Dubai Design District (d3), the city’s upcoming development for the creative industries of art, design and fashion is garnering increased interest from prospective business partners. This has demonstrated the design community’s strong support for the concept. Construction work is well underway on the first phase of d3, the AED 4 billion development of the ‘core’ of the 15.5 million sq. ft. site, including state of the art offices and workshop spaces, which are expected to be ready for tenants in early 2015.
Since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in June last year, d3 has received over 500 expressions of interest, outstripping initial expectations in the development. As a result, dozens of licenses to operate under the d3 free zone are in the process of being approved and granted.
The second phase of the development will focus on d3’s stunning waterfront area. This will feature substantial F&B, retail and entertainment elements to ensure it operates 24/7. By providing visitors with round-the-clock activities and facilities, d3 will help achieve Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 goals of attracting 20 million visitors and AED 300 billion in tourism revenues per year by 2020. Once complete, d3 will be a world class creative community that promotes and nurtures emerging regional design talent, as well as providing a home to the world’s leading brands.
“We undertook extensive research and planning to ensure we create an environment that provides global brands better access to regional talent and the growing GCC markets, as well as being a platform to promote emerging Arab talent internationally,” said Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO at TECOM Investments. “This strategy, coupled with TECOM’s track record in creating, operating and growing successful, industry-focused free zones in Dubai puts d3 in a strong position going forward. “Luxury brands like Hermes, apparel brands such as Nike, and educational institutions focused on the industry like ESMOD, are already doing business in TECOM’s other free zones, and the significant level of interest d3 has garnered shows others from the industry are keen to join them.”
The d3 site will be located just minutes from The Dubai Mall. It will boast a 1 kilometer waterfront twice the length of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) with international and niche hotels, a pop-up shop area, and a convention center. The property options on offer will include residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate, and the area will be characterized by distinct public spaces, unique street furniture, and shaded walkways.
While construction at d3 progresses as planned, businesses and individuals can already apply for and secure their licence. They will be able to operate from one of TECOM’s other free zone locations until their particular space is ready for move-in.
“TECOM’s pioneering and industry-focused business parks have helped play a key part in the development of Dubai’s knowledge economy and in increasing employment levels across the UAE,” added Al Rustamani.
More than 100 design-related organizations already operate in TECOM’s other free zones locations. The development of (d3) will certainly be nothing short of noteworthy for the UAE and the greater Middle East.