Local developer Nakheel is in discussions with Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority for a new bridge that will connect the Port Rashid area to Deira Islands.

“We are in discussions with the RTA for the concept engineering, we will sign an agreement with them, we will finalise within three months,” said Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah on 13 April.

The proposed bridge will supplement the bridges that connect Deira Islands with the Deira Corniche area. The local/Belgian Bel Hasa Six Construct was awarded a AED100m ($27m) contract for additional work on those bridges in 2015. The contractor was awarded a AED300m contract to build access bridges in 2007.

Construction activity is accelerating on the Deira Islands development. “Our main focus and priority is Deira Islands,” said Lootah.

Earlier in April, Nakheel awarded a AED4.2bn contract to the local United Engineering Construction (UNEC) for the construction of Deira Mall on the Deira Islands.

UNEC is already working on Deira Islands. The contract won a AED1.17bn contract for the Night Souq and Boardwalk in October 2015.

Construction work for Deira Mall is expected to start by the third quarter of this year, with completion set for 2020, according to a statement from the developer.

The three-level mall will have four million square feet of leasable space, with over 1,000 shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment outlets.

Deira Mall will be the centrepiece of Nakheel’s AED5bn Deira Boulevard development that includes 16 residential towers, almost 2,900 apartments and extensive retail, restaurant and recreation space. Together, the mall and boulevard will have around 4.5 million square feet of shop space. Nakheel issued tender documents for the construction of the boulevard in January.

Deira Mall and Deira Boulevard will be a large part of the AED12bn of construction contracts it plans to award this year.

The AED12bn total will be almost double the value of contracts that Nakheel awarded in 2016. Nakheel says that it awarded about AED6bn of contract awards that year.

Other contracts that have been awarded include a AED136m contract awarded in mid-April to the local Al-Ghurair Contracting & Engineering Works for the construction of a 304-room Premier Inn at Dragon City.

It will be Nakheel’s second hotel at Dragon City. The first, a 251-room Ibis Styles hotel that opened in February 2016. It is one of two Nakheel hotels managed by UK hospitality giant Whitbread under the Premier Inn brand. The first, a 372-room hotel at Ibn Battuta Mall, opened last October.

Nakheel embraces Dubai’s roots with world’s largest night market

Deira Islands Night Souk

Deira Islands Night Souk

New souq will be tourist attraction and support local businesses

Nakheel is going back to basics with the night market it is building on its Deira Islands development. When asked the usual questions about what luxuries Dubai’s latest shopping destination will have, Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah gives a curt answer. “It’s a souq,” he says.

The project is still ambitious and, in true Dubai style, it will be the largest night market in the world. When completed in 2018, it will have a 2-kilometre-long promenade and some 5,300 shops. The scheme has already been warmly received by the market. Nakheel says all units have been pre-leased. Read More