x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Dh15 billion projects at Meydan back on track in Dubai

After work stalled on Dh15 billion worth of investment around the racecourse, a new British school and Korean hospital have been announced.

A number of stalled projects surrounding the Meydan race track are springing back to life. Mike Young / The National?
A number of stalled projects surrounding the Meydan race track are springing back to life. Mike Young / The National?

A total investment of more than Dh15 billion (US$4.08bn) is being made in the area surrounding Meydan stadium as new education, health and residential projects come online.

The project started in 2007 and stalled a year later, but an announcement this week of plans to open a Dh150 million branch of Kent College Canterbury and last week's news of a Dh600m Korean hospital, signal a return to form.

"Since 2008, the whole traditional market was very slow," said Shoaib Khoori, the managing director of the development company Mir Hashem Khoory.

"We identified Meydan as a very strategic location in Dubai, which nobody was noticing. It is such a close development to the heart of the emirate and is still seen as a suburb."

Kent College Canterbury, a 128-year-old private school in the United Kingdom, will open its Dubai branch in 2015. The 37,000 square metre campus will be built to accommodate 2,200 pupils and will offer the UK curriculum from pre-primary to Year 12, with access to finishing school and equestrian training for Year 6 pupils.

David Lamper, the headmaster of Kent College Canterbury said Meydan was as an attractive destination to start its first campus outside the UK. "It is a very exciting location," he said. "One of the great things is its proximity to so many residential areas."

Meydan teamed up with the property developer G&Co to deliver 198 villas on the south of the racecourse. An agreement with Emirates Airline in 2010 was struck to develop 528 villas for their pilots and co-pilots in the district.

"We are almost in the completion stages of these villas and they will be handed over by the end of 2013," said Mohammed Al Khayat, the head of commercial and free zone development at Meydan.

According to Mr Khoori, more projects to add to the infrastructure around the racecourse are being examined. "We have proposals for other schools as well as specialised healthcare facilities that are under study."

The first hospital, which is being jointly set up by the Bobath Memorial Hospital in Korea, is expected to contribute to the growing health tourism numbers in the emirate.

Mr Al Khayat said several commercial office spaces in the free zone areas had already been leased, including one to the logistics company DHL. Emirates NBD bank has also occupied three buildings to accommodate 3,000 staff members.

The Indian developer Sobha Group is also expected to start construction of a mall, villas, apartments and hotels on 750,000 square metres of land bought from Meydan Group this year.