Business Bay ambitions outlined

16 December 2005
Local property developer Dubai Properties(DP)will oversee the construction of more than 200 towers in its first-phase development of Business Bay, a senior company official told the Second MEED Major Projects in Dubai conference on 6 December. 'In total, Business Bay will have about 500 towers,' said Shehab Lufti, business development director at Business Bay.

The first phase will see completion of all infrastructure and excavation work running up to Sheikh Zayed highway within two years. The first 200 towers are scheduled for completion within seven years. The creek, for which the local/UK joint venture of Dutco Balfour Beattyis carrying out an extension to Sheikh Zayed road, eventually passes through Safa Park and joins the coastline in Jumeirah.

'The creek will bypass a section of Safa Park and run to the Gulf, but the park will be incorporated. In effect, Dubai will be an island,' said Lufti. 'On the Jumeirah side the creek will have a maximum width of 70 metres [as opposed to the current 170 metres].'

Speaking to MEED, Lufti said that detailed plans had still to be finalised on whether DP would develop the areas surrounding the creek extension to the ocean. Options under consideration include creating an underground section of the creek.

DP is also moving ahead with the centrepiece tower for Business Bay. Although, yet to be named, the tower will be about 300 metres high and include commercial, retail and hotel elements. Four firms have been invited to submit design proposals by mid-December with a contract award due in the first quarter of 2006. The invited companies are UK-based Zaha Hadid Architects, the Netherlands' Office for Metropolitan Architectureand Reiser & Umemoto and Morphosis (Tom Mayne), both US-based.

Four other towers are also at various stages of development. Tenders are being prepared for the estimated $80 million One Business Bay. The 31-storey tower will be built on plot 1 in Business Bay to the south of the main entrance into the development from Sheikh Zayed road. Germany's Kling Consultis the design consultant; Currie & Brownof the UK is the quantity surveyor; and the local Hamiltonis the project manager.

Omniyat, part of the local Almasa Groupis the client. Bahrain-based International Investment Bankis taking a 50 per cent equity stake in the project.

Tender documents are also being prepared for Omniyat's 30-40-storey residential tower that will be built on an adjacent plot. The local office of KEO International Consultantsis acting as the design consultant. Currie & Brown is the cost consultant.

Concept designs are being drawn up for another 40-storey residential tower promoted by local developer Aker. Germany's BRT (Bothe Richter Teherani)is the architect. Currie & Brown is the project managerand cost consultant.

DP is also set to unveil the 55-storey Vision Tower. The commercial building will have a built-up area of about 55,000 square metres.

Work is now progressing on a number of projects at Business Bay. The local Dutch Foundations has begun foundations works for local Deyaar'sCitadel project, while the local Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprisesis building 11 30-40-storey towers. The UK's Halcrowcarried out the masterplan and is the consultant on Business Bay; the US' Hill Internationalis the project manager (MEED 28:10:05; 8:7:05; 3:6:05).

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