Dubai moves to revamp another stalled project

22 March 2017

Previously planned schemes are being revamped, restarted or replaced

Dubai has launched another ambitious project that will replace an earlier scheme that was put on hold in 2008 and 2009 when the emirate’s property market slumped and billions of dollars of projects stalled.

The latest new project to be launched will be built on the site that was previously planned to be a development known as Porto Dubai, which is a reclaimed island located off the public beach next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

It will be developed by the local Wasl Hospitality & Leisure with the US’ MGM Hospitality providing advice during the development and operating the resort when it is completed.

The 105,000 square metre beachfront development will include an MGM Hotel, MGM Residences and a Bellagio Hotel. Altogether it will have 1,000 rooms and feature 10 villas.

Some early enabling work on the scheme has been ongoing in recent months with the local Port Saeed Transport & Building Contracting Company preparing the site for construction work. This involved removing and demolishing work that was previously done on the island.

Construction work on the earlier Porto Dubai scheme was abandoned after Dubai’s property market slumped in late 2008. In early 2008, local developer Zabeel Properties - which was then developing the project - awarded the local Arabtec Construction an estimated AED1bn ($272m) main construction contract for the scheme. The project involved building a boutique hotel and 47 luxury villas.

It also is not the first time the MGM and Bellagio brands have planned to operate properties in Dubai. The two brands were to operate hotels at the Dubai Pearl development in the Tecom area. Construction work on that project has stalled and there has been little progress onsite since 2009.

Dubai has been busy moving to either complete or replace other stalled projects. In January, local developer Meraas launched a new offshore development between the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina known as Dubai Harbour.

The masterplan integrates the existing Skydive Dubai and Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) with another stalled project known as Logo Island that was, like Porto Dubai, being developed by Zabeel Properties.

The Dubai Harbour project includes a 1,400-berth marina as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a 325,000-square metre shopping mall, an events arena, residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public services, restaurants and cafes and a 135-metre tall tower known as Dubai Lighthouse. Altogether it will cover an area of more than 1.86 million square metres.

Another previous Zabeel Properties project restarted in 2016 when the local Arabtec Construction has started work on the contract to complete the Tiara United Towers, a project for which it stopped work in late 2008.

The contract involves completing the construction of two 50-storey towers with a total area of approximately 227,800 square metres. The contract during is about 18 months.

Located on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road in the Business Bay area, the project involves the construction of two steel frame towers with a height of about 212 metres each.

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