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Dubai World Central Real Estate eyes Global Opportunities

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The real estate arm of Dubai World Central (DWC), the 140-square kilometre, multi-phase urban land development centred around the world’s largest airport, DWC-Al Maktoum International Airport, will take its expertise of developing huge urban land projects to emerging markets, in response to international interest generated over the past year.

DWC Real Estate, the entity tasked by Dubai World Central - the brand name of Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) - with designing, building, developing, selling and leasing properties within DWC, will capitalise on its knowledge base and ability to handle mega projects such as Dubai World Central, and establish itself as a global real estate master developer.

“Dubai World Central is a testament to our understanding and expertise of mega developments and applying smart growth principles in suburban Greenfields, and the role of planned communities in a regional Greenfield strategy,” said Khalid bin Harib, CEO, DWC Real Estate.

“DWC has master planned all world-class civic and leisure amenities within a radius of 10 kilometres. The entity’s remit currently constitutes three real estate components spread over a total of 64 square kilometres and worth billions of dollars – DWC Residential City, DWC Commercial City and DWC Golf City - and land lease within Dubai Logistics City and DWC Aviation City, the project’s aviation and logistics components.”

DWC Real Estate has been requested by several city development boards across emerging markets to act as consultants to communities and private developers, combining their understanding of best practices with an ability to distil complex design ideas into easily grasped techniques. Serving as a principal for both Greenfield land development and urban infill projects, DWC Real Estate also understands the challenges presented by regulatory agencies and the capital markets worldwide.

“While huge tracts of previously unused land can be unmanageable, Greenfield development offers the most practical, affordable, and an achievable chance to build with careful planning, given its potential to create large-scale, conserved open lands and sustainable modern infrastructure. Greenfield construction can present challenges like indiscriminate and incremental use of open land; low-density residential communities; land-consumptive commercial development; lack of connectivity among residential and commercial development projects; transportation systems that are exclusively auto-dependent; social homogeneity; and economic segregation,” added bin Harib.

With sales completed at DWC Residential City’s first two phases within the last two years, DWC Real Estate has already unveiled the full masterplan and land use plan for over 40% of the eight square kilometre city aimed at low-mid income housing needs. Over 100,000 people will eventually stay at these two phases before 2011 – of the expected 250,000 people across all five phases by 2013 – using all foreseeable amenities which follow international standards of environmentally friendly lifestyles.

DWC Commercial City, which is DWC’s business and commerce capital, has incorporated the best of city planning processes from around the world. The master planning process involved specialists, including urban designers, masterplanners, town planners, landscape architects, regeneration and sustainability consultants, and interior designers who studied top cities like New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong among others. While the land use plan is currently being finalised, the final design will unveiled towards the end of the 2008.

This 14 square kilometre city will have several high-rise towers and town houses aimed at mid-high income housing requirements. Close to 450,000 people are expected to live in DWC Commercial City with nearly 150,000 estimated people working there.

Also on the final drawing boards is the biggest of DWC’s three real estate offerings – DWC Golf City. Targetting the high income segment, this 15 square kilometre city will feature over 5,000 two-storey villas and several multi-storey luxury apartments surrounding the golf courses which includes extensive practice facilities, driving ranges and putting greens as well as luxury clubhouses with restaurants and a pro-shop. Over 150,000 people are expected to stay there and close to 19,000 will work at several hospitality, leisure and sports establishments.

Among community facilities and service-providers across the entire DWC projects will be shops, banks, exchange houses, restaurants, supermarkets, cinema operators, medical centres, internet and gaming shops, bowling and health clubs and every conceivable leisure and entertainment operators.

“The DWC project has demonstrated a holistic approach to meeting the needs of growth and development. It is a model that can apply to future Greenfield developments anywhere in the world. Life and lifestyle options should also include local or regional access to employment, education, and personal growth resources, connections to commercial and recreation centres, and ways to meet neighbours and take part in the community,” explained bin Harib.

Dubai World Central as an urban land project will be fully operational with all civic amenities across all components between 2015-2020.

“DWC Real Estate, as an organisation run by highly knowledgeable personnel with extensive background in property development, is definitely looking forward on taking that expertise on a global level and exploring possible business opportunities elsewhere in the world,” bin Harib concluded.

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