Extra Dhs17 billion to go into Dubailand projects pot

Developer hopes to get Dhs15 billion committed by year end and targets $35 billion by 2010

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 11, 2004

The promoters of Dubailand are confident of wrapping up negotiations for Dhs15 billion worth of projects before the end of this year. Initially, it was projected that Dubailand would produce investment worth Dhs18 billion, but investor response has been so good since HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince andUAE Defence Minister, announced the development in October last year, that DTDC has revised its investment target to Dhs35 billion, which it hopes to raise from the private sector. “The initial studies for Dubailand projected it to attract Dhs18 billion in investment by 2010. But due to market changes, and the rapid economic development of the UAE, we now expect Dubailand to attract Dhs35 billion in investments,” says Salem bin Dasmal, CEO of DTDC, which is now a subsidiary of Dubai Holding. The development was initiated by Dubai Development & Investment Authority, and is being implemented and managed by DTDC. Dasmal hoped to tie up four new projects before the end of this year, bringing the level of investment committed in 11 projects to Dhs15 billion. These would be constructed over the next five years. More than half of the 11 projects are under construction and are to be completed ahead of schedule. “We will be announcing four major projects by the end of the year with another 30 projects under negotiation,” bin Dasmal said. Dubailand is being promoted as the largest family entertainment project in the Middle East with comprehensive tourism, leisure, entertainment and lifestyle facilities. It sprawls across 200 million m2 of land and comprises 45 main projects subdivided into 200 subprojects along six main themed areas. “There are at present 30 projects of different sizes under consideration with some nearing completion. We expect to announce another four projects by the end of the year. At this stage, we are working on the construction of the Sales Centre which will start operating before the end of March 2005,” said bin Dasmal. He expects that, by the end of 2007 when the project goes operational, some six to seven projects will be ready at Dubailand. “Dubailand is currently studying plans for attracting foreign investment after its success in attracting regional investments. Attracting the foreign investors will be as per the same approach that was adopted in attracting regional investors and we will be organising promotional road shows in Europe and North America for the purpose. We will also be working with a number of experts to benefit from their experience in similar projects,” the DTDC CEO said. DTDC expects to leverage the strengths of its new parent company, Dubai Holding. “Under Dubai Holding, Dubailand will further benefit from technology and marketing support as well as the exchange of information with other member companies,” bin Dasmal said. One of the biggest projects under construction at Dubailand is the Dubai Sports City. Another project is the permanent home of the Global Village which has to be ready by January 2005 to host the Dubai Shopping Festival. Construction is well underway for the Polo and Equestrian World, and contracts are believed to have been signed to build the Theme Park and Dubai Aqua Park as well as other projects, all of which are slated to start before the end of the year. The Legends is also expected to start soon.

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