Consultants are currently being hired for the first phase of Dubai Holding’s ambitious $6.8 billion Mall of The World project.
Speaking at a press conference at the Cityscape Global exhibition, Dubai Holding’s vice-president of strategy, Khalfan Belhoul, said that the climate-controlled scheme set to contain a theatre district, huge shopping mall and the world’s biggest indoor theme park was still in a phase where it is hiring all of the necessary consultants.
“Obviously, this is a long project and I would say it will take around ten years,” Belhoul said. “We are currently focusing on phase one.
“Basically at the moment we’re at the point where we are appointing all of the consultants that are related to all of the industries that are needed in the mall and we want to make sure that we apply all of the core competencies. We are targeting a three-year construction plan for phase one. However, the three years start once we break ground.”
Belhoul added that no final decision had been taken yet as to which elements will be included in phase one, but added that the first part of the site to be developed will be the section closest to Sheikh Zayed Road.
“The target is to complete this project in three years. There is a design in place at the moment, it’s just a matter of getting information from the different consultants and appointing industry-specific consultants who are validating ideas.
“The first quarter of 2015 is when we will be able to announce more details.”
He added that it is targeting completion of phase one before 2020 “but obviously the three years indicate when we start digging”.
“Everything looks in line so far.”
He said that Dubai Holding would fund 50 percent of the project, but said the way in which it would fund this has not yet been made clear.
“We’re discussing several options from land sales to joint ventures to bank facilities.”
Belhoul also said that Dubai Holding had strengthened its balance sheet in recent years, with its debt falling from AED15 billion ($4.1 billion) in 2009 to around AED10 billion ($2.7 billion) currently.
It also generated AED5 billion ($1.36 billion) in revenue and AED2.1 billion ($570 million) in net profit for the first haif of 2014. It expects net profits for the whole of 2014 to reach around AED4 billion ($1.08 billion).