Foundation work begins at Dubai Festival City

The development’s centrepiece ‘The Crescent’ will begin rising from the ground next year

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 27, 2003

Foundation work has begun on the 2.5 million sq. ft. of retail and entertainment buildings at Dubai Festival City. “This is the start of this huge construction component of Dubai Festival City which will result in one of the biggest and varied retail and entertainment offerings in the Middle East,” said Omar Al Futtaim, CEO of the Al Futtaim Group, which is developing the ‘city-within-a-city’. “After six months of foundation work, Dubai will be able to track, in particular, the development of The Crescent, which is set to be the jewel in the crown of Dubai Festival City and will be complete in 2006.” The Crescent has been designed by American architectural firm HOK to be a waterfront entertainment and retail centre with generous civic plazas and waterfront experiences. It is just 2km from Dubai International Airport. “Dubai’s first High Street retail offering, which will have no less than 400 shops, cafes and restaurants, will be home to 10 international flagship retailers, leading into a two-level, enclosed retail environment that will be complimented by unique restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues,” said Al Futtaim. At the heart of the Crescent will be the Grand Boulevard, Festival Square, and an elevated entertainment zone. The Crescent will cascade with water features — there will be an active marina, a waterfront promenade and canals with water taxis surrounded by a canal walk Phil McArthur, director for leasing & marketing, Dubai Festival City, said there will be themed pavilions with a children’s market, a speciality gallery and food exhibitions and a host of food and beverage outlets. The Crescent will have parking for 7,000 vehicles underground. Close by will be a value retail centre, that will have a further 5,000 parking slots totalling 12,000 car parking spaces. Dubai Festival City will have access from the Emirates Road, the Garhoud and Maktoum bridges and direct access from the proposed new bridge across the Creek, which will feed into the Crescent, said McArthur. Dubai Festival City is being developed on 1,600 acres on the banks of Dubai’s historic Creek. Comprising 15 distinct development zones, it is a property development by the Al Futtaim Group and is the Middle East’s largest, privately funded mixed-use real estate project. The property will comprise a unique mix of entertainment, dining, shopping, edutainment, sport and leisure facilities, automotive dealerships, hotels, a marina, residential and office components. It will have an 18-hole championship golf course designed by world-renowned Robert Trent Jones II.

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