Preparatory works have started for Wasl’s Dubai Gate development in the Jebel Ali area.

The local Port Saeed Transport & Building Contracting Company is working on a package covering bulk earthworks and the demolition of workers camps in the area.

The project is located on a 1.5 million square-metre site next to the Energy metro station in Jebel Ali across Sheikh Zayed road from the Dubai Aluminium complex.

It involves the construction of villas and mid-rise buildings with a total built-up area of more than 2 million square metres. If construction costs are AED4,000 ($1,090) a square metre, the development could cost AED8bn to complete.

 Dubai Gate

Dubai Gate development in Jebel Ali

The centrepiece of the development will be a tower named “Ibdaa”, which means “innovation” in Arabic. As well as buildings, the development will also include a park.

It is understood that work on the infrastructure and the first 200 villas is expected to start during the second quarter of this year.

Wasl is developing other major projects in Dubai as government clients continue to plan new projects despite the slowdown in the emirate’s property sector.

It recently invited contractors to express interest in working on an estimated AED2.5bn ($681m) low income housing development in Dubai.

The proposed low income residential development is located in Al-Qusais Industrial Area and involves the construction of 81 four storey buildings along with other community facilities.

In February, Wasl awarded the local Al-Basti & Muktha was awarded an estimated AED700m ($190m) deal for the construction of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Dubai. The project is owned by Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) and the local Wasl Hospitality is the development manager.

Another major project planned is Wasl Tower. Wasl informed contractors during workshops in September last year that the construction contract would be tendered in early 2016.

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.