Tecom Business Parks is developing AED1bn ($272m) of projects in its free zones in Dubai to economic growth across a range of sectors.

The developments come as Tecom reports that it welcomed 549 new businesses last year and the number of workers in its business parks increased by 23 per cent to 58,000 during 2013 as economic growth in Dubai strengthens.

Growth is expected to remain robust in the coming years as the emirate prepares for the 2020 Expo creating new opportunities for businesses that operate out of Tecom’s free zones.

“It [Expo} is a milestone in the overall development of Dubai. For us it is also a milestone for our developments,” said Malek al-Malek, CEO Tecom Business Parks on 29 April. “Most of the industries we serve will be part of the event and the theme of the Expo, ‘Connecting minds, creating the future’ is the same theme we have endorsed at Tecom Business Parks from the beginning. We create communities where businesses come together and create value.”

Tecom will focus on developing more office in its existing parks across Dubai. “We still have capacity at our existing sites,” says Malek. “We can meet demand for the next four to five years.”

The first project Tecom is developing is in Dubai Media City. Locate just of Al-Sufouh road, the Butterfly, is a new two office buildings with about 25,000 square metres of office space, ground floor retail, and an outdoor plaza. Construction on the project has already started and the development is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Tecom is also completing the DuBiotech Headquarters Building at the DuBioTech development off Umm Suqeim road. The two towers have a total of 50,000 sq m of commercial space and retail units and completion is expected by the first quarter of 2015.

The local Bel Hasa Engineering & Contracting was awarded the estimated AED400m ($108m) contract to the towers in 2007. The building’s design is based on DNA, with slabs running along the sides of the buildings representing DNA strands of different sizes.

Another office building is being built at the International Media Production Zone off Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road (formerly known as Emirates Road).

The nine storey Publishing Pavilion will have a total of about 27,000 sq m of office space and is close to completion with handover expected in the fourth quarter of 2014. Tecom is also building Makateb at IMPZ, which ismulti building development comprising two four storey towers, and two seven storey towers and a total area of about 30,000 sq m. It is currently under construction with handover expected in Q1 2015.