DIFC masterplan takes shape

04 October 2002

US-based Gensler & Associates International has been selected for the contract to draw up a masterplan for the proposed Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Two other US-based firms - Skidmore Owings & Merilland KPF - were competing for the contract (MEED 26:7:02).

The masterplan will cover the whole of the DIFC area and will define layouts, structures and the mix of buildings and facilities. To be located on a 3.5 million-square-metre site adjacent to Emirates Towers, the project will provide a base for institutions operating in the regional market.

The facilities will be built in three phases. Phase 1 will involve the construction of a new headquarters for DIFC, extensive landscaping and an underground subway system to reduce traffic entering the proposed financial district. Gensler & Associates is carrying out work on the design of the DIFC headquarters building. Called the Gatehouse, the building will stand at the entrance to the financial district and house the market's stock exchange and administrative offices (MEED 20:9:02).

The local Emirates Norteck Surveys is carrying out site surveys for the proposed facilities. The building is scheduled to open in April 2004. The project manager is the US' Turner International.

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