Called RiverWalk, the Venetian-styled commercial and residential development will cover an area of more than 156,000 square metres between Sheikh Zayed highway and the Dubai Pearl project. It will comprise more than 450,000 square metres of built-up office, shop and housing space, with the 1,700 planned residential units available to buy on a freehold basis.

Enabling work on the first of three phases is already being carried out by the local Al-Habtoor Engineering Enterprises. A tender for the main package, covering the construction of a 140,000-square-metre residential tower, is expected later in the year. Work on phase 2 will start by year-end. Phase 3 will get under way in the first quarter of 2006. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. The local Dar Consultis the design consultant. Project management is being carried out in-house.

Capital Partners will finance the estimated $800 million project construction cost through $200 million of equity with the debt portion coming from regional and international banks.