• Dubai aims to regain its position as one of world’s most active high rise markets
  • New projects are planned by government-controlled developers
  • Emirate completed hundreds of towers between 2005 and 2010

Dubai is aiming to regain its position as one of the world’s most active markets for construction companies that specialise in high-rise buildings as developers rush to complete new buildings ahead of the Expo in 2020.

The plans have been launched by government-controlled developers despite a general slowdown in construction activity in the region this year, suggesting a desire from the highest levels of government to drive economic growth and raise Dubai’s profile by developing high-profile projects.

Between 2005 and 2010 Dubai developers completed hundreds of high-rise projects including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which reached a final height of 828 metres.

The latest update is Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) receiving prequalification documents from contractors for construction work on its Burj 2020 district in Dubai.

The district’s main tower has been designed as the world’s tallest commercial building. The current holder of that title is the 541-metre One World Trade Centre tower in New York.

According to sources close to the project, the tower will be surrounded by other shorter towers that will make up the Burj 2020 district in the Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) area. It is understood that these towers could be up to 350 metres tall.

The prequalification questionnaire gives contractors the option to select which parts of the development they are interested in building.

US-based Turner Construction International was appointed as the project manager for the development in 2014. The architect is US-based Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture. US-based WATG has been appointed to deliver the masterplan for the district.

DMCC is developing another tower in the JLT area. In 2013,Canada’s Brookfield Multiplex was selected as the design-and-build contractor for the One JLT tower.

It involves the design-and-build of a 12-storey commercial building with a ground floor, two levels of podium parking and a basement. The contractor is also responsible for fitting out five levels of Grade A office space.

The Burj 2020 project is one of several landmark tower schemes that are scheduled to enter the construction phase in Dubai over the next year.

The most ambitious was unveiled in August, when Meydan unveiled plans to build a 711-metre-tall tower as well as a marina and a shopping mall, and the world’s longest indoor ski slope as part of its Meydan One project.

At the World Trade Centre, the Investment Corporation of Dubai is planning a new headquarters building. In early February, it invited selected contractors to submit prequalification documents for the project known as One Zabeel.

ICD is also developing at tower at Dubai International Financial Centre in joint venture with Canada’s Brookfield. Known as ICD Brookfield Place, the project involves building a 50-storey office tower, with a hotel and retail outlets. It is understood that the UK’s Foster + Partners and US-based Aecomare among the consultants working on the project.

Nakheelis developing the Gateway Towers project that is being developed by the local at the base of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Contractors submitted bids for the contract to build the towers in June. The scope of work involves constructing three high-rise towers, with an expected cost of AED3bn ($817m). The development will be built on top of an existing parking currently serving the Palm monorail on Al-Sufouh road.

Another high rise tower is planned by local developer Wasl, It engage with contractors for a high-rise tower it plans to build on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road in September. Wasl is planning to tender the contract to build the tower in early 2016, with completion set for 2019 ahead of the Dubai Expo in 2020.

The 60-storey tower will be about 300 metres tall and will feature the world’s tallest ceramic facade. It has been designed by sustainability expert Werner Sobek and architect Ben van Berkel.

One of the key features is the exterior self-lighting techniques that will be utilised to reflect various occasions and events held in the city.