Local developer Union Properties has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation for the construction of a AED8bn ($2.2bn) masterplanned development at Motorcity in Dubai.

Union Properties says that it expects to sign a contract with China State for the four-year project by the end of this year, and it expects ground to be broken on the project during the first quarter of next year.

For funding, Union Properties says that a variety of options are being considered for the scheme that will require AED2bn of spending a year for four years. One possible option is funding support from China. China State has worked on several projects in Dubai in recent years where it has either provided or helped secure funding. “There is an opportunity for China State to participate and make use of our experience,” says Yu Tao, president and CEO, Middle East, China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The project comprises 44 new high and low rise buildings, more than 150 villas, and a wide range of residential, commercial, entertainment and hospitality facilities. It is expected to include more than 11,500 residential units, around 3,000 serviced apartments, 3,500 hotel rooms, and a total of 46,000 square metres of retail space and more than 300,000 square metres of office space.

The centerpiece of the masterplan is known as the Vertex, which is made up of five towers with hotel and serviced apartment space. The tallest tower will be over 80 storeys.

The design consultant for the project is Australia’s Atlis Architecture.