DFC finishes major element of waterfront development

Piling work begins after the removal of 800 000m2 of material

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By  Eudore Chand Published  May 1, 2004

Piling work has started on the 250 000 m2 Waterfront Centre, which will be Dubai Festival City’s retail, hospitality and entertainment hub. Excavation of over 800 000 m3 of material have been completed to create space to house underground parking and services. The Dhs52 million contract, awarded to Swissboring Overseas Piling, will see over 2900 piles driven into the Crescent site that will provide the foundations for a 160 000 m2 platform to support the iconic super-centre. “This marks a milestone in the evolution of one of the most important elements of Dubai Festival City,” said Phil McArthur, DFC director of marketing and leasing. “The Waterfront has been developed in conjunction with some of the world’s most acclaimed designers, operators and consultants to ensure we deliver a world-class down-town waterfront venue.” The deep excavations made were necessary to allow for two levels of basement parking and the support foundations for the three levels of leasing area above ground. “We have allowed for a ‘car parking to leaseable area ratio’ of 6.2 which is the highest in Dubai. This will ensure visitors have a hassle-free experience and that we in turn do not become a victim of our own success,” said McArthur. Piling work should be complete by August this year, but work will commence on the substructure in June. “This will be a fascinating structure to observe under construction,” said McArthur. “The entire building is fan-shaped-designed to curve around the man-made marina and that’s exactly how it will rise out of the ground, just like a fan opening alongside the Creek.” The Waterfront Centre is due to be completed late 2005 and will open September 2006. Dubai Festival City is being developed on 1600 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 first phase of construction is underway with Al Badia Golf Resort to open in late 2004. It is an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Trent Jones II LLC, surrounded by Mediterranean style apartments and town homes. Foundation work will commence soon on The Hotel Inter-Continental Dubai Festival City, an iconic convention hotel situated on the northwest peninsula of the marina. Meanwhile, McArthur told the 29th annual European conference of the International Council For Shopping Centres in Rome, that Dubai has now created an international market through many exciting projects and initiatives. He told delegates that the New Dubai abounds with astonishing projects and that the population has adopted a strong shopping centre culture. “The addition of a traffic-drawing anchor, like a hypermarket, has changed the dynamics of shopping centre retailing in the region, and Dubai, forever,” he said. “World-class vision, high standards, great customer service and new innovative shopping experiences - this is why a number of new mega-mall projects are looming on the horizon that will elevate Dubai’s standing to even greater heights. Within the next three to five years, over 18 million square feet of new retail space will emerge on to the market. These are truly the centres of the new millennium.”

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