Dubai Festival City unveils Dh1.4b hillside project

DUBAI, 30 Aug, 05 (WAM) - Dubai Festival City, the Middle East's largest, privately-funded, mixed-use development which is transforming the banks of Dubai's historic Creek, has unveiled its AED 1.4 billion 'Hillside Community' residential project - a stunning, 36 hectare village of Gulf Arabian-style homes on a man- made hill in the heart of this all-encompassing development.

Boasting over 900 one, two and three bedroom designer apartments and 400 three and four bedroom elegant townhomes, 'Hillside Community' is planned to create a terraced Gulf Arabian-style 'village' on a 25 metre high, man-made hill that overlooks the Dubai Creek and the Al Badia Golf course, according to a press release.

'This is another regional first from Dubai Festival City as we create a signature terraced residential landmark,' said Phil McArthur, Director Leasing & Marketing, Dubai Festival City.

'Hillside Community is an important addition to Dubai Festival City?s imaginative residential portfolio. It will deliver a unique community atmosphere which will seamlessly blend stunning design with tranquillity to create one of the region's most desirable living environments.' Designed by world-renowned French architect and town planner, Xavier Bohl, 'Hillside Community' takes its influence from traditional Arabian architecture that is rooted in the region cultural heritage.

The first phase, that will include 180 stylish apartments, is expected to be ready by October 2006. The remaining 1,100 properties will be rolled out in consequent phases over an intensive two to three year schedule. In total, over 7,000 people are expected to live at the development.

'Work on the first phase of apartments is expected to commence shortly and we are currently in negotiations with a number of reputed contractors,' said McArthur.

Logistically, the development of the hill, which is nearing completion, has been a massive undertaking and has seen over 2.5 million cubic metres of fill material, being relocated from excavation for the ongoing Dubai International Airport expansion.

To ensure that the project creates a sense of place and community spirit, 'Hillside Community' will incorporate a plethora of neighbourhood facilities including a stylish art gallery, a 44,000 square foot community centre. The focus of the project will be the public square (Maidan) that sits at the highest part of the site (25m above the Creek). The Maidan will be a public destination place for the residents and visitors and will include shops, cafes, galleries, parks and will be a place where people will gather because of the views and sense of place.

Public parks are also seen as an important element in the design of the development and a public park has been incorporated with meandering walkways, communal swimming pools, sports and recreational grasses, cascading water features and secluded spaces.

WAM-VV