Master developer Nakheel on Thursday announced the start of construction of Dragon Mart Phase 2 involving a total development value of Dh1 billion.
The developer said it has awarded contracts worth Dh600 million for the construction of the extension, which is set to more than double the size of the existing Dragon Mart complex.
United Engineering Construction, or UNEC, was selected for building the extension. In addition, two contracts are being awarded to Kele Contracting: one for the construction of the 240-room Dragon Mart Hotel and another for a multi-storey car park for 2,000 vehicles.
The Dragon Mart Phase 2 is the latest in a number of retail projects that the master developer has announced as the builder of the Palm-shaped iconic project staged a determined come back after undergoing severe debt crisis in the wake of a fall in property value. Other new Nakheel projects include a Dh25 million retail complex, and a restaurant, retail and entertainment hub opposite Atlantis.
“Construction is expected to start shortly on obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals,” the developer said. On completion of the expansion in 2013 third quarter, the shopping mall would double in size to 335,000 square meters — the equivalent of 47 international football pitches.
“Dragon Mart has gone from strength to strength since it opened in 2004. Now, we are doubling the size of this amazing success story — proof of our commitment to continued deliv-ery of new and existing projects, and of the huge demand from business wanting to be a part of the Dragon Mart phenomenon,” said Ali Rashid Lootah, chair-man of Nakheel.“Dragon Mart is already the world’s biggest trading hub for Chinese products outside main-land China.
The Phase 2 expan-sion will provide many more op-portunities for retailers, hoteliers and restaurants to prosper at this unique development,” he said.Dragon Mart 2, whose anchor tenants include Geant (10,000sqm) and a nine-screen Grand Cinema complex (4,000sqm), will include a two-storey retail mall with food court and separate terrace offering a range of outdoor dining options; a multi-storey car park; a 240-room, 8,500sqm hotel; a civic plaza and its own district cooling plant.
The existing 158,000sqm, 1.2km long Dragon Mart — home to nearly 4,000 retailers — was built in 2002 and opened two years later. Footfall at the complex has increased year-on-year since it began trading in 2004.
Dragon Mart currently welcomes an average 52,000 people each day, a footfall of around 19 million per annum.Nakheel, which has been at loggerheads with tenants on Palm Jumeirah over imposition of new services charges and fess, has posted a net profit of Dh362 million in the first quarter of the year compared with a Dh36 mil-lion loss in the same period last year.The developer’s revenues of Dh1.35 billion for the quarter, were up by 159 per cent on the same quarter last year.
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