The DIFC entrance: a Dubai landmark

The DIFC entrance: a Dubai landmark

DIFC announces development plan

01 November 2013

DUBAI International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial and business hub connecting the region’s emerging markets with those of Europe, Asia and the Americas, has presented its master plan at Cityscape Global. The new developments will add to DIFC’s world-class infrastructure and unique value proposition to meet the growing needs of regional and international clients.

“The latest plan is in line with DIFC’s long-term growth strategy and reflects the growing demand for space, from both existing and potential clients, who wish to expand their operations in the Centre.  DIFC is now evaluating development proposals for a limited amount of plots, with a view to joint venturing with qualified developer and investor groups, to build and form mutually beneficial long-term partnerships,” it said.

“DIFC is now positioned to realise its vision towards establishing a distinctive master planned community. The North district will continue to thrive as the office zone, the Town Centre will be the mixed-use, retail and entertainment destination, and the southern section will flourish as a residential and lifestyle zone. The three zones will be connected through a carefully planned retail promenade, offering seamless connectivity and walkability throughout the development.”

Abdullah Mohammed Saleh, governor of DIFC, said, “Since our inception back in 2004, DIFC has established itself as the pre-eminent location in which to build upon financial and business partnerships in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia region.


Dynamic hub

DIFC’s master plan will add to the hub’s world-class infrastructure and unique value proposition

“We are now taking our platform to the next level of development by expanding our offering, thereby enhancing the UAE’s key value proposition as a dynamic hub for business. We look forward to welcoming new members to our rapidly growing community and further cementing both Dubai and the UAE’s position on the global financial stage.”

Brett Schafer, CEO of DIFC Properties, said, “Over the last decade, DIFC has pioneered the financial free zone concept in the Middle East, successfully serving our client base and paving the way for meaningful expansion. As we enter into the next 10 years, the DIFC master plan will continue its development as a world-class community. The completion of our master plan will create a fully-integrated district, further enhancing it among the ranks of the world’s most prestigious addresses.

“We are proud to announce the next chapter of the DIFC story and invite qualified development and investment partners to be an integral part of completing the DIFC vision into a reality, through mutually-beneficial investment.”  

Work on the next phase of the development is expected to commence in early 2014.



Meanwhile, Reuters reported that DIFC’s expansion would cost Dh15 billion ($4 billion) and quoted Schafer as saying in an interview that DIFC is looking for investors to develop about 10 million sq ft of property through joint ventures. “Of the total 25 million square feet of development, only 15 million has been completed so far,” said Schafer. “We are inviting proposals from top developers and investors to develop this expansion in joint venture with ourselves,” he added.

The total development cost is Dh15 billion and the expansion is expected to be completed in the next 10 years.

The plan is to construct a mixed-use facility with about 65 per cent offices, 20 per cent residential and 15 per cent retail. There are about 1,000 companies currently operating in DIFC.

 Office vacancy rates in Dubai are above 40 per cent but offices in DIFC and other tax-free operating zones are regarded as prime space and are in demand. Dubai’s safe haven status amid regional instability has also attracted more companies to the emirate.

 Standard Chartered moved into a $140 million building in the DIFC area last year.

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