Real estate developer Nakheel has started construction of the AED1bn ($272m) phase 2 extension to the Dragon Mart retail hub in Dubai, UAE.
Nakheel awarded contracts worth AED600m ($163m) to United Engineering Construction (UNEC) and Kele Contracting for the construction of the extension.
Under the contract, UNEC will construct a new retail mall which will feature a 10,000m² hypermarket, a nine-screen 4,000m² cinema complex, a district cooling plant and new retail space.
Kele Contracting will build a 240-room, 8,500m² Dragon Mart Hotel and a multi-storey car park with 2,000 spaces.
The car parking facility will have a surface area of 62,000m², spread across four storeys, including underground spaces.
It will feature high-speed elevators, natural ventilation and lighting, as well as advanced fire and safety specifications.
Work on the new phase will commence soon and on completion, in the third quarter of 2013, it will add 177,000m² of space to the existing mall, increasing the total size of the mall to 335,000m².
Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said that Dragon Mart is already the world’s biggest trading hub for Chinese products outside mainland China.
"The Phase 2 expansion will provide many more opportunities for retailers, hoteliers and restaurants to prosper at this unique development," Lootah said.
Dragon Mart 2 will be constructed by selected business partners New Mall through a build, operate and transfer (BOT) mechanism and the project will be managed by Nakheel until the transfer date.
The existing 158,000m², 1.2km long Dragon Mart was built in 2002 and opened in 2004.
Dragon Mart Phase 2 is one of a number of projects in Nakheel’s retail expansion pipeline.
In April 2012, Nakheel secured a AED25m ($6.8m) contract from RSP for the design of a 160,000m² retail complex, The Palm Mall on Palm Jumeirah.
Work is also due to start on The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah, a 136,000m² restaurant, retail and entertainment hub opposite Atlantis The Palm.
Caption: Dragon Mart consists of various retail outlets, including a hypermarket, cinema, children’s amusement area, gym, and restaurants and cafes. Image: Nakheel.