Dubai developer Nakheel has confirmed that work is progressing on Deira Islands, its 15.3 sqkm master development, with its first project on track to open next year.
Nakheel has awarded Dhs3bn worth of contracts at Deira Islands as of February 2017, with more “multi-billion contracts” on the way, it said.
The mixed-use development, first unveiled in October 2013, includes four man-made islands and will add 40km of coastline, including 21km of beach, to Dubai.
It will feature almost six million sqft of retail space and around 3,000 apartments/hotel rooms.
In December, a Dhs150m ($40.8m) bridge linking the project to the mainland was opened by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Currently, stage 1 infrastructure work (on islands A and B) is completed with stage 2 infrastructure work underway.
Construction is also underway on the Dhs1.57bn Deira Night Souk project, set to be the “biggest night market in the world” according to Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah.
The construction contract for the project, valued at Dhs1.17bn, is being carried by UNEC.
Located on island A, the Night Souk stretches 1.9km along the waterfront and will feature 96 quayside cafes and restaurants.
All the 5,300 units within the project have already been leased – all by UAE nationals. The retail spaces are all roughly of the same size and will offer a range of different products and services – similar to any traditional souk, Lootah told reporters during a site visit.
The Night Souk area will not be fully air-conditioned, but the design will allow for greater wind movement and keep temperatures cool, said officials.
Also, since the souk will only open “after sunset” and run until late in the night (past 12am), it will not operate in direct sunlight, they added.
A total of 3,166 parking spots are available close to the souk.
The Night Souk is slated to open to the public before the end of 2018, marking the first major completion on Deira Islands.
The company expects to earn Dhs300m annually in rental revenues from the souk.
Meanwhile Nakheel also confirmed that construction proposals for its mega Deira Mall will be submitted on February 20.
The Dhs40m design contract for the mall was awarded in June 2014.
Spread across 6.5 million sqft, the mall will feature 4.5 million sqft of leasable space and host 1,100 shops.
In terms of gross leasable area (GLA), the new mall will even beat Emaar-operated Dubai Mall, which offers 3.77 million sq ft of GLA.
The other major project underway is the Dhs5bn Deira Boulevard, which will feature 22 towers including 16 residential buildings and six four hotels/serviced apartments.
In total it will feature 2,900 apartments and around 1,000 hotel rooms/serviced apartments.
Nakheel issued the tender for construction in January, with the anticipated delivery in 2020.
In terms of hospitality, Nakheel has joint venture agreements with Spanish operator RIU for a Dhs900m, 800-room resort as well as with Thai hotel group Centara for a Dhs450m, 550-room resort.
Both will have exclusive beachfront access.
Lootah also confirmed that several more hospitality projects were planned, with Nakheel also currently in talks with two operators for JVs.
“The new agreements should hopefully be announced by the end of this year,” he said.
Once fully complete, Deira Islands is anticipated to have a population of 250,000 and create around 80,000 jobs.
The size of the project is approximately 1,530 hectares, almost three times the size of Nakheel’s flagship Palm Jumeirah project, which is spread across 560 hectares.