why a nature reserve?
Expo City Dubai will be the developer of the independent free zone area.
Expo will use the experience gained from building attractions for the world's fair and channel that towards creating residential spaces.
The aim is to green the desert by planting trees, using the natural landscape to create a wadi with green spaces across the neighbourhood.
There are plans for an adventure cycle track and a regular bike path in the community that will have also have a 10km walking path.
“We wanted something unique, exclusive, something totally different,” Mr Al Khatib told The National.
“In the Expo Valley we will have a wadi area like a green lung between all the villas, a link of more than 1kilometre where you can go hiking.
“In our main reserve area, there will be gazelles, water bodies and different outdoor activities.
"Attention is being paid to landscaping, trees and the birds that this will attract to create a full eco-system.”
Expo is in talks with a school with construction to begin soon and an announcement expected shortly.
The infrastructure, roads, Metro connectivity have already been laid out and tested with millions visiting during the six-month World Fair.
The aim is to reduce usage of cars across the site with buggies and electric scooters to transport residents.
The towers have been planned with balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the Expo sites.
The starting price is from Dh 1.3milion for a 960sqft one-bedroom apartment.
“The location of Mangrove Residences is in the centre of the Expo so you will be less than 100 metres from the Surreal water feature," Mr Al Khatib said.
“You can walk with your guests about 30 metres to Jubilee Park, you will be near the Sustainability Terra pavilion and a few steps from Al Wasl Plaza.
“Expo city already exists, we are adding the residential component.”
Solar and sustainability
Solar panels will be built into the roofs of villas and sustainable material used in the construction of the buildings.
Irrigation water for the green areas will be sourced from treated, recycled water as was done for the Expo site.
“The idea is to develop this empty land of sand into a community with trees and give this back to nature,” he said.
“Our commitment to sustainability is extremely high and net zero is the vision of Expo City.
“All the units will be enabled with technology to deliver smart homes.”
Demand for Expo City
Expo authorities anticipate big demand for the new community.
Several curious visitors entered the sales office on the day of the media launch keen to purchase property or learn more about the development.
Anghel Breton, a Dubai resident for the past 10 years, is among potential homeowners who came in with her family to enquire about an apartment.
“We are Expo fans. We came every week. We still come to every event," said the Mexican citizen.
“It’s a great opportunity for us because we like the concept of sustainability.
“My daughter goes to school nearby and the Metro is already built so it’s good because of the tourism potential.”
Bookings open on Wednesday when buyers can visit a newly-opened sales centre in the Sustainability District. It is also possible to download the brochure or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.