Following the announcement made on Saturday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, TECOM Investments, the developers of Dubai Design District, today said that it aims to complete phase one of this dedicated industry community by January 2015, with construction of 10 buildings already underway.
TECOM is investing AED 4 billion in the first phase of Dubai Design District, which marks the start of what will become a world class creative community for the Middle East that promotes and nurtures local and regional designers. In addition, it will be home to some of the world’s leading brands and talent, as well as showcasing Dubai as an international design, fashion and luxury destination that can compete with the more established global centres.
TECOM Investments has also announced that during phase one’s construction period, businesses and individuals looking to be licensed within Dubai Design District can secure licenses to operate in any of TECOM’s nine other purpose built free zone business parks. Under TECOM’s existing offering, the legal and commercial framework for licensing specific design-related activities is already available.
Commenting, Ahmad bin Byat, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Holding, said: “The UAE’s resilient and growing retail and tourism sectors, its strong infrastructure and logistic network, and the potential of the MENASA region, have already attracted several of the world’s top design and luxury brands to set up their regional headquarters in Dubai.” Byat added that to further strengthen Dubai’s knowledge-based economy and ensure its sustainability, “we must create an environment that would produce and nurture future business leaders and entrepreneurs. Dubai Design District aims to provide this environment for the local talent interested in this sector. Furthermore, these talents will be able to draw on the experience of the leading regional and international operators who we are looking to attract to the district.” “Dubai Design District will be a dedicated home to the growing and increasingly popular local designer community who are emerging onto the global stage. We are confident that the district will play an integral role in diversifying Dubai’s economy once developed,” he added.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group Chief Executive Officer at TECOM Investments, said, “The announcement of Dubai Design District is a landmark moment for TECOM and a natural expansion for the creative industries we have already established. Extensive market research into the design, fashion and luxury industries, coupled with our track record in creating, operating and growing successful, industry-focused business parks in Dubai has led us to create this new district.” He added, “In the same way that we have supported IT companies in Dubai Internet City – the region’s first knowledge cluster – and media companies in Dubai Media City, we want to give design and luxury goods companies a platform for growth and an appropriate base for their operations in Dubai. TECOM’s pioneering and industry-focused business parks have helped play a key part in the development of Dubai’s knowledge economy and in growing employment levels across the UAE.” According to a recent report on the knowledge economy published by the World Bank, the UAE has the highest employment growth rate in the MENA region having seen employment reach 3.5 million in 2009 from 1.7 million in 2000.
Dr. Al Rustamani continued, “Luxury brands like Hermes, apparel brands Nike and Puma, educational institutions focused on the industry like ESMOD, and related media such as Harper’s Bazaar are already doing business in some of TECOM’s nine free zones and we want to see others join them.” Dubai Design District aims to be the Middle East’s key destination for the design, fashion and luxury industries and will offer people a dedicated district that will be the heart of the region’s design scene. TECOM Investments is creating a purpose built environment for these industries with the vision of a world class creative community that engages, nurtures and promotes local, regional and global design talent, which supports Dubai’s goals for a diversified and thriving economy.
This new Dubai-based fashion, design, and luxury goods district also builds on the Emirate’s strengths in tourism and will be a major contributing factor in achieving the goals of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020.
In terms of facilities, Dubai Design District will offer residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate, characterised by distinct public spaces, unique street furniture and shaded walkways. The development will include a creek side promenade with international and boutique hotels, a pop up shop area, amphitheatre and convention centre.