Mini City For 10,000 Expats To Rise From Desert

A new mini city for Dubai will include 10,000 affordable homes for expats, according to planners.

The £5.35 billion Desert Rose project will provide 30,000 homes for 160,000 people, says Dubai Municipality.

The new housing will sprawl across 15.5 square miles of desert between Al Ruwaya and Al Aweer on both sides of the Emirates road.

Architects and engineers aim to make the new city self-sustainable with smart energy coming from renewable energy plant, solar panels on rooftops and a thermal tower.

The completion date is expected to be during 2025, but the date could be brought forward to provide accommodation for the Expo 2020, which is hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

Massive project

Desert Rose takes its name from the desert flower that inspired the design.

The mammoth project will involve building a sewage plant, five miles of light railway linked to the Dubai Metro Green Line, 167 miles of roads and more than 15 miles of footpaths and cycle ways.

Three square miles will be set aside as green belt land for leisure and agriculture.

“The timescale for building this project depends on the government,” said Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, assistant director general for engineering and planning for the Dubai Municipality.

“If we need to speed up or slow down to meet their plans, then we can go either way.

“The municipality can finance this project, but we are also looking at joint public and private ventures within the scheme.”

Meanwhile, a new report from property consultants JLL MENA predicts that soaring rents in Dubai have steadied and fears of a property price bubble are fading.

Rents tumbling

The firm forecasts average home prices will stay the same or drop by up to 10% this year – and as rents mirror the sales market in the emirate, they are expected to fall as well.

“We expect new tenants will see lower rents or special deals like the first month free or upgraded appliances,” said a spokesman for the firm.

The survey also suggests buying a home is better value than renting one in Dubai – providing expats intend to stay for the long term.

The firm also revealed government plans to grade properties by size, location and facilities to control rents.

“Discussions are ongoing and we do not know when they will end,” said the spokesman.

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